A Philosophical Criticism of Augustine and Aquinas Essay

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A Philosophical Criticism of Augustine and Aquinas: The Relationship of Soul and Body The relationship of the human soul and physical body is a topic that has mystified philosophers, scholars, scientists, and mankind as a whole for centuries. Human beings, who are always concerned about their place as individuals in this world, have attempted to determine the precise nature or state of the physical form. They are concerned for their well-being in this earthly environment, as well as their spiritual well-being; and most have been perturbed by the suggestion that they cannot escape the wrongs they have committed while in their physical bodies. Throughout the evolution of philosophic thought, there have been many…show more content…
I will focus on proving the worth of Augustine's view of the soul and body relationship, with its consequent effect on redemption. The Augustinean theory's strength lies in its focus, which is more on spiritual matters and less on nature. I believe that the Thomistic view reveals that the very order of nature itself makes the goal of redemption unattainable; Augustine stresses the importance of the intellect part of the soul and man's will in obtaining redemption. St. Augustine's view of the relationship between the physical body and the intellectual soul places primary focus on the independence rather than the interdependence of the two. He argues that God produces the intellectual soul prior to its entrance into the human body; thus intellectual souls have an absolute nature unrelated to matter, which enables humans to find redemption through the soul despite past sins. He offers many reasons for his argument. The image of God is implanted in man's intellectual soul, which is created before the body. Augustine states that the soul is the "higher part of man" (D'Arcy,230), and the source of all movements, including sense perceptions (Leary,52). He sees this "higher part" as the life of the body; God is the life of this soul, and truth is God. It stands to reason, therefore, that the intellectual soul is bestowed its strength from truth. Because truth resides in the intellect part of the soul, the desire of this
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