Why do all animals possess sense perception while plants don’t? And should the difference in quality of life between human beings and wolves be explained by supposing that wolves have degenerated souls? This paper argues that for Aristotle differences in quality of life among living beings are based on differences in the quality of their soul-principle together with the body that receives the soul. The paper proposes a new interpretation of On the Soul 2.4.415b18: “For all the natural bodies are (...) instruments of the soul,” against all current interpretations. Aristotle there means that each of the four sublunary elements can be a part of the instrumental body of a soul. The paper continues with discussing the way in which Aristotle connects the several sublunar elements with different levels of life activity, and the troublesome passage in Generation of Animals 3.11.761b22, where Aristotle speaks about a fourth category of living creatures related to the fourth sublunary element, Fire, and the region of the Moon. (shrink)
From ancient times Aristotle, On the Soul II 11, 422b34ff. on the perception of touch has remained incomprehensible. We can only start to understand the text when we see that Aristotle, in talking about “the ensouled body” (423a13), means “the soul's instrumental body” and views this as the actual instrument for the perception of touch. The visible body is only an intermediary between the soul-body and the object of touch.
Het is zeer verheugend dat een nieuw boek van mevr. C.J. de Vogel verschenen is. Het is historisch van belang en de schrijfster verdient het, dat mede hierdoor nog weer eens de aandacht gevestigd wordt op haar persoon en haar werk. Daaraan wordt ook bijgedragen door de ‘Prof. dr. C.J. de Vogel Stichting ter bevordering van de wijsbegeerte der klassieke Oudheid’ die zich heeft ingezet voor het organiseren van de ‘C.J. de Vogel-Memorial lectures’. Deze vormen nu reeds bijna vijftien jaar (...) de openingslezing van de conferenties van de International Plato Society die om de drie jaar gehouden worden. (shrink)
The modern debate over the hellenistic doctrine of the fine-material soul-vehicle, including contributions by R. C. Kissling, E. R. Dodds, and J. Halfwassen, has seen an increasingly earlier date of origin being attributed to this doctrine. But the author who introduced the theory remains an unknown quantity. In this article I will argue that the author of this doctrine can be no other than Aristotle.
In this article I argue that the heart of Aristotle’s philosophy was his doctrine of pneuma, which connected his psychology, biology, cosmology and theology, and which was central to his (lost and extant) works and should be taken into account, even where it is less explicitly discussed. Pneuma is not a sixth elementary physical body. It is the manifestation of the divine ether but always mixed with the other four elements within the sublunary sphere.
The psychology of Aristotle has never been understood in a historically correct way. A new interpretation of the De anima will be proposed in which this work can be seen as compatible with the psychology that can be reconstructed from the fragments of Aristotle's lost dialogues and the De motu animalium and other biological works and the doxographical data gathered from ancient writers besides the commentators. In De anima, II, 412b5, where psychè is defined as 'the first entelecheia of a (...) natural body that is organikon,' the words 'natural body' should not be taken to mean 'the body of a living plant, animal or human being' but to stand for 'elementary body.' And the qualification 'organikon' should not be understood as 'equipped with organs' but in the sense of 'serving as an instrument to the soul.' This 'instrumental body' that is inseparably connected with the soul is the seat of desire, which physically influences the parts of the visible body. Besides those two corrections there are the words ta merè in 412b18 that should be taken as meaning not 'parts of the body' but 'parts of the soul.' Aristotle is arguing there that even those parts of the soul that are not yet actualized in the embryo of a new living being can be said to be 'not without body.'. (shrink)
This paper contains a Dutch translation of the important text of Hippolytus of Rome on the Gnostic theology of Basilides of Alexandria. A summary of this theology is added together with some introductory remarks about whether or not Basilides received his doctrine from Matthias the Apostle, about the Aristotelean line of thought of Basilides, and about the relevance of modern study of Gnosticism.
On the Soul II 8, 420a3–12 is always explained as if Aristotle there considered the ears to be the seat of the faculty of hearing. However, Aristotle there identifies the instrument of sense perception not with external parts of the visible body but with the soul’s instrumental body, situated in the heart and connected with the ears. That also appears to be the case in Generation of Animals V 2.
Voor een goede beoordeling van het verschijnsel van de Gnostiek is het nodig rekening te houden met de invloed van Philo van Alexandrië, het geschrift Over de kosmos en de filosofie van Aristoteles. In de moderne discussie zijn die drie factoren vaak verkeerd ingeschat.