The state or fact of existing:; SYN. beingness, existence.
In philosophy, the basic state of existence shared by everything and everybody. Being is a fundamental notion in ontology and metaphysics generally, but particularly in idealism and existentialism.
Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle insisted that to say something exists adds nothing to its description. Being or existence is sometimes distinguished from subsistence, as by Austrian philosopher Alexius Meinong (1853–1920). Idealist philosophers tend to believe that there are not only different kinds but also different degrees of being. The American Willard Quine holds that “to be is to be the value of a variable” in a system of formal logic—that is, that to be or exist is always to have a quality or feature. The ontological argument for the existence of God turns on whether being can be a predicate or property.
ETYM French créature, Latin creatura. Related to Create.
1. A human being; 'wight' is an archaic term; SYN. wight.
2. A person who is used to perform unpleasant or dishonest tasks for someone else; SYN. tool, puppet.
(Irregular plural: selves).
1. A person considered as a unique individual.
2. One's consciousness of one's own identity; SYN. ego.
The individual as an experiencing being, the subject of contemplation, the object of introspection, and the agent of thought and action. Personality and ego are commonly used synonyms, though they do not have exactly the same meaning. The personality is more outwardly observable (by others, that is) and the ego, as a psychoanalytical term at least, contains unconscious elements that the self does not recognize.
ETYM Old Eng. soule, saule, as. sâwel, sâwl; akin to OFries. sôle, os. seola, Dutch ziel, German seele, Old High Germ. soela.
1. Deep feeling or emotion; SYN. soulfulness.
2. The human embodiment of something.
3. The immaterial part of a person; the actuating cause of an individual life; SYN. psyche.
According to many religions, an intangible part of a human being that survives the death of the physical body. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all teach that at the end of the world each soul will be judged and assigned to heaven or hell on its merits.
According to orthodox Jewish doctrine, most souls first spend time in purgatory to be purged of their sins, and are then removed to paradise. In Christianity the soul is that part of the person that can be redeemed from sin through divine grace.
In other religions, such as Hinduism, the soul is thought to undergo reincarnation until the individual reaches enlightenment and is freed from the cycle of rebirth. According to the teachings of Buddhism, no permanent self or soul exists.
In his 1990 New Year’s message, Pope John Paul ii asserted that “animals possess a soul and that man must love and feel.
Solidarity with our smaller brethren”. This statement is still a source of considerable debate within the Roman Catholic Church.