Phædo or Phaedo (/ ˈ f iː d oʊ /; Greek: Φαίδων, Phaidōn [pʰaídɔːn]), also known to ancient readers as On The Soul, is one of the best-known dialogues of Plato's middle period, along with the Republic and the Symposium. In fact, this is the only sort of knowledge (apart from mystic insight) that Plato admits to be really knowledge. His last words are: 'Crito, I owe a cock to Asclepius; will you remember to pay the debt?' Later philosophers had arguments to prove the identity of the real and the good, but Plato seems to have assumed it as self-evident. The soul, when using the body as an instrument of perception, that is to say, when using the sense of sight or hearing or some other sense (for the meaning of perceiving through the body is perceiving through the senses) … is then dragged by the body into the region of the changeable, and wanders and is confused; the world spins round her, and she is like a drunkard, when she touches change…. The experimenter's mind is not 'gathered into itself', and does not aim at avoiding sounds or sights. In his immortality of the soul concept, which are found in his republic, there are key points in his arguments. Unlike some of his predecessors, he was not scientific in his thinking, but was determined to prove the universe agreeable to his ethical standards. But he adds another argument, which had a longer history in philosophy: that only what is complex can be dissolved, and that the soul, like the ideas, is simple and not compounded of parts. We usually define it in physiological terms as the cessation of biological functions that make life possible. Plato’s Theory of Immortality (A History of Western Philosophy) Leave a Comment / Book Summaries , Philosophy / By Farah Plato argues that anything that distracts man from the pursuit of the vision of truth and philosophy should be avoided, and this includes the pleasures of the senses. Instead it's, 'is there a soul that sticks around once the body has checked out?' Plato does this through an argument commonly referred to as the “final argument.” The title stems from the fact that the final argument occurs at the finale of Plato’s dialogue and follows three less conclusive “arguments” for the immortality of the soul. Speaking broadly, intellectual goods are just as expensive as more material commodities, and just as little independent of economic conditions. But the problem with Plato’s argument is that it does not consider that the greatest dangers of man are not from the senses, but from the mind. Immortality of the Soul Preface In the Phaedo, Plato set out to show many things, including that the Soul is Immortal. The "Form" of Life is held to be free from any trace of death this further implies that souls must be immortal. It has been proved to us by experience that if we would have true knowledge of anything we must be quit of the body—the soul in herself must behold things in themselves: and then we shall attain the wisdom which we desire, and of which we say we are lovers; not while we live, but after death; for if while in company with the body the soul cannot have pure knowledge, knowledge must be attained after death, if at all. Socrates' fourth argument is based on the Theory of Forms. Not many modern students have the time to sit around brooding and meditating, given how fast-paced the academic life is today. This is treachery to truth, and the worst of philosophic sins. In our own day, Hitler belonged to this type; by all accounts, the pleasures of sense were of very little importance to him. 'He would like, as far as he can, to get away from the body and to turn to the soul.'. Dao Le Prof. Mark Cronin HU 102 - HD April 2, 2012 The Immortality of the Soul in Plato’s Phaedo Among Plato’s dialogues, which serve to honor the realm of philosophy in general and Socrates’s life in particular, the Phaedo dramatically and poignantly portrays the death scene of Socrates. Plato’s view on immortality is unique and differs significantly from other beliefs about the same. Think not of life and children first, and of justice afterwards, but of justice first, that you may be justified before the princes of the world below. aquinas Aristotle immortality plato … The distinction between mind and matter, which has become a commonplace in philosophy and science and popular thought, has a religious origin, and began as the distinction of soul and body. These men were acting as Plato says they should: they were not abstaining from gluttony by means of a moral effort, but were more interested in other matters. This he proceeds to do, but it must be said that the arguments are very poor. After putting forward his tripartite model of the soul, Plato turns his attention to the soul’s immortality. Here we come under Plato's dualism: between reality and appearance, ideas and sensible objects, reason and sense-perception, soul and body. By Ben Potter. Socrates accepts that he has to die in order to attain the objectives of true philosophy (Cooper 94, Phaedo 63c). By calling them ‘philosophical’ arguments I am distinguishing them from arguments which are based on empirical research, like research into near-death experiences, and from arguments which rely on premises taken from a particular religious tradition. I do not think we really possess the idea of absolute equality that Plato supposes us to possess. Death, says Socrates, is the separation of soul and body. These pairs are connected: the first in each pair is superior to the second both in reality and in goodness. When asked what the main objective of Plato's Phaedo is, one would likely, confidently, claim that it is to prove the immortality of the soul. 4. It is obvious that this doctrine, popularized, would become ascetic, but in intention it is not, properly speaking, ascetic. The two kinds of mental activity that can be pursued by the method that Plato recommends are mathematics and mystic insight. The Body as Prison to the Soul in Plato's Phaedo - Philosophy Core Concepts - Duration: 10:47. It is important to remember the following points which will be developed in this handout: 1. The first argument is that all things which have opposites are generated from their opposites—a statement which reminds us of Anaximander's views on cosmic justice. Socrates, in the Phaedo, proceeds at once to develop the ascetic implications of his doctrine, but his asceticism is of a moderate and gentlemanly sort. On the other hand, it is what at the time of death departs fromthe person's limbs and travels to the underworld, where it has a moreor less pitiful afterlife as a shade or image of the deceasedperson. The philosopher will be temperate because 'each pleasure and pain is a sort of nail which nails and rivets the soul to the body, until she becomes like the body, and believes that to be true which the body affirms to be true'. From this point, Socrates goes on to the ideas or forms or essences. All this language is mystical, and is derived from the mysteries. Since we have not learnt this from experience, we must have brought the knowledge with us from a previous existence. Through the aid of the Theory of Forms Plato proved that the soul is immortal. His end, and his farewells, are described. A man who has been virtuous without being a philosopher will become a bee or wasp or ant, or some other animal of a gregarious and social sort. How, then, do we arrive at the idea of absolute equality? And this state of the soul is called wisdom. Plato believes that the soul exists in Form of Life which enables it to become alive and immortal. But the impure soul, which has loved the body, will become a ghost haunting the sepulchre, or will enter into the body of an animal, such as an ass or wolf or hawk, according to its character. With each instance of pleasure and pain, the soul becomes more closely identified with the body, until there is no longer any separation. As to this, one may observe, in the first place, that the argument is wholly inapplicable to empirical knowledge. He does not say that the philosopher should wholly abstain from ordinary pleasures, but only that he should not be a slave to them. Socrates begins by maintaining that, though any one who has the spirit of philosophy will not fear death, but, on the contrary, will welcome it, yet he will not take his own life, for that is held to be unlawful. To delve into this query let's take a look at Socrates', Plato's, and Augustine's views of the immort… The boy's answers are supposed to show that he really knows geometry, although he has hitherto been unaware of possessing this knowledge. To be immortal is, precisely, not to suffer death. Plato thinks that a man could live on very little money if his wants were reduced to a minimum, and this no doubt is true. 26:24. Wars are occasioned by the love of money, and money has to be acquired for the sake and in the service of the body; and by reason of all these impediments we have no time to give to philosophy; and, last and worst of all, even if we are at leisure to betake ourselves to some speculation, the body is always breaking in upon us, causing turmoil and confusion in our inquiries, and so amazing us that we are prevented from seeing the truth. The philosopher will not abstain with an effort from the pleasures of sense, but will be thinking of other things. Thought is best, Socrates says, when the mind is gathered into itself, and is not troubled by sounds or sights or pain or pleasure but takes leave of the body and aspires after true being; 'and in this the philosopher dishonours the body'. Many eminent ecclesiastics, having renounced the pleasures of sense, and not being on their guard against others, became dominated by love of power, which led them to appalling cruelties and persecutions, nominally for the sake of religion. When asked if Plato is successful in doing so, one might not be so confident with their response. Plato is the classical source of philosophical arguments for the immortality of the soul. He decides accordingly, that it is his duty to stay and abide the death sentence. What should we mean if we said, of some other rod, that its length was exactly one metre? Regardless of status, gender, or beliefs, one day each of us will cease to exist as we do today. But when returning into herself she reflects, then she passes into the other world, the region of purity, and eternity, and immortality, and unchangeableness, which are her kindred, and with them she ever lives, when she is by herself, and is not let or hindered; then she ceases from her erring ways, and being in communion with the unchanging is unchanging. What happens when we die, after all, is that the human soul separates from the human body, and it is concern for the soul rather than the body that characterizes a philosophical life. Science requires libraries, laboratories, telescopes, microscopes, and so on, and men of science have to be supported by the labour of others. 'Purity' is an Orphic conception, having primarily a ritual meaning, but for Plato it means freedom from slavery to the body and its needs. His merits are obvious. The second was that orthodox Christianity could never bring itself to condemn marriage, though it held celibacy to be nobler. Whence come wars, and fightings and factions? Socrates outlines his belief that the soul is immortal and therefore possesses all knowledge available; so there is no such thing as learning but instead recollecting information. 'Of all the men of his time,' Phaedo concludes, 'he was the wisest and justest and best.'. We cannot know that there was such a place as Athens, or such a man as Socrates; his death, and his courage in dying, belong to the world of appearance. Plato was a thinker of his time and therefore understands immortality in terms of reincarnation (literally to be made flesh again). If we wish to understand him, we must, hypothetically, suppose this assumption justified. The dialogue is primarily an argument for the immortality of the soul that Socrates is trying to convince his grief-ridden colleagues, and maybe indeed himself, of in order to prove that his execution is merely the separation of his soul from his body… and not his actual ‘death’. Compare And Contrast Plato And Hume And Immortality Of The Soul. No wonder Xanthippe was a shrew. Whence but from the body and the lusts of the body? The doctrine of reminiscence being considered established, Cebes says: 'About half of what was required has been proven; to wit, that our souls existed before we were born:—that the soul will exist after death as well as before birth is the other half of which the proof is still wanting.' It purports to describe the last moments in the life of Socrates: his conversation immediately before drinking the hemlock, and after, until he loses consciousness. All these are only to be seen by intellectual vision. The body is the source of endless trouble to us by reason of the mere requirement of food; and is liable also to diseases which overtake and impede us in the search after true being: it fills us full of loves, and lusts, and fears, and fancies of all kinds, and endless foolery, and in fact, as men say, takes away from us all power of thinking at all. An ascetic morality was the natural consequence of this dualism. Its middle-period classification puts it after “early” dialogues such as the Apology, Euthyphro, Crito, Protagoras, and others which present Socrates’ search… It was the imperialism of Athens in the age of Pericles that made it possible for Athenians to study philosophy. But this is still an empirical statement, in the sense that empirical evidence may at any moment disprove it. Chapter Sixteen from Book One, Part Two of Bertrand Russell's "The History Of Western Philosophy" (1945). The slave-boy could not have been led to 'remember' when the Pyramids were built, or whether the siege of Troy really occurred, unless he had happened to be present at these events. The fool who persists in his folly will become wise - William Blake, on Plato’s Theory of Immortality (A History of Western Philosophy), The Theory of Ideas (A History of Western Philosophy), Aristotle’s Metaphysics (A History of Western Philosophy), The Sources of Plato’s Opinions (A History of Western Philosophy), Ancient Philosophy (A History of Western Philosophy), Stoicism (A History of Western Philosophy). It contains the first extended discussion of the Theory of Forms, four arguments for the immortality of the soul, and strong arguments in favor of the philosophical life. In other words, a life devoid of sensual experience is not guaranteed to lead to virtue. Socrates proceeds to give an account of his own philosophical development, which is very interesting, but not germane to the main argument. Having arrived at this idea, the philosopher is supposed to know that the good is the real, and thus to be able to infer that the world of ideas is the real world. An earlier dialogue, the Crito, tells how certain friends and disciples of Socrates arranged a plan by which he could escape to Thessaly. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Therefore while we are in the body, and while the soul is infected with the evils of the body, our desire for truth will not be satisfied. PLATO'S THEORY OF IMMORTALITY. But even if we do, it is clear that no child possesses it until it reaches a certain age, and that the idea is elicited by experience, although not directly derived from experience. The founders of the mysteries would appear to have had a real meaning, and were not talking nonsense when they intimated in a figure long ago that he who passes unsanctified and uninitiated into the world below will lie on a slough, but that he who arrives there after initiation and purification will dwell with the gods. Discourse on immortality bears a semantic difficulty concerning the word ‘death’. Socrates, however, would have none of it. Socrates replies that the soul is not a harmony, for a harmony is complex, but the soul is simple. The second argument is that knowledge is recollection, and therefore the soul must have existed before birth. Two Concepts of the Soul in Plato's Phaedo is a fresh study of Plato's psychology with particular focus on his arguments for the immortality of the soul. He professes to prove his point by having Meno call in a slaveboy whom Socrates proceeds to question on geometrical problems. The Phaedo takes places in 399 BC at the scene of the final days of Socrates’ life. Liberation from the tyranny of the body contributes to greatness, but just as much to greatness in sin as to greatness in virtue. In so far as the division of mind and body can be accepted, the worst pleasures, as well as the best, are mental—for example, envy, and many forms of cruelty and love of power. Plato, being a rationalist, argues that the soul is immortal and is comparable to a form, for it is invisible and incomposite, unlike material objects. He also argues that learning is a recollection of the fact that one’s soul exists even before his or her birth, and liv… 2. Thus, Plato’s theory deals with only the rational and the struggle of the soul’s immortality, it does not explain the facts and true functions of the soul. But if you go forth, returning evil for evil, and injury for injury, breaking the covenants and agreements which you have made with us, and wronging those whom you ought least of all to wrong, that is to say, yourself, your friends, your country, and us, we shall be angry with you while you live, and our brethren, the laws in the world below, will receive you as an enemy; for they will know that you have done your best to destroy us. This voice, Socrates says, 'I seem to hear humming in my ears like the sound of the flute in the ears of the mystic.' What the gospel account of the Passion and the Crucifixion was for Christians, the Phaedo was for pagan or free-thinking philosophers.1 But the imperturbability of Socrates in his last hour is bound up with his belief in immortality, and the Phaedo is important as setting forth, not only the death of a martyr, but also many doctrines which were afterwards Christian. At this point, Simmias brings up the Pythagorean opinion that the soul is a harmony, and urges: if the lyre is broken, can the harmony survive? But he also thinks that a philosopher should be exempt from manual labour; he must therefore live on wealth created by others. (I am concerned only with the man as Plato portrays him.) However, I am. The laws end a long speech with the words: Listen, then, Socrates, to us who have brought you up. The Homeric poems, with which most ancient writers can safely beassumed to be intimately familiar, use the word ‘soul’ intwo distinguishable, probably related, ways. The dialogue called after Phaedo is interesting in several respects. We must admit that we have no experience, among sensible objects, of exact equality; we see only approximate equality. He is dishonest and sophistical in argument, and in his private thinking he uses intellect to prove conclusions that are to him agreeable, rather than in a disinterested search for knowledge. Plato wrote approximately thirty dialogues. — Greg Scalise ’18 is a Philosphy and Classics concentrator in Pfohorzheimer House. The Immortality of the Soul in Plato's Phaedo 2878 Words | 12 Pages. For the impure are not permitted to approach the pure…. It purports to describe the last moments in the life of Socrates: his conversation immediately before drinking the hemlock, and after, until he loses consciousness. For many, as they say in the mysteries, are the thyrsusbearers, but few are the mystics, meaning, as I interpret the words, the true philosophers. It has been suggested (for instance, by Snell 1975, 19) thatwha… Men paid a cock to Asclepius when they recovered from an illness, and Socrates has recovered from life's fitful fever. First, logic and mathematics; but these are hypothetical and do not justify any categorical assertion about the real world. Plato argues that anything that distracts man from the pursuit of the vision of truth and philosophy should be avoided, and this includes the pleasures of the senses. To the empiricist, the body is what brings us into touch with the world of external reality, but to Plato it is doubly evil, as a distorting medium, causing us to see as through a glass darkly, and as a source of lusts which distract us from the pursuit of knowledge and the vision of truth. Starting things off on a rather morbid note, we are all going to die. Now essences are unchanging: absolute beauty, for example, is always the same, whereas beautiful things continually change. Some quotations will make this clear. He compares the relation of man to God with that of cattle to their owner; you would be angry, he says, if your ox took the liberty of putting himself out of the way, and so 'there may be reason in saying that a man should wait, and not take his own life until God summons him, as He is now summoning me'. The Phaedo is usually placed at the beginning of his “middle” period, which contains his own distinctive views about the nature of knowledge, reality, and the soul, as well as the implications of these views for human ethical and political life. He goes on to expound the doctrine of ideas, leading to the conclusion 'that ideas exist, and that other things participate in them and derive their names from them'. Philosophers, Socrates continues, try to dissever the soul from communion with the body, whereas other people think that life is not worth living for a man who has 'no sense of pleasure and no part in bodily pleasure'. There is absolute justice, absolute beauty, and absolute good, but they are not visible to the eye. It follows that the souls of the dead exist somewhere, and come back to earth in due course. We might, if we were sufficiently rash, add a prophecy that no subsequent refinements in the technique of measurement will alter this result. Probably the Athenian authorities would have been quite glad if he had escaped, and the scheme suggested may be assumed to have been very likely to succeed. 'And I speak not of these alone, but of absolute greatness, and health, and strength, and of the essence or true nature of everything.' As Plato saw it, hope of survival comes naturally to the philosopher, whose whole life is one of preparation for death. There were two obstacles. In a very poor State there are likely to be no philosophers. We are alive because we have souls, implying a direct linkage between soul and the "Form" of life. The contention that all knowledge is reminiscence is developed at greater length in the Meno (82 ff.). immortality of the soul, both Plato and Hume must rely on analogy. The next step—and this is the crucial one—depends upon the idea of the good. 3. It was not drinking that he condemned, but pleasure in drinking. His friends inquire why suicide is held to be unlawful, and his answer, which is in accordance with Orphic doctrine, is almost exactly what a Christian might say. He first proclaimed the principle which we. A holy man in India or Tibet needs no apparatus, wears only a loin cloth, eats only rice, and is supported by very meagre charity because he is thought wise. He is indifferent to worldly success, so devoid of fear that he remains calm and urbane and humorous to the last moment, caring more for what he believes to be truth than for anything else whatever. PLATO'S THEORY OF IMMORTALITY - Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, says: ''The soul, when using the body as an instrument of perception, that … Lastly, Plato uses his Theory of Forms which proposes that every quality has to participate in a form in order to exist. He sends away his weeping wife, in order that her grief may not interfere with the discussion. He has, however, some very grave defects. What, then, is left to him? The soul of the true philosopher, which has, in life, been liberated from thraldom to the flesh, will, after death, depart to the invisible world, to live in bliss in the company of the gods. In philosophy, Plato’s views and teachings about immortality and the afterlife are found in his writings, which include the “meno”, the “Gorgias”, and the “Republic” (Wagner 15). He must be entirely concerned with the soul, and not with the body. I have good hope that there is yet something remaining for the dead, some far better thing for the good than for the evil'. Let us take a concrete case. Or do we, perhaps, have no such idea? In like manner, the philosopher must not care for the pleasures of love, or for costly raiment, or sandals, or other adornments of the person. Laws end a long speech with the discussion to suffer death i am only. Religion which Plato ( rightly or wrongly ) attributes to Socrates to itself will be in. 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