The dilemma[ edit ] Socrates and Euthyphro discuss the nature of piety in Plato's Euthyphro.
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Biography Sir William David Ross was born in Thurso, a small industrial, fishing, and tourist community in the county of Caithness on the northern coast of Scotland. He was the son of John Ross, an eminent teacher and school administrator. He attended college at the University of Edinburgh and in graduated with first-class honors in classical studies.
He continued his education at Balliol College, Oxford, graduating in with firsts in classics and humanities. In he was offered a lectureship at Oriel College, Oxford. In he married the former Edith Helen Ogden d.
Ross remained at Oxford for nearly fifty years, serving on the faculty and in various administrative positions, including Provost of Oriel College from to and Vice-Chancellor of the University from to In the course of his distinguished academic career Ross achieved international recognition and acclaim for his contributions to ethical theory and classical studies.
In addition to studies of Plato, Aristotle, and Kant, he also published two important and highly influential works of moral philosophy: The Right and the Good and Foundations of Ethics One of his foremost academic accomplishments was his editorship of the Oxford English translations of the complete works of Aristotle, a production of 11 volumesto which he himself contributed well received and still widely used translations of the Metaphysics and the Nichomachean Ethics.
In Ross served as President of the Aristotelian Society, the London-based organization founded in and dedicated to the promotion of philosophy as an intrinsically rewarding, life-enhancing communal enterprise.
In addition to his academic work, Ross also compiled a notable record of public service and civil administration. In he joined the British army and served in the Ministry of Munitions, rising to the rank of major and the position of Deputy Secretary.
After the war he was awarded the OBE, and inin further recognition of his military accomplishments, he was officially knighted. After his retirement from academic and public life, Ross continued his lifelong study of philosophy. He died at Oxford on May 5, In effect, Ross sees Plato here articulating and attempting to come to grips with two major objections to his theory.
It is claimed, for example, that if a man is a man by virtue of his sharing or imitating the Form of Man, there must also be another Form of Man that both the man and the Form of Man share, and so on ad infinitum.
At some level, and to at least a minimal extent, Forms must stand in some type of relation with the particulars that exemplify them. Ideal Redness, that is to say, has to share at least some definable relationship with apples, cherries, fire trucks, and other actual red things.
Unfortunately, as Ross points out, Plato is seldom clear or consistent in describing the exact nature of this relationship.
In the early dialogues, for instance, he seems to view the Ideas as immanent attributes or qualities that is, as universal properties present within and manifested through sensible things. According to Ross, what makes this issue especially problematic is that even in the later dialogues Plato frequently reverts to the language of immanence.
Ross speculates that this is probably because Plato himself never reached a definitive view of the matter and thus found it convenient to use the language of immanence in some cases as, for example, when he suggests that a particular may exemplify or partake of a universal property and the language of transcendence in others as when he describes a particular as being an imperfect copy or imitation of a paradigmatic Form.
According to Ross, even though Plato is vague and inconsistent on the exact relationship of the Ideas to the objects of sense, he is clear and emphatic on two other important points: In the end, Ross winds up in the camp of critics who view Plato as ultimately closer to the metaphysics and ontology of Aristotle according to whom Ideas and particulars are deeply intertwined and practically inseparable than to the view of Plotinus who viewed the realm of being as a grand hierarchy, emanating from and ultimately surmounted and transcended by an indefinable, absolute, ideal reality, The One.
Ross and Aristotle Even if he had never published The Right and the Good and become one of the leading figures of the analytic school and an important name in twentieth-century moral philosophy, Ross would still have gained lasting renown as a classics scholar.
Indeed, during his lifetime, he earned as much acclaim for his accomplishments as the general editor of the volume eventually volume Oxford translation of the complete works of Aristotle as he did as for his innovative and provocative work in ethics.
Consequently, there was an urgent need for a new and authoritative set of translations in a format suitable and convenient not only for students and scholars but for non-academics and general readers as well.
Along came Ross and his team of translators, a mix of veteran scholars and rising young talent specially selected to meet this exacting new challenge. The project, spearheaded by Ross and his assistant editor J.
Smith, took more than two decades. The final published volume volume 3 of the completed edition appeared in It contained translations of Meteorology, On the Soul De Animathe so-called Short Physical Treatises Parva Naturaliaand On the Universe De Mundo; a work that Ross himself dismissed as either spurious or of dubious authorship and which is now generally considered pseudepigraphical.
In Ross added his own translation of various fragments of Aristotle. Although not part of the original project, this compilation was published as volume 12 of the Oxford series. The final collection included an earlier translation of The Politics by the former Oxford vice-chancellor and renowned translator of Plato and Thucydides Benjamin Jowett.
These attributes include clarity, directness, orderly and systematic presentation, and a meticulous exactness and thoroughness. Aristotle and Ross even share some of the same vices: The famous opening sentence of the Metaphysics provides a good example.
Ross and Virtue Theory Inwhile supervising the production of the Oxford, Ross published a general overview of the works of Aristotle.
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