Elenchos 34 (1):5-31 (2013)

Rafael Ferber
University of Zürich
The article first (i) gives an exegesis of the famous passage in the Republic, 505d11-506a2. Attention is drawn to the fact that the principle that every soul does everything for the Good (panta prattei) can be translated in two ways: Every soul does everything for the sake of the Good, or goes to all lengths for the sake of the Good. Depending on the different translations, we have a different picture of the platonic Socrates in the Republic, an intellectualistic Socrates for whom pure irrational desires do not exist, or a Socrates who also accepts irrational desires. The article favours the first picture. Then it (ii) attempts to show that we can elucidate two dark points in the Socratic thesis that the Good is what every soul pursues and for which every soul does everything, with the help of Aquinas. Finally, the article (iii) outlines three substantive answers to the question ``What is the Good?'' - the henological, the perfectionist and the structuralist - and shows that these three answers lead into a trilemma. Instead of advancing a new answer, the article suggests an uncontroversial formal starting point for an answer to this question.
Keywords Plato  Aquinas  Soul  Good  Republic
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/elen-2013-340102
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Pleasure and Illusion in Plato.Jessica Moss - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (3):503 - 535.
Plato’s Saving Mūthos: The Language of Salvation in the Republic.Vishwa Adluri - 2014 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 8 (1):3-32.
Plato on True Simplicity: Republic 408c5-410b4.T. F. Morris - 2011 - History of Political Thought 32 (3):379-396.
The Justice of the Polis and the Justice of the Soul.Yufeng Wang - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 2:191-196.
The Good in Plato's "Republic".David Hitchcock - 1985 - Apeiron 19 (2):65 - 92.
Turning to the Good: A Study of Plato's "Republic".James Blayney Allis - 1986 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
The Absolute Good and the Human Goods.R. Ferber - 2003 - Philosophical Inquiry 25 (3-4):117-126.
The 'Simile Of Light' In Plato'S Republic.N. R. Murphy - 1932 - Classical Quarterly 26 (02):93-.
Plato on the Parts of the Soul.Dale Jacquette - 2003 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 8 (1):43-68.
Prudence in Plato's Political Philosophy.Zdravko Planinc - 1989 - Dissertation, Harvard University


Added to PP index

Total views
372 ( #21,623 of 2,427,989 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
50 ( #15,730 of 2,427,989 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes