Is Appetite Ever 'Persuaded'?: An Alternative Reading of Republic 554c-d

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Republic 554c-d—where the oligarchic individual is said to restrain his appetites ‘by compulsion and fear’, rather than by persuasion or by taming them with speech—is often cited as evidence that the appetitive part of the soul can be ‘persuaded’. I argue that the passage does not actually support that conclusion. I offer an alternative reading and suggest that appetite, on Plato’s view, is not open to persuasion.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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