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Plato's Ethics$
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Terence Irwin

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195086454

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195086457.001.0001

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The Protagoras

The Protagoras

(p.78) 6 The Protagoras
Plato's Ethics

Terence Irwin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 offers a detailed analysis of the Protagoras conceived as the first dialogue in which Plato starts to reflect on the failure of the early dialogues and to provide definitive solutions to moral problems. Although the dialogue is labelled as aporetic, one part of it--the discussion of hedonism--is considered dialectal. How the hedonism of the Protagoras tries to be an advancement of the one of the early dialogues is examined. Then the two theories of virtues are presented: the “unity thesis” and the “reciprocity thesis.” The former holds that all the virtues are the same, while the latter holds that all the virtues imply each other. Finally, it is emphasised that despite their differences, Plato does not dismiss any of the views.

Keywords:   Dialect, Hedonism, Protagoras, Plato, Reciprocity thesis, Unity Thesis, Virtues

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