Book Reviews / Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (2011) 287–301 299 Ronna Burger, Aristotle’s Dialogue with Socrates: On the Nicomachean Ethics (University of Chicago Press, 2008), 309 pages. ISBN: 9780226080505 (hbk.). Hardback/Paperback: $35.00/-. Th e scholarly tradition that criticizes the historical Socrates, in contradistinction to Plato, for holding an implausibly ‘intellectualist’ account of moral agency begins with Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics . In the Ethics we see Aristotle taking Socrates to task for the views that have come to be known collectively as “Socratic Intellectualism”: that ethical virtue is some kind of knowledge; that the apparently disparate ethical virtues are all forms of the one intellectual virtue of phronêsis ; and that akrasia is impossible. Moreover, according to much of the later tradition, it is Aristotle’s departure from these Socratic views, and in particular his presentation of a life wholly dedicated to ethical virtue as a kind of fulﬁ llment of our human nature, that deﬁ nes his distinctive contribution to ethical thought. Th e central interpretive thesis of this brilliant and challenging study is that this received image of the opposition between Aristotelian and Socratic moral philosophy is wholly mistaken. On the contrary, Burger contends that Aristotle’s apparently
Journal of Moral Philosophy – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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