Class Notes (807,462)
Canada (492,742)
Philosophy (1,278)
Lecture 3

Week 3 Plato.docx

3 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Philosophy 2073F/G
Rodney Parker

Week 3 – Platonic Views on Death Plato - “Father of Western philosophy” - Thales  first real philosopher and natural scientist, father of the Ionians - Was a student of Socrates - Tries to synthesize theories of Pythagoreans, Parmenides, Heraclitus, etc. - Character of Socrates in the dialogues professes Plato’s views (that don’t necessarily reflect Socrates’ views in real life) - Character of Socrates uses the Socratic method o Knowledge of the truth is already in you somewhere, you’re just having a hard time getting it out o If you ask the right questions, you’ll remember the knowledge o Knowledge is not something you can “give” to your students Theory of Recollection - When the soul is separated from the body, it can have direct acquaintance with things called “Forms” which are eternal truths - The traumatic experience of being born causes your soul to forget everything that it knew - There was a time when your soul was separated from your body, before your birth Theory of Forms - Unchanging, eternal truths/ideas in a perfect/pure representation - The possibility of knowing anything at all depends on Forms - Plato’s ideas of Forms have to do with geometry but they work for all other things too (i.e. beautiful, justice, good, equality, etc.) - We have conceptions of what perfect Forms are and we always strive for them - Exist outside of space in time in the intelligible realm, are immaterial, stand in opposition to the material and changing objects that we perceive in the sensible realm - These are the proper objects of knowledge, the things that we really know are all Forms Doxa – mere opinions Episteme – knowledge Logos – to give reason or rational account Important for Plato: difference between doxa and episteme. You have to have a true opinion and stuff to back it up, a reasoned account. Context of dialogue: Socrates charged with corruption of youth in Athens (made them challenge conventions and belief systems). Either exiled or death by poison – chooses to drink the poison. Argument is about why Socrates isn’t really committing suicide by doing this because the soul is immortal and even though his body dies his soul will live on. Phaedo: Does the soul survive the death of the body? - Philosophy as training for death (64c-67e) – when you die you have direct access to truths that we can’t see clearly when our body is in the way of the operations of our soul. Death: separation of soul and body. The philosopher tries more than anyone else to prepare himself for this. The senses are bad because they’re tied to the bodily aspect and the body is imperfect – the senses deceive us and don’t let us see a clear picture. Forgetting about the concerns of the body will allow us full access to Forms. Knowledge of the Forms = happiness, reasoning. Death is the only way of being able to have this clarity. - Cebes’ first challenge (70a-b) o “…men find it hard to believe what you said about the soul. They think that after it has left the body it no longer exists anywhere, but that it is destroyed and dissolved on the day the man dies, as soon as it leave the body; it is dispersed like breath or smoke, has flown away and gone and is no longer anything anywhere. If indeed it gathered itself together and existed by itself and escaped those evils you were recently enumerating, there would be much good hope, Socrates, that what you say is true; but to believe this requires a good deal of faith and persuasive argument, to believe that the soul exists after a man has died and that it still possesses some capability and intelligence.” o Two parts to argument:  Soul exists after death  Soul that does survive death has the capacity to have intelligence - Socrates has three arguments to prove these o The Opposites argument (70c-72e)  “Let us examine whether those things that have an opposite must necessarily come to be from their opposite and from nowhere else, as for example when something comes to be larger is must necessarily become larger from having been smaller before”  Things that have an opposite come to be out of their opposites  i.e. living  dead – if something is dead it must have been living at one point. If things come back to life, the soul must survive after death so that it can come back to life again.
More Less

Related notes for Philosophy 2073F/G

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.