Aristotle’s On the Soul
1. Can one err in perceiving something? Why/Why not? Can one err in thinking about
something? Why/Why not?
According to Aristotle, one cannot err in perceiving something. The reason for this is
during the perception process, the body is collecting information through its senses. What goes
into the mind is a raw image of what is collected by the senses. It is concrete information so
perceiving something can never be wrong. On the other hand,Aristotle claims that one can err in
thinking about something. The reason why is because when one thinks of what is perceived, one
uses his or her thoughts and reason which will create a judgment. Because thinking gives one a
chance to understand what is perceived, there is room for mistakes and wrong judgments.
2. What does Aristotle mean and refer to when he is telling us that “in forming opinions we are
not free” (427b20)?
WhatAristotle means when he is telling us that “in forming opinions we are not free” is
that when we make a judgment about something, we are not certain if our judgment is true or
false as opposed to perceiving which is concrete information that we could bring up from our
mind. When we form opinions, whether it is true or false, we cannot change that idea so it will
affect us a certain way.Aristotle gives the example that when one thinks of something as fearful,
emotion is automatically inflicted. On the other hand, when one perceives something, one will
remain unaffected. Dam 2
Aristotle’s Metaphysics Bk. Zeta
1. How does learning proceed (1029b2), according to Aristotle?
According to Aristotle, learning proceeds from the less intelligible to the more
intelligible. What that means is that we begin learning from the information accessible to the
senses and from then, we use that information to help us better understand the knowledge given
from our senses.
2. What does Aristotle mean when he says that “the form . . . is not produced” (1033b3)?
What Aristotle mean when he says the “the form… is not produced” is that every type of
form on earth comes from another form and matter, which also comes from another form and
matter, and this brings about a cycle or origins. Because forms are built from other forms, forms
cannot be “produced” or else the cycle will not be infinite and there will be forms that are not
built from another form which is not possible forAristotle.
3. Is an artifact (a manmade thing) considered a primary substance? Why? Why not?
An artifact (a manmade thing) is not considered a primary substance. The reason why is
because is primary substances are fundamental and basic entities of the world and an artifact is
only one way of classification or representation of the primary substance the artifact came from.
1. What is the difference between what Aristotle calls a “substance” and “secondary
According to Aristotle, a “substance” is an entity that cannot be said of or be in a subject.
With that being said, “secondary substances” are entities that can be said of or be in a subject.
An example would be Socrates and the word man. Socrates is the substance and the word man is Dam 3
the secondary substance because man can be said to be in Socrates but Socrates cannot be
universally said to be in a man.
Descartes’Meditations II & IV (pp. 31 – 39 & pp. 57  – 61 )
2. Why does Descartes go into intricate detail when describing the properties of the piece of
wax? What is the point of this exercise? Outline Descartes’findings in this experimentation.
When Descartes experiments with the wax, he finds that the properties (color, texture,
shape), although can be changed, is still considered to us as wax. The point of this exercise is to
understand that our interpretation of the wax is from the use of our intellect, not our senses since
we can clearly see that all the properties of the wax have changed. In conclusion, Descartes says
that we think of people walking down the street as human because of our intellect and not our
senses since we can see them in different clothing.
4. What does Descartes mean when he says that “I am not merely present to my body as a sailor
is present to a ship” (p. 78)?
What Descartes mean when he says that “I am not merely present to my body as a sailor
is present to a ship” is that the body and mind is more closely tied and connected with each other
that when something happens to the body, the mind automatically knows/perceives the sensation
from the body. The sailor, on the other hand, has to be present with the ship at all times to
perceive the ‘sensations’ of the ship. As an example, when the body is feeling pain, the mind
automatically perceives this notion through intellect. However, when the ship is damaged, the
sailor perceives this through his senses first before intellectually understanding the situation. Dam 4
Descartes’Discourse on Method “Introduction