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What is the main difference between Aristotle's account of virtue and Socrates' account of virtue? Who has the more plausible view? - Essay Example

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Efforts have been made to identify the values and ethics on which human actions are based. Virtue is one of these values. The views of philosophers, like Socrates and…

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What is the main difference between Aristotle's account of virtue and Socrates' account of virtue? Who has the more plausible view?

In this way, Aristotle has accepted the Socrate’s account of virtue as related to courage but he is differentiated from Socrates to the following point: courage, which, in the form of knowledge, is for Socrates the basis of virtue (Kahn 1998, p.85), is considered for Aristotle just an element of virtue; the latter, in accordance with Aristotle, is likely to be influenced from other elements and values, such as eudaimonia (Klosko 2006). The differences regarding the views of Socrates and Aristotle on virtue are analytically presented below; explanations are given, as possible by referring to the relevant texts. Also, suggestions are made regarding the potential limitation of the distance between the views of Socrates and Aristotle on virtue and its elements.
The key difference between Aristotle’s account of virtue and Socrates’ account of virtue is highlighted in the study of Achtenberg (2002); in accordance with the above researchers, Socrates emphasized on virtue as knowledge, while Aristotle considered virtue as related to the behavioural characteristics of each individual; in the context of Aristotle’s account of virtue, virtue is an element of human behaviour which requires the emotional development of the person involved (Achtenberg 2002, p.24). From this point of view, minors cannot have virtue – at least not in its full form – since their emotional development is still in progress.
The importance of knowledge as a criterion for virtue has been the key characteristic of Socrates’ account of virtue. Curren (2000) noted that Plato accepted the view of Socrates that ‘wisdom is a key element of virtue’ (Curren 2000, p.48). It is on this basis that the suggestions of Plato on education have been based. Taking into consideration the fact that virtue can be taught, as Socrates supported, Plato developed the framework ...
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