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Worthwhile for analysis in the V  is the discourses on the soul and death. The

discussions give emphasis on the soul as being the most important part of human existence. This

importance is derived from the notion that the soul is to continue after the body ceases its

existence that which, in turn, what makes living important. Socrates argues that death does not

destroy the soul, which is within every human, thus, the soul never experiences the death that the

body experiences. It is imminent from his belief that death is only of the body and not of the soul

it is death which simply gets rid of the soul off the body and posits the soul to its next level of

existence. Observable in the dialogue is the seeming inconsistency concerning Socrates¶

understanding of the soul and its nature. Socrates suggests that each opposite leads to its

opposite, that is the soul towards the body being the body as the destructible opposite of the soul

being indestructible thus would withdraw intact or unbroken even if the body is damaged. This

cyclical argument of Socrates implies that before birth the soul must have existed before our

bodies and exists in an incomprehensible form before we are born and remains after we die. The

soul is to be carried in the body during man¶s lifetime remaining there until death. The soul

playing the biggest part in our view of death entails that there is death when the separation of the

soul from the body is completed. Therefore death is understood to happen when the body exists

in itself, and is released from the stewardship of the soul. The soul then goes on living and

doesn't have to deal with any of the bad commodities of the body attached. The question

however is on what kind of existence the soul will go back to since the soul has not been affected

with the occurrences while it is with the body? Is it going back to its original state as the cycle

suggests being in its beginning in the state of ignorance? How can therefore we take into account
death being the transition period from existent to nonexistent of the soul if there is no possibility

of continuing existence? As philosophers, how do we embrace the idea of death being it the

possibility of going to another sphere of existent in life after death? These are the issues that this

paper will try to try to deduce and shed some light on the dawn of its inquisitive aspect.

It is certain that the fact the soul is in a state of ignorance from the beginning of man¶s

existence implies that the state of the soul before birth is also the same. In his attempt to prove

that the soul will necessarily continue after death, returning to that state of the soul before its

existence with the body as opposite to opposite, go against the claim of continuing existence of

the soul since ignorance can be toppled down with knowledge as man nurture himself throughout

his existence and thus the soul cannot go back to its original state being ignorant. I believe there

is no continuing existence if the soul will go back to its original state after death since it is now a

beginning of new existence and not a continuation of the life experienced by the soul while it is

with the body. It is to be noticed also that if we deduce from the latter our concept of ³life´, its

opposite will not be death since there¶s no continuity but emergence of new life which we might

correctly say as life after death. It is not to be treated as the soul continuing the episodes of its

previous occurrence with the body but a different existence to be witnessed by the soul.

What is death then? Is it just a mere interruption of existence or a precursor of a new life

to come? Socrates in dealing with the question of what is death focused more on life after death

rather than death itself. The soul, he says, continues after the body dies so in what situation it

continues becomes now a very important question in life. If our souls are to continue after we

die, we must be quite concerned with them during life. Life may be, in fact, what distinguishes

the situation our souls are put into after death and we may be able to alter the outlook for our

souls if we act more wisely. As this possibility exists, it seems only reasonable to do for our
souls as much as possible during life. If, in fact, there is no after life for our souls then we have

lost nothing in being prepared. Philosophies relationship to death is, as such, in revealing the

questions and possibilities of death so as to allow for decisions to be made accordingly during

life.

The dialogues in V  greatly help to explain especially for us exposed in the study of

philosophy of death and our relation to it. As human, a philosopher can never realize an afterlife,

at least not in this life. Thus, death is more important, to some extent, in defining life than in

being defined itself. Death can be known only as an end to life and the step before the unknown,

therefore any attempt at understanding it should be done in relation to what we do know, life.

Socrates, in both arguments regarding death, uses death in such a manner. We must indeed

choose the greater good whenever possible and considering that death is an unknown reality it is

certainly more likely good than any definite evil. Death, in being an unknown closure to this life,

serves as a tool by which to set our moral priorities and an option in life¶s trials.

Socrates formed a conclusion that: "That the real philosopher has reason to be of good

cheer when he is about to die, and after death he may hope to obtain the greatest good of the

world." Socrates is saying that when death is presented upon him, he should have no reason but

to be happy, and when that death comes; he will have achieved the best gift in the world.

Socrates¶ courage as he faced the reluctant foreseen death is simply the personification of the

reason why philosophers should not grieve at death since that should be the goal of their whole

lives. He believes that only philosophers can understand this because he believes philosophers

will be truly alive after death, and normal men will just die. Normal men do not know that true

philosophers have always been pursuing death and dying, and the desire of death has been with

them all their lives. This is supported by his argument that throughout our existence in any kind
of life there are "fruits" of life. There are many unnecessary pleasures and treasure in which we

could not live without. Since the body only gives access to things that are physically present he

considers the body as the cause of the evil that distracts the soul from its pursuit of truth. Since

pure knowledge is impossible to the extent that the body intervenes in this pursuit, it can only be

gained at the moment of complete separation of the soul from the body. Philosophers engaged

themselves in a kind of purification in order to bring the soul together from all parts of the body

as much as possible that is trying to separate the body from the soul even they are still together,

thus it would be absurd for philosophers to be afraid of death since it is the finalization of the

separation they all longed for. Socrates through the discourses stressed to his disciples that life is

all about waiting to die. He has been waiting all his life, and now it is his time to go.

The soul is the only important thing about the body only because the body holds it for a

while and when death has become, the soul will separate will live the real life he we are waiting

for. When the separation is complete, then a true philosopher will be able to acquire knowledge

without any obstacles that the body would have to go through. Socrates here attempts to

transform our worry about death into a reflection on what it means to be fully and truly living as

individuals. On the one hand, Socrates encourages both himself and his friends with the hope for

a more-than-mortal life after the soul leaves the body. On the other hand, the means to this

encouragement consist in giving arguments that are full of logical flaws. As noted above, we find

such deliberate inconsistencies in the dialogues. But here the illogical tendencies have the

especially perplexing and troubling character since what is at issue is nothing less than our

individual selves. How are we to reconcile the strength of Socrates¶ encouragement with the

weakness of the actual arguments?


At some points, Socrates sounds like Siddharta Gautama, proposing that we overcome the

delusions caused by our perceptions and desires. We heard the same among the pre-Socratics;

maybe this is a typical philosophical menu. Socrates, on the other hand, goes from a somewhat

Buddhist indifference to physical desires to outright rejection of being in the body. This stance

seems unworkable- taken too far and we¶re indifferent to anything on earth. Most traditions have

mendicants who go to these extremes.

In a nutshell, the Phaedo examines whether the human soul is immortal or not. Socrates

does not fear death, but he looks it straight in the eye and thinks this is what a philosopher

practices for. Socrates believes that the soul is immortal, and therefore, outlasts the body.

Socrates defends his argument by trying to establish that things come to be from their opposite.

In his argument, he implies that all things that can change are eternal. I believe that Socrates'

argument makes some good points, but is not entirely convincing. Not all things that are subject

to change are eternal I believe, which could bring about some questions to his argument. I

believe that he is correct in thinking that the soul is immortal, but there might be some flaws in

his argument. Socrates believes that the soul is more enduring than the body. One way he

establishes this argument is on the basis all things that come to be and have an opposite "must

necessarily come to be from their opposite and from nowhere else". For example, if someone

becomes awake, then this person is asleep before he or she wakes. Socrates also uses the

example of something that becomes smaller must have been larger in order to become smaller.

Socrates says, "Then if something smaller comes to be, it will come from something larger

before, which became smaller?" Then, Socrates takes into account that life and death are

opposites. He uses the belief that dying is going from living to being dead. Therefore, being

alive comes from being dead since they are opposites as well. If this is true, then one existed
before birth. The body did not exist before birth, so the body does not only compromise a

person. The soul does, too, and it is separate from the body. Since a person is comprised of the

body and the soul, the soul apparently exists before birth. Also, since the body obviously dies at

death, then the soul exists after...