Period: 469 BCE to 399 BCE
SocratesOne of his paradoxes is whether weakness of will – doing wrong when you genuinely knew what was right – exists. He seemed to think thet people only did wrong when at the moment the perceived benefits seemed to outweigh the costs. The development of personal ethics is mastering what he called “the art of measurement," correcting the distortions that skew one’s analyses of benefit and cost. According to him “no one commits an evil act knowingly and doing wrong arises out of ignorance.”
Period: 428 BCE to 347 BCE
PlatoPlato maintains a virtue-based eudaemonistic conception of ethics. That is to say, happiness or well-being is the highest aim of moral thought and conduct, and the virtues are the requisite skills and dispositions needed to attain it. Plato devoted his whole life to one goal: helping people reach a state called Eudaimonia (fulfillment). To achieve this state, Plato encouraged everyone to think more, taking more time to think logically about our lives and how to lead them efficiently.
Period: 384 BCE to 322 BCE
AristotleAristotle emphasizes the role of habit in conduct. It is commonly thought that virtues, according to Aristotle, are habits and that the good life is a life of mindless. Virtue, therefore, manifests itself in action. More explicitly, an action counts as virtuous, according to Aristotle, when one holds oneself in a stable equilibrium of the soul, in order to choose the action knowingly and for its own sake. This stable equilibrium of the soul is what constitutes character.