n South African Journal of Philosophy = Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Wysbegeerte - Socrates’ wisdom in definition - research

Volume 38 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0258-0136
  • E-ISSN: 2073-4867
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Why does Socrates favour definitional speech discussion of virtue’s instances and attributes? Why does he take such a dim view of applied ethics? In this article, I criticise the received answers to these questions and offer a different view. I argue that Socrates favours definitional dialogue because it actualises knowledge that the logic of his argument shows to be essential to virtue. By leading the interlocutor to a paradoxical definition of virtue as knowledge, Socrates engenders this knowledge in his soul.

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