soul and body theories

Topics: Soul, Socrates, Mind Pages: 4 (778 words) Published: April 27, 2014
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Soul and Body Theory Many of the ancient theories composed by early Greek philosophers were based on rationalism and empiricism. Empiricism refers to acquiring knowledge through experimental insight while on the other hand rationalism is acquiring of knowledge through ones practical understanding. Socrates work is studied in depths up to date, example being “Republic of Plato” whose author was Plato. Socrates was one of the world’s most influential philosopher. From the magnitude of his work, Socrates was considered to be ahead of his time. He came up with elegant theories that brought light to some of the puzzling aspects of life and death. One of his major theories is the body and soul theory. According to Socrates there exists a metaphysical difference between the soul and the body. The body is made up of tangible material, while the soul is immaterial. Socrates believed that a person is defined by their soul rather than their materialistic body. The soul controls the body just as a captain governs their ship. But just as a captain can live while away from the ship, so is the soul from the body. Socrates believed that a true philosopher should separate themselves as much as possible from their bodily pleasures such as food, sex and fancy clothes. In this theory he suggested that a person is wiser when their reasoning is not connected to bodily needs. If a soul is corrupted by the materialness of the body, it loses its true reason and function. He further says that true philosophers should focus on freeing their soul from their body as much as possible (Phaedo, 2000). A human soul existed long before we were born, it is deathless, intelligible, divine and remain the same at all times. On the other hand he describes the body as soluble, unintelligible, mortal and never consistently the same. Socrates obviously held the soul in a higher regard as compared to the body. He...

Cited: Plato. Phaedo. Translated by G.M.A. Grube Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co. (2000) print.
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