What is the soul? Where is it located? Since the origins of its existence humankind has attempted to answer these questions and generally engaged in reflections concerning the nature of the soul. Writing a history of the concept of the soul, such as the one offered in this book, involves identifying common features shared by extremely different and even contradictory viewpoints. The soul has never been understood to be an unambiguous, well-defined, simple, or straightforward object. The text addresses the semantic plurality that is intrinsic to the notion and reflects a surprising variety and wealth of meanings. In fact, since the concept of the soul is ever-changing, it continuously re-emerges after having been pronounced obsolete, invigorated by and adapting to novel ideas and fresh controversies.
Luca Vanzago teaches Philosophy of Knowledge and History of Philosophy at the University of Pavia.