Argument Of Opposites In Plato's 'Phaedo'

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In Plato’s, Phaedo, one of the arguments that Socrates makes for justifying his theory about the soul being immortal is the argument of opposites. The argument of opposites is found from 70c to 72c in the Phaedo. The argument is not logically valid as there are a few fallacies that occur with the definition of opposites with which Socrates defines his argument. This argument ultimately fails at being logically valid as contrary to premise 1, all things that have an opposite do not come from only their opposites. Socrates also does not specify in this argument whether he is referring to the soul dying or the body dying in the final premises. If the body is the one that dies then his argument becomes logically invalid and it would ultimately fail because that would mean that living bodies come from dead…show more content…
In the first case, he uses the opposites as a way to show the absolute differences between two things. Socrates shows us that the opposite state of being larger is being smaller and the opposite state of being ugly is being beautiful. The opposite state for being faster is being slower and the opposite state of being weaker is being stronger. Socrates suggests that the adjectives that have an opposite need to have one adjective that occurs before the other. So, for an adjective such as beautiful, it must follow that one must have been ugly before becoming beautiful. For an adjective such as sleeping, one must have been awake before falling asleep. However, Socrates treats the idea of being dead and being alive as opposites that are equivalent to states such as weaker or stronger, smaller or larger, and slower or faster. This logically cannot work and is a fallacy because something cannot be “deader” than dead or “aliver” than alive. There are no progressive changes in between being dead or being alive as there is with being fast or
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