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Theology, physics, and mental science were not as yet distinguished.It is only with the rise of dialectic and the growing recognition of the problem of knowledge that a genuinely psychological theory became possible.
That our vital activities proceed from a principle capable of subsisting in itself, is the thesis of the substantiality of the soul: that this principle is not itself composite, extended, corporeal, or essentially and intrinsically dependent on the body, is the doctrine of spirituality.
(Greek psyche ; Latin anima ; French ame ; German Seele ).
The question of the reality of the soul and its distinction from the body is among the most important problems of philosophy, for with it is bound up the doctrine of a future life.
With this doctrine was combined, according to Cicero, the belief in a universal world-spirit, from which all particular souls are derived.
All these early theories were cosmological rather than psychological in character.