An Analyzation of Socrates’ Argument: No One Desires Something He or She Believes To Be Bad

In Plato's Meno, Socrates contends that 'no one desires something he or she believes to be bad' (77e).  Socrates' argument is as follows (starting at 78a): 1. Everyone knows that if something is bad it’s harmful. 2. So to want something you believe is bad as such involves wanting to be harmed. 3. But no…

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The Philosophical Life In Plato’s ‘Apology’

In Plato’s Apology, Socrates asserts that if the jury were to let him off on the condition that he stop philosophizing, he would nevertheless disobey the order and continue philosophizing.  Socrates maintains this position because he believes that virtue and care of the soul should be one’s primary concern in life.  Socrates claims that “the…

‘The Defense of Palamedes’ — A Rhetorical Analysis

Plato defined rhetoric, along with its chief proponent, Gorgias, as a shadow discipline, or ‘experiential knack’ (Gorgias, 463c), that is a phantom counterpart to philosophy. In this paper, though, I will look at Gorgias and sophistical argumentation without Plato’s prejudicial lens. This is not a paper about what constitutes sophistry or rhetoric in contrast to…

Avicenna On Self-Awareness (Floating Man Argument)

Avicenna believes intellectual progress is made through finding the linking, or middle terms, of syllogistic arguments. A thought experiment is not in itself a syllogism, but it can prompt one to reflect more effectively and help trigger and intuitive insight of that elusive middle term. More modestly, a thought might just guide one towards the…

Avicenna On Mental Existence – “Metaphysics” I.5.12

In Cure “Metaphysics” I.5.12 Avicenna writes: Concerning what is said—namely, ‘A thing is that about which information is given’—this is true. But when, in addition to this, it is said ‘A thing may be absolutely nonexistent’, this is a matter that must be looked into. If by ‘nonexistent’ is meant the nonexistent in external reality,…

Virtue in Plato’s ‘Protagoras’

In Plato’s Protagoras, Socrates and Protagoras discuss whether or not virtue, or "the ability to live the best possible life" (Taylor, Introduction), can be taught.  Protagoras begins the dialogue by asserting that virtue is something that can be taught and that he is capable of teaching it.  Socrates takes the position that virtue is something…

Al-Fārābi

According to Al-Fārābi, “Religion is opinions and actions, determined and restricted with stipulations and prescribed for a community by their first ruler, who seeks to obtain through their practicing it a specific purpose with respect to them or by means of them" (Book of Religion, 1). Religion is an applied ideology that gives its interpretation,…