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The execution of Socrates is an occasion in the Phaedo for a discussion of the nature of the soul with reference to the Forms In the Republic Plato characterizes.

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Presentation on theme: "The execution of Socrates is an occasion in the Phaedo for a discussion of the nature of the soul with reference to the Forms In the Republic Plato characterizes."— Presentation transcript:

1 The execution of Socrates is an occasion in the Phaedo for a discussion of the nature of the soul with reference to the Forms In the Republic Plato characterizes the soul differently than he does in the Phaedo and expands upon the Forms 1

2 Argument for Existence of Forms Similar objects exist & can be known to be similar e.g. Leo & Leona the lions There must exist something, the Form of BEING-A-LION, that makes them similar & which is known when similarity is recognized 2

3 Forms continue exist even if the objects that they inform stop existing Even if Leo dies, Leona remains a lion similar to other lions So, Forms do not depend for their existence on sensible/physical objects Rather, sensible/physical objects depend for their existence on forms Forms are eternal & unchanging since they are neither sensible nor physical 3

4 Forms exist eternally in a separate realm; they do not exist in sensible/physical objects Forms known innately by a priori reason, not a posteriori sensation Forms are ( like ) Exemplars or Perfect Models Expressed by good definitions Laws of Science, Morality, Mathematics Abstract Designs or Instruction Sets 4

5 Forms are the natural targets or objects of the rational faculty = the soul Knowledge is the activity for which the rational faculty is designed Knowing the forms is the aim of the rational faculty Knowing the forms constitutes happiness for the rational faculty = the soul = the self 5

6 Hierarchy of Being & Value Governs the Universe Forms are more real than physical or sensible objects Forms are eternal Forms determine the physical Forms are better than physical objects since they are more real than physical objects & the true objectives of the rational/deliberative soul 6

7 Form of the Good = the supreme form highest in both value and being informs all things Notice: apparently, there is no form of the Bad apparently, all things are good how then can we correctly judge anything to be bad or evil? 7

8 The Metaphor of the Cave note cave is prison; not home degrees of reality illusory sensation dependence of all things on the sun those who remain in the cave disparage the knowledge of the enlighted process of dialectical ascent 8

9 I = my soul My soul is different from my body My soul is immaterial & imperceptible My soul includes my cognitive (and maybe my affective) capacities Soul is the seat of knowledge; body is the conduit of illusory sensation 9

10 Soul has innate knowledge of the unchanging principles that govern all aspects of the universe = Forms Soul is immortal; body is mortal Soul is naturally determined to pursue what is good and valuable The body can draw the soul away from the good towards what is not good So, death of body is an advantage to the soul 10

11 Your essence is what is necessary for your existence To discover your essence: try a thought experiment? Is my capacity for cognition essential to me? Is my body essential to me? Might I exist without my body? Might I exist without a body? 11

12 Compare computers and programs distinguish hardware and software distinguish algorithm and program Are you related to your body in the way in which a program or algorithm is related to a computer? 12

13 Argument from Recollection In sensation we know only the particular: e.g. in sensing two approximately equal sticks, we sense the particular sticks but not Equality-in- general (i.e. the Form of equality) Sensing the equal sticks may make us think of or enable our understanding of Equality-in-general The only way that sensing could enable understanding of what is fully general is if sensing is a mnemonic cue for something known innately and a priori independent of, and prior to, sensation 13

14 This knowledge of the fully general/universal must therefore exist in us innately before the possibility of sensation, i.e. before birth Hence, we must exist before the birth of the body If we exist before the birth of the body, then we can exist without our bodies Since we are identified with our souls, our souls exist before and independently of our bodies Hence, death of the body does not imply death of the soul 14

15 Notice that the Phaedos argument from recollection is similar to the proposal in the Meno that recognition (i.e. classification or categorization) is really the matching of an innately known form against a perceptual experience In the Meno Socrates uses the situation of the Slave Boy to illustrate the existence of innate knowledge of the forms. The uneducated slave has never learned geometry Yet, as revealed by the slaves correct replies to Socrates leading questions, the slave innately knows a complex theorem of geometry 15

16 What is simple cannot be decomposed or otherwise destroyed and is therefore immortal The soul is simple because the soul is non-sensible and, hence, simple the soul is that which has knowledge of what is simple and indestructible (i.e. forms); so, it is likely similar to the simple and indestructible so, the soul is likely simple The soul, as simple, is indestructible and, hence, immortal 16

17 By definition, the soul is alive (just as by definition, the number 3 is odd) What is true by definition is necessarily true Hence, it is necessarily true that the soul is alive Hence, it is impossible that the soul not live Hence, the soul is immortal 17

18 In the Phaedo the soul is represented as Simple, without internal parts, and, hence, immortal In the Republic the soul is represented as Exhibiting internal conflict between three parts Reason Spirit (emotion) Appetite (desire) A tripartite soul must be complex rather than simple and hence decomposable, destructible and mortal Eg: Dementia as decomposition/destruction Am I the rational part of the complex soul? Am I immortal if my soul is complex? 18

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