Tripartite Soul Theory site banner


Socrates Soul and Body

Phaedo Immortality of the Soul

Socrates' delivered his philosophical teachings to many individuals amongst the young men of Athens, and these were often considered by his hearers to be consistent with wisdom and justice.

Powerful elements amongst older generation of Athenians, however, tended to find cause to view Socrates' teachings to be corrupting or sacrilegious. Such condemnations led to Socrates being sentenced to effectively "take his own life" by imbibing a draught into which a lethally poisonous amount of Hemlock had been included.

When this sentence was imposed Socrates was about seventy years of age, and, although some of his friends offered to arrange for his going into exile as an alternative, he opted to comply with the sentence-of-death which Athenian authorities had delivered on him.

In Plato's work Phaedo reports are included in which several of Socrates' reasons for this compliance are set out.

Socrates explains to his friends that a true philosopher should look forward to death. The purpose of the philosophical life is to free the soul from the needs of the body. Since the moment of death is the final separation of soul and body, a philosopher should see it as the realization of his aim. Unlike the body, the soul is immortal, so it will survive death.

Socrates provides four arguments for believing the soul is immortal.

The first is known as the Argument from Opposites
"Let us consider whether it is a necessary law that everything which has an opposite is generated from that opposite and no other source."
Phaedo
Since life appears to have death as its opposite a case is made that life must come from death.


page content divider

 

The second argument is known as the Theory of Recollection
"what we call learning is really just recollection. If that is true, then surely what we recollect now we must have learned at some time before; which is impossible unless our souls existed somewhere before they entered this human shape. So in that way too it seems likely that the soul is immortal."
Phaedo
As the soul must have existed prior to birth to acquire certain knowledge there are grounds for accepting that the soul's life is not the same as that of the body.


page content divider

 

The third argument known as the Simplicity Argument or the Argument from Affinity

Souls are held to be immaterial and imperishable whilst the body is held to be material and perishable.


page content divider

 

Socrates' fourth argument is based on the Theory of Forms.

A Form, (of which there are held to be many), is perfectly true to itself.
We are alive because we have souls, implying a direct linkage between soul and the "Form" of life. The "Form" of Life is held to be free from any trace of death this further implies that souls must be immortal.


page content divider
 


Is Human Being more truly Metaphysical than Physical?


Darwin and Metaphysics

 

Readers comments welcome to bri060new @t gmail.com.
[Please be aware that replies are not guaranteed, however]


Where this could, possibly, lead ...

graphical speculation on individual Human Nature shaping Society

N. B. The page mentioned in the graphic ~ roots.asp ~ has been replaced,
(on our partner site www.age-of-the-sage.org), by this page

This 'knot of roots' insight features in:

Ralph Waldo Emerson's famous essay ~ 'History'

page content divider
 

In defence of this Church, Mosque, Shrine, Synagogue and Temple "co-presentation".


Some truly extra-ordinary wisdoms ~ a brief selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" gleaned from Christian sources closely followed by another brief selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources ~ are set out below!

A selection of "Central Spiritual Insights" gleaned from Christian sources

These Christian quotations have been selected based on their inherent Spiritual Impact, (rather than whether they might be deemed to be Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox), and come from The New International Version of The Bible.


A Disdain for Materialism
Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Jesus

A Distrust of Intellect
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

St. Paul

Spiritual Insights are possible!
What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

St. Paul

Charity
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

St. John

Purity of Heart
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life...

St. Paul

Humility
Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Jesus

Meekness
Therefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

St. James

"Central Spiritual Insights" drawn from "non-Christian" Inter-Faith sources

Our world seems to be becoming more and more "globalised" presenting us with new challenges of co-existence between cultural communities and of toleration between faith communities!

Extensive studies have been conducted into Comparative Spirituality by ourselves and were actually undertaken before 2000 A.D. and hence prior to that difficult situation, often overstated as being an actual "Clash of Cultures," that has (however that situation should be depicted) been all too evident in recent years.
As such these studies will hopefully qualify to be considered as having adopted a somewhat open and unprejudiced consideration of the spiritual teachings of such major World Religions as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism and Judaism.

In the following brief overview one or two quotes are presented from Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh and Taoist sources respectively.
Such inclusivity as this is quite clearly necessary in any genuine attempt to present a wide-ranging and profound overview of non-Christian spiritual insights.

Those inclined to look further into Comparative Religion Spirituality can find links to more detailed studies at the end of this initial presentation.

A Disdain for Materialism
Chuang Tzu put on cotton clothes with patches in them, and arranging his girdle and tying on his shoes, (i.e. to keep them from falling off), went to see the prince of Wei.
"How miserable you look, Sir!" Cried the prince. "It is poverty, not misery," replied Chuang Tzu. "A man who has TAO cannot be miserable. Ragged clothes and old boots make poverty, not misery."

Chuang Tzu - (Taoism)

A Distrust of Intellect
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment; Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition.

Rumi - (Sufism ~ a notably mystical, minority, tradition associable with both Sunni and Shia Islam)

Spiritual Insights are possible!
The intelligence of the mean man does not rise beyond bribes and letters of recommendation. His mind is beclouded with trivialities. Yet he would penetrate the mystery of TAO and of creation, and rise to participation in the ONE. The result is that he is confounded by time and space; and that trammelled by objective existences, that he fails apprehension of that age before anything was. But the perfect man, - he carries his mind back to the period before the beginning. Content to rest in the oblivion of nowhere, passing away like flowing water, he is merged in the clear depths of the infinite.

Chuang Tzu - (Taoism)

Charity
He that does everything for Me, whose supreme object I am, who worships Me, being free from attachment and without hatred to any creature, this man, Arjuna!, comes to Me.

Bhagavad Gita ~ (Hinduism) ~ also known as ~ (Vedanta).

And my soul is absorbed
In the Love of My Lord.
Bow humbly to the saint
That is a pious act.
Bow to the ground before him
That is devotion, indeed.

The faithless know not,
The joy of the love of the Lord;

From Sohila-Arti ~ a bed-time prayer
This section of which is attributed to Guru Ram Das - (Sikhism)

Purity of Heart
The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Solomon - (Judaism)

Humility
Would you become a pilgrim on the road of love? The first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust and ashes.

Ansari of Herat - (Islam)

Meekness
Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good; let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth! Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.

Dhammapada - (Buddhism)

page content divider
 

The following linked pages, (available on our partner site age-of-the-sage.org), are intended to more fully demonstrate a degree of Common Ground between the Inner-most Spiritual Teachings of several major World Religions on Charity, Purity of Heart, Humility, Meekness, A Disdain for Materialism (compared to the Spiritual), A Distrust of the Intellect (compared to Divine Inspiration) and A Yearning for Divine Edification (or A Thirst for Spiritual Enlightenment).
These quotations are presented on a series of very brief pages where each faith is considered individually.
We have seen it as worthwhile to add another category of quotation ~ where recognition has been given "by the wise and holy of several faiths" to the possibility of Mystical Communion with God.

Buddhist
Spirituality
Quotations



Islamic
Spirituality
Quotations



Vedic-Hindu
Spirituality
Quotations



Christian Spirituality Quotations


Sikh
Spirituality
Quotations



Taoist
Spirituality
Quotations



Jewish
Spirituality
Quotations





Several truly notable authorities
endorse Tripartite Soul Theory


Key Socratic Dialogues from
Book 4 and Book 9 of Plato's Republic



Plato's Ideal State       Plato's Chariot allegory      


Philosophy - Eastern and Western & 'Tripartite' Human Nature


FIVE major World Religions & 'Tripartite' Human Nature