Plato's Theory of Ethics: The Moral Criterion and the Highest Good

By R. C. Lodge | Go to book overview

ANALYSIS
PAGE
The standpoint, method, scope, and diverse results of the literature which deals with the platonic highest good leave room for a more empirical and more complete investigation.1
The "highest" good in the Dialogues requires a preliminary study of the value scales on which "happiness" "wisdom," etc., appear as "highest," and this, in turn, demands a prior study of the general value-distinction between good and evil. Hence the division of the present investigation into three parts.3
Method of the present investigation logical or dialectical rather than genetic, and why4
Part I. The Moral Criterion:

Division of the subject into five parts7

I. Who is the judge in ethical question?
(a) Everyone9
(b) The Many10
(c) The Interlocutor12
(d) The Good Man13
(e) The experienced Man14
(f) The Wise Man16
(g) The philosopher17
(h) The Legislator19
Summary and conclusion20
II. On what objective elements does the judge base his judgment, in the case of:
(a) Health22
(b) Wealth25
(c) Pleasure27
(d) Right Opinion31
(e) Good Memory34
(f) Intellectual Acumen37
(g) Courage38
(h) Temperance or Self-control40
(i) Justice43
(j) Art45
(k) Law47
(l) Philosophy50
Summary and conclusion53
III. What standards or norms does the judge apply in reaching his connection in questions of ethics?58
(a) Universal Assent58
(b) Written Law59
(c) Quantity of Pleasure60
(d) Aesthetic Quality61
(e) Expediency or Benefit (to individuals)62
(f) Contribution towards the life of the whole 64
(g) Orderliness65

-vii-

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