Soul and Truth: The Soul between Being-in-Error and Being-in-Truth , On Aristotle's Theory of Imagination

Phainomena 43 (2003)

Aristotle's treatment of the subject of phantasia in De Anima occurs in connection with the question of truth and error in his theory of perception and thinking. In the architectonics of Aristotle's philosophy, we can still find the ontological concept of phantasia, which denotes the appearing of things and the way of encountering appearances. This concept of phantasia is congruent with the original notion of phainomenon. However, in his theory of the soul, phantasia becomes imagination as psychic or mental faculty of representing ideas - facultas imaginandi: "Imagination is that in virtue of which an image arises for us". Imagination is the first form of thought, noesis, and has the key role both for cognition and action, because all kinds of mental acts refer to the images of imagination. With the new understanding of phantasia, the appearances are no longer things shown in themselves, phainomena, they are moreover conceived only as objects of perception, on aistheton. Imagination gives form to the autonomy of intellect in its theoretical and practical aspect, and mind becomes the decisive capacity of dealing with truth, dynamis tis peri ten aletheian
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