Chapter

The Good and the form of the Good in Plato’s <i>Republic</i> 

Douglas Cairns, Fritz-Gregor Herrmann and Terry Penner

in Pursuing the Good

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780748628117
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652488 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748628117.003.0001
The Good and the form of the Good in Plato’s Republic 

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This introductory chapter begins with a brief overview of the subsequent chapters. About half pursue an honourable twentieth-century tradition of exploring in tandem substantive questions of ethical theory and the light thrown on them by Plato's thought about the good in the Republic. Others address related exegetical questions concerning the Form of the Good and its relations to other Forms in the Republic and in other dialogues. They also consider exegetical questions relating Plato's treatment of the good and the Form of the Good to Aristotle's opposition to the Forms, and his alternative, but often quite similar approaches to the human good. The chapter then discusses how the simultaneous pursuit of questions in systematic ethics and in Republic scholarship arguably goes back to a single important source – H. R. Prichard's justly celebrated 1928 inaugural lecture, ‘Duty and interest’ – as modified by subsequent, mostly anti-metaphysical tendencies within Anglo-American philosophy.

Keywords: Plato; Republic; ethical theory; good; H. R. Pritchard

Chapter.  6949 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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