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phaedo   


the soul is a harmony capable of being led by the affections of the

body, and not rather of a nature which leads and masters them; and

herself a far diviner thing than any harmony?

Yes, Socrates, I quite agree to that.

Then, my friend, we can never be right in saying that the soul is

a harmony, for that would clearly contradict the divine Homer as

well as ourselves.

True, he said.

Thus much, said Socrates, of Harmonia, your Theban goddess, Cebes,

who has not been ungracious to us, I think; but what shall I say to

the Theban Cadmus, and how shall I propitiate him?

I think that you will discover a way of propitiating him, said

Cebes; I am sure that you have answered the argument about harmony

in a manner that I could never have expected. For when Simmias

mentioned his objection, I quite imagined that no answer could be

given to him, and therefore I was surprised at finding that his

argument could not sustain the first onset of yours; and not

impossibly the other, whom you call Cadmus, may share a similar fate.

Nay, my good friend, said Socrates, let us not boast, lest some evil

eye should put to flight the word which I am about to speak. That,

however, may be left in the hands of those above, while I draw near in

Homeric fashion, and try the mettle of your words. Briefly, the sum of

your objection is as follows: You want to have proven to you that

the soul is imperishable and immortal, and you think that the

philosopher who is confident in death has but a vain and foolish

confidence, if he thinks that he will fare better than one who has led

another sort of life, in the world below, unless he can prove this;

and you say that the demonstration of the strength and divinity of the

soul, and of her existence prior to our becoming men, does not

necessarily imply her immortality. Granting that the soul is

longlived, and has known and done much in a former state, still she is

not on that account immortal; and her entrance into the human form may

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