The Stoics And Socrates


The question of the reality of the soul and its distinction from the body is
among the most important problems of philosophy, for with it is bound up the
doctrine of a future life. The soul may be defined as the ultimate internal
principle by which we think, feel, and will, and by which our bodies are
animated. The term "mind" usually denotes this principle as the subject of our
conscious states, while "soul" denotes the source of our vegetative activities
as well. If there is life after death, the agent of our vital activities must
be capable of an existence separate from the body. The belief in an active
principle in some sense distinct from the body is inference from the ...

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of it, leading a life of its own. In
the psychology of the savage, the soul is often represented as actually
migrating to and fro during dreams and trances, and after death haunting the
neighborhood of its body. Nearly always it is figured as something extremely
volatile, a perfume or a breath.

In Greece, the heartland of our ancient philosophers, the first essays of
philosophy took a positive and somewhat materialistic direction, inherited from
the pre-philosophic age, from Homer and the early Greek religion. In Homer,
while the distinction of soul and body is recognized, the soul is hardly
conceived as possessing a substantial existence of its own. Severed from the
body, it is a mere shadow, incapable of energetic life. Other philosophers
described the soul's nature in terms of substance. Anaximander gives it an
aeriform constitution, Heraclitus describes it as a fire. The fundamental
thought is the same. The soul is the nourishing agent which imparts heat, life,
sense, and ...

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in the case of the wise man.
Yet many others, such as Panaetius and Posidonius, denied even this, arguing
that, as "the soul began with the body, so it must end with it".

With Socrates came a revolution in all manners of thought. As, perhaps, the
most influential of philosophers, and also one of the best known, it is truly
unfortunate he left the future so little of his theories. Only through the
writings of his students have we any idea of his philosophy. In the writing of
Plato much thought is given to the concept of the human soul. Socrates presents
the soul having three major ideas associated with it. The human soul is
immortal, immaterial, and moral. The question of ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 12/6/2005 07:47:18 PM
Category: Miscellaneous
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1412
Pages: 6

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