Plato and damascius on intellectual pleasures

Research output: Contribution to journalScientific reviewpeer-review

Abstract

In spite of developing a theory of pleasure that incorporates elements from subsequent philosophical traditions, Damascius defends, in his Commentary on the Philebus, the Platonic conception of pleasure as a "process of filling". This paper aims to show that Damascius respects not only the letter of the Philebus, but also the spirit of Plato's understanding of the nature of pleasure and, in particular, that of intellectual pleasures. Having assumed the polarity between desire and its satisfaction, Damascius proposes to understand the experience of intellectual pleasure as the experience where desire is fully achieved, so that both the process and the result of knowing produce pleasure. Contrary to what one may initially expect, the exegesis of the Neoplatonic Philosopher allows to highlighting some of Plato's underlying assumptions about the nature of pleasure, namely: the connection between pleasure and the human experience of temporality, and the dependence of pleasure on the structure of desire.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)215-243
Number of pages29
JournalEidos
Issue number25
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Actuality
  • Desire
  • Intellectual pleasures
  • Natural condition
  • Process of filling
  • Temporality
  • Way towards the natural condition

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