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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents a reading of the Phaedo. The Phaedo is more than an inquiry into the nature and destiny of the soul (psuchē). It also offers a “second defense” (apologia) of Socrates, his life and intellectual activity, and a philosophical tour de force that spans ethics, moral psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophical method, and protreptic. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 1 offers a synopsis of the dialogue, outlining the interconnection of its main sections and themes. Section 2 engages with some central aspects of the Phaedo’s theory of the soul, in particular the nature of the soul-body “separation.” Section 3 examines one of Socrates’ arguments for the immortality of the soul, the “Recollection Argument.” Section 4 reconstructs the Phaedo’s subtle and pervasive reflection upon philosophy, its methods and goals, and especially upon philosophical argument.

Keywords: Plato, Phaedo, philosophy, Socrates, soul, dialogues

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