Plato

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1 Towards the beginning of this passage, Socrates gets Laches to agree to a new definition of courage. What is it? (5 marks)

In the beginning of the passage Socrates gets Laches to agree that wise endurance is the definition of courage “Socrates: so according to your account, wise endurance will be courage. Laches: so it seems”.

2 What conclusion do Socrates and Laches reach at the end of the passage? Why might Laches be surprised by this conclusion? (5 marks)

By the end of the passage Socrates and Laches have come to a conclusion that foolish endurance is the definition of courage – although Laches seems to be surprised by this as at the beginning of the passage he had already agreed that wise endurance was the correct definition of courage. “Socrates: So, foolish endurance is courage? Laches: It seems so”.

3 How does Socrates argue for this conclusion? (5 marks)

Socrates argues for this conclusion by providing a strong example to help Laches see his point of view. This example shows Laches an alternative view but with multiple choices Laches seems to agree again with Socrates argument.

4 In Readings 1.2 and 1.3, Laches has already offered two definitions of courage. Explain what they are and how Socrates argues against each of them. Then briefly identify one objection that might be made to one of Socrates’ arguments. (35 marks)

Laches tries first, with an answer that is inconsistent with his praise for Socrates: Courage is staying at your post and not running away “If someone’s ready to stand in the ranks, to fend off the enemy, and not retreat, there’s no doubt he’s courageous”. Socrates had shown courage during a retreat, the military maneuver that most calls for courage. Laches' proposal plainly fails by the generality requirement, and then offered the opportunity to revise his beliefs in the face of the discovered inconsistency.Socrates shows this with examples of courage that do not satisfy the proposed definition “I didn’t want...
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