Aristotle on Dividing the Soul

Prolegomena 7 (2):133-151 (2008)
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Abstract

Aristotle’s account of the soul requires an adequate division of the soul. However, Aristotle refuses to divide the soul spatially, and insists that it is divided only conceptually, that is ‘in being’ or ‘in account’. In this paper I explain what this division amounts to and how Aristotle executes it. Then I discuss three important advantages of such a division of the soul. First, it enables Aristotle to avoid problems that he identified in Plato’s account of the soul. Second, it allows him to treat a particular capacity of the soul as itself divided into distinct parts or aspects. Third, it allows him to treat a particular capacity of the soul as a distinct part or aspect of some more comprehensive capacity.

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Pavel Gregoric
Institute Of Philosophy, Zagreb

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