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Akrasia in Greek Philosophy (Philosophia Antiqua) by Destrée, P. (ed.), Bobonich, Ch. (ed.), Christopher

By Destrée, P. (ed.), Bobonich, Ch. (ed.), Christopher Bobonich, Pierre Destree

The thirteen contributions of this collective supply new and hard methods of interpreting recognized and extra missed texts on akrasia (lack of keep watch over, or weak spot of will) in Greek philosophy (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Plotinus).

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It is in this sense, then, that we claim anyone who possesses metrêtikê technê is free from the tyranny of strong nonrational desire. Only if the Socratic knower’s nonrational desires are weak in the sense that they always comply with knowledgeable judgment can sense be made of Socrates’ insistence, expressed in both the Gorgias and the Protagoras itself, that moral knowledge yields harmony within the soul. 4. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle As we have seen, Devereux argues that Socrates’ moral psychology is importantly different from that of either Plato or Aristotle.

Background What has become the traditional Anglophone view of Plato’s writing divides it up into three periods: ‘early’, ‘middle’, and ‘late’. ); ‘late’ means anything after that. )1 Nowadays, * The present paper, originally presented—in a rather less developed version—to an invited session of the XII Congreso Nacional de Filosofía, held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in November 2003, is or was the first in a series of three papers on the Gorgias, all of them sharing a virtually identical first section (‘Background’), and an overlapping second (‘The problem of the Gorgias’).

More evidence, Devereux contends, comes from Socrates’ exhortation to Callicles in the Gorgias to pursue a life of self-control. There Socrates says: ‘. . for it’s not like a self-controlled person to avoid and pursue what isn’t appropriate, but to avoid and pursue what he should, whether these are things to do or people, or pleasure and pains, and to stand fast and to endure where he should’ (507b5–8). Devereux’s point is that it seems to make little sense to talk about ‘fighting’ and ‘standing fast’ and ‘enduring’ unless that against which one fights, stands fast, and endures exercises some motivational influence on the virtuous agent.

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