The Development of Plato's Ethics [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 9 (3):518-518 (1956)
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An attempt to account for the shift in Plato's ethical views from the Socratic ideal of personal decision in the early Dialogues to the institutionalized morality of the Laws. The author's interpretations are fresh and illuminating, and his central thesis--that the shift in Plato's view is a function of a growing attention to the conditions, social and natural, imposed upon moral man by the actual world--is well-supported. One of the best features of Mr. Gould's work is his attempt to recover something like the original senses of crucial Platonic terms. He is able to make much better sense of the Socratic "virtue is knowledge," for example, by interpreting, with considerable justification, ἐπιστήμη as technique rather than science, as a species of "knowing how" rather than of "knowing that."--V. C. C.



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