‘Yeah, it was soul destroying,’ I replied knotting another one of the water balloons for a friendly water fight for a five year olds birthday party.
‘Ah the soul,’ Jimmy said nonchalant, ‘If the soul bears the same relation to the body which the shape of a statue bears to its material basis, then we should expect some general features to be common to both; and we should be able to draw some immediate consequences regarding the relationship between soul and body. To begin, some questions about the unity of soul and body, an issue of concern to substance dualists and materialists alike, receive a ready response. Materialists hold that all mental states are also physical states; substance dualists deny this, because they hold that the soul is a subject of mental states which can exist alone, when separated from the body. In a certain way, the questions which give rise to this dispute simply fall by the wayside. If we do not think there is an interesting or important question concerning whether the Hermes-shape and its material basis are one, we should not suppose there is a special or pressing question about whether the soul and body are one. So Aristotle contends: “It is not necessary to ask whether soul and body are one, just as it is not necessary to ask whether the wax and its shape are one, nor generally whether the matter of each thing and that of which it is the matter are one. For even if one and being are spoken of in several ways, what is properly so spoken of is the actuality. Aristotle does not here eschew questions concerning the unity of soul and body as meaningless; rather, he seems, in a deflationary vein, to suggest that they are readily answered or somehow unimportant. If we do not spend time worrying about whether the wax of a candle and its shape are one, then we should not exercise ourselves over the question of whether the soul and body are one. The effect, then, is to fit soul-body relations into a larger hylomorphic pattern of explanation in terms of which questions of unity do not normally arise.
‘Seriously, man, you need to lighten up a little-‘
‘You are intimidated by my intellectual superiority,’ Jimmy replied as he tried to fill another balloon with a mixture of cow shit and lukewarm water he had put in a blender for fifteen minutes.
‘Dude, you have Edna Kenny tattooed on your buttocks.’
‘And now I am a Youtube sensation.’
‘They took it down.’
‘Sure, but not before six million people saw it. You didn’t even let me finish, you monstrously depraved blogger trying to flog your debauched, cantankerously-caterwauling malodorous heathen scribbles to the Amanda Hocking market, I mean take yesterdays post, would you ever see that on Hocking’s blog? No. You need to be nice, talk about puppies, cartoon characters you like, throw in some childhood nostalgia, you want people to go awww, not ewww. Awww people buy shit, ewww people Unfollow shit.
‘Just stop being a prick.’
‘It’s hard when you were born with one strapped to you.’
‘It’s hard, JD this is a kids birthday party.’
‘I didn’t mean, just forget it.’
‘I shall continue then,’ Jimmy declared. ‘It should be emphasized, however, that Aristotle does not here decide the question by insisting that the soul and body are identical, or even that they are one in some weaker sense; indeed, this is something he evidently denies. Instead, just as one might well insist that the wax of a candle and its shape are distinct, on the grounds that the wax could easily exist when the particular shape is no more, or, less obviously, that the particular shape could survive the replenishment of its material basis, so one might equally deny that the soul and body are identical. In a fairly direct way, though, the question of whether soul and body are one loses its force when it is allowed that it contains no implications beyond those we establish for any other hylomorphic compound, including houses and other ordinary artefacts.
‘What’s the difference between you and a straw shoved up a ducks arse?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘Well one of you quacks and the other…..well I can’t remember the rest of it, but your mother’s a whore, Jimmy.’