II. We may consider the antithesis between the divine and eternal and the temporal and mutable, which runs through the 'Plato's belief in immortality ought never to have been disputed. It is re-affirmed in the most unqualified way in the seventh Epistle (335a—b) and his very latest work, the Laws (9o4c-9o5d), though the particular arguments of the Phaedo do not re-appear there. Aris totle, too, in his early days as a member of the Academy, had taught the doctrine in his Eudemus (Fragmenta, ed. Rose 37-48). This con sideration is really decisive. The characteristic argument of the Law, from the "self-moving" nature of the soul had already been used in the Phaedrus (245c). Timaeus 41a, where the final appeal is to the goodness of the Creator, formally applies not to men but to the stars.
universe. The body is certainly temporal and mutable. The soul is relatively immutable, like the fixed ideal standards or norms which she contemplates in her scientific thinking. Her thought is concerned with eternal objects and she herself has the likeness of that which she contemplates. If, then, some constituents of the body are nearly indestructible how much more should one expect the divine element in us, the soul, to resist destruction, as the traditions about re-birth assert that it does.
There are two grave "scientific" difficulties still to face. It may be argued : (a) that the soul is an "epiphenomenon," the "tune" (ap,uovia) given out by the body, and if so, its superior "divinity" will not protect it from vanishing when the instrument which makes the music is broken; (b) that though the soul actu ally makes its own body, and perhaps can make a long succession of bodies, it cannot do so without "expending energy"; a time will come when it can no longer make a fresh body, and then it will itself disappear. We must not be driven into misology, anti pathy to science, by this apparent clash between science and a faith to which we are attached.
The answer to (a) is that there are good souls and bad ones, and the good soul is "more in tune" than the bad one. But that which can be more or less "in tune" is clearly not itself a "tune." And if the soul were the "tune" resulting from the functioning of the body, its character at any moment would be a resultant of the condition of the body. How then could we have the experience, characteristic of the moral life, of the conflict between the soul with its aspirations and the body with its carnalities? The answer to (b) can only be given as part of a whole theory of the causes of "coming into being and passing out of being." Socrates had been led, early in life, to frame a tentative theory of the matter in consequence of his dissatisfaction with the chaotic state of physi cal speculation, and in particular with the failure of Anaxagoras to make any satisfactory use of his apparently teleological prin ciple that "mind is the cause of all order and structure." He fell
back on the method of "hypothesis." What distinguishes this method from all others is that it begins by making an undemonstrated "postulate" (vnr60Eats). It then pro ceeds from this point to consider the truth or falsehood of the con sequences which follow logically, from the initial postulate ; the question of the truth of the postulate is, for the present, left unasked. Socrates' own fundamental unproved postulate has always been that usually, but loosely, called the "theory of Ideas." The postulate is that there really is a single determinate and immut able something (Ethos, t&a) answering to every significant "gen eral term," and apprehended only by pure thought. The sensible things of which we predicate general terms temporarily "partake in" or "communicate with" the Idea or Form (1.6c1,, Etbos). When we say that a thing becomes e.g., beautiful, what we mean is that the Form (id a) "beauty" begins to be "present to" that thing, the thing begins to "partake of" the Form. When we say that a thing ceases to be beautiful, we mean that this relation of "pres ence," "participation," "communication" (rapovala, yiNEts, Kotvcovta) is dissolved. This is the true account of the cause of "coming into and passing out of being," and if we accept it, we may proceed to our final argument for immortality.
III. There are Forms which are mutually incompatible, such as warmth and cold. Heat is never cool, and cold is never warm. But there are also certain sensible things of which it is an essen tial character to "partake of" a given Form. Such things will never admit an incompatible Form. Thus it is an essential character of snow to "partake of" cold. It will never, therefore, "partake of" the Form "heat." Similarly it is an essential character of a soul to be alive, to "partake of" the Form "life." It refuses to "partake of" the Form "death." At the approach of death, the soul must either retire or be annihilated (the metaphors are military). What we have said of its divinity forbids us to think that it is annihilated ; we must therefore assume that it "retires" to some other region. The proof of immortality is thus hypothetical ; it is shown to be involved as a consequence by the doctrine of Forms. This doctrine has been stated as a fundamental unproved postu late and it is admitted that it demands fuller consideration.