Every seeker after wisdom knows that up to the time when philosophy takes it over his soul is a helpless prisoner, chained hand and foot in the body, compelled to view reality not directly but only through its prison bars, and wallowing in utter ignorance. And philosophy can see that the imprisonment is ingeniously effected by the prisoner's own active desire, which makes him first accessory to his own confinement. Well, philosophy takes over the soul in this condition and by gentle persuasion tries to set it free.
That, at least, is the argument of Adam Fox in his book Plato for Pleasure revised edtion Fox writes to remind everybody that Plato is not only readable, but is actually pleasant to read. Lewis was there.
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Recent work on the dialogues that offer a theory of pleasure — RepublicTimaeusPhilebus — as well as dialogues that contain substantial passages on pleasure and pain — GorgiasProtagorasPhaedo — has been more sympathetic and sophisticated than the harshly critical received view. Will you attend this event? Yes No Maybe Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.
Pleasure is the greatest incentive to evil. The more the pleasures of the body fade away, the greater to me is the pleasure and charm of conversation. Men of sound sense have Law for their god, but men without sense Pleasure.
A good life includes pleasure. Surely if there is consensus on anything about living well, it would be on that. We reflect on our lives and plan for our futures, and none of us is indifferent to either the joys we have known—they make our memories sweet—or the joys we want our plans and projects to make room for. But while such observations can begin reflection on pleasure and the good life, still they are only a beginning, and here begins the real work of figuring out just what sort of place pleasure should have in the good life.