Chapter

Republic

J. C. B. Gosling and C. C. W. Taylor

in The Greeks On Pleasure

Published in print December 1982 | ISBN: 9780198246664
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681035 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246664.003.0007
Republic

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This chapter analyzes the development of Plato's thought on pleasure in the Republic. It argues that the Republic contains an ingenious attempt to salvage the table-turning elements in the Protagoras view while giving grounds for not giving value to ‘lower’ pleasures simply in virtue of their pleasantness. The method is to extend the lack/replenishment model to other than physiologically based examples and then argue that only the favoured cases deserve to be called replenishments. Since every pleasure is a replenishment, only ‘real’ replenishments are ‘real’ pleasures — and surely what is really pleasant is pleasanter than what is not? Quite apart from the initial plausibility, and the seductive ambiguity of ‘replenishment’, ‘fulfilment’, or ‘satisfaction’, the very neatness of the way in which the account yielded the results which Plato felt a correct account ought to yield must have made it not only attractive but convincing. Unsatisfactory points in the Republic account are also discussed.

Keywords: Plato; bodily pleasure; Book IX; Protagoras; replenishment; fulfilment; satisfaction

Chapter.  12535 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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