The Asceticism of the Phaedo: Pleasure, Purification, and the Soul’s Proper Activity

Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 99 (1):1-30 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


I argue that according to Socrates in the Phaedo we should not merely evaluate bodily pleasures and desires as worthless or bad, but actively avoid them. We need to avoid them because they change our values and make us believe falsehoods. This change in values and acceptance of falsehoods undermines the soul’s proper activity, making virtue and happiness impossible for us. I situate this account of why we should avoid bodily pleasures within Plato’s project in the Phaedo of providing Pythagorean and Orphic ideas with clearer meanings and better justifications.

Author's Profile

David Ebrey
Universitat de Barcelona


Added to PP

600 (#2,312)

6 months
2,939 (#2,506)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?