Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno and Phaedo

Exposition and Criticism of the Final Argument for Immortality of the Soul in Phaedo College

In the prior conversations, Cebes proposes that even though the soul is long-lasting, it can be worn out and destroyed (91d). In response to that, Socrates investigates the cause of generation and destruction (96a) and proposes his final argument for the immortality of the soul.

Before coming to his final argument, Socrates recounts his own experience in searching for the cause of things and introducesthe theory of Forms, which will later serve as an important hypothesis for his argument. First, Socrates recalls his exploration in natural science when he was young and describes his investigation of how things come and cease to be (96b). However, when Socrates uses the old method of investigation for natural science, he feels himself becoming more ignorant in the process (96c). As it is explained by natural science, a man grows from small to large bulk because food adds proper parts to his body (96d). Natural science also explains “by a head” as the cause of being taller and addition of two as the cause of ten being more than eight (96e). However, Socrates is not satisfied with those explanations. For instance, he does not think two ones being brought together is why one plus one equals to two. He wonders why when ones are...

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