Arethusa 41 (2):263-289 (2008)

Mitchell Miller
Vassar College
At Apology 33c Socrates explains that "some people enjoy … my company" because "they … enjoy hearing those questioned who think they are wise but are not." At Philebus 48a-50b he makes central to his account of the pleasure of laughing at comedy the exposé of the self-ignorance of those who presume themselves wise. Does the latter passage explain the pleasure of watching Socrates at work? I explore this by tracing the admixture of pain, the causes, and the "natural harmony" that Socrates' general account of pleasure implies for laughing at comedy. These reflections precipitate an aporia about the moral effect of Socrates' elenchtic practice. I suggest a path through the aporia that keys from Socrates' notion of "human wisdom" and the distinctive structure Plato gives the dialogues.
Keywords comedy  Socratic elenchus  pleasure  natural harmony
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References found in this work BETA

The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections From Plato to Foucault.Fred L. Rush - 1998 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 57 (4):473-475.
The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy.Paul B. Woodruff - 1989 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (1):205-210.
The Greeks on Pleasure.J. C. B. Gosling & C. C. W. Taylor - 1982 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Superiority in Humor Theory.Sheila Lintott - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (4):347-358.

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