Socrates Analogy

Socrates was a Greek philosopher celebrated for his philosophy on ethics carried out in the west. His work was succeeded by Plato. According to Socrates he stated that the intention of philosophers is to carry out procedures in preparation for dying and death. If you think about it, the statement by Socrates is rather bizarre, how can it be possible that philosophers could only practice philosophy to anticipate death and the process of dying? To the two men who at that moment were being addressed by Socrates the statement seemed illogical but with this statement Socrates had the following meaning in mind. He defended his statement in the following. These defenses are analyzed and offered below. In order to support his point of view Socrates starts by giving an explanation on the meaning of death. (Taylor, 2001).

He engages his audience in this discussion and after a long time of convincing and they all accepted that the death is simply the disjointing of the body and the soul. According to Socrates the only difference between death and life is that during life the body and the souls are one but at death they are separated. He says that philosophers should not be people who fear death because their research is purely based on the soul and the soul only comes to life after death. Therefore philosophers are not concerned with the aspects of the body. In Socrates philosophy, the body is listed as the major impediment to philosophical studies. The body engages us in activities that keep us busy and distract us in numerous ways. These kinds of destructions are the ones that impede the researchers that come with philosophies. In his definition, Socrates says that our need to nurture and care for our bodies is distracted if the body is faced with diseases and this lead to other wishes, presents us with fears and disillusions that can only be brought out by the soul not the body. He backs up this statement with the thought that all our feelings and the inner most desires are not projected by the body but the soul. Therefore, the body should be set apart from the soul so that proper research can be carried out. This is what a true philosopher should do according to Socrates, to obtain absolute familiarity and legitimacy. (Barnes, 1998).

According to Socrates, any philosopher should train himself to live as close as possible to death and even be willing to live in such a way that they can also follow their dead relatives and friends to the grave. He asserts that individuals should not resent death and should acknowledge that it is the ultimate source of information. He compares the urge to learn more and to look for information and the search for the same with the want and the urge that exists at

Socrates Analogy

a burial site where you have lost a loved one. Philosophers are supposed to be courageous individuals who are not afraid of death because death is a destination for better research and development of psychology. During his final proclamation Socrates brings into our attention two different kinds of men, those who are bold but fear other things that are not well known to others and those who are modest and they and they have the authority for other delights. (Robinson, 1953).

He evaluates this and he states that delights should not be exchanged for other pleasures and that worries should not be replaced with other fears. He says that this exchange is not virtuous and that it is wrong. He says that a pure soul can only be obtained by pure information, bravery, and self-control and this can only be obtained through death which makes effective the separation of the soul from the body. So, basically Socrates is saying that the goal of philosophy is knowledge. The only way to get knowledge is to separate the body and soul. And the only way to separate the body and soul is death. So because of this true philosophers and lovers of wisdom do not fear death. (Luce, 1992).

In my own view I think that Socrates does a very good job in trying to defend him self and his attributes, because by reading his statements above you actually get a glimpse of his concepts. By involving his listeners and his crowd to the questions and answers process makes individuals able to think in his point of view and makes them change their own evaluations. To me his evaluation on death as the sole separation of the body and the soul and that the soul is the focal point for any philosophical evaluations is true and very straightforward and uncomplicated. (Taylor, 2001).

As much as Socrates tried to make sense and make all his listeners to understand his point of view, I still do not concur with him. As much as his thoughts are structured and well thought out I still don’t accept the fact that death is the utmost source of knowledge and information. And also knowledge is not the ultimate goal of life. The ultimate goal of life should be to live a happy life with lovers and friends to be able to interact properly with people and to live at peace with everyone. Even though we pull our resources to the maximum we can simply not know everything in this world. Therefore we should not thrive to make knowledge the center of all our activities. I also do not believe in his evaluation that the body is an impediment to the researches that are involved with philosophy. The body is inevitable and I cannot be ignored and the aspects of the body also make u happy. If one aspect of the body is not functioning

Socrates Analogy

properly then the entire mechanism of life is worthless. Being very knowledgeable does not make us happy but the effects that come with the knowledge for example a good job, a well researched project bring us joy not the knowledge itself. The body has six senses that include the eyes, the nose, the ears, the hands and the tongue and without the sensations that come with this parts of the body cannot be eliminated from the functioning of the brain which is the core fro any learning and the knowledge procedures therefore the body is not an impediment. In conclusion don’t believe in Socrates principle that the death is the source of all information. Life is gift that we enjoy with every rising of the sun and it is not meant to prepare us for death. Death comes as a result of accomplishment of the earthly duties and responsibilities. We should spend this precious life that we have been given in appreciation of our bodies and being happy and not by looking forward to death as it is presented in Socrates principles. (Barnes, 1998).

Today, people in the society who have aspects or who are involved in aspects of the hurt and the soul and the body are psychologists and religious leaders mainly. Psychologists are mainly involved with counseling which is a branch of psychology. To counsel means to engage in guidance or to be involved in an exchange of ideas with someone who is associated with that counseling field of study. Professional counseling involves the practice and application of principles that relate to; mental health of individuals and or groups; psychology and human developments that help in addressing issues concerning personal growth, wellness and development. Counseling involves effective listening, untangling of thoughts and emotions, expression of heartfelt problems and acceptance of matters that cannot be changed using various techniques. On the other hand religious leaders believe in the rising of the spirit for judgment and living the body to decompose in the soil, they preach messages of repentance and believing in God so that after death our soul rises to heaven. Psychologists are some what effective in their counseling sessions but there are also cases where psychologists have been of no help. Religion has in the past couple of days become a sham and most people are starting churches for monetary benefits they are like businesses. Today the analogy by Socrates is not used people believe in ultimate enjoyment of life while it still lasts. (Robinson, 1953).

Socrates Analogy

Socrates Analogy


Luce, (1992), An Introduction to Greek Philosophy, Thames & Hudson, New York. Maritain, (1991), Introduction to Philosophy, Christian Classics, Westminster.

Robinson, (1953), Plato’s Earlier Dialectic, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Taylor, Hare and Barnes (1998), Greek Philosophers — Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, Oxford University Press, New York.

Taylor, (2001), Socrates: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.