By Stewart Goetz
Chapter 1 The Soul in Greek inspiration (pages 6–29):
Chapter 2 The Soul in Medieval Christian suggestion (pages 30–64):
Chapter three The Soul in Continental inspiration (pages 65–104):
Chapter four The Soul in Locke, Butler, Reid, Hume, and Kant (pages 105–130):
Chapter five the matter of Soul–Body Causal interplay (pages 131–151):
Chapter 6 The Soul and modern technology (pages 152–181):
Chapter 7 modern demanding situations to the Soul (pages 182–201):
Chapter eight options at the way forward for the Soul (pages 202–215):
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Additional info for A Brief History of the Soul
In addition to highlighting the unity of consciousness, Aristotle also calls attention to the fact that, when we see and hear, we are aware that we are seeing and hearing (De anima, 425b). He makes the same point about walking and thinking: Moreover, when a person sees, he perceives that he sees; when he hears, he perceives that he hears; when he walks, he perceives that he walks; and similarly in all other activities there is something which perceives that we are active. This means that, in perception, we perceive that we perceive, and in thinking we perceive that we think.
Augustine devoted much time and thought to the soul, and some of the most significant points he makes on the subject will reappear, over a thousand years later, in the work of René Descartes. We begin with the most general points that Augustine makes about the soul. Like his Greek predecessors, he maintains that the soul is the principle of life, so that everything that is ensouled is alive: “[E]ach substance either lives or does not live. 3). The following powers of the soul are the common possession of plants and human beings: [T]he soul by its presence gives life to this earth- and death-bound body.
In short, the Freudian idea of a partially unconscious mind can be made compatible with Augustine’s view that the mind is fully present to itself. Moreover, adds Matthews, it is important to realize that the materialist philosopher who tells us that our mind is composed of some material substance or other might get us to accept his materialist view of the self on the basis of some argument, but he will not be able to get us to realize this on the basis of the mind’s full presence to itself. In the light of that presence, the mind is not aware of itself being physical.