Soul Mind and Body (Key terms (Soul (Often, but not always, understood to…
Soul Mind and Body
Often, but not always, understood to be the non-physical essence of a person
Awareness or perception
A subject which has different properties attributed to it
The belief that reality can be divided into two distinct parts, such as good and evil, or physical and non-physical
The belief that the mind and the body both exist as two distinct separate realities
A questioning approach which does not take assumptions for granted
The belief that only okay so matter exists, and that the mind can be explained in physical terms as chemical activity in the brain
Otherwise known as identity theory- the view that mental events are identical with physical occurrences in the brain
A problem of language that arises when things are talked about as if they belong to one category when in fact they belong to another
The philosophical language of soul, mind and body
The soul is mainly describe the ‘self’, to refer to the subject of mental states and of spiritual experience.
Philosophers often refer to the ‘self’ rather than the ‘soul’, as the soul has religious connotations which the philosopher might not want to include in the dicussion
Plato: the soul and the body were two separate entities. The body is temporary, the soul is essential aspect.
Plato was convinced that people have eternal souls which connect them to the world of the Forms
Used the metaphor of a chariot being pulled by two horses. The 2 horses are appetite and emotion, basic needs which pull us along and motivate us; they are controlled by the charioteer reason, who holds the reins and makes sure that the appetite and the emotion work together in a rational direction
Plato thought that the soul was distinct from the body, a dualist view
Aristotle on the soul
View was that the soul was a 'substance', which was a term he used in his own way to mean the 'essence' or 'real thing'.
He considered it not to be just some kind of invisible part of the person, but include the matter and structure of the body along with its functions and capabilities - its 'form', using the word 'form' in the sense that he uses it when talking about a 'formal' cause.
'the soul is in some sense the principle of animal life'
Different types of soul plants have 'vegetative', animals have 'perceptive' and humans have a higher degree of soul because they have the ability to reason, and they can tell from right and wrong.
His thinking about the soul is linked with his ideas about causality: the soul is that which gives the matter its form, efficiency and it's final purpose.
"'Suppose that a tool, e.g., an axe, were a natural body, then being an axe would be its essence, and so its psyche [soul]; if this disappeared from it, it would have ceased to be an axe, except in the name...'"
Aristotle believed that the soul was inseparable from the body, and that the soul was that which gives the body its 'essence'.
In the history of philosophy, there have been thinkers who have argued that the mind and the body are very distinct, separate things.
Plato and Descartes are particularly renowned for this view, and it is an idea which has been very influential on Christian thought.
However, others such as Ryle and Dawkins have argued that there is nothing ‘extra’ beyond the point the physical, and that there is no need to imagine some kind of ‘ghost in the machine’ in order to understand what it is to be human.