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Soul and Body in Stoicism Shakir Stephen, Kylie Fitch, and Zak Boston.

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Presentation on theme: "Soul and Body in Stoicism Shakir Stephen, Kylie Fitch, and Zak Boston."— Presentation transcript:

1 Soul and Body in Stoicism Shakir Stephen, Kylie Fitch, and Zak Boston

2 Outline Long compares the Stoic perspective with that of Plato, Aristotle and the Epicureans Long then defines unified bodies, then animal bodies and their psychic functions, and finally the rational soul and its relation to the body

3 Mind, Body, Relationship, and Greek Philosophy Other ancient Greek perspectives on the soul and body will help us place the Stoic understanding of the relationship between the body and the soul.

4 Plato & Epicurus Long places Plato and Epicurus as the “two extremes” on this scale Plato, at one end represents a traditional dualist model while Epicurus represents a traditional materialist model Plato believes that the soul is immortal, can exist independently of the body and is incorporeal Epicurus holds that the soul is necessarily mortal, material and that it cannot exist independent of the body

5 Aristotle & The Stoics Aristotle’s position fits somewhere between the Platonic and Epicurean perspectives, creating a mix of dualist and materialist qualities Aristotle says that the soul is “the form (or actuality) of a natural body which has life potentiality.” The Stoic position holds that the soul is not immortal but “could and would survive the destruction of the body.” Stoics more on the Platonic side by asserting that the soul can exist independently of the body, but more on the Epicurean side by saying that the soul is material The Stoics present a dualism that is not between matter and incorporeal but between two bodies

6 Ancient Greek Understandings of the Soul All four positions create a division between the soul and the body They all deem the soul as the cause of intelligence They all give the soul a region in the body. Stoic, Aristotelian and Epicurean in the heart/ heart region and Platonic in the head, neck and belly (tripartite soul) Stoics unique as they have no irrational aspect of the soul Epicureans unique as only humans have souls (not gods or animals)

7 The Soul and “Unified Bodies” According to the Stoic school, the Stoic god can make rational beings as well as stones In a certain sense, persons are no different from any other discrete objects when being judged based on their basic principles or constituents Human beings, no less than stones, are subject to the laws of physics → they resist and offer resistance to other discrete objects Just like stones, human beings and stones are alike in having a shape and identity which persists over time Both stones and humans are ‘held together’ by the pneuma which permeates the entirety of their matter Q: So, what does makes a human different from a stone? A: The stone’s pneuma is merely its coherence (hexis) while in the human it is the soul.

8 “Unified Bodies”: The Comprehensive Question Q: Is a human being (or animal) in Stoicism one body or two bodies? Archai (active and passive principles) are used to approach this question → defines three kinds of bodies, with a the fourth component as a subdivision of the third component: I. bodies composed of ‘separated’ parts (diestota), such as an army II. bodies composed of ‘contiguous’ parts (synaptomena), such as a house or ship III. ‘unified’ bodies (henomena), such as stones and logs IV. bodies unified and ‘grown together’ (symphya), namely living things → being “grown together” (symphyes) is needed in addition to ‘unify’ living bodies Stay tuned...

9 “Unified Bodies”: An Additional Consideration Q: What is the human body in Stoicism when considered independently of the soul? Long proposed three possible answers: 1) The body is a structure of bones, organs, blood and skin which contains the soul and which the soul, in turn, pervades 2) The body is matter in the form of earth and water, or 3) The body is earth and water informed by cohesive and vegetative (soul) pneuma, but not specific soul pneuma. A: Long determines that all Stoic animals possessing soul consist of two bodies, for the Stoics formally argue on corporeality of the soul, which better explains the interpretation of the relationship found between the soul and body.

10 The Soul and Animal Bodies ●Psyché, Hegemonikon, and Soul ●Three arguments for the corporeal soul ○ Genetic ○ Sympatheia ○ Contactual ●The Embryo as a plant (Physis) Q:Do later stages of the soul inherit the characteristics of the previous stage?

11 The Soul and Animal Bodies Different types of the pneuma Philo- Impression and impulse are the basic psychic functions The highest order pneuma is the soul

12 Psychic Functions Bodily Processes are not the animals governing principles A Stoic animal is defined by awareness of itself and the outside world “Tensional movement” is the mechanism of self perception An animal understands itself as a subject

13 Psychic Functions Eight connected parts of the soul: Five senses, reproduction, voice, Hegemonikon Is the voice a function of the Hegemonikon? Hegemonikon located in the heart o Spiritual and physical linkage of heart and lungs Soul and Body are a partnership Conflict with man-god connection Q: What distinguishes animals and men?

14 The Rational Soul Rationality is the the defining characteristic of the human soul that makes it different from the animal soul “Rationality is the determinant of human life, and [it] marks human beings off sharply from all other animals”

15 Hegemonikon Hegemonikon is split into four parts Impulses, impressions and assents - which are common to all animals Logos (rationality) - which is distinctly human Logos is not just simply a function of hegemonikon but is “the mode of the whole soul’s operation” Logos modifies all of the other faculties of the soul making the voice articulate and stripping impressions of their ability to automatically trigger desire

16 Logos & Lekta Logos also allows the human soul to interact with the incorporeal lekta Being able to attach meaning to experience makes a linguistic consciousness that “is not restricted to a uniform set of reactions to the body.” Q - How is this corporeal soul (logos) relating to incorporeal lekta? What is different about logos that allows it to interact with incorporeals?

17 The Stoic Soul Long distinguishes between the general way that we can use the term “soul” and the specific sense that we can use to distinguish the discriminating factors of a specific type of soul For humans the specific sense of the soul lies in logos The general sense of soul includes the body (hexis, physis and psyche)

18 Key Points The Stoic soul and body are both corporeal bodies. This creates a materialistic dualism The soul and body are dependent on each other. The body needs the soul to be a living human being, and the soul needs the body for location, as a partial energy source and as an instrument for actualizing consciousness The soul has a dependent relationship with the body but cannot be reduced or made equivalent to this relationship

19 Fin.

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