Version: v1, Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/death/v-1
2. Death as separation of body from soul
Is it [death] not the separation of soul and body? And to be dead is the completion of this; when the soul exists in herself, and is released from the body and the body is released from the soul, what is this but death?
(Phaedo [Jowett, 1937 vol. 1]: 447)
These remarks suggest a view about the nature of death:
This is problematic, one problem being that (D2) entails that if a thing is to die, it must have a soul. Yet many find it hard to believe that plants (which clearly can die) have souls. Similarly, many find it hard to believe that every living cell has a soul, and yet cells can die.
Many philosophers accept a materialist conception of people. They think that people are material objects – their bodies. Materialists of this sort think that people have no souls. Unless they want to say that people never die, (D2) is clearly unacceptable to such materialists (see Materialism).
Feldman, Fred. Death as separation of body from soul. Death, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-N011-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/death/v-1/sections/death-as-separation-of-body-from-soul.
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