The End of Plato’s Phaedo and the End(s) of Philosophy

Apeiron 54 (1):29-57 (2020)
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Abstract

The ending of the Phaedo is one of the most powerful and memorable moments in the entire Platonic corpus. It is not simply the end of a single dialogue, but a depiction of the end of the life of the man (Socrates) who is a looming presence in nearly everything that Plato wrote. In this article I offer an in-depth analysis of the final scene of the Phaedo. I argue that Plato very carefully constructs the scene for the sake of specific philosophical, dramatic, and political ends. Plato uses it to unify the Phaedo as a singular text, while also provoking us to reflect on the nature of our lives, our deaths, and the possibilities and limits of philosophy itself.

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Author's Profile

Daniel Werner
State University of New York (SUNY)

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References found in this work

Plato's Phaedo.John Plato & Burnet - 1955 - London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Edited by John Burnet.
Plato's Phaedo: An Interpretation.Kenneth Dorter - 1982 - University of Toronto Press, C1982.
The Phaedo: a Platonic labyrinth.Ronna Burger - 1984 - South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustine's Press.
Plato: Phaedo.Gail Fine & David Gallop - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (1):101.

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