Plato on a Mistake about Pleasure

Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (3):447-468 (2006)
Plato argues in Republic IX that people are often mistaken about their own pleasures and pains. One of the mistakes he focuses on isjudging that an experience of ours is pleasant when, in fact, it is not. The view that such a mistake is possible is an unpopular one, andscholars have generally been dismissive of Plato’s position. Thus Urmson argues not only that this position is deeply flawed, but alsothat it results from a confusion on Plato’s part. In this paper, I show that Urmson’s criticism is misguided. I then defend Plato against theidea that it is impossible for someone to make the mistake in question. In doing so, I bring out details in Plato’s text and show that his account of the phenomenology involved in making this mistake is far more sophisticated than has so far been recognized
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DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2006.tb00013.x
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