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Plato's Phaedo As Protreptic

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Chapter Summary

The thesis of this chapter is that the arguments for immortality in the Phaedo are subordinate to Plato?s overall protreptic purpose. To put the matter more provocatively, the Phaedo is better read as a hell-fire and damnation sermon than as a collection of arguments for the immortality of the soul. The chapter tries to develop two converging lines of thought in this chapter: one is that the Phaedo is better understood as a sermon than as a series of arguments for the immortality of the soul. The other is that, because the soul in the Phaedo has been made by Plato to resemble the Forms, it is disposed, on its release from the body, to seek its natural place with the Forms whether it has led the philosophic life or not.

Keywords: Phaedo; Plato



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