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Partitioning the Soul

Debates from Plato to Leibniz

Ed. by Corcilius, Klaus / Perler, Dominik

Series:Topoi – Berlin Studies of the Ancient World/Topoi – Berliner Studien der Alten Welt 22

    79,95 € / $112.00 / £72.50*

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    Publication Date:
    July 2014
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    Aims and Scope

    Does the soul have parts? What kind of parts? And how do all the parts make together a whole? Many ancient, medieval and early modern philosophers discussed these questions, thus providing a mereological analysis of the soul. Their starting point was a simple observation: we tend to describe the soul of human beings by referring to different types of activities (perceiving, imagining, thinking, etc.). Each type of activity seems to be produced by a special part of the soul. But how can a simple, undivided soul have parts? Classical thinkers gave radically different answers to this question. While some claimed that there are indeed parts, thus assigning an internal complexity to the soul, others emphasized that there can only be a plurality of functions that should not be conflated with a plurality of parts. The eleven chapters reconstruct and critically examine these answers. They make clear that the metaphysical structure of the soul was a crucial issue for ancient, medieval and early modern philosophers.

    Supplementary Information


    vi, 304 pages
    Type of Publication:
    Soul; history of philosophy; philosophy of mind
    All those interested in philosophy.

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    "The papers are uniformly rich in content and subtle in argument."
    Lloyd Gerson in: BMCR 2016.03.12

    More by Perler, Dominik:

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