The Myth of the Last Judgment in the "Gorgias"

Review of Metaphysics 54 (3):529 - 552 (2001)
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Abstract

AT THE END OF A VERY LONG DISCUSSION with interlocutors who grow angrier and angrier with him, Socrates tells a story about the judgment of souls in the afterlife. He addresses the myth to Callicles, his final interlocutor, in the explicitly stated belief that the young man will not take it any more seriously than he would take a bunch of old wives tales. Socrates prophecy about Callicles response is likely to be correct. What is surprising, however, is that it also turns out to describe well the reaction of many readers of the dialogue. Plato scholars pay no attention whatsoever to the myth, at most devoting a few pages to Platos sources. Does he rely on Orphic sources, or is he closer to the Pythagoreans? Once such problems are addressed, the myth is summarily dismissed.

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Alessandra Fussi
University of Pisa

Citations of this work

Plato on Rhetoric and Poetry.Charles Griswold - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Socrates’ Refutation of Gorgias.Alfssandra Fussi - 2002 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 17 (1):123-154.
Commentary on "A Man of No Substance: The Philosopher in Plato's Gorgias," by S. Montgomery Ewegen.Joseph M. Forte - forthcoming - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy.
Commentary on Gerson.Alessandra Fussi - 1999 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 15 (1):254-262.
Literary Form and Philosophical Discourse: The Problem of Myth in the Platonic Dialogues.Alessandra Fussi - 2013 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 7 (2):221-228.

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