The association between mythos and logos in the Phaedo, or on how to reach the logos that is “most difficult to refute”


  • Julián Macías Universidad de Buenos Aires – Buenos Aires – Argentina



elenchos, mythos, logos, noble lie


In the Phaedo, after offering several arguments in favour of the immortality of the soul, a mythos is introduced about its afterlife. Given the tenor of the topic at hand and the human limitations in coming up with strictly true logos on the subject, Socrates and his associates agree that the "most difficult to refute" (dysexelenktotaton, 85d1) should be sought among the human logoi. This paper attempts to determine to what extent the association between the myth presented towards the end of the dialogue and the preceding arguments contributes to this goal. In this sense it intends to show, on the one hand, that the myth mentioned has the characteristics of the noble lie in R. II-III -a text that suggests the need to use tales that, despite being fictional, are useful to establish justice in the soul of the audience-; and, on the other hand, that because of its persuasive character, the myth contributes to strengthen the logos developed so far in order to make it as irrefutable as possible, generating faith in the importance of virtuous life, even in the audience that is not part of the philosophical circle.


Download data is not yet available.


ANNAS, J. (1982). Plato's Myths of Judgement. Phronesis 27, n. 2, p. 119-143.

BOSSI, B. (2016). La esperanza de Sócrates: ¿cuestión de argumentos o encantamientos? (notas al Fedón). Archai 16, p.147-182.

BRISSON, L. (1982). Platon, les mots et les mythes. Paris, Maspero.

DESTRÉE, P. (2021). Spectacles from Hades. On plato’s myths and allegories in the Republic. In: COLLOBERT, K.; DESTRÉE, P.; GONZÁLEZ, F. (eds.) Plato and myth: studies on the use and status of Platonic myths. Leiden, Brill, pp. 109-124.

CROTTY, K. (2010). The Philosopher's Song: The Poets' Influence on Plato. Washington, Lexington Books.

DIVENOSA, M.; MÁRSICO, C. (2005). Platón. República, traducción, introducción y notas. Buenos Aires, Losada.

DIVENOSA, M. (2008). Platón. Menón, traducción, introducción y notas. Buenos Aires, Losada.

DODDS, E. (1959). Platón. Gorgias, A revised text with introduction and commentary. Oxford, Clarendon.

GADAMER, H. G. (1980). Dialogue and Dialectic: Eight Hermeneutical Studies on Plato (trans. with an introduction by Smith, P. C.). New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

GALLOP, D. (1975). Plato. Plato’s Phaedo. Oxford, University Press.

GARCIA GUAL, C. (2014). Platón. Fedón. Barcelona, Editorial Gredos.

GOLDSCHMIDT, V. (1971). Platon. Les Dialogues de Platon: Structure et Méthode dialectique. Paris, Thèse d'État Lettres.

MARCOS, G. (2022). Dialectic and Refutation in Plato. On the Role of Refutation in the Search for Truth. Archai 32.

MARCOS DE PINOTTI, G. (2008). Mentiras semejantes a verdades según Platón. Justificación y alcance del pseûdos en República II. Revista de Filosofía Univ. Costa Rica 46, n. 117/118, p. 95-103.

MORGAN, K. A. (2000). Myth and philosophy from the Presocratics to Plato. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

NADDAF, G. (2016). Poetic Myths of the Afterlife: Plato’s Last Song. In: BENITEZ, R. (ed.) Plato’s Poetics. London, Academic Printing and Publishing.

PARTENIE, C. (ed.) (2004). Plato. Plato. Selected Myths, New York, Oxford University Press.

PETRAKI, Z. (2011). The Poetics of Philosophical Language: Plato, Poets and Presocratics in the Republic. Berlin, de Gruyter.

SCOTT, G. (ed.) (2002). Does Socrates have a Method? Rethinking the elenchus. University Park, Pennsylvania State University Press.

TAYLOR, C. C. W. (1976). Plato. Plato: Protagoras. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

VIGO, A. (2009). Platón. Fedón. Traducción, notas e introducción. Buenos Aires, Colihue.

VLASTOS, G. (1982) The Socratic Elenchus, Journal of Philosophy 79, n. 11, p. 711-714.



How to Cite

Macías , J. . (2022). The association between mythos and logos in the Phaedo, or on how to reach the logos that is “most difficult to refute”. Revista Archai, (32), e03212.



Dossier Archai: Dialectic and Refutation in Plato and Aristotle