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Plato: Phaedo

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Professor David Sedley (University of Cambridge) explores Plato's Phaedo, in which several arguments are made for the immortality of the soul. We begin by providing a broad introduction to the dialogue, focusing in particular on the historical context, the key characters in the dialogue, and the central subject under discussion. In the second module, we think about Plato's Theory of Forms, before moving on in the third, fourth and fifth modules to look in more detail at some of arguments used by Socrates –– first, the Argument from Recollection (72e-78b), then the Affinity Argument (78b-84b), and then the Final Argument (102b-107b). In the sixth and final module, we discuss the ending of the dialogue, focusing in particular on Socrates' enigmatic final words that a rooster should be dedicated to the sanctuary of Asclepius.

About the Lecturer

Professor David Sedley is Emeritus Laurence Professor of Ancient Philosophy, a Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge and a Fellow of the British Academy. Well known for his wide ranging work in ancient philosophy, recent books include The Midwife of Platonism: text and subtext in Plato’s Theaetetus (2004) and Creationism and its Critics in Antiquity (2007).