PHIL 1F90 Fall Exam Questions &Answers
These are the four questions on the Progress exam 2013. Remember that one of the four will be compulsory
and you will need to answer two questions in total. Each question will be worth 50%.
1. Give a detailed account of Socrates’ Theory of Recollection argument for the immortality of the soul which
he bases on the theory that learning is just recollection of the Forms. Make certain that you give a detailed
account of the relationship that Plato thinks exists between the Form ofAbsolute Equality and some equal
sticks or equal stones. Do you think that this argument would work just as well for the Form ofAbsolute
Beauty and a couple of beautiful particulars? Explain.
Socrates’ Theory of Recollection argument 72e-78b
• Socrates states that if one sees a body (lyre) or clothing of someone they will immediately be
reminded of that person
• Socrates introduces the theory of forms stating that there is such thing as equality itself such as equal
sticks or equal stones. He points out that equal sticks and equal stones may look equal from one point
of view but different from another point. Equality itself should never be suggested as unequal. So as a
result sticks or stones that are equal can’t be the same as equality since they can sometimes be unequal
but equality itself can never be.
• Socrates predicts that the soul didn’t learn equality through senses but was obtained through
knowledge before birth. If this holds true equality then it should hold true to all other forms. So it
seems that this knowledge of forms is lost at birth and through the process of learning that life
recollects them and knows them again. Thus, Socrates states all learning comes from recollection.
74a – 76a
• Yes, this argument can work just like the form of absolute beauty. The form of beauty doesn’t possess
ugliness at all. In contrast, a beautiful person might be beautiful compared to others but not beautiful
compared to god so is not perfectly beautiful. The form of beauty itself is invisible, eternal,
unchanging unlike the visible objects like in the world, like the body for example can grow old and
lose their beauty. So the form of beauty is always absolute beauty. PHIL 1F90 Fall Exam Questions &Answers
2. Give a detailed account of Socrates’ Kinship argument or the Argument from Affinity. Then give a detailed
account of Cebes’ Weaver's Cloak argument. Make certain that you explain exactly how Cebes uses the
conclusion of the Kinship argument to his own advantage. Whose argument, Socrates’KinshipArgument or
Cebes’Weaver’s CloakArgument, do you think is the less convincing argument? Why?
84c – 88b
• Socrates Kinship Argument states that a correspondence in two or more respects between otherwise
dissimilar things. The soul is invisible just like the forms, constant and the body is visible just like the
particulars can disintegrate. The argument of Affinity differentiates between those that are invisible
and immortal from those things that are visible and perishable. As discussed earlier, the soul belongs
to the form category and the body to the particulars. The soul is then immortal which may take
different forms. The soul is a kin to the form since it is invisible and can’t be destroyed. The soul is
like the master and the body is the slave. Moreover, the body is the instrument and the soul is the
harmony so without the harmony there’s no instrument.
• Cebes Weaver Cloak Argument states that a cloak is far more fragile and short lived than a man. He
suggests that a weaver will create and wear out many cloaks over the course of his life. The weaver
will eventually die but his cloak will live longer than him. The same could be said about the soul and
the body. The body is constantly changing and is constantly being remade by the soul. So when the
soul dies the body can no longer be remade and quickly disintegrates. Cebes argument is supported by
Hercalitus theory that one can never step in the same river twice. This states that for every instant the
world is destroyed and remade in a slightly different form. So according to Cebes argument, the
bodies that the soul may live in are not bodies of different people but the many bodies of one person,
each being remade at every instant.
• Cebes argument is less convincing. The argument of affinity makes clear distinction between the soul
and the body. But in Cebes argument, the weaver is constantly remaki