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The absolute Good and the human goods


Ferber, Rafael (2002). The absolute Good and the human goods. In: Reale, Giovanni; Scolnicov, Samuel. New Images of Plato. Dialogues on the Idea of the Good. St. Augustin: Academia Verlag, St. Augustin, 187-196.

Abstract

By the absolute Good, I understand the Idea of the Good; by the human goods, I understand pleasure and reason, which have been disqualified in Plato’s “Republic” as candidates for the absolute Good (cf.R.505b-d). Concerning the Idea of the Good, we can distinguish a maximal and a minimal interpretation. After the minimal interpretation, the Idea of the Good is the absolute Good because there is no final cause beyond the Idea of the Good. After the maximal interpretation, the Idea of the Good is the One. The maximal and the minimal interpretation go beyond the textual evidence. I will defend two theses: (1) Since the Platonic Socrates deliberately gives no more information, it seems wise to stop with Socrates and to give only a formal, not a substantive, interpretation: The absolute good is the third item between and above knowledge and the known. (2) To mediate between the absolute Good and the human goods, Plato’s Eleatic Stranger introduced in the “Politicus” an intermediate principle.

By the absolute Good, I understand the Idea of the Good; by the human goods, I understand pleasure and reason, which have been disqualified in Plato’s “Republic” as candidates for the absolute Good (cf.R.505b-d). Concerning the Idea of the Good, we can distinguish a maximal and a minimal interpretation. After the minimal interpretation, the Idea of the Good is the absolute Good because there is no final cause beyond the Idea of the Good. After the maximal interpretation, the Idea of the Good is the One. The maximal and the minimal interpretation go beyond the textual evidence. I will defend two theses: (1) Since the Platonic Socrates deliberately gives no more information, it seems wise to stop with Socrates and to give only a formal, not a substantive, interpretation: The absolute good is the third item between and above knowledge and the known. (2) To mediate between the absolute Good and the human goods, Plato’s Eleatic Stranger introduced in the “Politicus” an intermediate principle.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:English
Date:2002
Deposited On:01 Dec 2014 16:23
Last Modified:13 May 2016 08:40
Publisher:Academia Verlag, St. Augustin
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-101490

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