Socrates conceived moral philosophy; That is, one that reflects on conceptions that until now were considered acts of nature that lacked a why. Plato’s answer is that one knows the Form of the Good, a perfect, eternal, and changeless entity existing outside space and time, in which particular good things share, or “participate,” insofar as they are good. As with the notion of virtue as a mean, Aristotle’s conception of justice provides a framework that requires fleshing out before it can be put to use. Socrates was the first person who gave a practical and political focus to the philosophy and ethics. Aristotle’s argument for regarding the life of the intellect so highly, however, is different from Plato’s, and the difference is significant because Aristotle committed a fallacy that has often been repeated. He did this by writing his works as dialogues in which Socrates is portrayed as engaging in argument with others, usually Sophists. Greeks believed music became a form of expression subject to rules, styles, and rational analysis. Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue. A broader and still more pervasive fallacy underlies Aristotle’s ethics. Socrates’ focus on ethics was intended to generate practical outcomes. Aristotle also agrees that the highest and most satisfying form of human existence involves the exercise of one’s rational faculties to the fullest extent. It is therefore not entirely accurate to regard Socrates as contributing a method of inquiry but as having no positive views of his own. Insights has redefined the way preparation is done in UPSC civil service exam, Nanda Ashirwad Complex, 3rd Floor, He made substantial contributions to political philosophy. His conception of practical wisdom is significant, for it involves more than merely choosing the best means to whatever ends or goals one may have. He also took over the Socratic method of conducting philosophy, developing the case for his own positions by exposing errors and confusions in the arguments of his opponents. He expected philosophical work might lead to a change in both attitudes and (importantly) actions of people. Thomas Aquinas was a 13th century Dominican friar, theologian and Doctor of the Church, born in what is known today as the Lazio region of Italy. His most important contribution to Western thought is the concept of natural theology (sometimes referred to as Thomism in tribute to his influence). One would have such a reason if it could be shown that goodness or justice leads, at least in the long run, to happiness; as has been seen from the preceding discussion of early ethics in other cultures, this issue is a perennial topic for all who think about ethics. Perhaps the ability to reason is the best human capacity, but one cannot be compelled to draw this conclusion from the fact that it is what is most distinctive of the human species. Question Everything. For the entirety of his life, this classical Greek philosopher devoted himself to finding the most ideal way of living a moral life. Socrates was an Athenian philosopher; he was known to be the founder of Western philosophy. But so far at any rate as Socrates' peculiar contribution to ethics is concerned-if in this form it can still be called a contribution-Xenophon rather than Plato has been taken as the more reliable witness. Once this assumption is made, it is easy to imagine circumstances in which a person knows what he ought to do but proceeds to do something else—what is in his own interests—instead. He provides a number of arguments for this thesis. He developed the “Socratic Method” where he would get a person to make a hypothesis and then ask a series of questions in order to test the logic of their question. Socrates identifies knowledge with virtue. In this respect he differed from the Sophists, with their ethical relativism, for he thought that virtue is something that can be known and that the virtuous person is the one who knows what virtue is. Socrates serve… Socrates presupposes reason is essential for the good life: Socrates argues for the view that all of the virtues—justice, wisdom, courage, piety, and so forth—are one. Committing an injustice corrupts one’s soul, and therefore committing injustice is the worst thing a person can do to himself. He provides a number of arguments for this thesis. In regards to his thinking as a philosopher, Socrates He stressed by focusing his attention on the field of morality and ethics. Although courage, temperance, and liberality are recognized as virtues in both periods, Aristotle also includes a virtue whose Greek name, megalopsyche, is sometimes translated as “pride,” though it literally means “greatness of soul.” This is the characteristic of holding a justified high opinion of oneself. In turn, this was intended to produce effects in the world. For Aristotle, an examination of a knife would reveal that its distinctive capacity is to cut, and from this one could conclude that a good knife is a knife that cuts well. But this is not something that can be discovered by a morally neutral inspection of the trait itself: one needs a prior conception of the virtue in order to decide what is excessive and what is defective. For Christians the corresponding excess, vanity, was a vice, but the corresponding deficiency, humility, was a virtue. In his most important ethical treatise, the Nicomachean Ethics, he sorts through the virtues as they were popularly understood in his day, specifying in each case what is truly virtuous and what is mistakenly thought to be so. Plato does not recommend justice for its own sake, independent of any personal gains one might obtain from being a just person. What Socrates taught was a method of inquiry. What Socrates taught was a method of inquiry. Syllogism is a certain form of reasoning where a conclusion is made based on two premises. The soul of the just person, on the other hand, is harmoniously ordered under the governance of reason, and the just person derives truly satisfying enjoyment from the pursuit of knowledge. The early dialogues are generally accepted as reasonably accurate accounts of the views of the historical Socrates, but the later ones, written many years after Socrates’ death, use the latter as a mouthpiece for ideas and arguments that were in fact original to Plato. Aristotle is also responsible for much later thinking about the virtues one should cultivate. This is characteristic of Greek ethics, which refused to recognize that there could be an irresolvable conflict between the interest of the individual and the good of the community. 896 Words 4 Pages. Certainly the central issue around which all of Western ethics has revolved can be traced to the debate between the Sophists, who claimed that goodness and justice are relative to the customs of each society—or, worse still, that they are merely a disguise for the interest of the stronger—and the Platonists, who maintained the possibility of knowledge of an objective Form of the Good. Nevertheless, he accepted the assumption of his opponents that one could not recommend taking up justice in the first place unless doing so could be shown to be advantageous for oneself as well as for others. One of the finest minds in ancient philosophy, Socrates believed in an ethical system based on human logic and reason. Socrates (c. 469 - 399 B.C.) Socratic method- Dialectical discussion should be held between two people with different views in order to come to a better understanding by challenging each others’ views, making them think critically and back up their claims. Self-knowledge is a sufficient condition to the good life. By conventional standards, Socrates was indeed corrupting the youth of Athens, though he himself considered the destruction of beliefs that could not stand up to criticism as a necessary preliminary to the search for true knowledge. He believes “the unexamined life is not worth living.” One must seek knowledge and wisdom before private interests. The practically wise person also has the right ends. Their nature is the result of random forces of natural selection. It is the idea that an investigation of human nature can reveal what one ought to do. However, shattering the conventions of the established regime, Socrates was rather interrogative of matters of ethics and society, such as what true happiness is. He believed that virtue could be known, though he himself did not profess to know it. This master philosopher based all his findings on factual data gathered from experiencing real life events. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand. The great example of the trial and death of Socrates demonstrates the close connection between his character and his philosophy etc. Socrates has emerged as a recognizable figure due to his contribution to the area of ethics through his depiction in dialogue of Plato. The early dialogues: Examining life. Aristotle conceived of the universe as a hierarchy in which everything has a function. Yet, unlike other figures of comparable importance, such as the Buddha or Confucius, he did not tell his audience how they should live. This process of logical deduction was invented by Aristotle, and perhaps lies at the heart of all his famous achievements. Plato's theory of ethics evolved over time as he worked with his mentor, Socrates. During his life Socrates was predominantly interested in ethics. Behind this challenge lies the suggestion, made by the Sophists and still heard today, that the only reason for acting justly is that one cannot get away with acting unjustly. Discuss in points about the thoughts and works of Socrates. 2. In his works, Plato argues that a person's soul determines the state of the person's happiness, thus … All living things, Aristotle held, have inherent potentialities, which it is their nature to develop. “Socrates is traditionally regarded as the founder of theoretical ethics which paved the way for Plato’s and Aristotle’s logical and political conceptions” (Nersesyants). This belief system holds that the existence of God is verified through reason and rational explanation, as opposed to through scripture or religious experience. Plato’s Apology of Socrates purports to be the speech Socrates gave at his trial in response to the accusations made against him (Greek apologia means “defense”). The Contributions Of Socrates, Plato, And Greek Philosophy. 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