Socrates 's Argument For Immortality Of The Soul Essay

Socrates 's Argument For Immortality Of The Soul Essay

Length: 1321 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Plato’s dialogue, the Phaedo, Socrates gives an account of the immortality of the soul. Socrates does this through a series of arguments. He argues that the soul will continue to exist, and that it will go on to a better place. The argument begins on the day of his execution with the question of whether it is good or bad to die. In other words, he is arguing that the soul is immortal and indestructible. This argument is contrary to Cebes and Simmias who argue that even the soul is long lasting, it is not immortal and it is destroyed when the body dies. This paper focuses on Socrates 's first argument for immortality of the human soul, his counter arguments to Cebes and Simmias ' arguments, and an explanation as to why Socrates first argument for the immorality of the soul does not succeed in establishing that the soul is immortal.
Socrates had been condemned to commit suicide by drinking hemlock, and a number of his friends and fellow philosophers had gathered to spend his last hours with him. Phaedo explains that among those present with him were Crito and two Pythagorean philosophers, Simmias and Cebes. In Phaedo’s account, 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. Unlike the body, the soul is immortal, so it will survive death. Socrates provides four arguments for believing the soul is immortal.
Cebes agrees with much of what Socrates has said regarding the soul, but does not feel convinced that the soul coheres and remains active and intelligent after death. For instance, he suggests, when the soul leaves the body, it may be dissipated like breath or smoke so that it no longer exists as one coh...


... middle of paper ...


...e no gradations of being dead or alive as there are with being big or small, and it is less clear that in the case of absolute opposites, each one must come into being out of its opposite. There is also the question of what is dead and alive. For Socrates ' argument to work, he must conclude that the soul is what goes through these states of change, thereby proving that it does cohere even after death. But is it the soul that dies? Surely, Socrates wants to argue that the body dies while the soul lives on, free from the body. But if it is the body that dies, the argument breaks down. It would be absurd to suggest that living bodies come into being from dead bodies, and besides, this would not help us to establish the immortality of the soul. Therefor Socrates first argument for the immortality of the soul holds little to no validity to show that the soul is immortal.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Socrates Arguments For The Soul 's Immortality Essay

- In the book Plato 's Phaedo, Socrates argues that the soul will continue to exist, and that it will go on to a better place. The argument begins on the day of Socrates execution with the question of whether it is good or bad to die. In other words, he is arguing that the soul is immortal and indestructible. This argument is contrary to Cebes and Simmias beliefs who argue that even the soul is long lasting, it is not immortal and it is destroyed when the body dies. This paper is going to focus on Socrates four arguments for the soul 's immortality....   [tags: Soul, Life, Plato, Mind]

Better Essays
1217 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Plato Is Contemplating The Immortality Of The Soul

- In the excerpt read, Plato is contemplating the immortality of the soul, and how Socrates assured his student of soul remaining after his body dies. The dialogue occurs on the day that Socrates was to be put to death in Athens, and is occurring in the prison just prior to execution by Hemlock poisoning.   The Cyclical Argument Plato is writing the dialogue of a conversation being had prior to Socrates’ execution, and part of that argument is focused on how the soul is surely immortal. Socrates uses examples of opposites, and how one exists because of another, yet will not accept the other....   [tags: Life, Soul, Immortality, Existence]

Better Essays
728 words (2.1 pages)

Socrates And Plato 's Philosophy Essay

- Socrates and Plato had a very distinct view on the human life and what constitutes a living of a “good life”-a life that would allow man access to the forms. Socrates was Plato’s teacher, and throughout much of Plato’s works, Socrates is the main character, who is ultimately the mouthpiece to express Plato’s ideas about life. These ideas were centralized around the idea of an immortal soul and one’s location of critical thinking and reasoning. Socrates and Plato believed that the soul was the home to reasoning and the body was a mere obstacle that hindered the pursuit of true knowledge....   [tags: Soul, Plato, Immortality, Socrates]

Better Essays
1927 words (5.5 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of Socrates Argument On Plato 's Republic And Plato

- In this paper I will give an in depth analysis of Socrates argument in Plato’s Republic and in Plato’s Phaedo. First I will begin with the analysis of the Republic, a discussion between Socrates and Glaucon on morality of the human being. The argument first defines morality within a good community and proceeds with the application of this definition in the human person. Then I shall analysis Phaedo, Socrates argument of immortality of the soul. Using his argument of death, reincarnation, change and invisibility, I shall explain Socrates rejoice of death....   [tags: Plato, Soul, Reincarnation, Philosophy]

Better Essays
2176 words (6.2 pages)

The Immorality of the Soul Essay

- Immorality of the Soul Is the human soul mortal or immortal. With death does one fall into nothingness or does one survive death, passing into another way of existing. This is a question that has agitated thought for ages. There is something within all human beings that lives on forever. Even when death is upon us, the soul of a human being never dies. Thus, we arrive at the statement that the human soul is immortal. The purpose of this paper is to explain how the human soul is immortal through analyzing various philosophies....   [tags: human, soul, life, society]

Better Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

Courage, Virtue, and the Immortality of the Soul: According to Socrates Essay

- In the Laches and the Phaedo, courage and virtue are discussed in depth. Also, arguments for the possibility of the existence of the immorality of the soul are given in the Phaedo. In the Laches, Socrates and two generals, Nicias and Laches, wrestle with how exactly to define courage. After discussing and working their way through two definitions of courage, Nicias proposes a third definition of courage. However, this definition of courage that he proposes is actually the definition of virtue. When the dialogue comes to an end, no definition of courage has been reached....   [tags: Philosophy ]

Better Essays
1983 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on Socrates 's Theory Of The Existence Of Learning

- Socrates’s work has laid the foundation for all philosophical thinkers after his time. Although never writing anything down, Plato’s account of Socrates’s fundamental thoughts gives us a direct insight into our own beliefs and helps us question our very core values. Socrates has brought about many theories of existence due to the mere questioning of daily attributes like the existence of learning. In Plato’s dialogue, Meno, Socrates poses a valid argument that we do not learn but seemingly recollect knowledge from a previous life....   [tags: Soul, Plato, Reincarnation, Socrates]

Better Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

James Rachels 's The Immortal Soul Essay examples

- “Questioning My Beliefs” As a Christian raised in a Southern Baptist church, I have always been taught and believed without questioning, that the soul is the part of me that makes me who I am. It is my personality, my thoughts and emotions, and my identity. Without my soul, I would be lifeless, like a light bulb without electricity. At death, according to my beliefs, the soul survives, separates from the body, and proceeds to its destination--heaven or hell. I have questioned this pre-held belief after reading James Rachels argument against the immortal soul....   [tags: Soul, Life, Immortality, God]

Better Essays
1110 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The Immortality of the Soul

- Plato has roused many readers with the work of a great philosopher by the name of Socrates. Through Plato, Socrates lived on generations after his time. A topic of Socrates that many will continue to discuss is the idea of “an immortal soul”. Although there are various works and dialogues about this topic it is found to be best explained in The Phaedo. It is fair to say that the mind may wonder when one dies what exactly happens to the beloved soul, the giver of life often thought of as the very essence of life does it live on beyond the body, or does it die with it....   [tags: Philosophy ]

Better Essays
1430 words (4.1 pages)

The 's Final Arguments For Immortality Essay

- In this paper I will argue that forms are important for the immortality arguments. In this case I will show that there is a forms and it plays a vital role in Phaedo 's final arguments for immortality therefore forms are important. PART I: Explanation of forms in Phaedo 's final arguments for immortality Phaedo is one of Plato’s classical dialogues which takes place between Socrates and his friends in the prison on his last day of life in 399 B.C. Phaedo is a conversation which mainly focuses on afterlife and soul or rather immortality of the soul....   [tags: Soul, Life, Phaedo, Plato]

Better Essays
1982 words (5.7 pages)