Volume 15/16, 2017/2018

Le Principe du Bien: Platon, Aristote et leur postérité

Suzanne Husson
Pages 45-66

Autarcie du Bien et dépendance de l’être?
De la République au Sophiste

Self‑sufficiency of the Good and dependency of Being ? From Republic to Sophist. Even thought Parmenides doesn’t use αὐτάρκης and any noun derived from this root, the Being is conceived by him as self‑sufficient (v. 8,33). Plato, for its part, never uses this term concerning the intelligible reality ; however, in the Sophist, he allusively challenges Parmenides self‑sufficiency of Being and outlines an ontology that is conflicting with it. On the other hand self‑sufficiency is explicitly ascribed by Plato to the human good (Philebus, 20d, 67a), to the divine world (Timaeus, 33d), and also to the virtuous man (Republic, 387d). This paper aims to demonstrate that these facets (theological or anthropological) of self‑sufficiency are consistent with the supremacy of the idea of the Good in the Republic, which can be understood as a structural kind of self‑sufficiency.