Plato on Virtue

A. W. Price

in Virtue and Reason in Plato and Aristotle

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199609611
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731846 | DOI:
Plato on Virtue

Show Summary Details


In different periods of his writing, Plato argues for different conceptions of the unity of the virtues. He always denies that one can possess one virtue without possessing the others. He first supposes that all virtues are one, since they are identical to knowledge. This goes with an analysis of the emotions that ties them closely to judgements about what in best. In the Republic, he ascribes different emotions to three different ‘parts’ of the soul, and associates distinct virtues with these (with justice as a virtue common to all three). Philosophers possess all these virtues together; even common men who can achieve a virtue only to a limited degree must achieve the other virtues to the same degree. All men can be happy to a degree within Plato’s utopia.

Keywords: virtue; emotion; unity; part; knowledge; courage; temperance; justice

Chapter.  12993 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.