Socrates Discusses Freedom with a Prisoner

Socrates Discusses Freedom with a Prisoner

Socrates discusses freedom with a prisoner

Socrates is deep in thought wandering around the city when he happens to pass by a window of a prison wherein a prisoner is pleading that he should be set free.

Prisoner: Please free me. My family needs me to provide for them. If I am not there they will surely starve to death in the streets.

Socrates: what is this commotion?

Prisoner: I wish for freedom. Tell the guards I must be set free.

Socrates: I will try to help you if you will tell me what exactly it is you want. You must have an adequate understanding of what it is if you are so eager to find it.

Prisoner: I have told you what I want. I want freedom itself.

Socrates: so what, dear prisoner, is freedom?

Prisoner: To get out of these shackles and away from these bars, obviously.

Socrates: I asked what freedom is, not what it is not. You must know what it is if you desire so much to make such a racket. Please help me to understand what freedom is.

Prisoner: Very well, it is to be outside of this prison.

Socrates: If everything outside of this prison is free then what of all the other prisoners in other prisons? Surely the cannot be free.

Prisoner: Of course not, I am not daft. I mean to say freedom is outside of prisons in general.

Socrates: Then all things outside of all prisons are free?

Prisoner: Of course, what else could they be?

Socrates: But what of the slaves? They are outside of prisons, are they free as well?

Prisoner: Of course not. Slaves are not free.

Socrates: If a slave is outside of prison and it is not free then being outside of prison is not freedom?

Prisoner: No.

Socrates: Why is it that a slave cannot be free?

Prisoner: Because a slave must obey his master. He cannot do as he pleases.

Socrates: So, freedom is doing as you please?

Prisoner: Of course.

Socrates: And prisoners are not free because they must obey the guards?

Prisoner: Certainly.

Socrates: And the same with...

Similar Essays