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Question: For Plato, what is his philosophical perspective of "self".
Plato’s philosophy on self revolves around the concept of the soul, which he sees as being divided into three parts: Reason, Spirited, and Appetitive. 1. Reason (logistikon): This is the rational part of the soul, related to the mind, which seeks truth and is responsible for our logical and analytical thoughts. Plato asserts that the highest form of self is realized when this part governs the soul. 2. Spirited (thymoeides): This is the part of the soul associated with emotions and courage. It is centered around societal honor and is responsible for our feelings. 3. Appetitive (epithymetikon): This component of the soul is linked to desires, needs, and wants. It drives our primal instincts for basic needs like food, sex, and pleasure. Plato argued that the ‘self’ is at its best when Reason dominates and brings the other parts into harmony. Thus, the ‘self’ would be able to resist base appetites and emotional impulses. The perfect 'self' to Plato would then be a philosopher or philosopher-king, who lives a balanced life and uses wisdom as a guide. Additionally, Plato introduces the concept of immortal soul that exists before birth and after death, and the notion of transmigration of souls or reincarnation, suggesting that experiences and knowledge gained in past lives can inform and shape the ‘self’ in its current life. This view has laid the groundwork for dualism, the notion that mind and body are two separate entities, influencing many later philosophers.
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