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τῇ ἀληθεστάτῃ φύσει κτλ. In its true and essential nature soul is akin to the simple and incomposite: see Phaed. 78 B—81 A.

αὐτὸ πρὸς αὑτό goes with ἀνομοιότητοςδιαφορᾶς: cf. διαφέρεσθαι πρὸς αὑτό and the like. The translation ‘viewed by itself’ (D. and V.) is quite wrong.

ὡς νῦν ἡμῖν ἐφάνη ψυχή refers to the tripartite division of soul in IV 435 A ff.: cf. (with Campbell) infra C νῦν δὲ εἴπομεν κτλ., 612 A νῦν δὲδιεληλύθαμεν and (for the use of νῦν) ὥσπερ νῦν in VI 504 D and III 414 B note It is much less natural to connect the clause with ἀίδιον (“eternal as we have just proved the soul to be” D. and V., with whom Jowett and apparently also Schneider agree. Prantl and others take the right view). Now that he has proved the soul to be immortal, Plato takes the opportunity to suggest a revision of the psychology of Book IV, in which soul was treated as composite (435 A note): for nothing that is composite can well be immortal (cf. Phaed. l.c.). According to the theory which is rather suggested (612 A) than fully worked out in this chapter, the socalled lower ‘parts’ are not of the essence of soul at all, but only incidental to its association with body, and consequently perishable. Cf. Phaed. 66 C ff., 79 C, D and the θνητὸν εἰδος ψυχῆς of Tim. 69 C ff. Plato expresses himself with great reserve (612 A), but apparently intends us to believe that soul in its truest nature is λογιστικόν, and that the λογιστικόν alone is immortal (so also Simson Begriff d. Seele bei Plato p. 128: cf. also Grimmelt de reip. Pl. comp. et unit. p. 94 and Nettleship Lect. and Rem. II p. 357).

οἱ ἄλλοι. The reference is generally supposed to be to the arguments of the Phaedo. Krohn however (Pl. St. p. 266) compares παλαιὸςλόγος οὗ μεμνήμεθα (Phaed. 70 C), where Plato is thinking of Orphic and Pythagorean beliefs, and suggests that οἱ ἄλλοι should here be interpreted in the same way; while Pfleiderer (Zur Lösung etc. p. 41) sees an allusion to the Phaedrus and Meno. That the arguments of the Phaedo are included in the reference, is extremely probable both on other grounds, and also on account of the remarkable affinity between that dialogue and the whole of this section; but Plato's words are wide enough to cover all the proofs of immortality current in the Platonic school, whether published or not.

ἀναγκάσειαν ἄν. See on VI 490 C.

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  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Plato, Phaedo, 66c
    • Plato, Phaedo, 70c
    • Plato, Phaedo, 78b
    • Plato, Timaeus, 69c
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