Inconsistency and Ambiguity in Republic IX

Classical Quarterly 61 (2):493-520 (2011)
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Plato’s view on pleasure in the Republic emerges in the course of developing the third proof of his central thesis that the just man is happier than the unjust. Plato presents it as the “greatest and most decisive” proof of his central thesis, so one might expect to find an abundance of scholarly work on it. Paradoxically, however, this argument has received little attention from scholars, and what has been written on it has generally been harshly critical. I believe that this treatment of the argument has been unfair and that the relevant passages deserve a more careful and charitable interpretation. In this paper, I take up two serious charges that scholars have leveled against this proof, that it is inconsistent and that it involves a “fatal ambiguity”. I show that these charges result from misinterpreting Plato’s text, and I offer an alternative interpretation of the relevant passages. In doing so, I hope to shed some light on the complexities involved in Plato’s unappreciated third proof.

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Mehmet M. Erginel
Eastern Mediterranean University

Citations of this work

Pleasure and truth in republic 9.David Wolfsdorf - 2013 - Classical Quarterly 63 (1):110-138.
Republic 585b–d: Argument and text.Joachim Aufderheide - 2018 - Classical Quarterly 68 (1):53-68.
Pleasure and truth inrepublic9.David Wolfsdorf - 2013 - Classical Quarterly 63 (1):110-138.

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