Download PDF by : Akrasia in Greek Philosophy. From Socrates to Plotinus

Discussions on akrasia (lack of keep watch over, or weak point of will) in Greek philosophy were particularily vibrant and severe for the previous twenty years. commonplace tales that provided Socrates because the thinker who easily denied the phenomenon, and Plato and Aristotle as rehabilitating it straightforwardly opposed to Socrates, were challenged in lots of other ways. construction on these demanding situations, this collective presents new, and on occasion antagonistic methods of examining famous in addition to extra ignored texts. Its thirteen contributions, written by way of specialists within the box, disguise the full historical past of Greek ethics, from Socrates to Plotinus, via Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics (Cleanthes, Chrysippus, Epictetus).

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17 It is of course theoretically possible that Plato alternated: now using/applying the one sort of theory, now the other. ) that I count this as no more than a theoretical possibility. ) And given all of this, it will simply be impossible for anyone to do, or (as I prefer to put it) go, wrong willingly; one can only go wrong through ignorance. This is what the Socrates of the Republic then famously denies: that is, when he argues in Book IV for the existence of two irrational parts of the soul, which can—and this is the crucial point—actually overcome reason, perhaps even knowledge.

4 To say that Socrates is a eudaimonist in See Morrison (2003) for an exception to this general rule. It takes us beyond the issues with which we are here concerned to take up the difficult question of Socrates’ view of the content of eudaimonia. 5 Thus, if we think of a rational desire as one for which the agent takes himself to have good reason, and since for a eudaimonist a good reason is always tied to the promotion of one’s own happiness, we can say that, for Socrates, all actions are motivated by rational desires.

As we have already seen, however, surely the many will not take themselves to have been defeated if Socrates makes his own, alternative account rest on an agent’s receiving new information about a pleasurable object. Otherwise the many would have to count as being ‘overcome by pleasure’ every instance in which an agent decides that it is in his interest to pursue something after he has been misinformed that it is not really, on balance, harmful. The many will rightly insist that the phenomenon to be explained occurs only when the agent’s information about the socrates on AKRASIA 9 pleasurable object remains the same and the agent nonetheless changes his assessment of the object’s value.

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