Aristotle on the Unity of the Nutritive and Reproductive Functions

Phronesis 65 (4):414-466 (2020)
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In De Anima 2.4, Aristotle claims that nutritive soul encompasses two distinct biological functions: nutrition and reproduction. We challenge a pervasive interpretation which posits ‘nutrients’ as the correlative object of the nutritive capacity. Instead, the shared object of nutrition and reproduction is that which is nourished and reproduced: the ensouled body, qua ensouled. Both functions aim at preserving this object, and thus at preserving the form, life, and being of the individual organism. In each case, we show how Aristotle’s detailed biological analysis supports this ontological argument.



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Author Profiles

James G. Lennox
University of Pittsburgh
Cameron F. Coates
Sewanee, The University of the South

References found in this work

Aristotle on teleology.Monte Ransome Johnson - 2008 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Aristotle’s “De Anima”: A Critical Commentary.Ronald M. Polansky - 2007 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The Powers of Aristotle's Soul.Thomas Kjeller Johansen - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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