Flashcards in VIEWS CONCERNING THE SOUL Deck (13):

What are the 2 main categories concerning belief in the soul?

1. A materialistic point of view: by which the person does not believe that our characteristics are anymore than physical, nothing continues after death. There is no part of our identity that is completely separate to the body.

2. A dualistic point of view: by which the person believes there are two different parts that make up a human being. The body and the soul (which individuates a person).


What are the 2 types of materialism?

1. Hard Materialism: A hard materialist believes that our characteristics are no more than physical, and that consciousness can be explained by the workings of the brain and evolution. Our brain determines our personality.

2. Soft Materialism: A soft materialist would accept that there is more to us than just our physical body and appearance i.e. they believe consciousness is more than just a brain process and not everything can be explained by the mechanisms of the brain.


What are the 2 types of dualism?

1. Substance dualism: the idea that there are 2 completely different substances. Body and soul are 2 completely different. One is physical, while the other is non-corporeal. Descartes very much believed that they are different qualities of things.

2. Property dualism: the substance may be the same but they have different features/properties. So the whole body is material but the "brain" has might have different physical properties but also has mental properties. Although the physical substance is the same, the physical can be described in terms of how it looks, feels etc. But the mental is described through feelings and effects.


What were Plato's beliefs about the nature of the soul (specifically in relation to the world of the forms)?

- Substance dualist.

Believed in 2 realities- "the world of the forms" and "the world of the objects". The physical realm is the world of the objects and all things in this world are reflections of the true immortal reality.

The human soul is unlike the physical world- it contains abstract ideas and beliefs - belongs to the world of the forms.

The soul remembers- this is how we gain knowledge.

The soul is the rational part of the human mind and continues into the next life.



Belongs to the world of the forms.

The true identity of a person.

Was in the world of the forms before our bodies.

Soul remembers.


What were Plato's views on the relationship between body and soul?

The soul is imprisoned in our body.

The soul survives beyond the death of the body.

Soul connects the mind and body as they both crave different things- CHARIOTEER.

2 separate substances.

Soul pre-existed.

Transmigration of the soul.


Give Aristotle's views on the soul.

Soft Materialist/ Property Dualist.

Soul cannot exist without the body.

Human souls are intellectual as opposed to the sensory souls of animals.

"Suppose the eye was an animal- sight would have been it's soul".

Hierarchy of souls.

Gives the body form.


What are Aquinas' beliefs about the soul?

Following Aristotle- gives the body form.

He called it "ANIMA" because it animates the body.

Believed in an invisible and immortal soul which does not change and can survive death- as he said that only those things that are divisible can decay and change.


What are Descartes' beliefs about the soul?

"I think therefore I am"

Humans are defined by their ability to think. Self consciousness makes humans unique from animals.

The mind/soul is eternal, unchangeable and immortal and in effect our entire essence to think.

The mind and body interact- via the PINEAL GLAND, both cause events to occur within each other.


Give Judaeo-Christian beliefs about the soul.

The soul was created by God and is distinct from the body.

"The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living creature"- the soul is the breath of life added after the physical body which animated the body.

Unity of mind (psyche) body (soma) and soul.

Soul is the "spark" which give the body life.


What was Gilbert Ryle's view on the soul?

"There is no ghost in the machine"

Believing that the soul exists separately from the body is like believing that "team spirit" exists separate from the players involved.

"Soul" of a person is nothing more than their personal qualities and beliefs.

Mental processes are merely intelligent acts.

A CATAGORY MISTAKE- occurs when people talk about the body and soul as different phenomena.

Not identifiably extra.


What are Dawkins' views on the idea of a soul?


The soul is a myth based on faith.

The concept of the soul implies a creator and has been created by those who cannot accept the injustices of life.

Evolution through natural selection explains the existence of life without the need of referral to God.

The qualities of consciousness are reducible to bodily processes- however this does not devalue life.

No empirical evidence to support it.


What do Hindu's believe about the soul?

The eternal soul that continues is not fixed. Instead it is on an eternal journey of continual change - an individual soul is likely to have existed many lives previously and an afterlife is the continuation of this cycle of reincarnation, rebirth called the wheel of samsara.

The soul is referred to as Atman, it is eternal, incarnated into a life and is reborn into a new life following the death of the original life form.

No personal attributes are carried on but the essence of life.

Each Atman represent a spark of Brahman.


What do Buddhists believe about the soul?

Buddhists believe that the idea of a continuous soul or self is a myth. The Buddha claimed that the self is an illusion and created by the attachment to worldly possessions and desires of the mind.