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Pleasure, Mind, and SoulSelected Papers in Ancient Philosophy$
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C. C. W. Taylor

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.001.0001

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The Hedonism of the Protagoras Reconsidered

The Hedonism of the Protagoras Reconsidered

(p.265) 15 The Hedonism of the Protagoras Reconsidered
Pleasure, Mind, and Soul

C. C. W. Taylor

Oxford University Press

This chapter reconsiders the question of whether Socrates is represented in the Protagoras as maintaining some version of hedonism in his own person, or merely arguing ad hominem that the sophists and/or ordinary people are committed to hedonism. While the author had previously maintained the former, the present chapter argues — by close attention to the details of the text — that Plato deliberately leaves the question open. It is suggested that he does so because the cognitive theory of the early dialogues needs to be supplemented by an account of the good, and that he wished to explore the theory that pleasure is the good without explicitly endorsing it.

Keywords:   ad hominem argument, sophists, ordinary people, akrasia, historical Socrates, cognitive theory, nature of the good

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