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611A - 612A It follows that the number of so<*>s is always constant, each of them retaining its individuality throughout. We have hitherto represented soul as a composite s<*>stance; but the composite cannot easily <*>e immortal; and if we would see the mul as it really is, we must view it apart from the body and those material accr<*>ons with which in human life it is clogg<*>d and encumbered. Then and only then shall we be able to see its true nature.

<*>εὶ ἂν εἶεν αἱ αὐταί : ‘it will always be the same souls that are in existence.’ α<*> αὐταί is the subject, not the predicate (as Teichmüller translates Plat. Fr. p. 7). Although οὔτε γὰρπλείους justifies ἀεὶ ἂν εἶεν αἱ αὐταί only in so far as concerns the total number of souls, αἱ αὐταί by itself means more than this, and implies the personal identity of each individual soul throughout all the vicissitudes of its endless existence. The conviction that the life of each particular soul is a continuous sequence of cause and effect stretching from eternity to eternity was firmly held by Plato, and he briefly reminds us of it here because the theory of future rewards and punishments, which he will presently describe, rests on that hypothesis and no other. For the history of this belief before the time of Plato see Rohde Psyche^{2} II pp. 134—136.

ὁτιοῦν -- ἀθάνατα. All things are either mortal or immortal: hence the immortal, if increased at all, must be so at the expense of the mortal, which will accordingly in course of time be exhausted. Cf. Phaed. 70 C—72 E, especially 72 B ff., where a similar train of reasoning is employed to prove ἐκ τῶν τεθνεώτων τοὺς ζῶντας γίγνεσθαι καὶ τὰς τῶν τεθνεώτων ψυχὰς εἶναι.

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