David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (2):299-316 (2009)
In “On the Life of thinking in Aristotle’s De Anima,” the author offers an interpretation of the tripartite structure of the unified soul in Aristotle’s text. The principleactivity that unities the nutritive, sensuously perceptive and noetically perceptive parts of the soul into a single, continuous entity is shown by our author to be genesis (or the sexual begetting of offspring). After establishing this observation, the paper provides the textual grounds to understand how both sensuous and noetic perception can be understood as a kind of embodied genesis. A further consequence of this argument will be an interpretation of “thinking,” of noetic perception, as a kind of open and passive reception of the primary forms of other beings. As such, Aristotle’s conception of thinking, qua nous, is a refreshing, if strange, contrast to the more common modern vision of “thinking” as the activity of an agent mentally seizing hold of beings in the service of the mastery of nature
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