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Plato and the Existence of the Soul

            Much of Plato's beliefs on the soul can be found in his dialogues, "The Republic" and "Phaedo," where he describes that he is a dualist; this means that he believed that the soul and the body were two completely separate entities that worked in conjunction with each other to create what we would deem to be a reasonable human being. Plato aims to be able to prove this to everyone through rational logical arguments; most of these are established in "Phaedo." Plato's first argument is the argument from opposites, whereby he states that every single thing in this world has an opposite, whether that be happy and sad or dark and light, he strongly believes that everything that is a physical event must have an opposite, for example, big things would not be "bigger" if there was no small things to be "smaller." He then goes on to say that there is no opposite to life, as death is not an even within itself, therefore there must be a continuous pattern of life, death and rebirth. However, Plato does not make himself clear as when he first talks of opposites he talks about graded opposites, where something can be bigger or smaller than something else, but as he moves on he begins to speak of absolute opposites; the idea that something is either alive or dead, there can be no such thing as ˜more dead' or more "alive." If we are looking at absolute opposites then it seems ridiculous to assume that everything must derive through its opposite, as life could not possibly derive from death. Another clear problem in this particular theory is that Plato makes a very controversial statement that death is not an event, something that would not be popular amongst many cultures, this jump means that if one person disagrees with this (which is very likely) then none of this theory could possibly work, as this would entail life having to end, and if life ends then there must be an absence of a soul as there cannot be life without the soul.

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