The Stoics and Socrates The question of the reality of the soul and its distinction from the body is among the most important problems of philosophy, for with it is bound up the doctrine of a future life. The soul may be defined as the ultimate internal principle by which we think, feel, and will, and by which our bodies are animated. The term "mind" usually denotes this principle as the subject of our conscious states, while "soul" denotes the source of our vegetative activities as well. If there is life after death, the agent of our vital activities must be capable of an existence separate from the body. The belief in an active principle in some sense distinct from the body is inference from the observed facts of life. The lowest savages arrive at the concept of the soul almost without reflection, certainly without any severe mental effort. The mysteries of birth and death, the lapse of conscious life during sleep, even the most common operations of imagination and memory, which abstract a man from his bodily presence even while awake; all such facts suggest the existence of something besides the visible organism. An existence not entirely defined by the material and to a large extent independent of it, leading a life of its own. In the psychology of the savage, the soul is often represented as actually migrating to and fro during dreams and trances, and after death haunting the neighborhood of its body. Nearly always it is figured as something extremely volatile, a perfume or a breath. In Greece, the heartland of our ancient philosophers, the first essays of philosophy took a positive and somewhat materialistic direction, inherited from the pre-philosophic age, from Homer and the early Greek religion. In Homer, while the distinction of soul and body is recognized, the soul is hardly conceived as possessing a substantial existence of its own. Severed from the body, it is a mere shadow, incapable of energetic life. Other philosophers described the soul's nature in terms of substance. Anaximander gives it an aeriform constitution, Heraclitus describes it as a fire. The fundamental thought is the same. The soul is the nourishing agent which imparts heat, life, sense, and intelligence to all things in their several degrees and kinds. The Pythagoreans taught that the soul is a harmony, its essence consisting in those perfect mathematical ratios which are the law of the universe and the music of the heavenly spheres. All these early theories were cosmological rather than psychological in character. Theology, physics, and mental science were not as yet distinguished. In the "Timaeus" (p.
To live deficiently or energy-efficiently: that is the question. Although the majority of us are aware of the pressing environmental problems we face daily, we are not very aware of the urgency to find a solution to them. Life on earth is built up like a wagon wheel; we can remove a few of those spokes and we might still be able to travel safely, but eventually the wheel will weaken and collapse. At that point, no amount of human ingenuity will allow us to reconstruct the wagon wheel so we can keep traveling on to the future. This fact is obvious, given our inability to completely clean up any damage our pollution has done to the environmentâ€”how can we expect to rebuild or repair a collapsed planetary ecosystem? We cannot keep consuming resources and damaging the environment at our current exponential rate. Exponential growth implies infinite expansion, but our Earth is finite, and its resources are finite. If something is not done about our wasteful use of the planetâ€™s energy and resources, our lives will be made miserable and desperate as the natural processes which support human life collapse like a flimsy wagon wheel made of sludge and decaying tree stumps. We will be living deficiently, if at all, according to our current standards of living. Pollution cleanup is no good; continuing to use the current rates of energy that we use without change is no good. We must concentrate on preventing environmental problems in the first place, and whatâ€™s more, we must figure out a simple, economical, and practical way that each of us can do it. This solution is energy-efficiency. Series of Topic Sentences to Follow Outline: It is necessary to find a practical resolution to environmental problems. Examples of these environmental problems include: These environmental problems pose a serious threat to humans because the planetary ecosystem is being slowly destroyed. We often like to use the less-impacting terms â€œdegradedâ€ or â€œinjured,â€ but we shouldnâ€™t use diction to hide the truth. By flagrantly using unnecessary quantities of energy, we are gradually destroying our environmentâ€”not â€œdegradingâ€ or â€œinjuringâ€ it, but destroying it. Our environmental problems are caused by pollution release, resource overuse and destruction, and carelessness towards the environment. The source of all these problems is the lack of human energy-efficiency in manufacturing products and, with greater contribution to the problem, the lack of energy-effiicient lifestyles.