The Cognitive Role of <i>Phantasia</i> in Aristotle

Dorothea Frede

in Essays on Aristotle's De Anima

Published in print November 1995 | ISBN: 9780198236009
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598104 | DOI:
 The Cognitive Role of Phantasia in Aristotle

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Phantasia is viewed as a unified concept in Aristotle. When the metaphoric meaning of ‘phantisizing’ is excluded, the causal account for all imagination is the same: all phantasiai are motions in the soul caused by sense-perceptions. These are sensory images or imprints that can exist independently from their original source. Their history may be different, and their character and value may vary. Aristotle’s insistence on their sensory nature indicates that he saw them as a unitary phenomenon in the soul, as sensory appearances.

Keywords: Aristotle; phantasia; imagination; sense-perception; De Anima

Chapter.  9678 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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