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The Greeks On Pleasure$
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J. C. B. Gosling and C. C. W. Taylor

Print publication date: 1982

Print ISBN-13: 9780198246664

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198246664.001.0001

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(p.69) Chapter 4 Gorgias
The Greeks On Pleasure

J. C. B. Gosling

C. C. W. Taylor

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the Gorgias, both because it is — of the dialogues where pleasure is discussed — most probably the nearest in date to the Protagoras, and because it appears to contain an explicit rejection of the identification of pleasure with the good, which is maintained by Socrates in the latter dialogue. It argues that the position which Callicles defends is very far from the enlightened hedonism of the Protagoras, and the arguments by which Socrates attacks that position have no force against the thesis of that dialogue. So if the Protagoras is a target in the Gorgias, Plato is wide of the mark. It is further argued that Gorgias shows the development towards a specifically Platonic view of pleasure from his original Socratic position.

Keywords:   Plato, Protagoras, Callicles, Socrates, pleasure, good, dialogues, hedonism

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