♠Plato´s Dialogue “Phaedo” (Φαίδων):
“Four Arguments to Prove the Inmortality of The Soul”:
In the dialogue, Socrates discusses the nature of the afterlife on his last day before being executed by drinking hemlock. Socrates has been imprisoned and sentenced to death by an Athenian jury for not believing in the gods of the state and for corrupting the youth of the city. The dialogue is told from the perspective of one of Socrates’ students, Phaedo of Elis.
Socrates explains to his friends that a true philosopher should look forward to death. The purpose of the philosophical life is to free the soul from the needs of the body. Since the moment of death is the final separation of soul and body, a philosopher should see it as the realization of his aim. Unlike the body, the soul is immortal, so it will survive death.
Socrates provides four arguments for believing the soul is immortal.
1) →The first one, known as the Argument from Opposites, is based on the observation that everything comes to be from out of its opposite. As the body is mortal and is subject to physical death, the soul must be its indestructible opposite. Plato then suggests the analogy of fire and cold. If the form of cold is imperishable, and fire, its opposite, was within close proximity, it would have to withdraw intact as does the soul during death.
The Argument from Opposites absorbs a line of thinking that was popular among earlier philosophers such as Heraclitus and Pythagoras. By following their lead in seeing the world as being divided into opposites, Plato presents an initial argument that would be sympathetic to his contemporaries.
2) →The second argument, known as the Theory of Recollection, asserts that learning is essentially an act of recollecting things we knew before we were born but then forgot. True knowledge, argues Socrates, is knowledge of the eternal and unchanging Forms that underlie perceptible reality. For example, we are able to perceive that two sticks are equal in length but unequal in width only because we have an innate understanding of the Form of Equality. That is, we have an innate understanding of what it means for something to be equal even though no two things we encounter in experience are themselves perfectly equal. Since we can grasp this Form of Equality even though we never encounter it in experience, this argument implies that the soul must have existed prior to birth.
The Theory of Recollection introduces the idea of Forms and, in associating knowledge with the immortal soul, suggests that the soul that survives death is not just an empty life force but includes the intellect.
3) →The third argument, known as the Argument from Affinity or from Scattering, distinguishes between those things that are immaterial, invisible, and immortal, and those things that are material, visible, and perishable. The soul belongs to the former category and the body to the latter. The soul, then, is immortal, although this immortality may take very different forms. A soul that is not properly detached from the body will become a ghost that will long to return to the flesh, while the philosopher’s detached soul will dwell free in the heavens.
4) →The Final Argument is known as Argument from Form of Life. Socrates explains that the Forms, incorporeal and static entities, are the cause of all things in the world, and all things participate in Forms. For example, beautiful things participate in the Form of Beauty. The soul, by its very nature, participates in the Form of Life, which means the soul can never die. The final argument based on Forms is the only one Plato deems truly definitive, refuting the doubts of Simmias and Cebes (See The Objections by Simmias and Cebes & Replies to Simmias and Cebes).
♠Last But Not Least:
Thank You Angie for sharing the Shine on Award with me: