Eager to hear the story from a first-hand source, Echecrates presses Phaedo to tell what happened. The account begins with Socrates proposing that though suicide is wrong, a true philosopher should look forward to death. The soul, Socrates asserts, is immortal, and the philosopher spends his life training it to detach itself from the needs of the body.
It contains the first extended discussion of the Theory of Forms, four arguments for the immortality of the soul, and strong arguments in favor of the philosophical life.
Philosophically, the Theory of Forms is the most important aspect of the dialogue. Yet Plato does not seem at all compelled to argue for the theory itself.
The Forms are introduced without any fanfare by Socrates, and immediately agreed upon by all his interlocutors. Later, in discussing his method of hypothesis, Socrates asserts that he can think of nothing more certain than the existence of Forms, and all his interlocutors agree. Due to the haste and ease with which the theory is introduced and put to work, a number of clarifying questions are left unanswered.
For instance, what is the scope of Forms?
Socrates normally alludes to non-material ideas, such as the Form of Beauty, or the Form of Justice, though he also appeals to numbers--such as the Form of Threeness and the Form of Oddness--to relative terms--such as the Form of Tallness and the Form of Equality--and to the Forms of Life and Death.
An argument can be made that he also alludes to the Form of Fire and the Form of Snow, which would open the field even wider. We might ask what sort of things Forms are that they can encompass such a wide range.
There are also questions as to what Plato means in saying that the Form of Equality is equal, or in saying that material objects participate in different Forms. More detailed treatments of these questions are given in the Commentary to sections 72eb and bd, respectively.
The Phaedo gives us four different arguments for the immortality of the soul: Plato does not seem to place equal weight on all four of these arguments. For instance, it is suggested that the Argument from Affinity by no means proves the immortality of the soul, but only shows that it is quite likely.
The Theory of Recollection and the final argument seem to be given the greatest import, as both of them follow directly from the Theory of Forms. But while the Theory of Recollection can only show that the soul existed before birth, and not that it will also exist after death, the final argument purports to fully establish the immortality of the soul, and is considered by Plato to be unobjectionable and certain.
Plato does not present this as strict asceticism, though, but rather a lack of excessive concern for earthly things.Without pretending to determine the real time of their composition, the Symposium, Meno, Euthyphro, Apology, Phaedo may be conveniently read by us in this order as illustrative of the life of Socrates.
Phaedo by Plato takes place during Socrates’ final hours in his jail cell. Socrates and his fellow philosophers converse on the state of the soul upon death. Phaedo is the final part of Plato's ( BCE) trilogy about the trial and death of his teacher, Socrates ( 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.4/5.
Phaedo (the death of Socrates) by Plato (c BC) Phaedo of Elis describes to his friend Echecrates the final hours of Socrates’ life and his discussions with his friends in his cell regarding life and death, the soul and the afterlife. It is set in the last hours prior to the death of Socrates, and is Plato's fourth and last dialogue to detail the philosopher's final days, following Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito.
Plato: Phaedo The Phaedo is one of the most widely read dialogues written by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. It claims to recount the events and conversations that occurred on the day that Plato’s teacher, Socrates ( B.C.E.), was put to death by the state of Athens.