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Socrates Four Arguments for the Immortality of the Soul in the Phaedo - Coursework Example

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'Socrates’ Four Arguments for the Immortality of the Soul in the Phaedo" paper compares the myth of the true earth in the Phaedo with the allegory of the cave in Plato's republic. An examination is made of the way Plato uses them to illustrate the relationship of the soul to the realm of forms. …
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Socrates Four Arguments for the Immortality of the Soul in the Phaedo
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Download file to see previous pages In the first line of argument, Socrates points out that all things that have opposites originate out of their opposites, and further that “in all opposites, there is of necessity a similar alternation” (Socrates). In other words, opposites coexist at the same instant (likened to two bodies sharing ahead), and there is a perpetual cyclical change between them as they are continuously generated from each other. Regarding the latter, something being greater in comparison to another, for example, presupposes that it must have been less before, and vice versa, and similarly with other pairs of opposites. In the context of looming death, it is pointed out that these pairs include life and death, and such intermediate processes as waking and sleeping. Thus begins Socrates’ rational attempts to support the idea of the immortality of the soul by first showing that the soul continues to exist (with intelligence) after death. There was already a prevailing doctrine that described the underworld into which souls go after death. However, in the absence of ‘real evidence’ that the living originates from the dead, even though it is clear that being born follows from a previous state of existing in another world, it was necessary to discuss the matter in detail.

That the living are generated from the dead, and the dead from the living, and observing that there is a process of dying, implies that there is also a process of returning to life. Cyclical change between all opposites is necessary because otherwise if for example everyone else was also put to eternal sleep as Endymion was, his sleep would be indistinguishable from the sleep of others and therefore hold no meaning. Similarly, Anaxagoras’ concept of infinitely divisible matter has to be contrasted with the concept of the composition of substances.  Likewise, if dying were the only process to take place, the phenomenon of returning to life would eventually cease causing no one to remain alive.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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