The Death of Philosophers

Two representations of the death scene depicted in Plato’s dialogue, the Phaedo.

Philosophy is preparation for death. So said Socrates, Greek philosopher par excellence, martyr to the cause, executed by the state in 399BC for corrupting the youth. According to his pupil Plato, who recorded the scene of his death in the Phaedo, when friends snuck into his prison cell to help him escape into exile, Socrates refused to go. It is not death that we should avoid, he argued, but living an immoral life. Escaping would be wrong…

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