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On the Soul
This discussion of the soul departs from the concept of the soul that for thousands of years has occupied the attention of philosophers and theologians and pervaded religious discourse. Morris is concerned with what William James referred to as ‘the popular soul,’ the soul as it is invoked by expressions such as ‘an expansive soul,’ ‘a soulless person,’ ‘soul-mate,’ and ‘that melody touched my soul.’ Skepticism with regard to the existence of this soul is without warrant. How this soul comes into being and develops; what its essential features are; how the world, when the soul is engaged, is transformed; what its relationship is to one’s conscience; its importance in a human life; its connections to purity and perfection, to silence; its survival upon death; and the perils posed today to its development and existence are the principal topics considered.
Herbert Morris is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Emeritus Professor of Law and former Dean of Humanities (1983 – 1993) at the University of California, Los Angeles. His latest publication is Disclosures: Essays on Art, Literature and Philosophy (2017).