Socrates vs. Plato

             One of the areas of greatest disagreement between Plato and Socrates was on the issue of incontinence and how the idea manifests itself in people’s lives. This was one of the first areas in which Plato made a point of disagreeing with his teacher. As a consequence he develops a very different theory of motivation as compared to Socrates. We will look at Socrates’ theory as well as Plato’s and then decide if Plato succesfully proves his theory correct.
             Socrates believes that the argument most commonly used to support the idea of incontinence is illogical. He then begins to develop an idea of motivation as separated from the tradition weakness of the will approach. There is a certain style that Socrates uses to disprove the idea of incontinence, or at the least prove it illogical. The type of argument he uses is called a reductio ad absurdum in which the theory is put through different scenarios until it is found to be contradictory or nonsensical at which point it is thought that the theory has been disproved. The popular argument of incontinence is that one sometimes does what is worse, even though it is avoidable, because they are overcome by the pleasure of that thing. One can also use good to describe pleasure so it is the case that people are overcome by the good. The first argument Socrates makes is that the good in something outweighs the bad and the person knows this so they do what will be good. This contradicts the above statement so it isn’t a possible theory. Secondly, Socrates says that perhaps someone would take the greater harm in something for the lesser pleasure that came with it. But this defies the basic definition of pleasure. People strive to maximize pleasure and minimize pain as discussed in the debate hedonism also in the Protagoras so that theory is also faulty. So Socrates only comes to the conclusion that any scenario put to the concept of incontinence is implausible so he considers ...

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Socrates vs. Plato. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:34, December 05, 2016, from