Studies in Ancient Philosophy: PSYCHIC UNITY IN GREEK PHILOSOPHY

PHIL 2071 Greek philosophers from Plato through the Stoics treated psychic structure as an important issue both in connection with the explanation of animal behavior in general and in connection with the explanation and evaluation of distinctively human forms of behavior (especially ethical ones). Some (especially later figures like Posidonius and Galen) distinguished "parts" [merê, moria] from "capacities" or "powers" [dunameis] of soul and accused others of conflating the two. Talk of parts was more common in ethical contexts, such as Plato's Republic, talk of capacities or powers more common in more scientific contexts, such as Aristotle's De Anima; but concerns about unity were omnipresent, especially in connection with questions about what is required for responsible agency.

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