Topics: Soul, Socrates, Phaedo Pages: 2 (484 words) Published: October 11, 2008
The purpose of this paper is to prove that Socrates is successful in replying to the objections of Simmias and Cebes in Plato’s Phaedo, and in proving the soul to be immortal. Simmias’ objection basically challenges Socrates’ claim that the soul is immortal. Simmias inquires why the soul is not similar to a lyre and its harmony, the soul representing the harmony, and the body representing the lyre. Simmias points out the fact that when a lyre becomes old, the harmony suffers, and eventually ceases to exist (Phaedo, 82a). He claims this occurrence to be the same relationship as between the soul and the body. Socrates, however, is quick to prove Simmias incorrect. Socrates’ first claim is that the soul possesses knowledge at birth, and therefore the soul only recollects what is previously known. Simmias and Cebes both agree to this statement. Therefore, Simmias must choose the case he prefers: that the soul recollects, or that the body and soul are comparable to a lyre and its harmony. Simmias selects the argument of recollection, realizing that a harmony can only exist if the lyre is created, and that a soul is previously created, and fills the body at birth. The second argument made by Socrates outlines the fact that in order for a harmony to exist, it must be perfectly attuned. Simmias, however, realizes that some souls are evil, while others are good. In a comparison of the soul to the harmony, some harmonies would be attuned, while others not attuned. If this were the case, a true harmony would not exist. The final argument Socrates makes describes that the lyre produces harmony. If the soul were in fact like a harmony, then the body would have full control over the operation of the soul. However, Simmias realizes that the soul directs the body, not the inverse. Therefore, the three arguments prove the fact that the soul does not die with the body.

Cebes objection outlines the fact that he believes the soul to outlive many bodies, but...
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