The Soul and Ethics

Topics: Soul, Ethics, Virtue Pages: 4 (1374 words) Published: December 10, 2012
The Soul And Ethics
The philosophies of Plato and Aristotle differ on many issues. The most important thing is the examination of their differing views on ethical theory, and how the soul is connected. We could find many conflictions between the ethical theories of Plato and Aristotle. But, the most important points are their differing views on the human souls function and its role in ethics. Each philosophy contradicts eachother and provides a variety of arguments to which we will explore. The two philosophers Plato and Aristotle both had theories concerning the body and soul. Plato was a dualist, believing the body and soul where two separate parts to a person. Aristotle did not. Plato believed that the soul was the single most important part of a person and he believed in the importance of moral concepts, ideas and the afterlife. Aristotle however, was more interested in the physical world and the forces adopted within this. He was interested in observation and his theories unlike Plato's were based on the functions of physical things and how well they perform. Plato believed the body and soul were seperate. The soul he concluded is immaterial and belonging to the "world of the forms" as part of the "form of the good". He believed that the soul was implanted within a human longing to return back to the "forms". The soul , in Plato’s view, is immortal and unchanging and the only link between a person and full understanding is knowledge. The second part of a person is the body, which Plato says is the physical part enabling us to perform actions such as talking or touching. Forming the outer appearance the body uses senses to make opinions about the physical world in which it belongs. However in Plato's opinion it could not reach the "world of the forms" in any way. The body is constantly changing and therefore not truly real.

Plato believed that a healthy and virtuous soul is one that functions harmoniously. He thought of the soul as being divided into...
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