argument top image

Do we have a soul? Show more Show less
Back to question

The soul as a concept is widely debated and has an array of definitions. It is broadly defined as the essence of our being, that which makes one who they are. It is normally considered beyond the physical world, and often eternal or immortal. For generations, humans have sought to explain the soul through religion, philosophy, and science, and there are countless theories and controversies regarding this question. Do we have a soul?

Philosophy establishes two theories of the soul Show more Show less

For centuries, the greatest minds of the world have questioned the fundamentals of what it means to be human.
(1 of 3) Next position >

Dualism describes the soul and body as separate

The argument that the body and soul exist separately is supported by dualism.

The Argument

Dualism is the idea that the body and soul exist in separate planes, and that the soul does not necessarily rely on the body. To Plato, the most significant dualism supporter, every object had another metaphysical form in a different dimension that was the ideal, perfect version of that object. Thus, the object of the body and the perfect essence of the person, the soul exist separately.[1] For Plato's theory of the soul and most dualists, the soul is eternal. It existed before the body and continues on after death. It can reincarnate in other bodies when necessary and seeks to mold itself after the ideal soul and reach self-actualization. In addition, the soul is viewed as the same as the conscience and the mind.[2]

Counter arguments

The soul and body do not exist separately but are tied together and codependent. Without the soul, the body could not function and without the body, the soul would be useless. If the soul could exist on its own, we would have no reason for a body; the fact that we have bodies and depend on them so much is proof that body and soul exist as one.



[P1] The soul and body exist in separate planes of existence. [P2] The soul can inhabit many bodies and continues on after bodily death. [P3] The soul encompasses the essence of personality, and includes the mind and conscience.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 01:22 UTC

Explore related arguments