Socratic Moral Psychology

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-06-18
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Socrates' moral psychology is widely thought to be 'intellectualist' in the sense that, for Socrates, every ethical failure to do what is best is exclusively the result of some cognitive failure to apprehend what is best. Until fairly recently, the view that, for Socrates, emotions and desires have no role to play in causing such failure went unchallenged. This book argues against the orthodox view of Socratic intellectualism and offers in its place a comprehensive alternative account that explains why Socrates believed that emotions, desires and appetites can influence human motivation and lead to error. Thomas C. Brickhouse and Nicholas D. Smith defend the study of Socrates' philosophy and offer a new interpretation of Socratic moral psychology. Their novel account of Socrates' conception of virtue and how it is acquired shows that Socratic moral psychology is considerably more sophisticated than scholars have supposed.

Author Biography

Thomas C. Brickhouse is John Mills Turner Professor of the Humanities, Department of Philosophy, Lynchburg College, Virginia. He is the co-author (with Nicholas D. Smith) of The Philosophy of Socrates (2000) and the co-editor (with Nicholas D. Smith) of The Trial and Execution of Socrates (2002).
Nicholas D. Smith is James F. Miller Professor of Humanities, Department of Philosophy, Lewis and Clark College, Portland. He is the co-author (with Thomas C. Brickhouse) of Plato and the Trial of Socrates (2004) and the author of various essays on Plato, Aristotle, and contemporary epistemology.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vi
Introductionp. 1
Apology of Socratic studiesp. 11
Motivational intellectualismp. 43
The "prudential paradox"p. 63
Wrongdoing and damage to the soulp. 89
Educating the appetites and passionsp. 132
Virtue intellectualismp. 153
Socrates and his ancient intellectual heirs: Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoicsp. 193
Appendix: is Plato's Gorgias consistent with the other early or Socratic dialogues?p. 248
Bibliographyp. 259
Index of passagesp. 268
General indexp. 272
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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