By Martha C. Nussbaum
Bringing jointly a bunch of remarkable new essays on Aristotle's De Anima, this ebook covers subject matters corresponding to the relation among soul and physique, sense-perception, mind's eye, reminiscence, wish, and notion, which current the philosophical substance of Aristotle's perspectives to the fashionable reader. The participants write with philosophical subtlety and wide-ranging scholarship, finding their interpretations firmly in the context of Aristotle's concept as a whole.u
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Extra info for Essays on Aristotle's De Anima
Perceiving Is an Enmattered Form Moreover, since Burnyeat seems inclined (see below, Exhibit C) to grant something like our position where desire is concerned, it is worth pointing out that the De Motu cannot be read as treating desire and perception asymmetrically. The treatment of the physiology of desire is more obscure than the physiology of perceiving, and seems to involve reference to the somewhat mysterious sumphuton pneuma; by contrast Aristotle (as also in Exhibit B) treats perceiving as the clearest and simplest case of physiological realization.
For perceptions just are (ousai), are realized in, such alloiōseis. And although this seems less clear where phantasia and thinking are in question, still, the fact that these two produce results similar to those produced by perception shows that the case is similar. Just imagining or thinking of something can chill you. 23 23 Thinking, it turns out, is realized in the body via the concomitant phantasia. 42 3 Changing Aristotle's Mind II. Perceiving Is an Enmattered Form (1)Puppets and little carts move as wholes, just as the result of a change in a central part; this is the way animals also move.
But it does show that psychological transitions are, for Aristotle, material transitions, and that this embodied status is necessary for the explanation of perception's causal efficacy. Subsequent chapters confirm this general picture. Ch. 8 argues, once again, that certain heatings and chillings are the necessary concomitants of certain perceptions; the argument is extended to memory. And now we are given a way of handling Burnyeat's point that perceiving is not a kinēsis. For we are told that the bodily parts are crafted in such a way as to have by nature the capability of making these transitions—so the transition in question will be the realization of a natural capability, just the sort of transition from potency to actualization that Burnyeat is after on the psychological side.