Tripartite Soul

Topics: Empiricism, Soul, Philosophy Pages: 1 (378 words) Published: December 9, 2005
Tripartite soul - According to Plato, the human soul has three parts corresponding to the three classes of society in a just city. Individual justice consists in maintaining these three parts in the correct power relationships, which reason ruling, spirit aiding reason, and appetite obeying. Appetite - Appetite is the largest aspect of our tripartite soul. It is the seat of all our various desires for food, drink, sexual gratification and other such pleasures. It contains both necessary desires, which should be indulged (such as the desire to eat enough to stay alive), unnecessary desires, which should be limited (such as the desire to eat a ten pound sirloin steak at every meal), and unlawful desires, which should be suppressed at all costs (such as the desire to eat one's children). Though the appetite lusts after many things, Plato dubs it "money-loving," since money is required for satisfying most of these desires. In a just man, the appetite is strictly controlled by reason and reason's henchman, spirit. Spirit - Spirit is one aspect of our tripartite soul. It is the source of our honor-loving and victory-loving desires. Spirit is responsible for our feelings of anger and indignation. In a just soul, spirit acts as henchman to reason, ensuring that appetite adheres to reason's commands. Reason - Reason is one aspect of our tripartite soul. It lusts after truth and is the source of all of our philosophic desires. In the just man, the entire soul is ruled by reason, and strives to fulfill reason's desires. See also Appetite, Spirit. Empirical - When something is an empirical question, that means that the question can only be settled by going out into the world and investigating. The question, "What percentage of the population of the United States likes ice cream" is an example of an empirical question, which can only be answered through empirical investigation. The question "What is the square root of two," on the other hand, is not an empirical...
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