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Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life$
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Daniel Russell

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282845

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199282846.001.0001

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Goodness and the Good Life: The Euthydemus

Goodness and the Good Life: The Euthydemus

(p.16) 1 Goodness and the Good Life: The Euthydemus
Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life

Daniel Russell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with reflections on the nature of value with Plato in the Euthydemus. This provides insight into the different sorts of roles that different goods play in our life, and thus presenting a crucial choice between ways of thinking about what happiness is — a choice we may not have realized we had: in particular, a choice between the idea that happiness depends on the things in our life in regard to which we act and choose (our health, our wealth, our projects, and so on) and the idea that happiness depends on the wisdom with which we act and choose in regard to those things. It is shown that Plato defends the latter idea in the Euthydemus, as he argues that happiness depends on how we give each part of our life the right sort of place in our life considered as a whole. The idea of giving things the right place in our life is called the ‘rational incorporation’ of them. The chapter explores what it could mean for pleasure, in particular, to be rationally incorporated into a person's life on this model of practical rationality.

Keywords:   Plato, value, happiness, rational incorporation, practical rationality

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