Paper Example - The Lives of Lovers of Wisdom

Published: 2023-08-27
Paper Example - The Lives of Lovers of Wisdom
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Knowledge Plato Essays by pagecount
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1240 words
11 min read

From Plato’s Phaedo, philosophers seek various kinds of explanations. The first explanation is the prerequisite to becoming and possessing the characteristics of a true philosopher. The dialogue explains that a true philosopher should be a lover of death and should be willing to exchange life with more valuable things such as wisdom. Besides, they seek to understand the relationship between the body and the soul, where Socrates explains that the soul is pure but gets contaminated from the body pleasures (Rudebusch, 2018). The other prerequisite of a true philosopher is the ability to detach from the worldly gods such as wealth, fame, and social standing and desiring for death so that they may find better gods in the afterlife. Philosophers also seek an explanation of the significance of death and why it is depicted as a blessing in the Phaedo. Besides, they need to know why one should welcome death and still not be allowed to take it away from themselves through suicide. Socrates points out that a true philosopher should not fear death but rather welcome it (Deverlux, 2016). Philosophers reasons that since their lives are devoted to serving the gods, then they should find joy and gratefulness in service and be saddened by the separation from it. All these are some of the explanations that philosophers seek to form the dialogue.

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The Lives of Lovers of Wisdom

The dialogue depicts that philosophers should be lovers of wisdom and the kind of lives that they should lead. A lover of wisdom should be ready to disconnect from body contamination and have a quest for the soul purification. Such implies that they should not fear death, which separates the soul from the body. Besides, they should be ready and willing to give up their lives in exchange for wisdom, which is more valuable. The body is a barrier to the pursuit of wisdom in various ways. First, the bodily senses are imprecise and deceptive and therefore hinder the pursuit of wisdom. Second, taking care of the body means taking a break from wisdom, which is hard to recover. Third, the body has the desire for pleasures that distracts one from pursuing wisdom. Fourth, as one age, the body becomes prone to diseases and deterioration, which is a major hindrance to the pursuit of wisdom. Therefore, the lovers of wisdom attempt to free their souls from the body.

Pure Rational Knowledge is possible After Death

Plato’s Phaedo depicts that pure rational knowledge is only possible after death. According to Socrates, knowledge is a virtue that has a concept of universal appeal. Therefore, it is the responsibility of humans to build in it and bring good fortune to the existing. However, the process of acquiring knowledge is pure and requires no contamination. Such contamination can come from the bodily senses, which are imprecise and deceptive. Knowledge enables one to examine life and determine whether it is worth living. Therefore, one should seek knowledge before fulfilling their private interests, an aspect that is only possible after death. The bodily pleasures corrupt the mind and negatively impact the individual’s way of thinking and reasoning. Death will aid in maintaining the purity of the soul, which enhances knowledge. The body is prone to diseases and contaminations that affect the acquisition of knowledge. The afterlife of a person reveals things that cannot be perceived through the senses hence adding knowledge to the individual.

Wisdom as a Form of Purification

According to Socrates, wisdom is a form of purification. One can only achieve wisdom if their souls are detached from the contamination of the body. As the body desires the pleasures of the fresh such as fame and money, so does the soul yearn for wisdom. The pleasures of the fresh are experienced through the senses, which are imprecise and deceiving, but wisdom comes through the intellect. The search for truth is bound to be deceptive as long as bodily pleasures accompany it. Wisdom aids in the search for truth, which can be revealed through the process of thought. The optimal functioning of the though is achieved when the mind is free from troubles caused by the pleasures, pains, and sight. Therefore, there are minimal chances of achieving wisdom without the purification of the soul, which is attained through its separation from the contamination caused by body pleasures. The sense makes a philosopher dishonor the body and quench his desire to be pure and therefore possess wisdom. The process of seeking wisdom also needs some form of purification because it has a variety of hindrances. The elements of wisdom, such as goodness, justice, and beauty, have never been perceived through any bodily senses such as hearing and sight. Socrates, therefore, argues that death is a pure process of achieving wisdom as it separates the body from the soul. Death removes all the hindrances to attaining wisdom, such as the bodily senses, inclinations, and desires, as well as diseases and deteriorations.

Practice of Philosophy

Philosophy is defined as love for wisdom. It is the activity undertaken by people in the quest to understand the truth about themselves, nature, and their relationship with the world around them. There are various ways in which one can practice philosophy in their daily living. Such can be applied to improve their quality of life, establishing problem-solving and communication skills as well as having efficient decision-making skills. Philosophizing can offer therapeutic and development functions that complement each other. Socrates stated that philosophy cures the soul, which marks the end of human miseries. Besides, philosophy is practiced in modern Christianity, where they believe in life after death. Christianity depicts that the body of fresh is prone to issues that can prevent an individual from attaining eternity. Those who believe and keep pure have a special place, and when the roll is called up yonder, they will join their creator and live happily after. Besides, they believe the good will be rewarded with good at the end while the wicked will be punished. Examining philosophy from an own point of view helps an individual to wrestle with their thinking. Sometimes, it may help them change their mind for the better or have a strong perception by selecting the best from different philosophers. The application of philosophy helps in the realization of higher institutions' fundamental goals by enhancing student’s learning, public speaking, and critical thinking, among others. Philosophy also enhances the individual’s interactions and relationships with the people and the world surrounding them. The pursuit of wisdom is also a practice of philosophy in daily living.


The Phaedo is significant because it provides explanations of knowledge and wisdom as well as how people can practice philosophy in the present times. Besides, it depicts the characteristics of the lovers of wisdom as being courageous and self-controlled. Moreover, it depicts that true philosophers should welcome a legitimate death. Socrates maintains that philosophy is a preparation for death because to possess wisdom, the soul must be kept pure through separating it from the body. The philosophers seek to know the kind of life that a true philosopher should lead and the explanations on how death is associated with knowledge and wisdom. From the dialogue, one gets to know how they can practice philosophy in their daily living. Such is achieved through critical thinking, developing problem-solving strategies as well as conflict management. Besides, philosophy drives the interactions and relationships between people and the world surrounding them. Immortality of the Soul

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