Socrates Theory of the Psyche
Both Socrates, and his pupil and friend Plato, seem to have broadly accepted the view of the Psyche, (the psychological essence of a person), that
prevailed in the Greek world into which they were born; which held that an individual's Psyche was composed of varying proportions
of three kinds of endowment:
mental endowments, powers of perception and reason.
emotional, spirited endowments potentially imparting courage.
endowments which predispose towards stronger appetites and desires for food, and for wealth.
The acceptance of such a tri-vergence as to individual Human endowment of personal Psyche, or the existence of a Tripartite Soul in
each person, is reflected in the piece of Dialogue which is attributed to Socrates (in conversation with others), and which appears in
Book 9 of Plato's most widely celebrated work - The Republic:
...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.
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.
Key sources supportive of
Tripartite Soul Theory