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.

Author's Profile

Daniel Werner
State University of New York (SUNY)

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