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Classics & Ancient History   >   Plato: Phaedo


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Plato: Phaedo

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.


In this module, we provide an introduction to Plato's Phaedo, focusing in particular on the historical and philosophical context, the importance of the figures of Plato, Socrates, Phaedo, and the two Pythagoreans present in the dialogue, and the central topic of the dialogue –– i.e. the immortality of what the Greeks called the ψυχή (psychē).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Sedley, D. (2018, August 15). Plato: Phaedo - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Sedley, D. "Plato: Phaedo – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Prof. David Sedley

Prof. David Sedley

University of Cambridge