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phaedo   


or return into one another, then you know that all things would at

last have the same form and pass into the same state, and there

would be no more generation of them.

What do you mean? he said.

A simple thing enough, which I will illustrate by the case of sleep,

he replied. You know that if there were no compensation of sleeping

and waking, the story of the sleeping Endymion would in the end have

no meaning, because all other things would be asleep, too, and he

would not be thought of. Or if there were composition only, and no

division of substances, then the chaos of Anaxagoras would come again.

And in like manner, my dear Cebes, if all things which partook of life

were to die, and after they were dead remained in the form of death,

and did not come to life again, all would at last die, and nothing

would be alive-how could this be otherwise? For if the living spring

from any others who are not the dead, and they die, must not all

things at last be swallowed up in death?

There is no escape from that, Socrates, said Cebes; and I think that

what you say is entirely true.

Yes, he said, Cebes, I entirely think so, too; and we are not

walking in a vain imagination; but I am confident in the belief that

there truly is such a thing as living again, and that the living

spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence,

and that the good souls have a better portion than the evil.

Cebes added: Your favorite doctrine, Socrates, that knowledge is

simply recollection, if true, also necessarily implies a previous time

in which we learned that which we now recollect. But this would be

impossible unless our soul was in some place before existing in the

human form; here, then, is another argument of the soul's immortality.

But tell me, Cebes, said Simmias, interposing, what proofs are given

of this doctrine of recollection? I am not very sure at this moment

that I remember them.

One excellent proof, said Cebes, is afforded by questions. If you

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