Pedryc Agnieszka
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47(2011)2 - Dissertations

Agnieszka Pedryc

The relationship between soul and body as understood by Mieczysław A. Krąpiec

  • language: Polish


The problem of the relationship between soul and body is one of the most often discussed questions in philosophy. If we take into account contemporary philosophical anthropology, Krąpiec's conception, inspired by Aristotle and Aquinas' thought, is quite unique. Krąpiec says that man is a psycho-physical unity. The starting point of his considerations is human fact given in experience. We know, from our experience, that we perform various acts, the sum of which does not add up to the "I". All the “my” acts are performed by the independently existing subject "I". On the basis of analysis of the structure of higher mental acts, like thinking and wanting, we can say that the reason that justifies them is the spiritual factor, known in philosophical tradition as the soul. Krąpiec does not accept the soul as a principle at his point of departure; rather it is the reason making our experience non-contradictory.

After proving the existence of the soul, we determine its relation to the body. The soul and the body are in full unity, substantial and essential. Man is a single being, but a complex one. Unity is possible because a man has one single existence. The soul, possessing its own act of existence, shares it with the body. Krąpiec, wanting to know the essence of man, remarks that the body is an important factor, because it is a necessary reason for the existence of the soul and it determines, at least to some extent, all human activities. Man is a psycho-physical being and each of his activities is both bodily and spiritual in some aspect. We experience the unity of soul and body, on the one hand, but on the other, we perform activities that require the acceptance of soul and body as the principles constituting the human being.