Exegesis of Phaedo by Plato Essay

August 9, 2017 General Studies

Plato’s “Phaedo” is a duologue between Socrates and his friends. Cebes and Simmias. These two work forces have asked Socrates to turn out to them that the psyche survives after decease due to its immortality. Socrates gives them several statements. which finally lead to his decision that proves the soul’s immortality and furthermore its perishableness. Socrates proves that psyche lives despite the body’s decease by demoing that if an entity has a certain characteristic. it will non accept the characteristic that is the opposite to its ain.

Socrates believes that the psyche and the organic structure are two wholly different things ; the organic structure is created to vanish after decease and the psyche is created to be everlastingly after decease. The first statement that Socrates uses to explicate the soul’s immortality uses snow and fire. He explains to Cebes and Simmias that snow possesses the feature of cold. whose antonym is heat. When snow. “…is under the influence of heat… the snow will either retire of perish… And the fire excessively at the progress of cold will either retire or perish” ( Plato 1 ) .

Socrates clarifies that snow can non accept the antonym of its characteristic. cold. which is heat. When heat approaches the snow. the entity that possesses coldness. this entity must either retire or perish. It is non possible that snow can stay the same even when being approached by heat because snow is cold. The same is true for when cold attacks fire. which possesses heat. When cold approaches the hot fire. the fire can non be any longer and must either retire or perish. Socrates’ 2nd illustration consists of odd and even Numberss.

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He explains that due to the figure three’s oddness. it can ne’er be even. Socrates provinces that entities will. “… reject the thought which is opposed to that which is contained in them. and when it approaches them they either perish or withdraw” ( Plato 2 ) . He clarifies that every bit long as three remains the figure three. it will possess oddness and can therefore ne’er be even. as “…the thought of the even figure will ne’er get at three” ( Plato 3 ) . If the signifier of evenness approaches the figure three. it must either perish or withdraw.

Similar to his illustration of the snow and fire. Socrates elucidates once more that an entity can non hold a characteristic that is the opposite to the 1 it already possesses and if this opposite attacks said entity. the entity will either dice or retire. Following these two illustrations. Socrates concludes with the account of the soul’s imperishableness. He reiterates his point that something can non accept its characteristic’s antonym by saying that. “…not merely antonyms will have antonyms. but besides that nil which brings the antonym will acknowledge the antonym of that which it brings. in that to which it is brought” ( Plato 3 ) .

He says that one of the features that the psyche possesses is life. which is the antonym of decease. so. “…the psyche. as has been acknowledged. will ne’er have the antonym of what she brings” ( Plato 3 ) . Socrates explains that the psyche can ne’er acknowledge decease because it possesses a quality that is death’s face-to-face. When decease approaches the psyche. harmonizing to his old statements. it would either retire or perish ; nevertheless. “…the psyche when attacked by decease can non perish” ( Plato 4 ) because the psyche can non acknowledge decease.

He believes that when decease comes to a adult male. his organic structure dies. but his psyche is preserved ( Plato 5 ) . Socrates proves that the psyche will non acknowledge decease and when it is approached by decease. it will non die. but retire to another universe. Socrates shows that an entity will non accept the opposite to a signifier that it possesses. which leads him to his cogent evidence of the soul’s immortality. He explains that merely as snow can non acknowledge heat and the figure three can non acknowledge evenness. the psyche can non acknowledge decease. Just as something that is acrimonious can non be sweet. the psyche can non die because it possesses life.


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