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Aristotle identifies the eye as the organ of sight, the ear as the organ of hearing, and the nose as the organ of smell. However, rather than identify the flesh as the organ of touch and that particular bit of flesh, the tongue, as the organ of taste, Aristotle makes what he admits to be the surprising claim that the organ of both touch and taste is located further inward (near the heart). The flesh is merely the medium that comes between the sense organ and their respective sense objects. Focusing on the sense of touch in particular, I consider what reasons Aristotle offers in support of this claim. After carefully wading through De Anima 2.11, I argue that the only argument that Aristotle offers there relies on an assumption about the unity of the senses that provides as much support for alternative views about the organ and medium of touch as it does for the view that Aristotle endorses.
Alcune riflessioni di metodo e di contenuto a partire da un libro recente di Chad Jorgenson, The Embodied Soul in Plato’s Later Thought (cup 2018)
Tiziano Dorandi and Francesco Verde
This contribution provides a new collection of the textual extant remains (reliquiae) of the Peripatetic philosopher Cratippus of Pergamon (I c. bc), and a full and detailed overview of the biographical and doctrinal features of this thinker.
In this paper I aim to discuss a fragment of Aristotle’s De Philosophia (fr. 21 Ross = Cic. N.D. ii, 44). After defending Cicero’s reliability as a source for the present fragment, I will focus on its contents, with particular reference to the similarities and differences between fr. 21 Ross and De Caelo A-B: my aim in this comparison is to identify two different astronomical systems underlying, on the one hand, the account of fr. 21 Ross and, on the other hand, that given in the treatise. This shift of model is in my view the actual reason for the inconsistency between these accounts. Such an inconsistency might be explained in chronological terms: the last part of the paper, indeed, develops the hypothesis that De Philosophia Γ was written before 353–350bc, namely before Aristotle got acquainted with Eudoxus’ astronomical system.
The presence of slavery in Plato’s political and ethical thought is marked by two contrary tendencies: one signals the conventional character of statutory slavery and tends to reduce the moral boundary between free people and servile people; the other one, going in the opposite direction, strongly reaffirms the functional frontier between these two categories, and makes it impassable. What does this double gesture of integration and exclusion of slavery mean with respect to Plato’s political thought? My claim, based on the analysis of a passage in Book vi of the Laws and some excerpts from the Statesman, is the following: for Plato, the statutory slavery fulfills the function of drawing the inner civic boundary on which the political field must be built if it is to have a true conceptual autonomy, by contrast with what contributes to its construction but without being fully political.