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

The Body/Soul split is a myth created by philosophers such as Plato.

Extracts from this document...


The Body/Soul split is a myth created by philosophers such as Plato. The belief in life after death or of an immortal soul is not a new occurrence. Philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and Hick have made attempts at explaining their views on the soul, as well as people like Dawkins, who argue that there is no such thing as the soul at all. Plato was what is known as a dualist. He believed that the body and the soul were separate things, that the soul animates the body and that the body is mortal, whereas the soul is immortal, and so survives death. Upon the bodies death, Plato believe the soul would be released from it's "prison" and allowed to look upon the forms. ...read more.


By this he means that there are different aspects to a person's soul, but it is still in one part. He used a diamond to illustrate his point, as there are many faces on a diamond, but it cannot be split. The different faces, or aspects of the soul are similar to Freud's division of the mind. The aspects are Reason, which searches for the truth and rules the soul; Spirit, this includes a number of aspects which can be trained, such as aggressiveness, being honourable and your emotions and Desire or Mercenary. This is linked with the idea of hedonism and seeking pleasures for the self, he split the desires up further into those that are necessary, those that are unnecessary and perverted desires. ...read more.


The argument from opposites is that we can see everything in the physical world consists of opposites and that the opposite of living was death. For death to be a "thing" he said there must exist a soul to make something "alive" Plato's views on the soul are very much dependant on his theory of the forms and so the same weaknesses apply to both. Arguments such as how can one "see" the forms when seeing is a process linked with a body, how can a disembodied soul "see" anything? Some people see learning as acquiring new knowledge and so not an act of remembering. The argument of opposites can be disputed as the idea that everything has an opposite can be challenged. ...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. Body soul destinction

    On the other hand Dawkins, a biological materialist would disagree with the opinion that the soul and the body are separate substances. Dawkins bases his theory on evolution and genetics. He would reject any concept of an eternal soul and therefore rejects dualism.

  2. Compare and contrast arguments for and against belief in life after death.

    Human beings seem to require three things to make up their individuality - body, memory and psychological patterns (personal identity). If we apply these to reincarnation, when we are reborn, continuity is lost. If we cannot remember our previous lives then our memory is lost.

  1. The body soul distinction is a myth derived from philosophers such as plato discuss.

    the body and experience through one's senses, however Hindus and Plato would say that it is possible to see the world of the forms with the Third Eye, the third eye belief stems from Hindu beliefs that we each have a inner eye in between our brows, for Hindus this

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

    exist on their own but only in relation to the subject ('elephant'). Although substance and quality are one of ten categories identified by Aristotle it is only substance which he believed underlined everything else. For instance, if there were no 'elephant' then is this instance 'large' and 'white' would have no relationship to it (i.e.

  1. The World of the forms is a myth made up by Plato. Discuss.

    Therefore this shows is some evidence for Plato's design argument. Aristotle put forward a criticism of the theory of Forms he said that what if there is a man who is a copy of the Form of the man.

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

    The form of something is its structure, and its characteristics, it can always be perceived by the senses. Aristotle used the word 'substance' to express the material of which things are made of. For example, the substances of a table are: wood, nails and glue and the form of a

  1. Why does the mind and body problem still exist?

    This affords consciousness the opportunity to exist in non human minds. It has been shown that the human brain has "functional plasticity" such that people with as much as half their brains removed during early infancy apparently can develop into adults whose behaviour cannot be distinguished from other adults with their original brain intact.

  2. Evaluate plato and aristotle on well being

    Plato believes that the tyrant is the most unhappy of people because he is in a position of slavery and has no real freedom, he is ruled and governed by passion and surrounded by enemies. Due to being dominated by passion his main aim is to seek pleasure.

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