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The Living Body

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Chapter Summary

For much of Western philosophy, and especially following Descartes, the question of the relationship between the psyche (the 'soul' or 'mind') and the body has centered on the problem of identifying and explaining the connection between the two. According to Aristotle the soul/psyche is the ousia (substance/primary being/essence) as the form of a natural body which potentially has life, and since this ousia is actuality (energeia), the soul will be the actuality of such a body. Aristotle himself explicitly identifies the psyche as the first actualisation of a potentially living body. For Castoriadis, the activity of the for-itself is essentially an activity of self-formation. This is true of all levels of the for-itself. In this chapter, the author aim is not to demonstrate that the idea of self-creation but to show that its difficulty ultimately stems from the inability of traditional logic-ontology to accommodate the apparently mundane idea of 'beginning'.

Keywords: Aristotle; human psyche; living body; self-creation



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