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Effects of Mass Media Has on American Pop Culutre

In: Film and Music

Submitted By williamsT
Words 463
Pages 2
Dear Jake,

I am writing you to explain Simmias analogy to Socrates in Phaedo. Socrates presents his third argument for the immortality of the soul, called Affinity Argument, where he shows that the soul most resembles that which is invisible and divine, and the body resembles that which is visible and mortal. From this, it is concluded that while the body may be seen to exist after death in the form of a corpse, as the body is mortal and the soul is divine, the soul must outlast the body.
Simmias draws an extended comparison between a human being and a musical instrument, the lyre. In Simmias analogy he says, the body is visible, composite and mortal. A harp is visible composite and mortal. When the harp is destroyed, the tune which is ethereal, invisible and divine is also destroyed. The soul is like a tune it is ethereal, invisible and divine. If the body is destroyed the soul cannot survive. The argument I believe Simmias is making to Socrates is that nothing can exist prior to the things which it was created from. Simmias argument talks about the body being a lyre and the soul being the body and the harmony being the soul. With this in mind he explains that if the lyre rots then the harmony must also change. In the same way if the body is ravaged by disease then the soul must also be destroyed.
The question I believe Simmias is attempting to ask is how can the soul exist before the body? Simmias argument is that the soul is a harmony dependent on the body. If the body is destroyed, the soul is also destroyed. However if the soul can exist without the body then it may have exist before the body. However, Simmias argument does make sense to me because a damaged lyre will not play the same way as a new one. But on the other hand, the harmony is a non-tangible thing. It doesn’t have to be played continuously for it to exist. For instance, the lyre could play a harmony at one point and it could be remembered by those who hear it. Even if the lyre never plays anything ever again the harmony that it once played still exists. I think that this doesn’t necessarily diminish Socrates take on the immortality of the soul. Yet, it doesn’t strengthen his argument either. On the other hand, Simmias argument does not make sense if he believes the theory of recollection is true. If this is so, then Simmias is not able to match his view that the soul is a harmony dependent on the body with the recollection view that the soul exists before birth.
Sincerely,
Tiara M. Williams
09/06/2013

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