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In the Phaedo Socrates is preparing for his death and consoling his friends that death is not a bad thing. There are echoes of the end of the Apology here. Much of the dialogue deals with arguments for the survival of the soul after death. We have already seen in the Meno the famous argument for the pre-existence of the soul to explain the puzzle of learning (cf Meno 81e ff); Aristotle in his Posterior Analytics (76a ff) will provide another solution to this puzzle that doesn’t require the preexistence of the soul. My question here regards Plato’s general conception of the body in the the Phaedo. He famously states that the proper aim of philosophy is the practice of dying and death (64a). He goes on to claim that only the philosopher (lover of wisdom) can have genuine virtues; non-philosophers overcome fear by greater fears and overcome desires by stronger desires (69a-c); virtues require knowledge and only the philosopher has real knowledge so only the philosopher can actually be virtuous. What is Plato’s underlying attitude towards the body in this dialogue as you see it? What essentially is the human being for Plato as you can gather from this dialogue? is he correct in this? why or why not? (address any or all of the above in your posting and end your posting with a question of your own).
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