A. Describe the akratic generally:
• Akrasia is the state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgment though weakness of will
• Failure to obey one’s rational calculation.
• Passions do not allow in accord with reasoned decision where being self controlled (continent) does not follow appetites based on what reason decided
• Akrasia requires culpability and irrationality, where is where strong feelings come in. B. Specify the description using an example:
• Example: Tasty pasty on table, you wander by it and take a piece than a moment later realized maybe you shouldn’t have. Passion takes over first! Weakness based Akrasia: Passions do not allow the agent to act in accord with reasoned decision. Example: See the cake sit there and think about it for a minute and finally take a piece. 2) Socrates’ Ethical Intellectualism
A. Describe Socratic intellectualism generally as well as in relation to his claim that virtue is knowledge and his use of the elenchus:
• Elenchus: A logical refutation, an argument that refutes another argument by proving the contrary of the conclusion.
• If I know something, then I do not need to inquire into it (do not need to be taught); and if I do not know something then I cannot inquire into it (cannot be taught).
• Either I know something or I do not know it.
• Therefore, I do not need to nor can I inquire into anything.
• Socratic Intellectualism: Everyone has an innate desire for the good and the capacity for knowing the good. We need to realize this capacity, become virtuous by doing away with the false conceptions of the good (eliminate false consciousness). Socrates seems to have admitted implicitly that an innate desire for the good exists in all human beings. We can now better understand the meaning of the Socratic paradox according to which no one is evil willingly; or in another formulation, virtue is knowledge.
• People only do evil things out of ignorance. There’s an innate intention to do good in all human beings. No matter what a person’s conception of the good might be. No one has evil intentions. There’s an innate intention to do good in all human beings. No matter what a person’s conception of the good might be.
• Hadot: when you act for the sake of that which harms you, it’s a misunderstanding.
• If you want to have virtue, you have to have knowledge. We don’t know the good.
• Our intellectual/reason gives us the good, but we misunderstand it and act according to false conceptions of the good.
• Socrates’ task in Meno, is to undermine Meno. His rhetorical commitment is getting in the way of his good life.
3). Aristotelian Objection to Socratic Intellectualism:
A. Describe Aristotle’s objection from akrasia to Socrates:
• To have the right “prescription” without the habits to carry out in the action, as Aristotle suggested, a situation especially vulnerable to Akrasia: Virtue, on the Socratic understanding, is essentially threatened by the experience the Socratic cannot explain. Aristotle: Socrates’ account is not true to [the ethical] phenomena. We may have requisite clarity and coherence of reasoning, but still fail to do the right thing.
• Practical wisdom is the strongest state of all continence.
• Quotes from Nicomachean Ethics Book VII:
• “Socrates entirely opposed to the view in question, holding that there is no such thing as incontinence; no one, he said acts against what he believes is best - people and so only by reason of ignorance.” (PG 1809-1810)
• “But there are some who concede cerain of Socrates’ contentions but not others; that nothing is stronger than knowledge they admit, but not that no one acts contrary to what has seemed to him the better course, and therefore they say that the incontinent man has not knowledge when he is mastered by his pleasures, but opinion” (PG 1810)
• “Further if continence makes a man ready to stand by any and every opinion, it is bad, i.e., if it…