Title

The courage of conviction: Andreia as precondition for philosophic examination in Plato's Protagoras and Republic

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-4-2015

Abstract

There are at least two apparently conflicting views of courage found in Plato's dialogues: the intellectualist view exemplified by Socratess identification of courage with wisdom as found in the Protagoras; and the dispositional view of courage as a natural temperament to overcome fear in situations of danger, the necessary qualification for the auxiliary class in the Republic. In this paper I argue that these views are complementary, dispositional courage being a necessary precondition for the pursuit of the proper human excellence of wisdom. I demonstrate this by considering the role opinion plays in each understanding of courage, showing both that dispositional courage is necessary to ensure that proper opinions be retained in the pursuit of wisdom and that wisdom is necessary to guarantee these opinions are the proper ones. Finally, I argue that not only is this relationship of the two understandings of courage present in the Republic, but even in the Protagoras Socratess method of conducting the elenchus betrays awareness on his part of the importance of dispositional courage in the pursuit of wisdom

Publication Title

British Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume

23

Issue

3

First Page

438

Last Page

458

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1080/09608788.2015.1013913

ISSN

09608788

E-ISSN

14693526

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