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nature of her confinement, and that the captive through desire is

led to conspire in her own captivity (for the lovers of knowledge

are aware that this was the original state of the soul, and that

when she was in this state philosophy received and gently counseled

her, and wanted to release her, pointing out to her that the eye is

full of deceit, and also the ear and other senses, and persuading

her to retire from them in all but the necessary use of them and to be

gathered up and collected into herself, and to trust only to herself

and her own intuitions of absolute existence, and mistrust that

which comes to her through others and is subject to

vicissitude)-philosophy shows her that this is visible and tangible,

but that what she sees in her own nature is intellectual and

invisible. And the soul of the true philosopher thinks that she

ought not to resist this deliverance, and therefore abstains from

pleasures and desires and pains and fears, as far as she is able;

reflecting that when a man has great joys or sorrows or fears or

desires he suffers from them, not the sort of evil which might be

anticipated-as, for example, the loss of his health or property, which

he has sacrificed to his lusts-but he has suffered an evil greater

far, which is the greatest and worst of all evils, and one of which he

never thinks.

And what is that, Socrates? said Cebes.

Why, this: When the feeling of pleasure or pain in the soul is

most intense, all of us naturally suppose that the object of this

intense feeling is then plainest and truest: but this is not the case.

Very true.

And this is the state in which the soul is most enthralled by the


How is that?

Why, because each pleasure and pain is a sort of nail which nails

and rivets the soul to the body, and engrosses her and makes her

believe that to be true which the body affirms to be true; and from

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