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Patočka’s Care of the Soul: From Socrates through Plato to Aristotle

(Original title: Patočkova péče o duši mezi Sókratem, Platónem a Aristotelem)
Filozofia, 70 (2015), 6, 409-419.
Type of work: Papers
Publication language: Czech

The paper investigates the structure of Patočka’s interpretation of „the care of the soul“. From Patočka’s analyses as well as from the commentary works it is obvious, that Patočka’s eminent interest was to render the soul as open, unconceivable, problematic and as such forcing a person to live in a positive uncertainty, i.e. in a moral condition which makes her responsible for her own deeds. In ancient tradition this stand seems to have been adopted by Socrates whom Patočka on this very ground prefers to Plato, who on the contrary made the care of the soul a part of his metaphysical theory of ideas. Some Patočka’s accounts suggest, however, that this Socratic conception did not comfort the later Patočka either. Thus the conception which he personally appreciated at most goes back to Aristotle who was the first to introduce the concept of action. As far as I know, in secondary sources this point is not taken into account sufficiently, although it substantially changes the pattern of Patočka’s care of the soul and makes new interpretations of his conception possible.


Aristotle, Care of the Soul, Patočka, Plato, Socrates

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