Phronesis 58 (4):347-377 (2013)

Authors
Caleb Cohoe
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Abstract
I reconstruct Aristotle’s reasons for thinking that the intellect cannot have a bodily organ. I present Aristotle’s account of the aboutness or intentionality of cognitive states, both perceptual and intellectual. On my interpretation, Aristotle’s account is based around the notion of cognitive powers taking on forms in a special preservative way. Based on this account, Aristotle argues that no physical structure could enable a bodily part or combination of bodily parts to produce or determine the full range of forms that the human intellect can understand. For Aristotle, cognitive powers with bodily organs are always spatiotemporally limited, but the understanding is not. Aristotle claims that our understanding applies to all instances of the thing understood wherever and whenever they exist. On Aristotle’s own account the intellect in its nature is only “potential,” it does not actually possess any form. Thus nothing prevents it from possessing all forms.
Keywords Aristotle  Intellect  Nous  Intentionality  Philosophy of Mind  Perception  Bodily Organ
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Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1163/15685284-12341253
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References found in this work BETA

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Minds, Brains, and Programs.John R. Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.

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Citations of this work BETA

Nous in Aristotle's De Anima.Caleb Murray Cohoe - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (9):594-604.
On a Possible Argument for Averroes's Single Separate Intellect.Stephen R. Ogden - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 4 (1).
Aristotle's Case for Perceptual Knowledge.Robert Howton - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Toronto

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