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Ancient Readings of Plato’s 'Phaedo' by Sylvain Delcomminette, Assistant Professor of Ancient

By Sylvain Delcomminette, Assistant Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Intellectual History Pieter D'Hoine, Marc-Antoine Gavray

Plato’s Phaedo hasn't ever didn't allure the eye of philosophers and students. but the background of its reception in Antiquity has been little studied. the current quantity for this reason proposes to ascertain not just the Platonic exegetical culture surrounding this discussion, which culminates within the commentaries of Damascius and Olympiodorus, but in addition its position within the reflections of the rival Peripatetic, Stoic, and Sceptical schools.
This quantity therefore goals to make clear the surviving commentaries and their resources, in addition to on much less commonly used features of the background of the Phaedo’s historical reception. by way of doing so, it could support to elucidate what old interpreters of Plato can and can't provide their modern opposite numbers.

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De fait, c’ est bien la fonction causale de ce qu’Aristote appellera le moyen terme que Platon met au jour dans ce passage44. Précisément pour cette raison, toutefois, il me semble qu’ il serait plus correct de voir dans ce passage l’origine de la théorie aristotélicienne de la démonstration (ἀπόδειξις) plutôt que de celle du syllogisme. C’ est dans la démonstration, en tant que «syllogisme scientifique», que le moyen terme est censé exhiber la cause de la conclusion (cf. An. post. i 2, 71b9–19) – c’ est en cela que la démonstration est un «syllogisme du pourquoi (διότι) » et non simplement un «syllogisme du fait (ὅτι)» (cf.

P. Gerson, Aristotle and Other Platonists, Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press, 2005, 181, note 27. En réalité, la source textuelle la plus évidente de la phrase de l’ Éthique à Nicomaque est Resp. x, 595b9–c3 ; mais l’idée centrale (la nécessité de préférer la vérité à toute autorité) est la même dans les deux passages, et c’est plutôt de celui du Phédon que les anciens commentateurs rapprochaient celui de l’ Éthique à Nicomaque. Sur l’historique et les avatars de cette formule, voir L. Tarán, ‘Amicus Plato sed magis amica veritas.

D’Hoine dans ce volume. Remarquons par parenthèse que cela montre qu’à strictement parler, on ne peut dire que cet argument vise à démontrer l’ immortalité de l’ âme: au contraire, il vise à montrer que tout comme il y a des âmes vivantes, il y a des âmes mortes. Celles-ci «sont» (εἰσίν, cf. 70c4, c6, c9, d2, 72d10), certes – et Socrate précise: elles sont «chez Hadès» (70c4) –; toutefois, elles ne sont pas vivantes, mais mortes – ce qui signifie tout simplement, d’après la définition de la mort donnée un peu plus tôt, qu’elles sont séparées du corps (64c5–8).

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