Inner life and soul: psychē in Plato

Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag (2011)
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Abstract

The concept of the soul, one of the greatest 'inventions' of Greek philosophy, which crossed the whole history of the Western civilisation, was defined in its fundamental philosophical features by Plato. Developing the numerous issues naturally linked to this concept, Plato's thought does not only focus on metaphysical and religious themes, but also to all issues related to spirituality and the human psyche, including their ethical consequences. Therefore, the concept of soul opens the door to an endless process involving the analysis of a subject's interiority. It is not by chance, that this Platonic theme recurs in many texts and even represents the backbone of whole dialogues. In this collection, some of the most important contemporary Platonic scholars looked at these complex philosophical issues from innovative perspectives, especially with regard to texts that previously were either underestimated or largely ignored. This perspective gives the reader a chance to evaluate the hermeneutic power of different approaches and interpretations of Plato's texts, revaluating as well the richness of Plato's contribution to questions that have been received and developed in contemporary philosophical reflections.

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