Editor's note: After blind peer review, this paper was selected for reading at the University of Dayton's 10th annual Philosophy Colloquium, held Feb. 27-28, 1981.

Beginning in his earlier works. Plato attempted to give an account of virtue and of the particular virtues. including courage. which receives special attention in the Laches and the Protagoras. I want to explore a number of aspects of the virtue of courage about which I think that philosophers are still not fully clear. I am afraid that some of our lack of clarity results from the way in which Socrates and Plato began the discussion to which we are heirs, though of course my purpose is hardly to recommend a generally negative view of their contributions. There is a persistent tendency toward oversimplification in discussions of the virtues having to do with a distinction between, as we may roughly put it, "cognitive" and "motivational" aspects. Under the former I include both belief and knowledge; under the latter I here include things like feelings and desires. Socrates, of course, attempted a deliberate, bold simplification: he held that each virtue, and virtue as a whole, is a form of cognition, namely, knowledge of what is good and bad. Plato may initially have accepted this view. At any rate in the Laches, he seems anxious to reply to those who thought this Socratic view obviously absurd (see 195asqq.). Subsequently, in the Republic, he appears to have seen more of the necessary complications, as also did Aristotle and many subsequent figures.



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