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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.83) Chapter 5 Phaedo
The Greeks On Pleasure

J. C. B. Gosling

C. C. W. Taylor

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes Plato's treatment of pleasure in the Phaedo. His position is consistent in the various allusions to pleasure throughout the dialogue. That position can best be described as an extension of the process, begun in the Gorgias, of the development of Plato's own view of pleasure from its source in the Socratic hedonism portrayed in the Protagoras. The extension is threefold: firstly, in the association of bodily pleasures with illusion and unreality; secondly, in the extension of the notion of bodily pleasure to cover ‘spirited’ pleasure; and thirdly, in the clearer recognition of intellectual pleasures, with at least a hint of their role in the perfectly good life. While in its dualism the Phaedo looks back to the Gorgias, these three themes also point forward to the Republic.

Keywords:   Plato, bodily pleasure, Phaedo, Socratic hedonism

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