Compare And Contrast Plato And Hume And Immortality Of The Soul

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When attempting to solve the problem concerning the immortality of the soul, both Plato and Hume must rely on analogy. Plato, being a rationalist, argues that the soul is immortal and is comparable to a form, for it is invisible and incomposite, unlike material objects. Hume, on the other hand, believes that the soul is mortal and compares souls to perishable objects such as bodies. Although neither analogy can offer any validity, Hume 's argument for the mortality of the soul is far more compelling than Plato 's opposing argument. In order to understand the positions held by each thinker, we must first decipher what the terms, soul and immortality mean to both Plato and Hume respectively. For Plato, the soul is an unextended, incomposite and immaterial substance which functions as a bridge between the metaphysical world of forms and the material world we live in. He finds the soul to be definitionally distinct from the body, because it is the immaterial aspect of a human being, whereas the body is the material aspect. Hume, on the other hand, opposes this dualism and argues that the soul and body are the same thing. The term immortality is used the same way by both philosophers to depict, an eternal continuity of consciousness after physical death. If for Hume the …show more content…
His strongest empirical argument against the immortality of the soul goes as follows: "The soul, therefore, if immortal, existed before our birth: And if that state no wise concerned us, neither will the latter." Plato 's response to this argument would likely be that events prior to our birth, do in fact concern us because we are reminded of them every time we see approximations of forms. This rebuttal is troublesome, however, because it seeks to refute a physical argument with a metaphysical argument. Although these arguments are difficult to compare, they both offer a legitimate stance, in support of their respective

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