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Phaedo relates the dialogue from that day to Echecrates , a Pythagorean philosopher. The Cyclical Argument, or Opposites Argument explains that Forms are eternal and unchanging, and as the soul always brings life, then it must not die, and is necessarily "imperishable". As the body is mortal and is subject to physical death, the soul must be its indestructible opposite. Plato then suggests the analogy of fire and cold.

If the form of cold is imperishable, and fire, its opposite, was within close proximity, it would have to withdraw intact as does the soul during death.

This could be likened to the idea of the opposite charges of magnets. The Theory of Recollection explains that we possess some non-empirical knowledge e. The Form of Equality at birth, implying the soul existed before birth to carry that knowledge.

The Affinity Argument, explains that invisible, immortal, and incorporeal things are different from visible, mortal, and corporeal things. Our soul is of the former, while our body is of the latter, so when our bodies die and decay, our soul will continue to live. The Argument from Form of Life , or The Final Argument explains that the Forms, incorporeal and static entities, are the cause of all things in the world, and all things participate in Forms. For example, beautiful things participate in the Form of Beauty; the number four participates in the Form of the Even, etc.

The soul, by its very nature, participates in the Form of Life, which means the soul can never die. Introductory conversation[ edit ] The scene is set in Phlius where Echecrates who, meeting Phaedo, asks for news about the last days of Socrates. Phaedo explains why a delay occurred between his trial and his death, and describes the scene in a prison at Athens on the final day, naming those present.

He tells how he had visited Socrates early in the morning with the others. Socrates then states " He asks, "Why do you say He says, "I too believe that the gods are our guardians, and that we men are a chattel of theirs". While the philosopher seeks always to rid himself of the body, and to focus solely on things concerning the soul, to commit suicide is prohibited as man is not sole possessor of his body. For, as stated in the Phaedo: Body and soul are separate, then.

The philosopher frees himself from the body because the body is an impediment to the attainment of truth. Did you ever reach them truths with any bodily sense? Is the truth of them ever perceived through the bodily organs?

Or rather, is not the nearest approach to the knowledge of their several natures made by him who so orders his intellectual vision as to have the most exact conception of the essence of each thing he considers? In life, the rational and intelligent functions of the soul are restricted by bodily senses of pleasure, pain, sight, and sound. As the philosopher practices death his entire life, he should greet it amicably and not be discouraged upon its arrival, for, since the universe the Gods created for us in life is essentially "good," why would death be anything but a continuation of this goodness?

Death is a place where better and wiser Gods rule and where the most noble souls exist: This argument is often called the Cyclical Argument. It supposes that the soul must be immortal since the living come from the dead.

He goes on to show, using examples of relationships, such as asleep-awake and hot-cold, that things that have opposites come to be from their opposite. One falls asleep after having been awake. And after being asleep, he awakens. Things that are hot can become cold and vice versa. Socrates then gets Cebes to conclude that the dead are generated from the living, through death, and that the living are generated from the dead, through birth. The souls of the dead must exist in some place for them to be able to return to life.

He interrupts Socrates to point this out, saying: This person must have gained this knowledge in a prior life, and is now merely recalling it from memory. From this, it is concluded that while the body may be seen to exist after death in the form of a corpse, as the body is mortal and the soul is divine, the soul must outlast the body. However, regarding those who were not virtuous during life, and so favored the body and pleasures pertaining exclusively to it, Socrates also speaks.

He says that such a soul as this is: These persons will even be punished while in Hades. Their punishment will be of their own doing, as they will be unable to enjoy the singular existence of the soul in death because of their constant craving for the body. These souls are finally "imprisoned in another body". Socrates concludes that the soul of the virtuous man is immortal, and the course of its passing into the underworld is determined by the way he lived his life.

The philosopher, and indeed any man similarly virtuous, in neither fearing death, nor cherishing corporeal life as something idyllic, but by loving truth and wisdom, his soul will be eternally unperturbed after the death of the body, and the afterlife will be full of goodness.

For this reason, he is not upset facing death and assures them that they ought to express their concerns regarding the arguments.

Simmias then presents his case that the soul resembles the harmony of the lyre. It may be, then, that as the soul resembles the harmony in its being invisible and divine, once the lyre has been destroyed, the harmony too vanishes, therefore when the body dies, the soul too vanishes. Once the harmony is dissipated, we may infer that so too will the soul dissipate once the body has been broken, through death.

He says, "I am ready to admit that the existence of the soul before entering into the bodily form has been Cebes gives the example of a weaver. However, when he dies, his more freshly woven cloaks continue to exist. Cebes continues that though the soul may outlast certain bodies, and so continue to exist after certain deaths, it may eventually grow so weak as to dissolve entirely at some point. For, it may be that the next death is the one under which the soul ultimately collapses and exists no more.

Cebes would then, " Phaedo remarks to Echecrates that, because of this objection, those present had their "faith shaken," and that there was introduced "a confusion and uncertainty". Socrates too pauses following this objection and then warns against misology, the hatred of argument. He begins by showing that "if there is anything beautiful other than absolute beauty it is beautiful only insofar as it partakes of absolute beauty".

Consequently, as absolute beauty is a Form, and so is the soul, then anything which has the property of being infused with a soul is so infused with the Form of soul. As an example he says, "will not the number three endure annihilation or anything sooner than be converted into an even number, while remaining three? Forms, then, will never become their opposite. As the soul is that which renders the body living, and that the opposite of life is death, it so follows that, "


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