Chapter

Socratic Ethics <sup>1</sup>

C. C. W. Taylor

in Pleasure, Mind, and Soul

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780199226399
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191710209 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.003.0009
 Socratic Ethics 1

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This chapter examines the ethical thought of Socrates in the early Platonic dialogues, focusing on Socrates' quest for definitions of ethical concepts. It is argued that the attempt to define virtue or excellence produces an account of virtue as a cognitive state, specifically a grasp of what is overall best for the agent. Given further arguments for the conclusion that adherence to accepted morality is always in the agent's interest, it follows from that account that no-one intentionally does what is morally wrong.

Keywords: definition; conceptual and substantive; cognitive account; virtue; Socratic paradoxes

Chapter.  6801 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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