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[609d] by attaching itself to the thing and dwelling in it with power to corrupt, reduces it to nonentity. Is not that so?” “Yes.” “Come, then, and consider the soul in the same way.1 Do injustice and other wickedness dwelling in it, by their indwelling and attachment to it, corrupt and wither it till they bring it to death and separate it from the body?” “They certainly do not do that,” he said. “But surely,” said I, “it is unreasonable to suppose that the vice of something else destroys a thing while its own does not.” “Yes, unreasonable.” “For observe, Glaucon,”

1 The argument that follows is strictly speaking a fallacy in that it confounds the soul with the physical principle of life. Cf. on 35 C and on 352 E, Gorg. 477 B-C, and supra,Introd. p. lxvii. But Dean Inge, “Platonism and Human Immortality” (Aristot. Soc., 1919, p. 288) says: “Plato's argument, in the tenth book of the Republic, for the immortality of the soul, has found a place in scholastic theology, but is supposed to have been discredited by Kant. I venture to think that his argument, that the soul can only be destroyed by an enemy (so to speak)in pari materia, is sound. Physical evils, including death, cannot touch the soul. And wickedness does not, in our experience, dissolve the soul, nor is wickedness specially apparent when the soul (if it perishes at death) would be approaching dissolution.” Cf. 610 C. Someone might object that wickedness does destroy the soul, conceived as a spiritual principle.

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