Phaedo by Plato Essay

Phaedo by Plato Essay

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Phaedo is an account written by Plato of the last conversation of Socrates’ before he will be put to death by the state of Athens by drinking hemlock. The dialog itself seems to recount Plato’s psychological, Metaphysical, and epistemological beliefs rather than an accurate portrayal of Socrates’ last conversation . The dialog addresses three main arguments for recollection including the argument of opposites, the argument of recollection, and the argument of affinity. Plato’s arguments in the Phaedo are less of an argument for immortality and more of an argument for duality. We must attempt to answer the questions: Are the arguments for immortality in the Phaedo used as a means for the soul to establish its own existence and independence from the corporal, and if this is the case, is the argument really a plea for living a life dedicated to philosophical inquiry rather than corporal pleasure ?
Phaedo begins with a discussion between the visitors of Socrates on death and dying. Death, as defined by Socrates is the body and the soul coming to be separated apart from each other (Phaedo 64c). During this discussion Socrates makes claim that although philosophers should welcome death and that it is wrong to commit suicide without sign from the Gods. Cebes finds fault with this logic claiming that one would think the philosopher would resent being taken away from the ability to enact the will of the Gods. Socrates reply to Cebes objection is that he neither fears nor resents death because he is certain that there is a future after death. Socrates the argues “that in general such a man’s concern is not with the body but that, as far as he can, he turns away from the body toward the soul” (Phaedo 64e). Socrates says that philosophe...

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... dispel opinions that he thought would be beneficial for those he would engaged in dialectic elenchus rather than teach them the truth, which he figured those who were capable of understand could learn themselves . In order to discover the true meaning behind Socrates’ dialog in Phaedo, inconstancies within his argument must be examined.

Bolotin, David. "The life of Philosophy and the Immortal Soul: An introduction to Plato's Phaedo." Ancient Philosophy, 2007: 39-56.
Cobbs, Williams S. "Plato's Treatment of Immortality in the Phaedo." The Southern Journal of Philosophy , 1977: 173-189.
Cohen, Marc S., and Patricia, Reeve C.D.C Curd. Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy . 4th. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc, 2011.
Connolly, Tim. "Plato: Phaedo." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (accessed May 5, 2014).

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