Aristotle's Two Intellects: A Modest Proposal

Phronesis 44 (3):199-227 (1999)
In "De anima" 3.5, Aristotle argues for the existence of a second intellect, the so-called "Agent Intellect." The logical structure of his argument turns on a distinction between different types of soul, rather than different faculties within a given soul; and the attributes he assigns to the second species make it clear that his concern here -- as at the climax of his other great works, such as the "Metaphysics," the "Nicomachean" and the "Eudemian Ethics" -- is the difference between the human and the divine. If this is right, we needn't go on a wild goose chase trying to invent a role for the so-called Agent Intellect to play. God moves our intellects as he moves the heavenly spheres, "as a beloved": he constitutes the complete actualization towards which all of our intellectual striving is directed. Aristotle regards such final causation as an efficient cause, but not in a way that would make it part of what we would call the causal processes or mechanisms of human psychology. But, he would insist, it is essential for appreciating who we are and what our place is in the world
Keywords Nous  Agent Intellect  Mind  Divine intellect
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/15685289960500033
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,530
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Nous in Aristotle's De Anima.Caleb Murray Cohoe - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (9):594-604.
Why the View of Intellect in De Anima I 4 Isn’T Aristotle’s Own.Caleb Cohoe - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-14.
Aristotle's Cognitive Science: Belief, Affect and Rationality.Ian McCready-Flora - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):394-435.
Pomponazzi Contra Averroes on the Intellect.John Sellars - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (1):45-66.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Father of the Logos.Michael Davis - 2003 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 7 (2):169-187.
The Virtue Of God In Aristotle.Marguerite Deslauriers - 2004 - Philosophy and Theology 16 (1):3-23.
Aristotle's de Anima.Ronald M. Polansky - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
Themistius on Concept Acquisition and Knowledge of Essences.Myrna Gabbe - 2010 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 92 (3):215-235.
The Place of Intellect in Aristotle.Kurt Pritzl - 2006 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:57-75.
Aristotle's Immortal Intellect.Mark Amorose - 2001 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 75:97-106.
Abstraction in Al-Fârâbî.Richard C. Taylor - 2006 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:151-168.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
82 ( #67,742 of 2,210,662 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #207,690 of 2,210,662 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature