Essay by ellajordan November 2014

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Ella Jordan

Richard Boothby



Take Home Exam: Essay Two

Socrates' final hours were spent in his cell with his friends Crito, Simmias, and Cebes.

He begins by saying that a true philosopher should not fear death but instead look forward to it because if he does not know what comes after death, he cannot fear it. This concept brings him to assert that the soul is immortal. Socrates states that the soul pre-exists before and has been working separate from the body. Therefor, the soul survives after death. In Phaedo, Socrates presents numerous arguments that attempt to prove the immortality of the soul. These arguments include the Argument of Opposites, the Argument of Recollection, and the Argument of Soul and Form.

Specifically, the Argument of Recollection is another fascinating concept. Socrates understands that we all judge things equal and unequal. He then explains that equality is above material things and equality is used to judge material things.

If something is equal it must be the same. We have knowledge about equality but not from physically looking at material things; therefor, we have prior recollection or knowledge. In other words, the soul must have pre-existed its life in the body. We have never seen pure equality. A circle is imperfect so we must have known what a perfect circle is before the body's existence and not from perception. Another example would be infinity. We understand something about it but have never seen it.

In addition, the Argument of Opposites explains that everything forms from its opposite. This means that the living must come from the dead and vice versa. The concept of a perpetual cycle of life and death implies that when we die we come back to life after a period of time. In regard to this cycle,