Soul, Mind and Body

Which approach did Plato take on the soul/body?
Dualist approach
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How did Plato believe we knew about the world?
Through our time spent in the Forms.
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What was the aim of the soul?
To return to the world of ideas.
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How long does the soul exist?
It exists prior to birth and after death.
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What four criteria argue for the existence of a soul? (Plato)
Linguistic, Knowledge, Recollection, Cycle of Opposites.
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What is Plato's Linguistic approach?
Word such as ''I'' and ''me'' imply there is a body separate from mind.
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What is Plato's Knowledge approach?
Knowledge of the universals e.g Beauty/Truth, are unchangeable. Our minds do not change on the universals.
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What is Plato's Recollection approach?
We do not experience things e.g the Universals. We recall them from somewhere else (the Forms).
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What is Plato's Cycle of Opposites approach?
We know things by their opposites. Life is the opposite of death, meaning there is an endless recycling of souls.
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What are the strengths of Plato's approach?
Magee - ''the theory that there is another world gives our world more meaning''. Stephen Evans - ''Plato offers a rational argument for the existence of another reality''.
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What are the criticisms of Plato's approach?
We all have different ideas of Good despite Good being a universal which is not affected by flux. Brian Davis - not everything has an opposite, Linguistic argument only says I am a thing distinct from my body.
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What did Aristotle call the body?
'Psyche' - the word the Greeks gave to the animator, the living force in a living being.
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What did Aristotle believe were the powers of psyche?
Nutrition, reproduction, movement and perception.
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What did Aristotle refer to reason as?
''Nous'' - the highest form of rationality. Aristotle believed that the Prime Mover was a cosmic ''nous''.
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What are Aristotle's three types of soul?
Plant, Animal and Human.
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What is Aristotle's Plant soul?
A vegetative soul with powers of nutrition, growth - attributes of a plant.
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What is Aristotle's Animal soul?
An appetitive soul with the capacity for desires and feelings.
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What is Aristotle's Human soul?
A soul with the power of reason. Gives people the ability to develop intellect and ethical characters.
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What Plato believe empirical knowledge was?
Purely opinion, unreliable and useless since the world is in a constant state of flux.
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Why can't true knowledge come from our senses?
Because the senses can be mistaken and therefore not to be trusted.
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Since the soul is from the World of Ideals, Plato believed the soul must be...
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What did Aristotle believe the soul was in essence?
The soul was what made the body work and that all forms of life have a soul.
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What is Descartes' belief known as?
Substance dualism/Cartesian dualism.
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What did he say about mind and body?
''There is a great difference between mind and body.
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What could Descartes not cast doubt on the existence upon?
His mind (but he could on his body)
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Which famous statement supports this thinking?
''I think therefore I am" - Cogito ergo sum.
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How did Descartes conclude his senses were deceiving him?
He saw a sheep and it turned out to be a hedge which made him wonder whether life is a dream or the trick of an evil demon?
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What did Descartes say we could do to the body but not the mind?
Take things away from it
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How did he illustrate this?
If I chopped off my leg, a part of my body would be missing, but my mind would still be whole. We don't lose any knowledge.
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The fact that he could doubt one but not the other told him...?
He must be made of two different kinds of ''stuff''.
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What is the general view of substance dualism?
The world is made of both physical stuff and mental stuff. Minds are a separate non-physical substance that cannot be reduced to, or explained in terms of physical matter like brains.
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What is God according to this view?
Non-physical matter - all mind.
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Mental states have the ability to...
Act upon physical states.
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What is this interaction called?
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Where did Descartes' believe that the mind and body interacted?
The pineal gland.
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What is the issue with interactionism?
How can a physical substance have an effect on a non-material mental substance.
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What are some criticisms of substance dualism?
Brian Davis argues that Descartes' argument is invalid. Modern science has shown links between the mind and the brain so how can one exist on its own? The pineal gland has been found in monkeys.
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What did Darwin argue?
All life is made up of DNA and on the genes that DNA contains - not the mind/body. We are just ''meat machines''
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Why do many support his view?
There is science to support it.
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What is the view of materialism?
There is no soul - there is only a body. There is only one substance/material. There is nothing after death because the mind dies with the physical body.
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What does Dawkins conclude about our existence?
We exist purely to pass on our genes through DNA replication. Our minds are just ''computers made out of meat''.
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What does life amount to according to Dawkins?
Bytes of digital information.
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What does Dawkins argue that feelings such as love are?
Memes - social constructs that are passed down from one generation to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.
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What DID Dawkins believe in?
A type of ''soul 2" - the idea that humans are able to live on through their work and ideas.
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What are some criticisms of Dawkins' biological materialism?
Dawkins ignores emotions too much. According to his theory emotions are a mistake since they only get in the way. Keith Ward called Dawkins too ''naive'' in his theory. Soft materialists argue that there is a life after death.
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What is a mysterian?
Someone who thinks the problem of consciousness cannot be solved by humans.
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Who is a famous mysterian?
Colin McGinn.
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What did Colin McGinn specifically argue?
Humans can no more understand human consciousness than monkeys can understand nuclear physics.
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Who criticises this view?
Thomas Nagel - says that we will one day know the answers to human consciousness.
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What does B.F Skinner say mental states are?
Merely learned behaviour e.g Pavlov's Dog.
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What did Gilbert Ryle describe the dualist theory as?
A ''category error''.
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What is the example that Ryle uses to illustrate this?
A foreigner being shown a cricket match. After being pointed out the batsmen, bowlers and fielders, the foreigner asks ''who is left to contribute to the famous element of team spirit?"
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What does the foreigner believer?
That team spirit is an entity in itself.
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What is team spirit used to describe?
The actions of the players as they interact.
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What is team spirit meant to be a metaphor for?
Mind is behaviour like the team spirit, or disposition to behave.
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What did Nicholas Malebranche argue for?
Occasionalism - where God occasions that the mind should act upon the body.
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What did Spinoza believe?
Spinoza was a property dualist. There were two separate properties to everything - mental and physical.
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What is the theory of parallelism?
The idea that there are two separate substances - mind and body, but they do not interact, only work alongside each other.
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What did Thomas Huxley argue?
Mind is a ''residue'' of body. Mental states are like smoke from a fire.
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What do Smart and Place argue for?
Identity theory, Mental State A is no more than Brain State B.
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What does Wittgenstein contribute to the mind/body problem?
The mind/body problem is an illusion (like his duck/rabbit illusion)
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


How did Plato believe we knew about the world?


Through our time spent in the Forms.

Card 3


What was the aim of the soul?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


How long does the soul exist?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What four criteria argue for the existence of a soul? (Plato)


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