Phaedo Lecture Notes
Phaedo Lecture Notes PH 100
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cassidy Paige on Monday September 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PH 100 at Chaminade University of Honolulu taught by Dr. Peter Steiger in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Philosophy in Arts and Humanities at Chaminade University of Honolulu.
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Date Created: 09/19/16
Color Code Key “Quotes”/ Phrases from Steiger Important Words Important Topics/ Ideas Book/ Material Quotes Side Notes (that might be important ?) Philosophy 100 FALL SEMESTER 2016 INSTRUCTOR: DR. Peter Steiger 30 August 2016 Phaedo Class Notes Class reading of Phaedo, in own words: What is Philosophy? ● Seeking wisdom ● Practice ● Questioning things ● Preparing for death ● Preparing soul ● Serving good masters ● Self-less ● Philosophy is preparing your soul for the wealth of wisdom and pure knowledge that it will receive once it is separated from the body (death). Outline - Phaedo 57a - 69e (On the Soul) The Art of Dying Well I. Background - Structure: a dialogue within a dialogue - Beginning of moving away from Historical Socrates - Plato wanted to preserve some of the ideas of Socrates and wanted to show that Socrates was the ideal philosopher and philosophical teacher II. Setting (57a - 59e) 1 - Mostly concerned with Plato’s theory of the immortality of the soul and the theory of the Forms A. Day of Socrates’ death B. Surrounded by his followers C. Third person account - Plato was not present “Plato, I believe, was ill” (59b). - This is done to call into question the legitimacy of who actually is telling the dialogue and whether or not the dialogue actually took place. Not Factually True. III. Introduction (59e - 61c) A. Myth of the Minotaur as background: 1. The Minotaur was a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man, that was created when the queen of Crete opted for an unnatural pleasure (i.e. sex) by mating with a white bull. 2. Moral Lesson: pain and pleasure always seem to follow each other, and those that wander in the pursuit of finding pleasure will always end up finding pain. B. Pain and Pleasure: when one is experiencing pain the smallest things can bring pleasure “like two creatures with one head...when a man has one, the other follows later” (60b - c). 1. Like when Socrates’ bonds were released 2. Both pain and pleasure tie us to the body 3. Most mistake pleasure as happiness and pain as misery (and should be avoided); whereas the truth is the opposite. Discipline is painful but makes you better in the long run. C. Apollodorus and Xanthippe: 1. Both are over emotional; dominated by passion/emotions 2. Contradictory to the way a philosopher should live “If you are alive, you will die.” (fact of life) D. Pythagoreans Simmias and Cebes and the immortality of the Soul a. pre-Socratic Philosopher b. Main idea was that all of reality could be explained by mathematics c. The immortality of the soul is key to Plato’s Epistamology (how we know things) i. The Forms E. Dreams, Fables and Poetry v. Philosophy a. Dreams are messages from the gods; not a rational exercise by philosophers. Dreams are not reality. b. Aesop’s fables all involve talking animals Not Reality c. By using Aesop’s fable, Plato is showing that Socrates was never interested in the things of dreams and fables (the true philosopher should not be interested in 2 things that are not reality); this is why Socrates has to use other people’s fable and poetry, he cannot come up with his own. i. Practice only the highest art: the art of making arguments using reason (philosophy) d. Inspiration v. Reason: “Philosophers are not inspired speakers, they are only interested in telling the truth.” IV. Philosophy as the Art of Dying Well/ Preparation for Death (61d - 64c) Philosophers are willing to die if that is the reality that is in front of them. A. Follow one who is dying! B. Death as a journey into the unknown C. Socrates’ feet on the ground “Socrates put his feet on the ground and remained in this position during the rest of the conversation” (61d). This hints at Socrates being rooted in REALITY; awake and alert. D. Suicide and freedom from the body; slaves of gods, body a prison 1. “We men are in a kind of prison, and that one must not free oneself or run away...the gods are our guardians and men are one of their possessions...would you not be angry if one of your possessions killed itself when you had not given any sign that you wished it to die…” (62b - c). 2. Need to prepare the soul for freedom from the body, but only the masters can determine when the soul should be freed (not the individual themselves). 3. “It is better to be a slave to someone who is WISE than supposedly free in our own FOOLISHNESS.” E. Philosophy as the Art of Dying/ Prep for Death 1. Philosophers are the opposite of a Zombie a) Zombie = Living Dead (dead soul, living body) b) Philosopher = Dead Living (truly alive soul, nearly dead body) V. Philosophy of Death - Body-Soul and the theory of philosophy (64c - 67e) A. What is Death? (64c) 1. Death is simply the separation of the soul from the body! B. Sense Perception: Empiricism v Logic - Rationalism 3 1. Empiricism: knowledge comes to use through senses (Scientists) 2. Rationalism: comes to know things by sense of logic (Mathematicians) a) Suspicious of senses (think of a magicians and being tricked, that’s what our senses do to our soul) b) Born with Logic C. Asceticism - life of dying to pleasure/pain; practice for death. (think of it as similar to fasting) 1. Most people despise the pursuit of truth and wisdom because it calls into question the pleasures of the body. 2. Asceticism is the intentional limiting of bodily pleasures 3. The further you can get your soul from your body the clearer you can think. 4. As long as we have a body we cannot fully experience the Forms a) Good b) Beauty Concepts & Ideas; not physical, body cannot interpret c) Justice D. The Goal of the Philosopher Knowledge of the truth can only be found in death. VI. True Virtue v. Pseudo Virtue - the practice of philosophy A. Pseudo Virtue: appear brave, wise, or just...but are not truly brave, wise, or just B. True Virtue: philosophers fear nothing, especially death, due to their willingness to die. 4
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