Plato: Philebus

(2078 words)

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…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Wood, Kelsey. "Philebus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 July 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13439, accessed 05 September 2015.]