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  1. Nous in Aristotle's De Anima.Caleb Murray Cohoe - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (9):594-604.
    I lay out and examine two sharply conflicting interpretations of Aristotle's claims about nous in the De Anima (DA). On the human separability approach, Aristotle is taken to have identified reasons for thinking that the intellect can, in some way, exist on its own. On the naturalist approach, the soul, including intellectual soul, is inseparable from the body of which it is the form. I discuss how proponents of each approach deal with the key texts from the DA, focusing on (...)
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  • Living Without a Soul: Why God and the Heavenly Movers Fall Outside of Aristotle’s Psychology.Caleb Cohoe - 2020 - Phronesis 65 (3):281-323.
    I argue that the science of the soul only covers sublunary living things. Aristotle cannot properly ascribe ψυχή to unmoved movers since they do not have any capacities that are distinct from their activities or any matter to be structured. Heavenly bodies do not have souls in the way that mortal living things do, because their matter is not subject to alteration or generation. These beings do not fit into the hierarchy of soul powers that Aristotle relies on to provide (...)
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  • Knowing in Aristotle Part 2: Technē_, _Phronēsis_, _Sophia and Divine Cognitive Activities.Caleb Murray Cohoe - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16:e12799.
    In this second part of a 2-part survey of Aristotle's epistemology, I present an overview of Aristotle's views on technē (craft or excellent productive reason) and phronēsis (practical wisdom or excellent practical reason). For Aristotle, attaining the truth in practical matters involves actually doing the right action. While technē and phronēsis are rational excellences, for Aristotle they are not as excellent or true as epistēmē or nous because the kinds of truth that they grasp are imperfect and because they are (...)
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  • A Monistic Conclusion to Aristotle’s Ergon Argument: The Human Good as the Best Achievement of a Human.Samuel H. Baker - 2021 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 103 (3):373-403.
    Scholars have often thought that a monistic reading of Aristotle’s definition of the human good – in particular, one on which “best and most teleios virtue” refers to theoretical wisdom – cannot follow from the premises of the ergon argument. I explain how a monistic reading can follow from the premises, and I argue that this interpretation gives the correct rationale for Aristotle’s definition. I then explain that even though the best and most teleios virtue must be a single virtue, (...)
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  • When and Why Understanding Needs Phantasmata: A Moderate Interpretation of Aristotle’s De Memoria and De Anima on the Role of Images in Intellectual Activities.Caleb Cohoe - 2016 - Phronesis: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy 61 (3):337-372.
    I examine the passages where Aristotle maintains that intellectual activity employs φαντάσματα (images) and argue that he requires awareness of the relevant images. This, together with Aristotle’s claims about the universality of understanding, gives us reason to reject the interpretation of Michael Wedin and Victor Caston, on which φαντάσματα serve as the material basis for thinking. I develop a new interpretation by unpacking the comparison Aristotle makes to the role of diagrams in doing geometry. In theoretical understanding of mathematical and (...)
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  • A Self-Forming Vessel: Aristotle, Plasticity, and the Developing Nature of the Intellect.S. F. Kislev - 2020 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 51 (3):259-274.
    Highlighting the relations between De Anima II.5 and De Anima III.4, this paper argues that Aristotle held a surprisingly dynamic view of the intellect. According to this view, the intellect is in...
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  • On a Possible Argument for Averroes's Single Separate Intellect.Stephen R. Ogden - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 4 (1).
    Averroes held the controversial thesis that there is only one separate material or possible intellect for all humans. This paper analyzes a passage from his Long Commentary on the De Anima which has been thought to constitute a primary philosophical argument for the view. It is called the Determinate Particular Argument, because it contends that the material intellect cannot be a determinate particular if it is to be the ontological receptacle of universal intelligible forms. After defending one crucial premise, it (...)
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  • Aristotle and Alexander on Perceptual Error.Mark A. Johnstone - 2015 - Phronesis 60 (3):310-338.
    Aristotle sometimes claims that the perception of special perceptibles by their proper sense is unerring. This claim is striking, since it might seem that we quite often misperceive things like colours, sounds and smells. Aristotle also claims that the perception of common perceptibles is more prone to error than the perception of special perceptibles. This is puzzling in its own right, and also places constraints on the interpretation of. I argue that reading Alexander of Aphrodisias on perceptual error can help (...)
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  • Aristotle's Case for Perceptual Knowledge.Robert Howton - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    Sense experience, naïvely conceived, is a way of knowing perceptible properties: the colors, sounds, smells, flavors, and textures in our perceptual environment. So conceived, ordinary experience presents the perceiver with the essential nature of a property like Sky Blue or Middle C, such that how the property appears in experience is identical to how it essentially is. In antiquity, as today, it was controversial whether sense experience could meet the conditions for knowledge implicit in this naïve conception. Aristotle was a (...)
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  • Why the View of Intellect in De Anima I 4 Isn’T Aristotle’s Own.Caleb Cohoe - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (2):241-254.
    In De Anima I 4, Aristotle describes the intellect (nous) as a sort of substance, separate and incorruptible. Myles Burnyeat and Lloyd Gerson take this as proof that, for Aristotle, the intellect is a separate eternal entity, not a power belonging to individual humans. Against this reading, I show that this passage does not express Aristotle’s own views, but dialectically examines a reputable position (endoxon) about the intellect that seems to show that it can be subject to change. The passage’s (...)
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