Plato: Philebus (2078 words)


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Can we define the best life for humans? Is it possible to know how one should live? Plato's Philebus approaches the question of the meaning of human existence by disclosing the scope and limits of human reason (logos). Like Plato's other late dialogues, Philebus involves inquiry into time and the forms of intelligibility. In this connection, it is not without significance that this dialogue opens in medias res, with a moment of transition, a repetition, and a suggestion of discontinuity. As Protarchus takes up the argument from Philebus, the unabashed proponent of hedonism (the name Philebus means “youth-lover”), Socrates provides continuity by giving Protarchus a synopsis o…

Citation: Wood, Kelsey. "Philebus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 July 2005 [, accessed 19 August 2022.]

13439 Philebus 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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