According to the Phaedo where does the meaning of life lie?

Essay by hot_dranUniversity, Bachelor's December 2003

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Philosophy speaks of a few different theories that try to answer the question about the purpose or meaning of life. Two of these are the super-naturalist and naturalist theory. The super naturalist theory is based on two ideas namely Soul centered and God centered. The latter talks of the purpose of life being determined by Gods and according to it life has meaning no matter what, even if one doesn't achieve or recognize it. Our life is objective to God's purposes, is what this theory preaches. The former - Soul centered - is what is preached by Socrates in the Phaedo. This theory believes that there is a soul that is separate from the body. The soul is immortal and has eternal fate. If the soul was mortal, then life would not have any meaning, as for life to have meaning, finite time (life) is too less. This essay will talk of the meaning of life as mentioned by Socrates viz.

via the soul centered theory. In Phaedo, it is Plato who talks of the meaning of life via Phaedo, who in turn is preaching Socrates' conversation before his death. So Phaedo's meaning of life is actually what Socrates defines to be the meaning of life.

According to Socrates, the only purpose or meaning of life is to "separate the soul as far as possible from the body and accustom it to gather itself and collect itself out of every part of the body and to dwell itself as far as it can both now and in the future" (67d). In Phaedo Socrates calls this kind of purpose death. Phaedo is depicting Socrates explanation as to why death should not be feared by a true philosopher. For him, death was separation of the soul from the body.