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The relationship of virtue of happiness in Socrates’ moral theory Harland, Leslie A. 1993

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THE RELATIONSHIP OF VIRTUE TO HAPPINESSIN SOCRATES' MORAL THEORYbyLESLIE ANNE HARLANDB.A., Simon Fraser University, 1988A.R.C.T., Royal Conservatory of Toronto, 1977A THESIS SUBMII1ED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of PhilosophyWe accept this thesis as conformingthe required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAJuly 1993© Leslie Anne Harland, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature) Department of  PhilosophyThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate July 30, 1993DE-6 (2/88)iiAbstractThis thesis examines the relationship of virtue to happiness in Socrates'moral theory. The focus of my enquiry is a debate between GregoryVlastos and Terence Irwin in which Vlastos claims that Socrates holds acomponent view of the relationship of virtue to happiness, and Irwinclaims that Socrates holds an instrumentalist view.I begin the thesis with an enquiry into what counts as Socrates'moral theory. I conclude that, in spite of the seemingly negativefunction of the elenctic method, Socrates has a positive moral theorywhich can be found in the early Platonic dialogues.I then present Socrates' major theses. With respect to happiness,Socrates is a eudaemonist — that is, he holds that happiness is theultimate end of all rational acts. With respect to virtue, Socrates holdsthe principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue — that is, when consideringtwo alternate courses of action, one virtuous and the other eithervicious or less virtuous, it is considerations of virtue and nothing elsethat should decide one's actions. With respect to the relationship ofvirtue to happiness, Socrates holds the Sufficiency Thesis — that is,virtue is both necessary and sufficient for happiness.The remainder of the thesis examines and critiques three diver-gent interpretations of the Sufficiency Thesis. First, Socrates could holdthat virtue is necessary and sufficient for virtue because virtue isinstrumental toward happiness. This is Irwin's position. Second, Socratescould hold that virtue is necessary and sufficient for happiness becauseiiivirtue is the major component of happiness, and any other componentsof happiness are components of happiness only if they occur inconjunction with virtue. This is Vlastos' position. Third, Socrates couldhold that virtue is necessary and sufficient for happiness because virtueand happiness are one and the same form of living described from thevantage points of different criteria. This is my position.I close the thesis with an evaluation of the Socratic relationship ofvirtue to happiness from a modern perspective. Although there aresome differences between contemporary conceptions of the relationshipof virtue to happiness and that of Socrates, the third interpretation ofthe Socrates' Sufficiency thesis (outlined in the preceding paragraph) isconsistent with modern thought.Table of ContentsAbstract^Table of Contents^AcknowledgementsivivViDedication^ vii1. Introduction 12. Background and Overview^ 62.1. Introduction^ 62.2. Background: Socrates' Moral Theory^ 62.3. Overview:^The^Debate^over^Socratic Virtue andHappiness 1 32.4. Conclusion 1 83. Irwin's^Instrumentalism^ 1 93 . 1 . Introduction^ 1 93.2. Irwin's^Defense^of Instrumentalism^ 1 93.3. A^Critique^of Irwin's^Instrumentalism^ 283.4. Conclusion 404. Irwin's Adaptive Account 4 14.1. Introduction^ 4 14.2. Irwin's Account 4 14.3. Problems with Irwin's Adaptive Account^ 474.4. Conclusion^ 5 35. Vlastos' Component Account^ 545.1. Introduction^ 545.2. Vlastos' Account 545.3. A Critique of Vlastos' Account^ 645.4. Conclusion^ 69V6. The Developmental View of Socrates' Moral Theory^ 7 26 .1 . Introduction^ 7 26.2. Plato's Development of Socrates' Moral Theory in theEarly Dialogues 7 26.3. Vlastos and Irwin — Two Parts of a Reconstruction?^ 7 66.4. Conclusion^ 807. Modern Thoughts on the Relationship of Virtue to Happiness^ 8 27.1. Introduction 8 27.2. A Modern Account^ 827.3. Conclusion^ 948. Conclusion^ 95Bibliography 103AcknowledgementsI thank Andrew Irvine and Jim Dybikowski for their patient help withthis thesis. The process of working on this project with them has beenan invaluable step in furthering my philosophical education.For "moral" support, I thank Noelene Harland, William Harland,Tom Handley, Jill McIntosh and Makiko Suzuki.I thank the University of British Columbia for a UniversityGraduate Fellowship for 1992-3. I also thank the PhilosophyDepartment for giving me a Teaching Assistantship for two years.viDedicationToBessie Beulah HarlandandEsther Pickering Harlandvii11. IntroductionIn this thesis I examine the relationship of virtue to happiness inSocrates' moral theory. The thesis centres primarily on a debatebetween Gregory Vlastos and Terence Irwin in which Vlastos claimsthat Socrates held a component view of the relationship of virtue tohappiness, and Irwin claims that Socrates held an instrumentalist view.In this opening chapter I outline, chapter by chapter, the main points ofthe thesis.I begin, in Chapter 2, by considering what counts as Socrates'moral theory. This question has two parts. First, I deal with the prob-lems of dating the Platonic dialogues in order to distinguish Plato'sphilosophy from that of the historic Socrates. Second, I deal withSocrates' use of the elenctic method, particularly with respect toquestions concerning whether Socrates had a positive moral theory.The remainder of the chapter examines the major passages andthemes in the Socratic dialogues that are central to the Vlastos/Irwindebate. I then outline the component and instrumentalist conceptions ofthe relationship of virtue to happiness in Socrates' moral theory bybriefly tracing the history and content of the debate between Vlastosand Irwin.Chapter 3 examines the instrumental conception of virtue as pre-sented in Terence Irwin's book, Plato's Moral Theory: The Early andIntroduction^2Middle Dialogues.1 Irwin suggests that Socrates held that virtue is notdesirable for its own sake, but rather that it is instrumental towardhappiness. After presenting Irwin's arguments, I raise some problemswith instrumentalism, many of which are suggested by his debate withGregory Vlastos in the Times Literary Supplement.2 In particular, it isdifficult to reconcile the instrumental conception of virtue with Socrates'conviction that virtue is the sovereign good, and that considerations ofvirtue and nothing else should decide one's course of action.Chapter 4 presents the main argument of Irwin's 1980 paper,"Socrates the Epicurean."3 In this paper Irwin suggests that Socratesheld an "adaptive strategy" with respect to happiness — a strategy thatrequires one to restrict one's desires to those that it is possible to fulfill,and so to guarantee desire fulfillment and happiness. The idea thatSocrates held the adaptive strategy is attractive because it is consistentwith his thesis that virtue is sufficient for happiness. While Irwin'spaper does not commit Irwin to holding that Socrates was an instru-mentalist with respect to virtue, it is consistent with this position. Iclose this chapter with an exposition of the problems involved in ascrib-ing the adaptive account to Socrates. In particular, it is implausible thatSocrates held the adaptive account because it does not give a satisfac-tory defense of virtue, and because it clearly conflicts with what we1 Irwin [1977].2 Irwin [1978], and Vlastos [1978a], [1978b].3 Irwin [1980].Introduction^3know of Socrates' own positive convictions as presented in the Crito andthe Apology.Chapter 5 deals with Vlastos' book, Socrates, Ironist and MoralPhilosopher.4 In this book Vlastos presents a component account of therelation of virtue to happiness. He holds that, for Socrates, virtue is thesovereign good, both necessary and sufficient for happiness, but thathappiness may consist of lesser constituents in addition to virtue. I closethe chapter with a critique of this account. In its place I suggest aModified Identity Thesis. On this account virtue is still necessary andsufficient for happiness, since the virtuous life is the same as the happylife —that is to say, that the form of life we call "happiness" whenviewing it under desirability criteria (as the most deeplyand durably satisfying kind of life) is the same form of lifewe call "virtue" when viewing it as meeting moral criteria(as the just, brave, temperate, pious, wise way to live).5However, the Modified Identity Thesis adds that a minimum level of thenon-moral goods, health and wealth, are necessary prerequisites forvirtue and happiness. That Socrates was concerned with these non-moral goods is evident; that he overlooked their role in happiness isimplausible.In Chapter 6 I present my account of the relationship of virtue tohappiness in Socrates' moral theory. First I explore the possibility that4 Vlastos [1991].5 Vlastos [1991], p.214.Introduction^4Plato's Socrates did not hold a stable position with respect to virtue andhappiness across the early dialogues. It is possible, and plausible, giventhe many seemingly contradictory passages, that the passages d ocontradict one another, and that Socrates' moral theory was undergoingdevelopment by Plato in a way that Socrates himself would approve of,given his dedication to the learning process embodied in the elencticmethod. Even though Plato's Socrates may have had more than oneaccount of the relationship of virtue to happiness, in the second part ofthis chapter I present my view of the most plausible and consistentposition attributable to the historical Socrates. I hold that Socrates wasneither an instrumentalist nor an Epicurean. Rather, he held theModified Identity Thesis. Vlastos' component account is motivated byan attempt to understand the role of non-moral goods such as healthand wealth in Socrates' moral theory. The Modified Identity Thesisaccounts for the non-moral goods and avoids problems inherent in thecomponent account.Chapter 7 evaluates Socrates' moral theory from a modern per-spective. I begin with an examination of definitions of virtue andhappiness in common usage today. I point out that equivocationsbetween objective and subjective happiness, and between virtue as aprocess and virtue as an end, lead to confusions about the relationshipof virtue to happiness. When the equivocations are removed, a relation-ship between objective happiness and virtue as a process/end can befound. This relationship is consistent with the Modified Identity Thesisoutlined in Chapter 6.Introduction^5I close, in Chapter 8, with a review of the main arguments andconclusions of the thesis.62. Background and Overview2.1. IntroductionIn this chapter I present the background necessary for considering therelationship of virtue to happiness in Socrates' moral theory. I begin byexamining two questions concerning Socrates' moral theory: how doesone distinguish Plato's thought from Socrates', and what role does theelenchos play in the presentation of Socrates' moral theory? This isfollowed by a discussion of Socrates' commitment to eudaemonism andthe thesis of the Sufficiency of Virtue (the Sufficiency Thesis). I closethe chapter with a brief outline of the history and content of the debatebetween Vlastos and Irwin on the interpretation of these same Socraticdoctrines.2.2. Background: Socrates' Moral TheoryWhat counts as Socrates' moral theory? In order to answer this questionwe need to consider two separate problems. First, Socrates' moraltheory was reported in the Platonic dialogues. Consequently, we need todistinguish Plato's thought from Socrates'. Second, prima facie, Socrates'elenctic method of inquiry is a method of questioning and checking aninterlocutor's beliefs for consistency. In the process of using the elencticmethod, it appears that Socrates rarely arrives at an answer with whichhe is happy, or states positive convictions. This raises the question ofwhether Socrates had a positive moral theory. I will deal with each ofthese two problems in turn.Background and Overview 7In this thesis I am primarily concerned with the relationship ofvirtue to happiness in Socrates' moral theory. However, whenever onewants to write about Socratic anything, one must answer the question:"Who are you talking about — Socrates or a 'Socrates' in Plato?"6 It isgenerally believed that Plato wrote dialogues with a character named"Socrates" who was inspired by an historical Socrates.7 This belief hasspawned two extreme positions concerning Plato's "Socrates". The first isthat the Socrates of the Platonic dialogues is an accurate portrayal of thehistorical Socrates;8 the other is that our reports of Socrates are literarymyths of questionable historical validity.9 Vlastos holds that earlydialogues report Socrates' own thinking more than that of Plato, whilethe later dialogues trace the development of Plato's thought from thestarting point that Socrates supplied.10 This moderate position issupported by most scholars, since, although Plato revered both Socratesthe man and Socrates' philosophy, it is implausiblethat a man of Plato's abilities could postpone his ownphilosophical progression. ... it is impossible to believe thatthe development of "Socrates" doctrine in the course of thedialogues, which were written after his death, can be otherthan Plato's; Aristotle was right to make his distinction.116 vlastos [1991], p.45.7 Kidd [1967], p.481.8 Taylor [1932], p.29.9 Kidd [1967], p.480.10 Vlastos [1991], pp.46ff.11 Kidd [1967], p.481.Background and Overview 8The idea of a distinction between early and later dialogues yieldsthe further question: where does one draw a line between the twoSocrates, the early Socrates and the later Socrates? In answer to thisquestion, scholars have arranged the dialogues into early, middle andlate groups.12 Since I am concerned with the historical Socrates' moraltheory, I will restrict my discussion of the dialogues to those of theearly group. Vlastos divides the early dialogues into two groups, theElenctic dialogues and the Transitional dialogues. The Transitionaldialogues are written before the Middle dialogues but differ from theElenctic dialogues in that, in the Transitional dialogues, Socrates' methodof philosophical investigation ceases to be elenctic.13 Here is Vlastos'Group 1:Group 1. The Dialogues of Plato's earlier period:(a) The Elenctic Dialogues, listed in alphabetical order:Apology, Charmides, Crito, Euthyphro, Gorgias, HippiasMinor, Ion, Laches, Protagoras, Republic I, (abbreviating:Ap., Ch., Cr., Eu., G., HMi., Ion., La., Pr., R.I.).(b) Transitional Dialogues (written after all the ElencticDialogues and before all of the dialogues in Group II), listedin alphabetical order: Euthydemus, Hippias Major, Lysis,Menexenus, Meno, (abbreviating: Eud., HMaj., Ly., Mx., M.).'412 I will not participate in the debate about dating the dialogues here, sinceit is beyond the scope of this thesis and since there is general agreement on thegroupings. Any disagreement about particular dialogues that would affect thisthesis will be noted and discussed. For a general discussion of the grouping of thedialogues see Ryle [1967], pp.319-20.13 Vlastos [1991], p.46, n.3.14 Vlastos [1991], pp.46-7.Background and Overview 9Irwin's grouping is similar to Vlastos' except that he feels that theGorgias, though not a middle dialogue, needs to be considered apartfrom the earlier dialogues.15 Vlastos writes that he lists the dialogues ineach group in alphabetical order because there is controversy about thechronological order within the groups. Nevertheless, he notes that mostpresent-day scholars hold that the Gorgias is the last dialogue in theElenctic group.16 This is consistent with Irwin's wish to consider theGorgias separately. The chronological placement of the Gorgias is impor-tant to this thesis, since Vlastos writes thatthe moral theory I shall be exploring ... is precisely the oneSocrates holds in the Gorgias (consistently with what he saysin every Socratic dialogue) ... .17Since Irwin (and Gosling and Taylor18) hold that the moral theoryexpressed in the Gorgias is not consistent with earlier dialogues, andVlastos holds that it is, Vlastos' arguments using the Gorgias will have tobe carefully considered throughout the thesis. However, Vlastos'component thesis is not only drawn from the Gorgias, but also from theearlier dialogues, and so the controversy over the Gorgias may notaffect it.In the penultimate chapter of this thesis I suggest that evenwithin the early dialogues, Plato's portrayal of Socrates' moral theory15 Irwin [1977], p.113.16 Vlastos [1991], p.46, n.4.17 Vlastos [1991], p.205.18 Gosling and Taylor [1982], p.69.Background and Overview 1 0may not be consistent. It is possible that Socrates' moral theory wasundergoing development by Plato across the early dialogues. If this isthe case then in order to understand the moral theory of Socrates, weneed, even in the early dialogues, to trace the development of Plato'sthought.The second question that we need to explore in order to under-stand what counts as Socrates' moral theory is this: Does Socrates have apositive moral theory? Socrates is portrayed in the dialogues as onewho disclaims knowledge, searches for knowledge, and questions othersfor knowledge which he finds they do not have. Nevertheless, throughan examination of Socrates' use of the elenctic method, we can see thatSocrates did have a positive moral theory.Socrates' elenctic method is a process of questioning an interlocu-tor's beliefs to check for consistency. Prima facie, it seems that theelenctic method, in isolation, is not capable of producing a positivethesis. Both Irwin and Vlastos hold that Socrates had a positive moraltheory, but they connect it with the elenchos in different ways.Irwin maintains that, in spite of Socrates' numerous disclaimers ofknowledge, Socrates held positive convictions about virtue.19 Socratesrecommends that people take virtue seriously (Ap. 30a7-b3)20 andargue about it daily (Ap. 38a1-5)21; he claims to accept the strongest19 Irwin [1977], p.40.20 Irwin [1977], p.38.21 Irwin [1977], p.38.Background and Overview 11argument found by examination (Cr. 46b3-c1); and he values the elen-chos for its role in removing false pretensions to knowledge (Ap. 21c3-e2, 29e3-30a2).22 Socrates' convictions about virtue do not necessarilycount as a positive moral theory unless we see how these convictionsare supported by argument. Irwin maintains that Socrates allows him-self and his interlocutors true beliefs without knowledge as long as theyare proven consistent by the elenctic method.23Vlastos, by contrast with Irwin, maintains that Socrates' aim wasto discover knowledge and not merely true belief.24 Vlastos holds thatSocrates' disavowal of knowledge is a complex irony. The irony isapparent when we observe that at times Socrates does claim knowledgefor himself, but that this knowledge is human knowledge as opposed tothe knowledge of the gods, which Socrates feels is a wisdom aboveman's reach.25 Furthermore, this human knowledge is justified truebelief as opposed to certain knowledge.26 With respect to humanknowledge, Vlastos claims that Socrates allowed those true beliefs thatpassed the consistency test of the elenchos to function as premisses andconclusions in his enquiries.27 Vlastos holds that Socrates' convictionthat moral truth can be reached by elenctic arguments is consistentwith the reasonable assumption that the22 Irwin [1977], p.38.23 Irwin [1977], p.41.24 Vlastos [1991], p.14.25 Vlastos [1991], p.239.26 Vlastos [1991], p.30.27 Vlastos [1991], p.15.Background and Overview 1 2moral truth for which he was searching was already in eachof his interlocutors in the form of true beliefs, accessible tohim in his elenctic encounters with them, and that he couldalways count on the presence of these beliefs in their mindand could use them as the premises from which the negationof their false thesis could be derived.28Although one cannot assert that Socrates, ahead of his time, held aDavidsonian theory of knowledge, the assumption that true beliefswithin us can be tested for consistency and, if they pass, be legitimatelyused to seek knowledge is not unreasonable. Moreover, Davidsonsupports this understanding of the elenchos in the following passage:As Vlastos explains, the elenchos would make for truthsimply by ensuring coherence in a set of beliefs if one couldassume that in each of us there are always true beliefsinconsistent with the false ... I think there is good reason tobelieve the assumption is true — true enough, anyway, toensure that when our beliefs are consistent they will in mostlarge matters be true.29In this section I have highlighted two points about Socrates' moraltheory:(1) The evidence for the best reconstruction of the historicalSocrates' moral theory must be gleaned from the group ofdialogues that Plato scholars agree are the early dialogues.(2) Socrates can be said to hold a positive moral theory since hisand others' moral beliefs are verified through the consistency28 Vlastos [1991], p.15.29 Quoted in Vlastos [1991], p.15, n.62.Background and Overview 1 3check of the elenchos. For Irwin, Socrates' positive moral theoryconsists of Socrates' positive convictions tested by the elenchos.For Vlastos, Socrates' positive moral theory consists of justifiedtrue beliefs that Socrates accepts as knowledge, given theirsuccessful passing of the test of coherence given by the elenchos.2.3. Overview: The Debate over Socratic Virtue and HappinessThe debate between Irwin and Vlastos regarding the relationship ofvirtue to happiness in Socrates' moral theory begins with agreement ontwo major Socratic theses — eudaemonism and the thesis of theSufficiency of Virtue. The disagreement arises with respect to the vari-ous interpretations and implications of these theses. In this section Iwill outline the two Socratic theses and the theories that Irwin andVlastos construct from them.Socrates was a eudaemonist30 in that he held that everyonedesires to be happy, or to do well:Do we all wish to do well in the world? Or perhaps this isone of the questions which I feared you might laugh at, forit is foolish, no doubt even to ask such things. Who in theworld does not wish to do well?31 (Eud. 278e4-7)In this passage "to do well" can be read as "to be happy" since30 Some scholars claim that "well-being" would be a better translation than"happiness" for "eudaimonia". Since both Vlastos and Irwin translate"eudaimonia" as "happiness", I will use this traditional translation here. For moreon this subject see Vlastos [1991], p.201.31 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.392.Background and Overview 1 4"well" is the adverbial form of "good" and since for Socrates,as for all Greek moralists, the good for man ishappiness ... •32In the following passage from the Symposium we see that notonly does everyone wish to do well, but also that happiness or doingwell is the ultimate end towards which every action is directed. For aeudaemonist, one can ask why a person does a particular thing, but oncea person answers "because it will make me happy" the questioning muststop, there is no further reason.33Of one who wants to be happy there is no longer any pointin asking, "For what reason does he want to be happy?" Thisanswer is already final.34 (Smp. 205a2-3)From these passages one can see that for Socrates the good forman is equated with "eudaimonia", which is translated as well-being orhappiness. Moreover, it is the pursuit of this good that guides one'sactions.Greek moralists held that one should be virtuous because virtuousconduct offers one the best prospects for happiness.35 However, therelationship of virtue to happiness — the reason virtuous conduct offersthe best prospects for happiness — was understood differently bydifferent moralists. Socrates' view of this relationship must be recon-32 Vlastos [1991], p.214.33 Vlastos [1991], p.203.Vlastos [1991], p.203.35 Vlastos [1991], p.203-4.Background and Overview 1 5structed from other views he espoused, particularly from the thesis ofthe Sufficiency of Virtue.The thesis of the Sufficiency of Virtue is the thesis that virtue isnecessary and sufficient for happiness. This view is suggested in theApology where Socrates asserts that "nothing can harm a good maneither in life or after death ... •"36 (Ap. 41d) Socrates states this viewmore explicitly in the Gorgias:So there is every necessity Callicles, that the temperate man,who, as we have seen, will be just and brave and pious, willbe a perfectly good man, and the good man will act well andnobly in whatever he does, and he who acts well will beblessed and happy; and that he who is wicked and actsbadly will be miserable ... .37 (G. 507b8-c7)We have seen that Socrates was a eudaemonist, and that he heldthe thesis of the Sufficiency of Virtue. While Vlastos and Irwin agree onthese two points, their interpretations of them differ widely. The debatecentres around two divergent interpretations of the Sufficiency Thesis.For Irwin, virtue is sufficient for happiness in that it is instrumental inbringing about happiness. He holds that for Socrates, happiness is thefinal good and virtue is only a means to that good. For Vlastos, eventhough happiness is the good we pursue as an end to all our actions,virtue is the supreme good, valued for its own sake. He claims thatSocrates holds the principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue, that is, that36 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.25.37 Vlastos [1991], p.222.Background and Overview 1 6considerations of virtue and nothing else should guide one's actions.This principle is expressed in the following passage from the Crito:But for us, since the argument thus compels us the onlything we should consider is ... whether we would be actingjustly ... or, in truth, unjustly ... And if it should become evi-dent that this action is unjust, then the fact that by stayinghere I would die or suffer anything else whatever should begiven no countervailing weight when the alternative is to actunjustly.38 (Cr. 48c6-d5)So, for Socrates virtue is sovereign in the domain of value and no con-sideration other than whether an action is just or unjust should decideone's choice of action. Vlastos argues that since Socrates holds the prin-ciple of the Sovereignty of Virtue, he cannot also hold that virtue isinstrumental toward happiness. This is because, according to the prin-ciple of the Sovereignty of Virtue, virtue is valued for its own sake,rather than being merely instrumental. An instrumentalist might claimthat the principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue is not inconsistent withthe fact that virtue is instrumental toward happiness. However, in thecase — suggested by the Crito passage — where one chooses death inorder to uphold the principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue, virtue ischosen for something other than its instrumentality toward happiness.For Vlastos, since virtue is not instrumental toward happiness, theSufficiency thesis must be interpreted to mean that virtue is a compo-nent — the major component — of happiness.38 Vlastos [1991], p.210.Background and Overview 1 7Irwin's instrumentalist position is presented in his 1977 bookPlato's Moral Theory: The Early and Middle Dialogues. Vlastos' difficultywith reconciling instrumentalism with the principle of the Sovereigntyof Virtue is expressed in his 1978 review of Irwin's book in the TimesLiterary Supplement. A six month debate between Vlastos and Irwin inthe Times Literary Supplement followed Vlastos' review. Irwin's 1980paper, "Socrates the Epicurean?", suggested that Socrates held an adap-tive view of happiness, a view that would explain how the SufficiencyThesis holds without necessarily committing Irwin to holding thatSocrates was an instrumentalist. The adaptive account of happinessstates that one ought to adapt one's desires to coincide with those thatare feasible and then, on the definition of happiness as desire fulfill-ment, one would be happy. Since virtuous choices of action are in ourpower and thus are possible to fulfill, if one only desires virtue one willbe happy. In his 1991 book Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher,Vlastos dismisses the adaptive view of happiness with the commentthatThis [the adaptive account] looks like making sour grapes ahighest-level principle of moral choice. Nothing remotelylike this is ever said or implied in our Socratic texts.39Vlastos' book is the final piece of work in the debate I am considering.In this book Vlastos presents his interpretation of the Sufficiency Thesis— the interpretation that virtue, instead of being instrumental towardhappiness, is the major component of happiness.39 Vlastos [1991], p.10, n.39.Background and Overview 1 82.4. ConclusionIn this chapter I have presented the overview and background forexamining the relationship between virtue and happiness in Socrates'moral theory. First, I examined what counts as Socrates' moral theoryand the role of the elenchos in that theory. I hold that Socrates' moraltheory is the theory that can be reconstructed from the early dialogues,and that the elenchos does admit a positive moral theory to emerge.Second, I examined the Socratic commitment to eudaemonism and thethesis of the Sufficiency of Virtue, and briefly outlined the history andcontent of the debate between Vlastos and Irwin on the interpretationof these Socratic doctrines.193.^Irwin's Instrumentalism3.1. IntroductionIn Plato's Moral Theory Irwin argues that, for Socrates, virtue isinstrumental toward happiness. Irwin's account is based on his thesisthat Socrates thinks of virtue as a craft. First I outline Irwin's account.Then I present difficulties with ascribing the craft analogy to virtue andwith using the craft analogy as evidence that Socrates held an instru-mentalist view of the relationship of virtue to happiness.4 03.2. Irwin's Defense of InstrumentalismIrwin distinguishes an instrumental relationship from a componentrelationship in the following way:1. If x is an instrumental means to y, then (a) x causallycontributes to the achievement of y; (b) if z would causallycontribute to y more efficiently than x would, then, to thatextent, we should have reason to choose z; (c) x is not identi-cal with y, and need be no part of y.2. If x is a constituent of y, then (a) x is identical with y, ora part of y; (b) if z causally contributes to other ends moreefficiently that x would contribute, it does not follow that wehave reason to choose z rather than x; (c) if w is a compo-nent of y preferable to x, it does not follow that we have noreason to choose x.The point of this distinction is that an instrumentalmeans depends on its causal properties for its value, and the40 The difficulties with the craft analogy and the instrumentalist view ofvirtue have been intensely argued by Irwin and Vlastos in a seven month debatein the Times Literary Supplement. See Irwin [1978] and Vlastos [1978a] and[1978b]. The final part of this chapter builds on this material.Irwin's Instrumentalism 20end it contributes to is entirely distinct from it; neither ofthese conditions holds for a component.'"It is important to stress that on Irwin's understanding of theinstrumental relationship, the end and the means are distinct from oneanother. Furthermore, the value of the means is in its causal properties,not in itself. Now I will turn to an examination of Irwin's thesis that thecraft analogy supports the instrumental interpretation of the Socraticrelationship of virtue to happiness.Irwin's evidence that Socrates held the craft analogy has twoparts. First, Irwin gives textual evidence for the craft analogy. Second,Irwin argues that the craft analogy gives a more consistent and clearview of the Socratic conception of the relationship of virtue to happinessthan other accounts. The textual evidence for the craft analogy will begiven in the discussion of the second point. To examine this point I willconsider the following two items:(i) Socrates compares features of crafts to those of virtue. Irwinuses these comparisons to support his instrumental understandingof the Socratic relationship of virtue to happiness.(ii) Irwin uses the features of virtue that are not features ofcrafts to support his thesis that Socrates held an instrumentalconception of virtue.41 Irwin [1977], pp.300-1, n.53.Irwin's Instrumentalism 2 1(i) To understand how the craft analogy applies to virtue it is necess-ary to examine the features of crafts which Irwin claims Socrateswishes to ascribe to virtue. These features are as follows:(1) A craft has a final and determinate end.(2) A craft has a recognized procedure for reaching the determi-nate end.(3) The product of a craft can be judged objectively and theprocedure altered to produce a better product.(4) An expert craftsman can give an account of his craft.(5) A craft can be taught.I will examine each feature with respect to virtue in turn.(1) A craft has a final and determinate end. The final end or good thatvirtue leads to is happiness. We have seen in Chapter 2 that Socrates isa eudaemonist — he holds that everyone desires happiness as the ulti-mate end of all rational acts. Irwin argues that the end is both final anddeterminate, since Socrates can only defend his claim that knowledge issufficient for virtue ifthe virtuous and the non-virtuous man agree on the compo-nents of the final good, and the non-virtuous man is per-suaded that the virtuous man's craft uses more efficientmeans to achieve this determinate end. But if the end isindeterminate, and virtue prescribes both instrumentalmeans and components, Socrates has not shown how thenon-virtuous man will be persuaded that these are the rightcomponents, or that his persuasion will result from knowl-edge, without a change of view on the ultimate end.4242 Irwin [1977], p.84.Irwin's Instrumentalism 22(2) A craft has a recognized procedure for reaching the final anddeterminate end. Evidence for the position that Socrates holds thatvirtue leads to happiness can be found in the Meno, where Socratesstates:In short, everything that the human spirit undertakes orsuffers will lead to happiness when it is guided by wisdom,but to the opposite when guided by folly.43 (M. 88c1-3)Irwin writes thatThe rationality of a craft, then, depends on a definite subjectmatter and product which can be achieved by some regularand clearly explicable process.44The quotation from the Meno states merely that the action guided bywisdom or virtue leads to happiness, but not that there is a clearlyexplicable process by which it does so. Irwin supports the idea of anexplicable process by appealing to the fact that Socrates attacks pseudo-crafts such as poetry because they must rely on the poet's inspiration(Ion. 533c9-535d5; G. 462b5-c7)45 while, in contrast, he believes thatcrafts can be taught.46 That which can be taught has a definite explica-ble process. Furthermore, the elenchos is valued by Socrates as a proce-dure by which to gain virtue.47 The elenchos, then, is for Socrates, one43 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.373.44 Irwin [1977], p.74.45 Irwin [1977], p.7446 For more detail on this point see (5) below.47 Irwin [1977], p.74. This point is explored in more detail in §3.3.Irwin's Instrumentalism 23example of a recognized procedure for achieving virtue and so forreaching the final and determinate end of happiness.(3) The product of a craft can be judged objectively and the proce-dure altered to produce a better product. Irwin's argument for thispoint is that Socrates asserts that a craftsman can give an account of anobjective procedure for the craft. He does not refer to any passage inwhich Socrates makes a direct reference to this quality either of bothvirtue and crafts, or of virtue alone. However, from (1) and (2) abovethis point follows: if the practice of virtue is a recognized procedurewhich has a final and determinate end, then the process and productcan be judged and evaluated objectively. If the end were not determi-nate, there could be no objective way to judge the best way to obtain it,since there would be a different process leading to each different end.(4) An expert craftsman can give an account of his craft. As onewould seek an expert in a craft, Socrates seeks an expert in morals. Inthe Crito he asks,Ought we to be guided and intimidated by the opinion of themany or by that of the one — assuming that there is some-one with expert knowledge? Is it true that we ought torespect and fear this person more than all the rest puttogether, and that if we do not follow his guidance we shallspoil and mutilate that part of us which, as we used to say,is improved by right conduct and destroyed by wrong? Or isthis all nonsense?48 (Cr. 47c13-d6)48 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.32.Irwin's Instrumentalism 24Furthermore, although not always stated explicitly, the search for theaccount of virtue is the motivation of the Socratic dialogues. Socratesdoes not think that he is an expert in the craft of virtue, yet he seekssomeone who knows, or seeks to find out himself about virtue. Thissearch is described by Socrates in the following well-known passagefrom the Apology:Well, I gave a thorough examination to this person ...and in conversation with him I formed the impression thatalthough in many people's opinion, and especially in hisown, he appeared to be wise, in fact he was not. Then whenI began to try to show him that he only thought he was wiseand was really not so, my efforts were resented both by himand by many of the other people present. However, Ireflected as I walked away, Well, I am certainly wiser thanthis man. It is only too likely that neither of us has anyknowledge to boast of, but he thinks that he knows some-thing which he does not know, whereas I am quite consciousof my own ignorance. At any rate it seems that I am wiserthan he is to this small extent, that I do not think that Iknow what I do not know.49 (Ap. 21c4-d8)(5) A craft can be taught. The question of the Protagoras is whethervirtue can be taught. We have seen that Socrates claims that one shouldbe able to give a rational account of virtue, for this is what he seeks inthe elenchos. Furthermore, he holds that one should seek experts in thefield of virtue, much as one does in the other crafts. Thus Socratesargues that virtue can be taught, for when the expert is found, arational account can be given which can be passed on to others. In theProtagoras Socrates imagines an observer summing up the dialogue asfollows:49 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], pp.7-8Irwin's Instrumentalism 2 5If virtue were something other than knowledge, asProtagoras tried to prove, obviously it could not be taught.But if it turns out to be, as a single whole, knowledge —which is what you are urging, Socrates — then it will be mostsurprising if it cannot be taught.50 (Pr. 361a4-c2)The following passage from the Laches supports the claim thatSocrates held that virtue, like a craft, can be taught. In this passageSocrates states that if you know what something is, you can say what itis, and so pass this knowledge on to others This point is illustrated byanalogy, not to a craft, but to the science of medicine.Socrates: ... Suppose we know that the addition of sightmakes better the eyes which possess this gift, and also areable to impart sight to the eyes; then, clearly, we know thenature of sight, and should be able to advise how this gift ofsight may be best and most easily attained. But if we knewneither what sight is, nor what hearing is, we should not bevery good medical advisors about the eyes or the ears, orabout the best mode of giving sight and hearing to them.Laches: That is true, Socrates.Socrates: And are not our two friends, Laches, at thisvery moment inviting us to consider in what way the gift ofvirtue may be imparted to their sons for the improvementof their minds?Laches: Very true.Socrates: Then must we not first know the nature ofvirtue? For how can we advise anyone about the best modeof attaining something of whose nature we are whollyignorant?51 (La. 190a1-c1)(ii) What features of virtue that are not features of crafts does Irwinuse to support the view that Socrates held an instrumentalist conception50 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.351.51 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.133.Irwin's Instrumentalism 26of virtue? The first feature is that all virtues are reducible to theknowledge of good and evil. This doctrine Irwin calls the unity of thevirtues. The second feature is that the knowledge of good and evil issufficient for virtuous action, and so if one has knowledge of good andevil one will act in accord with it. There is no possibility of "akrasia",rather knowledge is sufficient for correct choice. Irwin uses passagesfrom the Protagoras to support both of these points That virtue is theknowledge of good and evil and therefore that all the virtues are oneand the same thing, is summed up in the concluding passage of theProtagoras (partially quoted above):It seems to me that the present outcome of our talk ispointing at us, like a human adversary, the finger of accusa-tion and scorn. If it had a voice it would say, 'What anabsurd pair you are Socrates and Protagoras. One of you,having said at the beginning that virtue is not teachable,now is bent upon contradicting himself by trying to demon-strate that everything is knowledge — justice, temperance,and courage alike — which is the best way to prove thatvirtue is teachable. If virtue were something other thanknowledge, as Protagoras tried to prove, obviously it couldnot be taught. But if it turns out to be, as a single whole,knowledge — which is what you are urging, Socrates — thenit will be most surprising if it cannot be taught.'52 (P r.361a4-c2)That akrasia is impossible and therefore that knowledge is suffi-cient for virtuous action is also stated in the Protagoras. Socrates baseshis argument against akrasia on the hedonistic premiss that we alwayschoose the most pleasurable course of action. By substituting "good" for"pleasure" and asserting that virtue is knowledge of the measuring of52 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.351.Irwin's Instrumentalism 27good and evil, Socrates can affirm that knowledge is sufficient for virtu-ous action and deny akrasia.To remind you of your question, it arose because we twoagreed that there was nothing more powerful than knowl-edge, but that wherever it is found it always has the maste-ry over pleasure and everything else. You on the other hand,who maintain that pleasure often masters even the manwho knows, asked us to say what this experience really is, ifit is not being mastered by pleasure. If we had answeredyou straight off that it is ignorance, you would have laughedat us, but if you laugh at us now you will be laughing atyourselves as well, for you have agreed that when peoplemake a wrong choice of pleasures and pains — that is, ofgood and evil — the cause of their mistake is lack of knowl-edge. We can go further and call it, as you have alreadyagreed, a science of measurement, and you know yourselvesthat a wrong action which is done without knowledge isdone in ignorance.53 (Pr. 357c1-e2)To summarize, Irwin holds that Socrates has a positive account ofvirtue which he develops with the aid of the craft analogy. Like a craft,a virtue is an instrumental means toward a final and determinate end —happiness. A rational account of the means toward the end can be given,and thus it is possible both to have experts in virtue and to teach virtue.Furthermore, all virtues are really one and the same thing, knowledgeof good and evil. This knowledge, once acquired, guarantees virtuousbehaviour, since we all desire pleasure or good, and once we know whatis good and what is not, we will always choose the good.53 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.348.Irwin's Instrumentalism 2 8I have outlined Irwin's thesis regarding the role that the craftanalogy plays in establishing the instrumental account of virtue. In thenext section I examine some difficulties with Irwin's account.3.3. A Critique of Irwin's InstrumentalismThat Socrates employed the craft analogy to clarify his interlocutor'sthinking about virtue is easy to establish, but that the craft analogyshows conclusively that Socrates was an instrumentalist with respect tovirtue is not. For although the craft analogy points toward an instru-mentalist conception of virtue, there are problems, independent of thecraft analogy, with ascribing instrumentalism to Socrates. In this sectionI explore five such problems:A) Instrumentalism is inconsistent with the principle of theSovereignty of Virtue.B) Irwin's instrumentalism depends on the means and the end —virtue and happiness — being distinct. Yet the principle of theSovereignty of Virtue points to a different conception of the rela-tionship of virtue to happiness, one in which virtue is the majorcomponent of happinessC) When the hedonistic premiss of the Protagoras — that wealways choose the most pleasurable action — is seen as a candidateend for the moral science that the Socrates of the Protagoraswants to establish, rather than as a fixed Socratic doctrine, it is nolonger a strong support for the instrumentalist view of the rela-tionship of virtue to happiness.Irwin's Instrumentalism 29D) The craft analogy does not necessarily support Irwin'sinstrumentalist account, although it could be consistent with somemodified instrumentalist views. For virtue may be like certaincrafts such as music in which the means and the ends are notdistinct.E) The elenctic method, like virtue, is something that Socratesvalues, not only for its results, but also in and of itself. If this is so,then it is not, as Irwin holds, merely a path to giving a rationalaccount of virtue, which is instrumental toward happiness, butrather, the elenctic method, like virtue, can be conceived of as acomponent of happiness.I will now examine each of A) through E) in turn:A)^Instrumentalism is inconsistent with the principle of theSovereignty of Virtue. The inconsistency can be noted when we examinethe following two possible meanings of "suffices" in the Sufficiencythesis, the thesis that virtue is both necessary and sufficient forhappiness:54i) Virtue suffices for happiness as an instrumental means.ii) Virtue suffices for happiness as a component ofhappiness.55In §2.3 I outlined Socrates' principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue. Toreview, this principle states that virtue is the supreme good and that54 See §2.3.55 Vlastos [1978b] July 14, p.798.Irwin's Instrumentalism 3 0when deciding between two actions that differ with respect to virtue,considerations of virtue and nothing else should decide one's actions.The principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue is evident in Socrates' speechin the Apology where he states the reply he would give to a person whoquestions why he has followed a course of action that has put him indanger of his life:Man, you don't speak well, if you believe that a man worthanything at all would give countervailing weight to dangerof life or death, or give consideration to anything but thiswhen he acts: whether his action is just or unjust, the actionof a good or of an evil man.56 (Ap. 28b5-9)Here Socrates is not stating that virtue is sovereign because it is instru-mental toward happiness, but rather that virtue is sovereign because,putting aside considerations of happiness or any other consequences —even the consequence of death — virtuous actions should be chosen.Even if Socrates does hold that virtue is instrumental toward happiness,he does not hold that its only value is in its instrumentality. If virtuewere valued solely for its instrumental value, as it is on Irwin'saccount,57 then the choice of death would not be an option.B) Instrumentalism depends on the means and the end — virtue andhappiness — being distinct. The principle of the Sovereignty of Virtuepoints to a different conception of the relationship of virtue to happi-ness, one in which virtue is the major component of happiness. Theconflict is between the view that56 Vlastos [1991], p.209.57 Irwin [1977], pp.300-1, n.53. See also §3.2.Irwin's Instrumentalism 3 1(1) virtue should be pursued "however bad the conse-quences" for anything distinct from virtue,and(2) virtue should be pursued only for its consequences forhappiness, which is something distinct from virtue.58We have seen that on Irwin's understanding of the instrumental rela-tionship, the end and the means are distinct from one another.Furthermore, we have seen that on his view, the value of the means isin its causal properties, not in itself.59 (1) is a statement of the principleof the Sovereignty of Virtue. According to (1), virtue should be pursuedfor its own sake rather than for its instrumentality. (2) is consistentwith Irwin's views. Here virtue and happiness are distinct, and virtue isvalued only for its consequences for happiness. However (2) is at oddswith (1). Since Socrates clearly states that he holds (1), we must reject(2) and Irwin's instrumentalism.Vlastos suggests that the Sufficiency thesis and the principle ofthe Sovereignty of Virtue show that Socrates' concept of happiness isdifferent from that of the common person. Instead of virtue beinginstrumental toward a distinct and determinate happiness in the waythat a craft is instrumental toward its product,... he [Socrates] has transformed the notion of happiness, hasbuilt virtue into happiness, much as Spinoza was to do when58 Vlastos [1991], p.9.59 Irwin [1977], pp.300-1, 11.53. See also §3.2.Irwin's Instrumentalism 3 2he declared that happiness is not a reward for virtue, butvirtue itself.6 0On a view such as this virtue could still be "instrumental" towardhappiness, but not in Irwin's sense, for it would be neither distinct fromhappiness, nor valued solely for its causal properties. Rather, theinstrumentality would be a trivial consequence of the fact that virtue isa part of happiness, and so if one pursued virtue for whatever reason,happiness would also be achieved.C) When the hedonistic premiss of the Protagoras — that we alwayschoose the most pleasurable action — is seen as a candidate end for themoral science that the Socrates of the Protagoras wants to establish,rather than as a fixed Socratic doctrine, it is no longer a strong supportfor the instrumentalist view of the relationship of virtue to happiness.The prima facie reading of the hedonistic premiss seems moreconsistent with the instrumental than the component conception of therelationship of virtue to happiness. The view of the Socrates of theProtagoras seems to be thatpleasure is the only underivatively good thing and that'pleasant' and 'good' are different names for one and thesame characteristic .6 1If pleasure is the only underivatively good thing then the thesis in theProtagoras must be that virtue is derivatively good. This supports the60 Vlastos [1978b] Apr. 21, p.445.61 Gosling and Taylor [1982], p.50.Irwin's Instrumentalism 3 3instrumental and not the component account. For on the instrumentalview, virtue is valuable for its causal properties of bringing about plea-sure, while on the component view, virtue is valuable in and of itself (itis the sovereign good). In other words, the idea that virtue is onlyderivatively good conflicts with the principle of the Sovereignty ofVirtue.Both Vlastos and Nussbaum suggest that Socrates does not necess-arily hold the hedonistic premiss of the Protagoras. Their interpreta-tions of the hedonistic premiss are motivated by the fact that thehedonistic premiss, and the instrumental account that it implies, con-tradict many of Socrates' other doctrines, such as the principle of theSovereignty of Virtue.Vlastos suggests that in the Protagoras Socrates is tailoring hisargument to the understanding of the common people. Since Socratesknows that everyone aims at what they think is the good and that formost people the good is simply what is pleasant, he uses this view asthe basis for his argument that knowledge is sufficient for virtuousaction and that akrasia is impossible. These conclusions may also obtainwith the premiss that the good is the virtuous life, but this is a furtherstep that Socrates does not attempt to show in the Protagoras. Sinceinstrumentalism appears to be inconsistent with Socrates' other views,Vlastos suggests that the hedonistic premiss of the Protagoras is notSocrates' own, but rather "that of the hoi polloi on whom he foists it."6262 Vlastos [1978a1 Feb. 24, p.231. The only other possible interpretation isthat the Socratic conception of virtue changed from dialogue to dialogue. This isIrwin's Instrumentalism 3 4An alternate interpretation of the hedonistic premiss is suggestedby Nussbaum. She claims that the goal of the Protagoras is to find amethod of scientific measurement which will reliably guide people tochoose moral behaviour consistently. The argument that unfolds and itsconsequences — that knowledge is sufficient for virtue and akrasiaimpossible — serve as "an advertisement, as it were, for its premises."63Among the premisses is the hedonistic premiss. I favour this interpre-tation since, instead of trying to find a reason for the premiss on itsown, one sees that the premiss is necessary to achieve that towardswhich Socrates aims, a science of practical reasoning. Furthermore, seenin this way, one can understand how the following comment, made bySocrates at the end of the Protagoras, makes sense.Now which techne [human art or science], and whatepisteme [knowledge], we shall inquire later. But thissuffices to show that it is episteme.64 (Pr. 357b-c)This statement lends credence to the thought that Socrates is exploringthe consequences of a science based on measuring pleasure rather thancommitting himself to hedonism. It appears that Socrates is motivatedby the idea that a science can be found that will solve moral problemsrather than by the logical consequences of hedonism.65not a position I will dismiss prematurely, instead, I will come back to it inChapter 6.63 Nussbaum [1986], p.11564 Nussbaum [1986], p.112.65 Nussbaum ([1986], p.112) draws a parallel between the motivation behindSocrates' hedonism in the Protagoras and that of the nineteenth-century moralphilosophers. She writesIn both Bentham and Sidgwick, we find that distaste for the plurality andincommensurability of common-sense values gives a powerful pushIrwin's Instrumentalism 3 5One reason Socrates may have been willing to consider the scienceof the measuring of pleasures (goods) and pains (evils) for his moralscience in the Protagoras is suggested by the component view of theSocratic relationship of virtue to happiness. On this view, though every-one seeks pleasure (happiness), when they come to understand thatvirtue is a component of happiness, and are equipped with virtue — theknowledge of good and evil — they will be both virtuous and happy.In summary, the hedonistic premiss of the Protagoras is needed toaffirm that knowledge is sufficient for virtuous behaviour and to denyakrasia. Although the hedonistic premiss seems to support the instru-mental view of the relationship of virtue to happiness — that pleasure isthe only underivatively good thing and so virtue must be only deriva-tively good — it is not a challenge to the component reading if we holdthat the Socrates of the Protagoras was exploring the possibility of amoral science rather than committing himself to hedonism and its con-sequences. We have good reason to look for an explanation that does nottake the hedonistic premiss at face value, such as the one outlinedabove, since the hedonistic premiss conflicts with other views thatSocrates espouses, such as the principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue.D) The craft analogy does not necessarily support Irwin's instrumen-talist account, although it could be consistent with some modifiedinstrumentalist views. For virtue may be like certain crafts such asmusic in which the means and the ends are not distinct.towards the selection of an end that is, admittedly, not believed to be asupreme good in the intuitive deliverances of common sense.Irwin's Instrumentalism 3 6Socrates thought that all crafts perfect their object and, similarly,that moral knowledge leads to perfection of the soul. This perfection ofthe soul is what makes life worth living.66 Consistent with these Socraticviews, the craft analogy can be read in the following non-instrumentalway:... in the case of this craft, the only one of its kind, its exer-cise is an end in itself; the moral perfection at which it aimsis realized in the very process which creates it.67Virtue, as a craft whose exercise is an end in itself, cannot be thought ofmerely instrumentally. Instrumental crafts work toward ends distinctfrom the craft itself, other non-instrumental crafts embody the end intheir process. Music is a craft in which the process also embodies theend. We do not say that the process of music is instrumental in makingthe end of music. Virtue could be this type of non-instrumental craft,and it seems more reasonable, given the arguments above, to ascribethis reading of the craft analogy's bearing on virtue in place of theinstrumental reading. A modified type of instrumentalism in which themeans and the ends are not distinct, could accommodate "crafts" such asmusic and virtue. However, on Irwin's instrumentalist account, the endsand the means are distinct and, furthermore, the means are valued onlyas a means to the end. In cases such as music and virtue, where theends and the means are not distinct, the means are valued in that theyare part of the ends. The relationship here is not one characterized by66 Vlastos [1978a], Feb.24, p.231.67 Vlastos [1978a], Feb.24, p.231.Irwin's Instrumentalism 3 7causal links as the instrumental relationship is, but rather bycomponent parts.Irwin argues that Socrates holds that virtues are not tendenciesbut rather states.68 Virtue is not a set of actions to do, but rather a stateof knowledge of good and evil. The idea that virtue is a state does notnecessarily support the instrumentalist reading. Virtue could be a statewhich promotes happiness or, equally plausibly, it could be a statewhich is identical to, or perhaps a major component of, the state ofhappiness.In summary, virtue may be like crafts, such as music, in which themeans and the ends are not distinct. On this reading, the craft analogydoes not support Irwin's instrumentalist account, although it could beconsistent with some modified instrumentalist view. Furthermore, theSocratic conception of virtue as a state can be read as supporting boththe instrumentalist and component accounts of the relationship ofvirtue to happiness.E) The elenctic method, like virtue, is something that Socrates values,not only for its results, but also in and of itself. If this is so, then theelenctic method is not, as Irwin holds, merely a path to giving a rationalaccount of virtue, which is instrumental toward happiness, but rather,the elenctic method, like virtue, can be conceived of as a component ofhappiness. In the following passage Irwin argues that if virtue is a craftthen we don't need the elenchos:68 Irwin [1977], p.45.Irwin's Instrumentalism 3 8By identifying the craft and the product, the elenchospromises its own obsolescence.69This statement is inconsistent with the many Socratic texts inwhich the value of the elenchos is extolled. Passages supporting thethesis that Socrates highly values the elenchos are cited by Irwin in thefollowing quotation. This quotation shows how well Irwin understandsthe importance of the elenchos for Socrates and SO contradicts hisstatement that through identifying the craft and its product the"elenchos promises its own obsolescence."Socrates values the negative, therapeutic function of theelenchos (Tht. 151c5; Sph. 230d6-e3) when it removes falsepretensions to knowledge (Ap. 21 c3 -e2 , 29e3-30a2;Ch. 166c7-d2) and exposes the interlocutor's ignorance(La. 199e13-200a8; Eu. 15d4-e2). But this therapy shouldprecede positive progress towards the truth (Ch. 1 66 d 2 - 6 ;Sph. 230c3-d4), which is Socrates' goal (Ch. 165b5-9). Whenhe advises people to take virtue seriously (Ap. 3 0 a 7 - b 3 ;Cr. 53c6-8), and argue about it daily (Ap. 38c1-5), hepromises not only that his methods will expose any lingeringconfusions, and produce a healthy moral scepticism in placeof thoughtless dogma, but also that they will improve moralconvictions. The negative procedure of the elenchos does notrefute this claim.70It is apparent that Socrates values the process of learning that theelenchos embodies. Irwin's view that the elenchos is only a tool towardsdiscovering that virtue is the best means to happiness is anathema tothe Socratic commitment to the process of learning which the elenchosembodies.69 Irwin [1977], p.110.70 Irwin [1977], p.38.Irwin's Instrumentalism 39Perhaps an "elenchos analogy" would be more apt in relation tovirtue than the craft analogy. While the craft analogy may seem toencourage an instrumental view of virtue, the elenctic analogy encour-ages a component view. On this view, just as the practice of the elenchosis also the experience of learning and understanding, so the practice ofvirtue is also the experience of happiness. Socrates does not ever con-sider abandoning the elenctic process, as Irwin suggests he might, sincefor Socrates, although the process is valued as a means to an end, it isalso valued for its own sake.Irwin writes that the elenchos appeals to three different kinds ofshared beliefs:a) rules and definitions,b) beliefs about examples,andc) theoretical connections.7 1Socrates and his interlocutors disagree about a). Socrates uses b)and c) against a), and then c) against b).72 On this account the craftanalogy is on shaky ground yet again. For the craft analogy is the waythat Socrates approaches b), people's beliefs about examples. But thesebeliefs about the examples are challenged by theoretical connections c).So, Socrates uses crafts as a common ground upon which to begin dis-cussion that will lead to a) and c). He uses crafts but does not hold thecraft up as an example of the way virtue should be theoretically71 Irwin [1977], p.76.72 Irwin [1977], p.67.Irwin's Instrumentalism 40defined. Socrates' quarry is virtue, and the craft analogy is a tool of theelenchos. On this analysis, the role of the elenchos is not restricted toshowing that virtue is instrumental toward happiness. Rather the elen-chos, a learning process, is key to the gaining of knowledge or virtue.Virtue is a non-final end in that one can always learn more and gainmore knowledge. The elenchos is the process of learning, virtue isknowledge, and virtuous behaviour is the result of having thatknowledge.3.4. ConclusionIn this chapter I have outlined Irwin's instrumental thesis regardingthe relationship of virtue to happiness. Irwin's evidence for the instru-mental thesis relies heavily on his interpretation of the craft analogy,which we have seen does not necessarily show that Socrates was aninstrumentalist with respect to virtue. In fact, the early dialogues giveevidence that Socrates felt that considerations of virtue and nothingelse, even the possibility of death, should decide our actions.In the process of critiquing Irwin's instrumentalist view of theSocratic relationship of virtue to happiness, I suggested a componentview. On the component view, the process of being virtuous is also theexperience of happiness. In this sense, an analogy comparing virtuewith the elenctic method, which is both a means and an end, gives amore consistent view of Socratic virtue and happiness.414.^Irwin's Adaptive Account4.1. IntroductionIn this chapter I examine Irwin's adaptive account of happiness and itsrelationship to the Sufficiency Thesis. After outlining Irwin's position, Ioffer three critiques of it. First, I explore Irwin's own admission that theadaptive account does not give a satisfactory defense of virtue. Second,I show that the adaptive account does not accord with the Socratic con-ceptions of virtue and happiness. Finally, I show that the adaptiveaccount cannot be attributed to Socrates, since he clearly did not desireexternal goods73 for their own sakes.4.2. Irwin's AccountIn "Socrates the Epicurean"74 T.H. Irwin examines the relation of virtueto happiness in Socrates' moral theory as distinct from that in the moraltheory of Plato. He claims that Socrates holds the Sufficiency Thesis —that virtue by itself does secure happiness — while Plato holds theComparative Thesis — that "justice by itself makes the just personhappier than the unjust."75 Plato's Comparative Thesis allows for thepossibility that there are some components of happiness that are not73 I will use "external goods" to refer to those "goods" that are independentof virtue. It is important to keep in mind that Socrates may not feel that these aregoods at all.74 Irwin [1980], pp.85-112.75 Irwin [1980], p.85.Irwin's Adaptive Account 42secured by justice. In this case, it is possible that although the just manmay be happier than the unjust, neither is happy.76 By contrast, onSocrates' Sufficiency Thesis justice by itself is necessary and sufficientfor happiness and so the just man is necessarily happy.In order to examine the Socratic relation of virtue to happiness,Irwin discusses Socrates' conceptions of happiness and virtue. Withrespect to happiness, Irwin observes that Socrates suggests candidatesfor happiness rather than giving a formal analysis of happiness.77Aristotle, by contrast, gives the following three stage analysis ofhappiness:(1) Formal criteria for the highest good — completeness andself-sufficiency. (1097b20-21)(2) A conception of happiness meeting these criteria —activity of the soul according to virtue in a complete life.(1098a16-18)(3) A candidate for the happy life — the life according to thespecific actions and states of character described in the Eth.Nic. 78From this analysis we can understand happiness in three stages.The Greek moralists held that the good for man is happiness,79 and forAristotle this good is characterized by completeness and self-suffi-ciency. The second stage is describing a general state of a person out ofwhich happiness, or completeness and self-sufficiency, will obtain. TheEthics.76 Irwin [1980], p.85.77 Irwin [1980], p.89.78 Irwin [1980], p.89. The79 Vlastos [1991], p.214.numbers in brackets refer to the NichomacheanIrwin's Adaptive Account 4 3third stage is a description of specific actions and states of characterthat will lead to (2) and (1). Irwin uses the Aristotelian analysis ofhappiness to elucidate his understanding of the Socratic relation ofvirtue to happiness.With respect to virtue, Irwin's discussion of the Socratic concep-tion is brief. He writes that Socrates identifies virtue with wisdom andtakes virtue to be sufficient for happiness — wisdom (virtue) is the onlygood and makes a person happy.80Having briefly examined happiness and virtue, Irwin presents thefollowing account of how Socrates argues that virtue is sufficient forhappiness.(1) Happiness is what we all want.(2) We obtain happiness by gaining goods.(3) Wisdom is the only good and therefore is necessary and suffi-cient for happiness.81Irwin argues that Socrates must show that his candidate for hap-piness, wisdom (virtue), achieves the Aristotelian criteria of self-suffi-ciency and security, or he "violates an apparently reasonable formalcriterion for happiness."8280 Irwin [1980], p.92.81 Irwin [1980], pp.90-1.82 Irwin [1980], p.91.Irwin's Adaptive Account 44That Socrates held that happiness is what we all want, and thatwe achieve happiness by gaining goods is apparent in the followingpassage from the Euthydemus:Do we all wish to do well in the world? Or perhaps thisis one of the questions which I feared you might laugh at,for it is foolish, no doubt, even to ask such things. Who inthe world does not wish to do well?Not a single one, said Clinias.Very well, said I. Next then, since we all wish to do well,how could we do well? If we had plenty of good things, eh?Perhaps that is a sillier question than the other. For it isclear, I suppose that that is true?He agreed.83 (Eud. 278e3-279a4)To argue that wisdom is the only good and therefore is necessaryand sufficient for happiness, Socrates needs to show that there is nopart of happiness that is not secured by virtue, and that the goods suchas health and wealth that are independent of virtue are not elements ofhappiness at all.Briefly, Socrates rejects external goods in the Euthydemus byarguing as follows:(1) ... good fortune is not an element of happiness that isindependent of wisdom, because wisdom by itself secures allthe good fortune that is needed. (279C9-280A8)(2) ... none of the external goods is a good at all, because it istheir right use that secures happiness and only wisdomensures their right use.84 (280B1-281E5)83 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.392.84 Irwin [1980], p.92.Irwin's Adaptive Account 45How does Socrates justify these claims? According to Aristotle'sformal criteria of completeness and self-sufficiency for happiness (andfrom the common view of happiness), it appears we need externalgoods. Irwin gets around this problem by suggesting that Socrates heldan adaptive strategy with respect to happiness. The adaptive strategy isto desire only those things that it is feasible to achieve. If one desiresonly wisdom, and not external goods (unless they are achievable, andone uses wisdom to decide this), then wisdom (virtue) would be suffi-cient for happiness. Irwin writes:A virtuous person can certainly suffer the loss of externalgoods; such losses require him to change his desires; butthey do not threaten his happiness, since he adapts hisdesires to fit the circumstances.85The adaptive account has interesting implications for understand-ing the Socratic relation of virtue to happiness. If Socrates is an adap-tive strategist with respect to happiness, and holds that virtue is suffi-cient for happiness, then it is not necessary to think that he attributessome intrinsic value to it; rather the virtuous state of being, whichinvolves the adaptive strategy could be instrumental toward happiness.However, Irwin claims that the adaptive account is also consistent witheither an identity or a component conception of virtue. On thesereadings, virtue85 Irwin [1980], p.105.Irwin's Adaptive Account 46might be identical to happiness, [Identity conception] or apart of happiness whose presence is causally sufficient forthe presence of other parts. [Component conception]86On the adaptive account the external goods could be eitherinstrumental goods, or not goods at all, depending on the feasibility ofthe desire for them. If the desire for an external good can be filled, thatexternal good is instrumental toward happiness, whereas if the desirecannot be filled, the external good is not a good and has no effect onhappiness.87The adaptive account may be consistent with a component or anidentity account of virtue but it does not require it. In the next section Iwill show that the adaptive account does not give a satisfactory defenseof virtue, and so, if it supports any conception of the relationship ofvirtue to happiness, it supports a conception that does not attribute anyintrinsic value to virtue. In this sense, the adaptive account implies aninstrumental view of virtue.Irwin's account of the Socratic relation of virtue to happiness canbe summarized as follows:(1) Happiness is all we want.(2) The formal criterion is that happiness leads to the completeand self sufficient life. Happiness is the complete fulfillment ofdesire.86 Irwin [1980], p.105.87 Irwin [1980], p.107.Irwin's Adaptive Account 47(3) The adaptive strategy is a method for fulfilling our desirewhich results in the external goods being unnecessary for ourhappiness.(4) Wisdom is both necessary and sufficient for happiness. It iskey to happiness since it involves the wisdom to adopt and topursue the adaptive strategy.4.3. Problems with Irwin's Adaptive AccountIn the last section I outlined Irwin's adaptive account of happiness. Inthis section I point out the following three problems with it:(1) The adaptive account does not capture Socrates' meaning sinceit does not give him a satisfactory defense of virtue.(2) The adaptive account is inconsistent with the Socratic concep-tions of virtue and happiness.(3) The adaptive account is foreign to Socrates' scheme of values.Socrates only desires the good and is not concerned with externalgoods. It is hard to imagine Socrates spending much time formu-lating desires about external goods and checking to see if thedesires are feasible and modulating them if they are not. Socrates'conception of happiness is not concerned with his desire to satisfyfeasible preferences with respect to external goods, but ratherwith whether he fulfills his desire to live up to his standards ofjustice.I will examine each of these three difficulties in turn.Irwin's Adaptive Account 4 8(1) The first problem is suggested by Irwin's comment that the adap-tive account of virtue does not give Socrates a satisfactory defense ofvirtue.88 This is true because the adaptive account does not tell us howto choose between two equally feasible, but not equally virtuous, sets ofdesires. If each set of desires is feasible, then on the adaptive accountone can choose either set, and fulfilling each set, regardless of its virtue,will yield happiness. So although Socrates can argue that virtue is suffi-cient for happiness and vice unnecessary, being virtuous is only one ofmany possible results of the adaptive strategy. In other words, theadaptive account does not show virtue to be necessary for happiness.(2) The adaptive account cannot be Socrates', since it is inconsistentwith the Socratic conceptions of virtue and happiness. Irwin usesAristotle's three stage criteria for happiness because he claims thatSocrates does not give a clear account of his conception of happiness.8 9However, it is not clear why, if Socrates does not give a clear account ofhappiness, we should rely on Aristotle's. It seems more reasonable totry to reconstruct Socrates' view of happiness from his "less-than-clear"account. Using this strategy, it appears that we do know at least twothings about Socrates' views on happiness. First, we know that he is aeudaemonist, that is, he holds that happiness is the final good towardwhich all our actions are directed.90 Second, we know that Socrates'view of happiness has a strong objective component. This is so since88 Irwin [1980], p.109.89 Irwin [1980], p.89.90 See Chapter 2.Irwin's Adaptive Account 49objective happiness is more stressed in the Greek "eudaimonia" than inthe English "happiness".91 Moreover, Socrates' objective view of happi-ness is apparent in the Gorgias where he states:Yes, in my opinion, Polus, for the man and woman who arenoble and good I call happy, but the evil and base I callwretched.92 (G. 470e9-11)Irwin's adaptive account is consistent with the eudaemonist axiomand its loading on the subjective element of happiness, but not with theobjective element of happiness. In the Protagoras Socrates equates goodwith pleasure, and evil with pain. Socrates felt that one would only behappy if one's desires for the good, based on knowledge, are actuallysatisfied. Since, for Socrates, the evil person's desires are not good, ful-filling them will not produce happiness. The evil person is actually igno-rant, lacking the wisdom to know good and evil and obtain objectivehappiness. Thus in the Protagoras Socrates states:Then if the pleasant is the good, no-one who eitherknows or believes that there is another possible course ofaction, better than the one he is following will ever continueon his present course when he might choose the better. To'act beneath yourself is the result of pure ignorance; to 'beyour own master' is wisdom.93 (Pr. 35 8b8 -c3)According to this passage, once one is convinced that somethingone desires is not good, one will no longer desire it. The implication of91 Vlastos [1991], p.203.92 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.253.93 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], pp.348-9.Irwin's Adaptive Account 5 0this is that what makes something desirable is not its feasibility butrather its goodness.The idea of objective happiness brings us to a need to look intoSocratic virtue in more detail. We have seen that Socrates felt that thesatisfaction of desires guided by wisdom is the true good, and yieldsobjective happiness, while the satisfaction of those guided by ignoranceis not good, and does not yield happiness. So happiness does not simplycome from fulfilling desires, and wisdom is not simply the wisdom touse the adaptive strategy — it is the knowledge of good and evil.Irwin has de-emphasized Socrates' conception of virtue as theknowledge of good and evil, and put in its place a virtue which simplyconsists of the wisdom to use the adaptive strategy. Irwin writes:An adaptive account of happiness explains the sufficiencythesis. In Socrates' view, a virtuous person has seen that hishappiness requires him to have flexible or feasible desires;he therefore cultivates these desires and eliminates others,and so ensures the satisfaction of his desires.94This claim is a direct contrast to Socrates' view of wisdom, in whichvirtuous actions are not the result of the modification of desire, butrather of the knowledge of good and evil.In summary, although Irwin states that Socrates claims that "wis-dom is the only good, ... necessary and sufficient for happiness,"95 healso argues that the adaptive account of happiness does not require that94 Irwin [1980], p.110.95 Irwin [1980], p.91.Irwin's Adaptive Account 5 1virtue be necessary for happiness. It therefore seems unlikely thatSocrates held the adaptive account. The adaptive account does not givea satisfactory defense of Socratic virtue because it is not based on theaccounts of virtue and happiness that Socrates held. Socrates held thatwhat is desirable is the good, not the feasible. It is the fulfilling of thesedesires for the good that bring happiness. Furthermore, happiness, forSocrates, has a strong objective component with the result that non-virtuous actions (those that are not based on knowledge) do not producehappiness. Moreover, wisdom (virtue) is the knowledge of good andevil, and not simply the wisdom to adopt the adaptive account ofhappiness.(3) The third problem with the adaptive account is simply that it isclear that Socrates does not hold it. It is interesting that Irwin quotes apassage from Hume's Treatise which supports the adaptive strategyrather than a passage from the early Dialogues.96 Socrates does not holdthe adaptive strategy because he only values the good and gives nocountervailing weight to any other factors. This is evident in the prin-ciple of the Sovereignty of Virtue. Socrates consistently states thatHe has only one thing to consider in performing any action —that is, whether he is acting rightly or wrongly, like a goodman or a bad one.97 (Ap . 28b7-9)96 Irwin [1980], p.9697 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.14.Irwin's Adaptive Account 5 2Socrates only wishes for the knowledge of good and evil which, in turn,determines virtuous action. Feasible desires and an adaptive accountdid not occur to him.One could argue that Socrates does not only wish for virtue on thestrength of his comment in the Gorgias that he would not wish to sufferinjustice:Polus: "Then you would wish rather to suffer than to dowrong?" Socrates: "I would not wish either, but if I hadeither to do or to suffer wrong, I would choose rather tosuffer than to do it."98 (G. 469b12-C2)However Socrates could wish this in an instrumental sense. Sufferinginjustice would make him less able to be virtuous. If not suffering is aninstrumental good and the only good Socrates wishes for is virtue, thenthe adaptive account is unnecessary. For Socrates, the adaptive accountis immaterial with respect to external goods and not applicable to virtueitself.In the Gorgias Socrates argues:For it is not worth while in my opinion for a man to livewith a diseased body; in that case he must live a diseased[unhappy] life. Is it not so?99 (G. 505a2-4)This claim would not make sense if the adaptive strategy held, foron this strategy, one could adapt to bad health and live happily. If, onthe other hand, health is necessary for virtue, then although one might98 Vlastos [1991], p.227.99 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.287.Irwin's Adaptive Account 5 3be able to adapt to not having it, one would not be happy since virtue isnecessary for happiness.4.4. ConclusionIn this chapter I have examined Irwin's adaptive account of happinessand its relationship to the Socratic Sufficiency Thesis. I have shown thatthe adaptive account does not give a satisfactory defense of virtue.Furthermore, the adaptive account is not consistent with Socrates' con-ceptions of virtue and happiness. Finally, the adaptive account cannotbe attributed to Socrates, since he clearly did not desire external goodsfor their own sakes.The relation of the external goods to happiness in Socratic moraltheory can be puzzling. I suggest that Socrates holds that a minimumlevel of health and wealth are necessary prerequisites for virtue, andthat virtue is both necessary and sufficient for happiness. This two-stepmodel accounts for the fact that Socrates sometimes refers to health andwealth as goods, and says he would not wish to suffer or be unhealthy,and yet also holds that virtue is both necessary and sufficient forhappiness.545. Vlastos' Component Account5.1. IntroductionIn this chapter I examine Gregory Vlastos' conception of the relation-ship of virtue to happiness in Socrates' moral theory. I begin with anoutline of Vlastos' defense of his component interpretation of theSufficiency Thesis over the more generally supported Identity Thesis.In the remainder of the chapter I offer a critique of Vlastos' accountand provide an alternate conception of the relation of virtue to happi-ness which accounts for "non-moral" goods (such as health and wealth)that are so central to Vlastos' argument.5.2. Vlastos' AccountVlastos begins his account with an examination of the Socratic use of thewords "eudaimonia" and "arete" and their English translations."Arete" is the Greek word for virtue, whose parts are courage,moderation, justice, piety, wisdom. We have seen that Socrates held thatthese parts of virtue are all reducible to knowledge.100 A consequenceof this is that "if one has any of them one will necessarily have all ofthem" (Pr. 369e4).'Ol A further consequence of all the virtues being one100  Irwin calls this the thesis of the unity of the virtues. For a moredetailed discussion of this topic see §3.2.101 Vlastos [1991], p.210, n.46.Vlastos' Component Account 5 5thing — the knowledge of good and evil — is that "whatever stake any ofthem has in a given choice, each of the other four has the same."102The word "eudaimonia" translates into our notions of both objec-tive and subjective happiness. Objective happiness can be thought of asattainment of good or well-being, whereas subjective happiness can bethought of as an experience of pleasurable contentment or satisfac-tion . 103 We have seen that objective happiness is more stressed in theGreek usage than in the English,104 a point that will become importantin our discussion later in this chapter.Having looked at the words "eudaimonia" and "arete", Vlastos nextexamines what Socrates has to say about happiness and virtue in termsof their relationship to human action. With respect to happinessSocrates holds the Eudaemonist Axiom, and with respect to virtue, heholds the principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue.105The Eudaemonist Axiom can be stated as follows:happiness is desired by all human beings as the ultimateend (telos) of all their rational acts.106102 Vlastos [1991], p.210.103 Vlastos [1991], p.202.104 Vlastos [1991], p.203.105 Since these two theses have been shown to be supported by Socratictexts in previous chapters I will simply state them here.106 Vlastos [1991], p.203. In essence the Eudaemonist Axiom is the hedonisticpremiss of the Protagoras discussed in Chapter 3. In the Protagoras Socrates usesthe hedonistic premiss that we all seek pleasure to show both that knowledge issufficient for virtue since akrasia is impossible. Here I state the premiss as anaxiom because this discussion is not related to the argument of the Protagoras.Vlastos' Component Account 5 6Vlastos states Socrates' principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue asfollows:Whenever we must choose between exclusive and exhaus-tive alternatives which we have come to perceive as,respectively, just and unjust or, more generally, as virtuousand vicious, this very perception of them should decide ourchoice.107Socrates and the other Greek moralists, being eudaemonists,sought to connect virtue to happiness. If such a connection could befound, then the motivation toward happiness would result in virtuousbehaviour. Vlastos lists three ways that the Greek moralists see therelation of virtue to happiness:(1) For some the relation is purely instrumental: they holdthat virtue is desirable only as an instrumental means tohappiness, not at all for its own sake.(2) For others the relation is constitutive, but only partly so:they hold that virtue is a principle, but not the only, thingdesirable for its own sake.(3) For still others, who go further in the same direction, therelation is constitutive in toto: for them virtue is happiness— the only thing that makes life good and satisfying.108The goal of Vlastos' inquiry is to decide which account best satis-fies Socrates' view of the relation of virtue to happiness. In other words,Vlastos' account must connect the principle of the Sovereignty of VirtueFurthermore, it is appropriate to use Vlastos' terminology when examining hisaccount.107 Vlastos [1991], p.210.108 Vlastos [19911, p.204.Vlastos' Component Account 5 7with the Eudaemonist Axiom. There are two theses that will accomplishthis, the Identity Thesis and the Sufficiency Thesis:(1) According to the Identity Thesis, the happy and the virtuousmodes of living are identical. To live happily, is the same as to livevirtuously under a different description; one is a description ofthe desirability of a particular way of living, the other, a descrip-tion of the morality.109(2) According to the Sufficiency Thesis, virtue is the sovereigngood and is both necessary and sufficient for happiness. OnVlastos' component interpretation of this thesis happiness has amultitude of lesser constituents in addition to virtue (e.g., non-moral goods such as health and wealth). In disjunction from virtueeach of the lesser constituents would be worthless, but when con-joined with virtue each would enhance happiness to some smallextent.110Either the Identity Thesis or the Component Sufficiency Thesis,together with the Eudaemonist Axiom, give us a rationale for the prin-ciple of the Sovereignty of Virtue as follows:(1) Eudaemonist Axiom: Happiness is desired by all human beingsas the ultimate end of all their rational acts.1" Vlastos [1991], p.214.110 Vlastos [1991], p.216.Vlastos' Component Account 5 8(2) The Identity Thesis: The happy and the virtuous modes ofliving are identical.orThe Component Sufficiency Thesis: Virtue is the sovereign good,both necessary and sufficient for happiness, since virtue is themajor component of happiness.(3) Principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue: Virtue is the sovereigngood in our domain of value, its claim upon our choice of action isalways final.Vlastos thinks that Socrates holds the Component Sufficiency andnot the Identity Thesis. He argues for the Component Sufficiency Thesisin two ways: first, because its implications makes more sense than thoseof the Identity Thesis, and second, because it is supported by textualevidence.In Vlastos' view, the Component Sufficiency Thesis makes moresense than the Identity Thesis, since the Identity Thesis does notsupport eudaemonism as a theory of rational choice.If happiness were identical with virtue our final reason forchoosing anything at all would have to be only concern forour virtue; so the multitude of choices that have nothing todo with that concern would be left unexplained.111For example, Vlastos writes that, if the Identity Thesis holds,111 Vlastos [1991], p.225.Vlastos' Component Account 5 9an inmate of Gulag should be as happy as an equally virtu-ous inmate of a Cambridge college.112Although life in the Gulag is not a choice, the point Vlastos ismaking here is that if happiness were identical to virtue, then therewould be no reason to prefer one over the other. The fact that people,given the choice, would uniformly choose a virtuous life in a Cambridgecollege over an equally virtuous life in the Gulag, suggests that happi-ness is not identical to virtue.Vlastos presents two sets of textual evidence to support theComponent Sufficiency Thesis. The first set shows that the texts can beread to support either the Identity or the Component Sufficiency Thesis.The second set gives positive evidence in support of the ComponentSufficiency Thesis.In the following passage from the Crito Socrates states that happi-ness and virtue are "tauton" or the same."Do we still hold, or do we not, that we should attach highestvalue not to living, but to living well?" — "We do" — "Andthat to live well [happily] is the same [tauton] as to live hon-orably and justly [virtuously]: do we hold that too, or not?" —"We do."113 (Cr. 48b4-10)Vlastos argues that this text can be read as supporting both theIdentity Thesis and the Component Sufficiency Thesis. His argument isbased on an Aristotelian analysis of possible meanings of saying that A112 Vlastos [19911, p.216.113 Vlastos [19911, p.214.Vlastos' Component Account 60and B are tauton. Using Aristotle's interpretation, the possible meaningsof tauton in the Crito passage are(1) that A and B are synonyms or that they "are the same indefinition";(2) that B is, in technical Aristotelian terminology, a"proprium" of A, i.e. that while B is not the "essence" of A,the two are nonetheless necessarily interentailing.114Vlastos claims that it is clear that the meaning of tauton in thepassage from the Crito is not expressed in the first of Aristotle's inter-pretations, since Socrates does not mean that "happiness" and "virtue"are synonyms, or that they have the same definition. Yet Socrates couldmean that "happiness" and "virtue" are synonyms in that they aredifferent descriptions of the same mode of life. Vlastos himself suggeststhis interpretation when he writes thatthe form of life we call "happiness" when viewing it underthe desirability criteria (as the most deeply and durablysatisfying kind of life) is the same form of life we call"virtue" when viewing it as meeting moral criteria (as thejust, brave, temperate, pious, wise way to live).115Vlastos claims that Aristotle's second interpretation of tauton fits boththe Component Sufficiency Thesis and the Identity Thesis.116 However,the second definition cannot fit the Identity Thesis since it states that "Bis not the 'essence' of A." This statement cannot be true of any identityrelation. However, Aristotle's second definition of tauton is consistent114 Vlastos [1991], p.217.115 Vlastos [1991], p.214.116 Vlastos [1991], pp.217-18.Vlastos' Component Account 6 1with both the passage from the Crito and the Component SufficiencyThesis. This interpretation can be expressed as follows:... when A and B are necessarily interentailing, then, neces-sarily x has attribute A if, and only if, x has attribute B, andthen x may (but need not) have certain additional attributes,say, C, and D, necessarily interentailing with attributes E andF, respectively. On the Sufficiency Thesis A would stand forvirtue, B for happiness which is found necessarily andexclusively in virtue, C and D might stand for, say, virtuoushealth and virtuous wealth, and E and F for the incrementsof happiness associated with health and wealth, respec-tively, when these are virtuously used.' 17Although I disagree on two counts with Vlastos' analysis of tautonwith respect to Aristotle's definition, Vlastos and I reach the sameconclusion: the Crito passage is consistent with both the Identity and theComponent Sufficiency Thesis. Having established this, Vlastos continueswith evidence that Socrates must have held the Component Sufficiencyand not the Identity Thesis.The main argument that Vlastos gives for reading Socrates as aComponent Sufficiency theorist relates to the way that Socrates catego-rizes goods. The text Vlastos uses to support this point is from theGorgias:Now is there anything in existence that isn't either good orbad or intermediate between the two: neither good nor bad?... And you call 'goods' wisdom and health and wealth andother things of that sort? ... and by 'neither good nor evil'don't you mean things of this sort: which partake now of theone now of the other and at times of neither — for example,117 Vlastos [1991], p.218.Vlastos' Component Account 62sitting and walking and running and sailing; and againstones and sticks and other things of that sort? ... And whenpeople do those intermediate actions, do they do them forthe sake of the good things, or the good things for the sakeof the intermediates? ... So it is in pursuit of the good thatwe walk when we walk, thinking this would be better, andwhen, on the contrary, we stand, this too we do for the sakeof the good? Is it not so?118 (G. 467e1-468B4)In this quotation Socrates trichotomizes all things and actions intothose which area) good — goods that have intrinsic value, even non-moral ones(e.g., health and wealth);b) evil;c) neither — having instrumental value only (e.g., sticks andstones, walking and running).' 19If Socrates had held the Identity Thesis he would not have putnon-moral goods in group a) because he would not have seen them ascomponents of the good. On the Identity Thesis, non-moral goods suchas health and wealth would be given an instrumental status and beclassified in group c), whereas on the Component Sufficiency account,non-moral goods such as health and wealth can have value as mini-goods120 that add to happiness as long as virtue is also present.118 Quoted in Vlastos [1991], p.226.119 Vlastos [1991], p.226.120 Vlastos uses the term "mini-goods" to refer to non-moral goods that canadd to happiness, in addition to, but not apart from, virtue. I will use the term inthe same way.Vlastos' Component Account 63A further passage that Vlastos uses to support the ComponentSufficiency Thesis appears in the Gorgias (G. 469b12-c2) where Socratesclaims that he would not wish to suffer injustice. If suffering injusticewould not impair his virtue, then on the Identity Thesis Socrates has noreason not to desire it. By contrast, if Socrates held the ComponentSufficiency Thesis, it would make good sense that he would not want tosuffer injustice.Vlastos closes his account with the following summary of Socrates'scheme of value:(1) The final unconditional good is happiness. It is the onlygood we "pursue" or desire only for its own sake and thusthe "end" of all our actions ... .(2) The supreme non-final unconditional good, both neces-sary and sufficient for our happiness, hence the sovereignconstituent of our good is virtue. ... The achievement of thisgood should be the aim by which all of our actions areguided, for regardless of what other goods we may gain orforfeit if we achieve this constituent of the good we shallpossess the final good, we shall be happy.(3) The subordinate, non-final and conditional goods: health,wealth, etc. The difference to our happiness these can makeis minuscule. But goods they are; we shall be happier withthem than without them, but only if we use them aright, forthey are not 'good just by themselves': if separated fromwisdom they will go sour on us and we shall be worse offwith them than we would have been without them.(4) The 'intermediates' which are reckoned 'neither goodnor evil' because they are not constituents of the good: theirvalue is purely instrumental; they are never desired fortheir own sake, but only for the sake of goods.121121 Vlastos [1991], pp.230-31.Vlastos' Component Account 64Vlastos concludes that although, prima facie, it appears thatSocrates holds the Identity Thesis with respect to the relation of virtueto happiness, upon further examination it is apparent that the texts arealso consistent with the Component Sufficiency Thesis and, furthermore,the Component Sufficiency Thesis gives Socrates a "foundation for whatwe know he wants to maintain at all costs — the Sovereignty of Virtue —without obliterating the eudaemonic value of everything else in hisworld." 1225.3. A Critique of Vlastos' AccountWe have seen that Vlastos holds that Socrates' characterization of therelation of virtue to happiness is explained best by the ComponentSufficiency Thesis. The main point for the Component Sufficiency Thesisis that it makes more sense of the position that mini-goods such ashealth and wealth hold in relation to virtue and happiness.Furthermore, Vlastos has shown the texts to be consistent with theComponent Sufficiency Thesis. In this section I examine whether aModified Identity Thesis is an alternate possibility for the relationshipof virtue to happiness, and their relation to the "goods" Vlastos refers toas mini-goods. (For examples of mini-goods I will use health andwealth.) In the course of this examination I critique Vlastos' account.Before examining the Modified Identity Thesis I would like toconsider a more general question. How does Socrates avoid the subjec-tive claim that one could be happy with only health and wealth? Why is122 Vlastos [1991], p.227.Vlastos' Component Account 65virtue necessary for happiness at all? As long as we remember that theGreek idea of happiness has a stronger loading on the objective compo-nent than the subjective component, the answer is clear. Although thosewith health and wealth may feel subjectively happy, Socrates can holdthat they are not really objectively happy unless they are also virtuous.On the Identity Thesis the virtuous form of life and the happyform of life are identical, just described from different vantage points.On its own, this thesis does not account for mini-goods such as healthand wealth. In order to account for them, I propose that Socrates heldthat a minimum level of health and wealth are necessary in order to bevirtuous. I will call this the Modified Identity Thesis. On this reading,health and wealth are instrumental goods which are prerequisites tovirtue. In a footnote, Vlastos credits Socrates with acknowledging thatminimal health and wealth are necessary for virtue, but Vlastos doesnot include this idea, or its implications in his account.123 Nevertheless,Vlastos' account, modified to include the minimum level of health andwealth necessary for virtue, could still hold (unless we find otherreasons to reject it), if we add the idea that health and wealth up to acertain minimal level are necessary for virtue, and over that minimallevel become mini-goods, or components of happiness.Vlastos argues that while many texts are consistent with both theIdentity and the Component Sufficiency Theses (for example, the Critopassage cited in §5.2), other texts support the Component SufficiencyThesis solely. I will now examine the set of texts Vlastos uses to support123 Vlastos [1991], p.218, n.69.Vlastos' Component Account 66the Component Sufficiency Thesis to see whether they are consistentwith the Modified Identity Thesis. Note that Vlastos' motivation forsuggesting the Component Sufficiency Thesis has been taken care of inthe Modified Identity Thesis, since it plausibly accounts for the mini-goods, health and wealth.The first text Vlastos examines is the one from the Gorgias inwhich Socrates divides all things into those that are good, evil, andneither good nor evil. Vlastos argues that since health and wealth areclassified with wisdom, health and wealth must be goods that areintrinsically valuable, or desirable for their own sake.124 Vlastos com-ments that the Gorgias passageassigns intrinsic value to non-moral goods [health andwealth], accepting them as components of the good, withoutthereby elevating them to preference-parity with the moralgoods ... •125This is inconsistent with Vlastos' component account where he statesthat health and wealth are valuable only in conjunction with virtue.How could health and wealth be both intrinsically valuable, and onlyvaluable in conjunction with virtue? The Modified Identity Thesisavoids this inconsistency. Health and wealth are necessary for virtue,but one could (and does) desire health and wealth for their own sakes;they are the goods that are necessary before virtue is possible, but onedoes not have to go on and be virtuous after obtaining them.124 Vlastos [1991], p.226.125 Vlastos [1991], p.226.Vlastos' Component Account 6 7The next two texts that Vlastos addresses can be consideredtogether. They are:Polus: "Would you then wish to suffer injustice rather thando it?" Socrates: "For my part I would wish neither. But if Iwere forced to choose between suffering injustice and doingit, I would choose to suffer it."126 (G. 469b12-c2)Some pleasures are good and some bad. Is it not so? ... Andthe good ones are the beneficial, the bad ones the harmful?... Now is this what you mean: of the bodily pleasures — ofeating and drinking, for instance — are not the good onesthose that produce bodily health or strength or some otherbodily excellence, the bad ones those which do the opposite?... Then pleasant actions, as well as (all) others, should bedone for the sake of the good, not the good for the sake ofpleasure?127 (G. 499c6-500a3)In the first text, Socrates says he would not wish to suffer injus-tice. On the Modified Identity Thesis this makes perfect sense. If healthis a necessary condition for virtue, and virtue is the supreme good, it iseasy to see why Socrates would not wish to suffer injustice. There isanother passage that deals with suffering injustice in which Socratesstates "in every unjust act the agent does more harm to himself than tohis victim."128 In this passage, Socrates does not say that he would notwish to suffer injustice, but rather implies that he would rather sufferinjustice than compromise his virtue. This is consistent with the princi-ple of the Sovereignty of Virtue. It is also consistent with both Vlastos'Component account and the Modified Identity Thesis. If virtue is the126 Vlastos [1991], p.227.127 Vlastos [1991], p.227.128 Vlastos [1978b], July 14, p.798.Vlastos' Component Account 6 8same form of life as happiness, described differently, then the agentwill be harmed because he will have forfeited virtue, and thus happi-ness in the process of committing the unjust act. On Vlastos' Componentaccount, this passage also makes sense in that the agent's virtue, themajor component of happiness, is compromised.The second text also supports the Modified Identity Thesis. Incomparing those pleasures that are conducive to health and those thatare not, Socrates states that the pleasure that is conducive to health isbetter. As Vlastos points out, both pleasures must be acceptably moral,for if they were not, by the Principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue, therewould be no discussion as to which pleasure to choose.129 The reasonthat not only moral criteria are considered here is that, on the ModifiedIdentity thesis, health is a prerequisite for virtue. So good pleasures arethose that produce health. Once minimal health is procured, thesupreme good — virtue — can be pursued. Again, it is important to notethat on this view health is not simply instrumental toward virtue, it is agood in its own right, necessary for virtue.The last text that Vlastos considers is from the Euthydemus:(i) In sum, I said, it would appear Cleinias, that in the caseof all those things which we first said were good, our view isthat it is not their nature to be good just by themselves. Butthis is the truth of the matter, it seems: if ignorance controlsthem they are greater evils than their contraries to theextent of their great power to serve their evil leader; whileif they are controlled by sound judgement and wisdom theyare greater goods, though both are worthless just by them-129 Vlastos [1991], p.227, n.90.Vlastos' Component Account 6 9selves. (ii) What follows from what has been said? Is itanything but this: that none of these other things is eithergood or evil (just by itself), while there are two things ofwhich one — wisdom— is good (just by itself), the other —ignorance — is evil (just by itself)?130 (Eud. 281d2-el)This text is consistent with the Modified Identity Thesis. Healthand wealth are goods, but can also be used for good or for evil. This isreflected in part (i) of the quotation where Socrates says that they are"greater goods" or "greater evils" depending on whether virtue or evilcontrols them. Part (ii) of the text can be understood as referring to thefact that health and wealth are also instrumental as prerequisites forvirtue. A minimum level of health and wealth is necessary, but oncepast this point they are neither good nor evil just by themselves; if oneuses them for good, one goes on to be virtuous, if one uses them for evil,one does not.5.4. ConclusionWhere does this leave us? I have restricted my enquiry to the texts thatVlastos uses to support his component account of the Sufficiency Thesis.We have seen that the Modified Identity Thesis, with its prerequisite ofminimal health and wealth for virtue, is consistent with these texts also.Furthermore, we have seen that the Modified Identity Thesis avoids thecontradictory claim that health and wealth are both intrinsically goodand also good only in conjunction with virtue.130 Vlastos [1991], p.228.Vlastos' Component Account 70I will close with a summary of the two schemes of value that havebeen examined as candidates for understanding the relationship ofvirtue to happiness and the other "non-moral" goods, health and wealth.Vlastos' Component Account 7 1Vlastos' ComponentReadingThe IdentityInterpretation1.^The final unconditionalgood is happiness.1.^A final unconditionalgood is happiness.2. The supreme, non-finalunconditional good, both nec-essary and sufficient for hap-piness, is virtue.2. The supreme, non-finalunconditional good, both nec-essary and sufficient for hap-piness is virtue. But, virtue isnot possible without a mini-m u m level of health andwealth.3. The subordinate, non-final, conditional goods arehealth, wealth, etc. They aremini-goods which, in conjunc-tion with virtue, yield morehappiness.3. Health, wealth, etc., aresubordinate, non-final goods.Since they are necessary pre-requisites for virtue, they arealso instrumental towardvirtue.4.^The "intermediates" areneither good nor evil, they areinstrumental.4. The "intermediates" areneither good nor evil. Theseare the instrumental goodsthat are not necessary pre-requisites for virtue.726. The Developmental View of Socrates' Moral Theory6.1. IntroductionIn this chapter I present my account of the relationship of virtue tohappiness in Socrates' moral theory. First, I explore the possibility thatPlato's Socrates did not hold a stable position with respect to virtue andhappiness across the early dialogues. Second, I present my view of themost plausible and consistent position attributable to the historicalSocrates, assuming that Plato was, even in the early dialogues, develop-ing Socrates' thought.6.2. Plato's Development of Socrates' Moral Theory in the EarlyDialoguesIt is possible, and plausible, given the many seemingly contradictorypassages in the early dialogues, that these passages are evidence ofPlato's reconstruction of Socrates' moral theory, which was undergoingdevelopment in a way that Socrates himself would find acceptable,given his dedication to the learning process embodied in the elencticmethod. Although grouping the dialogues with respect to time is usefulfor understanding the development of Plato's thought, it is important tosee the dialogues as a continuum. I hold that Plato was constantlydeveloping Socrates' thought; in the early dialogues he was concernedwith developing the theoretical background for what he knew ofSocrates' philosophy and moral convictions, and in the later dialogues heThe Developmental View 7 3was interested in developing his own theories. Support for this positioncomes from four sources:(1) Socrates' positive convictions as stated in the Apology and theCrito.(2) The apparent contradictions in Socrates' moral theory thatlead to controversies such as the one between Vlastos and Irwin.(3) The controversy over the grouping of the Gorgias.(4) Socrates' and Plato's dedication to the elenchos.I will examine each of these points in turn.It is generally agreed that Plato's earliest dialogues were theApology and the Crito. Vlastos writes of the Apology that it isthe most explicitly personal, least theory-laden account ofSocrates' conception of the good life. Any construction ofSocratic theory which does not do justice to this primarybase would be suspect.131Edith Hamilton writes of the Apology, Crito, and Phaedo thatonly in them is Socrates himself the subject. In the others,although almost always the main speaker, he rarely speaksfor himself. Indeed, in two of the three latest dialogues he isonly a listener, and in the last he does not even appear. Butin these first three he talks at length about his life and hisbeliefs.132131 Vlastos [1991], p.209, n.40.132 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.3.The Developmental View 74Irwin writes thatNot all the dialogues are elenctic. The Apology and the Critopresent Socrates' own moral convictions.133These comments all support the idea that the early dialoguesexpress the historical Socrates' moral convictions. Vlastos' observationthat any reconstruction of Socrates' moral theory must do justice toSocrates' conception of the good life, seems right in that it is highlylikely that this was Plato's goal. Plato's dialogues can be seen as anattempt to provide the theory for Socrates' convictions as expressed inthe Apology and the Crito.For the most part, it is in the process of examining the elencticdialogues written after the Apology and the Crito that controversyarises. Irwin focuses on the Protagoras for his instrumental conceptionof virtue, while Vlastos focuses on the Gorgias. We have seen that Irwin,and Gosling and Taylor, think that the Gorgias represents a stage inPlato's thinking different from that expressed in the previous dialogues.On Vlastos' account, the Gorgias is the last of the elenctic dialogues. Onboth conceptions, evidence from the Gorgias should be interpreteddifferently from that of the Protagoras and that of the Apology and theCrito. When we see the early dialogues as a developing moral theory,rather than a fixed one, it is less difficult to reconcile two interpreta-tions of Socrates' moral theory as widely divergent as that of Vlastosand Irwin, particularly when we understand that they are based133 Irwin [1977], p.38.The Developmental View 7 5respectively on the Protagoras, an early dialogue, and the Gorgias, a lateearly dialogue or a transitional dialogue to the middle period.Socrates' positive convictions in the Apology and the Crito can beroughly divided into two groups: those dealing with his convictionsabout the good life — his moral convictions; and those dealing with hisconvictions about the best process for examining moral truth — hismethodological convictions. It is the latter convictions that support theidea of the changing nature of Plato's reconstruction of Socrates' moraltheory across the early dialogues. For it is evident that not onlySocrates, but also Plato, held that the elenctic method was the superiormethod to ferret out knowledge, otherwise there is no reason that Platowould so extensively use the method, and write about its virtues, eventhroughout the later dialogues. The later dialogues do not use the elenc-tic method exclusively, as the earlier ones do, but the methods ofinquiry in the later dialogues spring from, and are closely related to, theelenctic method. For example, in the Theaetetus, Plato has Socrates con-clude with an exposition of the merits of his role in bringing forthknowledge through his methods of enquiry.And so, Theaetetus, if ever in the future you should attemptto conceive or should succeed in conceiving other theories,they will be better ones as the result of this enquiry. And ifyou remain barren, your companions will find you gentlerand less tiresome; you will be modest and not think youknow what you don't know. This is all my art can achieve —nothing more. I do not know any of the things that othermen know — the great and inspired men of today andyesterday.134 (Th. 210b11-c7)134 Burnyeat [1990], pp.350-1.The Developmental View 76In this passage Socrates states that he does not know any of thethings that other men know. Although the Theaetetus cannot be held upas an example of a dialogue that consists solely of the elenctic methodas it appears in the early dialogues,135 the elenctic method is stillclearly present here. The disavowal of knowledge seen in this passage isthe cornerstone for the elenchos. From the starting point of admittingignorance, through the elenchos, mere beliefs are put to the test andknowledge is gained.In this section I have outlined my thesis that the early dialoguesrepresent Plato's development of Socrates' moral theory from the posi-tive convictions he states in the Apology and the Crito. Seeing them inthis way is consistent with the methodological convictions of theSocrates of the Apology and the Crito. This view is also consistent withthe fact that Plato thought highly of the elenctic method since he used itexclusively at first, and the later dialogues show its influence. In thenext section I examine the controversy between Vlastos and Irwin inthis light.6.3. Vlastos and Irwin — Two Parts of a Reconstruction?The developmental theory in the previous section leaves room forthe hypothesis that both Vlastos and Irwin have fixed their accounts ondifferent stages of Plato's theoretical reconstruction of Socrates' moral135 The Theaetetus is thought by Vlastos ([1991], p.47) to be a middle perioddialogue. Ryle ([19671, p.320) classifies the Theaetetus as a late dialogue. However,there is general agreement that it is later than both the Republic and the Phaedo.The Developmental View 7 7theory. However, as Vlastos notes,136 any reconstruction of Socraticmoral theory must remain true to the convictions of Socrates as pre-sented in the Apology and the Crito. Vlastos' component theory fulfillsthis condition while Irwin's instrumentalist and adaptive accounts donot.We have seen that Irwin's instrumentalist account of virtue is atodds with the principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue which is statedclearly by Socrates in both the Apology and the Crito.137 If this were notso, we could perhaps hold, as Irwin does, that the Socrates of theProtagoras was a hedonist who had an instrumental conception ofvirtue. But, since the convictions of the Socrates of the Apology and theCrito are not consistent with this view, it seems more likely that theSocrates in the Protagoras was exploring the hedonistic premiss as acandidate end for a moral science rather than committing himself tohedonism. The only other possible view is that as early as theProtagoras, Plato was concerned, not with reconstructing a moral theoryconsistent with the historical Socrates, but rather with developing hisown thought. This view does not seem likely given the narrow focus ofthe early dialogues on the moral conception of the good life and on theelenctic method inspired by the historical Socrates.What of Irwin's adaptive account of happiness? Upon examination,it is evident that this account is also at odds with Socrates' positiveconvictions. To begin, it is at odds with the principle of the Sovereignty136 Vlastos [1991], p.209, n.40.137 See §5.2.The Developmental View 7 8of Virtue. If one based all one's actions on considerations of justice therewould be no need to adapt one's desires to those that are feasible. Onecould hold the adaptive account and also adhere to the principle of theSovereignty of Virtue, but the adaptive account is not necessary forSocrates' views.The second difficulty with the adaptive account is that it is basedon a conception of happiness as the satisfaction of feasible desires. Fromthe Apology and the Crito we see that Socrates is not concerned withwhether desires are feasible, but rather with whether they are just. Onthe principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue, those desires that are notjust, however feasible, cease to be desires. 138 Socrates sees happiness interms of fulfilling good or just desires, not in terms of fulfilling feasibleones.Finally, the adaptive account does not give a satisfactory accountof virtue. Why be virtuous if other courses of action will fulfill desires?I conclude that the adaptive account is so unlike the Socrates of theApology and the Crito, who is concerned only for virtue and unaffectedby the thought of death and imprisonment, that it is an implausibleaccount to attribute to him.The final account to consider is Vlastos' component account ofvirtue. This account is consistent with Socrates' positive convictions asstated in the Apology and the Crito. Remembering that Socrates was aeudaemonist who held the principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue, we138 This is also stated in the Protagoras, see my discussion §4.3The Developmental View 7 9considered whether his belief that virtue suffices for happiness meantthati) virtue and happiness are characteristics of the same form oflife, differently described (The Identity Thesis);orii) virtue is both necessary and sufficient for happiness and noother goods or states of affairs can affect our happiness. It is theonly component of happiness (The Sufficiency Thesis);oriii) virtue is necessary and sufficient for happiness but other"mini-goods", in addition to virtue, can add to our happiness.Virtue is the major component of happiness (The ComponentSufficiency Thesis).In Chapter 5 I examined and critiqued the Component SufficiencyThesis in detail. I concluded that a two-step account is needed tounderstand the relation of virtue to happiness in Socrates' moral theory.The first step consists of procuring the necessary goods needed in orderto be virtuous — minimal health and minimal wealth. The second step isthe identity account as described in i) above. That Vlastos agrees withthe first step of this account is evident, for he writes:If health fell below a certain minimal level, x's mental pro-cesses would fail — he or she would be incapacitated for theexercise of knowledge and therewith for that of virtue, sinceSocrates holds that virtue "is" knowledge. (We may surmisethat some such sub-minimal physical state is what SocratesThe Developmental View 80has in view at Cr. 47D-E and G. 512A: a body so ravaged bydisease that life is no longer preferable to death.) Mutatismutandis the same would be true of "wealth," i.e. of themeans of subsistence.139The Modified Identity Thesis does not contradict any of Socrates'convictions in the Apology and the Crito and can be consistently readthroughout the elenctic dialogues. It therefore seems most plausible toconclude that the theory Plato was reconstructing from Socrates' con-victions is most accurately expressed by this account.6.4. ConclusionIn this chapter I have argued, along with Vlastos, that the convictions ofthe Socrates of the Apology and the Crito must not be contradicted inany account of Socrates' moral theory. Furthermore, these convictionsought to be given greater weight than positions stated in subsequentdialogues since it is probable that Plato's reconstruction of Socrates'moral theory developed across the early dialogues, and any unclarity orlack of consistency may be Plato's and not Socrates'. Nevertheless, whenexamining the accounts of Vlastos and Irwin, it is only Vlastos' accountthat is consistent with the convictions of the Socrates of the Apologyand the Crito. That evidence for Vlastos' account is also to be foundacross all the elenctic dialogues makes it a strong contender for themost accurate portrayal of the position of the historical Socrates.However, Vlastos' account does not take into account the minimal healthand wealth needed for virtue, so I have suggested that a two step139 Vlastos [1991], p.218, n.69.The Developmental View 8 1account, as outlined in Chapter 5, best represents Socrates' position. Thefirst step of this account requires minimal health and wealth as pre-requisites to virtue. The second step states that virtue is both necessaryand sufficient for happiness, since virtue and happiness are the sameform of life, differently described.827. Modern Thoughts on the Relationship of Virtue toHappiness7.1. IntroductionIn previous chapters I argued that a Modified Identity Thesis is thebest interpretation of the Socratic Sufficiency Thesis. In this chapter Iexamine whether this view of the relationship of virtue to happiness isacceptable to the modern reader.7.2. A Modern AccountEquivocations between "virtue" and "virtuous action" and between"objective happiness" and "subjective happiness" make the relationshipof virtue to happiness unclear. I begin this enquiry with a look at howwe conceive of virtue and happiness today, with an aim to resolve theequivocations. From this point we may be able to see if there is, in fact,a relationship between them, and whether this relationship is consistentwith the relationship that Socrates espoused.Happiness, as we have seen in Chapter 5, can be thought of bothobjectively and subjectively. These two views of happiness are reflectedin our common understanding of happiness. Subjective happiness isconceived of as a feeling of pleasure or contentment. Objective happi-ness is conceived of as a state of well-being. It seems strange, from thesubjective view-point, that one could say to another something like,"you are perfectly happy, but don't know it." On the other hand, from amore objective point of view, it seems less odd to say to someone, "youModern Thoughts 8 3may think that you are happy, but you are not." In the first case, ourintuitions tell us that happiness has a subjective element and one can-not feel unhappy and yet be happy. In the second case, our intuitionstell us that happiness has an objective element: one can feel that one ishappy and yet be deluded. The two intuitions can be accommodated ifwe postulate that happiness must have both a subjective and an objec-tive element. The subjective element is easy to define: if one feels plea-surable satisfaction or contentment, one can be said to be happy. Theobjective element is less easy to define. We have the idea of well-being,but how does one measure that?140The best way to measure well-being would be to examine how it'sproduced. Well-being is generally thought to be produced by need-ful-fillment. If we could objectively measure need-fulfillment, we couldbegin to measure objective happiness. An example of one such mea-surement is based upon Maslow's hierarchy of needs.141 In 1943Maslow postulated that there are five basic levels of human needs, andthat needs of the lower levels must be at least partially satisfied beforea person can work toward satisfying higher needs. The five levels arelisted as140 I am not assuming that it is necessary to be able to measure somethingin order for it to be objective. There may be many objective things we cannotmeasure. However, if we can measure well-being, and if well-being is equatedwith objective happiness, then we have a basis for showing that there is objectivehappiness.141 The explanation of Maslow's hierarchy is summarized from Maslow[1943], pp.370-96.Modern Thoughts 8 4(1) biological or physiological needs,(2) safety needs,(3) belongingness and love needs,(4) esteem needs,and(5) self-actualization needs.Happiness, then, could be defined as the subjective feeling of pleasur-able satisfaction, coupled with fulfillment of the more basic needs in thehierarchy. More objective happiness would result the higher up thehierarchy one travels. Needs do not have to be narrowly defined, sinceit is plausible that they would vary depending upon individual, social,and cultural differences. The Maslow hierarchy is an example of ageneral objective scale for measuring well-being or objectivehappiness. 142There are some clear advantages to requiring both objective andsubjective elements to happiness. Here I list five:(1) This view fits with our intuitions about feeling happy and yet notreally being happy, as described above.142 The Maslow scale is given as an example of a way to measure objectivewell-being. Better scales may exist or may be developed. Criticisms of Maslow'sscale need not be seen as criticisms of the view that objective happiness can bemeasured according to some scale that categorizes needs.Modern Thoughts 8 5(2) This view answers the reductionist who asks why happiness can-not be defined simply as a subjective brain state in which certainchemicals in the brain produce the feeling of pleasurable satisfactionwhich we have called the subjective element of happiness. The answeris that the chemical story is consistent with the objective view of happi-ness also. The production of chemicals in the brain that produce happi-ness must be started by some objective process, whether it be meetinga basic need for food, meeting a higher level need such as that of self-actualization, or ingesting anti-depressant medication.(3) A view of happiness that is both objective and subjective supportsthe idea that happiness is not simply a subjective state, but also partlythe quality of the relationship between persons and their environment.The subjective view is end-oriented, it is a state of feeling content orsatisfied. The objective view, on the other hand, can be seen as implyingan interactive process. Maslow's hierarchy of needs nicely captures thisidea, since it shows a progression of need satisfaction with the highestneed — self-actualization — a non-determinate end.(4) The idea that happiness is both subjective and objective suggestssupport for Mill's argument that happiness can be measured both quali-tatively and quantitatively. Thus Mill writes in a well-known passagethatIt is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig sat-isfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it isModern Thoughts 8 6because they only know their own side of the question. Theother party to the comparison knows both sides.143The subjective feeling of satisfaction can be measured quantitatively, asis evident when one says, "I feel very happy" as opposed to "I am fairlyhappy". In the Mill passage, the pig and the fool only know subjectivepleasure. By contrast, the state of well-being produced by filling needscan be thought of qualitatively — the higher the level of need that isfilled, the higher quality of objective happiness produced. Mill's "otherparty" knows this objective element of happiness.(5) The view of happiness as both objective and subjective helpsexplain the "Paradox of Hedonism". This paradox observes that the moreone seeks happiness, the less possible it is to attain. Happiness is bestachieved as a by-product of an unrelated activity.144 This paradox isresolved by the view of happiness as both a feeling of satisfaction and astate resulting from satisfying certain objective needs. The state ofsubjective happiness, impossible to reach by aiming for it, is reached bypursuing objective happiness, the state measured by need-fulfillment.Virtue, for the Greeks, was defined in terms of human excel-lence.145 The five cardinal virtues — courage, piety, temperance, wisdomand justice — were seen as marks of human excellence. As we haveseen, Socrates agreed that these five qualities are virtues, and also wenta step further to say that these virtues are all one and the same thing,143 Mill [1861], p.161.144 Feinburg [1965], p.11.145 Vlastos [1991], p.200.Modern Thoughts 87knowledge of good and evil. That Socrates felt that virtue is humanexcellence is apparent in the following passage from the Republic BookI. Here Socrates argues, in a conversation with Thrasymachus, that thevirtue of a thing is its excellence, in that it is found in its fulfilling itsfunction well.Take note now. Couldfunction well if they lackedhad in its stead the defect?How could they? he sblindness instead of vision.the eyes possibly fulfill theirtheir own proper excellence andaid. For I presume you meantWhatever, said I. For I have not yet come to that ques-tion, but am only asking whether whatever operates will notdo its own work well by its own virtue and badly by its owndefect. 146The argument continues with Socrates naming justice as the virtue orexcellence of the soul.And do we not also say that there is an excellence orvirtue of the soul?We do.Will the soul ever accomplish its own work well ifdeprived of its own virtue, or is this impossible?It is impossible.Of necessity, then, a bad soul will govern and managethings badly while the good soul will in all these things dowell.Of necessity.And did we not agree that the excellence or virtue ofsoul is justice and its defect injustice?Yes, we did.147146 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.604.147 Hamilton and Cairns [1961], p.604.Modern Thoughts 8 8These passages indicate that Socrates held that virtue is found insomething that fulfills its function excellently. On this view, humanvirtue is human excellence.On the modern view, the Socratic idea of virtue as a kind ofhuman excellence is still in usage. In the process of examining virtue asa kind of excellence, the equivocation between virtue and virtuousaction will become apparent.Virtue can be thought of in two ways. Virtue can be a way ofacting that is end-oriented. The agent in this case generally wishes to dovirtuous deeds. Virtue can also be thought of as a process. For example,it is not foreign to our understanding of virtue to assert that someonehas chosen a virtuous mode of living. So with respect to virtue, we canhave both tokens of virtuous actions and the type of the virtuous life.The conception of virtue as a characteristic of a mode of livingthat embodies a process, and as a characteristic of a particular action —as both a means and an end — raises questions about where the processis leading, or at what end the means is aiming. The definition of virtueas moral excellence supplies a possible answer. The idea of virtue asencompassing both the pursuit of excellence and moral excellence itself,lends itself to the idea of the process being the end, since moral excel-lence can be thought of as implying an ideal by which to guide one'sactions, rather than a final achievable end.The concept of a "performative" helps to clarify our idea of virtue.A performative is a kind of act in which the process of doing the act isalso the end of the act. An example of a performative is promising. InModern Thoughts 8 9saying, "I promise to pay you five dollars", I am both promising andreporting a promise at the same time. Music is also a performative. Theprocess of practicing music also produces the result of music. In a simi-lar fashion, virtue is a practice in which both the process and the endare virtue.The idea of virtue as a process and an end — a mode of living —and the idea of happiness as both a subjective feeling of satisfaction,and a result of filling certain objectively defined needs, are both inaccord with present day intuitions The equivocation between objectiveand subjective happiness is due to a lack of clarification between theobjective and the subjective stance. The equivocation between virtue asa process and virtue as an end occurs due to a lack of understanding ofvirtue's performative nature. As a performative, virtue's process andthe end are the same action, so there is nothing to equivocate between.Virtuous ends are either part of the process of being virtuous or not; ifthey are not, then the motivation for the so-called virtuous action can-not be a virtuous one, and the action is misidentified. So whenever weidentify a virtuous end, we are either also talking about a virtuous pro-cess, or we are mistaken.We are now in a position to ask whether there is a connectionbetween any of the conceptions of happiness and virtue discussed —subjective happiness, objective happiness, virtue as a process and virtueas an end. I propose that a connection can be found between virtue as aprocess/end and objective happiness. Before I present this connection Iwill eliminate the possibility of connection between subjective happi-ness and virtue. Virtue, as a process/end, cannot produce frustration ofModern Thoughts 90desire or satisfaction of desire, unless one's desire is only to be virtuous.Subjective happiness is based on what one desires, and so if one desiresvirtue and is virtuous, one will be happy, but if one desires vice, virtueis neither necessary nor sufficient for subjective happiness. The neces-sary and sufficient connection between virtue as a process/end andhappiness, then, must only be found between objective happiness andvirtue.The idea that objective happiness is the result of fulfilling needswhich can be arranged in a hierarchy is in accord with the idea ofhuman excellence, if we hold that the higher up the hierarchy onetravels, the more excellence one achieves. A hierarchy of some sort isnecessary in order to rank needs according to their qualities of produc-ing, not only happiness, but also human excellence.148 We have seenthat for the Greeks virtue was defined in terms of human excellenceembodied by the five cardinal virtues. Since virtue today is commonlythought of as moral excellence, there appears to be a connectionbetween virtue and objective happiness. Excellence can be seen as ful-filling the needs that result in the state of well-being we are callingobjective happiness. Objective happiness is conceived of as a matter ofdegree, and the mode of life that is virtuous and aims at human excel-lence is the same mode of life that moves up the hierarchy of humanneeds.148  The idea of a hierarchy of needs does not imply that all lower levelneeds must be filled before one can fill higher needs. It is plausible that after acertain number of lower level needs are fulfilled, it would be possible to sacrificelower needs for higher ones. The important point about the idea of a hierarchy isthat it ranks needs, with the result that higher level needs yield both morehappiness and more human excellence or virtue.Modern Thoughts 9 1How does this view fit with Socrates' view? This view is consistentwith Socrates' Sufficiency Thesis in that both objective and subjectivehappiness are the consequence of a virtuous mode of living. One canhave subjective happiness without virtue, but objective happiness is aresult of obtaining human excellence which is gained in the process ofvirtuous living. When objective happiness is present, since the desire isin accord with the process, subjective happiness is also present.This view is also consistent with the Modified Identity Thesis. Thefirst step of the Modified Identity Thesis specifies the minimum levelsof health and wealth necessary for virtue and happiness. These needsare accounted for in the first two levels of Maslow's hierarchy whichallow for biological or physiological needs and safety needs. The secondstep — that virtue and happiness are the same form of life differentlydescribed — is accounted for in the last three levels of needs. On thisaccount the working to fill these needs is defined as the pursuit ofexcellence or virtue, and through the progressive meeting of theseneeds objective happiness increases.There are three objections to my account that need to beconsidered.(1) Although Socrates held that virtue is human excellence, he alsoheld that all virtues reduce to the knowledge of good and evil.Moreover, in order to support his idea that virtue is the knowledge ofgood and evil Socrates held that akrasia is impossible. These ideas arenot acceptable to the modern reader.Modern Thoughts 92On the Modified Identity Thesis one could hold that the filling ofhigher level needs requires knowledge, and that once this knowledge isacquired one can not help but act on it, since the benefits of such actionwould be readily apparent. This is a similar strategy to the one Socratesused to show that akrasia is impossible; however it is difficult for themodern reader to accept. There are many reasons why knowledge aloneis insufficient for making the best choice, moral or otherwise. Forexample, consider the Socratic example of the apparently simple matterof choosing the greatest pleasure. In this case perfect ability to knowand weigh pleasure and pain does not always result in the right choice.One may have habits or addictions that lead one always to choose theoverall less pleasurable action. There are many occasions when one mayhave the knowledge of weighing pleasures and pains and yet not act onit, since there are many non-rational motivations that guide one'sactions. In these cases one may give greater weight to present pleasurethan is reasonable and pay a great price in future pleasure. Since themodern reader is aware that akrasia is possible, I suggest that theSocratic idea that virtue is knowledge is not acceptable today. However,the Socratic idea of virtue as moral excellence is still held today. It isthis view that forms the link with objective happiness in the accountgiven above.(2) It may seem here as if I am equivocating between human excel-lence and moral excellence. This account does not say why human excel-lence could not be defined in terms of vice rather than virtue. Althoughobjective happiness may be obtained by achieving human excellence, itdoes not follow that it is obtained by achieving moral excellence.Modern Thoughts 93In order to answer this objection, a connection between humanexcellence and moral excellence needs to be drawn. The objection issuggested by my use of the example of Maslow's hierarchy which isconcerned with human, rather than moral, excellence. Another hierar-chy could be constructed that involves moral excellence. However, thereis no reason we should accept either hierarchy unless we examine bothquestions of value, and questions concerning the problem of connecting"ought" and "is." Since an in-depth examination of these problems isoutside the scope of this thesis, the problem will have to be addressedhere by appealing to our contemporary understanding of human andmoral excellence. Commonly, human excellence and moral excellence arethought to go together. We do not generally ascribe human excellence toone who has mastered vice. Using this understanding, we can see thatthe connection between the common understanding of virtue (a charac-teristic of pursuing and obtaining moral excellence) and that of objec-tive happiness (a characteristic of fulfilling needs that result in fulfillinghuman potential or human excellence) is captured by the ModifiedIdentity Thesis.(3) The account is consistent with an instrumentalist view of virtue.On this view, one could pursue excellence only because it is the bestway to produce both objective and subjective happiness, without valu-ing it for its own sake.While this is true, the person who does not value virtue wouldprobably not value objective happiness either since both objectivehappiness and virtue are the process of working toward human excel-lence. When subjective happiness is the only aim, vice may be a moreModern Thoughts 94efficient means. This is so since vice is generally directed towardimmediate satisfaction of desire, and the feeling of the satisfaction ofdesire is the same as subjective happiness. On this count, it is implausi-ble that those who pursue excellence and gain objective happinesswould not value virtue for its own sake.7.3. ConclusionIn this chapter I outlined a contemporary account of the relation ofvirtue to happiness that is in accord with the Modified Identity Thesisinterpretation of the Socratic thesis of the Sufficiency of Virtue. On thisview, virtue is both the process toward human excellence and the endof human excellence. The feeling of subjective happiness and the stateof objective happiness result from this process. In part, it is the equivo-cation between objective and subjective happiness that leads to confu-sion about the relation of happiness to virtue, and produces puzzlessuch as the "paradox of happiness."9 58.^ConclusionIn this closing chapter I briefly review the main arguments and conclu-sions of the thesis. In order to examine the relationship of virtue tohappiness in Socrates' moral theory I examined the following fivepoints:(1) The content of Socrates' moral theory.(2) Socrates' major theses.(3) Irwin's and Vlastos' interpretations of the relationship ofvirtue to happiness in Socrates' moral theory, and problems withthese interpretations.(4) My own interpretation of the relationship of virtue to happi-ness in Socrates' moral theory.(5) An evaluation of Socrates' moral theory from a modernperspective.I will briefly summarize the results of my examination of thesepoints.(1) Socrates' moral theory: Socrates did not record his own philoso-phy, and so his moral theory must be reconstructed from secondarysources. The most significant of these sources is the Platonic dia-Conclusion 9 6logues.149 However, the Socrates of Plato's dialogues holds so manyconflicting points of view that it would be impossible to think that all ofPlato's Socrates are true to the historical Socrates. Nevertheless, it ispossible to see a progression in the philosophy of Plato's Socrates fromthe early through the late dialogues. We have seen that Plato scholarsfeel that Socrates' moral theory is expressed in the early dialogues,while in the later dialogues Socrates is used as a mouthpiece for Plato'sphilosophy.The question of what counts as Socrates' moral theory is notsolved when we decide that his moral theory can be found in the earlydialogues. For we need to ask the further question: "Did Socrates have apositive moral theory?" The early dialogues are known as the elencticdialogues because they are dominated by the elenctic method, a methodknown for exposing inconsistencies and fallacies of reasoning withoutnecessarily arriving at knowledge. Upon examination we found that theelenctic method can be said to yield a positive moral theory if we allowthat Socrates held the assumption that true beliefs, tested for consis-tency by the elenctic method, comprise knowledge.Socrates' moral theory, then, can be found in the early group ofdialogues and is expressed and developed through the elenctic method.149 Other sources are found in the writings of Xenophon and Aristotle, andalso in the play The Clouds by Aristophanes. See Vlastos [1991], "The Evidence ofAristotle and Xenophon," pp.81-106, and Kidd [1967], pp.480-81.Conclusion 9 7(2) Socrates' major theses: The following five theses must be consid-ered when we examine the relationship of virtue to happiness inSocrates' moral theory.(i) Socrates was a eudaemonist: that is, he held that the desirefor happiness is the final end of all human activity.(ii) Socrates held the principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue: thatis, he held that no considerations other than those concerningvirtue ought to guide human action.(iii) Socrates held the thesis of the Sufficiency of Virtue: that is, heheld that if one is virtuous one will be happy: virtue is necessaryand sufficient for happiness.(iv) Socrates held the thesis of the unity of the virtues: that is, heheld that all virtues are reducible to the knowledge of good andevil.(v) Socrates held that akrasia is impossible: that is, he held that itis impossible to act without virtue once one has knowledge ofgood and evil.The various ways of linking these five theses give the variousaccounts of the relationship of virtue to happiness in Socrates' moraltheory. In this thesis I have concentrated on the accounts that Vlastosand Irwin construct from these theses.(3) The accounts of Irwin and Vlastos: The debate about the relation-ship of virtue to happiness in Socrates' moral theory centres on theConclusion 9 8thesis of the Sufficiency of Virtue. Vlastos holds that Socrates meant bythe Sufficiency Thesis that virtue is the major component of happiness.However, even though virtue is both necessary and sufficient for happi-ness, other goods, such as health and wealth, can also add to happiness.Irwin holds that Socrates meant by the Sufficiency thesis that virtue isinstrumental toward happiness. Virtue is necessary and sufficient forhappiness because virtuous actions yield happiness.I raised two problems with Vlastos' account. First, Vlastos' viewthat mini-goods are intrinsically good, and also good only if found inconjunction with virtue, is contradictory. Second, on the strength of thetexts that Vlastos uses to support his component account, a two-stepModified Identity account can be constructed that is consistent with thereasonable assumption that a minimal level of the mini-goods healthand wealth must be present before virtue is possible.The main difficulty with the instrumental account is that it is atodds with Socrates' principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue. On the prin-ciple of the Sovereignty of Virtue, virtue is valued for its own sake andnot for its instrumentality. Second, virtue cannot be instrumental tohappiness unless virtue and happiness are distinct. However, forSocrates, it seems more plausible that virtue is either a component ofhappiness, or it is a characteristic of a life that is identical to the happylife.In a later article, Irwin suggests that the Sufficiency thesis can beunderstood if we attribute an adaptive account of happiness to Socrates.On this view, happiness is seen as desire fulfillment, and the recom-Conclusion 9 9mended route to happiness is one in which one restricts one's desire tothose that are feasible to obtain, or to those states of affairs that haveoccurred. Irwin suggests that if Socrates' held the adaptive account ofhappiness, virtue would be sufficient for happiness.The adaptive account is flawed because it fails to give a satisfac-tory defense of virtue. If one has to choose between two equally feasi-ble sets of desires, one set virtuous and the other not, the adaptiveaccount gives no reason to choose the virtuous set. This consequence ofthe adaptive account is inconsistent with the principle of theSovereignty of Virtue. Furthermore, the adaptive account is at oddswith what we know of Socrates' values. For Socrates, feasible desires arenot important; virtuous desires are what matter.(4) My account of the relationship of virtue to happiness in Socrates'moral theory: My first tack, in the exploration of the relationship ofvirtue to happiness in Socrates' moral theory, was to see if there is anyreason to think that Plato's Socrates may have held inconsistent ideasabout this relationship across the early dialogues. My motivation forthis line of thought was two-fold.i) The many divergent views of Socrates' moral theory seem to begenerated for the most part, not by alternate interpretations of thesame text, but rather by interpretations of different texts. For example,much of the instrumental interpretation of Irwin is based on theProtagoras, while the component theory of Vlastos is based mainly onthe Gorgias. Furthermore, some commentators agree that the Gorgiasought to be treated separately, as a transitional dialogue between theConclusion 1 0 0early and middle dialogues, while some treat it as the last of the earlierdialogues. In this thesis, I suggested that Socrates' moral theory wasundergoing development by Plato, even within the early dialogues, andthat this development accounts both for some of the difficulties infinding a fixed theory about the relationship of virtue to happiness, andfor the fact that the last of the elenctic dialogues, the Gorgias, is seen asdivergent from the others.ii) My second motivation for exploring the developmental view ofthe early dialogues comes from both Socrates' and Plato's high regardfor the elenctic method. Consistent with the ideal of the elenctic method— moving closer to knowledge by exploring ideas and exposing inconsis-tencies — the early dialogues, as a set, can be seen as a moral theoryundergoing development. Even though Plato's motivation for the earlydialogues was no doubt to explore Socrates' moral theory, it seemslikely that in the process of writing the dialogues, the elenctic methoddid its work on Plato, and he honed his exposition based on the previouswork.My second tack, in the exploration of the relationship of virtue tohappiness in Socrates' moral theory, was to examine the theories ofVlastos and Irwin in light of the fact that most Plato scholars feel thatthe Apology and the Crito, the most personal and least argumentative ofthe dialogues, express the positive convictions of Socrates. I agree withVlastos that any account of Socrates' moral theory must be consistentwith these convictions.Conclusion 1 0 1The theories of Irwin were found to contradict Socrates' convic-tions in the Apology and the Crito, especially Socrates' strict adherenceto the principle of the Sovereignty of Virtue. Vlastos' componentaccount, by contrast, was seen to be consistent with the convictions ofthe Socrates of the Apology and the Crito.If we accept the developmental account of Socrates' moral theory,then it is likely that other possible accounts of the relationship betweenSocrates' moral theory could be found that are consistent with Socrates'positive convictions as expressed in the Apology and the Crito, and yetdiffer from the account that Vlastos gives. Although Vlastos' accountdeals with the major components of Socrates' thought in a convincingand comprehensive way, it does not take into consideration the minimallevel of health and wealth necessary in order to choose virtuous actions.I suggest that a Modified Identity account is a good explication of therelationship of virtue to happiness in Socrates' moral theory. TheModified Identity account is a two-step account. Step one is therequirement of the minimal health and wealth necessary for virtue, andstep two is a form of the Identity Thesis which can be stated as follows:the virtuous life and the happy life are the same form of living, differ-ently described.(5) An evaluation of Socrates' moral theory from a modern perspec-tive: Using definitions of virtue and happiness acceptable to the modernreader, and clearing away equivocations on both happiness and virtue, arelationship can be found between objective happiness and virtue thatis consistent with the Modified Identity Thesis. However, the modernreader is not able to accept the Socratic claim that akrasia is impossibleConclusion 1 02and thus that virtue reduces to knowledge. While knowledge may benecessary for virtue, it is not sufficient. Thus the Modified IdentityThesis suggested by the Socratic texts is acceptable to the modernreader only if the Socratic definition of virtue as moral excellence,rather than as knowledge, is used.The question "why be virtuous?" motivated Greek philosophers tosearch for the relationship of virtue to happiness. The question is onethat is still considered important today. Socrates' search for knowledgeapplicable to practical moral living can be seen as a search for ananswer to this question. Since there is general agreement that the desirefor happiness motivates human action, many philosophers have tried tolink the happy life with the virtuous life. In this thesis I have exploredthe relationship of happiness to virtue in the Socratic dialogues. Inorder to clarify this relationship, I examined the Socratic conceptions ofhappiness and virtue and the Socratic thesis that knowledge is bothnecessary and sufficient for virtue. Upon consideration of various inter-pretations of the relationship of virtue to happiness in the Socratic dia-logues, specifically those of Vlastos and Irwin, I concluded that theModified Identity Thesis best expresses the Socratic relationship ofvirtue to happiness. We have seen that this is a two-step account. Thefirst step accounts for the minimal level of health and wealth necessaryfor virtue, and the second states that virtue and happiness are charac-teristics of the same form of life, described according to differentcriteria.BibliographyBurnyeat, M. [1990] The Theaetetus of Plato, Indianapolis: HackettPublishing Company.Crombie, I.M. [1978] Review of Irwin (1977), Philosophy, 53, 416-17.Dybikowski, James [1981] "Is Aristotelian Eudaimonia Happiness?",Dialogue, 20, 185-200.Feinberg, Joel [1965] "Psychological Egoism", in Feinberg, Reason andResponsibility, fourth edition, Belmont: Wadsworth PublishingCompany, 1965, 530-39. Reprinted in George Sher (ed.), MoralPhilosophy: Selected Readings, Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,1987, 5-15. Page references are to the latter.Follon, Jacques [1978] Review of Irwin (1977), Revue Philosophique deLouvain, 76, 84-88.Gosling, J.C.B. and C.C.W. Taylor [1982] The Greeks on Pleasure, Oxford:Clarendon Press.Hamilton, Edith and Huntington Cairns (eds) [1961] The CollectedDialogues of Plato, Princeton: Princeton University Press.Hathaway, R.H. [1978] Review of Irwin (1977), Review of Metaphysics,31, 674-75.Hume, David [1739-40] A Treatise of Human Nature, London, Books I &II, 1739; Book III, 1740. Reprinted, L.A. Selby-Bigge (ed.), Oxford:Clarendon Press, 1928.Irwin, Terence [1977] Plato's Moral Theory: The Early and MiddleDialogues, Oxford: Clarendon Press.Irwin, Terence [1978] Letters to the Editor, The Times LiterarySupplement, March 17, 321, May 5, 502, June 16, 672, August 4,890.Irwin, Terence [1980] "Socrates the Epicurean?", Illinois ClassicalStudies, XI, 85-112.Kidd, I.G. [1967] "Socrates", in Paul Edwards (ed.), The Encyclopedia ofPhilosophy, Volume 7, London & New York: Macmillan PublishingCo. & The Free Press, 1967, 480-86.1 03Bibliography 1 04Kraut, Richard [1979] "Two Conceptions of Happiness", PhilosophicalReview, 88, 167-97.Maslow, A.H. [1943] "A Theory of Human Motivation", PsychologicalReview, 50, 370-96.Mill, J.S. [1861] "Utilitarianism", Fraser's Magazine, October, November,December. Reprinted in John M. Robson (ed.), John Stuart Mill: ASelection of his Works, New York: The Odyssey Press, 1966, 149-228. Page references are to the latter.Nussbaum, Martha C., [1986] The Fragility of Goodness, Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.Robertson, John (1987) "Critical Review of Plato's Moral Theory: TheEarly and Middle Dialogues; by Terence Irwin, Oxford, 1977",unpublished manuscript.Ryle, Gilbert [1967] "Plato", in Paul Edwards (ed.), The Encyclopedia ofPhilosophy, Volume 6, London & New York: Macmillan PublishingCo. & The Free Press, 1967, 314-33.Sher, George (ed.) [1987] Moral Philosophy: Selected Readings, Orlando:Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Taylor, A.E. [1932] Socrates, Edinburgh: Peter Davies Limited.Vlastos, Gregory [1978a] ReviewSupplement, February 24th,Vlastos, Gregory [1978b] LettersSupplement, April 21, 445,22, 1055.of Irwin (1977), The Times the Editor, The Times LiteraryJune 9, 642, July 14, 798, SeptemberVlastos, Gregory [1991] Socrates, Ironist and Moral Philosopher, Ithaca:Cornell University Press.


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