“Other than life after death, can you think of some other motivating for concern for the separation of the soul from the body? Plato has one, do you think his works?”
“Let me put this another way. Is there another benefit to the separation of the soul from the body other than life after death? It’s easy to see how one such as Socrates might be motivated by this concern in the Phaedo. But, would the distinction between the soul (mind) and the body explain anything else? There’s a hint in one of the videos (epiphenomenalism). I’m certain you can find other ideas.”
Here’s are examples from other students –
“Besides life after death, I think that a good reason for separation of the soul and body is that the body is limited. It is almost like our soul is confined to the limitations our physical body has. I think that the physical world shapes us to believe only what we see and to know only what we have been taught. We are presented with these illusions which we mistake as reality. We can’t know or understand truth because truth is infinite and as physical beings, we are finite. Our soul however, is not. I believe that our soul is infinite and that it has the capacity to know truth. This isn’t possible in our physical body though because we are trained to know only what we see and what we have been taught. Our body doesn’t allow this idea of infiniteness because we have never seen it and we don’t understand it. We may acknowledge that such a thing exists such as (in my opinion) logic, reasoning, shapes, our soul, etc. but we try to define them. By doing this we are creating limitations on something that is unlimited. Our physical body and this physical world isn’t capable of knowing or understanding infiniteness therefore, I think that would be a reason to appreciate the separation of our souls from our bodies. In some ways, I think that is what “life after death” means. It is as if we aren’t able to truly live until we break free from these limitations of the physical world.”
“One motivation for separation of mind and body may be that you can explore places other than earth. It would be hard to understand in what form the soul travels and in what form it exists in other than the human body. Interesting because this is all under the assumption that the soul is not a product of the body or is in need of it but then why exist within the body in the first place? If it needs the body to be perceived does it really exist? Because if I could I would hop right out of this thing and fly through space. Try to figure out what is out there, get a little crazy like look for the edge of the universe. I wonder what the soul would use to perceive without the body, and troubling is the arguments about limitations of the body be equally as applicable to any mode of perception. And then that would mean the soul could only operate without perception, and does something exist if it doesn’t perceive, or can be perceived?
I do really like Plato’s argument for the motivation of separation for the limitations of the body in the mind but I think limitations on the mind through the body are cornerstones of philosophy and in developing thought. I mean we wouldn’t have the Phaedo for one. Anyways I also think that if there is life after death and the soul pre-exists and always has, in turn probably meaning there are no new souls, and then there is a cycle of life, life after death wouldn’t necessarily be being able to practice philosophy all the time but wouldn’t it mean he would have to partake in another life? Or once everyone died it would just be done with, no new people born with souls. And I think that this position takes the assumption that life is the soul existing within a body or something like that, but I think that the soul itself is the life. What else about the body is life, even according to Plato besides mundane bodily needs? And if the soul exists for so long I would think that is the indication of life, he almost defines it as that by calling it death when the body is no longer with a mind, and the body is now what doesn’t exist not the soul. However I felt like I couldn’t come up with an argument that good, mind feels pretty mundane and I’m not sure it answered the question, but space flying is cool!”
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