Phaedo content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts. After he had finished his bath, his children and the women of his family were brought to him. Phaedo. It was a part of the teachings of the Orphic mystery cult, according to which a soul that is born into this world has come back from another world and will eventually return to it. A number of friends gather Socrates in his cell, including his old friend Crito and two Pythagorean philosophers, Simmias and Cebes. Although Plato was not one of those present at the meeting, he was in all likelihood well informed concerning what had taken place. Analysis of Plato’s Dialogue: Meno and Phaedo Introduction Plato wrote almost thirty dialogue, and Socrates is the major character in most of them. If the soul is immortal, what manner of person ought we to be? There were many questions that they would like to have answered, including: What assurance or proof do we have that souls actually exist? Plato, an ancient Greek and arguably most prominent philosopher in history expresses his view in his work the “Phaedo” using his predecessor Socrates as the voice of his arguments. Symbols & Motifs. Phaedo is an ancient Greek philosopher and the narrator of Phaedo. The dialog begins with a request that Phaedo report to the group of visitors about the death of Socrates, telling them what he had to say during his last hours. Obviously, the harmony will cease to exist. Socrates instructs Crito to tell the jailer to mind his own business and be prepared to give the poison as many times as is required. How then is it possible for us to know anything about this type of equality, which has never been experienced by any of our senses? A stronger reason for believing in the survival of the soul can be found in the doctrine of opposites and the way in which they are related to one another. Sense experiences serve as a stimulus to the mind, causing it to remember or recollect that which is already present within it. Phaedo explained the reason why the execution had been delayed for a month, pending the return of the ship from the island of Delos. Out of sleeping, waking is generated, and the process of generation is in the one case falling asleep and in the other waking up. He is familiar with what the mystery cults of his day have to say on this matter, and he makes use of the myths that they have employed to indicate something like what he thinks would constitute an appropriate doctrine of rewards and punishments for good and evil souls, respectively. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Phaedo and what it means. Nevertheless, he has often been criticized for his role as a husband and a father. In response to this skeptical attitude on the part of Cebes, Socrates makes some reference to the Heraclitean doctrine of the strife of opposites. Knowing that Cebes was a Pythagorean, Socrates asked if his teacher Philolaus had not explained to him the reasons for condemning actions of that type. By having the proper questions put to him in the right manner, a person will be able to answer correctly about something of which he was totally unaware before the questions were asked. The pleasures of the body are experienced through the senses, but the acquisition of wisdom comes only through the intellect. If the soul existed before birth and in coming to life and being born can be born only from death and dying, it follows that it must continue to exist since it has to be born again. Analysis Of Plato's Phaedo 1918 Words | 8 Pages. Everything, he says, comes to be from out of its opposite, so that for instance a tall man becomes tall only because he was short before. Death, he explains, is nothing more than the separation of soul and body. Socrates examined the meaning and origin of self-knowledge in his speech in Phaedo by Plato. He concludes this part of the argument by pointing out that after death, the foolishness of the body will have been cleared away and we shall be pure and hold converse with other pure souls. The conclusion that may be drawn from these observations is that souls must have existed prior to the time when they entered human bodies. Not only does life exclude death, but the soul, of which life is the inseparable attribute, also excludes death, which means that the soul is immortal. While it is true that the soul, when united with the body, may be influenced by the passions and desires of the body and in this respect we may speak of the souls that are evil, it is also true that in its real nature the soul is constantly trying to be free of the demands of the body. Each of these opposites always remains exactly what it is, and from this we can infer that the soul that is present in the human body will not change its nature by passing from a state of existence into one of nonexistence. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Those who have followed after gluttony, wantonness, and drunkenness will pass into asses and animals of that sort, while those who have chosen the part of injustice, tyranny, and violence will pass into wolves or hawks, or some other type of animal. They are simple rather than compound in nature, and for this reason they cannot disintegrate or cease to exist. The thesis of the immortality of the … He is not convinced that there are sufficient reasons for believing in the continued existence of the soul following the death of the body. In this paper I will give an in depth analysis of Socrates argument in Plato’s Republic and in Plato’s Phaedo. 9.1", "denarius") All Search Options [view abbreviations] Home Collections/Texts Perseus Catalog Research Grants Open Source About Help. His wife, Xanthippe, was sitting by him, holding their child in her arms. It is set in the last hours prior to the death of Socrates, and is Plato's fourth and last dialogue to detail the philosopher's final days, following Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito. Phaedo then remarks, "Such was the end, Echecrates, of our friend, whom I may truly call the wisest, and justest, and best of all men whom I have ever known.". For example, in the dialog called Meno, Socrates asks an uneducated slave about the proof of a certain theorem in geometry. Summary and Analysis; Original Text; First page Previous page Page: 7 of 28 Next page Last page. When asked in what way he would like to be buried, Socrates replied, "In any way that you like; only you must get hold of me, and take care that I do not walk away from you." Cebes remarks that one proof of the recollection theory can be established simply by asking questions. Od. . As the group entered the prison on the morning of Socrates last day, they observed that he had just been released from chains. The effectiveness of the argument is strengthened when it is combined with the second part, which has to do with the doctrine of reminiscence. The purpose of these conversations was to reveal what had actually taken place in the prison on the last … Removing #book# He thinks it quite possible that upon its release from the body, the soul may disintegrate and like smoke or air vanish into nothingness. He did not pity Socrates, for his mien and his language were so noble and fearless in the hour of death that he appeared to be blessed. In a rather lengthy reply to Cebes, Socrates reviews some of his own experiences in trying to find the meaning of life through a study of the physical sciences. Analysis Of Plato's Dialogue: Meno And Phaedo. Perfect or absolute equality does not exist in the world of our sense experience. The physical sciences are useful as a means of recording the order in which movements observed by the senses take place, but they tell us nothing about the purpose or meaning of life, nor do they reveal what is right or wrong in the moral sense in which those terms are used. Death is not the end of all, and the wicked is not released from his evil by death, for after death the soul is carried away to judgment. One of the founding documents of Western philosophy, Plato’s dialog Phaedo sets forth some of the most important beliefs of Socrates, who shares these ideas with his disciples just before he is executed in ancient Athens. Even though it is of an invisible and heavenly nature, it will perish sooner than what remains of the broken lyre and its cut strings. 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 replies that he was present, and he also mentions several of the other persons who were there at the time. He believes, too, that the doctrine of reminiscence offers further proof of the thesis that Socrates has been ex-pounding. Hence, an imitation of God becomes a right and reasonable standard of conduct for human beings. It is important to note that Simmias is not asking for complete proof, and Socrates is not promising to do anything more than show that immortality of the soul is more likely to be true than a denial of it. His departure from this life is close at hand, and his gift of prophecy should be at its best. Quite naturally the talk turns to the true philosopher’s attitude toward death. The argument of the dialog is moral insofar as it maintains that the dignity and worth of the soul affords sufficient grounds for believing that death to a good man means entrance into a better life that is something that he may face with good comfort. When Simmias replies in the affirmative, he is reminded of the fact that this is not in agreement with the idea that the soul is a harmony that is made out of strings set in the frame of the body. Analysis. CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. He perceives, however, that Cebes and Simmias are not satisfied with this argument and proceeds to probe deeper into the subject. It was especially prominent in the teachings of Heraclitus, who had coordinated sleeping with waking and life with death. A beautiful object, say, is beautiful not in itself but by participation to some degree in the very essence of beauty. Some of those who were present had heard that Socrates had been condemned to drink poison, but they knew very little about it and were anxious to learn more of the details. He begins by asking Simmias if he is still in agreement with the doctrine that knowledge is recollection and that from this it can be inferred that souls have existed prior to their entrance into bodies. If this be true, it would be most absurd for one who is a lover of wisdom to be fearful of death. From these facts, it seems likely that the gathering took place in the meeting house of the local Pythagoreans. We know that after the death of Socrates, he spent some time at Megara, where he had ample opportunity to meet and talk with some of the persons mentioned in the dialog. He would be unable to do this if the knowledge had not in some sense been present within him. When he was young, he became interested in the natural sciences, for he believed they could help him to understand the causes of things and to know why they were created or destroyed. The soul that has become polluted by being the companion and servant of the body, having become fascinated by the desires and pleasures of the body, will, therefore, be impure at the time of departure. If Socrates can convince him that the soul does continue to exist after death, he would like for him to present the evidence on which his opinion is based. Bodily wants and passions are the chief causes of war and competition in business, two occupations of the so-called active life that leave little time for thinking and the pursuit of knowledge. First I will begin with the analysis of the Republic, a discussion between Socrates and Glaucon on morality of the human being. Using the figure of a weaver who wears out a number of coats, he asks if it may not be true that the soul, having gone through a number of rebirths, will at last succumb in one of its deaths and utterly perish? While this might be true concerning the souls that were pure and uncontaminated by their contact with the body, what about those souls that had not remained pure? Crito answered that it would be paid. The nature of being hot is never changed into the nature of being cold, day is never changed into night, and the nature of life is never changed into the nature of death. Essay Analysis. Apparently, it belongs to the middle period of his literary career, when his maturity as a writer had reached its highest stage. After having mentioned the names of several of those who were present at the time of Socrates' death, Phaedo states that he will endeavor to repeat the entire conversation as he remembers the way in which it took place. Socrates, Apollodorus, Simmias, Cebes, Crito and an Attendant of the Prison. . The wise soul is guided through the windings of the world below, but the impure soul wanders hither and thither without a guide and is carried at last to its own place. Socrates recognizes the legitimacy of these questions and provides the best answer that he can, although he admits he has no positive proof concerning what will actually happen to the souls of men after they have been released from the bodies with which they have been associated. Through Socrates, Plato states that philosophers should not fear death and that … Objects that are not compounded but are simple in their nature always remain what they are. Socrates then points out that equality in this sense cannot be perceived by the senses. The authenticity of the record is indicated by the fact that a list is given of the names of the people who were present. In reply to Cebes' suggestion, Socrates calls attention to the fact that only compound or composite things are capable of being dissolved. One of the main themes in the Phaedo is the idea that the soul is immortal. This is a principle that holds true universally. They are conducted home at the beginning of the discourse because Xanthippe is said to have been on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and Socrates wishes to spare both her and himself. Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. Plato planned a political career until 404 BCE, when Athens shifted to an oligarchy controlled by wealthy men. Socrates then adds these words: "Be of good cheer, then, my dear Crito, and say that you are burying my body only, and do with that as is usual, and as you think best. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Phaedo study guide. How could someone support the 'argument of opposites' in the Phaedo? From this we may draw the conclusion that the "soul is in the very likeness of the divine, and immortal, and intelligible, and unchangeable; and the body is in the very likeness of the human, and mortal, and unintelligible, and multiform, and dissoluble, and changeable." After Socrates had finished speaking, all who were present remained silent for a few minutes, during which time they were given an opportunity to think about what they had been hearing. So far as his present opinion is concerned, Cebes remains skeptical. The bodily senses, desires, and feelings hinder the soul’s search for knowledge of true existence. All things that have opposites are generated out of their opposites. Plato (in Phaedo) and Aristotle (in De Anima) present two fundamentally different conceptions of the soul. It is in this respect that the philosopher dishonors the body, for his soul runs away from the body and desires to be alone and by itself. The relationship of the soul to the body is in one respect quite different from that of harmony to the material instrument on which it is dependent. It was not, however, a cogent piece of reasoning since it ignores the distinction between condition and cause, a point that Socrates apparently recognized at a later stage in the discussion. Socrates begins, as usual, the story by saying that suicide is wrong, because a true philosopher must wait for death and not cause it voluntarily. Socrates surprises his listeners by asserting that the philosopher is always pursuing death, and that it would therefore be most inconsistent, now that death is at hand, to shun it. Get started. Ideas such as justice, beauty, truth, goodness, equality, and others are acknowledged to be real, and it is possible for individuals to know what they mean. PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Phaedo, who is the narrator of the dialogue to Echecrates of Phlius. Anything that becomes greater must become greater after being less, and that which becomes less must have been once greater and then become less. Truth cannot be perceived by the senses, and so long as the search for final and absolute truth is accompanied by one's body, he is bound to be deceived. Plato’s Phaedo is a philosophical work that takes the form of a dialogue between Socrates and a group of his acquaintances, including Thebans, Cebes and Simmias. After the weaver dies, someone might argue that he still lives because the coat he has been accustomed to wear is still whole and undecayed, and since a man lasts longer than his coat, it must be that he is still alive. Literary Devices. Each absolute is pure or self-identical, unique, eternal, and perfect in its kind—because ultimately it is the kind in reality and not simply by definition for the sake of classification. For I deem that the true discipline of philosophy is likely to be misunderstood by other men; they do not perceive that he is ever pursuing death and dying; and if this is true, why, having had the desire of death all his life long, should he repine at the arrival of that which he has been always pursuing and desiring?" In a similar manner, we may say that actions of a legal nature may approximate justice, but absolute justice cannot be achieved, although it is an ideal toward which one may strive. The body is a source of endless trouble by reason of its requirements of food, its liability to diseases, and filling our lives with loves, lusts, and fears: "For whence come wars, and fighting, and factions? A common error consisted in the failure to distinguish between the condition of a thing and its cause. The lyre and the strings must exist first, and then harmony is made last of all, although it perishes first. The Apology is believed to be the most authentic account that has been preserved of Socrates' defense of himself as it was presented before the Athenian Council.It is in essential harmony with the references to the trial that occur in Plato's other dialogs and also with the account given in Xenophon's Memorabilia.It … It seemed to them that, while Socrates had presented good arguments in support of his position, Cebes and Simmias had been successful in refuting them. He has a final interview with the members of the family, and we are told that the interview was a lengthy one. . In his pursuit of knowledge, he finds the demands of the body to be a real hindrance and tries as best he can to escape them. The philosophical subject of the dialogue is the immortality of the soul. His concern for the welfare of his wife and children, his request that a small debt that he owed be paid, his kindly attitude toward the attendant who administers the poison, his faith in what lies beyond death, and above all the courage and nobility with which he accepts his fate, are all indications of his goodness. At any rate, Socrates is able to make an adequate reply to opponents of the belief in immortality, including those who have advocated epiphenomenalism and a mechanical conception of nature. That is why he puts his trust in thinking rather than in what is experienced through the senses, for in thinking the soul is independent of the body in a way that is not true of the senses. Just as the body of a man may outlast several coats, so the soul may outlast a number of bodies, but after a series of successive births, it seems quite possible that it may have become weary from these cycles of existence and at last succumb in one of the deaths and utterly perish. Phaedo is one of the dialogues that were created by Plato; the Phaedo tried to depict the death of Socrates. Enjoy this free preview Unlock all 24 pages of this Study Guide by subscribing today. Simmias laughingly agrees that most people think the philosophic life is and deserves to be a kind of death, but he desires clarification. However, a stronger defense of his position is requested. Socrates' reply to Cebes is somewhat longer since it involves the whole question of generation and corruption. . After receiving punishment, it returns to earth in the course of ages. She was weeping because this was the last time she could converse with her husband. Since most of these people were probably still living when the Phaedo was published, any errors in the account would have been noted and brought to light. Thought is clearest, then, when the influence of the body is felt least or when there is the greatest possible separation between body and soul (“soul” in this context includes “mind”). Souls of this nature, having become engrossed by the corporeal, will be compelled to wander about, prowling among tombs and sepulchers in payment of the penalty of their former evil way of life. Life and death are opposites just as sleep and waking are opposites. Plato, Phaedo ("Agamemnon", "Hom. When a man dies, the body, which is the visible part of man, becomes dissolved and decomposed, but the same cannot be said of the soul. The reason for this is that harmony cannot exist prior to the elements out of which it is composed. Plato. Two things may appear to us to be equal to each other, but there will always be some difference between them. Crito fancies that he is the other Socrates, whom he will soon see as a dead body, and that is why he asks how he shall be buried. He says that it was an astonishing experience because although he was witnessing the death of a dear friend, he had no pity … Themes. bookmarked pages associated with this title. It consists of a series of conversations supposed to have taken place before a numerous audience. His primary concern is for the soul, and for this reason, he would like to be rid of the body insofar as it interferes with the welfare of the soul. At first, the slave appears to be entirely ignorant of the proof, but after he has been asked a number of questions, he sees it as clearly as anyone. You'll get access to all of the 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 … At the same time, it must be admitted that none of these ideas have ever been perceived by the senses, nor have they been experienced in their pure form. Are you sure you want to remove #bookConfirmation# Because the world does not understand the meaning of dying, they accuse philosophers of being morbid, but in this they are mistaken, for death is nothing other than the release of the soul from the body. Neither Cebes nor Simmias is satisfied with this statement, and Socrates proceeds to give additional reasons in support of his position. The ideas that we recover in this way constitute the standard in comparison with which we judge the accuracy of that which is revealed through the senses. Evidently, Plato intended his readers to regard this dialog as an accurate record of the way in which Socrates spent his last hours on earth. In order to convince Cebes that the soul is really immortal and will never perish, Socrates reports some of the changes that have taken place in his own thinking with reference to this problem. The dialogue is told from the perspective of Phaeton, a student of Socrates’, and in the … For this reason, they are not at liberty to destroy that which is not their own but belongs to beings other than themselves. It is, therefore, reasonable to conclude that souls, like the ideas that are present in them, are not subject to change. He has merely asked him some questions. 1066 Words null Page. What happens to the soul at the time of death? In some instances, this can be accomplished simply by asking a number of questions. Argical Analysis Of Plato's Phaedo. It is true that the rest of the world are of the opinion that apart from bodily pleasures life is not worth living, but in this respect they are mistaken. If all things that partake of life were to die and after they are dead remain in that form and not come to life again, eventually there would be nothing alive on the earth. Crito then closed his eyes and mouth. Socrates continued his argument by calling attention to the fact that justice, beauty, and goodness in their final, or absolute, form have never been perceived by the eyes, ears, or any other bodily sense. Critical Analysis of “Phaedo” by Plato Much of the Phaedo by Plato is composed of arguments for the nature of the physical world and how it relates to the after life, for example, the way our senses perceive the world and how indulging in those senses has negative consequences in our after lives. He believes it is quite proper for one to investigate the question so far as it is humanly possible, and he would consider anyone a coward who would refuse to look for proofs in support of what he believes to be true, but from what has been said so far concerning the future existence of the soul, he finds that any positive proof is lacking. Plato's dialog called Euthyphro relates a discussion that took place between Socrates and Euthyphro concerning the meaning of piety, or that virtue usually regarded as a manner of living that fulfills one's duty both to gods and to humanity.It is of particular interest in relation to the fate of Socrates inasmuch as … Socrates admits that there is an apparent inconsistency in his position, but a careful consideration of the problem will reveal no real inconsistency. ", When he had spoken these words, Socrates arose and went to the bath chamber with Crito. Socrates is pleased to observe that they have open and inquiring minds and are ready to think for themselves rather than accept what has been told them without subjecting it to the test of reasonableness. According to this conception, the world is in a constant state of flux. The soul is immortal, and the philosopher spent his life in the form, so that it detaches from the bodys needs. He concludes his remarks on this subject by referring again to the so-called doctrine of opposites and pointing out that pairs of opposites such as "hot and cold," "day and night," "life and death," and similar ones are not changed one into the other. Socrates contends that the proof has already been given since it has been admitted that everything living has been born of the dead. He believes that Cebes is also convinced that this is true, but there is one further question concerning which both Cebes and Simmias are in doubt. They will continue to wander until the desires that haunt them have been satisfied, after which they will be imprisoned in another body. On his way home after having witnessed Socrates ’s execution in an Athenian prison, Phaedo encounters a fellow philosopher, Echecrates, who asks… read analysis of Phaedo It is dependent on the material instrument from which it is produced and will perish with the destruction of that instrument. According to this doctrine, what we usually refer to as learning the truth is really a matter of remembering something that has been forgotten. . Yes, he said. Analysis of Phaedo by Plato 1307 435 Critical Analysis of “Phaedo” by Plato Much of the Phaedo by Plato is composed of arguments for the nature of the physical world and how it relates to the after life, for example, the way our senses perceive the world and how indulging in those senses has negative consequences in our … Because he believes in the justice of God, he is confident that a different fate is in store for good and evil souls. He does not mean equality of one piece of wood with another or of one stone with another, but equality in the abstract, or apart from its application to particular things. That which the soul possessed in a former existence can be brought to mind through the use of a proper stimulus. He covers the important question of whether the “soul” continues after death whilst using various arguments to reiterate his theory. That which is compounded, or made up of parts, is constantly changing, while that which is not compounded does not change but ever remains what it is. The souls in which these ideas were present were not only in existence, they were actively intelligent. Only those who are true lovers of wisdom and who are pure at the time of departing will be permitted to dwell with the gods. When the soul and the body are united, nature orders the soul to rule and govern and the body to obey and serve. He is in agreement with most of the argument, but he questions the premise on which much of it is based. The world may not be aware of it, but the fact is that the whole life of philosophy is but one long rehearsal of dying. When Socrates remarks that a true philosopher is one who is willing and ready to die but believes it would be wrong for anyone to put an end to his own life, Cebes wants to know why it would be wrong for one to commit suicide. 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