Socrates, Pleasure, and Value

Socrates, Pleasure, and Value

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Plato's early Socratic dialogues on the nature of virtue, knowledge, and the good life stand at the core of Western ethical thought. Yet, basic questions about these dialogues and about Socrate's positions in them remain the subject of continual debate, largely because of the inconsistent nature of many of Socrates's statements. Perhaps the most divisive questions are those surrounding Socrates's position on hedonism, the view that the good is, at bottom, a matter of pleasure. In this work, George Rudebusch addresses whether Socrates was a hedonist. Rudebusch claims that this issue is so basic that, unless it is resolved, no adequate assessment of the Socratic dialogues' place in the history of philosophy can be made. In attempting to determine Socrates's position, Rudebusch examines the passages of Plato's early dialogues that are most important to this controversy and draws important distinctions between two kinds of pleasure and between hedonism and Protagoreanism. His conclusion, that Socrates was a "modal hedonist", rather than a "sensate pleasure" hedonist, is supported by some very original readings of the early more

Product details

  • Hardback | 188 pages
  • 157.5 x 236.2 x 17.8mm | 487.7g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195128559
  • 9780195128550
  • 2,044,065

Review quote

Tackles one of the most fundamental questions for understanding Socratic ethics in Plato's earlier dialogues ... it will be widely read and stir up quite a bit of discussion. * Gerasimos Santas, Department of Philosophy, University of California at Irvine * The issues it addresses ... are central to the concerns of most undergraduate and graduate courses on Plato's early and middle dialogues, and so I expect there would be a wide audience for it. * Susan Sauve Meyer, Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania *show more

Table of contents

1. Introduction ; 2. Plato's Aporetic Style ; 3. Ethical Protagoreanism ; 4. Callicles' Hedonism ; 5. Callicles Refuted ; 6. Death Is One of Two Things ; 7. The Intrinsic Value of Sense, Pleasure and Pain ; 8. The Righteous Are Happyshow more