Phaedo
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Phaedo

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  3,988 ratings  ·  94 reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan...more
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Published October 11th 2007 by BiblioLife (first published January 1st 1995)
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Steve
Phaedo is the final part of Plato's (427-347 BCE) trilogy about the trial and death of his teacher, Socrates (469-399 BCE), and is preceded by the Apology and Crito . The Apology is a riveting account of Socrates' defense against the charges, his reaction to the verdict, and then his reaction to the sentence. Crito is a moving account of his reaction to an opportunity to escape his sentence. (I've written reviews for these in GR, if you're curious.) In this dialogue Plato has a young fr...more
Ken Moten
Mar 12, 2013 Ken Moten rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: those who read philosophy
"Such was the end of our comrade...a man who, we must say, was of all those we have known the best, and also the wisest and the most upright."

The grand finale of the wise man of Athens. This was Plato's account of Socrates last hours before his death. One has to say that while the Apology is the most "pop-friendly" of the Socratic dialogues, Phaedo is the greatest, personal, and most human of them all.

We are taught two things in this dialogue that have both set the tone of western philosophy (...more
David Sarkies
Apr 18, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Classical Scholars
Recommended to David by: David Hester
Shelves: philosophy
Plato on life after death
26 October 2012

I have noticed that a number of people consider that this text is the crowning piece that defines the Western philosophical method. In a way I agree and in a way I disagree. In one sense one can see how the idea of the separation of the body and the soul has come down to us and which has formed a major part of Western spiritual thought and in turn forms one of the bases of what I tend to term as our civil religion. However there are two things that it is...more
Bruce
Actually, I read the Grube translation and found it excellent.

This is the dialogue containing the description of Socrates’ last discussion with his disciples and of his death. It is related by Phaedo, who was with Socrates during these events, to Echecrates, who was not. The discussion begins with Socrates’ reflections on opposites, such as pleasure and pain, that define each other. This reflection is used to initiate a discussion on the nature of the soul and the nature of death, it being Socra...more
Jesse
The Phaedo, though on the surface concerned with the immortality of the soul, also contains a very interesting explication of the theory of recollection, first brought forward in the Meno, as well as the closest Plato ever gets to both explaining his theory of forms and saying that God is an immaterial mind. The theory of recollection tells us that, when we see two equal objects, we know that the two are equal not in virtue of their actual equality, since they aren't actually equal, but in virtu...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Socrates' last discussion before being executed as recorded by Plato from the perspective of Socrates' former students, Phaedo...
The discussion expounds on the afterlife and the soul's immortality to which he presents four arguments:
1. Argument from Opposites - i.e. a perpetual cycle of life and death, when we die we do not stay dead, but come back to life after a time.
2. Theory of Recollection - i.e. learning is actually recollecting what is already known
3. Argument from Affinity - i.e. there...more
Garrett Cash
An interesting work, and it's quite easy to see how it has influenced Western thought for thousands of years, but it is purely speculation. As a Christian who believes that the body and soul are not forever separated (see 1 Corinthians 15), I have the distinct advantage of hindsight and knowledge of Jesus Christ that 'Socrates' (or Plato) of course did not. So I thoroughly admire and commend 'Socrates's' efforts in trying to logically reason out the nature of the body and soul as being quite wis...more
Axel Shut
Nel "Simposio", dopo che tutti hanno esposto le loro teorie sull'amore, arriva Alcibiade ubriaco che fa una piazzata a Socrate. "Ma cosa devo fare con te, perché non mi ami? Io ti invito a cena, faccio ginnastica con te, abbiamo pure fatto la guerra insieme." Nel "Fedone" invece, dopo aver lungamente dimostrato che il corpo non vale niente, conta solo l'anima immortale eccetera Critone domanda a Socrate "Cosa dobbiamo farne del tuo cadavere?" e l'altro risponde "Vedo che tutto il discorso finora...more
Alberto
At one point, Plato has Socrates reasoning by analogy between the following two situations to conclude that the soul is immortal:

• The number 3, while not defined exclusively by its oddness, contains oddness as an essential property and therefore does not admit of coexistence with evenness. (That is, if 3 were to become even, it would cease to be 3.)

• The soul, while not defined exclusively by its provision of life, contains this provision of life as an essential property and therefore does not...more
Bri
In my mind there are 3 Socratic Dialogues which I categorize as the "Death Dialogues." These are the Apology, Crito, and Phaedo.

In some ways the Phaedo is the darkest of the three, as it is in this dialogue that Socrates is actually executed. The meat of the dialogue takes place minutes before he drinks the hemlock. People talk about Ancient Greek philosophy as being "cold." I think by this they mean that Plato, at least, seems quite fixated on reason (logos) and moderation and bereft of emotio...more
Cassandra Silva
Thank goodness Plato idealized Socrates so much otherwise so much about him would have been lost. I kind of put off reading this one because I knew that it dealt with death and the human soul, which is a subject that hangs over my head on occasion. Big mistake! This was as wonderful as Plato's other works, I always give Socrates this kind of saucy attitude in my mind, he is so quick! I wonder how much of this was actually said or what just carried over from other discussions with Socrates during...more
Travis
Interesting read of the ancient philosophers. I was surprised that they discerned so much truth from logical argument. A beneficial book if read from the right perspective.
Michael
metaphors: body as lyre, soul as harmony; a weaver outlived by his last cloak; living one's life on the ocean floor, then coming to the surface.
Hans
Greek man makes convincing argument about not being afraid of death so you can be a noble wasp, or ant
Jane
So far the most interesting of Plato's works.
§--
One of the foundational documents of Western civilization--and when I say that, I mean civilization. Of course, the arguments are all horrible, and Plato probably was well-aware of that, given his history of irony/playfulness in the Apologia.

This was slow and tedious for me, as I'd already heard all the arguments in various philosophy courses, yet hadn't read the original text. It was still worth reading to get all the details. All of Socrates' life and all of Plato's life is up to scrutiny her...more
Cheryl
The Phaedo is set on the final day of Socrates' life. Instead of the question and answer format that leads to perplexity, Socrates is trying to prove a point about what happens to the soul after death. He is trying to prove that the soul is immortal, and he is attempting to comfort his students who are grieving his imminent death.

The soul must have a destiny other than the body which decays and is of the earth. The soul has a place to go after death, because it is connected with the forms which...more
James
Philosophical Method: 4.5

Philosophical Conclusions: 2 and 5

Composite Score: 3.5



Plato's Phaedo deserves its status as a classic. Typical in its lively, Socratic dialectic that I love so much, Plato delivers some strike-outs, and one shining jewel in the rough.



The Socratic method is almost flawless. It is based upon the idea of collectively asking questions about an idea, working through the logic of it via assenting or dissenting examples, and basing any conclusions only from the standpoints of s...more
Galicius
"...we have found that the soul is immortal, and so her only refuge and salvation from evil is to become as perfect and wise as possible. For she takes nothing with her to the other world but her education and culture; and these, it is said are of the greatest service or of the greatest injury to the dead man at the very beginning of his journey thither." LVII



This review only summarizes Plato’s argument and does not attempt to analyze it. Beginning of the argument:

Plato’s dialogue Phaedo assumes...more
Yann
Il n'était pas inutile de relire ce dialogue, habituellement présenté avec "l'Apologie de Socrate" et "Criton". Ce dialogue est l'un des plus célèbre du fameux philosophe athénien. Il relate la mort de Socrate, condamné à boire la ciguë par un jugement l'ayant accusé d'impiété et de corruption de la jeunesse. Profitant d'un sursis dû à un pèlerinage commémorant l'époque de Thésée, ses amis le retrouvent dans sa prison, et profitent des derniers instants en sa compagnie pour philosopher sur la mo...more
Celeste
This dialog is longer and is the story of Socrates facing death, and finally taking the poison in prison, surrounded by his friends. The conversation has many interesting subjects, including the existence of the soul and whether it lives on without the body. Many conclusions are correct and many are incorrect. It is truly sad that they did not have scriptures by which to learn the truths that they sought. Rather they leaned unto their own understanding, which had fallacies amongst the truths.

I d...more
widow of windsor
"Ao depois, continuou, que também se trata de algo imensamente grande e que nós outros, moradores da região que vai do Fásis às Colunas da Hércules, ocupamos uma porção insignificante da terra, em torno do mar à feição de formigas e rãs na beira de um charco. É que por toda a Terra há muitas concavidades, de forma e tamanho variáveis, para as quais converge água, vapor e ar. Porém a própria terra se acha pura no céu puro, onde estão os astros, denominado éter por quantos costumam discorrer sobre...more
Dave B.
Plato’s Phaedo is a short philosophical text/drama that provides Socrates’ point of view regarding man’s soul and the related subject of immortality. Socrates provides three arguments for the immortal soul of man.
The first is an argument of opposites. The argument of opposites says the soul is life and the body is death so by default the soul will return to life because it is immortal and must leave the body upon death. The second is the argument of recalled memory. This argument is based on th...more
i!
Kind of a grab-bag of genres: philosophical dialogue, theosophical and theological discursion, geographical thesis, dramatic tragedy. The literary aspects here are great, but the philosophy is crippled by the mindset of its day: "I am assuming the existence of an absolute beauty and goodness and magnitude and all the rest of them. If you grant my assumption and admit they exist...". A simple 'No' from the typically sycophantic Platonic bobbleheads that make up Socrates's death-entourage would ha...more
Ira Therebel
This is the description of Socrates' final hours which contains his final dialogue with his friends where he is bringing the four arguments for the immortality of the soul

I liked this edition by Eva Brann. It was very easy to read. Of course since I am not very familiar with philosophy I had to reread some passages to get a better understanding, but the language didn't make it more difficult. Also the preface had explanations for all parts of the dialogue so I could read them as well to understa...more
Andrew
I hadn't read this translation before. I don't have Attic, but this English is terrific.

Phaedo is a beautiful dialogue. How I had never noticed the parallels between Indian karmic doctrines and the ideas put forth in 78B-84B, I do not know. I suppose it is a commonplace by now among informed readers of Plato. Is it just one basic kind of metaphysic that shows up widely across cultures?
Michelle
I'm not very well versed in philosophy, as this is the first book I've read in my Intro to Philosophy class. While it was difficult to read, I found the end very dramatic and inspiring. Besides the difficulty of reading, I found Plato's logic to skip back and forth. It would have been must easier to understand had he followed a more logical order.
Smash
I read this as a supplement to an online philosophy course I'm taking on death. I have a hard time reading philosophy; I enjoy theory but can't always connect to the deeper importance of it when trying to navigate proofs. However, Phaedo read much more like a story than an empty series of logic statements, and it clicked more than anything I've ever read. Maybe I didn't pay enough attention in Philo101 at school. I'm still trying to decide for myself whether or not I believe in a soul, but there...more
Rose
Phaedo is amazingly well written. It gets across Plato's philosophical ideas in a way that is engaging and, in places, amusing. Each argument is explained extremely clearly, so as to be easy to understand. At times you do feel as though the characters are wandering away from the point somewhat, but it always turns out that what they're saying is, while convoluted, in some way related to the argument they're making/trying to make, so eventually you stray back to the original point. There is also...more
Vince
This is the first by Plato that I've read, and I'm looking forward to more. He drives me up the wall with his inane beliefs ("the immortal soul learned many things before I was born, and when I learn things now I'm just being reminded of them"), but the way he expresses them is original and very satisfying. For example, this is from the Cratylus: "That’s why I think it’s necessary to keep re-investigating whatever I say, since self-deception is the worst thing of all. How could it not be terribl...more
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Classical Self-Ed...: #3: Plato's Phaedo 4 22 Feb 13, 2012 10:51AM  
  • De Anima (On the Soul)
  • Philoctetes
  • Hippolytus
  • The Enneads
  • Fragments
  • Frogs
  • The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • Conversations of Socrates
  • Elements of Chemistry
  • Ptolemy's Almagest
  • The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
  • The Nature of the Gods
  • Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
  • A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
  • Theological-Political Treatise
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Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

Plato was one of the most important Western philosophers...more
More about Plato...
The Republic The Trial and Death of Socrates The Symposium Apology Five Dialogues: Euthyphro/Apology/Crito/Meno/Phaedo

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“if you are willing to reflect on the courage and moderation of other people, you will find them strange...they all consider death a great evil...and the brave among them face death, when they do, for fear of greater evils...therefore, it is fear and terror that make all men brave, except for philosophers. yet it is illogical to be brave through fear and cowardice...what of the moderate among them? is their experience not similar?...they master certain pleasures because they are mastered by others...i fear this is not the right exchange to attain virtue, to exchange pleasures for pleasures, pains for pains, and fears for fears, the greater for the less like coins, but that they only valid currency for which all these things should be exchanged is wisdom.” 16 likes
“It is our duty to select the best and most dependable theory that human intelligence can supply, and use it as a raft to ride the seas of life.” 11 likes
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