What is the cyclical argument Phaedo?

The Cyclical Argument, or Opposites Argument explains that Forms are eternal and unchanging, and as the soul always brings life, then it must not die, and is necessarily “imperishable”. As the body is mortal and is subject to physical death, the soul must be its indestructible opposite.

What does Plato argue in Phaedo?

The “Imperfection Argument” (Phaedo 74-76)

Plato bases the argument on the imperfection of sensible objects and our ability to make judgments about those sensible objects. (The Forms are supposed to be the perfect objects that the sensibles only imperfectly approximate).

What is the specific purpose of Plato’s cyclical argument?

The cyclical argument, also referred to as the principle of opposites, connects the core ideas of the body and the mind to later prove that the soul is an immortal entity. Forms are ever changing in and of themselves to create the cycle in which Socrates explains the basis of all things.

What is Cebes objection in Phaedo?

Cebes says that though he follows the argument that the soul existed before birth, he is still not convinced that it is immortal. Unlike Simmias, he can believe that the soul survives the death of the body, but he does not take this in itself as evidence that it is eternal.

What is the main point Socrates is trying to make in the Phaedo?

Socrates draws a distinction between those things that are immaterial, invisible, and immortal, and those things which are material, visible, and perishable. The body is of the second kind, whereas the soul is of the first kind. This would suggest that the soul ought to be immortal and survive death.

How do we get knowledge according to Socrates in the Phaedo?

Socrates claims that the soul should withdraw from physical senses and use only pure thought to attain true knowledge. At the same time, he claims that the soul can recollect true realities, the knowledge of which it had previously possessed, only through sense perception.

What is Simmias objection?

Simmias’ objection is that the soul’s relation to the body might only be like the harmony or attunement of a lyre: “One might say the same thing also about an attunement and a lyre and its strings” (85e3-4).

What is Cebes objection to Socrates argument that philosophers should not fear death?

Cebes is puzzled by what seems to be a contradiction– that those for whom death would be a blessing cannot take their own lives, but must wait for their lives to be taken from them–and asks Socrates to articulate this view.

What are Plato’s arguments for the immortality of the soul?

Plato believed that the body and the soul were two separate entities, the body being mortal and the soul being immortal. In Plato’s phaedo, this is further explained by Socrates. He claims that by living a philosophical life, we are able to eventually free the soul from the body and its needs.

What is Simmias attunement thesis?

‘ In the person of Simmias, he presents the thesis that the mind is an emergent property of matter, and is dependent upon a particular organization of matter for its very existence. He likens it to a harmonious sound, brought about by tuned strings on a musical instrument.

Who are Simmias and Cebes?

Simmias of Thebes (Greek: Σιμμίας Θηβαῖος; fl. 5th–4th century BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher, disciple of Socrates, and a friend of Cebes. In his Memorabilia, Xenophon includes him in the inner circle of Socrates’ followers.

What is Simmias view of the soul?

Simmias ‘s opinion on the soul is that the harmony that is produced by an instrument is similar to the relationship between the body and the soul. Simmias mentions that the soul exists before it enters into the body of a person however the soul is composed of elements that do not exist yet.

What is one of Socrates reason against the idea that the soul is a harmony of the body?

The third argument that Socrates provides on why the soul could not be a harmony is that, if the soul were a harmony, it could never be out of tune with the body or oppose any parts of the body’s parts. As humans we go through a range of emotions.

What alternative Theory of the soul does Simmias propose after discussing the doctrine of recollection?

The Theory of Recollection shows that the soul existed before birth, and the Argument from Opposites shows that it must have been born from out of death. Bearing in mind that the soul has to be re-born after it dies, Simmias and Cebes are forced to acknowledge that it must continue to exist after death.

What is the affinity argument?

In Plato’s Phaedo, Socrates offers an argument for the soul’s immortality, dubbed the ‘Affinity Argument’ (78c-80b). Socrates argues that since the soul shares its essential properties with the invisible and the divine, it necessarily shares the further property of immortality.

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