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CHAP..
VII.

B. The leading thought of Ethics : All virtue is knonledge.

rendered was a formal one—that of generally referring moral action to knowledge: no sooner, however, is it a question of deducing particular moral acts and relations from knowledge, than he contents himself partly with falling back upon prevailing custom, or else there intervenes an accidental reference to purposes, the defects of which are certainly partially corrected in the sequel.

The leading thought of the ethics of Socrates may be expressed in the sentence- All virtue is knowledge. This assertion is most closely connected with his whole view of things. His efforts aim from the first at re-establishing morality and rooting it more deeply by means of knowledge. The experiences of his time have convinced him that the conventional probity of moral conduct, resting as it does on custom and authority, cannot hold its ground. His sifting of men 'iscovered, even in the most celebrated of his conteroporaries, a pretended in place

1 Arist. Eth. N. vi. 13; 1144, αγαθά είναι και ούτ' αν τους b, 17, 28: Σωκράτης φρονή- ταύτα ειδότας άλλο αντί τούτων σεις φετο είναι πάσας τας αρετάς ουδέν προελέσθαι, ούτε τους μη

Σωκράτης μεν ουν λόγους επισταμένους δύνασθαι πράττειν, τας αρετάς ώετο είναι, επιστήμας αλλά και εάν εγχειρώσιν αμαρτάγάρ είναι πάσας, Ιbid. iii. 11; i. 1, 16: he always con1116, b, 4; Eth. Eud.i. 5; 1216, versed of justice, piety, και περί b, 6: επιστήμας μετ' είναι πάσας των άλλων, και τους μεν ειδότας τας αρετάς, ώσθ' άμα συμβαίνειν ηγείτο καλούς και αγαθούς είναι, είδεναί τε την δικαιοσύνης και τους δε αγνοούντας άνδραποδώδεις είναι δίκαιον. Conf. Ιbid. iii. 1; αν δικαίως κεκλήσθαι. Τhe latter 1229, 8, 14; vii. 13; M. Mor. iv. 2, 22. Plato, Lach. 194, D.: i. 1; 1182, 8, 15; 1. 35; 1198, πολλάκις ακήκοα σου λέγοντας ότι Α, 10 ; Χen. Mem. iii. 9, 5: ταύτα αγαθώς έκαστος ημών άπερ έφη δε και την δικαιοσύνης και σοφός, και δε αμαθής ταύτα δε κακός. την άλλην πάσαν αρετήν σοφίαν Euthyd. 278, Ε. είναι τά τε γάρ δίκαια και πάντα 2 Plato, Apol. 21, C.; 29, E. όσα αρετη πράττεται καλά τε και

νειν.

CHAP.
VII.

of a genuine virtue. To attain true morality man must seek the standard of action in clear and certain knowledge. The principle which has thus dawned upon him is, however, only understood in a narrow and exclusive spirit. Knowledge is for him not only an indispensable condition and a means to true morality, but it is the whole of morality. Where knowledge is wanting, there not only is virtue imperfect, but there is absolutely no virtue at all. Plato was the first, and after him more completely Aristotle, to improve upon the Socratic doctrine of virtue.

In support of his position, Socrates established the point that without right knowledge right action is impossible, and conversely, that where knowledge exists, right action follows as a matter of course ; the former, because no action or possession is of any use, unless it be directed by intelligence to a proper object; 2 the latter, because everyone only does what

a

I See p. 113.

expedient and successful action. ? It is only in Plato (Euth. Nor is it opposed hereto that 280, B.; Meno, 87, C.), that immediately afterwards it is Socrates expressly takes this refused that wisdom is an åvauground. Hence the Moralia φισβητήτως αγαθόν, many Magna (i. 35; 1198, a, 10) one, like Dædalus and Palaappear to have derived the mædes, having been ruined for corresponding view; but it not the sake of wisdom. For this is only sounds very like Socrates, clearly said by way of argubut it is also implied in Xeno- ment, and oopia is taken in its phon; Socrates there (Mem. iv. ordinary acceptation, including 2, 26) explaining more imme- every art and every kind of diately in connection with self- knowledge. Of knowledge, in knowledge, that it alone can

sense of the term, tell us what we need and what Socrates would certainly never we can do, placing us so in a have said that it was not good position to judge others cor. because it brought men somerectly, and qualifying us for times into peril, as the virtue,

his own

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CHAP.
VII.

he believes he must do, what is of use to himself:
no one intentionally does wrong; for this would be
the same thing as making oneself intentionally un-
happy: 2 knowledge is, therefore, always the strongest
power in man, and cannot be overcome by passion.3

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identical therewith, also does. 3, on the statement ώς ουδείς
What is said, iii. 9, 14, respect- εκών πονηρος ουδ' άκων μόκαρ.
ing eútpačia in contrast to Brandis remarks with justice
ευτυχία, that it is κράτιστον (Gr.-röm. Phil. ii. 8, 39) that
επιτήδευμα, also refers to know- this refers in the first place to
ledge. For ευπραξία consists in the arguments of the Platonic
μαθόντα τι και μελετήσαντα ευ Socrates (see Meno, 77, Β. ;
ποιείν, or as Plato's Euthydemus Prot. 345, D.; 353, C.), but that
281, A, explains it: επιστήμη the same is asserted by Xeno-
teaches to make a right use of phon, Mem. iii. 9, 4; iv. 6, 6
all goods, and as κατορθούσα and 11 ; and by Plato, Apol.
την πράξιν it produces ευπραγία 25, Ε. : εγώ δε. τούτο το
and ευτυχία. Xenophon, i. 1, 7; τοσούτον κακόν εκών ποιώ, ώς φης
6, 4, expresses this view more σύ; ταύτα εγώ σοι ου πείθομαι,
definitely. Eschines, too, in & Mέλητε . ει δε άκων δια-
Demetrius de Elοcu. 297, Rhet. φθείρω ... δηλον ότι εάν μάθω
Gr. ix. 122, puts the question παύσομαι και γε άκων ποιώ. Conf.
into the mouth of Socrates Dial. de justo, Schl. Diog. Laert.
when speaking of the rich in- ii. 31.
heritance of Alcibiades : Did 3 Plato, Prot. 352, C.: άρ' ούν
he inherit the knowledge how και σοι τοιουτόν τι περί αυτής
to use it?

[της επιστήμης] δοκεί, ή καλόν τε
1 Χen. Mem. iii. 9, 4; see είναι η επιστήμη, και οίον άρχειν
above, p. 140, 1; iv. 6, 6: ειδότας του ανθρώπου και εάνπερ γιγνώσκη
δε & δει ποιείν οίει τινάς οίεσθαι τις ταγαθά και τα κακά μη αν
δείν μη ποιεϊν ταύτα ; Ουκ οίομαι, κρατηθήναι υπό μηδενός, ώστε
έφη. Οίδας δέ τινας άλλα ποιούν- άλλ' άττα πράττειν ; ή και αν η
τας ή & οίονται δεϊν; Ουκ έγωγ', επιστήμη κελεύη, άλλ' έκανών
έφη. Ιbid. 3, 11; Plato, Prot. είναι την φρόνησιν βοηθείν τη
358, C.

ανθρώπω; The latter is then 2 Arist. M. Mor. i. 9: Ew- affirmed with the consent of κράτης έφη ουκ εφ' ημίν γενέσθαι Socrates. (The further reasonτο σπουδαίους είναι η φαύλους: ing is probably only Platonic.) ει γάρ τις, φησίν, ερωτήσειεν Αrist. Eth. Nic. vii. 3: επιστάόντιναούν, πότερον αν βούλοιτο μενον μεν ουν ού φασί τινες οδόν τε δίκαιος είναι και άδικος, ουθείς αν είναι [ακρατεύεσθαι]. δεινόν γάρ, έλoιτο την αδικίαν. More in- επιστήμης ενούσης, ως φετο definite are the remarks in Σωκράτης, άλλο τι κρατεϊν. Eth. Eth. Nic. iii. 7; 1113, b, 14 ; Eud. vii. 13: ορθώς το ΣωκρατιConf. Eth. Eud. ii. 7 ; 1223, b, κόν, ότι ουδέν ισχυρότερον φρονή

CHAP.
VII.

σεως :

As regards that virtue which appears to be furthest removed from knowledge, the virtue of bravery, he more especially insisted upon it, that in all cases, he who knows the true nature of an apparent danger and the means of avoiding it, is braver than he who has not such knowledge. Hence he concludes that virtue is entirely dependent upon knowledge; and accordingly he defines all the particular virtues in such a way, as to make them consist in knowledge of some kind, their difference being determined by the difference of their objects. He is pious who knows what is right towards God; he is just who knows what is right towards men. He is

αλλ' ότι επιστήμην έφη, points : ούτοι τούς γε θεωμένους ουκ ορθόν, αρετή γάρ έστι και ουκ τάδε αντιλέξειν έτι οίομαι, ώς ουχί επιστήμη. . If, therefore, any» και η ανδρεία διδακτόν. Plato, one seems to act contrary to Prot. 349, E., where it is proved his better judgment, Socrates by various examples-divers, does not allow that is really knights, peltastæ-that oi értithe case. He rather infers the στήμονες των μη επισταμένων contrary. His conduct being Bappareátepol cioiv. Arist. Eth. opposed to right reason, he Nic. iii. 11; 1116, b, 3: doke concludes that he is wanting δε και η εμπειρία ή περί έκαστα in this quality ; Mem. iii. 9, 4: ανδρεία της είναι : όθεν και ο Σωπροσερωτώμενος δέ, εί τους επιστα- κράτης φήθη επιστήμην είναι την μένους μέν & δει πράττειν, ποιούν- ανδρείαν. Conf. Eth. Eud. iii. 1; τας δε ταναντία, σοφούς τε και 1229, 8, 14. εγκρατείς είναι νομίζοι ουδέν γε 2 ευσεβής = και τα περί τους θεούς μάλλον, έφη και ασόφους τε και νόμιμα ειδώς· δίκαιος = ο ειδώς τα åkpateis. In Xenophon, indeed, Tepl toùs åv pátous vóuiua. Mem. this is so put, as if Socrates iv. 6, 4 and 6. The eủoébela, had admitted the possibility of the definition of which is here a case of knowing right and given, is the same as the doubtnS, doing wrong.

The real mean- the conception of which is ing of the answer, however, sought in Plato's Euthyphro. can only be the one given If, therefore, Grote, Plato, i. above.

328, remarks à propos of the i Xen. Mem. iii. 9, 2; Symp. latter, that Xenophon's So2, 12: Socrates remarks, in re- crates was neither asking after ference to a dancing girl who the general conception of the is deliberating about sword holy, nor indeed could pre-sup

1

CHAP.
VII.

brave who knows how to treat dangers properly; he is prudent and wise who knows how to use what is good and noble, and how to avoid what is evil.2 In a word, all virtues are referred to wisdom or knowledge, which are one and the same. The ordinary notion that there are many kinds of virtue is incorrect. Virtue is in truth but one.4 Nor does the

pose it, his

observation is δέος παρέχει. . Conf. Bonită, contradicted by appearances. Plat. Stud. iii. 441. It does not, however, follow 2 Mem. iii. 9, 4: ooplav kai herefrom that Socrates wished σωφροσύνην ου διώριζεν, αλλά τον the Gods to be honoured νόμω τα μεν καλά τε και αγαθά γιγνώπόλεως. . Why could he not σκοντα χρήσθαι αυτούς και τον τα have said, piety Or holiness αισχρά ειδότα ευλαβείσθαι σοφόν consists in the knowledge of τε και σώφρονα έκρινε. . that which is right towards the 3 Mem. iv. 6, 7 : Alothun đpa Gods, and to this belongs, in copia dotlv; 'Epolye dokei. No respect of the honouring of man can know everything, 8 ápa God, that each one pray to them επίσταται έκαστος τούτο και σοφός after the custom of his country. OTIV. A pious mind is not the same 4 Plato developes this thought thing as worship. That may in his earlier writings, Prot. remain the same when the 329, B.; 349, B.; 360, E.: forms of worship are different. which, however, kept much

| Xen. Mem. iv. 6, 11: oi pèr more closely to the platform άρα επιστάμενοι τους δεινοίς τε of Socrates ; it is also evidently και επικινδύνους καλώς χρήσθαι contained in Xenophon. His άνδρείοί είσιν, οι δε διαμαρτάνοντες meaning, as may be gathered TOÚTOV delloí. Plato, Prot. 360, from Mem. iii. 9, 4, is certainly D.: η σοφία άρα των δείνων και not: some one may possess the μη δεινών ανδρεία εστίν. . The knowledge in which one virtue same thing is conveyed by the consists, whilst lacking the definition in Laches, 194, E. knowledge in which another (which is not much imperilled consists; but he assumes, just by the objections raised thereto as Plato's Socrates does in the from a Socratic point of view). Protagoras, that where Courage is o Tŵr delvæv val virtue is, all must be there, all θαρραλέων επιστήμη; only θαρρα- depending on the knowledge of déos must not be rendered the good. From this doctrine bold'(as Schaarschmidi, Samml. of Socrates the Cynic and Med. plat. Schr. 409, does). It garian notions of the oneness means rather, according to of virtue arose. 198, B., as it so often does, & ush

one

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