Socratic Intellectualism: A Comparative Analysis

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On the topic of good vs bad, there are two main schools of thought. The first idea is written by Socrates, called Socratic Intellectualism, while the second was written by his student Plato, called the Principle of Opposites. Socrates’ main idea is that humans will always act in accordance to what is right. He believes that no person can knowingly commit an evil act or willingly do harm. In contrast to this, Plato states that being adverse to something and wanting that same thing are opposites. He believes that wanting something, even though the repercussions may be considered “bad,” is not in itself a wrong act.
In the scenario of vegetarianism provided, both these scholars would have different reasons for giving into temptation. Socrates, in his theory that no human could do harm willingly, would most likely state that the cheesesteak was the better of the two options in the moment because he believed it to be the better option. In the text,
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His argument relies more on human passion and how temptation plays a role in our decision making. Plato states that wanting something is not wrong; we are allowed to make choices that will not lead to any repercussions and still result in our own joy or pleasure. In his book, Republic II, Plato writes, “Tell me, do you think there is a kind of good we welcome, not because we desire what comes from it, but because we welcome it for its own sake—joy, for example, and all the harmless pleasures that have no results beyond the joy of having them?” (Republic II 357b). To this Plato agreed, saying that we are allowed to have pleasures that do not rely on the end result, but only because we find joy in the action. Relating this passage to the scenario given, Plato believes that eating a cheesesteak, even though we are vegetarian, is not a bad act because we are simply doing it for the joy of the act, not the results of said
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