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  • Created on: 12-09-18 19:03
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  • Mind Body and Soul
    • Substance Dualism - (material) Body and (immaterial) soul are separate. SD is the belief that the soul is not just distinct from the body but actually completely controls it.
      • Plato argued that the soul is an essential part of that makes us human. Also argued that the soul is an immaterial substance which is temporarily united with the body during our life time. Though the soul originally came from the realm of forms.
        • Argument from Opposites - an argument used by plato to show the soul exists. The physical world is made up of opposites and without an opposite things cant exist e.g. big things cannot exist without small things. Therefore if there is such a thing as life then there must be such a thing as death. For death to be a 'thing' rather than 'nothing, the Soul must exist so we can meaningfully talk of 'life' and 'death' as opposites.
        • Argument from knowledge: Plato used this to show the soul is disembodied. Suggested we have knowledge and understanding of concepts that our bodies have never experienced e.g. understand what equality is. Argues that the only way we have this knowledge is if our Soul saw it in the realm of forms and brought it into our bodies later and said this knowledge shows that the soul is separate from our body
          • Weakness - Geach critcised this argument and argued that the soul could not be disembodied because it would need a body in order to bring information back from the realm of forms.
        • Like Descartes, Plato attempts to prove the soul a prior through reasoning alone and demonstrates that empirical evidence cannot be trusted through his cave analogy
      • Aristotle argued that the soul gives our physical body the characteristics that it displays while its alive (i.e. the soul is the form of the body). In this sense, the soul is like the air inside a balloon which makes it a balloon rather than a piece of rubber. Belives the soul is inseparable from the body and couldnt survive without it
        • His ideas of the soul developed from his theory of the four causes which states that everything is 'actualised' through the process of four causes; material (made of) / efficient (how its made) / formal (characteristics) and final (why it is made)
        • weaknesses - if you dont support the four causes the whole argument is undermined. No empirical evidence for the four causes and final cause can be disputed for many things. Some animals have shown ability to reason e.g. ape using stick to measure river before crossing it
        • Strength - not completely separated the soul from the body but instead ephasises the union of the two - makes his idea more applicable as it is agreeable to a degree with non-materialistic monism and dualism. Observable in the world unlike Plato's.
        • Believes there are three parts of the soul; vegetative - provides life / appetitive ; emotions and desires / intellectual which is the rational and directive
      • Descartes - used method to see what knowledge he could be certain of. He first doubtd all he knew and built his knowledge from there 'i think therefore i am'. Three waves of doubt; Wave 1 - senses and illusions / wave 2 - dreaming / wave 3 - evil demon. Can only be certain of his mind if you follow the 3 waves. A priori takes precedent over material meaning
        • Weaknesses
        • Strengths
      • Aquinas states 'the soul is not a body but the act of a body; ust as heat is not a body but the act of a body'. He supports Aristotle's view that there exists both a soul and a body but they are connected, inseperable parts which cannot exist without the other. To be human is therefore to have both body and soul; both physical and mental.
        • Also believes that the soul is what makes something living and is therefore a crucial part of not just humans, but all animals and plants.
        • 'it is clear that man is not a soul only but something composed of a soul and body
      • Ryle said substance dualism and Descartes made human beings sound like 'ghosts trapped in machines'. believes idealism and materialism are both answers to an improper question. Argued that it was a Category error to label our thoughts as purely mental and instead suggested that our thoughts are both mental and physical e.g. hunger
      • Criticism - Geach says 'it is a savage supersititon to suppose that a man consists of two pieces'; body and soul which come apart at death ... a man is an animal and an animal with one'
    • Monism; the belief that the Body and the Mind/Soul are one inseparable thing that one cannot survive without the other
      • Materialism - Dawkins; the belief that everything in the world is made up entirely of matter i.e. atoms; doesnt believe there can be such a thing as an immaterial 'soul'
        • only physical matter exists. not a complete reductionist. makes distinctions between two types of soul; 1. dualist idea of a separate soul; rejected as a primitive superstition 2. intellectual / spiritual power which has developed moral faculties e.g. conscious feeling and imagination. this soul may exist and science cannot explain it.
      • Hick believes we are clearly physical which is empircially proved but not just physical. 'my soul is not me' - we are material beings but doesnt mean we are only material - no mind without matter
      • Anscombe criticised Materialism for being too Reductionist in its explanation of how the body works. Said our actions are not purely physical but are instea a complicated combination of the mental and physical. Used the example of pointing; we need all Body, mind and soul to point.
      • Strengths -
      • Weaknesses
      • Behaviourism (Skinner) is a theory used to back up Materialist views of the soul. Believs that all mental states are learned behaviour of bodies. ' what is felt or introspectively observed is not some non physical world of conciousness, mind or mental life but the observes own body'
        • Dennet accuss Materialism of being 'reductionist' - the idea that is it bad to reduce all human activity down to an interaction of atoms. Dennett argued that surely we are more than just atoms reacting with and to other atoms e.g. things we take pleasure in doing like reading do not seem to be our atoms' natural reactions
          • Dennett says 'human beings would be little or no better than pigeons or wasps'
    • The soul is the 'true' essence or identity of a human being - contains our thoughts emotions / mental characteristics
      • The Body - physical parts of a human


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