Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

PHRONESIS: Vol. 64, No. 3, March 2019

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

PHRONESIS: Vol. 64, No. 3, March 2019

Article excerpt

Attitudinal Pleasure in Plato's Philebus, BROOKS A. SOMMERVILLE

This paper addresses two interpretive puzzles in Plato's Philebus. The first concerns the claim, endorsed by both interlocutors, that the most godlike of lives is a pleasureless life of pure thinking. This appears to run afoul of the verdict of the earlier so-called choice of lives argument that a mixed life is superior to either of its "pure" rivals. A second concerns Socrates' discussion of false pleasure, in which he appears to be guilty of rank equivocation. The author argues that we can solve both puzzles by attributing to Plato an account of pleasure as a species of intentional attitude.

The Jellyfish's Pleasures: Philebus 20b-21d, KATHARINE R. O'REILLY

Scholars have characterized the trial of the life of pleasure in Philebus 20b-21d as digressive or pejorative. The author argues that it is neither: it is a thought experiment containing an important argument, in the form of a reductio, of the hypothesis that a life could be most pleasant without cognition. It proceeds in a series of steps, culminating in the precisely chosen image of the jellyfish. Understanding the intended resonance of this creature, and the sense in which it is deprived, is critical for reconstructing the argument and yields new insight into Plato's views on the minimal conditions for pleasure.

Imitating Virtue, MARGARET HAMPSON

Moral virtue is, for Aristotle, famously acquired through the practice of virtuous actions. …

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