Plato and personal identity

Reply Tue 20 Nov, 2007 11:21 pm
I have been attempting to work on this paper for my class for quite some time. My problem I have given myself and have been unable to answer is does Plato believe in personal identity? I was rereading Phaedo and one of his proofs on the immortality of the soul got me thinking that maybe what he is getting at is that we all have the same soul, there really is no god because we all have the same soul, but each of our bodies only allow us to access different facets of that soul. I'm trying really hard to put these thoughts in words. Any feedback/comments are welcome.

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Reply Wed 21 Nov, 2007 12:42 am
In essence... I believe you are on the right track. What if the One soul is what man has labeled God?

Check these links if you want more information that may be useful to you in your search.

"Socrates stated that the soul was substance and could not vanish but merely changed form. He stated that all substances are indestructible, but their forms can change. Plato said that the soul is neither created nor destroyed. Every soul has been here forever and will exist for eternity." Unknown

Here's a good book for you to read about this: Knowing Persons: A Study in Plato by Lloyd P. Gerson
Reply Wed 21 Nov, 2007 05:31 pm
Smile There is no reason to believe there is such a thing as a soul, most frequently the term is left undefined because that is where the power of the imagination is free to range in the land of the undefined.

I believe there is a commonality in life forms, essentially the same thing manifest into different forms. The soul being undefined, this commonality of life might be termed soul. Example, "The Self In One Is The Self In All," Upanishads.

You have chosen a rather tuff or perhaps easy subject, for no matter what you say about the soul, your guess is as good as any. So he says as he rides away on his unicorn. Personal identity is a challengeing topic as well but not of necessity being the soul, though it would be a more reasonable premise than the elusive immortal soul.Wink

Smile What is a myth? The dictionary definition of a myth would be stories about gods .... What is a god? A god is a personification of a motivating power or value system that functions in human life and in the universe -- the powers of your own body and of nature. The myths are metaphorical of spiritual potentiality in the human being, and the same powers that animate our life animate the life of the world ...
"We need myths that will identify the individual not with his local group but with his planet." Joseph Campbell
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