Aristotle’s Model of Animal Motion

Phronesis 58 (1):52-97 (2013)
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In this paper we argue that Aristotle operates with a particular theoretical model in his explanation of animal locomotion, what we call the ‘centralized incoming and outgoing motions’ model. We show how the model accommodates more complex cases of animal motion and how it allows Aristotle to preserve the intuition that animals are self-movers, without jeopardizing his arguments for the eternity of motion and the necessary existence of one eternal unmoved mover in Physics VIII. The CIOM model helps to elucidate Aristotle’s two central yet problematic claims, namely that the soul is the efficient cause of animal motion and that it is the internal supporting-point necessary for animal motion. Moreover, the CIOM model helps us to explain the difference between voluntary, involuntary and non-voluntary motions, and to square Aristotle’s cardiocentrism with his hylomorphism, but also, more generally, it provides an interesting way of thinking about the place of intentionality in the causal structure of the world



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Author Profiles

Klaus Corcilius
University of California, Berkeley
Pavel Gregoric
Institute Of Philosophy, Zagreb

References found in this work

Animal minds and human morals: the origins of the Western debate.Richard Sorabji (ed.) - 1993 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Aristotle's De Motu Animalium.D. W. Hamlyn - 1980 - Philosophical Quarterly 30 (120):246.
Aristotle on the common sense.Pavel Gregoric - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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