• 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. 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 & The Soul

    Plato believed that the soul, if it were to be the animator of all living things, must be responsible for a person's mental or psychological activities and responses. For the soul cannot be the reason for life, yet at the same time limited in its influence over the bodies in which it animates.

  1. Plato Questions - Concept of the Soul

    Learning, then, is a process of reawakening to what we already know in the depths of our souls but is nonetheless concealed to our normal, everyday consciousness. Plato often viewed the process of life as a moving from darkness or a state of sleep toward the light and full wakefulness.

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

    All the prisoners value is the shadows and the noises and do not experience the true reality. The soul however is immortal. It exists before during and after it is trapped in the human body, and therefore our soul has experienced the perfect and guiding our body towards the perfect.

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