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Chapter Summary

The concept of the innate pneuma as the bearer of soul and all vital functions in all living creatures was a fundamental concept of Aristotle's philosophy. The Stoic theory of pneuma is radically different. But Aristotle had to do with predecessors who also assigned a vital role to pneuma, namely all those who saw 'vital breath' as the central force of life and who considered this life inextricably connected with respiration. The discussion in De spiritu focuses on clarifying the concept of 'the innate pneuma'. For Aristotle this pneuma is something special, the analogue of the astral element in sublunary creatures and the instrumental body of the soul. For his opponents it is 'vital breath', which they identify with the soul, or at least assume to be closely connected with the soul.

Keywords:Aristotle; De spiritu; pneuma



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