The Place of Flawed Pleasures in a Good Life. A Discussion of Plato’s Philebus

Plato Journal 22 (2021)


The Philebus describes the “good” that enables human eudaimonia as a “mixture” in which cognitive states have to be combined with certain types of pleasure. This essay investigates how the various senses of falsehood that Plato distinguishes are applied to the question of the hedonic “ingredients” of the good. It argues that his theory allows for the inclusion of certain virtuous pleasures that are deficient with respect to truth: either qua “mixed pleasures” lacking in truth on account of the compresence of their opposite, pain, or because they are based on mistaken anticipations arising in the pursuit of virtuous and reasonable goals.

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Jan Szaif
University of California, Davis

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