Akrasia in Greek Philosophy. From Socrates to Plotinus

Discussions on akrasia (lack of keep an eye on, or weak spot of will) in Greek philosophy were particularily bright and extreme for the prior twenty years. general 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 alternative ways. construction on these demanding situations, this collective presents new, and often times antagonistic methods of studying recognized in addition to extra ignored texts. Its thirteen contributions, written by means of specialists within the box, hide the complete historical past of Greek ethics, from Socrates to Plotinus, via Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics (Cleanthes, Chrysippus, Epictetus).

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Pleasures and pains appear larger when they are closer and smaller when they are remote, and unless we have some well-grounded belief to correct the appearances, we believe that they are as they appear. Finally, if the greater balance of pleasure over pain always constitutes the better course for the agent to pursue, we can explain P’s pursuit of Y instead of X in terms of the pleasure afforded by X appearing to be closer and hence larger. Nonrational desire need not enter the explanatory picture.

3. An Objection Considered At this point someone might object that if our view were correct, Socrates would have no reason to refer to moral knowledge as the metrêtikê technê, the craft of measurement. It is clear in the Protagoras that Socrates thinks that moral knowledge judges appearances. It objectively ‘measures’ each and it ‘saves’ us by preventing us from being taken in by the power of appearance. But, so the objection goes, according to our view, Socratic knowledge is incompatible with strong nonrational desire and yet it is strong nonrational desire that makes objects appear to be good when they are not.

Brickhouse and nicholas d. smith can make these judgments unfailingly, even in the face of the clearest appearance to the contrary, and who can give the correct account of why she judges as she does, possesses the metrêtikê technê. Thus, we are not denying that, for Socrates, the knower must distinguish the greater good from what merely appears to be the greater good. So, in claiming that the metrêtikê technê requires weak nonrational desire, we are not suggesting that moral knowledge somehow prevents its possessor from even experiencing what falsely appears good—an appearance moral knowledge must then correct.

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