Chapter

Aristotle on Thinking

Charles H. Ahn

in Essays on Aristotle's De Anima

Published in print November 1995 | ISBN: 9780198236009
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598104 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019823600X.003.0020
 Aristotle on Thinking

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This essay discusses Aristotle’s theory of the intellect (nous), which is often neglected or misunderstood. It focuses on two doctrines in the theory of intellect: Doctrine One (D1) claims that nous is essentially incorporeal and has no bodily organ; and Doctrine Two (D2) is the thesis that the intellect in act is identical with its intelligible object. It is argued that D1 is incompatible with the general definition of psuchē, and that the appearance of conflict between D1 and the need for phantasms can be removed by distinguishing between noetic faculty and concrete acts of human thinking. D2 can shed light on the relationship of the nous and empirical consciousness in ordinary thinking, to sharpen the contrast between Aristotle’s view and post-Cartesian philosophy of mind.

Keywords: Aristotle; intellect; De Anima; mind; thinking

Chapter.  11779 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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