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In this article the author would like to draw the reader's attention to one of the most interesting conceptions of man, that of Plato. Plato is one of the main sources of the dualist view on the human nature, according to which man consists of the two elements, soul and body; the human soul is non-material and can exist apart from the material body. This statement is controversial because it is not clear how these two distinct entities can exist in one human being. For centuries prominent philosophers considered this to be an issue of prime importance; even now this problem continues to raise deep questions. However, it is worth noting that Plato himself did not formulate one solution to the problem; instead, he tried to describe it in many ways using various metaphors. The author believes that it is more fruitful to see Plato's strategy in this way instead of reducing the relation between the body and the soul to one of its common characteristics, for example, comparing the body to a prison of the soul. It is well known that the core of Plato's conception is knowledge about the soul. The Greek philosopher presents his threefold theory as the central point of reference for his anthropological concept. This is true, but the theory must be put into the proper context. On the one hand, it is bound up with the general conception of the universe, with the macrocosm, to use the Greek term; on the other, it is a basis for both ethical and political considerations. This is also important for the understanding of man. The result is that man is part of the chain of beings, of the rational cosmos. But as a microcosm he/she must imitate an external order in individual, as well as in political life.
In the article the author would like to draw the reader's attention to some of the most interesting ideas in the philosophy of Jan Patocka. This 20th-century Czech philosopher developed a very original philosophy. His main interest was focused on the human condition, so complicated and full of paradoxes, as became clear especially in the 20th century, which included two world wars and two totalitarianisms. Moreover, in the later stage of his philosophical development, Patocka concentrated on the historical condition of human life. He tried to describe the origin of history, which is also the origin of philosophy, politics, and freedom. The result is that by entering into history, human beings enter into a permanent state of problematicity.
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