I need help creating a thesis and an outline on At Phaedo 86a-d Simmias puts forward the view that the soul is a sort of harmony. Socrates provides at least two arguments against this view of the soul

I need help creating a thesis and an outline on At Phaedo 86a-d Simmias puts forward the view that the soul is a sort of harmony. Socrates provides at least two arguments against this view of the soul in the text that follows. Describe his arguments and explain why you think they are convincing or not. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. Socrates on the Soul In Phaedo 86a-d Simmias puts forward an argument that the soul is a sort of harmony. In this way Simmias believes that just as harmony is an immaterial yet beautiful essence, so is the soul. Just as harmony is perfectly attuned to musical form, so is the soul perfectly attuned to the body. These understandings lead Simmias to indicate that if the material components surrounding the soul are destroyed the soul must be destroyed, just as if the lyre or strings are destroyed the harmony is destroyed. While Simmias presents a strong argument, Socrates provides three arguments against this perspective. This essay describes Socrates arguments and considers that at times they are unconvincing.

Socrates makes a number of rebuttals to Simmias’ argument. Socrates first rebuttal considers the nature of attunement. In these regards, Socrates indicates that Simmias’ metaphor is not appropriate because it is possible to tune a lyre to achieve a differing type of harmony. This, however, is not true of the soul, as it is an essence that is unchanging. Socrates’ second rebuttal to Simmias’ argument considers the nature of morality. Socrates notes that while some souls are good and others are bad, a musical instrument does not carry with it such moral elements. While the two men recognize that it is possible for a bad soul to be compared to an instrument that is not in-tune, Socrates still doesn’t believe Simmias’ original metaphor is appropriate. He argues that this is not the case since no souls or ‘more soul’ than any other. Socrates final rebuttal to Simmias argument that the soul is a sort of harmony is that while the soul governs the body, with a musical instrument it is the reverse. That is, it is the strings and various components that govern the creation of the harmony.

While Socrates’ arguments about the soul in many instances seem convincing, in other ways they seem to rely on pure speculation. One considers that a core element of Socrates’ perspective on the soul is that it has eternal recollection (“Stanford Encyclopeida of Philosophy”). This core belief, while well articulated, does not seem to be based on any empirical truth. Socrates’ rebuttals of Simmias’ argument in many instances are not based on any sort of empirical evidence, but instead merely contradict an equally baseless argument. For instance, Socrates attempts to refute Simmias’ argument on the grounds that it is the soul that controls the body, while the instrument controls harmony. Socrates states, “One must therefore suppose that a harmony does not direct its components, but is directed by them” (Plato). In this way it seems that Socrates statement is simply based on conjecture. It would just as possible to argue that the soul was produced by all portions of the body working together, just like a musical instrument producing harmony.

In conclusion, this essay has examined Socrates’ rebuttal of Simmias’ argument on the soul as a sort of harmony. In this context of understanding it’s demonstrated that Socrates believes Simmias’ is wrong based on three primary counter-arguments. While Socrates is successful is rebutting Simmias’ argument, it’s clear that his overarching is not based on empirical evidence and as such is not convincing.


Plato. “Internet Classics Archive: Plato.” classics. N.p., 2012. Web. 8 Aug 2012. .

“Plato.” Stanford Encyclopeida of Philosophy. N.p., 2012. Web. 8 Aug 2012. .

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