Socrates In The Phaedo Final Analysis

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In this essay I aim to present both the Cyclical and Recollection arguments proposed by Socrates in the Phaedo, to prove the immortality of the soul. I will discuss the criticisms of the first to demonstrate its fallibility as an account for the soul’s immortality. The weaknesses of the second argument will also be mentioned. In evaluating which of the arguments better proves the soul’s immortality, the responses to the criticisms of the Recollection theory will indicate why it holds as the prominent argument over the Cyclical.

In the Phaedo, Socrates’ first argument of Immortality is the Cyclical Argument of Opposites . This argument is based on an ancient doctrine which affirms that the living descend from the dead . According to this philosophy,
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The intermediary between sleep and waking is the course of falling asleep and waking up. Revival is an intermediate process from which the dead are born into the living world . Socrates concludes that the inference from this is that “our souls are in the world below” …show more content…
According to this argument, our souls existed before birth and knowledge is only possible through the process of recollecting what was learnt in a previous life . Socrates affirms that the ability to recollect knowledge must prove a souls existence before the human form . Through recollection, a person can be reminded by something of another entity that is similar or dissimilar . Socrates gives the example of a lyre bringing to mind the image of the youth to which it belongs .

Socrates’ recollection argument is consequent to the theory of the transcendent Forms . The type of knowledge concerned is the ideal Forms such as equality or the “equal itself” . According to Socrates, people possess knowledge of the Equal itself before being able to perceive through their senses, objects of equal proportions . The recollection theory extends to the Beautiful itself, the Good itself, and every pure Form of the sort.

Socrates asserts that a proof of recollection is the fact that we cannot perceive of the notion of equality through the bodily senses . Instead we acquire of such knowledge prior to birth and forget it when entering the present life . Perception cannot provide knowledge other than act as a tool which triggers remembrance

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