Some basic definjitions, given early in recorded human history.
Keep in mind the effect of these definitions with respect to collective action, attempts to create a theory of human social, cultural, and spiritual evolution; and the concept of the goal of history, as put forth by Hegel, Marx, Telhard de Chardin, Henri Bergson, and others.
First, examine these terms, from early Greek philosophical history, Hebrew history, and early Judeo-Hellenic Christianity. Also note the evolution of the English word "soul".
PSYCHE life, spirit, consciousness
Modern English soul continues Old English sáwol, sáwel, first attested in the 8th century (in Beowulf v. 2820 and in the Vespasian Psalter 77.50), cognate to other Germanic terms for the same concept, including Gothic saiwala, Old High German sêula, sêla, Old Saxon sêola, Old Low Franconian sêla, sîla, Old Norse sála.
Greek ψυχή psychē "life, spirit, consciousness".
The Greek word is derived from a verb "to cool, to blow" and hence refers to the vital breath, the animating principle in man and animals, as opposed to σῶμα "body". It could refer to a ghost or spirit of the dead in Homer
In the Septuagint, ψυχή translates Hebrew נפש nephesh, meaning "life, vital breath.
PLATO drawing on the words of his teacher SOCRATES, considered the soul as the essence of a person, being, that which decides how we behave. He considered this essence as an incorporeal, eternal occupant of our being. As bodies die the soul is continually reborn in subsequent bodies. The Platonic soul comprises three parts:
1. the logos (mind, nous, superego, or reason)
2. the thymos (emotion, ego, or spiritedness)
3. the pathos (appetitive, id, or carnal)
GREEK NEW TESTAMENT
Paul of Tarsus used ψυχή and πνευμα specifically to distinguish between the Jewish notions of נפש nephesh and רוח ruah (also in LXX, e.g. Genesis 1:2 וְר֣וּחַאֱלֹהִ֔ים = πνευμα θεου = spiritus Dei = "the Spirit of God").
Aristotle makes it clear towards the end of his De Anima that he does believe that the intellect, which he considers to be a part of the soul, is eternal and separable from the body.
Aristotle also believed that there were four parts, parts understood as powers, of the soul. The four sections are calculative part, the scientific part on the rational side used for making decisions and the desiderative part and the vegetative part on the irrational side responsible for identifying our needs
INTELLECT, CALCULATIVE PART, SCIENTIFIC PART, DESIDERATIVE PART, VEGATATIVE PART.
[To be continued]
The definitions of the soul, as given by Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Berkley, Liebniz, Hume, and Kant will be provided.
Later, definitions by Hegel, Kierkegaard, Bergson, Jung and others.
Also the collective significance for the definition of soul.