Aristotle: Philosophy of Mind

Edited by Caleb Cohoe (Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Colorado at Denver)
About this topic
Summary In his On the Soul, Aristotle offers one of the first systematic accounts of the soul and of its role in explaining living activities. In book one he criticizes the views of his predecessors, Plato and the Pre-Socratics. In books two and three, Aristotle develops his own account of the soul, characterizing it as the fulfillment or actuality of an organic body. The soul is the principle that makes the bodies of living things actually be alive. Thus, on his account, living things are composites of matter and form: they are hylomorphic (the technical term for Aristotle's view, based on the Greek words for matter and form). After laying out this general account, Aristotle discusses three fundamentally different kinds of soul power: a nutritive or vegetative power that allows living things to grow, nourish themselves and reproduce; a perceptual power that allows animals to perceive and respond to the world around them; and an intellectual power that allows human beings to understand the natures of things. Aristotle characterizes the powers these souls have by analyzing their activities and the objects these activities involve (e.g. in order to define the power of perception, he gives an account of the activity of perception and an account of perceptible objects). Aristotle's text was the key reference point for much of ancient and medieval psychology and philosophy of mind and has continued to have a significant influence up to the present day. There has been continuing debate on the extent to which Aristotle's hylomorphism represents a distinct or viable position when seen from the vantage point of contemporary philosophy of mind (see Aristotle:Soul for further details). Both the overall orientation of Aristotle's philosophy of mind (e.g. is it naturalistic or not?) and the details are highly controversial, as the articles in this category and its subcategories make clear.
Key works Aristotle's most important work in this area is his De Anima (the work is usually referred to by its Latin name) or On the Soul (editions include Aristotle 2002, and Aristotle & Ross 1956). There are two excellent recent translations into English by Christopher Shields (Shields 2016) and C.D.C. Reeve (Reeve & Aristotle 2017). Important commentaries on the work include Hicks (Hicks & Aristotle 1907), Ross (Aristotle & Reeve 1956), Rodier (Aristotle & Rodier 1900), and Polansky (Polansky 2010). Aristotle's other psychological works are found in the Parva Naturalia, including De Sensu or On Sense and the Sensible and De Memoria or On Memory and Recollection (ARISTOTLE 1955). He also discusses claims that are relevant to his philosophy of mind in a number of other works. His discussion of animal motion in De Motu Animalium sheds light on his discussion of locomotion in On the Soul while his biological works offer further information on how Aristotle thinks the soul and body interact (e.g. Aristotle 1992). Other relevant texts in other works include his treatment of different kinds of knowledge in book six of the Nicomachean Ethics and his discussion of the the nature of form and substance in the Metaphysics (Aristotle 1994; Aristotle 1994).
Introductions Chapter four of Jonathan Lear's Aristotle: The Desire to Understand provides a helpful and very readable introduction to Aristotle's views on the soul and on cognition (Lear 1988). Christopher Shields' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Aristotle's Psychology gives an excellent overview of Aristotle's philosophy of mind and of the main interpretative disputes currently going on in the literature (Shields 2008). 
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  1. Aristotle on Earlier Greek Psychology: The Science of Soul.Jason W. Carter - 2019 - Cambridge University Press.
    This volume is the first in English to provide a full, systematic investigation into Aristotle's criticisms of earlier Greek theories of the soul from the perspective of his theory of scientific explanation. Some interpreters of the De Anima have seen Aristotle's criticisms of Presocratic, Platonic, and other views about the soul as unfair or dialectical, but Jason W. Carter argues that Aristotle's criticisms are in fact a justified attempt to test the adequacy of earlier theories in terms of the theory (...)
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  2. The Causal Structure of Emotions in Aristotle: Hylomorphism, Causal Interaction Between Mind and Body, and Intentionality.Gabriela Rossi - 2018 - In Marcelo Boeri, Yasuhira Y. Kanayama & Jorge Mittelmann (eds.), Soul and Mind in Greek Thought. Psychologial Issues in Plato and Aristotle. Springer. pp. 177-198.
    Recently, a strong hylomorphic reading of Aristotelian emotions has been put forward, one that allegedly eliminates the problem of causal interaction between soul and body. Taking the presentation of emotions in de An. I 1 as a starting point and basic thread, but relying also on the discussion of Rh. II, I will argue that this reading only takes into account two of the four causes of emotions, and that, if all four of them are included into the picture, then (...)
  3. Processes as Pleasures in EN Vii 11-14: A New Approach.Joachim Aufderheide - 2013 - Ancient Philosophy 33 (1):135-157.
  4. Anima Christiana.Burkhard Reis & Dorothea Frede - 2009 - In Burkhard Reis & Dorothea Frede (eds.), Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy. Walter de Gruyter.
  5. Aristotle De Anima.Wm A. Hammond & R. D. Hicks - 1909 - Philosophical Review 18 (2):234.
  6. Aristotle and Neoplatonism in Late Antiquity: Interpretations of the De Anima.Eyjolfur Kjalar Emilsson & H. J. Blumenthal - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (3):486.
  7. Ears Are Not the Subject of Hearing in Aristotle’s On the Soul II 8, 420a3–12.Abraham P. Bos - 2010 - Philologus: Zeitschrift für Antike Literatur Und Ihre Rezeption 154 (2).
  8. A Plea for Soul-Substance. II: 'De Natura Anima'.W. P. Montague - 1899 - Psychological Review 6 (6):606-638.
  9. Aristotle on Perceiving Objects.Pavel Gregoric - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (2):375-377.
  10. Toward a New Edition of Themistius' Paraphrase of Aristotle's "De Anima".Stephen M. Bay - unknown
  11. Aristotle on Perceiving Objects.Julie K. Ward - 2015 - Ancient Philosophy 35 (2):467-471.
  12. Pleasure and the Two Happinesses in Aristotle.Martin A. Bertman - 1972 - Apeiron 6 (2):30 - 36.
  13. Touching the Bronze Sphere at a Point A Note on De Anima I, 1, 403a10-16.Robert McKay - 1979 - Apeiron 13 (2):86.
  14. Aristotle on Perceptual Truth and Falsity.Aaron Ben-Zeev - 1984 - Apeiron 18 (2):118 - 125.
  15. Telos and the Unity of Psychology: Aristotle's de Anima II 3-4.Wendy Lee-Lampshire - 1992 - Apeiron 25 (1):27.
  16. Rational Pleasures. Review of James Warren, The Pleasures of Reason in Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Hedonists. [REVIEW]Kelly E. Arenson - 2016 - The Classical Review 66 (1):1-3.
  17. Buraselis, Karamanolakis and Katakis Eds. H Μνήμη Της Κοινότητας Και Η Διαχείρισή Της: Μελέτες Από Μια Ημερίδα Αφιερωμένη Στη Μνήμη Του Τίτου Παπαμαστοράκη [= Communal Memory and its Handling: Studies Arising From a One-Day Colloquium in Memory of Titos Papamastorakis]. Athens: Kardamitsa, 2011. Pp. 364. €21.30. 9789603543015. [REVIEW]Maria Fragoulaki - 2015 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 135:253-254.
  18. Aristotle and Alexander on Perceptual Error.Mark A. Johnstone - 2015 - Phronesis 60 (3):310-338.
    Aristotle sometimes claims that the perception of special perceptibles by their proper sense is unerring. This claim is striking, since it might seem that we quite often misperceive things like colours, sounds and smells. Aristotle also claims that the perception of common perceptibles is more prone to error than the perception of special perceptibles. This is puzzling in its own right, and also places constraints on the interpretation of. I argue that reading Alexander of Aphrodisias on perceptual error can help (...)
  19. De Anima.David Ross (ed.) - 1963 - Clarendon Press.
    Please note, this is the original Greek text.
  20. De Anima: Books Ii and Iii.D. W. Hamlyn (ed.) - 1993 - Clarendon Press.
    BL A close translation of the most important parts of Aristotle's De Anima BL The reissue contains a review of the recent lively debate on Aristotle's philosophy of mind, plus a new bibliography Aristotle's De Anima has a claim to be the first systematic treatment of issues in the philosophy of mind, and also to be one of the greatest works on the subject. This volume provides an accurate translation of Books II and III, together with some sections of Book (...)
  21. Aristotle and the Hippocratic De Victu on Innate Heat and the Kindled Soul.Hynek Bartoš - 2014 - Ancient Philosophy 34 (2):289-315.
  22. An Alternative Reading of De Anima 413a8–9.Mary Elizabeth Tetzlaff - 2013 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 87:115-125.
    This paper presents three interpretations of the infamous “sailor / ship” sentence that concludes Aristotle’s De Anima II.1. The first two interpretations represent the ones most popular in contemporary scholarship; the final is the author’s original. The interpretations are then evaluated with respect to grammatical plausibility and explanatory strength. The paper makes a case that the new reading answers to both points of evaluation and contributes to an interpretive approach to Aristotle that values the coherence and cogency of his De (...)
  23. De Anima: Books Ii and Iii.Aristotle . (ed.) - 1993 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This revised edition contains a substantial review of recent work on Aristotle's philosophy of mind, together with a new bibliography.
  24. §4 De anima.Maria Marcinkowska-Rosol - 2014 - In Die Prinzipienlehre der Milesier: Kommentar Zu den Textzeugnissen Bei Aristoteles Und Seinen Kommentatoren. De Gruyter. pp. 403-446.
  25. Lectura in Librum de Anima a Quodam Discipulo Reportata.René Antoine Anonymus, Aristotle & Gauthier - 1985
  26. O Dusi.Antonín Aristotle & Kríz - 1995
  27. La Recepci'on 'Arabe Del "de Anima" de Aristoteles Al-Kindi y Al-Farabi'.Rafael Ramâon Guerrero - 1992
  28. If Aristotle Ran General Motors the New Soul of Business.Thomas V. Morris - 1997
  29. Ibn Bajjah's Paraphrase of Aristotle's de Anima.M. Saghir Hasan Avempace & Ma Sumi - 1952
  30. De Rebus Naturalibus in Aristotelis Libros de Anima.Giacomo Zabarella - 1966
  31. Sense as Receptive of Sensible Forms Without the Matter in Aristotle's De Anima Ii 12.R. Polansky - unknown - Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research 13.
  32. Φanta∑Ia In Aristotle, De Anima 3. 3.Gerard Watson - 1982 - Classical Quarterly 32 (1):100-113.
    There is no general agreement among scholars that Aristotle had a unified concept of phantasia. That is evident from the most cursory glance through the literature. Freudenthal speaks of the contradictions into which Aristotle seems to fall in his remarks about phantasia, and explains the contradictions as due to the border position which phantasia occupies between Wahrnehmung and thinking. Ross, in Aristotle , p. 143, talks of passages on phantasia in De Anima 3. 3 which constitute ‘a reversal of his (...)
  33. Ross, W. D., Ed., Aristotelis De Anima.H. S. Long - 1956 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 50:42.
  34. N Memory and the Specific Energies of the Nervous System. [REVIEW]H. Beaunis - 1895 - Ancient Philosophy 6:634.
  35. Aristotle "De Anima ", Translated with Introduction and Notes by High Lawson-Tancred. [REVIEW]Christopher Shields - 1992 - Ancient Philosophy 12 (1):201.
  36. T.K. Johansen, Aristotle On The Sense-Organs. [REVIEW]Victor Caston - 2001 - Philosophy in Review 21:127-129.
  37. Cristoforo Landino on the Human Soul: The "Disputationes Camaldulenses" and "de Anima".Bruce Gregory Mcnair - 1991 - Dissertation, Duke University
    Cristoforo Landino's writings from 1462 to 1472 do not support the idea that the "Ficino circle" of humanists in the 1460s and early 1470s withdrew from Aristotelianism and social activity for Platonic studies. While Ficino was doing his main work on Plato, Landino, one of Ficino's closest friends, wrote his two main studies of the human soul, the De anima and the Disputationes Camaldulenses. In these works Landino relies on medieval and contemporary thinkers to incorporate both Plato and Aristotle, and (...)
  38. The Soul and Discursive Reason in the Philosophy of Proclus.D. Gregory Macisaac - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    In Proclus dianoia is the Soul's thinking activity, through which it makes itself into a divided image of Nous. This dissertation examines various aspects of Procline dianoia. Dianoia's thoughts are logoi, because in the Greek philosophical tradition, logos came to mean a division of a prior unity . Proclus' theory of dianoia rejects induction, and is a conscious development of Plato's theory of anamnesis , because induction is unable to yield a true universal . The source of Soul's logoi is (...)
  39. De Anima and Unhuman Politics.Eugene Thacker - 2009 - Radical Philosophy 155.
  40. Tractatus de Anima. [REVIEW]Marvin Colker - 1972 - Speculum 47 (1):108-110.
  41. Greatness of Soul From Aristotle to Cicero: The Genealogy of a Virtue.Helen Catherine Cullyer - 1999 - Dissertation, Yale University
    This dissertation traces the development of the concept "greatness of soul" in Greek and Roman thought and literature, both philosophical and non-philosophical, from the fourth century B.C.E. to the last works of Cicero in 44--43 B.C.E. The Greek megalopsuchia and Latin magnitudo animi, which is not always a literal translation of the Greek, harbor an inherent polysemy and ambiguity. Laudable "greatness of soul" can be confused with, and shade over into, blameworthy "arrogance". Special attention is paid to philosophical discourse, particularly (...)
  42. Tractatus de Anima Loannis Pecham.Gaudentius Melani - 1950 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 6 (4):419-420.
  43. Commentaire Sur le "De Anima" d'Aristote.Jean Philopon - 1969 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 25 (1):93-93.
  44. HICKS, R. D. - Aristotle de Anima. [REVIEW]G. R. T. Ross - 1908 - Mind 17:535.
  45. The Problem of the Soul and its Powers in the de Anima of William of Auvergne.James Vincent Penna - 1971 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
  46. The Doctrine of Soul in John of Jandun's 'Quaestiones de Anima.'.Arthur Francis Tybor - 1967 - Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada)
  47. Aristotle and Cognitive Intentionality.Gregory Thomas Smith - 2002 - Dissertation, The Florida State University
    In contemporary analytic philosophy, the problem of intentionality is to provide an explanation of how some things can be of or about or directed-at other things . Against some recent interpreters, I will endeavor to show that Aristotle does not have the problem of intentionality or the basis for a theory of intentionality. The problem of intentionality is a problem under a certain set of assumptions and some of these assumptions are incompatible with certain principles of Aristotle's psychology and metaphysics. (...)
  48. Averroes' Short «Commentary» on Aristotle's «De Anima».Alfred Ivry - 1997 - Documenti E Studi Sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 8:511-549.
    Nella prima parte dello studio l'A. esamina i tre tipi di commentari averroisti ad Aristotele: i cosiddetti «brevi», «medi» e «lunghi», evidenziandone le specifiche caratteristiche. Viene poi brevemente esaminato il rapporto fra il commento medio e quello lungo al De anima, sottolineando la dipendenza del primo dal secondo. La seconda parte dello studio tratta del commentario breve al De anima. L'A. sottolinea gli elementi di peculiarità di questo testo, in particolare l'interesse per l'aspetto fisiologico dell'anima e le relazioni anima-corpo. Lo (...)
  49. The Recovery of the Soul: An Aristotelian Essay on Self-Fulfilment.Kenneth Rankin - 1991 - Philosophy 67 (260):259-260.
    In The Recovery of the Soul, Kenneth Rankin suggests that the current impasse over solutions to many philosophical problems is the result, in part, of a failure to consider how each of these problems bears on the rest. Rankin shows that a libertarian theory of free will, an A-theory of time, a corporealist theory of personal identity, and a non-relativist interpretation of the foundation of ethics all contribute to or are derived from a psychocentric form of physicalism. The proposed Modal (...)
  50. The Works of Aristotle: De Anima.J. A. Smith - 1932 - Philosophy 7 (25):99-99.
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