The rational soul (Rational Soul)

Socrates the Greek
#1
Remember that the basic plan of the Republic is to draw a systematic analogy between the operation of society as a whole and the life of any individual human being. So Plato supposed that people exhibit the same features, perform the same functions, and embody the same virtues that city-states do. Applying the analogy in this way presumes that each of us, like the state, is a complex whole made up of several distinct parts, each of which has its own proper role. But Plato argued that there is ample evidence of this in our everyday experience. When faced with choices about what to do, we commonly feel the tug of contrary impulses drawing us in different directions at once, and the most natural explanation for this phenomenon is to distinguish between distinct elements of our selves. (Republic 436b)

Thus, the analogy holds. In addition to the physical body, which corresponds to the land, buildings, and other material resources of a city, Plato held that every human being includes three souls (Gk. yuch [psychê]) that correspond to the three classes of citizen within the state, each of them contributing in its own way to the successful operation of the whole person.

* The rational soul (mind or intellect) is the thinking portion within each of us, which discerns what is real and not merely apparent, judges what is true and what is false, and wisely makes the rational decisions in accordance with which human life is most properly lived.
* The spirited soul (will or volition), on the other hand, is the active portion; its function is to carry out the dictates of reason in practical life, courageously doing whatever the intellect has determined to be best.
* Finally, the appetitive soul (emotion or desire) is the portion of each of us that wants and feels many things, most of which must be deferred in the face of rational pursuits if we are to achieve a salutary degree of self-control.

In the Phaedrus, Plato presented this theory even more graphically, comparing the rational soul to a charioteer whose vehicle is drawn by two horses, one powerful but unruly (desire) and the other disciplined and obedient (will).

On Plato's view, then, an human being is properly said to be just when the three souls perform their proper functions in harmony with each other, working in consonance for the good of the person as a whole.

Rational Soul (Thinking)
Wisdom Spirited Soul (Willing)
Courage Appetitive Soul (Feeling)
Moderation
As in a well-organized state, the justice of an individual human being emerges only from the interrelationship among its separate components. (Republic 443d)

Plato's account of a tripartite division within the self has exerted an enormous influence on the philosophy of human nature in the Western tradition. Although few philosophers whole-heartedly adopt his hypostasization of three distinct souls, nearly everyone acknowledges some differentiation among the functions of thinking, willing, and feeling. (Even in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy's quest depends upon the cooperation of her three friends—Scarecrow, Lion, and Tin Woodsman—each of whom exemplifies one of the three aspects of human nature.) Perhaps any adequate view of human life requires some explanation or account (Gk. logos [logos]) of how we incorporate intellect, volition, and desire in the whole of our existence.

In the context of his larger argument, Plato's theory of human nature provides the foundation for another answer to the question of why justice is better than injustice. On the view developed here, true justice is a kind of good health, attainable only through the harmonious cooperative effort of the three souls. In an unjust person, on the other hand, the disparate parts are in perpetual turmoil, merely coexisting with each other in an unhealthy, poorly-functioning, dis-integrated personality. Plato developed this theme in greater detail in the final books of The Republic.
 
jimmoyer
#2
Good post, Socrates.

Like the Republic, so is the Wizard of Oz, a metaphor
to everything in life.

For example, all arguments can be boiled down
to none other than the LION saying:

LET GO OF MY TAIL !

I'll beat you top to bottomus !!

RRRRRrrufff !!

But let's back to the idea of the Republic.

The thoughts and analysis are excellent.

Now put it to law ?

No.

It is culture, a way of thinking, not the mico-management
of laws and pesky well-meaning statutes that will
attack the ills we discuss.
 
Socrates the Greek
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyer

Good post, Socrates.

Like the Republic, so is the Wizard of Oz, a metaphor
to everything in life.

For example, all arguments can be boiled down
to none other than the LION saying:

LET GO OF MY TAIL !

I'll beat you top to bottomus !!

RRRRRrrufff !!

But let's back to the idea of the Republic.

The thoughts and analysis are excellent.

Now put it to law ?

No.

It is culture, a way of thinking, not the mico-management
of laws and pesky well-meaning statutes that will
attack the ills we discuss.

Plato: The State and the Soul
The Republic

The most comprehensive statement of Plato's mature philosophical views appears in Politeia (The Republic), an extended treatment of the most fundamental principles for the conduct of human life. Using the character "Socrates" as a fictional spokesman, Plato considers the nature and value of justice and the other virtues as they appear both in the structure of society as a whole and in the personality of an individual human being. This naturally leads to discussions of human nature, the achievement of knowledge, the distinction between appearance and reality, the components of an effective education, and the foundations of morality.

Because it covers so many issues, The Republic can be read in several different ways: as a treatise on political theory and practice, as a pedagogical handbook, or as a defence of ethical conduct, for example. Although we'll take notice of each of these features along the way, our primary focus in what follows will be on the basic metaphysical and epistemological issues, foundational questions about who we are, what is real, and about how we know it. Read in this fashion, the dialogue as a whole invites us to share in Plato's vision of our place within the ultimate structure of reality.


Hey jim-moyer, the pesky well-meaning statutes that will
Attack the ills we discuss can be named the (Hippocrates)
Many statutes and limitations throw Democracy to the Lions. The general populous is ok with that. Socrates was sentence to death by the right wing Athenians because he was to out spoken. They found Socrates to be pesky according to their self-righteous hypocritical beliefs.
The moral of the story the pesky well-meaning statutes state don’t do to others as I do to you, while democracy is thrown to the Lions, and Hypocrisy will live one more day.
 
fuzzylogix
#4
Beat me on the bottomus! I am way out of my league here!
 
cortezzz
#5
plato and socrates--were antidemocratic

one very common interpretation of much of socrates philosophy--particularly the republic-- is that it was a mask for his defence of aristrocracy--ie the philosopher kings-- against athenian democracy

remember the republic---is not a democracy-- and it was written in a culture-- that had an established democrasy
plato has been the favorite of----dictators--
ie self proclaimed philosopher kings

platos republic--- is a top down approach

another flaw---in my opinion is that there is absolutely no room in platos republic-- for what we might call today-- a private life---
all of the being of the citizen of platos republic---is seen as serving the state somehow
the entire meaning -- of a citizens
life --is assumed to be related to the state

platos republic--- a great book
fascinating
but read critically and with caution
and implement with even greater caution

its also occurred to me that this book was one of the first uses of double speak

a republic-- with a king
a king cleverly disguised as a philosopher

and what were socrates and plato..

...i believe they were philosophers...
 
jimmoyer
#6
Good post, Cortezzz !!

"particularly the republic-- is that it was a mask for his defence of aristrocracy--ie the philosopher kings-- against athenian democracy " ---Cortezzz.

and it was written in a culture-- that had an established democrasy ----Cortezzz

platos republic--- is a top down approach ---Cortezzz


All good points.


Many of the American forefathers learned much
from Greek and Roman history, quite fashionable to
do so by all the elites of that time.

They had a healthy suspicion of the majority voting unruly uneducated mob and was as much terrified
by the Tyranny of the King (which in my opinion was
no where near the tyranny they proselytized) as they were by the
Tyranny of the Majority.


That's why the Constitutions and its Bill of Rights
are nothing but about thwarting and "leavening"
the ephemeral will of the Tyranny of the Majority.
 
Socrates the Greek
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by jimmoyer

Good post, Cortezzz !!

"particularly the republic-- is that it was a mask for his defence of aristrocracy--ie the philosopher kings-- against athenian democracy " ---Cortezzz.

and it was written in a culture-- that had an established democrasy ----Cortezzz

platos republic--- is a top down approach ---Cortezzz

Many of the American forefathers learned much
from Greek and Roman history, quite fashionable to
do so by all the elites of that time.

They had a healthy suspicion of the majority voting unruly uneducated mob and was as much terrified
by the Tyranny of the King (which in my opinion was
no where near the tyranny they proselytized) as they were by the
Tyranny of the Majority.


That's why the Constitutions and its Bill of Rights
are nothing but about thwarting and "leavening"
the ephemeral will of the Tyranny of the Majority.


All good points.
Both Jim moyer and Cortezzz your knowlege of Greek Philosophical history is well respected in this forum.
Good posts.
 
Dexter Sinister
#8
Socrates, I was struck by what appears to be a difference in style between your initial posts in the threads you start and your later comments. Why don't you just post this www.philosophypages.com/index.htm (external - login to view) to the Philosophy Pages and be done with it? Your initial post in this thread is an unattributed copy and paste from there, which I found with a Google search on the first 8 words of it, and so are parts of some of your other posts. Unless you're the Garth Kemerling who put up that site, you're in violation of copyright law and the forum guidelines.
 
Socrates the Greek
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister

Socrates, I was struck by what appears to be a difference in style between your initial posts in the threads you start and your later comments. Why don't you just post this www.philosophypages.com/index.htm (external - login to view) to the Philosophy Pages and be done with it? Your initial post in this thread is an unattributed copy and paste from there, which I found with a Google search on the first 8 words of it, and so are parts of some of your other posts. Unless you're the Garth Kemerling who put up that site, you're in violation of copyright law and the forum guidelines.

Hey Dexter, I respect your sagestion, but on my posts I am not in any way claiming that this is my intelectual work, all I have done is share the work of this great Philosophers to ad color on a philosophical discussion.
 

Similar Threads

15
The human rational soul.
by Deacon Raymond | Jun 3rd, 2008
38
Karma - A rational approach
by gc | May 3rd, 2007
42
Emotions or rational thinking?
by Vereya | Feb 22nd, 2007
7
Iran/US rational actors?
by Said1 | Apr 11th, 2006
no new posts