David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phronesis 45 (4):257-283 (2000)
This paper re-evaluates the role that Plato confers to pleasure in the "Philebus." According to leading interpretations, Plato there downplays the role of pleasure, or indeed rejects hedonism altogether. Thus, scholars such as D. Frede have taken the "mixed life" of pleasure and intelligence initially submitted in the "Philebus" to be conceded by Socrates only as a remedial good, second to a life of neutral condition, where one would experience no pleasure and pain. Even more strongly, scholars such as Irwin have seen the "Philebus'" arguments against false pleasures as an actual attack on hedonism, showing -- in Irwin's words -- "why maximization of pleasure cannot be a reasonable policy for the best life." Against these claims, I argue that the mixed life of pleasure and intelligence is presented in the "Philebus" as a first best and not just as a second best for humans, and that, accordingly, Socrates proposes to incorporate -- rather than reject -- pleasure as one of the intrinsically desirable aspects of the happy life. Thus, I offer alternative readings of controversial passages that have given rise to the prevalent interpretation criticized here, and advance positive evidence that at least some pleasures are seen by Plato as inherently good. In addition, I demonstrate that Plato's arguments against false pleasures do not by themselves constitute an attack on hedonism. Rather, they can be seen as a strategy to show the hedonist that, in order to be a maximal, or even a consistent, hedonist, he should go for true, and not fake pleasures, if after all pleasure is the object of his pursuit. But, since this cannot be achieved without intelligence, then the mixed life of pleasure and intelligence is to be accepted even by hedonist themselves
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Joachim Aufderheide (2013). An Inconsistency in the Philebus? British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (5):817 - 837.
Similar books and articles
Gabriela Roxana Carone (2000). Hedonism and the Pleasureless Life in Plato's Philebus. Phronesis 45 (4):257-283.
Joe McCoy (2007). The Argument of the Philebus. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (1):1-16.
Fred D. Miller (1971). Can Pleasures Be False? (Philebus 36C-41B). Southwestern Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):57-71.
Matthew Evans (2007). Plato's Rejection of Thoughtless and Pleasureless Lives. Phronesis 52 (4):337 - 363.
Verity Harte (2004). The Philebus on Pleasure: The Good, the Bad and the False. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (2):111–128.
James L. Wood (2007). Freedom in the Philebus. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81:205-216.
George Rudebusch (1999). Socrates, Pleasure, and Value. Oxford University Press.
S. Delcomminette (2003). False Pleasures, Appearance and Imagination in the "Philebus". Phronesis 48 (3):215 - 237.
Sylvain Delcomminette (2003). False Pleasures, Appearance and Imagination in the Philebus. Phronesis 48 (3):215-237.
Kristian Urstad, Pleasure in Plato's Phaedo. Philosophy Pathways.
Plato (2009). The Tragedy and Comedy of Life: Plato's Philebus. University of Chicago Press.
Stuart Rachels (2004). Six Theses About Pleasure. Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):247-267.
Added to index2010-08-31
Total downloads43 ( #77,302 of 1,725,158 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #81,204 of 1,725,158 )
How can I increase my downloads?