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Pursuing the GoodEthics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic$
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Douglas Cairns and Fritz-Gregor Herrmann

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748628117

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748628117.001.0001

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The Good and the form of the Good in Plato’s Republic 

The Good and the form of the Good in Plato’s Republic 

(p.1) Introduction The Good and the form of the Good in Plato’s Republic
Pursuing the Good

Douglas Cairns

Fritz-Gregor Herrmann

Terry Penner

Edinburgh University Press

This introductory chapter begins with a brief overview of the subsequent chapters. About half pursue an honourable twentieth-century tradition of exploring in tandem substantive questions of ethical theory and the light thrown on them by Plato's thought about the good in the Republic. Others address related exegetical questions concerning the Form of the Good and its relations to other Forms in the Republic and in other dialogues. They also consider exegetical questions relating Plato's treatment of the good and the Form of the Good to Aristotle's opposition to the Forms, and his alternative, but often quite similar approaches to the human good. The chapter then discusses how the simultaneous pursuit of questions in systematic ethics and in Republic scholarship arguably goes back to a single important source – H. R. Prichard's justly celebrated 1928 inaugural lecture, ‘Duty and interest’ – as modified by subsequent, mostly anti-metaphysical tendencies within Anglo-American philosophy.

Keywords:   Plato, Republic, ethical theory, good, H. R. Pritchard

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