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Title: A Soul without Akrasia: Plato's Tripartite Soul and Its Education in the Arts
Authors: 何畫瑰
Ho, Hua-Kuei
Contributors: 政治大學哲學學報
Keywords: Plato ; Republic ; the Tripartite Soul ; Education in the Arts (μουσική) ; Akrasia (ἀκρασία) 
 柏拉圖 ; 《理想國》 ; 靈魂三分 ; 文藝教育(μουσική) ; 缺乏自制(ἀκρασία)
Date: 2019-09
Issue Date: 2020-11-12 15:56:58 (UTC+8)
Abstract: Plato's doctrine of the tripartite soul is commonly supposed to accommodate akrasia. However, surprisingly, akrasia does not matter much in Plato as one may expect. I propose one reason for this: if akrasia means that one knows what is best but fails to do it (cf. Protagoras 358c-d and Meno 77b-e), knowledge in Plato's Republic will prevent it perfectly. But the Platonic knowledge must be attained via a long process of education which aims to accomplish the unity of the soul. This is not to ignore the partition of the soul in the Republic, but try to submit a more comprehensive interpretation which coherences Plato's partition of the soul with his efforts on unifying it. The paper will read Plato's education in the arts within the context of his doctrine of the tripartite soul. Some scholars suggest that the education in the arts in books 2 and 3 is for the non-rational elements in the soul. I will challenge this view and provide a more holistic reading, along with Plato's main argument for the tripartition in book 4. In my interpretation, the education in the arts plays a crucial role in integrating the soul in Plato's whole educational scheme. This also explains why Plato criticizes poetry for its corrupting effects on the soul in book 10. A soul equipped with Plato's knowledge will be free of akrasia. But, before the soul attains knowledge, the role of the arts in education is always Plato's serious concern, for their power of unifying or partitioning the soul.
Relation: 政治大學哲學學報, 42, 1-37
Data Type: article
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