Topic: the soul in the Aristotelian/Thomistic tradition. Instructions: In essay format, answer the following prompt in no more than 3 pages, by having a clearly-marked paragraph corresponding to each of the following numbered requests. The lettered sub-parts should appear in the numbered paragraph to which they belong. Use 12-point font, standard margins, and double-spacing. The point of this exercise is to practice producing a short, clear, accurate, and in places, well-defended answer to the prompt. The assignment does not require an intro paragraph or a summary conclusion. Just jump right into answering the prompt and then stop when you have answered everything. Do not use outside sources. You are welcome to quote from any work of any of the authors we’ve read, but you need not do this so long as you explain things clearly and I know where you’re getting your information. If you choose to quote, please don’t throw block quotes at me without any explanation of them. They don’t explain themselves, you know! Cite any quotes simply by putting the fragment or page number at the end of the quote—e.g. “I hold you back from this path, that ‘it is not!’”(Parm. fr. B6), or (Physics 193b7), etc. You need not create a bibliography or title page. You need not even use up space giving your paper a title! Student Outcome: each student will produce a written paper on the soul in the Aristotelian/Thomistic tradition. Skills: reading and writing Prompt: Answer the following questions and their sub-questions. 1) Today, many people would deny the existence of the soul altogether, but all of our Greek philosophers think that the soul’s existence is pretty obvious. In good english prose, explain why the soul’s existence is obvious to our philosophers. 2a) Accurately state Plato’s definition of death (found pretty early on in the mouth of Socrates in the Phaedo). b) Would Aristotle agree that, in the case of the individual cat Alice, Plato’s definition of death is correct? Tell me why or why not. Make sure to justify your answer with reference to Book 1, Chapter 1, of Aristotle’s De Anima. You can quote it, but you need not do so, so long as its clear that you are justifying your answer textually. 3a) State (without explaining it) the correct definition of soul, according to Aristotle. Answering this should take you no more than one or two lines of your paper. In De Anima Book 2, Aristotle says: “Suppose the eye were an animal—sight would have been its soul, for sight is the substance of the eye which corresponds to the account, the eye being merely the matter of seeing; when sight is removed, the eye is no longer an eye, except in name—no more than the eye of a statue or of a painted figure.” (De Anima 412b18-22). b) having given me the correct definition of soul, explain the analogy in the green passage between the power of sight and the soul, such that I can better understand what Aristotle’s definition of soul means. Remember that to explain an analogy you are looking for a sort of interpretive key. For example, were I to say “chainsaws are to lumberjacks, what pianos are to pianists,” the key to interpretation would be: “The first in each case is the tool by which the second in each case does its proper work.” In this part of the paper, I’m asking you to find such a key for this analogy: “sight is to the eyeball, what the soul is to the living body”. Hint: the key to the analogy has nothing at all to do with function, purpose, or operation. You’ll receive no credit for this part if you give these answers. Somewhere in the process of answering this question, make sure to explain his claim that eyes without sight are eyes only “in name” and tell me what this entails with respect to corpses. c) Aristotle’s account of the eye in the green passage is a hylomorphic account of the eye, and since the eye is being compared by analogy to the animal, it is also a hylomorphic account of the animal. Explain to me what it means to say that the eye and the animal are hylomorphic beings.
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