This article discusses the absence of the word ψυχή (“soul”) in Plato’s Crito. Socrates demonstrably intends its omission, especially at 47a12–48a10, where it would be otherwise expected. The absence of ψυχή is part of a crucial strategy whereby Socrates uses Crito’s own distinctions in an attempt to make the latter understand that smuggling Socrates out of jail is not only against the law (τὸ ἄδικον) but also an act against people (τὸ ἀδικεῖν). Only when this attempt fails to deter Crito (48a4) does Socrates turn to a different strategy, the end of which comprises the famous speech of the Laws.

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