Understanding Life and Death Through Plato and Socrates. Philosophy as a Confrontation with Eternity

Author: Weierter, Stuart
Year:2012
Pages:314
ISBN:0-7734-2899-2
978-0-7734-2899-7
Price:219.95
It fills in a gap by outlining the ways that Plato and Socrates talk about life and death. There is also a lengthy discussion of how Aristophanes responded with satirical exaggerations of their positions. This author focuses entirely on how death and eternity are integral thematic components of the Platonic dialogues.

The contribution is in drawing on copious secondary material to make the argument that all great philosophy must serve as a confrontation with eternity. It must make the audience resolve the issue of their own mortality by confronting our precarious place in the cosmos. Eternity is a prescient theme in Plato and Socrates, which is important for bolstering their place in the Western canon.

Reviews

“The practice of living this life comes to have an eternal significance, but not at the price of denying the significance of our own mortality. Philosophy as a direct communion with eternity is impossible; we philosophize in this life, and eternity is indirectly present within our time-bound existence.”

-Prof. Jacob Howland,
University of Tulsa


“This work deserves to be in the public domain where it will make an invaluable contribution. I could not commend it too highly.”

-Prof. Damien Casey,
Australian Catholic University


“Weierter points us to Plato and towards the recovery of the possibility of philosophy in our times, a difficult task.”

-Prof. Paul Tyson,
Australian Catholic University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor Jacob Howland
Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: RECOVERING PHILOSOPHY
The Possibility of Philosophy
Aristophanes’ Clouds
Plato’s Euthyphro
Plato’s Phaedo
Concluding Remarks

Chapter 2: READING PLATO
Introduction
The Dialogues as Dramatic Philosophy
Interpretation and Understanding
History and Unity
Where from Here?
Preliminary Remarks on Reading the Dialogues
Socratic and Platonic Dialogues
The Philosophical Drama of Socrates’ Life and Death

Chapter 3: DIVINE AUTHORITY IN ARISTOPHANES’ CLOUDS
Natural Philosophy
The Clouds
A Mismatched Marriage
The Speeches
Speech and Practice
Divine Justice
Aristophanes’ Socrates

Chapter 4: PIETY AND PROPHECY IN PLATO’S EUTHYPHRO
Tradition and Truth
Philosophy and Prophecy
Reading the Euthyphro

Euthyphro
Why does Socrates Speak to Euthyphro?
Meletus
The Euthyphro
Gods and Human Practice
An Idea of Piety
Divine and Human Love
Silent Speech
Piety and Justice
The End of Justice
Divine Justice
An Ignorant Socrates

Chapter 5: DEATH AND THE SOUL IN PLATO’S PHAEDO
Introduction
According to Nature

Aurelius
Nietzsche
Living Truly
The Phaedo: Part 1
Phaedo Remembers
Liberation and Death
Liberating Socrates
Philosophy and Liberation
Who Cares for the Soul?
The Good Life and the After-Life
Separating the Soul
The Dead Philosopher
Proving our Divinity
The Eternal Cycle
Recollecting Death
What is Soul?
Soul Boundaries
The Phaedo: Part 2
Simmias: The Body In Harmony
Cebes: The Creator
Socrates is Dead
Dead Arguments
If the Body is Death, What of the Soul?
Socrates’ Search
Socrates’ Second Sailing
Origins of Understanding
Moving by Way of Hypothesis Origins of the Soul
True and Fated Death
To the Underworld
The After-Life
Socrates’ Death
Chapter 6: THE POSSIBILITY OF PHILOSOPHY
Practising Philosophy

Bibliography