Ethical Aspects of Listening in Plato’s Timaeus: Pleasure and Delight in 80b5-8

TitleEthical Aspects of Listening in Plato’s Timaeus: Pleasure and Delight in 80b5-8
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLyon, EL
Ancient AuthorsPlato Phil. (TLG 0059)
JournalGreek and Roman Musical Studies

Plato’s Timaeus suggests two types of responses to consonances: the perception of consonance results in pleasure (ἡδονή) for fools, but delight (εὐφροσύνη) for the intelligent (80b5-8). By investigating the physical and psychological mechanisms of perception and hearing in the Timaeus, this paper argues that the pleasure and pain taken in auditory perception operate analogously to the pleasure and pain of other sensory modalities. Accordingly, the fools’ pleasure is (merely)a non-localized aesthetic pleasure of the mortal soul. Nevertheless, aesthesis of sounding material must be present to the intelligent individual in order for delight to arise: delight results from the correct perception of a sensory object as a mimesis of divine order. [;jsessionid=7s9tahtn2kks6.x-brill-live-02]


GRMS 4.2 contains papers from the annual Moisa conference 'Music and the Body in Greek and Roman Antiquity', Newcastle University (UK), July 2015.


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