Lecture 6 - Arguments for the existence of the soul, Part IV; Plato, Part I

author: Shelly Kagan, Department of Philosophy, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Feb. 12, 2010,   recorded: February 2007,   views: 539
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

The lecture begins with a continued discussion of the Cartesian argument and its weaknesses. The lecture then turns to Plato's metaphysical views in the context of his work, Phaedo. The key point in the discussion is the idea that in addition to the ordinary empirical world that we are familiar with, we posit the existence of a second realm in which the Platonic forms exist. These forms are the abstract properties that we attribute to physical objects, such as beauty, justice, goodness and so on. Since it is the soul that conceives of these Platonic forms and ideas, Plato argues that the soul not only outlives the body but lasts forever. It is perfect, immaterial and indestructible.

Reading assignment:

Plato, Phaedo, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1977

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