Soul’s Existence.In religion and philosophy, a soul is an immaterial aspect of a human being which deliberates humanity and individuality. It is often considered equal to one’s self or mind. In theology, it is defined as part of the person which assists divinity and is in most cases believed to live beyond death. According to Plato, the soul has three parts, which are the spirited, rational and appetitive. Thomas Aquinas was brought up in a world where humans believed in magic and the power of enchantment. The following essay seeks to explain what Plato and Thomas Aquinas thought about the soul.
The three parts of the soul that Plato states exist are equal to the ranks of a judicially correct community. Individual justice focuses on maintaining the three areas of balance. This is where reason is the ruler and appetite obeys the rules. Plato argues that the appetitive part the one that makes an individual have desires in life. It is what leads to cravings that a person gets to stay alive, such as thirst and hunger (Broadie, 2011, June). It is also responsible for pointless needs such as the desire to eat even when one is full. One’s passion for essential things is supposed to be limited by other parts of the soul. Nonetheless, pointless desires should be defined by other components of the same soul. The rational part of the soul is the one tasked with thinking and deciding what is visible and what is factual. This part of the soul judges what is right or false and makes wise decisions. On the other hand, the active part of the soul deals with desires associated with honor and victory (Broadie, 2011, June). In a just soul, a spirit implements the rational soul which makes sure that rules are followed. Emotions such as anger and indignation are brought about as a result of the sense being disappointed.
According to Plato, every community is based on three areas, the producers, guardians, and soldiers, and each of them has specific functions. A community is only just when each element undertakes their role the best way they can to have perfect results. The same parts are seen in the state. Some might agree with Plato and argue that if the community’s good worth were not in an individual, it would be difficult for the community to be v. It is clear that a community is a group of individuals who have formed laws that help them live together, and, therefore, every person should play a significant role which benefits the community. When an individual is contributing to the community, all his aspects are visible to the same community, and so the soul has three elements (Broadie, 2011, June). Furthermore, Plato explains that there is no way that the soul has one element as there are at least two elements; one which prevents a person from doing certain things, and the other which drives a person to do stuff. The two parts do not act differently, and it is evident that there is more than one force that drives the soul to do something. One can argue that a particular action cannot move and be still at the same time, and so there must be another force that drives another action. Also, it is logical that one thing cannot be itself while also being the reverse of it.
A philosopher by the name of Charles Taylor stated that our ancestors lived in a world where magic was real. The barrier between an individual and the rest of nature was, in a way, porous and humans were classified under a vast cosmos of unseen and seen things. This helps in understanding why and how Thomas Aquinas believed in demons and angels as beings that brought a philosophical reflection the way other creatures did. However, modern rationalism got rid of such ideas, ending nature’s hidden forces and overcoming the power of imagination (Lambert, 2013). Nonetheless, Aquinas and his colleagues are the ones for this transformation which was later to be known as western knowledge, by joining theology and philosophy. One may think that Aquinas was shocked to realize that the framework of reason would not rest on faith. However, he played an essential role in erecting the structure, no wonder why people still view him as one of the individuals responsible for modernity. His understanding of the soul was not the same as the modern concept of the same issue. It was a bit closer to Freud’s idea about the soul. According to Freud, the soul tells a person that the unconscious mind is the residence of terrors (Lambert, 2013). Desires and fantasies brought about by the primordial self. The reason behind this is for the turbulent other self to bubble within the independent mind and rationale of modernity. It is evident that creatures developed by the computer such as monsters, gargoyles, demons, and angels can terrify and fascinate people. Therefore, the world in which Aquinas lived in is not that different from the world we live in if one expands what is meant by the word “mind.”
According to Aquinas, all of nature is virtuous because existence is good. He was used to saying that grace makes life perfect, meaning that the human’s desire for God makes them natural. Some theologians brought a more pessimistic view when setting grace against nature and insisted that the goodness in a person has been destroyed by sin. This led to enlightenment and scientific revolution which stated that the rational mind’s control dominated life and disconnected from theological heritage (Lambert, 2013). Aquinas argues that it is natural for reasoning to be present in human beings because it is what a creature requires when it has a choice. Other species that do not have freedom do what is fit for them based on their type of species. Like human beings, they also have souls, but the soul who occupies the human body is filled with intellect because human beings are made in the image of the Lord. The human’s ability to be intelligent helps people to imagine a different world than what it is, which leads to them weighing the choices presenting themselves by using experiences and senses.
In conclusion, I have used different scholars and expand on them to confirm the existence of the soul. Even though Thomas Aquinas and Plato had different views about the soul, they both support its existence. According to Plato, the human soul has three distinct parts. This is the same as the elements that make the community. Aquinas was born in a world where people believed in supernatural beings such as demons and angels. Nonetheless, he, together with his colleagues, was responsible for the transformation which saw the beginning of modernity. As such he argues that the soul is filled with terrors, desires, and fantasies.
Broadie, S. (2011, June). XIV—Soul and Body in Plato and Descartes. In Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (Vol. 101, No. 1, pp. 295-308). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Lambert, R. T. (2013). Habitual knowledge of the soul in Thomas Aquinas. The Modern Schoolman, 60(1), 1-19.
Quinton, A. (2014). The soul. The Journal of Philosophy, 59(15), 393-409.Soul’s Existence