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Ancient Philosophy

Socrates

What are the Socratic paradoxes?

Socrates provided resolutions to claims that appeared to contradict common sense. Here are two examples.

Paradox 1: No one desires evil but many have evil goals or are bad themselves. This is because those who pursue evil do not know that it is evil. That is, the source of evil is ignorance.

Paradox 2: It is better to be the victim of injustice than the perpetrator. This is because being just is a primary virtue and a quality of all of the other virtues. Attaining virtue is the main purpose of life, as well as a path to happiness. Happiness as the result of being just is thus an inner matter that is independent of external circumstances.



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