The True Nature of the Human Being

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One of the odd yet interesting ideas that philosopher's demand be debated is that of the true nature of the human being. Even though probably each philosopher has his own unique perception of the true nature of the human being, philosophers tend to share some of the same basic attributes in their definition. After reading Plato's five dialogues and Descartes six meditations, I am lead to believe that both philosophers commonly share the idea that the human being is able to exist without the physical body; Plato through the soul and Descartes through the mind. Besides the common thought of the existence of the human being separate from the body, Plato and Descartes also strongly teach that human beings come with certain knowledge of higher powers that need to be merely recollected throughout life. Besides these two similarities in the thoughts of Plato and Descartes, Plato believes that humans need to spend their life pleasing the gods and preparing for death in hopes of obtaining a clean soul that will flourish in the afterlife.

"For there is not a single consideration that can aid in my perception of the wax or of any other body that fails to make even more manifest the nature of my mind" (Descartes 23). As Descartes examines the information that he receives from his senses, mainly that from the wax experiment, he observes his senses can be deceitful and full of doubt so he can not rely on it to determine whether things truly exist. Rather, his mind is behind his knowledge of the existence of things and therefore he is able to exist distinctly from the physical body.

Although Plato does not feel exactly the same way as Descartes, Plato does believe the human being exists distinctly from the physical body ...

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...t knowledge is merely a form of recollection or a gift from a Supreme Being. I tend to lean more towards believing in Plato's argument. Although I strongly disagree with knowledge is recollection because I am paying twenty thousand dollars to "learn" right now I do agree that the soul lives on after the body dies and eventually reincarnates into a new body after experiencing the after-world. Death is a given in today's society but I do not feel that our lives need to be spent preparing for it because God gives us the ability to do many more constructive, useful things rather than prepare for our death. In ending, Plato and Descartes teach us numerous ideas of the true nature of the human being. Some similarities exist as well as some differences, but I believe in the end, the true nature of the human being is left up to the ideas of every individual person.
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