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Promêtheia as Rational Agency in Plato

Christopher Moore
Published Online: 2019-06-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2019-0018


The Greeks knew a virtue term that represented the ability to determine which norms deserved commitment, a virtue term usually misunderstood as “prediction of likely outcomes” or “being hesitant”: promêtheia. Plato’s uses of this term, almost completely ignored by scholarship, show a sensitivity to the prerequisites for the capacity for rational agency. We must add this virtue term to the usual suspects related to acting as a rational agent: sôphrosunê, dikaiosunê, phrônesis, and sophia. Promêtheia stands out for its importance in times of ignorance of the future.

Keywords: forethought; self-constitution; decision making; Republic; selfhood


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About the article

Published Online: 2019-06-07

Citation Information: Apeiron, ISSN (Online) 2156-7093, ISSN (Print) 0003-6390, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2019-0018.

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