Single Idea 5840

[catalogued under 20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / b. Intellectualism]

Full Idea

It is the wise who perform truly good actions, and those who are not wise cannot, and, if they try to, fail.

Gist of Idea

The wise perform good actions, and people fail to be good without wisdom


report of Socrates (reports of career [c.420 BCE]) by Xenophon - Memorabilia of Socrates 3.9.6

Book Reference

Xenophon: 'Conversations of Socrates', ed/tr. Waterfield,R/Tredennick,H. [Penguin 1990], p.161

A Reaction

The essence of Socrates' intellectualism, with which Aristotle firmly disagreed (when he assert that only practical reason was needed for virtuous actions, rather than wisdom or theory). Personally I side more with Socrates than with Aristotle on this.