Body, Mind and Soul

Hannah Wilson
Mind Map by Hannah Wilson, updated more than 1 year ago
Hannah Wilson
Created by Hannah Wilson over 4 years ago
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Philosophy Mind Map on Body, Mind and Soul, created by Hannah Wilson on 01/04/2017.

Resource summary

Body, Mind and Soul
  1. Key Terms
    1. Dualism
      1. The idea that there are two aspects to human beings, the physical and the mental. The mental may be identified with the soul.
      2. Materialism
        1. The idea that human beings are made up of one substance, the word is often used synonymously with materialism.
        2. Monism
          1. The idea that human beings consist of physical matter alone.
        3. Plato's beliefs
          1. Plato was a dualist. He believed that the body would not survive death but the soul, the real essence of the person would continue – and for Plato this is our PERSONAL IDENTITY, which forms the ‘I’.
            1. A human is a ‘soul imprisoned in a body’
              1. The body is subject to change – so not reliable guide to truth
                1. Real knowledge (of the forms) comes from the soul
                  1. The soul is immortal whereas the body is mortal. - At the end of life the soul will be set free.
                    1. The body is a distraction to the soul.
                      1. The goal of the soul is the world of the Forms.
                      2. Chariot analogy
                        1. Charioteer = reason Black horse = desire White horse = emotion
                          1. Reason = searches for truth and rules the soul
                            1. Emotion = aggressiveness, being honourable and emotions
                              1. Desire = seeking pleasure e.g. for what is necessary and what is unnecessary
                            2. Argument from knowledge
                              1. The soul has knowledge of eternal ideas and is able to recognise forms such as beauty.
                                1. Plato uses the example of Socrates questioning a slave boy about geometrical problems he had never faced before.
                                  1. The slave’s answers demonstrate an awareness of Pythagoras’ theorem, which demonstrates that the soul has knowledge from its prior existence. Learning is therefore remembering.
                                  2. Argument from opposites
                                    1. The body and soul are opposites. One makes the other necessary just as the concept of light logically makes us aware of the idea of darkness.
                                      1. Life and death are two opposite things. Plato argues that death is a thing (rather than nothingness) and this leads him to suggest that death is an event, the soul leaving the body.
                                      2. Weaknesses of beliefs
                                        1. Peter Geach – rejects Plato’s ideas. What can it mean for the disembodied soul to see the Forms? Seeing is an experience of the senses.
                                          1. Is learning really remembering? Is it not new knowledge? Does the argument from opposites really demonstrate the existence of the soul?
                                            1. Plato’s argument about the soul rests on theory of Forms, but the theory of Forms is debatable.
                                          2. Aristotle's beliefs
                                            1. In his writings the soul is a translation of the Greek word psyche So the soul is conceived as whatever is the cause of something alive. Soul was seen as ‘life giving force of the body’
                                              1. The meaning did not correspond with the idea that the soul is the centre of a person’s identity that survives after death
                                                1. Substance
                                                  1. For Aristotle the soul was a ‘substance’ which meant ‘essence’ or ‘real thing
                                                    1. If the physical body is in a state of change the ‘substance’ must remain the same in terms of continuing identity.
                                                      1. This was called the soul The soul gives something its telos - purpose
                                                      2. Analogy
                                                        1. Aristotle used the analogy of a wax with a stamp in it to illustrate his idea that the soul could not be separated from the body
                                                          1. The soul was not a distinct and self-contained thing – the ‘soul’ of something could be seen in its function/purpose
                                                            1. Aristotle used these examples: Axe – axe and chopping Eye – eye and vision
                                                            2. The soul cannot be separate from the body – for example without the physical material (eye, axe) there would be no vision or chopping.
                                                            3. The soul is the Form of the body
                                                              1. The soul gives shape to the matter which is the body
                                                                1. The soul is the principle of life or activity of the body
                                                                  1. The soul is merely a description of the essence or properties of the body – personality and abilities
                                                                    1. The body is not just a prison for the soul (Plato)
                                                                    2. Life after death
                                                                      1. The soul is perishable as it is inseparable from the body – so it does not live on – our personality or identity does not live on
                                                                        1. However – Aristotle believed that our reason/intellect could be immortal – therefore there is some form of intellectual post-mortem existence
                                                                        2. Evaluation
                                                                          1. Emphasis on senses – but can we trust our senses Religious people argue we know the world through faith and revelation
                                                                            1. Does the universe have a purpose/final cause? Many argue there is no purpose
                                                                              1. Separation of reason from soul is confusing – thought continuing is not personal identity
                                                                                1. Aristotle’s ideas influenced Christianity – resurrection (soul not distinct from body, united together)
                                                                              2. Descartes
                                                                                1. He was a rationalist – true knowledge can only be gained through the use of reason and rational thought. Rational thought led Descartes to consider that the soul is separate from the body
                                                                                  1. ‘I think, therefore I am.’
                                                                                    1. He doubted that everything else existed including the physical body, the fact that he was performing mental activity meant that his mind existed.
                                                                                      1. Mind
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