A Note on Plato's Theory of Sensation

Review of Metaphysics 10 (2):355 - 356 (1956)

Abstract

Literally, προσβάλλον and προσβαλλόμενον mean, respectively, "that which strikes" and "that which is struck." The first suggests activity; the second passivity. Consequently, it would seem that the προσβάλλον should be said to emanate from the agent and the προσβαλλόμενον from the patient. And, since Plato explicitly identifies the agent with the perceptual object and the patient with the sensing organ, we should, it would seem, identify the προσβάλλον with the motion from the perceptual object and the προσβαλλόμενον with the motion from the sensing organ, which is the reverse of what I did in the article.

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