Jonathan Mueller

Jonathan Mueller

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

Doctoral research

PhD title
A Harmony of Opposition: Poetry and Philosophy in Platonic Dialogues
Dr Theodora Hadjimichael and Dr Philip Burton
Classics and Ancient History PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)


I argue that the aesthetic forms of Plato’s dialogues generally, and of the Phaedo in particular, draw on and operate within a rich Greek poetic tradition in a way that dramatically coheres with the technical and philosophical arguments. In this reading, the dialogues are not simply vehicles for the ideas of Socrates or Plato, but are also literary works that are specifically poetical in matter and form. The benefits of this approach are far-reaching, from noting the dramatic implications of poetic language in certain sections to exploring the philosophical implications of the connection between mousikē and myth-making, and harmonizing the arguments with the drama of the dialogue. The Phaedo, with its heightened dramatic backdrop of the approaching death of Socrates, along with the musical and poetic features present in both speech and narrative structure, serves as an appropriate centerpiece for the investigation of the engagement of philosophy with poetry and musical culture.