Aristotle On Soul

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Aristotle On Soul

  1. 1. You will be able to: <ul><li>Explain the distinction between matter and form </li></ul><ul><li>Explain what Aristotle means by the soul </li></ul>
  2. 2. Let’s recap on Plato and the soul: True or false? <ul><li>Plato identifies the soul with desire </li></ul><ul><li>Plato is a monist </li></ul><ul><li>The soul is grounded in the world of the senses </li></ul><ul><li>The soul can survive death for Plato </li></ul><ul><li>Plato believes in resurrection </li></ul>
  3. 3. Potentiality v Actuality Potentiality - this wood COULD become a rocking chair if it is turned into one Actuality - it has become a lovely bed!
  4. 4. Development of form Potentiality Actuality
  5. 5. Aristotle's philosophy was based on his key distinction between MATTER and FORM : MATTER = The raw materials (e.g. wood) FORM = Bedness
  6. 6. Aristotle's philosophy was based on his key distinction between MATTER and FORM : Matter = Fur Form = cat
  7. 7. Telos = purpose/goal The telos of the acorn is to become the oak tree- the acorn is POTENTIALLY an oak tree
  8. 8. The form of a human would be when we actualise our potential: Like the Butterfly actualising the potential of the caterpillar
  9. 9. Matter or Form? <ul><li>stick </li></ul><ul><li>Tree </li></ul><ul><li>Paper </li></ul><ul><li>The Mona Lisa </li></ul><ul><li>A corpse </li></ul><ul><li>DNA </li></ul><ul><li>Mature adult </li></ul><ul><li>Paint </li></ul><ul><li>Poo </li></ul><ul><li>West highland terrier </li></ul><ul><li>Electricity </li></ul><ul><li>Sand </li></ul><ul><li>Cement </li></ul><ul><li>Carrot </li></ul><ul><li>Microwave </li></ul><ul><li>dust </li></ul>
  10. 10. Matter or Form? <ul><li>stick M </li></ul><ul><li>Tree F </li></ul><ul><li>Paper F </li></ul><ul><li>The Mona Lisa F </li></ul><ul><li>A corpse M </li></ul><ul><li>DNA F </li></ul><ul><li>Mature adult F </li></ul><ul><li>Paint M </li></ul><ul><li>Poo M </li></ul><ul><li>West highland terrier F </li></ul><ul><li>Electricity M </li></ul><ul><li>Sand M </li></ul><ul><li>Brick F </li></ul><ul><li>Carrot F </li></ul><ul><li>Microwave F </li></ul><ul><li>Dust M </li></ul>
  11. 11. Flesh and bones are the Matter of human organs and limbs but an arm is not a mere heap of bones. It is flesh and bones organised in such a way (Form)
  12. 12. Soul = Form
  13. 13. That is why we can dismiss as unnecessary the question of whether the soul and the body are one: it as though we were to ask whether the wax and its shape are one
  14. 14. Soul is not a special ingredient which breathes life into a lifeless body; it is a certain aspect of a living organism. It forms a unified whole
  15. 15. Aristotle’s analogy <ul><li>The relationship between matter and form is far more clear with artefacts as the form is imposed by the craftsman </li></ul>
  16. 16. With living organisms: <ul><li>Matter and Form ( Soul ) are intimately bound up with each other- a human soul, for example requires a particular type of matter - studying organisms gives you an idea of what it IS to BE that thing </li></ul>
  17. 17. David Attenborough studies souls ! <ul><li>He tells us what it is to be that thing- the essence of: </li></ul><ul><li>Dolphinicity </li></ul><ul><li>Wombatness </li></ul><ul><li>Spidericity </li></ul>
  18. 18. The axe example <ul><li>Imagine an evil witch puts a spell on this poor little axe! It has lost its essence and is no longer an axe </li></ul>
  19. 19. The Human Eye <ul><li>The eye is simply matter without the power of sight. It is no longer an eye </li></ul>
  20. 20. What is the soul then? <ul><li>It is a power but there is no general definition </li></ul>
  21. 22. Humans (reasoning) Animals (sensation, eg. Pleasure) Plants (Nutrition, growth, reproduction)
  22. 23. Exercising reasoning is essentially a human actively demonstrating soul (actuality)
  23. 24. Soul <ul><li>“ Soul is the form of a natural body having life potentially in it” </li></ul><ul><li>Soul = actuality </li></ul><ul><li>Soul is the nature of living things (the inner principle of change and rest) </li></ul>
  24. 25. True or False? <ul><li>Aristotle takes a rationalist approach in observing the Universe </li></ul><ul><li>Soul is strongly connected with actuality </li></ul><ul><li>Aristotle’s theory implies that there is life after death </li></ul><ul><li>4. An embryo has actuality </li></ul>
  25. 26. True or False? <ul><li>5. Matter is potentiality </li></ul><ul><li>6. Aristotle would say a gnat has a soul </li></ul><ul><li>7. Plato and Aristotle both emphasise reason </li></ul><ul><li>8. Aristotle would say that if you had a frontal lobotomy which destroyed your ability to think you would no longer be human </li></ul>
  26. 27. At the end of the film the main character is given a frontal lobotomy in the mental hospital- his friend decides to smother him with a pillow as he is less than human

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