Mnemosyne (Advance Articles):1-24 (2022)

Authors
Daniel Vázquez
Mary Immaculate College
Abstract
This paper examines the possible sources of the theories introduced in Phaedo 99b2-c6. It argues that Plato is primarily alluding to Aristophanes’ Clouds and views held by Diogenes of Apollonia and Archelaus of Athens. But the passage, I also suggest, could serve another rhetorical function. By inviting us to reflect on whether and to what extent other natural philosophers fit the description of these theories, the text emphasises the gulf between Socrates and his predecessors. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of identifying these references for our understanding of the autobiographical passage in the Phaedo.
Keywords Socrates' 'old accusation'  Presocratics  teleology  causal explanation  nous  Platonic causes
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