Plato's Ethics: An Overview

[Revised entry by Dorothea Frede on December 6, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Like most other ancient philosophers, Plato maintains a virtue-based eudaemonistic conception of ethics.
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[Revised entry by Dorothea Frede on December 6, 2017. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Like most other ancient philosophers, Plato maintains a virtue-based eudaemonistic conception of ethics. That is to say, happiness or well-being (eudaimonia) is the highest aim of moral thought and conduct, and the virtues (arete: 'excellence') are the requisite skills and dispositions needed to attain it. If Plato's conception of happiness is elusive and his support for a morality of happiness seems somewhat subdued, there are several reasons. First, he nowhere defines the...

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News source: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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