Chapter

The Platonic Idea of the Good

W.F.R. Hardie

in Aristotle's Ethical Theory

Second edition

Published in print January 1980 | ISBN: 9780198246329
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680953 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246329.003.0004
The Platonic Idea of the Good

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How does the transcendent self-subsistent good, the good which makes other goods good, come into this list of ways of life all claiming to be the best and the happiest? Perhaps Aristotle expected his hearers to assume that the Platonists who have held this doctrine are among the advocates of the theoretic life. The guardian in Plato's republic, if he sought only his own personal happiness, would make it his first object to rise, by dialectic, to the contemplation of the Form of the Good. To run the state, descending into the Cave, involves the self-sacrifice of the individual for the good of the community. But in the Ethics, Aristotle simply refers to the doctrine of the transcendent good as one of the views to be considered in connection with the question what is the highest of all goods achievable by action.

Keywords: Aristotle; Republic; Plato; transcendent good; human good

Chapter.  9293 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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