A few years ago I came up with a (perhaps?) novel concept of a "soul" which, to me, seems very robust and meaningful. I have, however, no background in philosophy and would like to know what real philosophers think about this.
Usually people think of a soul as something "in addition" to their physical bodies which defines them and is "immortal" in some sense. If we think of a person as an individual this would be in contrast with our modern scientific understanding of physics and biology. Lifting this restriction of individualism, however, allows us to find a definition of a soul which is consistent with both, our scientific knowledge and our usual perception of a soul. This is how I would define it:
The soul of a being is the sum of all the consequences of its actions.
The consequences of our actions often happen outside our own bodies, so in this sense the soul is something beyond our physical bodies. It lives in everything we have influenced throughout our lifes. When a person dies, the things she did thoughout her life still continue to have consequences. Her soul is therefore "immortal", in this sense. There is no scientific dispute about the existence of beings, actions or reactions, so this definition fits nicely into a modern scientific world view.
Note, that this definition is not restricted to human beings. Anything that can take actions which have consequences in the real physical world would have a soul. This includes all other animals and even machines. The soul can therefore not be used as a distinguishing factor between humans and other beings, which may make some people uncomfortable because we like to feel special. I do not think, however, that this is a big deal as there are other properties which set us apart.
It may seem weird that with this definition a being's soul would "grow" over time. An infant has nearly no soul, as he has not have had a big impact on the world, yet. Over time, he grows up and develops his own mind, influencing more and more people and things around him. Part of growing up means to learn to anticipate the consequences of one's actions, so one can guide the development of one's soul in a concious, deliberate way.
I hope this question is not to vauge or opinion based. Please focus your answers on flaws in the internal logic of the definition I presented, or point out interesting consequences I have not discussed. I would also be interested if anything similar exists in the philosophical literature.