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By Mark Forsyth

Mark Forsyth - writer of the Sunday occasions number 1 bestseller The Etymologicon - unearths during this essay, specifically commissioned for self sufficient Booksellers Week, the main useful factor a couple of very good book place. alongside the way in which he considers the knowledge of Donald Rumsfeld, naughty French images, why Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy may by no means have met on-line, and why just a bookstore can provide you that worthwhile factor - what you by no means knew you have been searching for.

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The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the delight of not getting what you wanted

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54 E. " Phaedo 64 b, Gor^. 492 e, Phileb. 54 e Kai (paai ^rjv ovk &v Si^aadai, etc. In Laws 733, 734 b, the hedonistic calculus of the Protagoras is retained, but is applied not directly to the individual acts, but to types of life. The life of moderate pleasures is a priori the more pleasurable because it necessarily yields a more favourable balance than the life of intense . pleasures. Iviii . " It is the chief link in the proof that virtue is happiness. It insures the domination of reason over feeling and appetite.

Soph. 265 c, b, Phileb. c, Phaedo 93 D. Cf. Gorg. 521 a-b. Rep. , Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 25. ' Cf. What Plato Said, p. 503, on Goro. 461 c, for references, and ibid. pp. , 392-393, also W. Jaeger, " Die griechische Staatsethik im Zeitalter des Platon," Die Antike, Bd. x. Heft 1, esp. p. 8. " The interpreter of the Republic need only note the sincerity and intensity of Plato's conviction and its effect upon the form of his presentation of ethics. A complete study of the Platonic ethics would incorporate many other ideas drawn from the Protagoras, the Philebus, the Laws, the minor Socratic dialogues, and perhaps from the Phaedrus and Symposium^' But the two chief ethical dialogues, the Gorgias and the Republic, are cast in the form of an answer to dogmatic and unabashed ethical nihilism.

Infra, p. 101, note c, on 508 b. xxix INTRODUCTION freely for edification and the rejection of militant atheism as Matthew Arnold does. Moreover, there are other sentences in this part of the Republic -which, if pressed, are irreconcilable with the identification of the idea of good with God. In any case, apart from one or two sentences of vague and disputable meaning, the acceptance of the idea of good as the sanction more nearly lends an intelligible and reasonable meaning to everything that Plato says than does any other On this view, then, I repeat, the interpretation.

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