Between Saying and Doing: Aristotle, Speusippus, and the Struggle against Pleasure

Apeiron (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This study aims to provide a coherent new interpretation of the notorious anti-hedonism of Speusippus, Plato’s nephew and the second scholarch of the Academy, by reconsidering all the relevant sources concerning his attitude toward pleasure—sources that seem to be in tension or even incompatible with each other. By reassessing Speusippus’ anti-hedonism and Aristotle’s response, it also sheds new light on the Academic debate over pleasure in which he and Aristotle participated: This debate is not merely concerned with the truth and credibility of the arguments for or against hedonism; there are also notable differences among the participants in their understanding of the practical significance of evaluating hedonic experiences. This new interpretation allows us to better understand Aristotle’s selective representation of the intra-school debate and some neglected features of his responses to different interlocutors.

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Wei Cheng
Peking University

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References found in this work

The Phenomenology of Agency.Tim Bayne - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (1):182-202.
Ēthotic Argument.Alan Brinton - 1986 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 3 (3):245 - 258.
The Divine Method and the Disunity of Pleasure in the Philebus.Emily Fletcher - 2017 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (2):179-208.
Varieties of pleasure in Plato and Aristotle.Anthony Price - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 52:177-208.

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