Rachana Kamtekar's excellent book challenges standard interpretations of Plato's moral psychology, rethinking the ways in which the philosophical theses defended in Plato's dialogues depend on one another. She argues that there is more continuity in Plato's views concerning moral psychology across his dialogues than most scholars have thought. In particular, she rejects an influential developmental story according to which Plato at some point abandons a constellation of theses known as “Socratic Intellectualism,” introducing a more complex tripartite psychology in its place. She argues that one idea taken to be a central tenet of “Socratic Intellectualism,” that we always do what we believe is best, does not appear outside the Protagoras (see especially chapter 2). She observes that another tenet of “Socratic Intellectualism,” that all wrongdoing is involuntary, persists throughout the corpus, and so it cannot depend on an early theory of moral psychology that...
Skip Nav Destination
Book Review| October 01 2020
Plato's Moral Psychology: Intellectualism, the Divided Soul, and the Desire for Good by Rachana Kamtekar
Plato's Moral Psychology: Intellectualism, the Divided Soul, and the Desire for Good.
Oxford University Press,
x + 231 pp.
The Philosophical Review (2020) 129 (4): 643–646.
Emily Fletcher; Plato's Moral Psychology: Intellectualism, the Divided Soul, and the Desire for Good by Rachana Kamtekar. The Philosophical Review 1 October 2020; 129 (4): 643–646. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-8540957
Download citation file: