Classical Quarterly 63 (1):110-138 (2013)

David Wolfsdorf
Temple University
AtRepublic9, 583b1–587a2, Socrates argues that the pleasure of the philosophical life is the truest pleasure. I will call this the ‘true pleasure argument’. The true pleasure argument is divisible into two parts: 583b1–585a7 and 585a8–587a2. Each part contains a sub-argument, which I will call ‘the misperception argument’ and ‘the true filling argument’ respectively. In the misperception argument Socrates argues that it is characteristic of irrational men to misperceive as pleasant what in fact is a condition of neither having pleasure nor being pained. In the true filling argument Socrates argues that in so far as pleasure entails somatic or psychic filling and there are more and less true fillings, there are more and less true pleasures. Philosophical filling is the truest filling and thus the truest pleasure. The misperception argument critically contributes to the true pleasure argument by clarifying what pleasure is not: merely an appearance or merely the absence of pain. The misperception argument thereby clears the ground for the constructive contribution of the true filling argument.
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DOI 10.1017/s0009838812000882
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