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Plato's Ethics$
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Terence Irwin

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195086454

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195086457.001.0001

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Socratic Method and Socratic Ethics: The Meno

Socratic Method and Socratic Ethics: The Meno

(p.127) 9 Socratic Method and Socratic Ethics: The Meno
Plato's Ethics

Terence Irwin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The core argument of chapter 9 is the thesis that the epistemological distinction between knowledge and beliefs introduced in the Meno plays a crucial role in the consideration of virtues. Thanks to this distinction, Plato can indeed dismiss the theory according to which virtues are only instrumental. Therefore, it is demonstrated that the theory of virtue of the early dialogues is the result of having knowledge of the importance of virtues but not a proper and true knowledge of them.

Keywords:   Belief, Plato, Instrumentalism, Knowledge, Meno, Virtue

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