The Causal Structure of Emotions in Aristotle: Hylomorphism, Causal Interaction between Mind and Body, and Intentionality

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 (2018)
Gabriela Rossi
Universidad Adolfo Ibañez
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 a causal interaction of mind and body remains within Aristotelian emotions, independent of how strongly their hylomorphism is understood. Beyond the discussion with this recent reading, the analysis proposed of the fourfold causal structure of emotions is also intended as a hermeneutical starting point for a comprehensive analysis of particular emotions in Aristotle. Through the different causes Aristotle seems to account for many aspects of the complex phenomenon of emotion, including its physiological causes, its mental causes, and its intentional object.
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