Plato and the Virtue of Courage by Linda R. Rabieh

By Linda R. Rabieh

Plato and the advantage of braveness canvasses modern discussions of braveness and gives a brand new and arguable account of Plato's therapy of the concept that. Linda R. Rabieh examines Plato's major thematic discussions of braveness, within the Laches and the Republic, and discovers that the 2 dialogues jointly yield a coherent, unified therapy of braveness that explores numerous vexing questions: Can braveness be separated from justice, in order that you'll act courageously whereas advancing an unjust reason? Can braveness be legitimately referred to as a advantage? What function does knowledge play in braveness? What function does braveness play in knowledge?

Based on Plato's presentation, Rabieh argues subtle model of conventional heroic braveness, though definite excesses to which it really is services, is worthy honoring and cultivating for a number of purposes. leader between those is that, through facilitating the pursuit of knowledge, such braveness provides a vital beginning for the braveness so much deserving of the name.


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Excellence in gymnastics, for example, requires natural flexibility; excellence in geometry, good spatial reasoning. Even, moreover, where the aptitude is present, any individual’s ultimate success at any study seems to depend on more than just the ability to receive instruction. When, for example, Lysimachus and Melesias warn their sons that if they fail to look after themselves and obey their fathers, they will be without fame (179d), the fathers point to the natural drive that is required for success: the sons must want fame enough to heed their fathers’ advice.

If so, how does a liberal polity foster such a virtues? Is courage, moreover, good only as a means to social ends, or is it also somehow good in itself? Galston does not address such questions. It may be that courage is meant to be incorporated in other virtues that need courage to be properly executed, such as (per Spragens) “responsible self-reliance” and a “public-spirited willingness to participate in civil service” (1999, 229) and (per Macedo) “autonomy” and “active self-control” (1990, 216, 225 251).

By virtue of its inclusion in this list of civic duties, courage is eclipsed. Similar questions arise from Macedo’s treatment of the liberal virtues. ), he provides no similar treatment of courage. This is not to deny that he thinks courage must be of concern to liberals. In fact, he begins his defense of the liberal regime as worthy of respect precisely by highlighting courage. At the outset of his book, Macedo maintains that “free government needs its heroes, individuals prepared to make INTRODUCTION: THE PROBLEM OF COURAGE 19 great sacrifices on behalf of liberal values” (2).

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