Basic Teachings of the Great Philosophers
VI. The Soul and Immortality
1. What is Aristotle's view?
Aristotle taught others that the soul is to be found wherever life is. Since signs of life are found in nature, the soul must be found throughout nature. He also believed that the human soul is higher than other beings because it has the ability to think in terms of concepts. He also stated that the soul of man has the power of reason. This reason perceives concepts just as the lower part of the soul perceives objects in the world. He believes there are only two types of reason. Creative reason and passive reason. Creative reason is a form and it existed before body and soul. Passive reason is passive and will perish when the body is ultimately destroyed. Personal immortality is impossible. The only part of the soul that survives death is actually part of God and simply returns to God.
2. What's Aquinas's view?
Alquinas had a slightly different view than Aristotle. Aquinas believed God created the human soul. This soul was immaterial and the intellectual and vital principle of the body. The soul is added to the body only at birth and this soul can will. It does not depend on the body for existence or function. Therefore, it can continue to act even after the body has perished. The soul forms a spiritual body for itself so it can live for eternity. Almost all of the Christian believers today still follow this view.
3. What's Bacon's view?
Bacon had an interesting view on the Soul and Immortality. His view is fairly different from anyone else. He believed the human soul was actually two souls, one divine or rational and the other irrational. He said that the divine soul could only be handled by religion and nothing else. The irrational soul was open to study through scientific methods. Through science we can find the soul to be material, but invisible which resides in the head and runs along the nerves. This soul was the basis for reason, imagination, understanding, memory, appetite, and will.
4. What's Locke's view of immortality?
Locke believed that the body was composed of both souls and the body. Souls, according to Locke, are spiritual substances with the power to perceive, will, and think. Man has arrived at the idea of the soul from combining various operations of the human mind. The soul is both passive and active. It is passive because bodies influence it so that it has ideas. It is active because it interacts with the body. The soul is immortal. It lives after death of the human body, and is a matter of faith. It is not anything of which we can have a clear or distinct idea. It is something above reason.
5. What's Kant's view of Reason?
Kant had a view that’s more practical then anyone else’s. He believed that understanding couldn’t know anything. It could only know something that is experienced. Reason can go beyond this and conceive a world of which we can have no actual experience. It...