|Abstract||Most people think that it is possible, if not common, for us to do things that we know are better left undone. But in a famous passage of Plato’s Protagoras (351b-358e) Socrates argues otherwise. His conclusion, roughly put, is that we are capable of acting incorrectly only if (and only when) we fail to recognize that we are acting incorrectly. If he is right about this, then we could never do anything we knew was better left undone, since our having this knowledge would always be sufficient to prevent us from making any such practical mistakes. So either most people are wrong about the power of knowledge over action, or the argument Socrates gives us in the Protagoras — which I will call the Knowledge Argument — is unsound.|
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