Poetry and Hedonic Error in Plato’s Republic

in Phronesis
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This paper reads Republic 583b-608b as a single, continuous line of argument. First, Socrates distinguishes real from apparent pleasure and argues that justice is more pleasant than injustice. Next, he describes how pleasures nourish the soul. This line of argument continues into the second discussion of poetry: tragic pleasures are mixed pleasures in the soul that seem greater than they are; indulging them nourishes appetite and corrupts the soul. The paper argues that Plato has a novel account of the ‘paradox of tragedy’, and that the Republic and Philebus contain complementary discussions of tragic and comic pleasure.

Poetry and Hedonic Error in Plato’s Republic

in Phronesis




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