On being reminded of Heraclitus by the motifs in Plato’s Phaedo

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Many scholars have supposed that Plato's Phaedo is peopled with interlocutors with Pythagorean sympathies, and is primarily investigating Pythagorean doctrines. I argue that Plato uses the motif of “being reminded” (which is a theme in the dialogue) to put the reader in mind of another thinker who is not mentioned explicitly, but whose characteristic motifs (the lyre and the hidden immaterial harmony) are put up for discussion in the dialogue. In the process we see Socrates moving away from certain naturalistic doctrines of the Presocratics (probably including Heraclitus’s theory of the soul as supervenient and dependent upon the body) and adopting instead a theory of substantial immortality and epistemic access to immaterial objects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeraklit im Kontext
EditorsEnrica Fantino, Ulrike Muss, Charlotte Schubert, Kurt Sier
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-11-042132-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Publication series

NameStudia Praesocratica 8

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