• 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.

    be made that such objects at one time will not be true at a later time. Because what is fully real must, for Plato, be fixed, permanent, and unchanging, he identified the real with the ideal realm of "being" as opposed to the empirical world of "becoming".

  1. 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.

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

    Once the soul exists, it can not disappear, it will live forever. The soul does not like the body because the body doesn't always want to philosophise, it doesn't want true knowledge. Where as the soul does, it want to get out and find true knowledge, it wants to find out what things truly are.

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

    The soul tries to gather the two together, rather than allowing them to be pulled apart in opposite directions. Many people never achieve this direction; they allow their lives to be dominated by the bodily needs and pleasures. Philosophers in contrast try to minimise their interests in bodily needs.

  2. Plato Questions - Concept of the Soul

    The body, like everything else physical, is in a constant state of change, and therefore cannot be the source of the object of reliable truth, because it is never the same from one moment to the next. The soul, in contrast, is immortal and unchanging, and therefore can both know and be known.

  1. Explain Platos concept of the soul and Its relationship to the body.

    This is show when the prisoner leaves the cave and opens his eyes to the outside world.

  2. Plato & The Soul

    an entity of rational and self reflective thought demonstrates its affiliation with a simple and immutable world; showing that the two are distinct. However Plato does not explore the criticisms of this argument that just because an entity portrays an affiliation, does not necessarily require it to be as that which it affiliates.

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