Aristotle’s Appropriation of Plato’s Sun Analogy in De Anima

Apeiron 47 (3):356-389 (2014)
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Aristotle’s chapter on productive mind (De Anima III.5) and its comparison of this mind to light are best understood as a careful revision to Plato’s Sun-Good analogy from Republic VI. Through a rigorous juxtaposed reading of De Anima II.7 on vision and III.5 on thinking, one can see how Aristotle is almost wholeheartedly taking up Plato’s analogy between vision and thought. When one accounts for all the detail of Aristotle’s explanation of light and vision in II.7 by seeing that chapter as anticipating III.5, an interpretation of productive intellect emerges which reconciles the main opposing views on the question that have long divided interpreters: whether the productive intellect discussed in De Anima III.5 is human or divine.



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Eli Diamond
Dalhousie University

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