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Philosophy of the Human Person: Explication #2

Due 11/17, 11:59pm, on Blackboard, pdf or .doc/.docx only

Instructions: Answer the following prompt in 2 pages.  For the sake of fairness, do not write more than 2 and ½ pages or less than 1.  In essay format, answer the following questions in order by having a clearly-marked paragraph corresponding to each of the following numbered requests.  The lettered sub-parts should appear in the numbered paragraph to which they belong.  Use 12-point font, standard margins, and double-spacing.  The point of this exercise is to practice producing a short, clear, accurate answer to the prompt.  The assignment does not require an intro paragraph or a summary conclusion.  Just jump right into answering the prompt and then stop when you have answered everything.  Do not use outside sources.  You are welcome to quote from any work of any of the authors we’ve read, but you need not do this so long as you explain things clearly and I know where you’re getting your information.  If you choose to quote, please don’t throw block quotes at me without any explanation of them.  They don’t explain themselves, you know! Cite any quotes simply by putting the fragment or page number at the end of the quote—e.g. “I hold you back from this path, that ‘it is not!’”(Parm. fr. 293), or (Physics 193b7), etc.  You need not create a bibliography or title page.  You need not even use up space giving your paper a title!

Prompt: In De Anima Book 2, Aristotle says:

“Suppose the eye were an animal—sight would have been its soul, for sight is the substance of the eye which corresponds to the account, the eye being merely the matter of seeing; when sight is removed, the eye is no longer an eye, except in name—no more than the eye of a statue or of a painted figure.” (De Anima 412b18-22).

1) In good English prose, a) simply give me (without explaining it) the correct definition of soul, according to Aristotle.  Answering this should take you no more than one or two lines of your paper. Hint: this definition is not contained in the green passage, but is somewhere in De Anima Book 2 before the green passage occurs. b) having given me the correct definition of soul, explain the analogy in the green passage between the power of sight and the soul, such that I can better understand what Aristotle’s definition of soul means. Somewhere in the process, make sure to explain his claim that eyes without sight are eyes only “in name” and tell me what this entails with respect to corpses. c) Aristotle’s account of the eye in the green passage is a hylomorphic account of the eye, and since the eye is being compared by analogy to the animal, it is also a hylomorphic account of the animal. Explain to me what it means to say that the eye and the animal are hylomorphic beings. 2) In Prima Pars, Question 75, Article 1 of the Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas affirms Aristotle’s definition of the soul while arguing that the soul cannot be a body.  In good English prose, explain St. Thomas’s argument that the soul cannot be a body. Do not simply block quote or parrot his words back to me, but rather consider yourself to be a late scholastic philosophical commentator scribbling in the margins of a manuscript of Question 75, Article 1.  Your job is to illuminate the text (and maybe draw some weird stuff).  When I find your manuscript and read St. Thomas’s words, I’m like “uh, what? why?,” but then, if you’ve done your job, when I read your explanation of his words in the margin, I’ll be like, “oh, thanks, I get it!”  3) Using propositions of your own making, write out examples of the following: a) a disjunctive syllogism that is obviously sound. b) a modus tollens argument that is obviously unsound. c) an invalid argument whose premises and conclusion are obviously true and whose first and second premise make use of at least one proposition that is the same proposition. Do not use any of the examples that I have used in class, but come up with your own propositions. This last section should not take up much space in your paper. You don’t have to write your arguments vertically as I do on the board, but you may write them in paragraph format, e.g. “P1) every animal is a thing with sensory powers, P2) every cat is an animal, C) every cat is a thing with sensory powers.”