Chapter Two (The Spirit and The Soul )

The Soul According to Al-Kandi

Al – Kandi defines psychology as ” that which completes a normal body with a liable life mechanism” or ” it is a primary completion of a normal body which has a forceful life”. These two definitions actually denote the same meaning and is the same definition introduced later by Al – Farabi, Ibn Sina, and Ibn Rushed. According to Al – Kandi, completeness means that the human soul completes the race to become a kind; he also indicates that it is a natural, not an artificial entity. Psychology has mechanism because it performs actions using tools which are the different human organs. It is also liable to a strong life because of its readiness to live and accept the psychological forces.
In addition to this definition which is similar to that of Aristotle, Al – Kandi also introduces another one which reveals the influence of Plato where he states that it is a simple one with honor, perfection, and greatness (its essence is that of the Almighty Creator). The psych which Al-Kandi defines here is indeed the speaking one of which he also indicates to be a divine one, belonging to God’s Light. This essence is a simple immortal one that moves from the mind to the sense with memory of its previous life. It does not feel secure in this world because its needs and demands can not be fulfilled thus resulting in its pain in agony. The soul or psych remains after death and moves between the world of the dead to that of righteousness, near the light of the Creator where it rests for ever. There it becomes similar to the Creator where it is capable of learning about things that are known and hidden. Al – Kandi quotes the Quranic verse where Allah says:” (It will be said 🙂 ”Thou wast heedless of this; now have We removed thy veil, and sharp is thy sight this Day!”.
The above mentioned indicates that Al – Kandi was closer to Plato in his attitude towards psychology than Aristotle. The reason could be due to the fact the Platonic doctrine is closer to the teachings of Islam which states that human soul is but a breath from God. It calls for restraining and correcting one’s desires and pleasures to attain happiness in this world and the after one. Al – Knadi’s influence with Plato is also seen in his claim that the human soul is issued first from the mind which, in turn, is issued form one, like light emitted from the sun.
Al – Kandi’s claims about the forces of the soul reveals his confusion between the ideas of Aristotle and those of Plato. According to Plato, the soul is divided into three types: the desirous, the raging, and the wise. Plato also proclaims that the soul is immortal after the perishing of the body. Aristotle, however, states that there are three kinds of souls: the first is the vegetarian, whose function is the feed, grow, and reproduce. The second is the animal one whose function is to sense, imagine, and move in addition to the functions of the vegetarian. The third soul is the wise one which belongs to the human being. Aristotle states that the soul is an image of the body and perishes with it. Al – Kandi cites Plato’s divisions of the soul into desirous, raging, and wise. On the other hand, he sometimes combines between the beliefs of both Plato and Aristotle where he says that the soul has two separate forces which are the sensual and the mental, and in between there are other forces which are : the pictured, the feeding, the growing, the raging, and the desiring.