Chapter

The Hedonism of the <i>Protagoras</i> Reconsidered

C. C. W. Taylor

in Pleasure, Mind, and Soul

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780199226399
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191710209 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.003.0015
 The Hedonism of the Protagoras Reconsidered

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This chapter reconsiders the question of whether Socrates is represented in the Protagoras as maintaining some version of hedonism in his own person, or merely arguing ad hominem that the sophists and/or ordinary people are committed to hedonism. While the author had previously maintained the former, the present chapter argues — by close attention to the details of the text — that Plato deliberately leaves the question open. It is suggested that he does so because the cognitive theory of the early dialogues needs to be supplemented by an account of the good, and that he wished to explore the theory that pleasure is the good without explicitly endorsing it.

Keywords: ad hominem argument; sophists; ordinary people; akrasia; historical Socrates; cognitive theory; nature of the good

Chapter.  6949 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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