Aristotle View on the Soul Is Stronger Than Platos

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  • Topic: Soul, Mind, Psyche
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  • Published : December 3, 2012
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Aristotle’s view on the soul

Aristotle was pre-eminent both as a scientist and Ancient Greek Philosopher. The radical chance of view on the nature of the soul, and more particularly on the relation of the soul to the body, which Aristotle now underwent, arises naturally from his research into plant and animal life. Indeed, fro Aristotle, life, or the residence of the soul within the body, had been equated with a sickness of the soul, a sickness for which death was the only cure.

In a predictably teleological manner, Aristotle approaches the psyche in terms of its capacities. The soul is what it can do, In the same way, the sense organs of the body are essentially what they can do. Aristotle uses the eye as an example; Sight is the “soul” of the eye. The soul of a human is the sum of a human’s capacities. Humans have, in common, with both plants and animals, a “nutritive” capacity. The capacities is the abilities to grow, to thrive and to carry out basic biological functions of humans, in the sense of their goals, yet something beyond biological processes, the higher purpose; The higher functions are vital to the well-being. Two inextricable links we and animals share, is the capacity for sensation and movement.

Aristotle was a materialist, this is a belief in the theory that our minds are inseparable from our bodies, whereas Plato was an advocate of dualism. According to Aristotle, the body is the matter of the person; the psyche is the form of the person, the structure and characteristics. Aristotle argued that the nature of the soul depends on the type of organism and its position in a hierarchy. Plants have a soul with the powers of nutrition, growth and reproduction as appropriate for their kind. Above this plants and animals have appetites, desires and feelings which give them the ability to move. At the summit of the hierarchy, the human psyche has the power of reason.

All the faculties of the soul are inseparable from the body with the...
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