The structure of the human soul. Personal psychology and philosophy


This step deals with an attempt to understand the unique reality of the human person, the personal search for truth and goodness. Bonaventure describes the structure and faculties of the human soul and mind. According to him, they have a Trinitarian structure, which points to their divine origin. While reflecting upon the function of the human faculties—e.g., thinking or desiring— we discover the existence of the higher truth (the laws of logical judgment) and the highest good or ethical value (the goal of our desires). The origin of judgments and moral laws seems to be situated above the human person. In this way, according to Bonaventure, personal psychology and philosophy point to God—or some supra-personal order in reality—as the source of higher values and truths.


Bonaventure, Itinerarium. 3.1, 4

Text of Step 3, transl. by O. Bychkov 

Personal psychology (reflection on your own psyche)

Augustine, Confessions.  Trans. and Intro. Henry Chadwick. NY: Oxford UP, 1991. I,1,9; VII,7-13; VIII,6-12.


Personal philosophy

Marcus Aurelius. Meditations. Trans. Maxwell Staniforth, abrdg. Robert Waterfield. NY: Penguin, 1995. Pagination needed.


Self-reflection, self-criticism, self-consciousness

Montaigne, Michel de. The Autobiography of Michel de Montaigne, Comprising the Life of the Wisest Man of his Times. Ed. Marvin Lowenthal. NY: Vintage, 1935, Ch. 13.

Sartre, Jean-Paul, “Existentialism as a Humanism.” Essays in Existentialism, ed. Wade Baskin. NY: Citadel Press, 1970, pp. 31-47.