Plato's Anti-hedonism and the Protagoras - pr_31986

Plato's Anti-hedonism and the Protagoras

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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.

Product code: 9781107624658

ISBN 9781107624658
Publisher Cambridge University Press
No. of pages 230
Dimensions H230xW153xS13
Anti-hedonism is the core of Plato's critical project in ethics and politics, including in his seemingly hedonist work, the Protagoras. In this book, J. Clerk Shaw reconciles the Protagoras with Plato's other dialogues, arguing that the Protagoras as a whole actually reflects Plato's anti-hedonism.