The last natural philosophers in the Phaedo (Pre published)
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This paper examines the possible sources of the two theories introduced by Plato in Phaedo 99b2-c6. First, it shows that the theories belong to people who remain unpersuaded by the teleology introduced by Socrates (Phaedo 97c4-6) and believe they can find a better alternative. Then, it rejects that the most proximate references could be Empedocles, Anaximenes, Anaximander or Anaxagoras. Next, it argues that Plato is most plausibly alluding to both Aristophanes’ Clouds and views held by Diogenes of Apollonia and Archelaus of Athens. Finally, it concludes by noting that this interpretation raises a challenge to the widespread assumption that Socrates’ abandons or modifies his teleological views.
Causality in Plato