Gad Freudenthal

in Aristotle’s Theory of Material Substance

Published in print February 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238645
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679704 | DOI:

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This chapter raises the question of why Aristotle chose to draw in parallel on his theory of nutritive soul and on the corresponding physiological theory in terms of vital heat and pneuma. It suggests that the reason may be that the two theories had different scopes — neither of them could account for all the relevant phenomena — and that, moreover, with respect to the central fact of life they were incompatible: the psychological theory construes life as an ‘either or’ phenomenon; the physiological theory as a gradual process of decrease of vital heat.

Keywords: Aristotle; pneuma; vital heat; nutritive soul

Chapter.  10826 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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