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The Phaedo: A Platonic Labyrinth

The Phaedo: A Platonic Labyrinth

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Since antiquity the

Phaedo has been considered the source of "the twin pillars of Platonism" - the theory of ideas and the immortality of the soul. BurgerÔÇÖs attempt to trace the underlying argument of the work as a whole leads to a radical rethinking of the status of those doctrines

The movement of that argument is marked by the structural division of the dialogue into two halves, linked and separated by a central interlude in which Socrates warns against the great danger of "misology," or loss of trust in logos. That danger, which threatens the very possibility of philosophic inquiry, comes to overshadow the threat posed by the fear of death, which motivated the original series of arguments. The turn this necessitates, from the first to the second half of the dialogue, brings about a transformation of the understanding of knowledge, the ideas, the soul, death, and immortality. With this "second sailing," as Socrates calls it, the "Platonism" presented in the

Phaedo emerges as precisely the target of which the dialogue is a critique.

"Burger has a wonderfully fertile mind and supports her imaginative thesis with a close reading, extremely sensitive

to nuance." - Jerome Schiller, The Journal of the History of Philosophy

"This is a comprehensive study of the

Phaedo, thoroughly researched, and sparkling with insights into the text." - Paul Woodruff, University of Tulsa

Cover photograph - 1999 by Geoffrey Fingerhut.

Burger, Roger


St Augustine's Press

Related Collections:
St Augustine's Press

Bookshelf: 7C

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ISBN/Code: 1890318582

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