Volume 17, 2019
Le Plaisir: Platon, Aristote et la postérité
Aristote : le plaisir des differences
Given the necessary connection between pleasure and energeia, the value of an aristotelian pleasure depends on the value of its correlative activity. Since the absolute pleasures the philokalos takes in his virtuous activities might go hand in hand with pains, the definition of absolute pleasure cannot rely on the distinction between mixed pleasure (pleasure with pain) versus pure pleasure (pleasure without pain). So, how can we characterize the pleasures of the temperate man (sophron) ? My thesis is that the right way to define the pleasures of the temperate man is to describe them as pleasures derived from differences. A pleasure derived from differences is involved in the pleasure human beings get from the formal use of their senses. It then belongs to the kind of pleasure they take in knowing. This formal use of the senses helps understanding how the pleasures of the temperate man can be separated from the pleasures enjoyed by children and animals.