How Did Plato Prove The Immortality Of The Soul?

Better Essays

In Plato’s Phaedo, Plato works to prove the immortality of the soul by creating a dialogue that takes place after Socrates is sentenced to execution, moments before he is put to death. Through Socrates, Plato states that philosophers should not fear death and that the purpose of a philosopher is to attain wisdom, which can only be achieved after death when the soul is liberated from the distractions of the body. Using the Theory of the Forms and the Theory of Recollection, Socrates argues that the soul is undying and exists before birth and after death. While there is no concrete evidence to support his claims, Plato provides objections as well as explanations for these arguments, however, he does not consider other possible …show more content…

Socrates believes that the Forms are ideal, immutable examples of conceptual ideas such as Beauty or Justice, or conceivable things such as an object like a Circle. The concepts and ideas we know of are therefore multiple, imperfect versions of the Forms. The Forms are a single, true representation of a particular idea or thing that “wants to be of the same sort as something else among the things that are; yet falls short” and is “inferior” (74e). However, we as mortals cannot sense them, like the soul, as they are intangible counterparts of these ideas in this world. The example that Socrates uses is the Form of Equality, attributing things being described as equal to be “striving to be like the Equal but fall short of it” (75a). Socrates philosophizes that our souls meet with the Forms after death, as the soul is now free of bodily disorientation, and learn about them. He believes that once the soul is reborn again ,this knowledge of the Forms is retained, but repressed due to the distractions and needs of the body. This is where Socrates’ Theory of Recollection comes into play, as Socrates claims that all our learning is recollection of old knowledge and information obtained by our souls before birth.
The Theory of Recollection is first mentioned by Cebes as Socrates defends his argument of the immortality of the soul. Plato, in the form of

Get Access
Get Access