Life, Death and the soul

For and against dualism, and life after death

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  • Created by: Bennett
  • Created on: 14-11-11 17:51

Plato's Dualism

Dualism=Body and soul are seperate

Plato's idea was that the soul is a property of the body. He believed that the soul enables us to have knowledge. He explained how the soul used to exsist in the realm of the forms, but the 'Appetite' part of the soul dragged it down to earth. He said that it is imprisoned in the body; and will be released when we die-either to return to the realm of the forms, or to enter another body.



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soul and body

SOUL= Cannot change, CAnnot be split into parts, Is simple, ENABLES US TO HAVE KNOWLWDGE

BODY= Part of the empirical world, subject to change, allows us to gain opinions via our senses, DISTRACTS US FROM OUR REAL PURPOSE

There are 3 parts of the soul: REASON-keeps spirit and desire in check SPIRIT DESIRE/APPETITE

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Plato's arguments for dualism

Plato said that the soul is simple and a form, meaning that it has knowlegde of other simple things-ie other forms. He argued that this is why have knowledge of basic principles:

1) We have knowledge of eternal ideas which must come from the soul.

2)Plato also argued that the body and soul are oppsosites and that one makes the other necessary- for example the light makes us aware ofthe dark. He continued to say that life and death are 2 opposite things; and that death must be the event of the soul leaving the body.

Plato believed that these points explain why the soul and body are seperate, showing his dualistic approach.

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  • Aristotle criticised Plato- said that properties are not additional to the object....

EG, Redness could not exsist if there were no red objects.

  • He said that the soul is the form of the body and is inseperable from it. He continued to say trhat the soul can't be divided from the body and that the body is not js=ust a prison but essentail to us.

EG- If the Body were an AXE, the Soul would be its ABILITY TO CHOP.

EG-If the Body were an EYE, the Soul would be its ABILITY TO SEE.

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Aristotle said that the soul was made up 2 main parts, rational and irrational. The irrational has two parts

Rational- the ability to reason


>Vegetative(to gain nutrition)                 > Appetitive(needs)

Humans have the rational and irrational parts

Animals have the Appetitive and the Vegatative parts

Whilst plants only have the Vegatative part of the soul.

Aristotle believed that the human soul was different to plant and animal souls as it has the ability to reason

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Life after death

Aristotle didn't believe in life after death.

He said that the ability of our souls to reason may survive- But carry on without us.

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