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Socrates' Idea of The Soul in The Platonic Dialogue

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The Platonic Dialogue is written by Plato at the scene of Socrates prison cell and death bed. The government of the time and place of ancient Athens did not want to hear Socrates ideas and did not want to give him freedom of speech. (South University Online, 2015, para. 5).

In the Platonic Dialogue, Socrates is discussing the idea of the soul. Socrates talks about what men do in their mortal life time will affect their immortal soul. Then Socrates is discussing the Philosophy of why there are a different numbers of things and the causes of existence. Shortly their after, Socrates begins to discuss the sun and the stars, their existence, their coming and going and returning to various states.

As the Platonic dialogue continues, Socrates begins to discuss how disappointed he was at the teachings of Athens philosophy. His philosopher taught that is body parts are responsible for his actions. Basically they were teaching that a person’s anatomy dictates what a person does based on what is best for the body parts. Socrates would not stand for this foolishness and held the position that his mind decides what he is going to do and the body, the bones and muscles simply empower him to carry it out. For this the Athenians condemned Socrates. But Socrates stood his ground and did not flee from the government, and was put in prison. Regardless of anything else Socrates said or did, Socrates died for cause of freedom of speech, and his right to speak the truth. And for that, History should praise the man.

While in his prison, Socrates begins to contemplate the nature of true existence. He goes on to state things like “that by beauty all beautiful things become beautiful.” (Phaedo, 360 BC, p. 39) and that by greatness only great things become great and greater, and by smallness the less becomes less.” (Phaedo, 360 BC, p. 40) Later, Socrates is discussing with Cebes and others, that men’s souls are immortal and also imperishable. Socrates seems to want his friends to agree with him that the immoral soul that does not age or grows closer to death, is also indestructible from any force the universe or spiritual realm can put upon it.

Towards the end, Socrates is discussing the idea of taking care of the soul. Socrates talks about how what men do in their mortal life time will affect their immortal soul. For example in paragraph tree he says, “If death had only been the end of all, the wicked would have had a good bargain in dying.” (Phaedo, 360 BC, p. 47) He is saying if there was no after life or nothing beyond death, then the wicked will not have to face divine punishment for all the evil they did. But rather they get off rather easy as they parish. But Socrates position and belief on the concept of the afterlife was clear. “The soul plainly appears to be immortal” (Phaedo, 360 BC, p. 47), he said.

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