Self Case

Published: 2021-06-29 06:43:11
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Category: Philosophy

Type of paper: Essay

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In comparing and contrasting Socrates/Plato with Aristotle, it is important to break down the structures of their theories in order to analyze and define the soul. When discussing Socrates and Plato's views on the soul, it is vital to view the connections that Socrates makes between the soul and the state. In order to understand this connection, it is crucial to acknowledge that the state parallels the soul. Therefore, it is imperative to first explain the state.
Socrates explains that the state, composed of multiple individuals, works based on one's nature and education. As a result, there is a natural division of labor that encompasses a singular goal: the good of the state. Working towards that goal, every person within the state has a practical and theoretical craft, which requires arête, or excellence. With this, they practice the art or craft of living well by means of right reason and excellence of the soul. In order to achieve this telos, or end goal of true happiness, each individual must demonstrate morality through the virtues. Significantly, virtues help the individual perfect their craft and live well; which results in a good individual.
Now, looking at the state as a whole, it is comprised, ideally, of numerous good individuals. With good individuals that live by true virtue, it is assumed that these individuals make a good, ideal state, which according to Socrates, is The Republic. Within the republic, the virtue of justice is the concentration of the people because it is the virtue that sustains the structure of state.
Tying the virtue of justice into the soul, Socrates argues that a form of justice lies in every person's practice of their unique function in the community which is best matched by their nature. This results in Socrates' idea that each element of the soul is restricted to performing its nature's appropriate art or craft. Therefore, the soul, for Socrates, is broken into three distinct parts: reason, spirited, and appetite. The reason part is concerned with being rational, the spirited part of the soul is the representation of feelings and emotions, and the appetite involves one's desires. Reason is given the highest value because it keeps the emotions and the desires under control. More so, the emotions and desire must submit to the principles of reason.

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