Rhizomata 7 (2):168-187 (2020)

It is well known that when it comes to perception in the De anima, Aristotle uses affection-related vocabulary with extreme caution. This has given rise to a debate between interpreters who hold that in Aristotle’s account, the act of sense-perception nevertheless involves the physiological alteration of the sense organ, and those think, with Myles Burnyeat, that for Aristotle, perception does not involve any material process, so that an Aristotelian physics of sense-perception is a “physics of forms alone”. The present article suggests that the dematerialisation of Aristotle’s theory of perception, which has a long story from Alexander of Aphrodisias to Brentano, may be in fact traced back to Theophrastus’ exegesis of Aristotle’s relevant passages in the De anima in his Physics, as we can reconstruct it on the basis of Priscian’s Metaphrasis in Theophrastum and Simplicius’ commentary of Aristotle’s De Anima. The reconstruction also provides a scholastic-theoretical frame to Theophrastus’ critical exposition of ancient theories about sense perception in his De sensibus, whether or not the discussion originally belonged to Theophrastus’ Physics.
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DOI 10.1515/rhiz-2019-0008
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References found in this work BETA

De Anima II 5.Myles F. Burnyeat - 2002 - Phronesis 47 (1):28-90.
De anima. ARISTOTLE - 1956 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 83:183.
Aristotle on the Sense-Organs.T. K. Johansen - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.

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Theophrastus on Perceiving.Victor Caston - 2020 - Rhizomata 7 (2):188-225.
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Aristotle on Odour and Smell.Mark A. Johnstone - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 43:143-83.
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