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Mind and Body in Aristotle

  • H. M. Robinson (a1)

In this paper I hope to show that a particular modern approach to Aristotle's philosophy of mind is untenable and, out of that negative discussion, develop some tentative suggestions concerning the interpretation of two famous and puzzling Aristotelian maxims. These maxims are, first, that the soul is the form of the body and, second, that perception is the reception of form without matter.

The fashionable interpretation of Aristotle which I wish to criticize is the attempt to assimilate him to certain modern philosophies of mind by making him into a functionalist. I shall therefore begin by explaining this modern term of art

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L.A. Kosman , ‘Perceiving that We Perceive: On the Soul III 2’, Philosophical Review 84 (1975), 499519.

R. Sorabji , ‘Body and Soul in Aristotle’, Philosophy 49 (1974), 6389.

C.H. Kahn , ‘Sensations and Consciousness in Aristotle's Psychology’, Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 48 (1966), 43–8:

K. Campbell , Body and Mind (Macmillan, 1970), argues that all mental predicates should be analysed behaviouristically except for those relating to senseations which must be treated dualistically.

W.F.R. Hardie , ‘Aristotle's Treatment of the Relation Between the Soul and the Body’, Philosophical Quarterly 14 (1964), 5372.

J. Barnes , ‘Aristotle's Concept of Mind’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 72 (19711972), 101–14.

J.L. Ackrill , ‘Aristotle's Definitions of PsucheProceedings of the Aristotelian Society 73 (19721973), 119–33.

T.J. Slakey , ‘Aristotle on Sense Perception’, Philosophical Review 70 (1961), 470–84.

J. Schiller , ‘Aristotle and the Concept of Awareness in Sense Perception‘, Journal of the History of Philosophy 13 (1975), 283–96.

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The Classical Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0009-8388
  • EISSN: 1471-6844
  • URL: /core/journals/classical-quarterly
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