The Soul

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  • The Soul
    • Personal Identity: To evaluate both views on LAD & The SOUL we must consider what constitutes personal identity. Personal identity means the same person persisting over time. For some this is physical, others this is mental & constitutes memory etc.
    • SUBSTANCE DUALISM (the belief body & soul are 2 separate substances):
      • PLATO:
        • The soul existed before birth as well as after death.
        • Soul is in three parts 1) Reason, 2) Emotion/Spirit, 3) Desires.
        • Used analogy of a Charioteer (guy who controls the Horses) and two horses: Reason = Charioteer who controls the two other horses (spirit and desires)
        • The soul survives death and lives on in the World of Forms eternally.
        • The body is a prison for the soul to liberate from.
        • Two arguments/ evidence:
        • 1. The soul and body are opposites; just like light and dark are known together they are still opposites.
        • 2. Theory of knowledge; we have recalled knowledge from the WoF therefore showing the soul is eternal & has been there.
        • Support for Plato:
          • We do experience ourselves as thinking beings different from our bodies.
          • Reports of Near Death Experiences show proof of a separate existence form the body.
        • Criticism of Plato:
          • There is no evidence that death is an opposite state to life.
          • Locke: Tabula Rasa- We are born as a blank slate. Therefore, cannot have knowledge from before.
          • His view of immortality of the soul depends on WoF existing.
      • DESCARTES:
        • + Rejected everything and said that only certain thing is that “I think, therefore I am” that’s what makes “I’”, whenever I think there must be something that is thinking. Proves I am more than just a body.
        • TWO ARGUMENTS:
          • DOUBT: I can doubt my body but I cannot doubt my mind. There could be an evil demon deceiving me into thinking I exist in a physical world. Therefore, they are two separate things.
          • DIVISIBILITY: My body is divisible & my mind is not. Things with different properties must be different things. Therefore, the mind and body are distinct objects.
    • Aristotle’s soft materialism
      • A property dualist; someone who believes in the properties of mind and body but they are all one substance.
      • The soul is not additional to the object [i.e. body].
      • Soul = formal cause. Body = Material cause. They are both needed to exist. The Soul gives thebody life. Without the material there would be no soul.
      • Aristotle’s examples; Axe = if body was axe, soul = ability to chop, Eye = body is eye, soul = ability to see. Etc. Wax= The stamp created cannot be removed from the wax.
      • Everything has a soul, but there are categories, we have a human soul made up of rational andirrational parts.
      • Irrational parts = things plants and animals can do, vegetative and appetite elements. Plants = only vegetative. Animals = vegi and appetite – includes movement and desires. Humans = all three.
      • No LAD but thinks the ability to reason lives on after death.
    • JOHN HICK:
      • John Hick; Christian soul is not real, all it is = mental characteristics. The soul is the value ofourselves, not something separate. We use the term soul because we give ourselves special value.
      • SOS: When we say SOS we are not asking for some ghost like substance to be saved. Instead we are asking for ourselves to be saved – our physical bodies & person. HICK accepts this because of Christian teachings especially on resurrection of Jesus.
      • MATERIALISM (the belief body & soul are one substance)
        • Aristotle’s soft materialism
          • A property dualist; someone who believes in the properties of mind and body but they are all one substance.
          • The soul is not additional to the object [i.e. body].
          • Soul = formal cause. Body = Material cause. They are both needed to exist. The Soul gives thebody life. Without the material there would be no soul.
          • Aristotle’s examples; Axe = if body was axe, soul = ability to chop, Eye = body is eye, soul = ability to see. Etc. Wax= The stamp created cannot be removed from the wax.
          • Everything has a soul, but there are categories, we have a human soul made up of rational andirrational parts.
          • Irrational parts = things plants and animals can do, vegetative and appetite elements. Plants = only vegetative. Animals = vegi and appetite – includes movement and desires. Humans = all three.
          • No LAD but thinks the ability to reason lives on after death.
        • Arguments for the soul (against materialism)
          • Feeling love can’t just be a physical thing.
          • NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES: Pam Reynolds on operating table ‘left body’and could tell her doctors accurate info.
          • Paranormal activities = prove soul
          • QUALIA- the subjective nature of our experiences shows we are not just physical. As otherwise we would all have the same experiences.
          • NAGEL – supports Qualia argument.We cannot know what it feels like to bea bat.
          • Zombie argument – zombies lack something humans have. Thus suggesting the thing missing is the soul which is clearly separate!
        • Arguments against the soul (for materialism)
          • Gilbert Ryle – Category error to say there is a soul. To talk of a soul is like a “Ghost in the machine”.Like asking “where is the university?” or “where is the team spirit?”
          • Interaction: How can the mind and bodywork together, how can something immaterial affect the material?(Descartes’ response: meet in pineal gland)
          • Brain damage: When brains are damaged this often changes their personality. What we would normally associate with a soul is actually the brain (Phineas Gage)
          • Brain scans: What we normally associatewith the soul is actually just the brain.
    • RICHARD DAWKINS:
      • A Hard Materialist - Richard Dawkins; rejects immortal soul. Humans are nothing more than a total of their DNA. Life is a result of evolution and not creation. Only human genes are passed on to the next generation.“Life is just bytes and bytes of digital information”.
      • We survive death through the memories of others and the legacy we leave behind.
      • Humans consciousness has evolved because of the survival advantage it gives.
      • Soul is a myth created to explain the mysterious of consciousness.
      • Talks of soul in metaphorical sense. Soul one = traditional view, Soul two = intellectual power, high development of mental faculties, deep feeling and sensitivity – this is a good way to talk about us, so long as it doesn’t talk about a separate entity. Soul one is nonsense & killed by science (because of brain scans etc)
    • MATERIALISM (the belief body & soul are one substance)
      • Arguments for the soul (against materialism)
        • Feeling love can’t just be a physical thing.
        • NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES: Pam Reynolds on operating table ‘left body’and could tell her doctors accurate info.
        • Paranormal activities = prove soul
        • QUALIA- the subjective nature of our experiences shows we are not just physical. As otherwise we would all have the same experiences.
        • NAGEL – supports Qualia argument.We cannot know what it feels like to bea bat.
        • Zombie argument – zombies lack something humans have. Thus suggesting the thing missing is the soul which is clearly separate!
      • Arguments against the soul (for materialism)
        • Gilbert Ryle – Category error to say there is a soul. To talk of a soul is like a “Ghost in the machine”.Like asking “where is the university?” or “where is the team spirit?”
        • Interaction: How can the mind and bodywork together, how can something immaterial affect the material?(Descartes’ response: meet in pineal gland)
        • Brain damage: When brains are damaged this often changes their personality. What we would normally associate with a soul is actually the brain (Phineas Gage)
        • Brain scans: What we normally associatewith the soul is actually just the brain.

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