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After Death: The Phaedo Myth And Its Neoplatonic Interpreters

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Chapter Summary

The aim of this chapter is to approach the place and function of the dialogue's myth through the eyes of the Neoplatonic commentators on the Phaedo. First, the unconscious heartbeat of our common notions; secondly the theologians; thirdly the oracles of the Gods; fourthly the mysteries; fifthly the apparitions of the Gods themselves. The religious aspects that are featured prominently cover but one part of the Phaedo myth, and recede into the background in the commentators' discussion of Socrates' account of the earth described at Phd. To be sure, for the Neoplatonic interpreters of the Phaedo, the separability of soul is a matter of course, which they assume has been proven already in the dialogue, in Socrates' second defence speech. It is in this final section of the Phaedo, then, that the two main themes of Plato's dialogue and the present study, death and immortality, are most clearly brought together.

Keywords: death; Neoplatonic interpreters; Phaedo myth; Plato; Socrates; soul



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