Authors
Caleb Cohoe
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Abstract
I examine the passages where Aristotle maintains that intellectual activity employs φαντάσματα (images) and argue that he requires awareness of the relevant images. This, together with Aristotle’s claims about the universality of understanding, gives us reason to reject the interpretation of Michael Wedin and Victor Caston, on which φαντάσματα serve as the material basis for thinking. I develop a new interpretation by unpacking the comparison Aristotle makes to the role of diagrams in doing geometry. In theoretical understanding of mathematical and natural beings, we usually need to employ appropriate φαντάσματα in order to grasp explanatory connections. Aristotle does not, however, commit himself to thinking that images are required for exercising all theoretical understanding. Understanding immaterial things, in particular, may not involve employing phantasmata. Thus the connection that Aristotle makes between images and understanding does not rule out the possibility that human intellectual activity could occur apart from the body.
Keywords Aristotle  Understanding  Soul  Intellect  Imagination  Images  Representations  Diagrams  Separability
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1163/15685284-12341311
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References found in this work BETA

Aristotle on Meaning and Essence.David Charles - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
The Euclidean Diagram.Kenneth Manders - 2008 - In Paolo Mancosu (ed.), The Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. Oxford University Press. pp. 80--133.

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Citations of this work BETA

Why the View of Intellect in De Anima I 4 Isn’T Aristotle’s Own.Caleb Cohoe - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (2):241-254.

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Thought and Perception in Aristotle's "de Anima".John Edward Sisko - 1995 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick

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