Chapter

The Arguments in the <i>Phaedo</i> Concerning the Thesis that the Soul is a <i>Harmonia</i> <sup>1</sup>

C. C. W. Taylor

in Pleasure, Mind, and Soul

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780199226399
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191710209 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.003.0005
 The Arguments in the Phaedo Concerning the Thesis that the Soul is a Harmonia  1

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This chapter elucidates the thesis proposed in the Phaedo that the soul is a harmonia (organization, attunement), and examines Socrates' arguments against it. It concludes that the thesis in the text is indeterminate between the alternatives that the soul is a) a mathematical ratio of bodily elements; b) the state of being in that ratio; or c) some entity dependent on the bodily elements' being in that ratio. Socrates brings two arguments against the thesis. The first is that it is inconsistent with the account of knowledge as recollection, which was accepted earlier; the second is that from the thesis it follows that no soul is better or worse than any other, which is absurd. It is argued that the second argument fails because it confuses different kinds of organization.

Keywords: harmonia; organization; attunement; ratio; element; soul; body

Chapter.  7501 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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