Plato And Plato: The Subject Of The Soul

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Numerous philosophers, including Plato and Aristotle, widely and differently interpret the subject of the soul. On one hand, Plato is a dualist who believes that the soul and the body exist separately. He states that the soul is external and considers the body its prison. The body is immaterial and is concerned with physical things while the soul is immortal and divine. Plato views the soul as the most important thing in life, and he explains his reasons in the texts Meno and Phaedo. His arguments that favor the immortal nature of the psyche include the argument of recollection, the argument of affinity, and the theory of the opposites. He further talks about the perfect “forms” and knowledge of them, which is essential given that the soul…show more content…
He states that every person has a body and a mind, and that the soul is stuck in the body until death. In Phaedo, Plato defines death as the time when the soul and the body separate. He believes that human beings are in the hands of the gods who are our guardians, and we are their possessions. He is convinced that the soul goes to the gods after it is separated from the body and will be together with the departed souls of people who are more knowledgeable than the ones presently living on the earth. He explains that death is nothing more than the separation of soul and body. He says that people should not fear death because it is the time when the soul finally escapes its prison, the body. So in order to prepare for death, one should please the soul by trying to attain knowledge, which is acquired only through reason. The body and its senses are a distraction to the soul. A true philosopher ought not to care for pleasures of the body like eating or drinking but only to meet nature’s needs. His primary concern is the soul, and the body can be rid insofar as it interferes with the soul’s welfare (Ahrensdorf…show more content…
This theory claims that the world is in a constant state of flux. Everything is constantly changing to its opposite between day and night and vice versa. Life changes to death and vice versa. Substances that have an opposite are generated out of their opposites (Holbo and Waring 23). According to him, this is a principle that holds true universally. Life is the opposite of death while sleep is the opposite of waking. Sleep is generated from waking the same way that death is generated from life and life from death. Since the soul is a living thing, it is alive so it must be generated from death. Therefore, the souls of the dead must be in some place out of which they come again. He reckons that if all living things were to die and remain in their dead form and never come back to life again, at last all would die, and nothing will be alive (Holbo and Waring 23). Moreover, Plato states that forms cannot have their opposites. For instance, something that is Hot cannot be Cold at the same time. Hot snow cannot exist because once the snow is changed from being Cold to Hot, it will melt and its property will be destroyed in the real world. Similarly, the soul is associated with Life, which is the opposite of Death. Something cannot be alive and dead at the
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