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The Death of Socrates. Socrates’ Replies. Reply to Cebes: Essential property of snow? Cold. Essential property of fire? Hot. Cold/Hot are opposites. At the approach of hot, snow must retreat or be destroyed (103d). Socrates’ Replies. Reply to Cebes: Essential property of soul?

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socrates replies
Socrates’ Replies
  • Reply to Cebes:
  • Essential property of snow?
  • Cold.
  • Essential property of fire?
  • Hot.
  • Cold/Hot are opposites.
  • At the approach of hot, snow must retreat or be destroyed (103d).
socrates replies1
Socrates’ Replies
  • Reply to Cebes:
  • Essential property of soul?
  • Alive (105d).
  • Dead is the opposite of alive.
  • Soul can’t take on death and remain soul--soul is deathless (105e-106d).
  • Is this a good argument?
socrates replies2
Socrates’ Replies
  • Reply to Cebes:
  • At the approach of death the soul must retreat or be destroyed.
  • “If the deathless is also indestructible, it is impossible for the soul to be destroyed when death comes upon it” (106b)
  • “If not, we need another argument.”
socrates replies3
Socrates’ Replies
  • Socrates expresses misgivings about the arguments (107a-b).
  • Socrates realizes that his friends need to believe in immortality (95b-c).
  • Can reason defeat emotions and instill a love of reason?
  • Does Socrates use emotion to instill a love of reason? (61e, 77e, 91a, Myth & 114d)
socrates replies4
Socrates’ Replies
  • Plato presents these arguments not as philosophical arguments to convince reason, but as devices to persuade the emotions to love reason, and as philosophical exercises to strengthen confidence in philosophy.
  • They mesmerize the fears, while sharpening the intellect.
  • Paradox: Plato advances the cause of reason through non-rational means! Is that fair?
  • How do we get children to become ethical?
  • Rewards/punishments, Santa Claus, Heaven/Hell--Threats and bribes!
  • How can that work?
  • Is it fair?
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Superego
    • Internalization and Identification with external motivations.
socrates views
Socrates’ Views?
  • What does Socrates think about immortality?
  • He doesn’t know (Apology).
  • What does Plato think about immortality?
  • The soul is immortal (Phaedo, Republic).
  • The soul is not immortal (Symposium).
symposium 207d 208b
Symposium (207d, 208b)
  • “Mortal nature seeks as far as possible to live forever and be immortal. And this is possible in one way only: by reproduction, because it always leaves behind a new young one in place of the old.”
  • “In that way everything mortal is preserved, not, like the divine, by always being the same in every way, but because what is departing and aging leaves behind something new, something such as it had been.”
socrates views1
Socrates’ Views?
  • What matters is that the soul is the most valuable of things--the soul is akin to the divine.
  • It doesn’t matter whether the soul lasts forever--lasting forever wouldn’t make something valuable anyway. It would be valuable for something to last for a long time only if the thing was valuable to start with.
  • Would a relationship be worthless if you knew that it was only going to last for a certain time?
  • Other person was dying?
  • Only for the summer?
  • Worth comes not from length of time, but quality of time.
socrates views2
Socrates’ Views
  • The best care of the soul involves seeking knowledge, freeing it from bodily cares as much as possible, doing what is right despite the dangers to oneself.
  • Lead the philosophical life!
  • Socrates would have the same attitude towards his life and soul whether the soul was immortal or not.
  • Ultimately, it doesn’t matter.