Socrates has been imprisoned and sentenced to death by Athenian political leaders for not believing in Athenian gods and for corrupting the youth of the city. Phaedo tells the story that following the discussion, he and the others were there to witness the death of Socrates. One of the main themes in the Phaedo is the idea that the soul is immortal. As the body is mortal and is subject to physical death, the soul must be its indestructible opposite.
Within the middle dialogues, it is uncontroversial that the Phaedo was written before the Republic, and most scholars think it belongs before the Symposium as well.
His most famous theory, the theory of Forms, is presented in four different places in the dialogue.
Plato draws attention at 59b to the fact that he himself was not present during the events retold, suggesting that he wants the dialogue to be seen as work of fiction. Socrates himself challenges his listeners to provide such defense at 84c-d.
How seriously does Plato take these arguments, and what does the surrounding context contribute to our understanding of them?
While this article will concentrate on the philosophical aspects of the Phaedo, readers are advised to pay close attention to the interwoven dramatic features as well.
Outline of the Dialogue The dialogue revolves around the topic of death and immortality: The text can be divided, rather unevenly, into five sections: The former asks the latter, who was present on that day, to recount what took place.
He agrees to tell the whole story from the beginning; within this story the main interlocutors are Socrates, Simmias, and Cebes. Some commentators on the dialogue have taken the latter two characters to be followers of the philosopher Pythagoras B.
They go in to the prison to find Socrates with his wife Xanthippe and their baby, who are then sent away. Socrates, rubbing the place on his leg where his just removed bonds had been, remarks on how strange it is that a man cannot have both pleasure and pain at the same time, yet when he pursues and catches one, he is sure to meet with the other as well.
Cebes asks Socrates about the poetry he is said to have begun writing, since Evenus a Sophist teacher, not present was wondering about this. He then asks Cebes to convey to Evenus his farewell, and to tell him that—even though it would be wrong to take his own life—he, like any philosopher, should be prepared to follow Socrates to his death.
The discussion starts with the question of suicide. If philosophers are so willing to die, asks Cebes, why is it wrong for them to kill themselves? As Cebes and Simmias immediately point out, however, this appears to contradict his earlier claim that the philosopher should be willing to die: The thesis to be supported is a generalized version of his earlier advice to Evenus: Socrates begins his defense of this thesis, which takes up the remainder of the present section, by defining death as the separation of body and soul.
This definition goes unchallenged by his interlocutors, as does its dualistic assumption that body and soul are two distinct entities.
First, the true philosopher despises bodily pleasures such as food, drink, and sex, so he more than anyone else wants to free himself from his body 64da. They are best approached not by sense perception but by pure thought alone. These entities are granted again without argument by Simmias and Cebes, and are discussed in more detail later.Recollection in Plato's Phaedo and Meno - Recollection in Plato's Phaedo and Meno As the earliest philosopher from whom we have written texts, Plato is often misrepresented as merely reproducing Socratic rhetoric.
Platos Meno - The questions of what exactly knowledge, virtue and the soul are, are among the most important problems of. The Theory of Recollection is laid out in more detail in Plato's Meno, and the discussion in the Phaedo alludes to, and seems to assume prior knowledge of, this earlier discussion.
The Phaedo and the Meno are consistent, though, and the presentation of the theory in each dialogue can stand on its own.
Recollection in Plato's Phaedo and Meno Essay Words | 3 Pages. Recollection in Plato's Phaedo and Meno As the earliest philosopher from whom we have written texts, Plato is often misrepresented as merely reproducing Socratic rhetoric.
Learning, Recollection and Plato's Phaedo and Meno In three pages this paper considers whether or not learning is new information or simply recollection of past experience according to the arguments made by Socrates presented in these works by Plato.
Phaedo by Plato Essay examples; Phaedo by Plato Essay examples.
Words 10 Pages. Phaedo by Plato The opening of Plato's Phaedo finds Socrates constructing a defense of the philosophical life. Recollection in Plato's Phaedo and Meno Essay Words | 3 Pages.
Write an essay pages typed, double-spaced, citing primary texts (Meno, Phaedo) and academic secondary sources e.g. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy or any of the articles or books listed in the bibliography of the text pp.
) on one of the following topics: 1) Discuss the role of wisdom in true virtue according to Meno and the Phaedo.