Date of Award

5-18-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Tim O'Keefe - Chair

Second Advisor

Andrew I. Cohen

Third Advisor

Jessica Berry

Abstract

I will address the issue of Plato’s use of myths concerning the afterlife in the context of the ethical arguments of the Gorgias, Phaedo and Republic, and I will contend that while the arguments in each dialogue are aimed at convincing the rational part of the self, the myths are aimed at persuading the non-rational part of the self. In support of this interpretation, I will examine Plato’s views on the relation between the different parts of the soul and the relationship that poetry and myth have to philosophy. I will argue that Plato’s use of myth is a legitimate tactic in his project of moral education, given his views concerning the role that the non-rational parts of the self play in one’s moral life.

Included in

Philosophy Commons

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