Single Idea 5070

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / j. Ethics by convention]

Full Idea

Socrates' moral philosophy was essentially conservative. He assumed that the principles the Athenians honoured were true and natural, so there was little possibility of conflict between nature and convention in his thinking.

Gist of Idea

Socrates conservatively assumed that Athenian conventions were natural and true


comment on Socrates (reports of career [c.420 BCE]) by Richard Taylor - Virtue Ethics: an Introduction Ch.8

Book Reference

Taylor,Richard: 'Virtue Ethics: an Introduction' [Prometheus 2002], p.46

A Reaction

Taylor contrasts Socrates with Callicles, who claims that conventions oppose nature. This fits with Nietzsche's discontent with Socrates, as the person who endorses conventional good and evil, thus constraining the possibilities of human nature.