Plato on Pleasures Mixed with Pains: an Asymmetrical Account

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In this paper I aim to show that the restoration model of pleasure as we find it in Plato’s Gorgias, Republic, Timaeus, and Philebus contain a common psychological core, despite the substantial developments and greater sophistication in the later works. I argue that, contrary to the scholarly consensus, all four dialogues take the necessary condition for pain to be a state of imbalance or disharmony rather than a process of destruction or deterioration. Given that the necessary condition for pleasure is a process of restoration, it follows that the restoration model offers a strikingly asymmetrical account of pleasure and pain. This unorthodox interpretation of pain is not only favoured by the textual evidence but is also more charitable, as it attributes to Plato a more plausible view of impure pleasures, a more realistic account of desire, and a more compelling argument for the greater pleasantness of the philosophical life.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ERGPOP
Upload history
Archival date: 2019-11-12
View other versions
Added to PP index
2019-11-12

Total views
349 ( #18,688 of 2,449,123 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
112 ( #4,999 of 2,449,123 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.