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The Ontology Of Pleasure In The Philebus And The Republic

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Chapter Summary

The main thesis of this chapter is that Plato adopts in the Republic and the Philebus a normative perspective in relation to pleasure. Normative signifies that he defines concepts such as temperance, love or pleasure in a sense which prescribes how things should be, in accordance with an objective standard, in contrast to the actual order of things or to what people normally thinks that constitutes a particular instance of these concepts. Although the chapter believes that this normative concept of pleasure could function independently of ontological implications, it would be strange that Plato could disregard the question of an ideal form of pleasure. The chapter shows the ideal conditions stipulated by Plato as requirements of a true pleasure and in accordance with this, the explanation which we could offer of those cases described as false pleasures in the Philebus in terms of the normative model proposed.

Keywords: Philebus; Plato's normative ontology; pleasure



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