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PHIL249 Study Guide - Marsupial, On The Soul

Philosophy at St Joseph's College
Course Code
Matthew Kostelecky

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he translates the logical works of aristotle from greek into latin
killed by emperor theodoric around 525.
spent most of his life as a christian.
wrote the "consolation of philosophy"
becomes master of offices in western Roman Empire. like cheif of staff for the
president of the usa.
he saw his two sons both become roman consuls themselves (above senators).
he was trying to root out corruption from the senate, and he fell out of favor.
as he awaits death he composes the "consolation of philosophy" from memory.
he was going to translate all of plato and all of aristotle to show that they do not
conflict. he only gets to the categories, and also porphyry's isogogue, and two
commentaries on it.
it was thought that you could use aristotle to come to know the forms, so aristotle
was the epistemology, and plato was the metaphysics.
boetheus' commentary on porphyry's commentary on aristotle's 'categories'
In paragraph 23 he mentions Alexander (of Aphrodisias) who commented on Aristotle's
theory of 'intellect'
ARISTOTLE on how understanding occurs
- aristotle invented the theory of abstraction
abstraction: some capacity internal* to the human being that can see the universal in
a particular. *here's where the debate is
you can abstract the notion of something like a bunch of individual humans >>>
in plato, it is all recollection. abstraction is not that different: it is our mind
being jogged. rather than remembering the forms that are in me (a passive act), i
actively do something to cause me to see the universal.
so throughout this reading there is a two-fold implicit expectation that you know De
Anima III, 6.
- aristotle says there is a two fold operation of the intellect/understanding.
1. simple and infallible, or just call it "abstraction" -you can't help but get to the
truth in some sense by just observing. "triangularity"
2. composing/dividing, this is where you can mix and match things. this is where
falsity really lays. "this triangle can be bisected. or: this is a triangle."
so there is no proposition in the first case. it is just "white" or "wall"
in the second, there is proposition: "wall is white" "wall is not white" and in
composing and dividing you can come up with false conceptions (and true conceptions).
*imo this is very agreeable
what underwrites the theory of understanding is Aristotle's theory of perception.
- cows bears etc still have some form of cognition, but it is just sense cognition.
- so in order to UNDERSTAND, you FIRST have to EXPERIENCE with your SENSES.
he points to porphyry's three hard questions p won't answer, and b says i'll do it!
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