Remembering Socrates: Philosophical Essays by Lindsay (EDT) / Karasmanes, V. (EDT) Judson

By Lindsay (EDT) / Karasmanes, V. (EDT) Judson

Lindsay Judson and Vassilis Karasmanis current a variety of philosophical papers by way of a great foreign staff of students, assessing the legacy and carrying on with relevance of Socrates's suggestion 2,400 years after his dying. the subjects of the papers comprise Socratic procedure; the suggestion of definition; Socrates's intellectualist perception of ethics; well-known arguments within the Euthyphro and Crito; and elements of the later portrayal and reception of Socrates as a philosophical and moral exemplar, through Plato, the Sceptics, and within the early Christian period. participants comprise Lesley Brown, David Charles, John Cooper, Michael Frede, Terence Irwin, Charles Kahn, Vassilis Karasmanis, Carlo Natali, Vasilis Politis, Dory Scaltsas, Gerhard Seel, and C. C. W. Taylor.

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4. 5, Xenophon calls akrasia the greatest hindrance to caring for what is right. So the opposite of akrasia must be a necessary condition for caring for what is right. Gerhard Seel 36 Protagoras. The alleged cases of akrasia are, in Socrates view, clearly cases where people engage in deliberation, but come to the wrong conclusions. What they lack is practical wisdom, not self-control. Therefore self-control cannot be suYcient for acquiring practical knowledge. e. the possibility that somebody acquires general practical knowledge but fails to apply it in a particular decision because of akrasia.

Some scholars (Irwin 1996: 226: Penner 2004: 131–51) have argued—in my opinion convincingly—that Socrates has a prudentialist approach to ethics. This means that he would justify moral claims by means of hypothetical imperatives. In the paper mentioned above, T. Penner tries to show that this even holds for Socrates’ arguments in the Crito. If he is right, Socrates appears to be a consequentialist rather than a deontologist. Against this conclusion, one might argue that the goods we choose for their own sake must have an intrinsic value and this value cannot be justiWed instrumentally.

It is a characteristic feature of Xenophon’s presentation of Socrates that we Wnd two answers to this question in his text. On the one hand, there is the picture he wants to convey. Let us call it the oYcial version of Socrates’ theory of practical knowledge. On the other hand, we Wnd many elements of a completely diVerent version, which he 33 See Kahn (2004: 114), ‘This simpliWcation makes for a very elegant theory’. Gerhard Seel 40 inadvertently lets slip in the text. As we shall see, both versions are also present in Plato’s early dialogues, but let us Wrst consider Xenophon’s testimony.

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