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By Iakovos Vasiliou

This cutting edge examine of Plato's ethics specializes in the concept that of advantage. in keeping with particular readings of the main well known Platonic dialogues on advantage, it argues that there's a principal but formerly neglected conceptual contrast in Plato among the assumption of advantage because the ultimate goal of one's activities and the selection of which action-tokens or -types are virtuous. Appreciating the 'aiming/determining distinction' offers targeted and together constant readings of the main famous Platonic dialogues on advantage in addition to unique interpretations of crucial Platonic questions. not like so much examinations of Plato's ethics, this examine doesn't take as its centrepiece the 'eudaimonist framework', which focusses at the courting among advantage and happiness. as a substitute Aiming at advantage in Plato argues that the dialogues themselves commence with the belief of the supremacy of advantage, research how that declare might be defended, and tackle the right way to verify what constitutes the virtuous motion.

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Socrates and the supremacy of virtue 25 some other aim. This is prohibited only in situations in which another aim runs contrary to virtue. Socrates follows this passage with an example from the Iliad. Achilles made his decision to remain (and so to die) at Troy rather than to return home solely on the basis (according to Socrates anyway) of what Achilles thought was the excellent thing to do. It is critical to notice that the point of his example is not that what Achilles actually did was right – it may or may not have been, and he does not argue that substantive question one way or the other.

3 socrates and moral knowledge One striking feature of Socrates’ statement of SV in the Apology is that it is something he explicitly claims to know. 13 Crucially, however, Socrates avows not just any ethical knowledge, but specifically knowledge of an aiming principle, knowledge of SV. ” questions (that is, knowledge that would actually determine what virtue is) suggests a new way of understanding Socrates’ disavowal of knowledge. 15 12 14 15 13 See his (1985/1994), 43 ff. See chapter two. The literature on Socrates’ disavowal is vast, and I cannot comprehensively survey it here.

It is clear too that many of these views are complex, defended by long and intricate arguments, and approached from different angles in more 29 Of course, sometimes there are nested inner frames; the Symposium is a quite complex example of nested inner frames (four). Introduction 21 than one dialogue. Regardless even of what Plato himself might have said about his own epistemic relationship to these views – whether he would regard himself as knowing them, believing them, entertaining them, or whatever – it is clear at least that the dialogues take certain views very seriously.

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