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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 Order: Does the Republic Display an Analogy Between a Science of Ethics and Mathematics?

The Good and Order: Does the Republic Display an Analogy Between a Science of Ethics and Mathematics?

Chapter:
(p.275) 13 The Good and Order: Does the Republic Display an Analogy Between a Science of Ethics and Mathematics?
Source:
Pursuing the Good
Author(s):

Rachana Kamtekar

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748628117.003.0014

This chapter comments on the discussion of Christopher Gills in Chapter 12. Gill discusses three ways in which to understand the elusive relationship between ethical ideas and the mathematical terms in which Plato describes them in the Republic. The chapter suggests that the main problem with Gill's proposals is that Plato mentions no separate science of ethics subordinate to dialectic or on a par with mathematics. It seems un-Platonic to think of ethics as a branch of anything. Because these proposals remain at such a great level of generality, it is difficult to judge whether or not they meet the demands of Scylla and Charybdis; that is, the demand for mutual intelligibility between mathematical and ethical ideas, along with determinate mathematical and ethical content.

Keywords:   ethical ideas, mathematical ideas, Plato, Republic, ethics, Scylla, Charybdis

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