The myth of Er highlights a tension between the freedom and responsibility of the souls, that choose their next embodied lives, and the aspects that influence their choices: external conditions, self-ignorance, and previous life experiences. The experience of suffering plays a crucial role: many souls are said to make a bad choice because they are unpractised in labours, while others make a good one because they experienced labours. However, I will argue that mere experience is not sufficient: only the reflection on the cause and meaning of suffering leads to choosing a truly good life. This is exemplified by the choice of Odysseus: it is grounded in the memory of his former suffering, and his reflection on it enables him to attain the self-knowledge necessary to make a good choice. He abandons the desire for honour that determined his previous life and chooses a life that will make the pursuit of justice possible. His choice shows that there is a solution to the tension described above. In addition, it can be read as an image of all the choices that men are faced with in this life, where the pursuit of justice is at stake.
|Titolo:||The choice of Odysseus. Justice and suffering in Plato's myth of Er|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|