Philebus Philebus is a compelling consideration of the popular belief that pleasure is the greatest attainable good. Here. Socrates speculates on the differing intensities of both pleasure and pain; explores the notion that they can be divided into pure and impure types; considers the relationship between the one and the many; and establishes knowledge as a far higher goal. A profound argument that true fulfillment can only be achieved by the pursuit of beauty. truth and moderation. Philebus is among the earliest and most fascinating explorations of one of the most fundamental human questions: how to lead a good life.