Recommended translations:

  • The Tragedy and Comedy of Life: Plato's Philebus, trans. Seth Benardete (University of Chicago Press: 1991).
  • "Philebus," trans. D. Frede in Plato: Complete Works, ed. J. M. Cooper (Hackett, 1997).


Observe, then, Protarchus, what the doctrine is which you are now to accept from Philebus, and what our doctrine is, against which you are to argue, if you do not agree with it. Shall we make a brief statement of each of them?

By all means.

Very well: Philebus says that to all living beings enjoyment and pleasure and gaiety and whatever accords with that sort of thing are a good; whereas our contention is that not these, but wisdom and thought and memory and their kindred, right opinion and true reasonings, are better and more excellent than pleasure for all who are capable of taking part in them, and that for all those now existing or to come who can partake of them they are the most advantageous of all things. Those are pretty nearly the two doctrines we maintain, are they not, Philebus?

Amazon (Recommended Translation: Benardete)
Amazon (Recommended Translation: Frede)
Project Perseus (English, Free Access)
Project Perseus (Greek, Free Access)
Project Gutenberg (Free Access)