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Soul

In many religious, philosophical, and mythological traditions, there is a belief in the incorporeal essence of a living being called the soul. Soul or psyche (Greek: "psychē", of "psychein", "to breathe") are the mental abilities of a living being: reason, character, feeling, consciousness, memory, perception, thinking, etc. Depending on the philosophical system, a soul can either be mortal or immortal. In Judeo-Christianity, only human beings have immortal souls (although immortality is disputed within Judaism and may have been influenced by Plato). For example, the Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas attributed "soul" (anima) to all organisms but argued that only human souls are immortal. Other religions (most notably Hinduism and Jainism) hold that all biological organisms have souls (atman, jiva) and a 'vital principle' (prana), as did Aristotle. Some teach that even non-biological entities (such as rivers and mountains) possess souls. The latter belief is called animism. Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, understood that the soul (ψυχή psūchê) must have a logical faculty, the exercise of which was the most divine of human actions. At his defense trial, Socrates even summarized his teaching as nothing other than an exhortation for his fellow Athenians to excel in matters of the psyche since all bodily goods are dependent on such excellence (Apology 30a–b).
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