• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast Plato's concept of the Body and Soul with Aristotle's.

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast Plato's concept of the Body and Soul with Aristotle's. In this essay I will be comparing what Plato and Aristotle thought about the relationship of the body and Soul. The main fundamental difference between what Plato and Aristotle thought about the relationship between the Body and Soul is that Plato thought that the Soul was immortal; it was existed before the Body and its here when the Body dies. Plato thought this to be true because of his theory of forms. Plato thought we had such ideas as a 'perfect circle,' or a 'perfect chair,' not because we have seen them before or they had been described to us, but the image was already known to us through the world of forms. Plato adopted a theory that our Soul had already lived a life in the world of Forms and as the Body experienced things this unlocked memory from that world of Forms so the Body/Mind recognises objects as a 'circle,' or 'chair' but not a perfect a 'circle,' or 'chair,' because only the Forms we remember are perfect because in the material world things change making them imperfect. ...read more.


Here Aristotle is saying that the Soul of the eye is dead, the body of the eye is dead, but it's the qualities of an eye that make it an eye that never die, they might not work properly or at all but it's the qualities that make it an eye. Plato did mention the concept of form in his writings, but in the past life of the Soul, Aristotle uses form to describe part of the Soul. Plato also mentioned form as part of the Soul too, "The Soul is divided into three different parts, roughly translated as reason, emotion and desire." But Plato became less sure about which parts of the Soul are immortal. Considering Plato taught Aristotle this indecision might have influenced Aristotle as a philosopher, there is certainly logic and similarity between this uncertain thought of a separate immortal Soul, and Aristotle's thought of form being immortal and the Soul not. Plato tells us that the human person has different elements: the physical body; the mind; and the immortal Soul. Aristotle totally disagrees with this, he wrote: "We can totally dismiss as wholly unnecessary the question whether the Body and Soul are one: it is meaningless as to ask whether the wax and the shape given to it are one." ...read more.


There are points of Aristotle's philosophy on the Body and Soul that seem true to me. "The particular nature of any Soul will depend on the living thing that it is." This line basically says that the living object has an effect on the Soul. For example if a human is unhappy, he/she will have an unhappy Soul. To me this seems a logical philosophy of the Soul, and how it can be affected by the living thing that it was part of. According with Plato's philosophy I believe that after the Body is dead and the soul is released, but I believe the Soul keeps the characteristics of the Body it belonged to and doesn't die with the Body. But I disagree with Plato and I don't think that the spirit goes to the realm of forms. Even though there two philosophers have many different ideas on the Soul's relationship with the Body, they do have many points of agreement. Plato taught Aristotle, and in many points it is clear to see how Plato influenced him in many ways, even in his indecision in the purpose of the soul. Aristotle gets himself confused when it comes down to the minor points of his Philosophy, but both philosophers had their downfalls and their triumphs. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Compare, contrast and evaluate Plato and Mill on the relationship between individual and society

    Mill would argue that this is in a sense brainwashing the individuals to believe that they are happy and that they are fulfilling desires, when in fact they are only fulfilling what the Philosopher Kings have told them they desire.

  2. Explain Plato's and Aristotle's ideas of form, body, knowledge and soul.

    Human beings also possess (in addition to the rest) a rational soul that permits representation and thought. Notice that each living thing has just one soul, the actions of which exhibit some degree of nutritive, sensitive, and/or rational functioning. This soul is the formal, efficient, and final cause of the

  1. Compare and contrast arguments for and against belief in life after death.

    If a person was born with a terminal illness it would not seem just for them to be resurrected as a person with such an astounding deficiency, yet would they not so, it would not be truly them. The only plausible way around this would be to resort to a dualist style of argument separating the body from the soul.

  2. Body soul destinction

    The soul is not divisible and therefore on this basis of Aquinas' argument it is able to survive death. However, through the link with a particular human body the soul becomes an individual so even when the body dies the soul that departs has an immortal existence.

  1. Explain Plato's concept of the soul and its relationship with the body

    Plato noted that the body and soul hate each other for this, they totally oppose each other, and the mind is caught up in conflict.

  2. Plato & The Soul

    To further emphasise the point, Plato writes "...when the soul investigates by itself it passes into the realm of what is pure, ever existing, immortal and unchanging". He argues that just as the body's prime function is to understand the material and transient world, the functioning of the soul as

  1. Evaluate the claim that the soul is distinct from the body:

    after death but the body and soul cannot be separated, instead resurrected into a new world on judgment day. Hick essentially argued that when we talk of the soul, we are referring to: mental characteristic, personality and behavioural dispositions to which were passed down by parents over generations.

  2. The Concept of Life After Death is Incoherent - Discuss.

    He compares the idea of this mental world after death to the perceptions that we encounter in dreams which is formed by images from our mind. However they different by these perceptions being shared by other minds in this mental world.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work