By Victor Caston

Around two hundred advert, the best defender and interpreter of Aristotle inside his university, Alexander of Aphrodisias, composed his personal booklet On the Soul, partially following the trend of Aristotle's.
In the 1st part, translated during this quantity, he discusses the soul because the type of the physique, and the belief of elements or powers that represent the soul of residing issues, together with the 2 lowest powers: food and belief. within the moment part, translated partially II, he discusses conception, illustration, hope, realizing and - a inspiration emphasized through the Stoics - the governing a part of the soul. he is taking the soul to include those powers, which supervene at the mix of the body's elemental elements, simply as inanimate powers like buoyancy or lightness can supervene on different traits. they're new, emergent causal powers of the dwelling factor, which don't belong to the constituent materials of the physique in themselves.
Through his idea of emergence, he seeks to lead among the Platonic dualism of soul and physique and the extraordinary materialism of his Stoic rivals.

This quantity comprises the 1st English translation of the paintings, in addition to a close advent, huge explanatory notes and a bibliography.

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Extra resources for Alexander of Aphrodisias: On the Soul: Part I: Soul as Form of the Body, Parts of the Soul, Nourishment, and Perception

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167 Furthermore, how can absurdity be avoided if someone claims that the matter, when it receives the form and the quality, also receives some matter in addition? 168 It is a mark of confusion to maintain that since 18,1 5 10 1. the parts of a body are necessarily bodies* just as the parts of a surface, a line, or a time are surfaces, lines, and times, respectively; and 2. the form and the matter are parts of an animal therefore 3. 169 For [form and matter] are not parts of the body in such a way that the body can be carved into them.

Instead of translating teleiôsis as ‘perfection’ and entelekheia as ‘actuality’, for example, I have rendered them as ‘culmination’ and ‘completion’ respectively, to bring out their connections with the underlying notion of a telos or end. Similarly, instead of translating aisthêtikê dunamis as ‘the perceptive faculty’ or ‘potentiality’, I have used ‘the power for perceiving’ to bring out the emphasis Aristotle and Alexander both place on the corresponding activity. The unfamiliarity of these translations (and in some cases inelegance) will undoubtedly rub some readers the wrong way.

But this is absurd. For the nature of form and matter is different, as has been shown,182 since one is an underlying subject, while the other is in it; and one is shaped, while the other is that in virtue of which it is shaped. 183 But then it would no longer be a simple body, since whatever comes into being from the mixture of several bodies is not simple, and there would not be four simple bodies. One of the four bodies cannot come to be from the mixture of the others either, given that it is necessary for something constituted from a mixture to exhibit all the powers of Translation 47 the ingredients from which it has been mixed.

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