Ancient Philosophy


Did Plato change his philosophical theory of forms?

In the Philebus, one of his later works, instead of equating the good life with contemplation of the forms, Plato acknowledges that pleasure seems to be an important component of what is good. He then explains how goodness consists of proportion, beauty, and truth, and argues that intelligence is better than pleasure because it is closer to those three. This was a new, more down-to-earth theory of the good life for Plato because it suggested that the best life for a human being was a life of enjoyment of what seemed to be real, rather than a life dedicated to contemplating the forms.


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