Reading the Death of Socrates

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In my first return to my alma mater since graduating in 1991, I will perform a reading of Plato's Phaedo.

I say a "performance" here not because I will re-enact the drama of the text - that would turn a tragedy into a comedy. No, the performative dimension of the presentation will be the way the lecture is designed to perform with its audience something of what the paper itself argues Socrates was trying to do with his interlocutors and Plato with his readers: cultivate a community concerned with ideals in the face of the reality of human finitude.

The Phaedo, I argue, is perhaps Plato's most eloquent political dialogue.


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