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The reason is that we as human beings are in the hands of the gods. . To them, the body is impendent in the conquest for truth. From these facts, it seems likely that the gathering took place in the meeting house of the local Pythagoreans. Was it not true that there are evil souls as well as good ones? From this it follows that from the moment of our birth, we have been in possession of this knowledge, which is true not only for the idea of equality but of other ideas, such as justice, truth, beauty, and goodness. Thus, he suggests, things that are constant and invariable are incomposite, since they cannot be changed or broken apart. 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.
Now that Socrates has proved the immortality of the soul, he turns his attention to what, exactly, this immortality means for humans. 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. In any case, the notion that the sensible world is imperfect is a standard view of the middle dialogues see Republic 479b-c for a similar example , and is emphasized further in his next argument. He expresses this gesture in the context of the lyre not being separate from the strings. Cebes would then, ".
Now, the opposite of life is death, and since opposites are generated out of one another, we may conclude that life is generated out of death and death is generated out of life. First, the true philosopher despises bodily pleasures such as food, drink, and sex, so he more than anyone else wants to free himself from his body 64d-65a. He is a Pythagorean philosopher from Thebes who has come to speak with Socrates before his death. At this point, Crito interrupts the conversation to inform them that the jailer has requested Socrates not to talk so much lest the heat generated by his talking might interfere with the action of the poison he must take and thereby make it necessary to have it administered more than once. This argument is often called the Cyclical Argument. To illustrate this point, he asks Cebes to consider what it would be like if there were no opposite process to match that of falling asleep. Neither Cebes nor Simmias is satisfied with this statement, and Socrates proceeds to give additional reasons in support of his position.
So long as the soul is united with the body, it is dependent upon it. So, Socrates explains, he developed his own theory, which explains the nature of existence by suggesting that a thing is the way it is because of its adherence to certain unchanging Forms. Indeed, if people know that bad behavior will force them to wander aimlessly through the underworld, they will likely try their hardest to be virtuous. If this be true, it would be most absurd for one who is a lover of wisdom to be fearful of death. In the remote Peloponnesian township of Phlius, Echecrates encounters Phaedo of Elis, one of the men present during Socrates' final hours.
Simmias then asks for a further explanation of what this doctrine about recollection really means. What makes a big thing big, or a bigger thing bigger, is the Form Bigness. 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. The answer, according to this theory, is that the ideas are remembered from a former existence. As the body desires pleasures of the flesh, so the soul desires wisdom. Simmias confesses that he does not wish to disturb Socrates during his final hours by unsettling his belief in the immortality of the soul, and those present are reluctant to voice their Socrates pauses, and asks Cebes to voice his objection as well.
He believes, too, that the doctrine of reminiscence offers further proof of the thesis that Socrates has been ex-pounding. More detailed treatments of these questions are given in the Commentary to sections 72e-78b and 100b-102d, respectively. Cambridge University Press, 2010. Calling upon The Theory of Recollection, he explains to Simmias that humans never learn new knowledge. Inasmuch as all of those present were aware of the fact that Socrates would be put to death that day, they wanted to know what their beloved teacher believed concerning the nature of the soul.
But to do this would be to blame the arguments for one's own shortcomings, and one would be liable never to come to know the truth about reality. 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. For example, beautiful things participate in the Form of Beauty; the number four participates in the Form of the Even, etc. All things possess what qualities they have only through participation in these Forms. Death and Immortality in Late Neoplatonism: Studies on the Ancient Commentaries on Plato's Phaedo.
Furthermore, we must recognize that if all things that partake of life were to die and after they were dead remained in the form of death and did not come to life again, all would at last die and nothing would be alive. The latter is thrilled, and although he agrees with Socrates that the soul exists before birth, he wants to know what proof ascertains that the soul indeed exists after death Westerink, 2009. It is the achievement of the soul's independence, which is what the philosopher has been trying to accomplish throughout his entire life. In this way, he once again combines his logical reasoning with his more general—spiritual—ideas regarding the afterlife. All things that have opposites are generated out of their opposites.