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PHIL 1000
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Aristotles De AnimaIn part responding to Platos account of the soul and offering his own very different account When it comes to the soul and its relation to the body Aristotle differs from Plato in the following mannerPlato is a dualistDualism Takes the view when it comes to the soul that the soul and the body are two distinct types of substances This is also the Cartesian view of the soulbody They are two distinct things and can be separated from one another This leaves open the thought of an afterlifeHylomorphism Aristotle is a hylomorphist which comes from the greek for hul matter and morph change So a hylomorphist hates the thought that a soul is a form of specific matter therefore the soul is inseparable from the body and cannot exist without it Found in comparison with the eye While soul and body as it were are conceptually distinct from one another they are as it were not capable of existing apart Defines the soul as the first actuality of a specific sort of organic body For Aristotle a human soul can only exist in a human body An animal soul can only exist in an animal body a vegitative soul can only exist in a vegitative body so on and so forth A soul is a life force if you will that which enables us to live HumansNonHuman AnimalsPlantsIn addition to having all the capacities of nonhuman animals and plants we also have intellect Aristotle will explore the nature of these capacities and their relation to body The intellect for Aristotle though is the only capacity that does not require matter It doesnt require an organ LOLBRAINWHUT All other capacities require a physical component to see we need our eyes so on and so forth Raises the question of if intellect can be separated or not All our other psychological capacities terminate with the death of the body however The soul is our form the matter is our body The two are never found apart from each other although they are conceptually distinguishable The state of knowing is first actuality attending to what one stknows is the second actuality IE 1 actuality is me when Im asleep with respect to seeing I have the ndstability to see but Im not 2 actuality is actually seeing the realization of the 1 actuality The soul is stthe 1 actuality of a certain type of body It sets out the various capacities in that manner to be ndsubsequently realized in the 2 actuality An axe can only come to be out of a certain body in that it has to be made of steel to cut wood not water or whatever rdststThe 3 distinction is the 1 potentiality which sort of comes before the 1 actuality like the seed that has the ability to become human like a fetus The only capacities of a plant are the means to nourish themselves they dont have locomotion perception or thought They lack the ability for compassion Perception consists of a form of affection Employing the platonic account that we saw in the sun analogy The seeing occurs in the seer not in what is seen Affection occurs in the perceiver not the perceived Prior to seeing the seer is actually unlike the visible thing but potentially like it It has the capacity to take on that sensible form when it actually sees it it goes from potentially like the thing to actually like the thing When something is actually seen as far as a visible object its second actuality is stndachieved 1 and 2 actuality is equally applicable to the object and the subject If the tree falls in the forest then yes it happened but no one was there to hear it leaving it at first actuality Intellect has an analogous structure with a fundamental difference the intellect apprehends intelligible objects The intellect is not weakened and is rather strengthened by understanding and deducing from the axioms of a science 1012The faculty of sight becomes whitened when you see a white thing In the case of intellect because there is no matter involved the intellect doesnt become like its intelligible objects it becomes its intelligible objects Unlike sense perception where the organ is damaged upon the use of its faculties when the intellect apprehends the intelligible it is strengthened The intellect at the level of first potentiality most removed conceptual phase is merely the capacity to know at first actuality it is having learned something but not acting on it Its crucial to note that matter is distinct from its mental content 34 is all about the passive our perception is acted upon whether we like it or not Like looking in the general direction of the white board were going to see it whether we want to or not Ideas dont think you you are thinking it you are it Seems legitThe being of water is not intelligible its not a physical thing When you understand its essence being H2O youre not instawet When you step in the puddle you are wet The intellect has proper objects just like the sensible being intelligibles or ideas The intellect focuses on duality as opposed to the straight The straight is something that senseperception apprehends sight touch you see the straight thing you touch the straight thing but you think the straightness The question as to whether the intellect itself becomes the object of intellection is raised Just because you happen to understand x and y it doesnt mean you cant subsequently come to understand z tablet analogy important for Locke laterAlthough the tablet is one with what is written upon it it is not reduced to its ideas in that it retains the capacity to understand and think other things If it was reduced to all that was written on it it would no longer be able to think Highlighting what it means to be a thinking subject and intelligible object IOs to the extent that they are IOs are not capable of thinking The writing cannot be written upon ideas do NOT think they are thought Thinkers think and are not only limited to that idea they always
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