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Tripartite Soul Theory
from Plato, Shakespeare, Religion & more…

Several truly impressive authorities accept "Tripartite Soul Theory"

It is widely recognised that when we get served-up with Google search results it is usual for us to only actually visit one or two of the first few of the web pages that any Google search has brought to our attention.

Awareness of this has prompted strenuous efforts to be made to make "Tripartite Soul Theory related" content, (that did not tend to feature highly in Google searches but which, according to Google Analytics reports, visitors seemed to find very interesting when then arrived at it), much more likely to feature highly in future Google searches.

It is hoped that this content, which was previously somewhat deeply located on the Age-of-the-Sage.org website, will rank much more prominently in future Google searches, and receive more visitors, through being placed "front and center" on these Tripartite-Soul-Theory.com pages.


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As to this allegedly-interesting content-

Plato, in Book 9 of his most important work The Republic, writes of Socrates in a conversational dialogue suggesting that three governing principles arise from the Tripartite Soul (of Human Nature):
  As there are three parts, so there appear to me to be three pleasures, one appropriate to each part; and similarly three appetites, and governing principles.

  Explain yourself.

  According to us, one part was the organ whereby a man learns, and another that whereby he shews spirit. The third was so multiform that we were unable to address it by a single appropriate name; so we named it after that which is its most important and strongest characteristic. We called it appetitive, on account of the violence of the appetites of hunger, thirst, and sex, and all their accompaniments; and we called it peculiarly money-loving, because money is the chief agent in the gratification of such appetites.

  Yes, we were right.


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That seriously insight-full Man-of-Letters, William Shakespeare, has Falstaff saying to Prince Hal in one his plays:

  There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee.



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Those who continue to consider the content of these Tripartite Soul Theory pages will find irrefutable evidences that all of FIVE major World Religions, Pythagoras (yes, he of the theorem), a most notable American Man-of-Letters named Ralph Waldo Emerson, and actual Historical Occurences, also endorse the presence of such Honesty, Manhood, Good-fellowship Tripartism.


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As to Tripartite Soul Human Nature being directly related to occurences across Human History -
"History is for human self-knowledge ... the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is."
R. G. Collingwood


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As to actual Historical Occurences -

In southern England in the later part of the ninth century A.D. King Alfred the Great authorised, and may have personally contributed to, a translation of Boethius' work "The Consolations of Philosophy."

Whilst this translation is not today held to be fully accurate it did, as published under the royal authority of Alfred as King of Wessex, include this passage:

"… you know that desire for and possession of earthly power never pleased me overmuch, and that I did not unduly desire this earthly rule, but that nevertheless I wished for tools and resources for the task that I was commanded to accomplish, which was that I should virtuously and worthily guide and direct the authority which was entrusted to me. You know of course that no-one can make known any skill, nor direct and guide any enterprise, without tools and resources; a man cannot work on any enterprise without resources. In the case of the king, the resources and tools with which to rule are that he have his land fully manned: he must have praying men, fighting men and working men. You know also that without these tools no king may make his ability known."
Source - Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources.


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These pages consider the endorsement of Tripartite Soul theory by several notable authorities, consider the direct linkages between Human Nature and History suggested by R G Collingwood, Immanuel Kant and others, and provide evidences and examples as to how the foundations of several European states being peopled by praying men (churchmen and women), fighting men, (feudal aristocracies and their armed retainers), and working men, (agricultural laborers, artisans and merchants), together with dynastic rulers proved highly resilient with such an overall societal structures adapting, but persisting into the nineteen-hundreds, or for more than one thousand years.
It cannot be denied, however, that where Dynastic Rulers, Churchmen and Aristocracies, (whilst supported by the efforts of agricultural laborers, artisans and merchants), were all at the center of affairs in several European states in King Alfred's time Churchmen and Aristocracies were tending to become moreso of an evident backdrop to affairs in the later eighteen-hundreds.

Such overall Societal Tripartism only began to be seriously challenged - long-term - in Europe in 1848-9 when Continental Europe featured widespread socio-political-economic turmoil and such then newly potent "isms" as Liberalism, Constitutionalism, Nationalism and Socialism each had their partisans, and direct challenges to the previous orderings of things were, in several cases, determinedly mounted.

It is intended that coverage of the events of the European Revolutions of 1848-9, and of the nineteenth-century "Unification of Italy" that is presently still hosted at Age-of-the-Sage.org, will also be transferred to Tripartite-Soul-Theory.com.
In the meantime direct links to this more recent historical content, showing something of how the Europe of Dynastic Rulers, Churchmen, Aristocracies ~ and a (distinct majority of) "Third Estate" of persons who variously worked and traded ~ came to be largely replaced by a Europe of Parliamentary Democracies where Dynastic Rulers, Churchmen and Aristocracies are either absent, (or constitutionally limited, or have only relatively submerged existences), are offered on the Tripartite-Soul-Theory.com page detailing Historical Evidences of Tripartism.


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Several truly notable authorities
endorse Tripartite Soul Theory


Key Socratic Dialogues from
Book 4 and Book 9 of Plato's Republic



Plato's Ideal State       Plato's Chariot allegory      


Philosophy - Eastern and Western & 'Tripartite' Human Nature


FIVE major World Religions & 'Tripartite' Human Nature