Deficient Virtue in the 'Phaedo'

Classical Quarterly (forthcoming)
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In this paper I investigate two passages in the 'Phaedo' where Socrates contrasts the full virtue of the philosopher with a sort deficient virtue. I argue that despite the apparently different appraisals Socrates offers, there is a single form of deficient virtue in the dialogue, one based on the calculation of bodily pleasures and pains. In the course of making my argument, I offer a detailed account of social virtue, a condition Plato mentions in several dialogues. Finally, I end by pointing out similarities between Phaedonic deficient virtue and Epicurus’ ethical theory that go beyond hedonism.
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Archival date: 2019-07-04
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