LOCKDOWN THEORY #38
One death has proven to be exceptionally devastating for Western politics and philosophy, as well as for political philosophy - and has left its mark on the life in the city (polis). Socrates’ death illustrates many philosophical, political, and ethical themes, strong impressions of many debates, and deep insights into two complex matters that can be observed in their restless omnipresence from antiquity to the present day: common living (or the existence of the community) and the living of a singular self (or singular existence). Through the reconstruction of Socrates’ final moments, by using Plato’s dialogue Phaedo in this case, and in light of the current pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, among other things, two strong elements of the life in the city emerge - dialogue and friendship. In his last moments, Socrates did not discuss Athens, or life in the polis, or the Athenians - the usual sources of his questions and his art of midwifery (i.e., the Socratic method), his final breath that can still be felt, perhaps now better than ever, carried his last wish - that his friends take care of themselves, because if they do not, that would mean the end of the dialogues they had. This fusion of the care of the self and dialogue actually reveals how mutual dependency between singular and common living is possible and why it is necessary.
Read more about Socrates in Quarantine by Viki Mladenova