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 provide new and not easy methods of examining recognized and extra ignored texts on akrasia (lack of keep an eye on, or weak spot of will) in Greek philosophy (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Plotinus).

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Sample text

In the first place, ordinarily we assume that the closer an object is to a perceiver the more likely his perception of the object is to be veridical. But, ex hypothesi, in the phenomenon the many call akrasia, the perceiver makes a mistake (of some sort) about the object he pursues. It cannot very well be, then, that, for Socrates, it is the mere fact that Y has actually become closer to the agent that explains why P moves from having the correct judgment that X is better than Y to the incorrect judgment that Y is better than X.

5), it remains to be shown that he thinks actions that are not endorsed by reason (but caused merely by appetite) are still desired by the agent. This is in my view a question that cannot be settled merely by pointing out that the appetitive desire must belong to the agent; for as late as the Laws, Plato has a chief speaker still insisting that no one goes wrong willingly (see n. 23 below). 19 Again, see Rowe (2003b). a problem in the GORGIAS 25 was needed was philosophy, dialectic; thinking things through.

What the traditionalist must insist upon, however, is that such inner events, which is what Socrates is in the Charmides calling epithumiai, themselves have no causal powers whatsoever. Taken in isolation of any beliefs we already possess about their value, they are utterly inert. So though it is true, traditionalists may argue, that Socrates recognizes something he called epithumia, it is not anything like a species of desire in the ordinary sense. But the traditionalist cannot escape so easily.

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