Noῦs and Nature in De Anima III

Noῦs and Nature in De Anima III This paper will present a view of Aristotle's understanding of the relation of human intellect to human body in De Anima III. The picture given will be drawn in rather broad strokes, and although I find it a plausible one, I have not (and could not have, in this space) attempted the detailed defense necessary to render it solidly convincing. I put it forward as an interpretative hypothesis to be confirmed or disconfirmed by close study of Aristotle's text and by other scholars' arguments. The present task is to make the picture as clear as possible at this stage. 1. In An. HI 4, Aristotle introduces intellect, "the part of the soul by which it [sc. the soul] knows and understands," as being XwptaT6V (separable or separate) either Kara p,Eye9os (spatially) or Kate X6yOv (merely in formula) (429a10-12). At once a distinction is in play between a merely definitional sense and a presumably ontological sense in which intellect might be separate or separable. But we are not explicitly told the other term of the separation-relation. We may wonder whether separability from the body (in either sense) is the question here. It is a question which Aristotle raised at http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy Online Brill

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Publisher
BRILL
Copyright
Copyright 1998 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1059-986X
eISSN
2213-4417
D.O.I.
10.1163/2213441796X00119
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper will present a view of Aristotle's understanding of the relation of human intellect to human body in De Anima III. The picture given will be drawn in rather broad strokes, and although I find it a plausible one, I have not (and could not have, in this space) attempted the detailed defense necessary to render it solidly convincing. I put it forward as an interpretative hypothesis to be confirmed or disconfirmed by close study of Aristotle's text and by other scholars' arguments. The present task is to make the picture as clear as possible at this stage. 1. In An. HI 4, Aristotle introduces intellect, "the part of the soul by which it [sc. the soul] knows and understands," as being XwptaT6V (separable or separate) either Kara p,Eye9os (spatially) or Kate X6yOv (merely in formula) (429a10-12). At once a distinction is in play between a merely definitional sense and a presumably ontological sense in which intellect might be separate or separable. But we are not explicitly told the other term of the separation-relation. We may wonder whether separability from the body (in either sense) is the question here. It is a question which Aristotle raised at

Journal

Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy OnlineBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1996

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