Ruling oneself: Platonic hedonism and the quality of citizenship
Polis: The Journal of the Society for Greek Political Thought, 20, (1-2), .
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In this paper, I examine how the idea of self-rule is dramatised and articulated in the Protagoras and the Gorgias with respect to the apparently different treatments of hedonism. Looking at the former dialogue, I describe how the hedonist premise develops from a dramatic image of disorder, specifically the absence of self-rule. I then consider whether the evidence from that dialogue has any bearing on the Gorgias' discussion of hedonism.
I conclude that the Socratic rejection of hedonism in that text is about the Calliclean abandonment of any concern for self-rule, an abandonment that actually masquerades as a commitment to self-rule. This analysis is used to present a more general account of what Socrates considers to be the capacities required for good citizenship.
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