Plato’s affinity argument for the immortality of the soul in the Phaedo is where Socrates shows that the soul most resembles that which is non composite, invisible and divine “the soul is more like the invisible that the body, and the body more like the visible” (Phaedo 79c) well the body resembles that which is visible and mortal “the soul resembles the divine, and the body resembles the mortal” (Phaedo 80a).
Socrates believes there are “two kinds of existences the visible and the invisible” (Phaedo 79a), the visible world which our bodies belong to, “which is human, mortal, composite, multiform, unintelligible, soluble and always changing” (Phaedo 80b), and the invisible world which our soul belongs to, we can access solely with our minds, which is “divine, deathless, intelligible, uniform, indissoluble, and always the same” (Phaedo 80b). Socrates shows “that the soul is altogether more like that which always exists in the same state rather than like that which does not” (Phaedo 79e) because “the invisible always remains the same, whereas the visible never does” (Phaedo 79a). Socrates also thought that if the soul had been freed of bodily influence through philosophical training, the soul would most likely make its way to a better place when the body dies, “if it is pure when it leaves the body and drags nothing bodily with it, …, but avoid it and gathered itself together by itself in and always practiced this, which is no other than practicing philosophy the right way,” (Phaedo 80e). Socrates believed that “a soul in this state makes its way to the invisible, which is like itself, the divine and immortal and wise” (Phaedo 81a). However he believed “if the soul is polluted and impure when it leaves the body, …, bewitched by physical desires and pleasures to the point at which nothing seems to exists but the physical, …, and if that soul is accustomed to hate and fear and avoid that which is dim and invisible to the eyes” (Phaedo 81b), it was likely to stay bound to the body upon death and their punishment is their own doing, as they will be unable to enjoy the singular existence of the soul in death because of their constant craving for the body. Socrates concludes that the soul is immortal, and the course of its passing into the underworld is determined by the way one lived his/her life and that while the body may be seen to exist after death in the form of a corpse, as the body is mortal, the soul is divine, and must outlast the body, “If the soul exists before, it must, as it comes to life and birth, come from nowhere elts than death and being dead, so how could it avoid existing after death since it must be born again?” (Phaedo 77d). St. Thomas Aquinas has his theory of the incorruptibility of the soul.
First I will address St. Thomas Aquinas’s argument on the subsistence of the soul. First he starts out by saying that “everything subsistent operates. But a soul does not operate, for, the philosopher says, To say that a soul senses or understands is like saying that a soul weaves or builds. Therefore, the soul is not something subsistent” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 2, obj. 2) and that ” if the soul were something substance, it would have some operation apart from the body.
But it has no operation apart from the body, not even that of understanding, for the act of understanding does not take place without phantasm, which cannot exist separate from the soul, therefore the soul is not something subsistent” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 2, obj. 3). In response to the second objection St. Thomas Aquinas stated that “the eye or hand cannot be said to subsist through itself. Hence the operation of the parts is through each part attributed to the whole.” (Summa Theologiae I, q.
75, a. 2, reply obj. 2) and from this he concludes that ” we may say that the soul understands just as the eye sees; but it is more correct to say the man understands though the soul.”(Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 2, reply obj. 2).
In response to objection 3 he states that “the body is necessary for the action of the intellect, not as its organ of action, but on the part of the objective; for the phantasm is to the intellect as color is to sight. Neither does such a dependence on the body prove the intellect to be non-subsistent, or otherwise it would follow that an animal is non-substance simply because it requires external sensibles for sensation.” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 2, reply obj. 3).
From this we can look at the whether St. Thomas Aquinas believes the human soul is corruptible or not. In his first objection he state that he believes that the soul is corruptible because we are like animal and the animal soul can be corrupted so the human soul my too be coruptable, ” for those things that have a like beginning and process seemingly have a like end. But the beginning, by generation, of men is like that of animals, for they are made up of earth, …, But the soul of brute animals are corruptible.
Therefore the human soul too is corruptible.” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 6, obj. 1).
He also believes that the soul ” understands nothing without a phantasm” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 6, obj. 3). He goes on to state that there are two ways for a thing to be corrupted ” in itself and accidentally ” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a.
6, response) and that “whatever has being in itself cannot be generation of corruption of composites” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 6, response) which means that when ” the human soul could not be corrupted unless it were corrupted in itself” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 6, response). St.
Thomas Aquinas believes ” there can be no contrariety in the intellectual soul; for it is a receiving subject according to the manner of its being, and those things which it receives are without contrary” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 6, response) and that ” the senses indeed do not know being, …, whereas the intellect apprehends being absolutely, and for all time” (Summa Theologiae I, q.
75, a. 6, response) and from this it is concluded that every intellectual substance is incorruptible.I think the positions of these thinkers are true. I think that a strong argument is made for Plato’s affinity argument and the immortality of the soul.
I believe that Socrates is right when he says that there are “two kinds of existences the visible and the invisible” (Phaedo 79a) and that “the soul resembles the divine, and the body resembles the mortal” (Phaedo 80a). The soul never dies and it will move on after death and as of to where it goes after death is determined by what we do in life. I also think that St. Thomas Aquinas is right that “the eye or hand cannot be said to subsist through itself. Hence the operation of the parts is through each part attributed to the whole.
” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 2, reply obj.
2) and that ” we may say that the soul understands just as the eye sees; but it is more correct to say the man understands though the soul.”(Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 2, reply obj. 2) because it is the soul that understands not the eye, without the soul our senses would not understand. I also think that his view that ” the human soul could not be corrupted unless it were corrupted in itself” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a.
6, response) is a true statement and that “the senses indeed do not know being, …, whereas the intellect apprehends being absolutely, and for all time” (Summa Theologiae I, q.75, a. 6, response), our senses can only know a moment in time our soul is what knows what being for all time is.Extra CreditI think Sartre would react to Mr.
Fox’s existential crisis in the form of, he believed that existence comes before essence and that we are the rulers of our lives and we bear the responsibility of our actions, we are forced to choose what we will become and we are also forced to define ourselves by our choices of action and that there cannot be any other way. Mr. Fox is the one who gets to choose who he is and what he does in his life. He is the one who is responsible for all that he chooses to do and what he truly is.