Plato viewed human beings as inherently rational, social souls burdened by imprisonment within their physical bodies. The soul disposition of an individual soul, fixed for eternity, determines the type of human the individual will be in life. The human body, limited and constantly responding to need, is an obstacle to the soul's full realization.Know More
Plato divides the human being into two component parts: the body and the soul. The body is seen as the temporary constraint upon the soul, reducing the full scope of its understanding to that which can be perceived through a narrow mortal lens. He sees death is the triumph of human nature, the soul’s liberation from such limiting circumstances. The soul component of a human being is, therefore, as immortal and unchanging as the Ideas.
Plato further distinguishes among three aspects of the human soul: reason, spirit and the appetites. Reason, which Plato believes should ideally dominate over the other aspects, is responsible for the earnest search for knowledge and understanding. From spirit, a human derives the ambition for symbolic accomplishments, including honor and social status. From the appetites come those drives that are material to the human body, including all yearnings for food, drink, shelter, sex and survival. The cumulative effect of the spirit and the appetites make humans social beings, as only social cooperation allows mankind to meet all of its physical and symbolic needs while specializing its occupations to the propensities of individual souls.Learn more about Philosophy
Plato is celebrated as one of the most significant early Greek philosophers. His theories of form, ethics and politics, in particular, have proven enormously influential in both Western and Islamic traditions. Some, such as Alfred North Whitehead, have even considered all subsequent Western thought as simply a "footnote" to Plato.Full Answer >
The primary difference between Plato and Aristotle lies in their beliefs about what was most authentic about existence. Plato believed that ultimate reality is not present in everyday experiences. Aristotle thought that the everyday world is more authentic than Plato's otherworldly set of ideals.Full Answer >
Plato believed that the world we see around us is only a shadow of reality, which he referred to as the world of the forms. From this belief, he developed the Parable of the Cave, the philosophical theory for which he is best known, according to a website hosted by St. Anselm College.Full Answer >
Plato contends that the good life is lived by fulfilling the natural function that all things possess. Plato believed that any object, animal or man has a natural function. Discovering that function is the first step in living the good life, and it is followed by acting on that function.Full Answer >