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Platonic philosophy views the immortal soul and the body as separate entities. At death, the body decomposes and merges with the elements from which it was created but the soul is imperishable.
This brings me to the point of linkage. To what degree was Plato influenced by Greek religious beliefs involving the immortality of the soul and what did Plato think of the afterlife compared to the earlier Greek religious beliefs about it? I cannot actually know this exactly but I can and will look at what Plato was reacting to. The Greek word for soul is psyche. Through the ages, the word psyche stayed the same but the meaning changed. My claim is that Plato’s idea of the soul differed from the earlier view expressed in Homer’s epics and other myths and he almost always chose the opposite position to Homer’s writings. Throughout the dialogues, Plato often argues against and almost ridicules Homer’s text, stepping outside the Greek societal box of thinking about the soul. Plato’s theory differs to that of the earlier Greek times because it portrayed the soul as being immortal and the means to knowledge. He did not associate the word psyche with death as did Homer. Hendrik Lorenz comments, “From comparatively humble beginnings, the word ‘soul’ undergoes quite a remarkable semantic expansion in sixth and fifth century usage. By the end of the fifth century -- the time of Socrates’ death-- the soul is standard thought and spoken of as the distinguishing mark of living things, as something that is the subject of emotional states and that is responsible for planning and practical thinking, and also as the bearer of such virtues as courage and justice.”1
Through the ages, Greek society associated the soul or psyche with the idea of death. The ancient Greeks’ religious beliefs were not prescribed in code on a set of tablets or papyri but rather passed down
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