Intro Philosophy 110-006
#1. Plato’s claim
Is the body a hindrance or not, if one takes it into partnership to share an
investigation? Plato strongly believes so. I have a different point of view.
Philosophers historically have attempted to separate the body from the soul in
order to prove that the body is too connected to desires that will thwart the pursuit
of wisdom. Philosophers feel bodily senses do not help and can even hinder the
pursuit of wisdom.
Plato, through Socrates, bases his proof on the immortality of the soul and
it being the origin of our intellect. The body and all the information acquired
though it must be discredited. Plato feels sensory information can’t be trusted.
But why does Plato feel the body can’t be trusted? Plato, like a good modern day
attorney try’s desperately to convene the jury (you, and I) that the body can’t tell
the difference between truth and desire, or wisdom and interpretation.
How can Plato make his statements about the body being a hindrance in the
investigation when he himself is making these statements from a bodily form?
Hasn’t his investigation into this statement been hindered as well because he
makes them verbally from his mouth and body? My point being is that Plato feels
that one must separate ones self from ones body is purely subjective. It is all
most hippocras because these point of views are coming from a man, not a soul.
The body is not a hindrance when one takes it into partnership to share an
investigation. The thought alone to investigate comes from the bodily
experiences that one gains in ones life that brings about the need to investigate.
When man looks to the sky and asks why am I here, how did I get here where am
I going all come from a sense, a sense from the body to gain truth, to investigate.
I do agree that the bodily senses can hinder the pursuit of wisdom in an
investigation but that is on a case-by-case scenario. If one knows this to be true
cant we have enough faith in our selves to determine when the body begins to
hinder the investigation? I have more faith in the individual to make that
determination than Plato does.
How does one investigate? How does one communicate? How does
investigation even begin without the body? So we must agree that the body
might hinder an investigation if one allows it, but an investigation can’t take place
without a bodily form.
If one can say that the soul and body are separate, what happens to the
soul when it separates from the body? Does Plato believe in reincarnation if so
why reincarnate? Shouldn’t the soul just roam the earth and presue the truth? If
so why did “god” create the human body at all? If I’m sounding sarcastic it is
because to make such a statement that the body is a hindrance without asking
why do we have a body at all is curios to me in investigating or finding truth.
These functions of the body that Plato describes as being a distraction or
hindrance are an essential part of life itself. Disregarding any of the bodily
senses one must disregard the need to investigate or find truth. Without the body
what does the philosopher investigate?
Religion has historically helped man to understand what happens when he
dies. If one is good you will go to a better place, if one is bad he may come back
as a dog so forth and so on. Plato was a frighten man who never felt truly
comfortable with death. Although he states that death should not be feared by a
true philosopher. Plato was very frightened and the only way he could feel
comfortable about death was to separate and discredit himself (body) and preach
that the soul was the only origin of intellect.
In the above analysis, I have attempted to give my argument against
Plato. In doing so I have attempted to bring to light the philosophical
considerations of Plato’s general concepts on his views of body and soul. Plato’s
statement: Is the body a hindrance or not, if one takes it into partnership to share
Is purely subjective and not provable. Moreover it is not a black and white
statement; it can only be answered if other parameters are determined prior to
Butler, Donald. Four Philosophies. New York: Harper and Row. 1951
Dillon, Matthew. Dialogues with Death. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press.
Huntington, Cairns. The Collected Works of Plato. Princeton University Press.