In this powerpoint, I present a way of reading the Phaedo where Socrates is viewed as living a meaningful life BECAUSE he was unafraid of death.
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Death and Meaning of Life
Could it be that if someone lives their life without fear of death, particularly in the process of dying, then it means they must have lived a meaningful life?
Socrates was not afraid of death. So, he lived a meaningful life.
E.g. People who let death occur from terminal illness (?)
E.g. People who decide to “die with dignity” from terminal illness (?)
E.g. People who, unprepared, screech at finding spiders, mice, etc.
E.g. People who engage in “dangerous” sport while knowing the danger.
Passive Fear (Spiders)
Active Fear (Cliff Diving)
Socrates actively sought out fearful things (provoking people) and actively confronted the consequences (death). Hence, his death was an act of courage.
Philosophy demonstrates that Death is not evil and should be sought out.
How might this relate to the relationship between not fearing death and living a meaningful life?
Perhaps it suggests that life is a kind of burden that must be worn lightly (?)
Life is itself a great subversion: to really live it you must not be afraid to lose it.