Animus. A Study of Seneca's Psychology

The notion of soul represents the beating heart of Seneca’s thought, as it constitutes the essential starting point for the investigation of numerous other aspects of his philosophy: the soul knows, judges, remembers, chooses, acts, suffers, feels. In this sense, studying the soul in its main elements, its characteristics, its structure and its functioning, is the necessary condition for understanding the author’s own theory of knowledge, action and passion. The explication of these essential theoretical premises is precisely the purpose of this work. In short, the present study aims to investigate the question of the soul – human, primarily – in the philosophical reflections of Seneca, bringing out a complex and philosophically pregnant picture that accounts for the main aspects of the theme in question. It is thus sketched a conception of the soul that is deeply in line with the dictates of the Stoic school and, at the same time, intimately Senecan.