Hermes 110 (1):19-25 (1982)

There is growing recognition in Phaedo scholarship of a parallel between the deuteros plous passage and the introduction to Simmias' speech: both speak of attempting to discover or to learn the truth about things, and then, if that proves impossible, to resort to divine or human logoi, the former being the "safer" of the two. It is contended that that model governs Socrates reply to Cebes: he first tried to discover the truth about causes by himself; then he tried to learn it from Anaxagoras; and then, having failed in both endeavors, he resorted to logoi, both "divine" in the hypothesis of the forms and "human" in the hypothesis of intermediates, the former being the "safest" recourse. Finally, a defense is provided for the thesis that in calling the deuteros plous "deuteros," Socrates is being ironical.
Keywords Plato  Phaedo  Deuteros Plous
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