LITERATURE: Phaedo – Argument

Had to put it down for a bit, but got into Phaedo again and am glad to see that Simmias and Cebes aren’t falling for the total picture of the life of a soul according to Socrates either.

Simmias brings up the example of a harp (material, like the body) and the music or harmony (akin to the soul in immortality) it produces.  If the harp is broken, he claims, then while it continues to exist even in its broken state, the harmony is gone before it. This seems in contradiction to Socrates’ discussion of everlasting life of the soul.

What these questions bring up to me (and Plato’s purpose is to answer the questions by posing them via the characters) is the correlations that are used to "prove" the arguments.  In other words, while the harp like the body is material and mortal (will eventually decay and leave no trace) who says that the body is like the harp in all ways?  Therefore, how is the pre-birth and after-death existence of the soul determined by likening it to something that does not resemble it in all aspects?

Yes, Simmias, Cebes and I are the doubting Thomases of the group.

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