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Title: Hedonism on trial : a study in Plato's Philebus
Author: Carpenter, Amber Danielle
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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In what follows I shall attempt to trace the anti-hedonist arguments presented by Plato in his late dialogue, the Philebus. I shall at the same time try to bring out the rationalist approach to ethics that is offered as an alternative. I shall argue that the rationalism put forward by Plato in this dialogue is distinctive and valuable. Although I shall say little about this, the project is offered in response to the recent enthusiasm in contemporary ethics for Aristotle. I shall therefore try to bring out the distinctive concerns about character and integrity that motivate Plato's approach to ethics in the Philebus. In the light of this, I hope to make clearer how certain apparently disparate concerns are in fact part of a single project, and to bring out what gets lost when we lose sight of this unity. By focusing attention on hedonism, I shall argue, Plato is able to work out a sophisticated moral psychology, and indeed an approach to thinking about morality and psychology, that differs importantly from a more familiar `building-blocks' approach to understanding persons. It is, I hope to show, by dealing simultaneously with methodology, metaphysics and psychology that Plato's view of the place of reason in a well-lived human life becomes interesting and perhaps even plausible. If, in the end, it is still `the philosophical life' that is the best, this will be because of the very specific way in which a life will be allowed to count as philosophical.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available