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Knowing PersonsA Study in Plato$
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Lloyd P. Gerson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199288670

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199288670.001.0001

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Immortality and Persons in Phaedo

Immortality and Persons in Phaedo

(p.50) CHAPTER 2 Immortality and Persons in Phaedo
Knowing Persons

Lloyd P. Gerson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter is devoted to Phaedo. It attempts to explicate the account of the person in that dialogue along with the proofs for the immortality of the soul. In this dialogue, along with the claim for the immortality of the soul the separation of Forms is found and the consequent demotion of the reality of the sensible world. It is within this context that the relation between embodied and disembodied persons is properly situated. This relation is understood as one between endowed and achieved personhood or selfhood. It is shown that for Plato, the ideal person is a knower, the subject of the highest form of cognition. That this form of cognition is apparently attributable only to disembodied persons is of the utmost importance. From this, it follows that the achievement of any embodied person is bound to fall short of the ideal.

Keywords:   Plato, Phaedo, immortality of the soul, cyclical argument, recollection argument, affinity argument, Simmias, Cebes

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