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

Plato’s concept of the body and the soul.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Plato's concept of the body and the soul Plato's concept of the body and the soul is a dualistic theory. He saw our existence in terms of two levels. These were the body and the soul. He believed that the body existed only in the physical world (World of Appearances) and that it is of this world meaning it is mortal. It is only interested in sense pleasures such as eating and sleeping and occasionally, the demands of the body take over a person and cloud their minds with the things of this world. Here, Plato is basically linking it with his allegory by saying at this stage we cannot see beyond the shadows. The soul however, is immortal and unchanging. He believed that the soul inhabits the metaphysical world (World of Forms). ...read more.

Middle

He argues for the existence of the soul by simply pointing out what people say. He observed that people say "I have a body" and not "I am body". He believed this to be a clear piece of evidence that we are referring to something within us that is beyond, or more than just a body or physical existence. One of Plato's books 'Phaedo' features an argument between Socrates and a character named Cebes, over the view that the soul disappears into nothingness when the host dies. Plato argued for the existence of the soul using two main points. One of which is called the Cycle of Opposites. The argument is that good cannot exist without evil, wet without dry or hot without cold. Therefore, the opposite of the body must be the soul, and the world of Forms must be the opposite of the world of Appearances. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, there is an absence of convincing arguments to suggest that the world of Forms is more than real. This can be explained by the fact that one can walk into the 'appearance' of a lamp post, but into the Form of one. The other criticism of his theory was his ideas on the pre existence of the soul. If we are born with prior knowledge and this is the 'world of Forms', we need out knowledge of the 'world of Appearances' on order to survive, so therefore would our knowledge of the 'world of Forms' go against our basic instincts? Plato also believed that the highest form of knowledge is the understanding of the Form of Good. According to ethics, do we actually know what goodness is and is it possible for two equally intelligent people to come to a two completely wrong conclusion conclusions about what is wrong and right? ...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 and contrast Plato's concept of the Body and Soul with Aristotle's.

    The Soul and Body as Plato thought aren't two separate substances, but are different parts of the same object. Plato doesn't provide any convincing argument to back up his theory to say there is an existence of forms that our Soul exists in before/after the life of the Body.

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

    An important point to note about the Forms is the idea of permanence. The Forms are forever unchanging. An important standard of Plato's theory of knowledge was that all genuine objects of knowledge could be described without contradiction. Therefore, because all objects perceived by sense undergo change, an assertion can

  1. Comparison of Plato and Aristotle's views of how knowledge is obtained and the body ...

    it cannot come into existence or go away again, it has to stay the same. The differences between the real knowledge grasped by the soul and the confused opinions gained by sense perception are explained by Plato using the metaphor of the sight.

  2. Body soul destinction

    Genes according to Dawkins program who a person is, and it is DNA that singly creates what a person looks like as well as their personality. For Dawkins both the mind and body are controlled by the DNA and therefore he suggests that there is no need for a soul.

  1. Plato & The Soul

    We must, therefore, know these things through recollection of these perfect forms. Therefore, the soul must have pre-existed the body to know these facts a priori. Plato's argument from opposites was based on his idea that everything in the observable world has an opposite effect.

  2. Plato Questions - Concept of the Soul

    Given this view, Plato viewed teachers such as Socrates to be not instructors who instill knowledge but rather as "midwives" whose job is simply to help give birth to those ideas that are already within us. Plato believed that the human person also has different elements: the physical body, the mind, and the immortal soul.

  1. Examine the concepts of immortality of the soul with resurrection of the body - ...

    Firstly, in his dialogue, the Meno, Plato has Socrates ask a slave boy to solve simple geometry where he will reach conclusions he could not have possibly known in this life. Another example is Socrates asking Plato to define what ?virtue? is.

  2. Evaluate Aristotles view that the soul is mortal and inseparable from the body, making ...

    For this reasoning Plato drew up an analogy of sleep. As sleep comes after being awake and being awake comes from sleep, as does death come from life so in return life can come from death. On the other hand, Aristotle thought that the soul is the Form of the

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