Plato on Philosophy and Money

For Plato, one mark of the difference between sophistry and philosophy is that the sophist takes fees for service. His Socrates does not. However, this paper points out that Socrates' attitude to money reflects his unique indifference to things bodily, and a more satisfactory understanding of Plato on money needs to turn to his discussion of the love of money or avarice, especially in the Republic. Plato locates money-loving in appetitive soul along with physical cravings like hunger and lust; why he should do so is explained if avarice is seen as a primary instance of a more pervasive possessiveness that is ultimately somatic in nature. I argue that though his remedies are too severe, Plato is right to warn against avarice and its possible effects upon the practice of philosophy. And following Plato I conclude that philosophy is best understood as enquiry unconstrained by the interests of the market and carried out in the context of academic freedom
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DOI 10.5840/pcw20007429
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