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Plutarch's Practical EthicsThe Social Dynamics of Philosophy$
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Lieve Van Hoof

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583263

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583263.001.0001

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On Feeling Good

On Feeling Good

(p.83) 4 On Feeling Good
Plutarch's Practical Ethics

Lieve Van Hoof (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with Plutarch's On Feeling Good, which presents itself as a letter written by Plutarch, who characterizes himself as a philosopher, at the demand of a publicly active man. As this chapter shows, Plutarch and his addressee are both dramatic characters designed to guide the reader's responses. In contrast to what other philosophers suggest, Plutarch does not encourage Paccius to give up public activity if he is to achieve well-being, nor to devote himself to studying philosophical intricacies: the help he offers him in this practical ethical text will be enough. This advice was tailor-made for Plutarch's target readers, who often placed a high value on involvement in society, yet it also had the advantage of reserving the role of philosopher exclusively for Plutarch himself.

Keywords:   On Feeling Good, feeling good, letter, drama, well-being, philosophy, practical ethics, activity, philosophy

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