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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Philebus discusses the good human life and the claims of pleasure on the one hand, and a broad cognitive cluster containing understanding, intelligence, and right opinion on the other in connection with that life. Plato includes extended treatment of metaphysics and methodology: this is his typical supplement to the procedure of his own Socratic dialogues, which considered human questions in isolation from other issues. However, the text as a whole is hard to grasp. It is not clear why the discussion develops as it does and how all this is supposed to work together. This chapter begins by discussing the characters and setting of the dialogue, and then provides an overview of the discussion. Next, it provides the author’s own interpretation of the metaphysics and method passages, and takes Plato’s cue to use these as a basis from which to approach the discussions of pleasure and reason.

Keywords: Plato, Philebus, dialogues, philosophy, metaphysics, pleasure, reason

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