Living without a Soul: Why God and the Heavenly Movers Fall Outside of Aristotle’s Psychology

In: Phronesis
View More View Less
  • 1 Metropolitan State University of Denver, USA

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€25.00$30.00

Abstract

I argue that the science of the soul only covers sublunary living things. Aristotle cannot properly ascribe ψυχή to unmoved movers since they do not have any capacities that are distinct from their activities or any matter to be structured. Heavenly bodies do not have souls in the way that mortal living things do, because their matter is not subject to alteration or generation. These beings do not fit into the hierarchy of soul powers that Aristotle relies on to provide unity to ψυχή. Their living consists in their activities, not in having a capacity for activity.

  • Blyth, D. (2015). Heavenly Soul in Aristotle. Apeiron 48, pp. 427-465.

  • Bolton, R. (1978). Aristotle’s Definitions of the Soul: De Anima II, 1-3. Phronesis 23, pp. 258-278.

  • Boys-Stones, G. (2018). Platonist Philosophy 80 B.C. to A.D. 250: An Introduction and Collection of Sources in Translation. Cambridge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brennan, S. O. (2011). Is Aristotle’s Prime Mover a Pure Form? Apeiron 15, pp. 80-95.

  • Broadie, S. (1996). Nous and Nature in De Anima III. Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 12, pp. 163-176.

  • Burnyeat, M. (2002). De Anima II.5. Phronesis 47, pp. 28-90.

  • Burnyeat, M. (2008). Aristotle’s Divine Intellect. Milwaukee, WI.

  • Carter, J. W. (2019). Aristotle on Earlier Greek Psychology: The Science of Soul. Cambridge.

  • Caston, V. (1996). Aristotle on the Relation of the Intellect to the Body: Commentary on Broadie. Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 12, pp. 177-192.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Caston, V. (1999). Aristotle’s Two Intellects: A Modest Proposal. Phronesis 44, pp. 199-227.

  • Caston, V. (2004). The Spirit and the Letter: Aristotle on Perception. In: R. Salles ed., Metaphysics, Soul and Ethics: Themes from the Work of Richard Sorabji. Oxford, pp. 245-320.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Charlton, W. (2000). Philoponus: On Aristotle’s On the Soul 3.1-8. Ithaca.

  • Cohoe, C. (2013). Why the Intellect Cannot Have a Bodily Organ: De Anima 3.4. Phronesis 58, pp. 347-377.

  • Cohoe, C. (2014). Nous in Aristotle’s De Anima. Philosophy Compass 9, pp. 594-604.

  • Cohoe, C. (2016). When and Why Understanding Needs Phantasmata: A Moderate Interpretation of Aristotle’s De Memoria and De Anima on the Role of Images in Intellectual Activities. Phronesis 61, pp. 337-372.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cohoe, C. (forthcoming). The Separability of Nous. In: C. Cohoe, ed., Aristotle’s On the Soul: A Critical Guide. Cambridge.

  • Corcilius, K. (forthcoming). De Anima III 7. The Actuality Principle and the Triggering of Mental Episodes. In: Festschrift for Michel Crubellier.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Corkum, P. (2008). Aristotle on Ontological Dependence. Phronesis 53, pp. 65-92.

  • Diamond, E. (2015). Mortal Imitations of Divine Life: The Nature of the Soul in Aristotle’s De Anima. Evanston, IL.

  • Falcon, A. (2005). Aristotle and the Science of Nature: Unity without Uniformity. Cambridge.

  • Fine, G. (1984). Separation. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 2, pp. 31-88.

  • Frede, M. (1992). On Aristotle’s Conception of Soul. In: M. C. Nussbaum and A. O. Rorty, eds., Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima. Oxford, pp. 93-107.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frede, M. 1996. La theorie aristotelicienne de l’intellect agent. In: G. R. Dherbey, ed., Corps et Âme: Sur le De Anima d’Aristote. Paris, pp. 377-390.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frey, C. (2015). Two Conceptions of Soul in Aristotle. In: D. Ebrey, ed., Theory and Practice in Aristotle’s Natural Science. Cambridge, pp. 137-160.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hicks, R. D., ed. and trans. (1907). Aristotle, De Anima. Cambridge.

  • Johansen, T. K. (2009). From Plato’s Timaeus to Aristotle’s De Caelo: The Case of the Missing World Soul. In: A. C. Bowen and C. Wildberg, eds., New Perspectives on Aristotle’s De Caelo. Leiden, pp. 9-28.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Johansen, T. K. (2012). The Powers of Aristotle’s Soul. Oxford.

  • Johansen, T. K. (2015). The Two Kinds of End in Aristotle: The View from De Anima. In: D. Ebrey, ed., Theory and Practice in Aristotle’s Natural Science. Cambridge, pp. 119-136.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Johnson, M. R. (2005). Aristotle on Teleology. Oxford.

  • Johnston, R. (2011). Aristotle’s De Anima: On Why the Soul is Not a Set of Capacities. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19, pp. 185-200.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kosman, A. (2013). The Activity of Being: An Essay on Aristotle’s Ontology. Cambridge, MA.

  • Kraut, R. (2011). Against Absolute Goodness. Oxford.

  • Lear, J. (1988). Aristotle: The Desire to Understand. Cambridge.

  • Leunissen, M. (2010). Explanation and Teleology in Aristotle’s Science of Nature. Cambridge.

  • Lorenz, H. (2007). The Assimilation of Sense to Sense-Object in Aristotle. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 23, pp. 179-220.

  • Menn, S. (2002). Aristotle’s Definition of Soul and the Programme of the De Anima. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 22, pp. 83-139.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Menn, S. (forthcoming). The Aim and the Argument of Aristotle’s Metaphysics.

  • Moss, J. and Schwab, W. (2019). The Birth of Belief. Journal of the History of Philosophy 57, pp. 1-32.

  • Nussbaum, M. C., ed. and trans. (1978). Aristotle’s de Motu Animalium. Princeton.

  • Peramatzis, M. (2011). Priority in Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Oxford.

  • Polansky, R. M. (2007). Aristotle’s De Anima. Cambridge.

  • Quandt, K. (1981). Some Puns in Aristotle. Transactions of the American Philological Association 111, pp. 179-196.

  • Reeve, C. D. C., trans. (2016). Aristotle: Metaphysics. Indianapolis.

  • Rosen, J. (2014). Essence and End in Aristotle. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 46, pp. 73-107.

  • Sharples, R. W., ed. and trans. (2004). Alexander of Aphrodisias: Supplement to ‘On the Soul’. Ithaca.

  • Shields, C. J. (1999). Order in Multiplicity: Homonymy in the Philosophy of Aristotle. Oxford.

  • Shields, C. J. (2016 a). Aristotle’s Psychology. In E. N. Zalta, ed., The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016 Edition), URL = https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2016/entries/aristotle-psychology/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shields, C. J. (2016 b). Aristotle: De Anima. Oxford.

  • Sorabji, R. (2001). Aristotle on Sensory Processes and Intentionality: A Reply to Burnyeat. In: D. Perler, ed., Ancient and Medieval Theories of Intentionality. Leiden / Boston, pp. 49-61.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ward, J. K. (1996). Souls and Figures: Defining the Soul in De Anima II. Ancient Philosophy 16, pp. 113-128.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 139 139 11
Full Text Views 41 41 8
PDF Downloads 32 32 5