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Pleasure, Mind, and SoulSelected Papers in Ancient Philosophy$
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C. C. W. Taylor

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199226399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.001.0001

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The Arguments in the Phaedo Concerning the Thesis that the Soul is a Harmonia 1

The Arguments in the Phaedo Concerning the Thesis that the Soul is a Harmonia 1

Chapter:
(p.73) 5 The Arguments in the Phaedo Concerning the Thesis that the Soul is a Harmonia1
Source:
Pleasure, Mind, and Soul
Author(s):

C. C. W. Taylor

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226399.003.0005

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

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