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What Makes Man Truly Human?

Essay by   •  June 20, 2011  •  Essay  •  881 Words (4 Pages)  •  4,132 Views

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When I read about this question it comes immediately into my mind Aristotle's theory of a soul. According to Aristotle, a soul is a particular kind of nature, a principle that accounts for change and rest in the particular case of living bodies, i.e. plants, animals and human beings. Plants, animals and human beings cannot perform what they used to do if there will be no soul, for as what Aristotle claims, the soul is the life giving principle and it is the first actuality of a natural body that is potentially alive. For this reason, I can say that what makes man truly human is his soul.

The soul in some way or the other responsible for a variety of things living creatures (especially humans) do and experience. It is somehow that the soul is the cause of all the necessary actions of living things. For this matter, it is good to know the different kinds of the soul and its activities so that it will be easy for us to understand why the soul makes man truly human. According to Aristotle there are three kinds of the soul, the vegetative soul for the plants, sentient soul for the animals and rational soul for us human beings. Each soul has its own activities. Through these activities it classifies and it gives difference with each others.

First, let us talk about to the plants. As we all know plants can nourish by themselves, they grow up, they reproduce, they decay and they die. These activities are done by the vegetative soul of a plant. If we will ostracize the soul in the plant, it cannot exercise or perform such activities, for the soul is the living principle that gives existence to all living beings. It is like a battery that if you will remove it from the machine, the machine will not function.

Secondly, let us talk about to the animals, the soul of an animal is also the one that gives it activities, it is the one gives its movement, and it is the one that makes them sentient. But, it needs a body in order to perform such activities.

Like for instance, animals cannot perform any such activities if there will be now bodily parts. They cannot move if they don't have any feet to walk. They cannot sense if they don't have sense organs. For all the abilities that are constitutive of the souls of plants, animals and human beings are such their exercise involves and requires bodily parts and organs.

Finally, let us talk about to the human beings. Saint Augustine claims that man is a unitary being, created by God, but he is composed of both body and soul. The soul is a special substance, endowed with reason, to rule the body. It is somehow the captain of the body.

The soul of a human being has many activities; in fact it is somehow superior to plants and animals, for our soul has the activity that the soul of the plants and animals cannot exercise. Like the plants and animals, we can also nourish by ourselves, we can grow up, we can reproduce, we can move and we can perceive. But we have

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