Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno and Phaedo

Socrates in the Phaedo: Philosophy as Preparation for Death College

Socrates, the father of modern Western philosophy, once said, shortly before his own death that “[Those] who happen to have gotten in touch with philosophy in the right way devote themselves to nothing else but dying and being dead” (Phaedo 64A). In other words, Socrates believed that the life of philosopher should be centered on the preparation for death. While this may seem like a morbid reason for existence, Socrates argues that the body is holding back the soul from finding what is true through sense experience, needs and emotions, and the only release from this “prison” of sorts is death. Socrates furthers this argument by making the case that throughout his life he has been preparing for death and not to worry when it comes since the soul is eternal. In the Phaedo by Plato, Socrates views the body as “… impediment [in] the very attainment of thoughtfulness.” (Phaedo 65B) and therefore, the true philosopher’s soul must be separated from it to obtain true enlightenment.

For example, Socrates claims that the body “… deprives us of leisure on thousands of occasions [and get in the way] of our hunt for what is.” (Phaedo 66C). Ultimately, the highest desire for a philosopher is the search and attainment of the truth yet the...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1153 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8922 literature essays, 2367 sample college application essays, 392 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in