How do we come to know virtue in Phaedo?
We attain virtue in the soul through its purification from the body. This is when we distend our soul from the sense – hearing, seeing, etc – and instead seek out our innate knowledge through reasoning. This is because our impulses give rise to internal conflict by evoking desires that corrupt. One has to despise the body. 2. Why does not everyone know virtue? What gets in the way? The physical body cannot be aware of the Forms – beauty, piety, justice, goodness, yet they do exist.
They are therefore known by the soul, and if this be so, the said knowledge of the forms must have been either acquired at birth or always been known. The fact that many people are not conversant with the forms is because they have not applied themselves to recollect them. 3. According to the Meno, can virtue be taught or practiced? Why or why not? Seemingly, virtue cannot be taught. If the position were taken that it can be taught, then that position would present the problem of who the teacher is and who the student is.
Rather, virtue can be educed, or aided to come back to recollection through education; that education does not impart any new knowledge. 4. How can we come to be virtuous without already ‘knowing’ what virtue is? As per the theory of recollection, we all possess some abstract knowledge when we are born, implying the existence of the soul prior to birth. In Meno, Socrates advocates for a theory of prior knowledge of everything. Socrates offers a solution to the dilemma of knowledge by positing that humans already possess the knowledge they need.
They only need to recall what they already know from their familiarity with ‘eternal realities’ from past ventures of the soul. 5. What are the 4 definitions of piety in the Euthyphro? The first definition Euthyphro offers is that piety is what he is doing at the time of the dialogue, which is prosecuting his father on the charge of manslaughter. Socrates however dismisses this definition as a mere example and not a definition. The second definition offered of piety is that it is that which pleases the gods.
While this definition is applauded by Socrates, he however disclaims it on the grounds that the gods often disagree over what is “pleasing”, essentially making any actions under dispute both pious and impious, which is illogical. The third definition seeks to make amends to the second by ascribing piety to that which all the gods love, and impiety to what all the gods hate. This is countered by Socrates using the ‘Euthyphro dilemma’, which asks whether “piety is loved by the gods because it is pious, or whether it is pious because the gods love it”.
As a principle, Socrates asserts, piety is to be loved because of an inherent quality it has, not the other way round. The final definition is offered by Socrates himself, to the effect that “piety is species under the genus ‘justice’”. 6. The significance of the discourse over the third definition If piety were to be said to be so because they are loved by the gods, then it would render it devoid of any quality that makes it a virtue; there would be no basis for the gods liking piety.
On the other hand, if the gods love piety because it is pious, then the question arises as what makes it so; what quality is it that makes piety, and who defines it? This is the dilemma posed by the third definition in Euthyphro. Aristotle 1. What are the two kinds of virtue for Aristotle in the Nichomachean Ethics? Why are they distinct? The first type of virtue is the moral, which are concerned with moderating oneself to the right amount of exertion toward the right cause at the right time. This mean is specific to every individual and situation, and cannot be standardized for all individuals.
The second type of virtue is the intellectual type, or the virtues of thought. These deal with HOW the moral virtues may be realized. It includes prudence, wisdom, knowledge, intuition and art. The two types of virtue are distinct in that the first type defines the destination (the golden mean) while the second type the path to that destination. 2. How do we produce each kind, and what are their definitions? Moral virtues are defined as the building blocks of character. They can be attained by achieving the ‘golden mean’, otherwise known as prudence, which cannot be standardized.
An example is given of watering a plant; a gallon of water may be too much for a small plant and cause root rot, but may be very little for a big tree, causing dehydration; whether the water is enough or not is highly relative. Virtues of thought are produced through experience and counsel, when the individual benefits from observance of himself and his environment. 3. What does each aim at? Moral virtues have to do with “the golden mean”, which puts virtues as a desirable average between two extremes, otherwise known as vices.
Virtues of thought aim at realizing moral virtues. 4. What is the relation of virtue and happiness? In the ethics, well-being and happiness are glorified as the highest aims of any human action, and that virtues are the way to happiness (Aristotle Nic. 1095a H. Rackerman). Character is the key to happiness, accompanied by a measure of good fortune. A person of excellent character is said to be virtuous. A virtuous character is built through continuous acts of virtue, and a lifetime of such action, coupled with good fortune, results in happiness. 5. Name at least one virtue
The virtue discussed here is also the first one Aristotle explores – courage. He defines it as the mean between cowardice and foolhardiness or overconfidence. It is closely tied with pleasure and pain, and courage is largely defined as facing one’s fears of encountering pain. It is often driven by the desire for honor, and the excellent example is given of a warrior in battle. Either extremes of this virtue are discouraged, being rashness on the one side and fear or cowardice on the other. Either extreme is termed as a vice (Perseus Project, Nic. +Eth. 1105b).Sample Essay of Custom-Writing