It affirms that either spirit or the appetitive can

It should be noted that Aristotle’s conception of akrasia is heavily influenced by, and builds upon Plato’s previous conceptions regarding the tripartition of the soul from the Republic. The same tripartition of the soul that Plato established is mirrored in Aristotle’s approach to understanding Akrasia. In the second part of this essay, I will uphold the conception of Akrasia while also illustrating the framework and pertinent arguments regarding the weakness of will made by Plato in The Republic and Protagoras. Plato affirms that either spirit or the appetitive can disrupt reason resulting in acts contrary to the rational. However, Plato is a proponent of Socratic intellectualism and thus has the view that one can never fail to perform the noble and good act if they know what it is. Knowledge and reason, In Plato’s view, is the most virtuous and powerful force within the soul. Knowledge, like a charioteer, is in control of spirit and appetite and thus if one has the knowledge of the good then they will always choose it. Aristotle’s conception of Akrasia seems to challenge this way of thinking due to the dissonance it highlights between knowledge and action.  The main point of dissonance between the two philosophers is made clear when Aristotle states that it is clear that the un-self-controlled person does have knowledge for it is because of that knowledge that akrasia exists (1145a23-1145b32). Aristotle claims that Socratic intellectualism fails when considering the akratic individual because it is clear that individuals can have knowledge of the good yet fail to act on it. A distinction between types of akrasia must be made before understanding the scope of Plato’s response. Akrasia of absolute knowledge is apparent in the case of the person who knows what option is the best and acts akratic. Someone acting against one’s belief of the best would be a state in which someone convinces themselves of the best or has a false belief of the best and acts akratic. In order to uphold Socratic intellectualism, A denial of Akrasia and the defense of Socratic intellectualism is established in the Protagoras. Socrates’ claims that knowledge and measurement have the ability to “destroy the power of appearance” and concludes that knowledge and knowledge alone is the only thing that could save us (356e8-7a1). This implies that Akrasia may only reveal the superiority of knowledge over belief. If knowledge “Destroys the power of appearance” one cannot act against one’s knowledge but can act against one’s belief. However, this is not the approach taken by Socrates/Plato as he denies the existence of both belief and knowledge Akrasia. What follows is a deconstruction of Plato/Socrates arguments contrary to the existence of akrasia. Socrates denies both forms of akrasia and in an exchange between Protagoras and Socrates, the conclusion of this argument is played out. Socrates says, “Do the cowardly go forward to things which inspire confidence, and the courageous toward things to be feared?” Protagoras: “So it is said by most people.” Socrates: “What do you say the courageous go boldly toward: toward things to be feared, believing them to be fearsome, or toward things not to be feared?” Protagoras: “By what you have just proven, the former is impossible.” Socrates: “Right again; so if our demonstration has been correct, then no one goes toward those things he considers to be fearsome, since not to be in control of oneself was found to be ignorance.” (359c5-d6) This argument reaffirms that no one would choose what they believe bad as the courageous would never go towards what they believe to be fearsome. Therefore going toward what someone thinks is bad is impossible. However, this argument only makes sense if akrasia is denied and both knowledge and belief result in the right action. If both result in the right action then knowledge holds no significance as a cure for Akrasia. I wonder as to why socrates did not distinguish between belief akrasia and intellectual akrasia.Belief Akrasia could be used by Socrates as a fallback state in which Socratic intellectualism and Akrasia would co-exist as it allows for the power of knowledge to be reasserted. This would likely be a claim supported by Aristotle. However, Socrates denies action against knowledge and belief stating: “Then if the pleasant is good, no one who knows or believes there is something else better than what he is doing, something possible, will go on doing what he has been doing when he could be doing what is better. To give in to oneself is nothing other than ignorance, and to control oneself is nothing other than wisdom.” 358b7-c3) The argument then is that akrasia is impossible in its current form, since no one goes towards what he believes or knows is bad. Socrates/Plato relies on and re-establishes the impossibility of not only of acting against knowledge, but also of acting against belief. “It might be true that in some sense knowledge of what is good is temporarily disabled. But that disablement cannot be because the knowledge takes the form of mere belief, as some suggest, or else they would be excused: we would pardon them, but we don’t: we find them blameworthy.” (1145b33-1146a4). However, by saying that akrasia in both forms is impossible you claim seemingly total immunity to akrasia. If everyone is immune to Akrasia then why does it exist and how can knowledge hold up to scrutiny as a cure and why is it a problem we face.This confirms that Socrates denies akrasia in both those who “know or believe”. This is further repeated as Socrates says, “Now, no one goes willingly toward the bad or what he believes to be bad; neither is it in human nature, so it seems, to want to go toward what one believes to be  bad instead of to the good.” (358c6-d2) This claim fails to recognize the reality of Akrasia because individuals do follow a path that is not necessarily in accord with their belief or knowledge. By making a distinction between belief and knowledge akrasia, Socrates would be able to reaffirm knowledge power by demonstrating that knowledge alone is responsible for an immunity to akrasia. In this way, belief and knowledge would both entail action yet knowledge would provide action in accordance with reason resulting in knowledge as the cure for akrasia. I believe that by acknowledging Aristotle’s contributions and the facts of everyday life, we can better understand a way in which Socratic intellectualism and akrasia can co-exist. I believe that Plato/Socrates fails to rescue the argumentative thread of his defense of knowledge in response to Aristotle’s Akrasia. I believe that by delineating between two forms of Akrasia we can do just that, making a claim for the power of knowledge while accepting the irrational akratic action which belief can entail.