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Socrates and Plato - Track 303

Now this example will show that Socrates was wrong. This is the simple refutation of Socrates and you can multiply so many examples. Whereas Socrates said: If you know what is right, you cannot but do the right thing voluntarily. But since examples like which I gave you just now are plenty, Socrates is very much attacked and they say Socrates is wrong. Even if you know what is right, there is no guarantee that you know right. So knowing right and will for right are not the same thing. Ethical problem is double, first to know what is right and second is the problem to will to be right. Mere knowledge of right does not guarantee that you will also have the will for the right that is the argument against Socrates. So they say Socrates is wrong, ethical problem is a double problem is not a problem of knowing what is right. If Socrates is right then it will mean that the moment you know what is right you will do the right, no question of will afterwards. Will, will follow automatically the right. So according to Socrates knowing and willing are both identical. To know is to will. Now let us see. Knowledge in this view means – the knowledge of what is good and the knowledge is the intellectual apprehension and by virtue is meant any good deed of an agent who has apprehended it to be good.

The plausibility, now the word plausible is very often used in philosophy, so you should try to understand the word plausible. Any argument which seems at the first sight to be true is called plausible. Any argument which seems at least in the beginning to be worth considering because it seems to be right, it seems that there may be some truth in it then it is worth considering therefore it is called plausible. A plausible argument is an argument worth considering, why? Because it seems that it may be right, if the argument is right you don’t say it is plausible. You simply say it is a correct argument. But when the argument is not yet proved to be correct but seems at the first sight to be correct then you call that argument to be plausible. Now this statement says that the Socratic view can be interpreted in such a way that it can be proved to be wrong. This is the argument which is put in section number I.Socratic view that virtue is knowledge, this argument is wrong, this statement is wrong. Socrates' is not right in saying that virtue is knowledge. What is the proof? It depends upon what Socrates has said in two of his dialogues, – Charmides and Laches.

The plausibility of this interpretation depends upon the two dialogues Charmides and Laches. These are the two titles of his dialogues, one dialogue is called Charmides, other dialogue is called Laches in which the Socratic doctrine is expounded to a certain extent. In Laches, Socrates says in effect that it is not the case that the brave man is never afraid, but in spite of fear he advances, rushes the slopes and captures enemy's weapons. Why does he? Because he is afraid of certain things even more than of the weapons – such things as the doing of what is disgraceful, of feeling shame, of the reputation for cowardice, of betraying one's comrades; what then is the difference between a coward and a brave man? The difference is that while the brave man knows what is really to be afraid of, the coward does not. Hence the knowledge of the right makes the former courageous. (That is the argument. I think I stop here today but think about this argument, I’ll repeat the argument for your brevity. On what ground does Socrates say that a brave man is different from a coward; his answer is, it is not that brave man has no fear and that coward has fear. This is not the difference between coward and the brave, both have fear, both are afraid but whereas the coward is afraid of what you ought not to be afraid and the brave is one who knows of what he should be afraid that is difference. The coward is afraid of being killed, whereas the brave man is afraid of being called coward. He is afraid of doing something disgraceful, therefore he has the courage to go into the enemy’s camp and capture the weapons of the enemy. Now think about it and argue for or against as you like, next time but this is his argument. What is the difference between the brave man and the coward? Not that the brave man is not afraid and the coward is afraid but according to him the coward does not know of what he should be afraid, whereas the brave man knows of what he should be afraid.


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