Phaedo by Plato, Benjamin Jowett

By Plato, Benjamin Jowett

Phaedo is a piece by means of Plato now delivered to you during this re-creation of the undying vintage

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And is not this the state in which the soul is most enthralled by the body? How so? 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.

And this necessarily holds of all opposites, even though not always expressed in words−−they are really generated out of one another, and there is a passing or process from one to the other of them? Very true, he replied. Well, and is there not an opposite of life, as sleep is the opposite of waking? True, he said. And what is it? Death, he answered. And these, if they are opposites, are generated the one from the other, and have there their two intermediate processes also? Of course. Now, said Socrates, I will analyze one of the two pairs of opposites which I have mentioned to you, and also its intermediate processes, and you shall analyze the other to me.

It cannot. But if it be true, then is not the body liable to speedy dissolution? and is not the soul almost or altogether indissoluble? Certainly. 6. And do you further observe, that after a man is dead, the body, or visible part of him, which is lying in the visible world, and is called a corpse, and would naturally be dissolved and decomposed and dissipated, is not dissolved or decomposed at once, but may remain for a for some time, nay even for a long time, if the constitution be sound at the time of death, and the season of the year favourable?

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