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[105a] as the number two brings forward the opposite of the odd and fire that of cold, and so forth, for there are plenty of examples. Now see if you accept this statement: not only will opposites not admit their opposites, but nothing which brings an opposite to that which it approaches will ever admit in itself the oppositeness of that which is brought. Now let me refresh your memory; for there is no harm in repetition. The number five will not admit the idea of the even, nor will ten, the double of five, admit the idea of the odd. Now ten is not itself an opposite, and yet it will not admit the idea of the odd; [105b] and so one-and-a-half and other mixed fractions and one-third and other simple fractions reject the idea of the whole. Do you go with me and agree to this?”

“Yes, I agree entirely,” he said, “and am with you.”

“Then,” said Socrates, “please begin again at the beginning. And do not answer my questions in their own words, but do as I do. I give an answer beyond that safe answer which I spoke of at first, now that I see another safe reply deduced from what has just been said. If you ask me what causes anything in which it is to be hot, I will not give [105c] you that safe but stupid answer and say that it is heat, but I can now give a more refined answer, that it is fire; and if you ask, what causes the body in which it is to be ill, I shall not say illness, but fever; and if you ask what causes a number in which it is to be odd, I shall not say oddness, but the number one, and so forth. Do you understand sufficiently what I mean?”

“Quite sufficiently,” he replied.

“Now answer,” said he. “What causes the body in which it is to be alive?”

“The soul,” he replied. [105d] “Is this always the case?”

“Yes,” said he, “of course.”

“Then if the soul takes possession of anything it always brings life to it?”

“Certainly,” he said.

“Is there anything that is the opposite of life?”

“Yes,” said he.



“Now the soul, as we have agreed before, will never admit the opposite of that which it brings with it.”

“Decidedly not,” said Cebes.

“Then what do we now call that which does not admit the idea of the even?”

“Uneven,” said he.

“And those which do not admit justice and music?” [105e] “Unjust,” he replied, “and unmusical.”

“Well then what do we call that which does not admit death?”

“Deathless or immortal,” he said.

“And the soul does not admit death?”


“Then the soul is immortal.”


“Very well,” said he. “Shall we say then that this is proved?”

“Yes, and very satisfactorily, Socrates.”

“Well then, Cebes,” said he, “if the odd were necessarily imperishable,

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