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Pleasure, Mind, and SoulSelected Papers in Ancient Philosophy$
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C. C. W. Taylor

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.001.0001

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Socratic Ethics 1

Socratic Ethics 1

Chapter:
(p.134) 9 Socratic Ethics1
Source:
Pleasure, Mind, and Soul
Author(s):

C. C. W. Taylor

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.003.0009

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

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