The Death of Socrates and the Life of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Phaedo

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SUNY Press, Jan 1, 1995 - Philosophy - 238 pages
While the Phaedo is most famous for its moving portrayal of Socrates' death and its arguments for the immortality of the soul, Ahrensdorf argues that the dialogue is primarily devoted to presenting Socrates' final defense of the philosophic life against the theoretical and political challenge of religion. Through a careful analysis of both the historical context of the Phaedo and the arguments and drama of the dialogue, Ahrensdorf argues that Socrates' defense of rationalism is singularly undogmatic and that a study of that defense can lead us to a clearer understanding and a deeper and richer appreciation of the case both for and against rationalism.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Context of Socrates Defense of Philosophy
9
The Opening of the Dialogue
17
The Opening of Socrates Last Conversation
21
Socrates Defense of the Philosophers Readiness to Die
35
The First Argument for the Immortality of the Soul
59
The Argument that Learning is Recollection
73
The Third Argument for the Immortality of the Soul
91
Socrates Warning Against Misology
129
Socrates Response to Simmias Argument Against Immortality
149
Socrates Response to Cebes Argument Against Immortality
161
The Ending of the Dialogue
189
Notes
207
Selected Bibliography
231
Index
235
Copyright

The Objections of Simmias and Cedes to the Argument for Immortality
115

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About the author (1995)

Peter J. Ahrensdorf is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Humanities at Davidson College.

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