Parts and Unity in the Definition of the Soul

Thomas Kjeller Johansen

in The Powers of Aristotle's Soul

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199658435
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191742231 | DOI:
Parts and Unity in the Definition of the Soul

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The question whether the soul has parts arises for Aristotle because of his concern with the unity of the soul. DA II.2 gives us a way of differentiating parts which does not violate the unity of the soul, namely, parts that are separate in definition. Aristotle understands parts of soul in a way that entails such separation, namely as elements and differentiae in the definition of the different kinds of soul. As separate in definition, parts of soul can be distinguished from each other and from those features of soul which definitionally depend on them. The notion of parthood thus gives us a way of structuring the soul. It also affords Aristotle a way of explaining the unity of the soul: the parts are unified in definition by standing to each other as matter to form, and thereby as potentiality to actuality.

Keywords: part; definition; differentia; unity; homonymy

Chapter.  16239 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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