Impossible, he replied. Then I must try to make a more successful defence before you than I did when before the judges. Yet surely of two souls, one is said to have intelligence and virtue, and to be good, and the other to have folly and vice, and to be an evil soul: and this is said truly? Phaedo; translated by E.M. 9 0 obj And, further, is not one part of us body, another part soul? The Phaedo is a key source for Platonic metaphysics and for Plato's conception of the human soul. And shall we proceed a step further, and affirm that there is such a thing as equality, not of one piece of wood or stone with another, but that, over and above this, there is absolute equality? Albert A. Anderson translated the Greek text into contemporary English. But most men do not believe this saying; if then I succeed in convincing you by my defence better than I did the Athenian judges, it will be well. But are real equals ever unequal? Yes, said Cebes, I think so. Very true, replied Cebes. And will he think much of the other ways of indulging the body, for example, the acquisition of costly raiment, or sandals, or other adornments of the body? Gallop, D. Plato: Phaedo. May they not rather be described as almost always changing and hardly ever the same, either with themselves or with one another? Incredulous, I am not, said Simmias; but I want to have this doctrine of recollection brought to my own recollection, and, from what Cebes has said, I am beginning to recollect and be convinced; but I should still like to hear what you were going to say. ‘Have we not found,’ they will say, ‘a path of thought which seems to bring us and our argument to the conclusion, that while we are in the body, and while the soul is infected with the evils of the body, our desire will not be satisfied? Certainly not. Do you not agree with me? Must we not, said Socrates, ask ourselves what that is which, as we imagine, is liable to be scattered, and about which we fear? Quite true. And shall we suppose nature to walk on one leg only? In like manner any one who sees Simmias may remember Cebes; and there are endless examples of the same thing. Founded a school in Elis. I mean such things as good and evil, just and unjust—and there are innumerable other opposites which are generated out of opposites. Then let us consider the whole question, not in relation to man only, but in relation to animals generally, and to plants, and to everything of which there is generation, and the proof will be easier. But if so, whenever the strings of the body are unduly loosened or overstrained through disease or other injury, then the soul, though most divine, like other harmonies of music or of works of art, of course perishes at once, although the material remains of the body may last for a considerable time, until they are either decayed or burnt. PHAEDO: And what is purification but the separation of the soul from the body, as I was saying before; the habit of the soul gathering and collecting herself into herself from all sides out of the body; the dwelling in her own place alone, as in another life, so also in this, as far as she can;—the release of the soul from the chains of the body? I entirely agree. I cannot get rid of the feeling of the many to which Cebes was referring—the feeling that when the man dies the soul will be dispersed, and that this may be the extinction of her. Gender: Male Race or Ethnicity: White Occupation: Philosopher. Certainly. Do you agree? Shall we exclude the opposite process? There I feel with you—by heaven I do, Phaedo, and when you were speaking, I was beginning to ask myself the same question: What argument can I ever trust again? You know that if there were no alternation of sleeping and waking, the tale of the sleeping Endymion would in the end have no meaning, because all other things would be asleep, too, and he would not be distinguishable from the rest. Very good. Book Excerpt. I knew quite well what you would say, replied Crito; but I was obliged to satisfy him. English translation with separate commentary that focuses on the dialogue’s argumentation. Return to life. An accident, Echecrates: the stern of the ship which the Athenians send to Delos happened to have been crowned on the day before he was tried. Plato – Phaedo (Full Text) | Genius PHAEDO: It is the ship in which, according to Athenian tradition, Theseus went to Crete when he Of that upper earth which is under the heaven, I can tell you a charming tale, Simmias, which is well worth hearing. Unseen then? I will do my best, replied Socrates. Well, he said, you are aware that death is regarded by men in general as a great evil. The founders of the mysteries would appear to have had a real meaning, and were not talking nonsense when they intimated in a figure long ago that he who passes unsanctified and uninitiated into the world below will lie in a slough, but that he who arrives there after initiation and purification will dwell with the gods. Why, because each pleasure and pain is a sort of nail which nails and rivets the soul to the body, until she becomes like the body, and believes that to be true which the body affirms to be true; and from agreeing with the body and having the same delights she is obliged to have the same habits and haunts, and is not likely ever to be pure at her departure to the world below, but is always infected by the body; and so she sinks into another body and there germinates and grows, and has therefore no part in the communion of the divine and pure and simple. I mean to ask, Whether a person who, having seen or heard or in any way perceived anything, knows not only that, but has a conception of something else which is the subject, not of the same but of some other kind of knowledge, may not be fairly said to recollect that of which he has the conception? And in this the philosopher dishonours the body; his soul runs away from his body and desires to be alone and by herself? Yes, Socrates, as far as the argument is concerned, one of them is the same as the other. Surely he will, O my friend, if he be a true philosopher. And the uncompounded may be assumed to be the same and unchanging, whereas the compound is always changing and never the same. Phaedrus (Full Text) Lyrics. I shall have to go back to those familiar words which are in the mouth of every one, and first of all assume that there is an absolute beauty and goodness and greatness, and the like; grant me this, and I hope to be able to show you the nature of the cause, and to prove the immortality of the soul. Very true. It cannot. 25.2 MB Facsimile PDF small Indeed, I do not. Moreover, if you succeed in convincing us, that will be an answer to the charge against yourself. Such was the end, Echecrates, of our friend; concerning whom I may truly say, that of all the men of his time whom I have known, he was the wisest and justest and best. Had we the knowledge at our birth, or did we recollect the things which we knew previously to our birth? Well, and is there not an opposite of life, as sleep is the opposite of waking? Very true, he said. And this is the reason, Simmias and Cebes, why the true votaries of philosophy abstain from all fleshly lusts, and hold out against them and refuse to give themselves up to them,—not because they fear poverty or the ruin of their families, like the lovers of money, and the world in general; nor like the lovers of power and honour, because they dread the dishonour or disgrace of evil deeds. Indeed, I should, said Cebes, laughing. The philosophical subject of the dialogue is the immortality of the soul. Of course. To that we are quite agreed, he replied. Phaedo by Plato - Full Text Free Book File size: 0.3 MB What's this? Clearly. Then we must have known equality previously to the time when we first saw the material equals, and reflected that all these apparent equals strive to attain absolute equality, but fall short of it? I thought that in going to the other world he could not be without a divine call, and that he would be happy, if any man ever was, when he arrived there, and therefore I did not pity him as might have seemed natural at such an hour. And are not the temperate exactly in the same case? Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates. And to which class is the soul more nearly alike and akin, as far as may be inferred from this argument, as well as from the preceding one? The venture is a glorious one, and he ought to comfort himself with words like these, which is the reason why I lengthen out the tale. That is very true, he said. Suppose we consider the question whether the souls of men after death are or are not in the world below. What is it, Socrates? What you say has a wonderful truth in it, Socrates, replied Simmias. Or did you ever reach them with any other bodily sense?—and I speak not of these alone, but of absolute greatness, and health, and strength, and of the essence or true nature of everything. Very true, he said. Crito made a sign to the servant, who was standing by; and he went out, and having been absent for some time, returned with the jailer carrying the cup of poison. Socrates inclined his head to the speaker and listened. Purchase a copy of this text (not necessarily the same edition) from This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License . I think that he is, said Simmias. What do you say? Yes, all men, he said—that is true; and what is more, gods, if I am not mistaken, as well as men. But I wanted to see whether I could purge away a scruple which I felt about the meaning of certain dreams. And was Aristippus there, and Cleombrotus? And yet, he said, the number two is certainly not opposed to the number three? How so? Are they not, as the poets are always telling us, inaccurate witnesses? But to say that I do as I do because of them, and that this is the way in which mind acts, and not from the choice of the best, is a very careless and idle mode of speaking. Undoubtedly, Socrates. Birthplace: Elis, Greece Died: ? And in all these cases, the recollection may be derived from things either like or unlike? He proceeded: I know nothing and can understand nothing of any other of those wise causes which are alleged; and if a person says to me that the bloom of colour, or form, or any such thing is a source of beauty, I leave all that, which is only confusing to me, and simply and singly, and perhaps foolishly, hold and am assured in my own mind that nothing makes a thing beautiful but the presence and participation of beauty in whatever way or manner obtained; for as to the manner I am uncertain, but I stoutly contend that by beauty all beautiful things become beautiful. And there is no difficulty, he said, in assigning to all of them places answering to their several natures and propensities? Phaedo by Plato. Yes. And now I must begin again and find another argument which will assure me that when the man is dead the soul survives. 1977 - 72 pp. Yes, I quite agree, said Cebes. And as the idea of greatness cannot condescend ever to be or become small, in like manner the smallness in us cannot be or become great; nor can any other opposite which remains the same ever be or become its own opposite, but either passes away or perishes in the change. But if you have no thought for yourselves, and care not to walk according to the rule which I have prescribed for you, not now for the first time, however much you may profess or promise at the moment, it will be of no avail. and our desire is of the truth. Very likely. Most certainly. And were we not saying long ago that the soul when using the body as an instrument of perception, that is to say, when using the sense of sight or hearing or some other sense (for the meaning of perceiving through the body is perceiving through the senses)—were we not saying that the soul too is then dragged by the body into the region of the changeable, and wanders and is confused; the world spins round her, and she is like a drunkard, when she touches change? Should you be considering some other matter I say no more, but if you are still in doubt do not hesitate to say exactly what you think, and let us have anything better which you can suggest; and if you think that I can be of any use, allow me to help you. Quite true, Socrates. And they may be supposed to find their prisons in the same natures which they have had in their former lives. and which to the mortal? The third river passes out between the two, and near the place of outlet pours into a vast region of fire, and forms a lake larger than the Mediterranean Sea, boiling with water and mud; and proceeding muddy and turbid, and winding about the earth, comes, among other places, to the extremities of the Acherusian Lake, but mingles not with the waters of the lake, and after making many coils about the earth plunges into Tartarus at a deeper level. Soon I must drink the poison; and I think that I had better repair to the bath first, in order that the women may not have the trouble of washing my body after I am dead. Exactly. Why, said Socrates,—is not Evenus a philosopher? Advanced full-text … Who were present? Then the soul is immortal? True. What natures do you mean, Socrates? And that by greatness only great things become great and greater greater, and by smallness the less become less? And I rather imagine that Cebes is referring to you; he thinks that you are too ready to leave us, and too ready to leave the gods whom you acknowledge to be our good masters. The number five will not admit the nature of the even, any more than ten, which is the double of five, will admit the nature of the odd. And this corporeal element, my friend, is heavy and weighty and earthy, and is that element of sight by which a soul is depressed and dragged down again into the visible world, because she is afraid of the invisible and of the world below—prowling about tombs and sepulchres, near which, as they tell us, are seen certain ghostly apparitions of souls which have not departed pure, but are cloyed with sight and therefore visible. Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. By no means. The double has another opposite, and is not strictly opposed to the odd, but nevertheless rejects the odd altogether. Well, then, he said, my conviction is, that the earth is a round body in the centre of the heavens, and therefore has no need of air or any similar force to be a support, but is kept there and hindered from falling or inclining any way by the equability of the surrounding heaven and by her own equipoise. Return to top. PHAEDO: Then tell me, Socrates, why is suicide held to be unlawful? Together they illustrate the birth of Platonic philosophy from Plato's reflections on Socrates' life and doctrines. 8 0 obj Reading of the dialogue that combines both dramatic and doctrinal approaches (does not include text of the Phaedo). True. There is not, he said. Then I heard some one reading, as he said, from a book of Anaxagoras, that mind was the disposer and cause of all, and I was delighted at this notion, which appeared quite admirable, and I said to myself: If mind is the disposer, mind will dispose all for the best, and put each particular in the best place; and I argued that if any one desired to find out the cause of the generation or destruction or existence of anything, he must find out what state of being or doing or suffering was best for that thing, and therefore a man had only to consider the best for himself and others, and then he would also know the worse, since the same science comprehended both. Yes, that is very likely, I said. And that which is not more or less harmonized cannot have more or less of harmony, but only an equal harmony? Socrates replied: And have you, Cebes and Simmias, who are the disciples of Philolaus, never heard him speak of this? For I could hardly believe that I was present at the death of a friend, and therefore I did not pity him, Echecrates; he died so fearlessly, and his words and bearing were so noble and gracious, that to me he appeared blessed. and is not the soul almost or altogether indissoluble? I should say, clearly not, Socrates. Be quiet, then, and have patience. And in like manner, my dear Cebes, if all things which partook of life were to die, and after they were dead remained in the form of death, and did not come to life again, all would at last die, and nothing would be alive—what other result could there be? Seeing then that the immortal is indestructible, must not the soul, if she is immortal, be also imperishable? Yes, he said, I agree. A fool may perhaps think so—he may argue that he had better run away from his master, not considering that his duty is to remain to the end, and not to run away from the good, and that there would be no sense in his running away. Thus much, said Socrates, of Harmonia, your Theban goddess, who has graciously yielded to us; but what shall I say, Cebes, to her husband Cadmus, and how shall I make peace with him? Not seen. But the virtue which is made up of these goods, when they are severed from wisdom and exchanged with one another, is a shadow of virtue only, nor is there any freedom or health or truth in her; but in the true exchange there is a purging away of all these things, and temperance, and justice, and courage, and wisdom herself are the purgation of them. Were you yourself, Phaedo, in the prison with Socrates on the day when he drank the poison? and which he in other places, and many other poets, have called Tartarus. What can I do better in the interval between this and the setting of the sun? (Compare Milton, Comus:— Or did the authorities forbid them to be present—so that he had no friends near him when he died? Yes. or are they each of them always what they are, having the same simple self-existent and unchanging forms, not admitting of variation at all, or in any way, or at any time? On the last morning we assembled sooner than usual, having heard on the day before when we quitted the prison in the evening that the sacred ship had come from Delos, and so we arranged to meet very early at the accustomed place. And hitherto I had imagined that this was only intended to exhort and encourage me in the study of philosophy, which has been the pursuit of my life, and is the noblest and best of music. It claims to recount the events and conversations that occurred on the day that Plato’s teacher, Socrates (469-399 B.C.E. Well, he said, then I should like to know whether you agree with me in the next step; for I cannot help thinking, if there be anything beautiful other than absolute beauty should there be such, that it can be beautiful only in as far as it partakes of absolute beauty—and I should say the same of everything. That the soul is a harmony is a doctrine which has always had a wonderful attraction for me, and, when mentioned, came back to me at once, as my own original conviction. Very true. And thus one man makes a vortex all round and steadies the earth by the heaven; another gives the air as a support to the earth, which is a sort of broad trough. Well, and what did you talk about? Quite so. The fourth river goes out on the opposite side, and falls first of all into a wild and savage region, which is all of a dark-blue colour, like lapis lazuli; and this is that river which is called the Stygian river, and falls into and forms the Lake Styx, and after falling into the lake and receiving strange powers in the waters, passes under the earth, winding round in the opposite direction, and comes near the Acherusian lake from the opposite side to Pyriphlegethon. I should so like to hear about his death. Yes, Echecrates, I was. And I would ask you to be thinking of the truth and not of Socrates: agree with me, if I seem to you to be speaking the truth; or if not, withstand me might and main, that I may not deceive you as well as myself in my enthusiasm, and like the bee, leave my sting in you before I die. What do you mean, Socrates? Socrates looked at him and said: I return your good wishes, and will do as you bid. I agree, he said. said Cebes. There is surely a strange confusion of causes and conditions in all this.          Lets in defilement to the inward parts, That is quite true. 2. Yes, there were; Simmias the Theban, and Cebes, and Phaedondes; Euclid and Terpison, who came from Megara. Yes, he said, in a very great measure too. But when returning into herself she reflects, then she passes into the other world, the region of purity, and eternity, and immortality, and unchangeableness, which are her kindred, and with them she ever lives, when she is by herself and is not let or hindered; then she ceases from her erring ways, and being in communion with the unchanging is unchanging.
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