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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Plato’s central contribution to psychology is his theory of the tripartite soul. This is at once a theory about the nature of the embodied human soul and a theory of human motivation. Its implied theory of motivation was accepted with little or no modification by Aristotle. It remained influential into the later ancient period and beyond, not only among Platonists but also in the Aristotelian tradition. The theory is introduced and put to extensive use in the Republic. This chapter focuses on the Republic, whose psychological theory is discussed in considerable detail in Section 4. It begins by discussing the Protagoras (Section 1), the Gorgias (Section 2), and the Phaedo (Section 3), insofar as speakers in those dialogues express views about human motivation or about the nature of the soul.

Keywords: Plato, tripartite soul, psychology, dialogues, philosophy, Republic, Protagoras, Gorgias, Phaedo

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