A reader dissents:

Which idea of the soul is Mr. Weisman talking about? Certainly not the one formulated by Aristotle. For Aristotle, the soul was simply the essence of what humans are made for. He said that if a knife had a soul, it would be the act of cutting. Aquinas and several Arab scholars elaborated on this concept so as to make the soul a kind of first principle of the body. Many traditions don't even consider the soul to be a single thing.

In the Jewish Kabbalah, there are at least three different levels of the soul (some add additional ones): Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshamah, which can be thought of as analogous to Freud's Id, Ego, and Superego. Similarly, Plato divided the soul into three parts: Logos, Thymos, and Eros. In fact, one word the Greeks used for soul was "psyche," from which we get the term "psychology," or "psychosis." The idea that the soul might become fractured as a result of disturbances in the body is not all that perplexing to someone who's actually studied the history of the concept.

Mr. Weisman's article is a perfect example of the arrogance of those who use science to rebut philosophical and theological concepts which they can't be bothered to actually study.

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