Plato's Moral Psychology: Intellectualism, the Divided Soul, and the Desire for Good

ISBN : 9780198798446

Rachana Kamtekar
256 Pages
148 x 218 mm
Pub date
Dec 2017
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Plato's Moral Psychology investigates Plato's account of the soul and its impact on our living well or badly, virtuously or viciously. The core of Plato's moral psychology is his account of human motivation, and Rachana Kamtekar argues that throughout the dialogues Plato maintains that human beings have a natural desire for our own good, and that actions and conditions contrary to this desire are involuntary (from which follows the 'Socratic paradox' that wrongdoing is involuntary). This is a very different interpretation of Plato's moral psychology from the mainstream interpretation, according to which Plato first proposes that human beings only do what we believe to be the best of the things we can do ('Socratic intellectualism') and then in the middle dialogues rejects this in favour of the view that the soul is divided into parts with some good-dependent and some good-independent motivations ('the divided soul').


Introduction; 1 Doctrine and Dialectic in Plato's Dialogues; 2 Psychology for Sophists; 3 Why is wrongdoing unwilling?; 4 The Divided Soul; 5 Why is the Divided Soul Tripartite?; 6 Psychological Eudaemonism and Explanation

About the author: 

Rachana Kamtekar has published many articles about ancient Greek and Roman moral psychology, and related areas, such as ancient moral and political philosophy and contemporary moral psychology, since her PhD (University of Chicago) in 1995.

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