Soul, mind and body


Plato's ideas about the soul, mind and body

  • He's a dualist -they're two separate entities
  • Soul has the capacity to leave the physical body and move on after death, returning to the world of forms
  • Life & death come from each other in an endless chain where souls are reborn
  • Tripartite view of the soul - made of 3 parts - reason, appetite and emotion (example = 2 horses pulling a chariot, reason = charioteer, guiding and directing the horses of = appetite and emotion = to stop them running off wildly)
  • In Meno, an uneducated person (slave boy) can still work out the answers to logic problems as their souls must have encountered ideas before birth in the world of forms 
  • In the Myth of Er, Plato describes the immortality and rebirth of souls

Aristotle's ideas about the soul, mind and body

  • Disagreed with Plato
  • Thought the soul was a substance meaning 'essence' or 'real thing'
  • Souls give a living thing its essence and the capabilities of living things constitute their souls - not distinct from body
  • This soul gives bodily matter its form, efficiency and telos
  • Analogy of the stamp - shape made when soft wax is pressed with a stamp, the shape is inseparable from the wax, as the soul is inseparable from the body

Substance dualism

  • Mind & body = two separate things
  • Body = material and has properties of extension (space and measurements) & mind/soul = immaterial and has…


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