Concepts of the Soul

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  • Created on: 17-04-14 15:10
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  • Concepts of the Soul
    • Plato
      • Psuche - breath of life
      • Embraces a dualistic understanding of the person
        • Soul and body distinct entities
          • Body connected to the illusory world of appearances - finite, mutable, corruptible, divisible
          • Soul immaterial, perfect, immutable, indivisible, eternal, contains information on the Forms
    • Aristotle
      • Soul activating principle of life
      • Dualist  in that the body and soul are inextricably linked - you cannot have one without the other
        • Person consists of two separate aspects that function as a whole
        • All entities are composed of FORM and MATTER - physical substance and essence that allows you to identify as that object
    • Aquinas
      • Individual is comprised of body and soul - not two distinct elements
      • Negates the Dualist view
    • Descartes
      • Adopts the Dualist view
        • Body and soul are two wholly separate entities
      • Shift in understanding = previously the soul had a spiritual element
        • Descartes links with the idea that the soul is the rational component of the individual
      • Identity is bound up with the ability to COGNATE
        • CARTESIAN: 'I. I think therefore I am'
      • Presents his ideas in 'The Passions of the Soul and Meditations'
    • Gilbert Ryle
      • Wrote 'The Concept of the Mind' (1949)
        • Claims that Descartes represented "the ghost in the machine"
          • EXAMPLE: pilot and the ship
          • The body is reduced simply to a machine, with the mind as the true representation of self
          • Depicting the human as a body with a controlling aspect - the mind somehow attached to it
      • Argues that Descartes is guilty of a "category error"
        • Assuming that the two terms mind and matter are of the same type
    • Peter Geach
      • "A man is a sort of body, not a body plus an immaterial somewhat, for a man is an animal, and an animal with one kind of living body; and thinking is a vital activity of man, not of any part of him, material or immaterial"
  • Hick
    • Concepts of the Soul
      • Plato
        • Psuche - breath of life
        • Embraces a dualistic understanding of the person
          • Soul and body distinct entities
            • Body connected to the illusory world of appearances - finite, mutable, corruptible, divisible
            • Soul immaterial, perfect, immutable, indivisible, eternal, contains information on the Forms
      • Aristotle
        • Soul activating principle of life
        • Dualist  in that the body and soul are inextricably linked - you cannot have one without the other
          • Person consists of two separate aspects that function as a whole
          • All entities are composed of FORM and MATTER - physical substance and essence that allows you to identify as that object
      • Aquinas
        • Individual is comprised of body and soul - not two distinct elements
        • Negates the Dualist view
      • Descartes
        • Adopts the Dualist view
          • Body and soul are two wholly separate entities
        • Shift in understanding = previously the soul had a spiritual element
          • Descartes links with the idea that the soul is the rational component of the individual
        • Identity is bound up with the ability to COGNATE
          • CARTESIAN: 'I. I think therefore I am'
        • Presents his ideas in 'The Passions of the Soul and Meditations'
      • Gilbert Ryle
        • Wrote 'The Concept of the Mind' (1949)
          • Claims that Descartes represented "the ghost in the machine"
            • EXAMPLE: pilot and the ship
            • The body is reduced simply to a machine, with the mind as the true representation of self
            • Depicting the human as a body with a controlling aspect - the mind somehow attached to it
        • Argues that Descartes is guilty of a "category error"
          • Assuming that the two terms mind and matter are of the same type
      • Peter Geach
        • "A man is a sort of body, not a body plus an immaterial somewhat, for a man is an animal, and an animal with one kind of living body; and thinking is a vital activity of man, not of any part of him, material or immaterial"
    • Opposes the Platonic view of the soul, particuarly the concepts of the soul being immortal
    • He, like Aquinas, says: "my soul is not me"
    • Not too different to Aristotle in terms of approach - a soft materialist
      • Soft Materialism: we are our bodies, but those bodies have a spiritual dimension
        • This view influences his views on the afterlife
    • He propounds the theory of the replica body: that when we die God creates a replica of ourselves in a resurrected world

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