Bodily Desires and Afterlife Punishment in the 'Phaedo'


Authors
Doug Reed
University of Rhode Island
Abstract
In this paper I investigate whether in the 'Phaedo' the body or the soul is the subject of bodily desires. By analyzing Plato’s portrayal of the disembodied soul in the dialogue, I argue that because many souls are shown possessing bodily desires after death, the soul can possess bodily desires. Part of my analysis is built on my argument that the best way to understand afterlife punishment in the dialogue is as the necessary frustration of persistent bodily desires. Finally, I end the paper by offering some reasons to think that the soul is the only subject of bodily desires in the dialogue.
Keywords Plato  'Phaedo'  desires  Soul  Afterlife
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