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phaedo   


I agree with you, Socrates, he said.

And can all this be true, think you? he said; and are all these

consequences admissible-which nevertheless seem to follow from the

assumption that the soul is a harmony?

Certainly not, he said.

Once more, he said, what ruling principle is there of human things

other than the soul, and especially the wise soul? Do you know of any?

Indeed, I do not.

And is the soul in agreement with the affections of the body? or

is she at variance with them? For example, when the body is hot and

thirsty, does not the soul incline us against drinking? and when the

body is hungry, against eating? And this is only one instance out of

ten thousand of the opposition of the soul to the things of the body.

Very true.

But we have already acknowledged that the soul, being a harmony, can

never utter a note at variance with the tensions and relaxations and

vibrations and other affections of the strings out of which she is

composed; she can only follow, she cannot lead them?

Yes, he said, we acknowledged that, certainly.

And yet do we not now discover the soul to be doing the exact

opposite-leading the elements of which she is believed to be composed;

almost always opposing and coercing them in all sorts of ways

throughout life, sometimes more violently with the pains of medicine

and gymnastic; then again more gently; threatening and also

reprimanding the desires, passions, fears, as if talking to a thing

which is not herself, as Homer in the "Odyssey" represents Odysseus

doing in the words,



"He beat his breast, and thus reproached his heart:

Endure, my heart; far worse hast thou endured!"



Do you think that Homer could have written this under the idea that

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