An Inquiry into Personhood

Review of Metaphysics 46 (1):3 - 28 (1992)
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Abstract

The Hebrew Scriptures reveal that for the Hebrews the physical body was fundamental. In thinking of human existence they did not isolate mental processes from sense reactions and bodily feelings. The word "heart" was often used instead of a personal pronoun. In Judges 19, "Comfort thy heart with a morsel of bread" means "Give yourself comfort." In Exodus 33:14, "My face will go with thee," means "I will go with thee." The word ruah, or spirit, denoting breath or wind, referred to anyone who by physical energy and mental alertness was full of life. In many cases the word "heart" was used to bring together the feelings, motives, intentions, and other aspects of an individual as a whole. The word "heart" referred to psychic activity, not merely to a physical organ.

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