The body/ soul distinction is a myth derived from philosophers such as Plato and Descartes. Discuss.
The two main proponents of Dualism, the belief that the mind and body are separate things, were Plato and Descartes. Dualists believe in the existence of a non-physical substance, namely the soul, which is separate but still interacts with the body. Both philosophers believed that we consist not just of a physical body, but also of a disembodied non-physical entity that survives independently to the body. Plato and Descartes both however have their own views within dualism about the body/ soul distinction.
Plato believed that the soul thinks best when it is not associated with the body, firstly because you cannot concentrate all your thoughts on something whilst you are attending to the needs of your body, and secondly because the soul holds pure knowledge that could only have come into the body from before birth. For these reasons Plato believed that the best thing that can happen to the soul is to be separated from the body when the body dies. For Plato, the body and soul are in opposition as the soul wants to learn knowledge about the true forms whereas the body is just interested in empirical pleasures and needs which “takes away from us the power of thinking at all”.