Plato's Anti-hedonism and the Protagoras

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Cambridge University Press, 02.04.2015 - 222 Seiten
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Plato often rejects hedonism, but in the Protagoras, Plato's Socrates seems to endorse hedonism. In this book, J. Clerk Shaw removes this apparent tension by arguing that the Protagoras as a whole actually reflects Plato's anti-hedonism. He shows that Plato places hedonism at the core of a complex of popular mistakes about value and especially about virtue: that injustice can be prudent, that wisdom is weak, that courage is the capacity to persevere through fear, and that virtue cannot be taught. The masses reproduce this system of values through shame and fear of punishment. The Protagoras and other dialogues depict sophists and orators who have internalized popular morality through shame, but who are also ashamed to state their views openly. Shaw's reading not only reconciles the Protagoras with Plato's other dialogues, but harmonizes it with them and even illuminates Plato's wider anti-hedonism.
 

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Inhalt

Against hedonist interpretations of the Protagoras
11
Courage madness and spirit at 349d51b
41
Drama and dialectic in Platos Protagoras
73
Drama and dialectic in Platos Gorgias revisited
102
Shame internalization and the many
123
Hedonism hedonic error and ethical error
143
Hedonist misconceptions of virtue
171
Popular hostility to sophists and philosophers
191
Bibliography
205
Index locorum
213
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Über den Autor (2015)

J. Clerk Shaw is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His articles have appeared in journals including Classical Philology.

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