I have been reading Aristotle's Politics book and I struggle to understand what is his idea behind soul. From what I found on the internet the "soul" seems to be not spiritual but rather something else. Currently I view it as an abstract way of describing an ability of living thing to manage itself. Do I understand it right?

  • See Aristotle’s Psychology: soul si the form and body is the matter. There are "soul’s individual capacities or faculties, which he first lists as nutrition, perception, and mind. The broadest is nutrition, which is shared by all natural living organisms; animals have perception in addition; and among natural organisms humans alone have mind." Commented Feb 29 at 15:06
  • I think understanding it as hardware vs software could shed some truth into it. Commented Feb 29 at 23:04
  • You understand it only half-right, see Pasnau, Form and Matter:"In Aristotle, these two aspects of form – proto-scientific and metaphysical – exist side by side, so that sometimes forms are conceived of on the model of souls, where souls are thought to have certain causal powers, whereas at other times forms are conceived of as abstract, functional principles..." Souls are "substantial forms" that are described in De Anima as "movers" of the body ("matter") that make it do things, not something abstractions can do.
    – Conifold
    Commented Mar 1 at 0:32


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