Stephen R.L. Clark

in Aristotle's Man

Published in print May 1975 | ISBN: 9780198245162
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680847 | DOI:

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This chapter explores certain details of the existence and of the theories that have been expounding. It also confirms Aristotle's biological works that must be taken seriously as considered expressions of his philosophical attitude. It is convenient to study his account of sensory perception first through the eyes of Irving Block. In doing so, the chapter particularly describes the relation between the ‘primary’ and the ‘special’ senses, and the concept of the senses as self-aware, which is used in the earlier biological works. It then addresses the concepts of corrigibility and accuracy, and finally the doctrine of sense or the senses as means. The last point leads on to the ethical mean; self-awareness and accuracy to the discussion of nous. It is concluded that Aristotle's psychological and biological works may legitimately be placed towards the later part of his life – his philosophy turns toward the world; that the relation of primary and special senses, of the critical faculty to the various types of phenomena presented in different sensory dimensions, is an instance of that relation of whole to parts that pervades his work; human senses are variously accurate, detached from immediate pleasure and pain, and grasping of wholes – sight is the paradigm; and the senses are means partly because sense is a mean.

Keywords: Aristotle; philosophical attitude; Irving Block; nous; wholes; mean

Chapter.  6863 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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