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Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 52$
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Victor Caston

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805762

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805762.001.0001

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Varieties of Pleasure in Plato and Aristotle

Varieties of Pleasure in Plato and Aristotle

(p.177) Varieties of Pleasure in Plato and Aristotle
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 52

A. W. Price

Oxford University Press

It is a familiar contrast between Plato and Aristotle that Plato identifies pleasure with a process of replenishment, Aristotle with an activity (or quality of an activity) that contains its end within itself. It complicates the contrast that the Philebus does not actually insist on any single account, whereas the Rhetoric invokes the Platonic conception, but then extends it indefinitely. Aristotle’s discussions of pleasure in the Ethics can be interpreted as being of a piece, and as applying to a wide range of perceptions and activities. However, a distinction between being glad to be acting in some way and enjoying so acting would permit a more nuanced understanding of pleasure, and a more plausible view of ethical virtue.

Keywords:   Plato, Aristotle, pleasure, enjoyment, process, activity, perception, action

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