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

Apeiron 54 (1):29-57 (2020)
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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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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 Eva T. H. Brann, Peter Kalkavage & Eric Salem.
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.
Myth and philosophy in Plato's Phaedrus.Daniel S. Werner - 2012 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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