imperishable, the soul when attacked by death cannot perish; for the
preceding argument shows that the soul will not admit of death, or
ever be dead, any more than three or the odd number will admit of
the even, or fire or the heat in the fire, of the cold. Yet a person
may say: "But although the odd will not become even at the approach of
the even, why may not the odd perish and the even take the place of
the odd?" Now to him who makes this objection, we cannot answer that
the odd principle is imperishable; for this has not been acknowledged,
but if this had been acknowledged, there would have been no difficulty
in contending that at the approach of the even the odd principle and
the number three took up their departure; and the same argument
would have held good of fire and heat and any other thing.
And the same may be said of the immortal: if the immortal is also
imperishable, then the soul will be imperishable as well as
immortal; but if not, some other proof of her imperishableness will
have to be given.
No other proof is needed, he said; for if the immortal, being
eternal, is liable to perish, then nothing is imperishable.
Yes, replied Socrates, all men will agree that God, and the
essential form of life, and the immortal in general, will never
Yes, all men, he said-that is true; and what is more, gods, if I
am not mistaken, as well as men.
Seeing then that the immortal is indestructible, must not the
soul, if she is immortal, be also imperishable?
Then when death attacks a man, the mortal portion of him may be
supposed to die, but the immortal goes out of the way of death and
is preserved safe and sound?
Then, Cebes, beyond question the soul is immortal and