Plato and Hurka and the place of reason in the good life
Usher, Matthew L
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This paper looks at the argument of one of the proponents of the Objective List Theory of Well-being, Thomas Hurka, in his book The Best Things in Life, and contrasts it with Plato’s arguments from several of his dialogues; in particular the Philebus. Hurka makes two claims: that there isn’t one ultimate good (as he says Socrates, Plato and Aristotle supposed); and there isn’t a single best human life that’s right for all human beings. I will show that there is much agreement between Hurka and Plato, but that Hurka’s account of Plato’s argument that virtue (being rational) is necessary and sufficient for the good life, obscures Plato’s contribution to the continuing arguments in this area.
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