The work _De spiritu_ is an important but neglected work by Aristotle. It clearly shows for the first time that Aristotle assumed a special body as the ‘instrument’ of the soul. By means of this soul/body the soul forms the visible body of plants, animals and human beings.
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)
Dr. W. Elgersma-Helleman heeft in een uitvoerig artikel haar reflecties naar aanleiding van mijn boek Geboeid door Plato vastgelegd. Het stuk bedoelt niet een recensie van het geschrift in kwestie te leveren, maar een bijdrage te zijn aan de discussie over Plato en het christelijk platonisme, gekleurd door de ervaringen van de schrijfster in Rusland, waar zij en haar echtgenoot doceren aan de Staatsuniversiteit van Moskou. Plato en de kerkvaders verdienen het, dat ze vanuit verschillende hoeken besproken en belicht worden. (...) Maar dr. Elgersma had misschien toch liever geheel onafhankelijk haar eigen betoog moeten opzetten. Nu lijkt ze haar gedachten te ontwikkelen naar aanleiding van het werk van een andere auteur, zonder werkelijk in te gaan op de kwesties die die auteur had aangemerkt als de voor hem centrale punten. (shrink)
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.
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.
Hippolytus of Rome on Aristotle’s definition of the soul. His work Concerning the Soul is obscure. For in the entire three books [where he treats of his subject] it is not possible to say clearly what is Aristotle’s opinion concerning the soul. For, as regards the definition which he furnishes of soul, it is easy [enough] to declare this; but what it is that is signified by the definition is difficult to discover. For soul, he says, is an entelecheia of (...) a sôma physikon organikon; [but to explain] what this is at all, would require a very great number of arguments, and a lengthened investigation. (shrink)
This book offers an Arabic edition, English translation, study and glossaries of ʿUbaidallāh Ibn Buḫtīšūʿ’s important work on apparent death; an appendix moreover provides the Arabic and Hebrew recensions of ʿUbaidallāh’s lost Greek _Vorlage_.
The belief that the spirits of the dead can return to haunt the living exists either as a tenet or as a marginal conviction in all civilizations, whether ancient or modern. More often than not, the dead do not return to reunite the living with their loved ones but rather to lead them into some dreadful snare, entrapping them with disastrous consequences. To be sure, all the departed may return, but some are predestined to haunt: the dead who have been (...) shamed during their lifetime or those who took unspeakable secrets to the grave. From the brucolacs, the errant sprits of outcasts in ancient Greece, to the ghost of Hamlet’s vengeful father, and on down to the rapping spirits of modern times, the theme of the dead—who, having suffered repression by their family or society, cannot enjoy, even in death, a state of authenticity—appears to be omnipresent on the fringes of religions and, failing that, in rational systems. It is a fact that the “phantom,” whatever its form, is nothing but an invention of the living. Yes, an invention in the sense that the phantom is meant to objectify, even if under the guise of individual or collective hallucinations, the gap that the concealment of some part of a loved one’s life produced in us. The phantom is, therefore, also a metapsychological fact. Consequently, what haunts are not the dead, but the gaps left within us by the secrets of others.Because the phantom is not related to the loss of a loved one, it cannot be considered the effect of unsuccessful mourning, as is the case of melancholics or of all those who carry a tomb within themselves. It is the children’s or descendants’ lot to objectify these buried tombs through diverse species of ghosts. What comes back to haunt are the tombs of others. The phantoms of folklore merely objectify a metaphor active within the unconscious: the burial of an unspeakable fact within the loved one.Here we are in the midst of clinical psychoanalysis and still shrouded in obscurity, an obscurity, however, that the nocturnal being of phantoms can, paradoxically, be called upon to clarify. The most recently published book of essays by Nicolas Abraham is Rythmes de l’oeuvre, de la traduction et de la psychanalyse . “Notes on the Phantom” is the preliminary statement of his theory of transgenerational haunting. Nicholas Rand, assistant professor of French at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, is the English-language editor of Abraham’s works. (shrink)
In our recent book (Abraham and Roy 2010) we have repurposed a mathematical model for the quantum vacuum as a model of consciousness. In this model, discrete space and time are derived from a discrete cellular dynamical network. As our model is essentially atomistic, we included in our book a short support chapter on atomism. In this aticle we expand on the few pages of that chapter devoted to the history of atomism, to place the current revival of atomism (...) in a larger context. (shrink)
'This is an unusually ambitious book... a considerable achievement. It raises important issues, and affords many valuable insights in the course of its historical reflections.' -Maurice Wiles, Journal of Theological Studies 'Every issue and thinker is expounded clearly and concisely, with attention always drawn to strengths as well as weaknesses. To this non-specialist the argument was always accessible and regularly persuasive.' -The Expository TimesCanon and Criterion in Christian Theology provides an original and important narrative on the significance of canon in (...) the Christian tradition. Abraham shows that the move to treat canon as a criterion of truth has had unsuspecting consequences for the history of theology and philosophy, from the Fathers to modern feminist theology. (shrink)
Mabel Cooper and Gloria Ferris lived in St Lawrence's Hospital one of the large learning disability institutions which were built round the edges of London. In this paper, Mabel and Gloria share their memories of three nurses at St Lawrence's, supported by Jane Abraham and in this process reveal a number of ethical issues that remain relevant today.
In this book, Abraham argues that a theological imagination can expand the contours of postcolonial theory through a reexamination of notions of subjectivity, gender, and violence in a dialogical model with Karl Rahner. She raises the question of whether postcolonial theory, with its disavowal of religious agency, can provide an invigorating occasion for Catholic theology.