6: Reason, Appetite & Desire


Saint Augustine

Key Terms

Tripartite Soul
Allegory of the Chariot

  • Read and analyze a description of philosophical thought
  • Articulate key conceptual distinctions between classical notions of the self
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the tripartite soul and how Augustine reconciles Christianity with the Platonic notion of the soul.

I. What is the Self?

  • Know Thyself
  • Does it stay the same over time?
  • Is Self the same as Soul?
  • Is Self the same as Body?
  • How does your Self differ from other Selves?

II. Socrates on the Self

  • Focus: Who we are and who we should be
  • Soul is separate from the body
  • Soul is immortal
  • Dualism of reality and self

III. Plato on the Self

  • A. Difficulties with Socrates' View
    • The soul/self changes
    • This doesn’t mean the soul isn’t immortal
  • B. Tripartite Soul
    • Reason - divine essence
    • Physical Appetite - biological needs
    • Spirit or Passion - emotions
  • C. Allegory of the Chariot
    • 2 horses
    • 1 charioteer
    • Struggle for control
    • Horses represent Appetite and Passion
    • Charioteer represents Reason

IV. Augustine

  • A. Reconciling Platonism and Christianity
    • Platonism and Christianity are natural partners
    • Augustine added Christianity to Plato’s ideas
    • Plato’s ideal world = heaven
    • Plato’s immortal souls striving for union through enlightenment = immortal souls striving for union with God through reason and faith
  • B. Augustine’s View of the Soul
    • Physical body is inferior to the soul
    • Early work: the body is a cage for the soul
    • Later work: the body is the spouse of the soul
    • What remained the same: the soul is separate from the body, and the body is inferior to the soul
  • C. How the Fall of Man Affects the Soul
    • The Fall of Man from God’s grace in the Garden of Eden affects both body and soul
    • When the soul is removed from perfection, it causes a yearning to return
    • When the body is removed from perfection, it becomes depraved

Logic Week 6: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc