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Describe Aristotle's theory of acrasia. According to Aristotle, what does the acratic know? What is she ignorant of? Does his theory of acrasia successfully resolve the Socratic Paradox? Use examples.
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In Nicomachean Ethics book VII, Aristotle presents us with a discussion on the states of character. A major part of this is his theory of acrasia, which translates into English imperfectly as something like weak-will or incontinence. Aristotle's theory of acrasia goes against the view that no one knowingly does wrong by claiming that the weak willed person knows that what they are doing is wrong. His challenge was to present a coherent theory of why a person would knowingly do something to harm themselves. In this essay I will first describe Aristotles theory of acrasia, explaining how the...
then it would seem that we have no reason to say that in actual fact they do know when they commit the act and hence we have not resolved the Socratic paradox, only ended up seeming to prove one premise in it that people never know that they are doing wrong. Hence we cannot argue from Aristotle's line of thought that acrasia even exists. In conclusion, in saying that the acratic both knows that the action is wrong and at the same time is ignorant of this Aristotles argument destroys itself, and any chance of resolving the Socratic principle.
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