Argument from Opposites

Argument from Opposites - Kristoffer-Jude Cecilio...

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Unformatted text preview: Kristoffer-Jude Cecilio Philosophy: Theory of Human Behavior February 13, 2008 Plato’s dialogue of the Phaedo captured Socrates’ final hours before his execution. Surrounded by his closest friends and fellow philosophers, Socrates began to discuss the idea of the soul being separate from the body as well as different theories regarding Forms, Recollection, Affinity and Opposites. As Socrates had qualified his many theories, such philosophers as Cebes and Simmias found it difficult to refute his arguments. However, two theories in mind need clarification – the Argument from Opposites and, related, the idea of the soul and body as separate. The Argument from Opposites states that all existing things result from a previously existing opposite. For example, an object that is large is only large because it was previously smaller. However, some questions are either left unanswered or unclear throughout the argument established within the text. In the example of a large object only existing if it were previously smaller, what can be said about its opposite, and which of the two would have existed first? Also, while Socrates uses examples in comparable aspects, what can be said about the absolute concepts of being alive and being dead? As previously mentioned, Plato makes the argument that everything that has an opposite is the previous result of another. However, which one can be determined to have existed first? Take the example of a tree and its soil. A tree is a magnificent organism that provides fruitfulness, shelter, and life for many different creatures in an ecosystem. A tree can grow apples or oranges as a means of sustenance for other living organisms. A tree can shelter squirrels and chipmunks in its trunks. A tree also uses photosynthesis to produce more oxygen in the air, which is necessary for life within a tree’s environment. However, in order for this tree to exist, it must have grown from the soil in its roots. Soil is a composition of dirt, seed, and dead organisms (dead trees) that is the source for new life and for new trees to grow. If a tree is to grow, it needs soil. If soil is to exist, it needs the seed of a dead tree. How, then, can a tree exist grow, it needs soil....
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Argument from Opposites - Kristoffer-Jude Cecilio...

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