A Critical Analysis of the Arguments from Alternation and Recollection for the Immortality of the Soul in Plato’s Phaedo

Main Article Content

ADÉṢUYÌ Olúkáyọ̀dé R., aolkyu0323dr http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4432-3210


Soul has been conceived as an essential element of human composition. In Philosophy and other related discipline, its study and treatment have generated attentions and contributions from scholars in these various fields. Plato, in his own conception, affirms the reality of soul, its importance to human being and its transcendental works which he has shown in some of his dialogues. It is in line with this that Plato advances arguments for reincarnation, an aspect of the immortality of the soul. This paper, therefore, attempts a critical analysis of the arguments from alternation and recollection for the immortality of the soul in Plato’s Phaedo. It argues that Plato fails to prove beyond reasonable doubt the reality of the soul. It also mentions that its proof for reincarnation which is hinged on the reality of the soul is not tenable. The paper, therefore, concludes, using the method of philosophical argumentation, that the arguments are neither plausible nor tenable enough to establish his claim.

Article Details

How to Cite
Olúkáyọ̀dé R.A. (2014). A Critical Analysis of the Arguments from Alternation and Recollection for the Immortality of the Soul in Plato’s Phaedo. SOCRATES, 2(3), 62-75. Retrieved from https://www.socratesjournal.com/index.php/SOCRATES/article/view/8


Blackburn, S. (2005), The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Second Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Burnet, J. (1929), Essays and Addresses, London: Chatto and Windus
Claus, D. (1981), Toward the Soul, New Haven and London: Yale University Press
Ebiri, J. (2007), “State of the Nation 3” in The Nigerian Tribune, Wednesday 30 May
Furley, D. (1956), “The Early History of the Concept of Soul” in Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, No. 3
Guthrie, W. K. C. (1959), A History of Greek Philosophy, Vol. J, Great Britain: Cambridge University Press
Hospers, J. (1997), An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis, 4th Edition, New York and London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Idowu, W. O. O. (2003), “Social History, African Identity and the Memory Theory” in The Anthropologist: International Journal of Contemporary and Applied Studies of Man. Vol. 5, No 4 Oct
Locke, J. (1975), “Of Identity and Diversity” in Perry, J., (ed.) Personal Identity, California, University of California Press, Ltd
……….. (1975), An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690, Nidditch, P. H. (ed), Oxford: Oxford University Press
Ludwig, A. M. (1997), How Do We Know Who We Are?, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Mackie, D. (1999), “Personal Identity and Dead People” in Philosophical Studies 95, 224-228
Makinde, M. A. (2010), “Immortality of the Soul and the Yorùbá Theory of Seven Heavens (O