Myth and Mysticism In Plato's Phaedo

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Nour Abu Husan
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University of Guelph

This thesis explores the philosophical significance of eschatological myth in Plato's Phaedo. Against the view that that the eschatological myths of the Phaedo are unphilosophical or are only made philosophical by being demythologized, in my thesis I argue that they are essentially philosophical, where philosophy is understood as the love of wisdom. I claim that Socrates spoke meaningfully when he characterized philosophy as a kind of love rooted in our complex relationship to the Divine. I support this view by reading Socrates’ claims to ignorance and appeals to the notion of mystery in the Phaedo, as deeply earnest. In my thesis, I give an extensive exegesis of the notions of myth and mystery in the text order to explain Socrates’ turn to eschatological myth and to defend its philosophical status.

Plato, Myth, Mysticism, Phaedo, Poetry, Philosophy, Theology