Now, these stages in the development of Plato's thought axe clearly reflected in his argument for the immortality of the soul, an argument which does not remain stationary, but is extended, modified, and developed through a succession of dialogues. In its earliest and most imperfect form, it is an attempt to prove the immortality of the soul through the special nature of its idea; but this gradually passes into an endeavour to show that the soul is immortal in its own right Thus souls or minds come to be regarded, not as beings whose substantial reality has to l>e proved by anything else, but as beings which contain in themselves the principle of all reality, and therefore of all proof. Finally, there is a still farther regress, by which all individual minds are referred back to one supreme intelligence, who is the ' first mover# of all things, and who communicates life and intelligence to all other minds or souls. It is, therefore, essential to a comprehension of Plato's idealism, or rather, as we may call it, his spiritualism, that we should carefully follow out the different phases of this argument
In the beginning of the Phaedo the immortality of the soul is conceived as involving, and involved in, its pre-existence; and the proof of both is derived from the somewhat mythical conception of knowledge as reminiscence, a conception of which 1 have already spoken in an earlier lecture» As the knowledge of universals is drawn out of the soul, and not simply t «t
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