Performing the Soul Through Movement

  • Martin Ritter
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 104)


In this chapter, I elaborate on Patočka’s concept of the care of the soul. Starting from Patočka’s affirmative presentation of Aristotle’s criticism of Plato, I question the Platonic idea of caring of the soul and develop an alternative notion, putting emphasis on action in the world. Connecting the concept of the soul with that of the movement of existence, I demonstrate the impossibility of identifying the care of the soul/existence with the third movement, whether exemplified by philosophical theory or political action. I elucidate how, or in what sense, the three movements of existence can be interpreted as three souls. Finally, putting emphasis on Patočka’s rather implicit reinterpretation of the self (auto) in the very definition of the soul as self-movement (autokineton), and following both Aristotle’s and Arendt’s emphasis on action, I outline such a concept of the care of the soul where the soul is identifiable, paradoxically, with the very caring.


Action Hannah Arendt Aristotle Freedom Care of the soul Jan Patočka Michel Foucault Movement of existence Plato Soul 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Ritter
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyCzech Academy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic

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