Plato And Plato's Concept Of The Soul

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The modern concept of the soul comes from the Greek philosophers, Plato (429-347 B.C.E) in particular developed the concept of the soul which I will explore in this essay. Understanding the soul was key to philosophers as they believed it to be what sets us apart from animals and defines us as rational beings. Plato's idea of the soul is based off the idea that it is non-physical and therefore it relates to his own theory of the forms. Plato makes the important clarification that we are our soul, not our physical body. Plato views the soul as eternal but his ideas develop over the course of his writings and he later adopts the idea of the immortal soul, meaning that it pre-existed the body. Plato's texts exist in the form of dialogues and each is unique . The Republic, written around 380 BCE maps his views on the nature of the soul. Plato is…show more content…
Socrates never wrote any texts himself but he is present as a character in Plato's own dialogues and clearly influenced Plato's views on the soul. Plato's views on the nature of the soul can only be understood in relation to his theory of the forms. Plato's allegory of the cave distinguishes between those who mistake sensory knowledge for the truth and those who are able to really see the truth. Plato describes prisoners stuck in a cave where the prisoners all watch shadows cast on the cave wall. The prisoners are chained and cannot see that there is a fire behind them which is casting the shadows. The prisoners believe the shadows on the wall to be true reality and they attach names such as "tree" or "girl" onto the shadows . The prisoners are only seeing the imperfect reflections and believe them to be the whole truth, these prisoners are only slaves to their senses. Plato continues his analogy by stating that a prisoner, who he names Socrates , escapes from the cave where he sees the fire and then the outside world for the first time. The prisoner gradually adjusts to

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