Chapter

Plato on Practical Reasoning

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609611.003.0006
Plato on Practical Reasoning

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The Lysis contrasts with the ‘first friend’ objects of desire that are only desired hypothetically upon their subserving it; likewise in the Gorgias. The Meno allows that one can desire as good something that in fact is bad. The Republic recognizes non-rational desires that may or may not be acquired in ways that involve reasoning from ends to means. Plato is generally skeptical about the possibility of defining what is virtuous by general principles. Yet he has the aspiration of a method of measurement that would reliably identify the mean, or what is best.

Keywords: practical; reasoning; inference; good; best; desire; end; means

Chapter.  19221 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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