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Gurevich P.S. Aristotle On the Soul

Published in journal "Pedagogy and education", 2016-4 in rubric "Editor-in-Chief's column", pages 348-352.

Resume: The article is devoted to the analysis of an unfinished treatise of Aristotle 'On the Soul'. The aforesaid treatise made a significant influence on the historical fate of psychology. In fact, Aristotle became the founder of scientific psychology identifying soul with psyche. The ancient philosopher believed that soul was the reason and beginning of a living body. Assuming that the essence defines existence of each item, Aristotle interprets life as the essence of living creatures. The philosopher devoted a significant part of the treatise to criticizing misconceptions of soul. Many provisions of his philosophy are beyond doubt. Mental processes are actually related to physical processes. Soul is not a harmony, in fact, because mental life is full of contradictions and collisions. According to Aristotle, mind is not identical to body and cannot be interpreted as an organic function. In his article Gurevich uses the principle of historicism which allows to demonstrate the development of principles associated with the development of views on mental processes. Aristotle's views on the nature of soul played an important role in the creation and development of psychology. However, Gurevich also shows that Aristotle's philosophy of soul displaced other interpetations and definitions of soul that had certain heuristic potential. This can be said about Plato's teaching in particular. In fact, Aristotle's concept of soul and Plato's concept of soul never synthesized. Reduction of soul to psyche only impoverished the essence and definition of soul and narrowed the concept of human inner life. Today's discoveries made by neuroscientists and transpersonal psychologists prove that Aristotle's concept of soul is rather narrowed.

Keywords: movement, sensation, immanence, transcendence, emotions, body, human, psychology, psyche, soul

DOI: 10.7256/2306-434X.2016.4.21569

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