Socrates’ Four Arguments for the Immortality of the Soul in the Phaedo: Informal Fallacies, Ambiguities, and Overall Inconsistency

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Abstract:

In this paper, I argue that none of Socrates’ four arguments for the immortality of the soul can prove it to be immortal. All that the four arguments amount to is an inference to the best explanation. However, this inference to Socrates’ best explanation builds up on a series of informal fallacies and ambiguities, leading to inconsistencies in his overall four-fold argument. The fallacies, ambiguities, and inconsistencies will become clear as we navigate Socrates’ four arguments for the immortality of the soul in the Phaedo.