Owning Virtue

The Meno on Virtue, Knowledge, and True Opinion

In: Phronesis
Allison Piñeros Glasscock Georgia State University Atlanta, GA USA

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At the end of the Meno, Socrates suggests that genuine virtue is knowledge. This is surprising because he has recently concluded that virtue is (mere) true opinion. I show that Socrates’ new position is motivated by two commitments. First, that being virtuous requires being responsible for the correctness of one’s actions. Second, that only a knower has this kind of ownership of action. An implication of my argument is that, despite his emphasis on virtuous action in the Meno, Socrates endorses an agent-centred ethics. He thinks the epistemic status of the agent is essential to the assessment of her goodness.

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