Phaedo / Edition 1

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Translated with an introduction and commentary by R. Hackforth

A translation with introduction and commentary of Plato's Phaedo. This celebrated dialogue describes the last conversations in prison between Socrates and his friends. Socrates' bearing in the last hours before his execution, the devotion of his friends, the admiration of his jailer, and his reasoned conviction that the human soul survives the death of the body are all portrayed with moving simplicity and admiration.

Professor Hackforth here translated the dialogue for the student and general reader. There is a running commentary on the course of the argument and the meaning of the key Greek terms, and a full introduction to explain the philosophical background and the place of this work among Plato's writings.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent philosophical commentary on the Phaedo. Lucidly sets out all the salient problems and controversies."—J.M. Dillon, University of Washington
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198720492
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1975
  • Series: Clarendon Plato Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 254
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Jowett (15 April 1817 - 1 October 1893) was renowned as an influential tutor and administrative reformer in the University of Oxford, a theologian and translator of Plato. He was Master of Balliol College, Oxford.

Plato (428/427 or 424/423 BC - 348/347 BC) was a philosopher, as well as mathematician, in Classical Greece and an influential figure in philosophy, central in Western philosophy.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
List of Abbreviations x
I The purpose of the dialogue and its position in the Platonic writings 3
II Stylometric arguments. The transcendent forms 8
III The nature of the soul 11
IV The characters 12
V The arguments for the immortality of the soul 16
VI Arguments for immortality in other dialogues 19
Translation and Commentary
I 57A-59C: Introductory conversation 27
II 59C-62C: Socrates as poet. The wickedness of suicide 32
III 62C-64C: The philosopher's readiness to die 39
IV 64C-67B: The philosopher's detachment from the body 44
V 67B-69E: Moral virtue, genuine and spurious 52
VI 69E-72D: The first argument for immortality. The cycle of opposites 58
VII 72E-77A: A complementary argument. The theory of recollection 66
VIII 77A-78B: Combined results of the two preceding arguments. Socrates as charmer 78
IX 78B-80C: Third argument. The kinship of souls and forms 81
X 80C-82D: The after-life of unpurified souls 87
XI 82D-85B: Socrates describes the philosopher's progress and declares his swan-song to be a song of joy 92
XII 85B-88B: Simmias and Cebes explain their doubts 97
XIII 88C-91C: Interlude. A warning against 'misology' 105
XIV 91C-95A: Refutation of Simmias's theory of soul 112
XV 95A-99D: Socrates as student of natural science 121
XVI 99D-102A: The new method of hypothesis 133
XVII 102A-105B: The exclusion of opposites 147
XVIII 105B-107B: The argument concluded. Soul is both deathless and indestructible 158
XIX 107C-110B: Myth of the after-life 167
XX 110B-112E: The splendour of the true earth. The rivers of the underworld 176
XXI 112E-115A: The myth concluded. Its truth and value 182
XXII 115B-118: The last scene 187
Additional Notes 191
The Criticisms of Strato 195
Index of Names 199
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Intriguing argument

    A very dense and perplexing argument for the existence and immortality of the soul...and a great ending

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