The Question Of Immortality

This paper discusses the outlook of Socrates concerning life after death in Plato’s Phaedo and presents his argument that immortality must be accepted by the reasoning man.

In the Phaedo, Plato addresses a question that has interested man probably since man became aware of death, the question of the immortality of the soul and of the possibility of life after death. Plato sees this idea of the immortality of the soul as one that has to be accepted by reasoning man. In the Phaedo, Socrates, representing Plato’s position, believes in the eternal life of the soul and guides the discussion in the direction of accepting this idea, offering as he does so several proofs for the immortality of the soul. Immortality was a subject of immediate interest to Socrates at this time because this discussion takes place on the last day Socrates is to spend in prison before his execution. Socrates does not fear death because he has complete faith in immortality. He wants to convince his followers to believe in immortality as well. In part, he wants them to be free