Ancient Philosophers: The Doctrine of Socrates, Ethics

Classic Philosophers: The Great Thinkers of the Western World


by Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D.

V. The Doctrine of Socrates: Ethics

In ethics, Socrates did not surpass the prejudice of Greek intellectualism, which made the practice completely dependent upon theory. It is enough to know virtue in order to be virtuous. Everyone wishes to be happy. If he does not attain happiness, it is because he does not know the way that leads to happiness. Consequently, so-called evil men are in reality only ignorant; the evil is reduced to error. As vice is synonymous with ignorance, so knowledge of the good is synonymous with virtue. Thus it is easy to see why Socrates, who intended to form a virtuous youth, restricted his teaching to the search for moral concepts. It is to be noted that moral intellectualism is present in all Greek thought, not excepting the great ethical systems of Plato and Aristotle.

The late Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty was the Founder and President of The Center for Applied Philosophy and the Radical Academy, and is Honorary Philosophy Editor at Self-Educated American. Self-Educated American has adopted these projects beginning with a republishing and preserving of all of Dr. Dolhenty’s work. “Classic Philosophers: The Great Thinkers of the Western World” was designed and organized by Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D. Copyright ©1992 -2011 The Radical Academy. Copyright renewed in © 2011 -2013 The Radical Academy (a project of Self-Educated American).

Self-Educated American recommends: Great Books of the Western World.