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Finding Wisdom in Plato’s Euthydemus by Rusty Jones (Harvard University)

Date: 3:30pm - 5:00pm PDT December 13, 2013 PST Location: JRHH 202

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JRHH 202

Please join us for a talk by Rusty Jones from Harvard University. 

Finding Wisdom in Plato’s Euthydemus

My aim in this talk is twofold:  First, I clarify the aporia (the confused impasse) of Euthydemus 288-92, showing exactly what gives rise to it and then showing a way out of it.  The effect is to undermine the standard view that Plato’s motivation for constructing this section of the dialogue is to repudiate the craft analogy.  This, in turn, indicates that wisdom actively produces eudaimonia (human well-being), rather than simply constituting eudaimonia.  Second, and more briefly, I engage in a more speculative piece of interpretation, suggesting that all this gives us some resources for getting clearer on the nature of Platonic eudaimonia.  In particular, I’ll argue that the conventional goods (such as health, influence, and good looks) are (i) genuine, though conditional, goods, (ii) at least sometimes final goods, and so (iii) are components of eudaimonia, rather than mere conditions for eudaimonia.

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