The Soul as an Efficient Cause

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:
The Soul as an Efficient Cause

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Aristotle claims in DA II.4 that the soul is a moving cause of the living body with respect to nutrition and perception. While GC insists that the soul in nutrition is the efficient cause, doubts are raised by the argument in Phys.VIII.6 to show that animal locomotion through nutrition depends on an external mover. Closer inspection of Phys. VIII and DA II.4 shows that the animal moves itself in nutrition but depends on nutriment as its instrument. Given the passivity of the sense-faculty, it is harder to see the soul as an efficient cause of perception. Nonetheless, Aristotle underlines the way in which the sense-faculty prior to the activity of perception can be said to perceive. The GA explains that an animal's own nutritive soul is responsible for the development of this capacity. Moreover, given the advanced stage of perceiving represented one may allow the capacity a contributory efficient causal role.

Keywords: nutrition; final vs. first nutriment; perception; efficient cause; instrument

Chapter.  11099 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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