<philosophical terminology> the active principle present in living things. Plato distinguished three distinct components of the human soul, and Aristotle supposed that plants and animals, no less than human beings, have souls of some sort. Under the influence of Christianity, medieval philosophers focussed on the intellectual component of the human soul, and Descartes identified it as an immaterial substance. Recommended Reading: Plato, Phaedo (Oxford, 1999); Aristotle, De Anima / On the Soul (Penguin, 1987); Thomas Aquinas, On Human Nature (Hackett, 1999); Jan N. Bremmer, The Early Greek Concept of the Soul (Princeton, 1987); and Whatever Happened to the Soul? Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature, ed. by Warren S. Brown, Nancey C. Murphy, and H. Newton Malony (Fortress, 1998).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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