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Plato's PhilebusA Philosophical Discussion$
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Panos Dimas, Russell E. Jones, and Gabriel R. Lear

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803386

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803386.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Why Pleasure and Reason are not the Good

Why Pleasure and Reason are not the Good

Philebus 20b–23b

(p.55) 4 Why Pleasure and Reason are not the Good
Plato's Philebus

Susan Sauvé Meyer

Oxford University Press

When Socrates argues early in the Philebus (20b–23b) that (1) neither pleasure nor knowledge is “the good,” the issue is not whether pleasure or knowledge is the only good thing but rather whether either is the unconditional source of value in a life (a much stronger thesis than hedonism). Nor is his conclusion here merely provisional, for the rest of the dialogue turns to address two further questions: (2) whether pleasure or knowledge is the efficient cause of the good life, and (3) which of the two is more akin to “the good.” His argument for (1) invokes three features of “the good” (sufficiency, completeness, and motivation) that Aristotle will later deploy, but differently.

Keywords:   pleasure, hedonism, good-making, completeness, sufficiency, motivation, Plato, Aristotle

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