Aristotle’s and Plato’s Beliefs About the Soul

Subject: Philosophy
Pages: 2
Words: 419
Reading time:
2 min

Plato and Aristotle have diverse speculations concerning the soul and body. Plato believes that the body and the soul are separate entities within a person. Aristotle upholds a contrary opinion. Plato asserts that the soul is irrelevant and that it belongs to the ‘humanity of appearance’. Jackson confirms Plato’s belief that the soul is static. It links an individual to information that he calls ‘full understanding.’ However, the body is substantial. It enables people to perform various actions such as communication. The changing nature of the body makes it a constituent of the physical world.

Opposed to Plato, Aristotle believes that the body and soul are interdependent and that one cannot exist in an optimal manner without the other. For example, he claims that the body requires the soul for it to be in motion. According to Aristotle, for one to be superior, he needs to function in an appropriate way, which requires the interaction of the body and soul. Although the two thinkers have different beliefs about the soul, they contend that the mind connects the two human components. However, although the mind links the two, I believe that the body and soul are interdependent on each other in terms of their functioning.

The difference in beliefs between Plato and Aristotle on the nature of the soul implies that different people have diverse views concerning its nature. To test this position, I surveyed five people who differed in terms of their religions (Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism) to get their views on the same issue. With the awareness of Aristotle and Plato’s beliefs on the nature of the soul, all respondents held a popular position that the soul is static. For example, the Judaist suggested that the soul desires material needs and that the craving does not end unless the needs are fulfilled.

The respondents’ beliefs and my viewpoint about the nature of the soul are similar in the sense that the soul is unchanging. This belief is similar to that of Plato. It is also similar to Aristotle’s understanding of the nature of the soul. Aristotle suggests that the soul can be divided into different parts where the part that is closest to the body is material in nature. Aristotle called this part the illogical section of the soul. Therefore, similar to my belief, the body and soul are mutually dependent. This co-dependence is necessary for the optimal performance of any human being.