Analysis of Phaedo by Plato

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Critical Analysis of “Phaedo” by Plato

Much of the Phaedo by Plato is composed of arguments for the nature of the physical world and how it relates to the after life, for example, the way our senses perceive the world and how indulging in those senses has negative consequences in our after lives. These arguments find basis in scientific analysis of the time as well as the mythos of the his age. One of the key talking points within the story is the theory of forms. The aforementioned theory is formed from two beliefs, the first of which is that our senses deceive us and that there's an existential plane where perfect beings exist and the perfect ideas of the physical things in the world are there too. All of these concepts are intricately intertwined through out the story although Plato doesn't explain all of them in great detail. That leaves one to question whether he writes them to justify his life or if perhaps he's figured something out that we as the readers have not. Despite how questionable some of Plato's hypotheses are there are a couple that provide an interesting perspective on our world.

The theory of forms spans the entirety of the book and is the most important argument in the Phaedo. This theory is the basis for the classic cave metaphor as well as one of the most referenced beliefs through out the text. The theory of forms comes from the belief that there are two planes of existence consisting of the world we can see and that world that is “beyond” ours. Within the latter plane there are the perfect forms of all the things that we know. A “form” in the Phaedo is a perfect representation of the physical objects and ideas of our world they are also “divine, deathless, intelligible, uniform, indissoluble, always the same as itself.”[1] For example, the form of a table is the perfect idea of what a table should be while an actual table is just the imperfect physical representation of that form. According to Plato it's not possible for us to...
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