The Soul’s Tool: Plato on the Usefulness of the Body

Elenchos 43 (1):7-27 (2022)
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Abstract

This paper concerns Plato’s characterization of the body as the soul’s tool. I take perception as an example of the body’s usefulness. I explore the Timaeus’ view that perception provides us with models of orderliness. Then, I argue that perception of confusing sensible objects is necessary for our cognitive development too. Lastly, I consider the instrumentality relationship more generally and its place in Plato’s teleological worldview.

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