Thursday, November 3, 2016

Plato's Idea of an Immortal Soul in a Nutshell by Wm A Hammond 1904

Plato's Idea of an Immortal Soul in a Nutshell by Wm A Hammond 1904

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Platonic Psychology.— In the Platonic dualism of ideal and phenomenal, the individual soul occupies a mediate position, that is, it is so constituted as to be related to the ideas on the one hand and to the sensible world on the other. By reason the soul apprehends and is cognate with the first; by sensation it apprehends and is cognate with the second. Reason is the function of the immaterial soul, while sensation is bound up with the material body, in which the soul lives as in a prison. The soul is older than the body and existed prior to its union with the body. The doctrine of préexistence is joined to the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. The three so-called parts or faculties of the soul are reason (NOUS), the spirited element (QUMSEIDES, thymseides), and the appetitive element (EPIQUMHTIKON). The seat and organ of the first is the head (the Acropolis of the body, 'Tim.' 79 A); of the second the thorax, particularly the heart; of the third, the organs below the diaphragm. According to the 'Phaedrus' these three parts form a unitary soul and are immortal; according to the 'Timaeus' they are separable and only the reason is immortal, while the inferior parts perish with the body. The Platonic arguments for the immortality of the soul are (see 'Phaedrus,' <Phaedo,> 'Republic'):

1. The soul is a self-moving principle; its motion, consequently its life, is therefore perpetual.

2. The peculiar disease or evil of the soul is vice; if the disease peculiar to a thing does not destroy it, it is indestructible. Vice does not destroy (it corrupts) the soul, therefore it is indestructible.

3. The cyclical argument, namely, the cosmic law of the passage of opposites over into each other, for example, night, day; heat, cold; winter, summer; sleeping, waking; decaying seed, living plant; so death, life.

4. The doctrine of reminiscence shows the learning of mathematical and philosophical truths is only the application of ideas, principles, or axioms already in the mind, and this implies a préexistent state.

5. The soul, as an immaterial entity, is essentially related to the immaterial, invisible ideas, and these are eternal.

6. The idea of life is inseparable from the idea of soul (the Greek word YUCH/psyche means "principle of life" as well as "soul").

7. The soul is indiscerptible. That which is indiscerptible cannot be disintegrated.

8. The superior dignity and worth of the soul argue for its survival of the body.

9. The instinctive aspiration toward and longing for a future life, shows that the doctrine of immortality is founded in the soul's nature.

10. The world as a moral, just world demands a future existence for the rectification of the inequalities in this life.

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