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Nova tellus

Print version ISSN 0185-3058


CASERTA, Cristiana. Socrates and the Sea. The Odyssean Model in the Phaedo. Nova tellus [online]. 2015, vol.32, n.2, pp.75-113. ISSN 0185-3058.

Plato in the Phaedo outlines an intellectual biography of Socrates articulated in different phases, the last of them, (τὸν δεύτεϱον πλοῦν, the “second navigation”) beginning when he renounced to natural philosophy for a dialogue-oriented philosophy. The metaphor of “second navigation” refers to the fifth book of the Odyssey in which the hero rejects heavenly life in Calypso’s island and attempts to cross the abyss on a raft and get to Ithaca. Throughout the dialogue, there are numerous references to the Odyssey: the autobiographical excursus, in which Socrates defines his philosophy, can be compared with the speeches of Odysseus to King Alcinous. In both, main themes are the transformation of the subject at the end of a cognitive route and the refusal of the seduction and passivity.

Keywords : Odysseus; Socrates; Travel; Raft; Subject; See; Dialogue; Natural History.

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