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

Plato Questions - Concept of the Soul

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Plato Questions a) Explain Plato's concept of the soul and its relationship to the body. Plato was a dualist. He believed that we are dual creatures, the soul is distinct from the body and vice versa. The body has extension (it takes up space) and is impermanent: it has a beginning and will have an end. The soul takes up no space and is immortal: it pre-existed our body and will live forever. Plato believed that the soul was immortal; it was in existence before the body and it continues to exist 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', not because we have seen one before or that it had been described to us, but the image was already known to us through the world of Forms. Plato was also a rationalist. He believed that you only have true knowledge and understanding of reality through reason. The physical world is inferior, or course, to the realm of Forms. ...read more.

Middle

The spirited or emotional part seeks honor and dignity. Finally, the intellectual part seeks truth and knowledge. However, Plato also believed that the mind and the body are often in opposition. The mind wants to understand ideas, to gain real knowledge of the Forms; but the body is interested in sense pleasures, and it has needs such as eating and sleeping which are constantly getting in the way of intellectual persuits, because the keep interrupting. Often, the demands of the body are so great that they take over completely, cluttering the mind with thoughts of what might be for lunch, or whether we are looking our best, or whether we are too hot or too cold. He thought that the intellectual part or power must be in control, or otherwise our bodily desires will wreak havoc in its reckless striving for its own fulfillment (Plato uses the metaphor of a many-headed beast, which devours itself in self-consumption). An example of Plato's writings: "The body is the source of endless trouble to us by reason of the mere requirement of food; and is liable also to diseases which overtake and impede ...read more.

Conclusion

It is connected with Plato's view that all real knowledge is remembering, recollection. As a person discovers different elements of the physical world, this begins a process of remembering. The soul, or psyche, begins to remember the world of Forms which it once inhabited, and it longs to return to this unchanging world; it has become dissatisfied with the limitations of the body and the world of appearances. b) To what extent is Plato convincing in his views on the soul's 'innate knowledge'? Plato's views on the soul's 'innate knowledge' is that the soul has the knowledge of the world of Forms, but when it enters the body at birth, it forgets its knowledge and understanding of its natural realm, because it is in the body. Plato believes that as we live our life, the soul gradually 'wakes up' as we see particulars, which remind it of the ultimate Forms, of which the particulars are mere reflections of. The soul wants to return to the world of Forms, and be free of the body. ...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 and Plato have different styles of communicating their points, Mill expresses his ideas in the form of discursive arguments, Plato however expresses his ideas in the form of dialogue, something which Mill praises Plato for regardless of their conflicting conclusions.

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

    Even actions taken as a result of intellectual deliberation, Aristotle supposed, produce motion only through the collateral evocation of a concrete desire. So in short, Aristotle says that knowledge is derived from the senses but it needs more than just that to succeed.

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

    If we say 'I have a cat' we mean something entirely different from 'I am a cat'. 'I have a cat' means that I am separate from it, it is something that I own but it is not me. When we talk about our bodies we say 'I have a body' not 'I am a body'.

  2. Body soul destinction

    Dawkins does not deny human dignity and accepts the complexity of human life to be able to contemplate the origins of human life. The evidence for Dawkins theory of biological materialism is based on DNA. Dawkins explains DNA as a code of instructions that is made up of millions of strands of genetic information.

  1. Plato & The Soul

    Moreover the argument from affiliation would suggest that the body is concerned with the material, composite world whilst the soul is concerned with the invisible and simple world. If this is the case then the soul cannot, following from Plato's argument, have any interaction with the material, bodily world; for then it ceases to be simple and immutable.

  2. Plato’s concept of the body and the soul.

    The job of the charioteer (the soul) is to get the two horses (mind and body) to work in harmony. Plato argued that the seen as the soul is immortal; it must also have a pre-existence to the body. So Plato believed that as it learns more about the 'world

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

    However, dualists oppose this description as it fails to explain how feelings such as love can be materialised. Ryle famously says: ?there is no Ghost in the machine? and to think there is would be a categorical mistake and an incorrect use of language.

  2. Conscience is innate. Discuss

    He believed that conscience was a part of the mind that strived to make sense of disorder and to deal with guilt. Freud said that during our childhood we are subject to accepting certain values and beliefs about morality that we reject in later life due to our moral reasoning.

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