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SOCRATES Interest and Life • Interest: Ethics • Emphasis: Argument and Logic, as opposed to unquestioning acceptance of tradition. • Death: charge of ‘impiety’ (introducing new gods and corrupting the youth) Method • Elenchus: Refutation • Topic: the nature of some moral virtue (areté), such as courage, piety, self-control or justice. • Aims: Testing ideas for logical consistency; proving that politicians and others who have claimed to have ‘wisdom’ about human affairs in fact lacked it; drawing attention to at least apparent errors in their thinking. • End: the respondent suffers a personal set-back; he is refuted – revealed as incompetent. Teaching • Socrates never explicitly stated his view. • Virtues are essential for a happy life. • They belong to the soul: they are the condition of a soul that has been properly cared for and brought to its best rate. • Virtues are a sort of knowledge (Ethical Intellectualism); they, therefore, can be taught. Just as the doctor is a person who has learnt medicine, so the just person is the one who has learnt what is just. • ‘Weakness of will’ is denied.