Aristotle on Motion in Incomplete Animals

Apeiron 53 (3):285-314 (2020)
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I explain what Aristotle means when, after puzzling about the matter of motion in incomplete animals (those without sight, smell, hearing), he suggests in De Anima III 11.433b31–434a5 that just as incomplete animals are moved indeterminately, desire and phantasia are present in those animals, but present indeterminately. I argue that self-motion and its directing faculties in incomplete animals differ in degree but not in kind from those of complete animals. I examine how an object of desire differs for an incomplete animal. Using a comparison with Aristotle’s account of recollection, especially in unfavorable circumstances, I describe indeterminate self-motion. Finally, I discuss implications for our understanding of Aristotle’s accounts of the faculties of the soul and incomplete animals.



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