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[88a] that our souls will still exist somewhere after we are dead. For if one were to grant even more to a man who uses your argument, Socrates, and allow not only that our souls existed before we were born, but also that there is nothing to prevent some of them from continuing to exist and from being born and dying again many times after we are dead, because the soul is naturally so strong that it can endure repeated births,—even allowing this, one might not grant that it does not suffer by its many births and does not finally perish altogether in one of its deaths. [88b] But he might say that no one knows beforehand the particular death and the particular dissolution of the body which brings destruction to the soul, for none of us can perceive that. Now if this is the case, anyone who feels confident about death has a foolish confidence, unless he can show that the soul is altogether immortal and imperishable. Otherwise a man who is about to die must always fear that his soul will perish utterly in the impending dissolution of the body.”

Now all of us, as we remarked to one another afterwards, [88c] were very uncomfortable when we heard what they said; for we had been thoroughly convinced by the previous argument, and now they seemed to be throwing us again into confusion and distrust, not only in respect to the past discussion but also with regard to any future one. They made us fear that our judgment was worthless or that no certainty could be attained in these matters.

By the gods, Phaedo, I sympathize with you; for I myself after listening to you am inclined to ask myself: [88d] “What argument shall we believe henceforth? For the argument of Socrates was perfectly convincing, and now it has fallen into discredit.” For the doctrine that the soul is a kind of harmony has always had (and has now) a wonderful hold upon me, and your mention of it reminded me that I had myself believed in it before. Now I must begin over again and find another argument to convince me that when a man dies his soul does not perish with him. So, for heaven's sake, tell how Socrates [88e] continued the discourse, and whether he also, as you say the rest of you did, showed any uneasiness, or calmly defended his argument. And did he defend it successfully? Tell us everything as accurately as you can.

Echecrates, I have often wondered at Socrates, but never did I admire him more

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