1. bookVolume 11 (2021): Issue 1-2 (June 2021)
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16 Apr 2016
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access type Open Access

Good life and good death in the Socratic literature of the fourth century BCE

Published Online: 04 Jun 2021
Page range: 1 - 13
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The paper outlines several forms of ethical attitude to good life and good death in the Socratic literature of the fourth century BCE. A model for the Socratic discussions could be found in Herodotus’ story about the meeting between Croesus and Solon. Within their conversation, Solon shows the king of Lydia that death is a place from which the life of each man can be seen as the completed whole. In his Phaedo, Plato depicts Socrates’ last day before his death in a similar spirit, as the completion of his beautiful life. However, there is no consensus regarding opinions on death among the Socratics. The final part of the paper outlines various meanings of death in the writings of the first generation of the Socratic authors, which arise from different attitudes that the individual philosophers hold regarding the soul as well as other topics. This part puts the principal emphasis on Aristippus, who is considered as the most controversial figure of the Socratic movement. Aristippus makes an interesting opposite to Plato concerning death, since he associates the philosopher’s endeavour for a good life solely with that which is here and now.

Keywords

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