In a message dated 9/13/2014 4:56:25 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes in "Re: Gombrich Goes Popperian": "That it might yield such a claim does not mean it is epigraphical evidence of it, and really we need some chapter and verse and some context to any such claim: in any case, it does not obviously yield a claim that intentional wrong-doing is impossible, only a claim that wrong-doing is impossible if one has complete knowledge - for it may be possible to form (moral) intentions even when one lacks complete knowledge. So if Socrates merely said a person with complete knowledge would never do wrong then we cannot infer from this that Socrates claimed if it impossible for those lacking complete knowledge to intentionally do wrong. Touché. Perhaps Walter O. may find better epigraphic evidence, since it was he who introduced the claim, with a special reference to 'intending'. My epigraphic evidence is vulgar. Wikipedia states: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates#Knowledge "Socrates believed wrongdoing was a consequence of ignorance and those who did wrong knew no better." -- which admittedly does not give a _locus classicus_ and uses 'know' in a comparative context that we were recently discussing ('know better', 'know best'). But I consider further points in ps. Cheers, Speranza ---- Indeed, Socrates allows, as per McEvoy states above, that individuals (such as Socrates himself, perhaps?) or an individual (I like to stick to the singular, for the analytic method) may lack knowledge and do intentionally wrong. Since 'may' lack is too modal to deal with analytically, we should stick with the indicative. Individual or agent A lacks KNOWLEDGE -- or ignores (some proposition "p"). Agent A does wrong. ---- The gist or crux of the argument, as formulated by Walter O., seems to be in the adverb that applies to 'do wrong': 'intentionally do wrong'. Austin often admitted that 'intentionally', as applied to 'do' is usually otiose and triggers the wrong implicature ("I intentionally sat on a chair"). If 'intentionally' is otiose, then perhaps Socrates would NOT use it. Plus, the Greek lacked a term for 'intention' (unlike Latin, 'intentio', cfr. 'intendere'). Greek seems to also have lacked a word for 'evil'. In any case, they would use 'good' and 'bad'. So, it is perhaps more of a Greek idiom to speak of 'ill-doing' or 'doing evil', where 'evil' would translate as 'kakon'. The idea of 'right' and 'wrong' seems, to use Kantian parlance, deontological, and Socrates, like later Aristotle, seems to be working within a 'teleological' approach to ethics. This passage from the same entry in Wikipedia may provide further clarification: Wikipedia states in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates#Socratic_paradoxes "Many of the beliefs traditionally attributed to the historical Socrates have been characterized as "paradoxical" because they seem to conflict with common sense. The following are among the so-called Socratic Paradoxes (p. 14, Terence Irwin, The Development of Ethics, vol. 1, Oxford University Press 2007; p. 147, Gerasimos Santas, "The Socratic Paradoxes", Philosophical Review 73 (1964), pp. 147–64): i. No one desires evil. ii. No one errs or does wrong willingly or knowingly. iii. Virtue—all virtue—is knowledge." Note that the one under discussion is (ii) No one errs or does wrong willingly or knowingly. And it may do to check with the sources Wikipedia quotes: Irwin 2007:147 and Santas 1964:147. The formulation equates, or seems to equate, 'willingly' to 'knowingly'. But there are differences. Indeed, there are differences between 'willingly' and, crucially 'intentionally'. In general, after Prichard ("Willing and intending") it is accepted that 'willingly' is WEAKER than 'intentionally': in other words, the will is a requirement for 'intention' but there's more to intention than will, usually some cognitive element to the effect that one's outcome will be fulfilled by one's action ("I may will to fly but I may not intend to do it" -- in fact Kenny got to upset about this that coined 'voliting' to avoid the use of 'willing'). The second element to derive from the fragment is the idea that these are 'paradoxes' that "conflict with common sense", as the Wikipedia has it. Many believed that Socrates was a _sophist_ and a _sophisma_, usually, is interpreted as an exercise in rhetoric to test the addressee into thinking why such an adage is paradoxical or why there may be some truth underlying it. Perhaps Socrates was being rhetorical and applying a figure of speech known as 'hyperbole'.