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

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Introduction

Explain Plato's concept of the soul and its relationship to the body. A commonly studied topic in Philosophy is the study of the relationship between the internal and external body; that is to say, the distinction between the body and the soul. There are three basic 'Theories of the Self.' 'Self=internal,' 'self=unity of internal and external,' and 'self as a material body.' The first Theory of Self ('self = internal') is known as the dualist approach, the second ('self = unity of internal and external') is known as a psychosomatic or monist approach. Plato was a dualist. That is to say he believed that every human being is made up of two substances: The physical body that belongs to the material world. ...read more.

Middle

cave), Plato believed that as the body was part of the World of Appearances, we should not be slaves to its urges. However, he emphasized that we should not abstain totally from the needs and urges of the body, but should not allow ourselves to become enslaved. Plato has many philosophical influences such as Socrates, Heraclitus, Permenides and Pythagoras. We can see aspects of their ideas in his theories, particularly in relation to his teacher, Socrates. However, it is through the influence of Pythagoras, that Plato formed his ideas of the immortal soul. He put forward two basic arguments for the existence of an ever-lasting soul: The first relates to basic chemical theories that state that everything can be broken down into single elements. ...read more.

Conclusion

We all have a soul that holds the key to true knowledge. All we must do is go through the process of anamnesis (remembering) to discover what we already know. He described the soul as being imprisoned in the body until death, at which point it is liberated. However, Plato believed that the souls of different being were liberated to different places. The 'pure' souls of philosophers would be allowed to enter the eternal World of the Forms where it can regain its proper place in w world of true knowledge. The 'impure' souls (of the ordinary people) that have been content to live their lives in the ignorance and small minded World of Appearances will become ghosts, or inhabit the body of an animal etc. Charlie Matthews 12CAS 28/04/2007 1 of 1 ...read more.

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