The spirit is consisted the whole of the intellectual Facultés. In many Tradition S religious, it acts of a Principe of the incorporeal Vie of the human being. In Philosophy, the concept of spirit is in the middle of the traditions known as spiritualistic. One opposes in this direction body and spirit (named more readily Conscience by philosophy and heart by certain religions. In contemporary Psychology, the term becomes synonymous with the whole of the activities Mental are human, conscious and not-conscious.
In Metaphysical and in the Religion S, the word spirit indicates normally the element Immatériel incarnated in the human being.
- By extension says also all to be S immaterial conceived like having a psychic life: God, the Angel S, the demon S, etc
- In Psychology, the word spirit indicates the mental processes and faculty to think clean of the Homme. This term was sometimes rejected for the religious or spiritualistic connotations which it convoyait, authors in particular in the psychoanalytical school preferring most neutral to him psyché. Since the end of the 20th century, under the influence of the anglophone writings , the word spirit found a more frequent use as Traduction of the term mind . One finds, for example, the expression in the French title of a popularizing work by Steven Pinker, How the spirit functions.
- In the ordinary language, the word spirit returns not only to the mental activity but also to certain faculties or gift S intellectuals, particularly of promptness, smoothness, Humor.
The word spirit comes from the Latin “ spiritus ” (derivative of spirare = to blow) which means Souffle, Vent. It also in particular gave the words to inspire (lat. inspirare ) and to expire (lat. expirare ). Spirit, or spiritus , is also the translation of the Greek pneuma and Hebrew ruach .
The word spirit could be given to all that is extremely subtle and very credit, one thus finds it in expressions of old the Chimie like spirit of Vin (alcohol) or spirit of salt (Hydrochloric acid).
Evolution of the definition
The spirit and Christianity
In the First epistle of Saint Paul to Thessaloniciens, Saint Paul requests so that our “entire being, the spirit, the heart and the body” is kept without reproach with the Advent of the Lord (1Th 5,23).
The Church teaches that the distinction between the heart and the spirit does not introduce a duality into the heart. It should be noted that at the 9th century, at the time of the IVe council of Constantinople in 869, there was a controversy on the relation between the heart and the body. The 11th gun of this council affirmed the unicity of the heart.
It is thus at the 9th century that one formalizes the distinction between the heart and the spirit. The spirit being traditionally associated with the Thought and the heart of the Feeling, it was considered before that the man could have a multiple nature (body, heart and spirit). The Christianisme affirmed on the contrary the unit of the human Nobody (one of body and heart) without denying the existence of the spirit:
“the unit of the heart and the body is so deep that one must consider the heart as the shape of the body; i.e., it is thanks to the spiritual heart that the matter constitutional body is an human body and alive; the spirit and the matter, in the man, are not two Nature S not linked, but their union forms single a Nature. ”
The Catholic church thus sought to deepen the Sens terms, which did not go without controversy between the Church of Rome and the Churches of the East. In the Catechism of the Catholic church, the concept of heart is attached to an individual (unit of the human person and heart), while the spirit is also considered under a collective angle:
- “the crowned heritage of the Faith (depositum fidei), contained in the Holy Tradition and the Scriptures was entrusted by the apostles to the whole of the Church. While sticking to him, the plain entire holy people with his pastors assiduously remain faithful to the teaching of the apostles and the fraternal Communion, the fraction of the bread and the Prière S, so that, in the maintenance, the practice and the confession of the transmitted faith, are established, between pastors and Fidèle S, a singular unit of spirit. ”
This is particularly well revealed in the introduction of the Encyclique Fides and ratio:
- “the faith and the reason are as the two wings which make it possible the human spirit to rise towards the contemplation of the truth. It is God which put in the middle of the man the desire to know the truth and, at the end, to know It itself so that, It knowing and the magnet, it can reach the full truth on itself. ”
The word " " spirit; , with tiny (thus that of the man), very often appears in this Encyclique, whereas the word " heart " does not appear quà five recoveries.
The word Spirit written with a capital letter, or appearing in names Spirit of truth, Spirit of adoption… (always with a capital letter) the “the Holy Spirit indicates”.
At the 17th century, Descartes separates the body from the spirit (which it identifies with the heart) in a Dualisme: the body is a extended Substance and raises of the Mécanique (from where the theory of the animals machines), while the heart is a thinking Substance. As a liability, the spirit is intellect; as a credit, it is will. The unit of both remainder a thorny problem, and Descartes sees in the pineal Body the place of communication between the two.
A contrario, holding them of the philosophical Matérialisme refuse the existence of an immaterial principle and the spirit is concçu like the demonstration of physiological phenomena governed by the laws of the Physique: “the Cerveau secretes the Pensée as the Foie secretes the Bile” (Pierre-Jean-Georges Cabanis, 1802).
The generalization of the Paradigme monist naturalist in the sciences of the spirit, now known under the name of cognitive Sciences summarized in the Métaphore of the brain-computer results rather today in putting between the Cerveau and the spirit in the same type of report/ratio as the material (“hardware”) and the Logiciel (“software”) in Informatique. This thesis knows also its adversaries which refuse to see in the spirit only a epiphenomene of the Neurobiologie.
Nevertheless that does not discourage the researchers in cognitive sciences, for which the field of " what remains to be explained in the operation of the esprit" is finished and narrows year by year. Marvin Minsky in its book the company of the Spirit (1985) thus presents an original approach of the spirit and intelligence, which he sees like a phenomenon holist, emerging from the interaction of a very great number of agents inintelligents by them-even.
Other religious traditions
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