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αἳ οὐκ ἐκ λυπῶν κτλ. are the so-called ‘pure’ pleasures of Phil. 51 B ff. τὰς περί τε τὰ καλὰ λεγόμενα χρώματα καὶ περὶ τὰ σχήματα καὶ τῶν ὀσμῶν τὰς πλείστας καὶ τὰς τῶν φθόγγων καὶ ὅσα τὰς ἐνδείας ἀναισθήτους ἔχοντα καὶ ἀλύπους τὰς πληρώσεις αἰσθητὰς καὶ ἡδείας, καθαρὰς λυπῶν, παραδίδωσιν. They are never preceded by pain, but may, according to the Philebus, be preceded by κένωσις and ἔνδεια, so long as these are imperceptible; and they are caused by πλήρωσις no less than the pleasures which are called impure, although the πλήρωσις in the case of the pure pleasures is ἀληθεστέρα: cf. 585 B and Tim. 65 A.

ἵνα μὴ πολλάκις κτλ.: ‘in case, perhaps, you should suppose in the present instance’ etc. (sc. as you did in the other 583 D). μὴ πολλάκις is ‘ne forte’ (IV 422 C note), and ἐν τῷ παρόντι refers to the example which Socrates is about to give. Glauco's ποῦ δή asks for an explanation of ἐν τῷ παρόντι, just as ποίας invites Socrates to specify the ἡδονὰς αἳ οὐκ ἐκ λυπῶν εἰσίν. The English translators are in error.

πολλαὶ μὲν κτλ. In spite of this passage and Phil. 51 B ff. Aristotle seems actually to insinuate that Plato made all pleasures conditional on release from pain: see Stewart on Eth. Nic. X 2. 1173^{b} 12 ff.

ὀσμάς. Has Heraclitus' curious fragment (38 Bywater) αἱ ψυχαὶ ὀσμῶνται καθ᾽ ᾄδην any bearing on this doctrine of the ‘purity’ of smell? If the soul, after it is ‘purified’ from the body by death, still retains this sense, presumably ὀσμὴ is (in Orphic language) ‘pure.’ It is possible enough that Plato's whole theory of ‘pure pleasures’ was suggested by some such early theological notion, though he afterwards developed it in his own way. See however Rohde Psyche^{2} II p. 152 note Aristotle also looks upon smell as a painless pleasure: see Eth. Nic. X 2. 1173^{b} 18 ff. et al.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Philebus, 51b
    • Plato, Timaeus, 65a
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