Body: Philosophical Definition

joconde philosophy

The body in philosophy:

Philosophers believe the body as any material object is with our perception. Its basic properties are the size, mass and impenetrability. Phenomenologists distinguish the human body, called body-subject, because it is related to subjectivity. The classic question is the relationship of body and soul. Some, like Spinoza think this report in the way of unity (monism), the other on the dual mode (parallel)

Definitions of philosophers:

Lucretius: “Our body is the envelope of the soul, which, in turn, is the guardian and protector”

Plato: “The soul never reasons better than when it as completely isolated itself by sending the body walk”

Descartes: “The word body is very equivocal. When we speak of a body in general, we mean a specific part of the material, and set the amount which the universe is composed. But when we speak of the body of a man or woman, we hear any matter which is united with the soul of man ” (Passions of the Soul)

Spinoza: “I mean a mode that the body expresses the essence of God as it is regarded as something heard, in a certain and determined”

Leibniz: “Each organic body of a living is a kind of divine machine, or natural automaton, which infinitely surpasses all artificial automata” (Monadology)


Cite this article as: Tim, "Body: Philosophical Definition, May 26, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, May 26, 2012,

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