The Immortality Of The Soul

death only breaks its connexion with the world of sense, and so delivers it from that " muddy vesture of decay.," which obstructs its vision of the eternal, and prevents it from recognising its kinship therewith. Here, as elsewhere in the Phaedo, Plato seems to yield to the mystic tendency to exaggerate the opposition between the intelligible and the sensible, and to dwell upon that aspect of uiuversals in

which they appear as pure ideal unities freed from all the accidents of finite existence. And his argument is simply that the soul, in so far as it is capable of grasping such' ideas, must be, like them, lifted above time and ehanga Plato, there-* fore, is not yet prepared to maintain that the soul in its own right is immortal, still less to assert that it is the setf-determining principle which determines all other things, the substantial being that underlies and gives origin to all other reality. He still treats it as a particular existence* which must be proved to be immortal through its special relation to the ideal and eternal.

Nor does he go much beyond this point of view even in the curious argument which concludes the dialogue, and which he seems to regard as its most important result. The idea of the soul, he there contends, presupposes the idea of life; and it cannot be separated from life, any more than the idea of evenness can be separated from the number two, or

0 0

Post a comment