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The World Faiths - Plato - Socrates
Shakespeare and the Tripartite Soul

The very widely held,
and truly notably suggested,
"Tripartite Soul" view of Human Nature

Several major world faiths, Shakespeare, and Socrates and his friend Plato, can be seen as being amongst those authorities which ALL seem to agree in support of a "Tripartite Soul" view of Human Nature!!!

Three examples of this will now be considered, one from William Shakespeare, then some Wisdom of the East, followed by a contribution from Socrates and Plato:

There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee.
William Shakespeare: Henry IV (Pt 1), Act I, Scene II

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In the Bhagavad Gita, (a principal Holy Book of Hinduism), we read:

Arjuna spoke.
   But by what is a man impelled, O Varshneya! when he commits sin even against his will, as if compelled by force?

The Holy One spoke.
   It is lust: it is wrath, born from the "passion" mode: know that this, all-devouring, all-defiling, is here our foe.
Bhagavad Gita 3: 36-37

and again ~

… the pleasures that come from the world bear in them sorrows to come. They come and they go, they are transient: not in them do the wise find joy.
But he who on this earth, before his departure, can endure the storms of desire and wrath, this man is a Yogi, this man has joy.
He has inner joy, he has inner gladness, and he has found inner Light. This Yogi attains the Nirvana of Brahman: he is one with God and goes unto God.
Holy men reach the Nirvana of Brahman: their sins are no more, their doubts are gone, their soul is in harmony, their joy is in the good of all.
Because the peace of God is with them whose mind and soul are in harmony, who are free from desire and wrath, who know their own soul.
Bhagavad Gita 5: 22-26

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Such ancient Vedic Wisdom, (Hinduism is also known as Vedanta), is perhaps complemented by this brief selection of Socratic Dialogue:

… can we possibly refuse to admit that there exist in each of us the same generic parts and characteristics as are found in the state? For I presume the state has not received them from any other source. It would be ridiculous to imagine that the presence of the spirited element in cities is not to be traced to individuals, … or the love of knowledge, … or the love of riches …
From Book 4 of Plato's - The Republic


More examples of this three-way attribution of identifiable aspects, (honesty, manhood and good fellowship), to Human Nature are to be found by following this link to our partner site Tripartite Soul Theory.com:


Tripartite Soul Theory overview



This can be taken much further in that Human Behavior, and even large-scale and enduring themes in Human history, can be seen as arising from the motivations, and predispositions, inherent in Human Nature:

Whatever concept one may hold, from a metaphysical point of view, concerning the freedom of the will, certainly its appearances, which are human actions, like every other natural event, are determined by universal laws. However obscure their causes, history, which is concerned with narrating these appearances, permits us to hope that if we attend to the play of freedom of the human will in the large, we may be able to discern a regular movement in it, and that what seems complex and chaotic in the single individual may be seen from the standpoint of the human race as a whole to be a steady and progressive though slow evolution of its original endowment.
Immanuel Kant
Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View (1784)


More on this association between Human Nature and Human Behavior / History is to be found by following this link to our partner site Tripartite Soul Theory.com:


What does History teach us about Human Nature?


As to momentously large-scale events arising from Human Nature:

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.
Alfred the Great: Asser's Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources

The adoption of a pattern of society featuring Dynastic Rulers, Church Hierachies, Ennobled Lords, and Laborers-Artisans-Traders became widespread in Europe before and after King Alfred's time. Such patterning of society survived in much of Europe for more than a thousand years thereafter!

Why should we not attribute the initial adoption of the Dynastic patterns of society to the vital necessity recognised by the state, (of King Alfred's times), for Religious, Defensive and Productive activities to take place - whilst persons were available, with the requisite attributes, to be Clerics, Noblemen and Laborers-Artisans-Traders.

It can be asserted that the survival of such patterning of society for more than a thousand years in diverse, (and often relatively accomplished parts of Europe), did much to provide Definitive Contexts, (associable with Human Nature?), for peoples' day-to-day lives across those those centuries.
[As the eighteenth-century continued into the twentieth the Europe of Dynastic Rulers, Church Hierachies and Ennobled Lords became slowly, but nonetheless increasingly, submerged in patterns of society newly re-shaped by such emergent "isms" as Liberalism, Constitutionalism, Nationalism and Socialism. Urbanisation and population growth became very evident and there were increasingly wider extensions of voting rights.
Honesty, manhood and good fellowship have doubtless continued to be expressed in individual peoples' lives, and the functioning of societies, in the emergent ordering of things since populisms and social changes have re-shaped patterns of society.]

More on such evidences of the Tripartite Soul on the courses History of is to be found by following this link to our partner site Tripartite Soul Theory.com:


Historical evidences of the Tripartite Soul



The ways in which such emergent populist socio-political-economic forces as Liberalism, Constitutionalism, Nationalism and Socialism were coming to pose potent challenges to the continuance of traditional Dynastic authority can be better understood by studying the events of the widespread European Revolutions of 1848-9:
1 The European Revolution of 1848 begins
A broad outline of the background to the onset of the turmoils and a consideration of some of the early events.

2 The French Revolution of 1848
A particular focus on France - as an Austrian foreign minister said "When France sneezes Europe catches a cold".

3 The Revolution of 1848 in Germany and central Europe
The Germanies - Germany - had a movement for a single parliament in 1848 and many central European would-be "nations" attempted to assert a distinct existence separate from the dynastic sovereignties they had been living under.

4 The "Italian" Revolution of 1848
A "liberal" Papacy after 1846 helps allow the embers of an "Italian" national aspiration to rekindle across the Italian Peninsula.

5 The European Revolutions - reactionary aftermath 1848-1849
Some instances of social and political extremism allow previously pro-reform liberal elements to join conservative elements in supporting the return of traditional authority. Such nationalities living within the Habsburg Empire as the Czechs, Croats, Slovaks, Serbs and Roumanians, find it more credible to look to the Emperor, rather than to the democratised assemblies recently established in Vienna and in Budapest as a result of populist agitation, for the future protection of their nationality.
The Austrian Emperor and many Kings and Dukes regain political powers. Louis Napoleon, (who later became the Emperor Napoleon III), elected as President in France offering social stability at home but ultimately follows policies productive of dramatic change in the wider European structure of states and their sovereignty.

Also of instructive interest: Italian Unification - Cavour, Garibaldi and the Unification of Italy
Whereas the Italian Peninsula featured a plurality of states, (the States of the Church, together with several Kingdoms, Grand Duchies and Duchies), well into the second quarter of the nineteen-hundreds), and where this plurality of states had been largely restored after the events of 1848-9, a "unified" Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in 1861 and further expanded on in 1870.