Socrates Essay

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Derek Moyer Phil 100-03 2/28/2012 A Plato Guided Evaluation of Death and the Soul In Plato’s Phaedo, conversations of death and how to approach death arise in the event of Socrates impending end. Socrates introduces some important ideas such as the body as an obstacle for knowledge, the “purification” of the soul, and the description of philosophy as a “practice for dying and death”. Through explanations of these topics and how to apply them to life, Cebes purposes that the soul may perish and thus greatly challenging Socrates’ theories. Ultimately, Socrates’ philosophical principles can be beneficial to life even thought the soul may not live after death. Socrates makes the statement that the body is an obstacle in the pursuit of knowledge. This statement comes from his description of how a philosophical man should act. Socrates says to Simmias, “ Does it appear to you that being serious about the so-called pleasures, such as those of food and drink, goes with being a philosophical man?”. (Plato’s Phaedo 64d) Simmias’ answer is clearly no because a philosopher is concerned with eternal unchanging truths. While this view of physical pleasures differs greatly from Epicurus’ ideas, Socrates statement is an essential building block for the body as an obstacle. Things such as food, and water are only necessary to continue life of the body and in no way are beneficial to reason; to ignore the pursuit of knowledge in pursuit of food as luxury is seen as dishonorable. The same such idea was seen in Meno when Socrates ( obviously the knowledgable of the two) hinted toward a life of searching for unchanging truths instead of a life like Meno’s filled with money and power as luxuries that impede his pursuit of knowledge. These pleasures happen to be all bodily where as all the desire needed to pursue truths come from the soul. After all, Socrates said “ Do sight

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