This chapter analyzes the development of Plato's thought on pleasure in the Republic. It argues that the Republic contains an ingenious attempt to salvage the table-turning elements in the Protagoras view while giving grounds for not giving value to ‘lower’ pleasures simply in virtue of their pleasantness. The method is to extend the lack/replenishment model to other than physiologically based examples and then argue that only the favoured cases deserve to be called replenishments. Since every pleasure is a replenishment, only ‘real’ replenishments are ‘real’ pleasures — and surely what is really pleasant is pleasanter than what is not? Quite apart from the initial plausibility, and the seductive ambiguity of ‘replenishment’, ‘fulfilment’, or ‘satisfaction’, the very neatness of the way in which the account yielded the results which Plato felt a correct account ought to yield must have made it not only attractive but convincing. Unsatisfactory points in the Republic account are also discussed.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.