Socrates And Plato In Phaedo Essay

1185 words - 5 pages

Socrates a classical Greek philosopher and character of Plato’s book Phaedo, defines a philosopher as one who has the greatest desire of acquiring knowledge and does not fear death or the separation of the body from the soul but should welcome it. Even in his last days Socrates was in pursuit of knowledge, he presents theories to strengthen his argument that the soul is immortal. His attempts to argue his point can’t necessarily be considered as convincing evidence to support the existence of an immortal soul.
Socrates first argument is on the Theory of Opposites in which he discusses the nature of opposite things and beings. Socrates makes his claim that everything that is, comes from its opposite being. “If something smaller comes to be it will come from something larger before, which became smaller” (71a). What he is trying to explain is that something that is considered to be “smaller” requires it to once have been “larger” previously, so its size decreased in time. Just as large and small, Socrates compares the matter of life and death as being opposites in which the soul is what moves on. The issue with this reasoning is that unlike moving from opposites such as small to large or large to small, where an object may increase or decrease, life to death is not a reversible process. Life can move to death but it cannot reverse and move from death to life. Life cannot come from death, and though life is contrary to death it is not the contradicting opposite, and it cannot be considered to follow the Theory of Opposites. It is practically impossible for something to be alive and dead at the same time, so the soul that transfers from life to death it must be able to exist within the body or out of it. Socrates believes that the soul after its separation from the body returns to another lifetime where it regains its access as it once had before its separation from the body. His argument using the Theory of Opposites does not provide enough evidence for a strong enough defense for the immorality of the soul because if the dead were to come back to life then shouldn’t they possess qualities from their previous state of being or living like decreasing and increasing allows the object remain the same in its morphology and purpose.
Socrates argues the Theory of Recollection in which he introduces the idea prior knowledge. His argument is that what we know and learn in our lifetime is what we already had prior knowledge of , and has been brought to us by our soul that had gained that knowledge from a previous lifetime. He considers learning to be no other than a recollection of what was previously learned, “we must at some time have learned what we now recollect”(72e). Recollections according to Socrates suggest that the soul is what possibly could have carried knowledge into our physical bodies. Through recollection, we are able to recall concepts that we in our bodies had never experienced. The idea that an “immortal soul” which is temporarily...

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