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Plato's Ethics: An Overview (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

platos moral theory

If any are authentic, the letters would appear to be works of the late period, with the possible exception of the Thirteenth Letter, which could be from the middle period. In short, Plato accepts without question the conception of the City regarded as a sacred and supreme monad, let us say the hieropolitical conception of the city which was characteristic of antiquity. He attributes to it the possession of the kinds of concepts that are necessary for the understanding of the nature of all things, both eternal and temporal. He gives the reason directly in a letter: There is no treatise of mine about these things, nor ever will be. The most plausible position among these would appear to be that happiness is proportional to the total quantity of satisfaction, and not merely to the proportion of desires satisfied. Socrates speaks of it explicitly, though in metaphor, but once, likening it to the sun because it gives the eide their luminous sight-likeness.

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Platonism

platos moral theory

Furthermore, the fact that a certain problem or its solution is not mentioned in a dialogue does not mean that Plato was unaware of it. However, Plato must reject this story because the revisionist Platonic actors are not motivated to act justly for its own sake. If Plato establishes a link between these two works, his intent is to compare as well as to contrast. There is no proof offered that there are exactly four virtues in a state, nor that they are items that can be lifted up, singly, for inspection, like objects from a basket. For Socrates and Plato, wisdom is the basic virtue and with it, one can unify all virtues into a whole.

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Plato's Beliefs on Ethics

platos moral theory

All the world seems to be at the roots akin Meno 81 d , and that kinship, is articulable in complexes of words. Dialectic is serious, and, if necessary, uncompromising conversation with oneself or with another, argument. The soul has all knowledge, and through the process of recollection, one can recover this information. Of course, Plato's just person does not have the sort of harmony that the principled Nazi has. But this is only a virtuality of Platonic thought. Questions like this plague the early Plato, but by his middle period, he seems to have decided on arete being nothing more than just pure knowledge. These mutual objectives are the moral ideologies, which the six.

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Moral Philosophy 2

platos moral theory

This term is modern and employed by moderns in senses that are often debatable , but the idea is as old as the world. Let us remark here in passing that while noting the essential importance of the good as end, it was upon this aspect of the good as value that Thomas Aquinas was especially to insist in his ethics. Internal references in the Sophist 217a and the Statesman also known as the Politicus; 257a, 258b show the Statesman to come after the Sophist. Most later, but still ancient, interpretations of Plato were essentially Unitarian in their approach. As these harmonic divisions suggest, the world-soul is at the same time a kind of musical instrument. When harm comes to us, although we thought we were seeking the good, the good is not obtained in such a case since we lacked knowledge as to how best to achieve the good.

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Platonism

platos moral theory

In other words, Aristotle denies the unity of the virtues. In addition, the object in question must be a unitary phenomenon, even if its unity may be complex. But then, this preference is found everywhere in Plato and itis not unique to him: all ancient philosophers regard their own occupation as the true fulfillment of human life. The uncontroversial internal and external historical evidence for a chronological ordering is relatively slight. This acknowledgment becomes the pinnacle of philosophical knowledge, the contemplation of the form of the good. As will emerge in connection with the virtues in the individual soul, the distinction between justice and moderation is far less problematic in the case of the individual than in that of the city as a whole, because in the individual soul, internal self-control and external self-restraint are clearly different attitudes.

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Comparison and Analysis of Plato and Aristotle on the Virtue(s) in the Eudaimonism Ethical System

platos moral theory

Phaedo 105 b For it poses a new and deeper question: What is beauty—or excellence or knowledge? In Political Theory Plato felt that the individual should subsume his or her interests to that of society in order to achieve a perfect from of government. He has to develop an account of human motivation that does not run afoul of his principal criticism of the contractarian conception of justice, but even the best possible motive he could hope for—the desire which, in its content, is simply the desire to be just—runs afoul of this criticism. Aristotle differed on each of these points. Each theory is interconnected; one could not be without the other. Essays on Ancient Moral Psychology and Ethical Theory, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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Plato's Ethics

platos moral theory

For Plato, the sensible world is, indeed, an appearance of the ideas themselves, objects of pure thought, intelligible models of all things not perceived by sense, but far more real and more real than the empirical objects as such. We might simply say that this love arises when someone suddenly be­ comes visible for us. A further advantage of rule utilitarianism, according to its proponents, is that it eliminates the difficult task of calculating the consequences of each individual act Boatright, 2007. These are our unavoidable beginnings. That Plato regards these interconnections as crucial features of knowledge is confirmed later by the distinction that Socrates draws between knowledge and true belief 97b—98b. Most of Plato's writings about ethics focuses on what arete is, with the idea that if one can figure that out, then eudaimonia will follow shortly after.

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Platonism

platos moral theory

People came in droves, expecting to hear something fascinating to themselves, about health or wealth or power. Human beings come to have certain wants, and reason tells them how to satisfy them. And it is because it is good, because in the first place it has in itself a positive moral value, that it is in consequence of such a nature as to lead us toward our final end. Author Information Thomas Brickhouse Email: Lynchburg College U. But the Republic is not written like a typical textbook, but rather, like a living conversation. Historical Accuracy Although no one thinks that Plato simply recorded the actual words or speeches of Socrates verbatim, the argument has been made that there is nothing in the speeches Socrates makes in the Apology that he could have not uttered at the historical trial.

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What are the key differences between Aristotelian and Platonic ethics?

platos moral theory

Utilitarianism are the two most dominant theories which forms the foundations of ethical analysis, because they are the viewpoints from which guidance can be obtained along the pathway to an optimum decision. In the Apology, Plato provides a narrative of Socrates' defence for using the elenchus, an exhaustive questioning method, to stir the position. In the Seventh Letter, we learn that Plato was a friend of Archytas of Tarentum, a well-known Pythagorean statesman and thinker see 339d-e , and in the Phaedo, Plato has Echecrates, another Pythagorean, in the group around Socrates on his final day in prison. He saves Parmenides from sinking into the white silence of being. That there is, nevertheless, a close affinity between the Republic and the project that Plato meant to pursue in the Timaeus and its intended sequels is clearly indicated in the preface to the Timaeus.

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What are the key differences between Aristotelian and Platonic ethics?

platos moral theory

But it was all about arithmetic and how the eide are a certain kind of number, ending up with the just-mentioned revelation that the Good is the One. As he now states, all beings belong in one of four classes — namely 1 limit peras , 2 the unlimited apeiron , 3 the mixture meixis of limit and the unlimited, or 4 the cause aitia of such a mixture. We might feel the pull of these three parts when presented with a bowl of ice cream, a roast we accidentally overcooked ourselves, and a healthy salad. Each part of the Platonic mind may have either the virtue or the vice which is appropriate to it. On the near as well as on the far side of the grave justice is sanctioned by happiness.

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