Plato on Acrasia

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 Acrasia

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In the Protagoras, Socrates does not allow that knowledge of how best to act can be ‘dragged about as a slave’ by pleasure or passion. What he does allow is that some accidental salience, e.g. that of an immediate attraction, can so distort the agent’s judgement that he loses his grasp of what is best (even if he continues to assert it). This position may not be as implausible as it initially seems. However, in the Republic, Plato partitions the soul, and allows as possible that a man may be seduced from what he rationally thinks best by a strong irrational desire. However, he supposes that undisciplined desire most often depraves reason.

Keywords: acrasia; knowledge; judgement; desire; pleasure; reason; rational; appetite

Chapter.  13535 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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