Article ID: CBB939004533

Piety and Annihilation in Plato’s Phaedo (2019)

unapi

At the close of Plato’s Apology, Socrates argues that death is a benefit regardless of whether it results in annihilation or an afterlife. According to the standard interpretation, Socrates of the Phaedo rejects the idea that annihilation is a benefit, instead arguing that the soul is immortal and that annihilation would harm a philosopher. Socrates certainly suggests in a few passages that he would resent annihilation. In this paper, however, I argue that the Phaedo does not mark a significant shift in Socrates’ views about whether annihilation benefits. In both dialogues, he recognizes that if the gods choose to annihilate humans, they signal that human life is bad overall and that deprivation of a bad state is a benefit, albeit a benefit without an existing beneficiary. I contend that for Socrates, the possibility that humans benefit from annihilation entails neither the rationality of suicide nor the view that philosophers live miserable lives.

...More
Citation URI
http://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB939004533/

Similar Citations

Article Moore, Christopher; (2014)
How to “Know Thyself” in Plato's Phaedrus (/isis/citation/CBB001420146/) unapi

Article Buckels, Christopher; (2013)
Compulsion to Rule in Plato's Republic (/isis/citation/CBB001251910/) unapi

Article Petraki, Zacharoula A.; (2008)
The Soul “Dances”: Psychomusicology in Plato's Republic (/isis/citation/CBB001021131/) unapi

Article Baima, Nicholas; (2015)
Death and the Limits of Truth in the Phaedo (/isis/citation/CBB001552137/) unapi

Article Robbins, Ian; (2003)
Phaedo 82d9--84b8: Philosophers' Understanding of their Souls (/isis/citation/CBB000530102/) unapi

Book Benson, Hugh H.; (2000)
Socratic wisdom: The model of knowledge in Plato's early dialogues (/isis/citation/CBB000111280/) unapi

Article Fossheim, Hallvard; (2007)
The Limits of Rationality: A Critical Analysis of the Practices of Plato's Socrates (/isis/citation/CBB001030479/) unapi

Book Sedley, David; (2004)
The Midwife of Platonism: Text and Subtext in Plato's Theaetetus (/isis/citation/CBB000741049/) unapi

Article Jared Brandt; (2017)
Socrates, the Daimonion, and Rational Trust: A Perspectival Account (/isis/citation/CBB851872114/) unapi

Article Ebrey, David; (2014)
Making Room for Matter: Material Causes in the Phaedo and the Physics (/isis/citation/CBB001214197/) unapi

Article Georgia Sermamoglou-Soulmaidi; (2017)
The Refutation of Polus in Plato’s Gorgias Revisited (/isis/citation/CBB599312933/) unapi

Article Neufeld, Paul; (2003)
Socrates and παιδεια in the Crito (/isis/citation/CBB000530279/) unapi

Book Taylor, C. C. W.; Hare, R. M.; Barnes, Jonathan; (1999)
Greek Philosophers: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle (/isis/citation/CBB000110646/) unapi

Book Sedley, David N.; (2007)
Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity (/isis/citation/CBB000830460/) unapi

Article Shigeru Yonezawa; (2018)
Socratic Euporia and Aporia in the Lysis (/isis/citation/CBB664054592/) unapi

Article Miriam Newton Byrd; (2007)
Dialectic and Plato's Method of Hypothesis (/isis/citation/CBB348254274/) unapi

Article Daniel Werner; (2021)
The End of Plato’s Phaedo and the End(s) of Philosophy (/isis/citation/CBB105791728/) unapi

Book Scott, Gary Alan; (2000)
Plato's Socrates as Educator (/isis/citation/CBB000101693/) unapi

Book Fine, Gail; (1999)
Plato 1: Metaphysics and Epistemology (/isis/citation/CBB000110613/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Vlastos, Gregory
Owen, G. E. L.
Fine, Gail
Sedley, David N.
Scott, Gary Alan
Scott, Dominic
Journals
Apeiron: Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science
Dianoia: Annali di storia della filosofia
European Legacy
Publishers
Oxford University Press
State University of New York Press
University of California Press
Concepts
Philosophy
Soul (philosophy)
Methodology
Epistemology
Metaphysics
Theories of knowledge
People
Socrates
Plato
Aristotle
Anaxagoras of Clazomenae
Empedocles of Agrigentum
Time Periods
Ancient
Places
Greece
Rome
Comments

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment