Chapter

Laws

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/9780198246664.003.0010
Laws

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This chapter analyzes Plato's views on pleasure in the Laws. It focuses on two main sections — 653–70 and 732–4 — where the following apparent differences from the Philebus are found: first, (660–3), we seem to be told that the good life is pleasantest (and cf. 733–4) and (663c) that a good man is a better judge of pleasure than a bad one, but also (667) that it is not pleasure that makes pleasant things good; further (733b–d) we are said all to want pleasure and the pleasantest life, and any other view shows ignorance. All these points sound very like the Republic. So either Plato has gone back on the Philebus and thinks he can, after all, give criteria for maximum pleasure which show the identity of the pleasantest life with the good life, or we have a pre-Philebus section of the Laws, or these remarks can be interpreted to conform with the Philebus.

Keywords: Plato; pleasure; Philebus; Republic

Chapter.  2422 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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