Southwest Philosophy Review 33 (1):83-94 (2017)

Rebecca Bensen Cain
Oklahoma State University
Abstract: In the Philebus, Socrates constructs a dialectical argument in which he purports to explain to Protarchus why the pleasure that spectators feel when watching comedy is a mixture of pleasure and pain. To do this he brings in phthonos (malice or envy) as his prime example (47d-50e). I examine the argument and claim that Socrates implicitly challenges Protarchus’ beliefs about himself as moderate and self-knowing. I discuss two reasons to think that more is at stake in the argument than the mixed pleasure and pain of comic malice.
Keywords Plato  Philebus  malice  phthonos  ridiculous  self-ignorance  comedy  dialectical argument
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0897-2346
DOI 10.5840/swphilreview20173319
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

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

Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life.Daniel Russell - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
The Philebus of Plato.R. G. Bury - 1898 - International Journal of Ethics 8 (4):511-516.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Philebus on Pleasure: The Good, the Bad and the False.Verity Harte - 2004 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (2):111–128.
The "Philebus" on Pleasure: The Good, the Bad and the False.Verity Harte - 2004 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104:113-130.
Pleasure, Falsity, and the Good in Plato's "Philebus".Ciriaco Medina Sayson - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
The General Account of Pleasure in Plato's Philebus.Thomas Tuozzo - 1996 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 34 (4):495-513.
Plato and the Spectacle of Laughter.Michael Naas - 2016 - Angelaki 21 (3):13-26.
Pleasure as Genesis in Plato’s Philebus.Amber D. Carpenter - 2011 - Ancient Philosophy 31 (1):73-94.
The Argument of the Philebus.Joe Mccoy - 2007 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (1):1-16.
In Praise of the Mere Presence of Ignorance.Danielle A. Layne - 2009 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:253-267.


Added to PP index

Total views
294 ( #33,346 of 2,462,531 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
31 ( #27,482 of 2,462,531 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes