Aristotle on Perceptual Discrimination

In: Phronesis

Abstract

It is commonly assumed that Aristotle defines a sense by reference to its ability to perceive the items that are proper to that sense, and that he explains perceptions of unities of these items, and discriminations between them, by reference to what is called the ‘common sense’. This paper argues in contrast that Aristotle defines a sense by reference, not only to its ability to perceive the proper items, but also to its ability to discriminate between them, and thus aims to show that Aristotle’s theory of sense perception is basically a theory of perceptual discrimination.

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