BEAUTY, PROPORTION, AND TRUTH: THE GOOD IN THE PHILEBUS
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This thesis investigates how Plato reaches his definition of the good at the end of the Philebus, and the relation of this definition of the good to the various parts of the dialogue. Through an internal reading of the Philebus and a critical evaluation of secondary scholarship on this dialogue, I argue that the various parts of the dialogue, especially the sections on dialectic and on the four genera, can only be understood as a unified whole with a proper grasp of Plato’s definition of the good. It is only in seeing the good as the first and last cause that the dialogue can be read as an organic whole.