Full Text


gareth b. matthews

Subject Philosophy » Metaphysics

Key-Topics morality

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631199991.1995.x


P lato tried to prove the immortality of the soul by arguing that the soul (animator), being essentially alive, cannot suffer death , and also that the soul, being perfectly simple, cannot decompose. A quinas , drawing on Aristotle 's idea that the soul is the form of the body, argued that the soul, though not by itself a complete substance , is nevertheless a ‘subsistent thing’ with no possibility of decomposing. After death, it awaits recompletion, he thought, at the resurrection of the body. Rejecting Platonic reasoning, Kant argued for the immortality of the soul as a postulate of practical reason; immortality is required, he thought, for the soul to continue its endless progress toward moral perfection. Nietzsche , by contrast, espoused a doctrine of eternal recurrence, which seems to guarantee endless repetition of this life just as it is. Recent philosophers have sought criteria of personal identity that could underwrite, or else rule out, the possibility of personal survival. They have also asked what disembodied experience would be like and whether infinitely extended life would even be desirable. See also persons and personal identity . : Summa theologiae , La, QQ 75 , 89 ; 3a , Supplement , QQ 69 – 86 ( many editions ). : Critique of Practical Reason ( many editions ). : Survival and Disembodied Existence ( London : Routledge and Kegan Paul , ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top