Editor's note: After blind peer review, this paper was selected for reading at the University of Dayton's 10th annual Philosophy Colloquium, held Feb. 27-28, 1981.

At a turning point in the Phaedo (95e) Socrates says that the objections of his interlocutor, Cebes, call for a thorough inquiry into the reason (aitia) for coming-to-be (genesis) and destruction (phthora.) In this paper I wish to explore some philosophical antecedents of this inquiry, with a view to clarifying its significance in the Phaedo context, and ventilating it as a conceptual issue in its own right.



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