Analysis Of Plato's Theory Of Recollection

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The soul as a being and a concept are overarching themes in Plato’s dialogues and Ancient Greek philosophy as a whole. The earliest and most prominent discussion of the soul by Socrates occurs in Plato’s dialogue Phaedo. The discussion of immortality and reincarnation arises as early as the soul itself in Phaedo and has many elements comparable to Plato’s later dialogue – Phaedrus. The two present dialogues address the meaning of philosophy and the immortality of the soul in different, and sometimes contradicting ways, but analyzing them together creates an ultimate analysis of two crucial immortality arguments.
Plato focuses on the Theory of Recollection and ideas about compounds to explain immortality in the Phaedo, the Phaedrus addresses
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The Theory of Recollection is brought up for the first time in the Phaedo and sheds light on life and reincarnation alike. The argument first states that “knowledge is simply recollection…but this would be impossible unless our soul was in some place before existing in the human form” implying that – for the soul to be capable of remembering past knowledge – it must be capable of having a past, and that past could not be human, otherwise it would not be capable of recollecting. Recollecting knowledge from a previous nonhuman form is defined as “a process of recovering that which has been forgotten through time and inattention.” In other words, at birth, the soul holds all there is to know, and knowledge is only a matter of remembering what has been …show more content…
Both dialogues have parallel compositions, and mirror each other in many ways, while contrasting in others. Phaedo and Phaedrus in their entireties contribute to Plato/Socrates general claim that the body imprisons the soul and is inherently bad. The two dialogues stress the necessity of escaping the body and ultimately reaching the forms. It is fair, since Phaedrus is a later dialogue, to assume that Plato is expressing his own ideas apart from Socrates, since they show a notable shift. From the analysis of two important Greek dialogues, a reader can take away an extensive understanding of the soul’s significance to the time period – in ancient Greece the view of the soul giving life to the body became widespread – and to Plato. In addition to Phaedo and Phaedrus discussing the soul’s qualities, they both question what philosophy

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