Essay about Plato’s Theory of The Soul in The Republic

Essay about Plato’s Theory of The Soul in The Republic

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Plato’s Republic introduces a multitude of important and interesting concepts, of topics ranging from music, to gender equality, to political regime. For this reason, many philosophers and scholars still look back to The Republic in spite of its age. Yet one part that stands out in particular is Plato’s discussion of the soul in the fourth book of the Republic. Not only is this section interesting, but it was also extremely important for all proceeding moral philosophy, as Plato’s definition has been used ever since as a standard since then. Plato’s confabulation on the soul contains three main portions: defining each of the three parts and explanation of their functions, description of the interaction of the parts, and then how the the parts and their interaction motivate action. This essay will investigate each segment, and seek to explain their importance.
For Plato, the soul is considered to have three parts: the appetitive or the passions, the spirited part or the will, the reasonable part or the intellect. The appetitive deals with the bodily necessities and desires. The appetite is often considered base or even sinful, but is clearly not so for Aristotle: the passions merely demonstrate a person’s basic necessities, which one can not consider without considering the human person in the same way. The spirited part reacts to injustices or incorrectness in one’s surroundings, and it is often described as the “angry” part, as anger deal with perception of injustice as well. The reasonable part concerns itself with finding the truth and distinguishing it from falsities, and is often considered both the highest and hardest to perfect part of the soul. Each part has its own intricacies and specifics, allowing them to aid the human...


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...er pleasure later. However, this opinion does not account for actions excluding one’s appetite taken at the end (or even causing the end) of one’s life, like in giving one’s life for that of a loved one. In that case, the person would be intentionally forgoing passion forever in search of something else. Hume’s argument does not make provision for this. In fact, the only objection one could make to this last example is to say that a man who gives his life for his friend has a miseducated or depraved soul, yet no one seems to make this argument.


Works Cited:
Cooper, John M. "Plato's Theory Of Human Motivation." History Of Philosophy
Quarterly 1.(1984): 3-22. Philosopher's Index. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
Stocks, J. L. "Plato and the Tripartite Soul." Mind, New Series ns 24.94 (1915): 207-21.Jstor.
Web. 9 Dec. 2013. .

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