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Rationalism

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Lesson

One of Plato's fundamental arguments is that the human soul is immortal.

Outline

Platonic Philosophy

Part 4
 

V. Plato's Rationalism

A. The Phaedo

1. a posteriori knowledge

2. a priori knowledge

B. Argument for the Immortality of the Soul

C. Outline of Plato's Argument

1. All knowing presupposes a prior knowledge of some Form, rule, or standard.

2. Human knowledge of the Form, rule, or standard cannot be acquired through the senses.

3. Therefore, human knowledge of the Forms is acquired in an earlier existence.

4. Therefore, the human soul is immortal.

D. Critique of Plato's Argument

1. Human beings are not necessarily guaranteed continual life after death.

2. There are other explanations for the preexistence of human knowledge.

E. Augustine's Response

1. God implanted this knowledge in the human mind at birth.

2. Forms are eternal ideas in the mind of God.

F. Practical Application