The Soul : The Purpose Of The Soul

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The Purpose of the Soul The concept of the soul varies from person to person; this is due to the fact that every individual has diverse values and understandings regarding what the soul may be defined as. For centuries, philosophers have analyzed the topic of the soul and have questioned the true purpose of the soul, and whether there is such thing as a soul. In specific the philosophers Aristotle, Augustine and Plato look at the concept of the soul. Aristotle claims that all living organisms are made from a soul, and cannot exist without the soul. Augustine states that the soul is immortal and is crucial to the existence of the being. And Plato claims that the soul makes man (Paquette, 2002). The question “what is the soul?” can be answered in three distinct classifications. In essence, the soul can be identified as something that is interconnected with the body. It is eternal, existing both before and after death. And the soul defines the individual as a whole. Thus, examining the theories of Aristotle, Augustine and Plato this proves that the soul is essential to the existence of the individual. The soul serves as an essential component to both the body and the being. The soul is an essence, which is intertwined with the body, therefore should never be referred to as its own substance as it is always in relation to the body. The soul is the sole purpose and cause of any and all living entities. Although the body can be defined as a material object and the soul immaterial they are dependent on each other. Aristotle’s studies support this claim. He argues that, “the soul is the first actuality of a natural body that has life potentially… the soul neither exists without a body nor is a body of some sort. For it is not a body, but it belongs to a body, and for this reason, is present” (Cohen, 2008). This statement further proves that the soul and body are forever bounded. Aristotle also exemplifies an idea, which states that any entity which nourishes itself, grows, decays, and thinks, is alive. Therefore it must possess a soul. Furthermore, all living things constitute as a soul and all bodies are linked to some sort of soul. In specific Aristotle outlines three degrees of soul, nutritive soul (all
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