Essay Philosophy: Socrates and Soul

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PHIL 1001: Human Nature
Reading Guide #2

Plato’s Phaedo

What is the scene like when Phaedo and Crito first arrive to see Socrates?
Socrates is sentenced to death
He is unchained because it is the day of his execution. He is lying in his bed with his friends and followers at his side.
Socrates’ wife and son are by his side, hysterical
Socrates begins to tell stories based on Aesop’s Fables
Oddly, Plato is removed from the discussion he is “sick.”

According to Socrates, why shouldn’t we kill ourselves?
It is not “lawful”
Killing ourselves would be disobeying the Gods
We are but possessions of the caretakers
Humans desire to be good and death is only acceptable when Gods permit it.

Why is a philosopher willing to die?
By dying, you achieve wisdom
The philosopher can escape the body which is misleading

Does the soul find truth through the body, or by some other means?
The soul finds truth when it is detached from the body, in a former time
When it is joined with the body, it is distracted by the body’s needs and senses.

Is the philosopher courageous?
No, the philosopher is not courageous because he does not fear Fear itself so they do not have to overcome that feeling.
Philosophers are not controlled by limbs, but are rather guided by arguments
They are not motivated by fears and emotions

What is the argument from Contraries?
The essential argument is that:
Contraries come from contraries
The contrary of being alive is being dead
The dead come from the living
The living come from the dead
If the living come from the dead, they must exist somewhere (soul)
This is the argument that there is a continuous re-emergence of life and death is not the end of all things

What is the argument from Recollection?
Main argument is that learning is from previous experience
If we recollect it is from previous experience
When we see “equal” sticks, we recollect “The Equal” (the form of the Equal)
No previous bodily experience is of the “The Equal”
Therefore our experience of “The Equal” is non-bodily
We have non-bodily experiences, we must have been alive before having a body
Therefore, we were alive before we had a body (our soul)
This tries to prove that soul and body can exist separately
Soul can survive death

What is the affinity argument (argument from invisibility)?
The affinity argument is the association of the soul to be divine, immortal, invisible, incomposite, and invariable and the body to be corporeal, mortal, visible, composite, and variable. When the soul uses the body for knowledge, it only sees the variable aspects of the world and thus become confused of what to know. This leads to the conclusion that the soul only knows truth when it is separated from the body after death.

What is the Lyre analogy?
The Lyre analogy is that the Body is like the Lyre and the Souls is like the tuning of the Lyre.
The tuning is invisible, bodiless, beautiful and divine
The Lyre itself is a composite of strings and wood
The soul is like a tuning, a blend of opposites into a harmony
But the tuning of the lyre is destroyed when the lyre is broken
Therefore, if the body breaks the soul is destroyed
Tune : Lyre :: Soul : Body
Argument by Analogy (epiphenomenalism)

What is the Weaver Analogy?
The Weaver Analogy is a general counter-argument that the soul continues after separation from body
Soul is not inferior to a body
Weaver is not inferior to a cloak
Weaver outlasts many cloaks he makes
But the weaver will not outlast his last cloak
Therefore the weaver can perish if he is stronger and more noble than the cloak
The soul might have many bodies, but it will wear out
Souls might survive death of the body, but it will continue to survive the death over and over?
Leads to scandal and self-doubt
Weaver : Cloak :: Soul : Body

What is misology?
Misology is the hate of reason

How does Socrates respond to the Lyre Analogy?
He does not want people to