The "What is X?" Question
1. Socrates asked a simple kind of question that revolutionized philosophy: "What is it?"
2. Usually raised about significant moral or aesthetic qualities (e.g., justice, courage, wisdom, temperance, beauty).
3. Such questions are the central concern of the "Socratic" (early) dialogues of Plato.
4. A so-called "Socratic definition" is an answer to a "What is X?" question.
5. Socratic definitions are not of words, but of things. Socrates does not want to know what the word 'justice' means, but what the nature of justice itself is.
6. A correct Socratic definition…
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