The Powers of Aristotles Soul

Paperback | July 7, 2015

byThomas Kjeller Johansen

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Aristotle is considered by many to be the founder of "faculty psychology" - the attempt to explain a variety of psychological phenomena by reference to a few inborn capacities. In The Powers of Aristotle's Soul, Thomas Kjeller Johansen investigates his main work on psychology, the De Anima,from this perspective. He shows how Aristotle conceives of the soul's capacities and how he uses them to account for the souls of living beings. Johansen offers an original account of how Aristotle defines the capacities in relation to their activities and proper objects, and considers therelationship of the body to the definition of the soul's capacities. Against the background of Aristotle's theory of science, Johansen argues that the capacities of the soul serve as causal principles in the explanation of the various life forms. He develops detailed readings of Aristotle's treatment of nutrition, perception, and intellect, which show the soul'svarious roles as formal, final and efficient causes, and argues that the so-called "agent" intellect falls outside the scope of Aristotle's natural scientific approach to the soul. Other psychological activities, various kinds of perception (including "perceiving that we perceive"), memory,imagination, are accounted for in their explanatory dependency on the basic capacities. The ability to move spatially is similarly explained as derivative from the perceptual or intellectual capacities. Johansen claims that these capacities together with the nutritive may be understood as "parts" ofthe soul, as they are basic to the definition and explanation of the various kinds of soul. Finally, he considers how the account of the capacities in the De Anima is adopted and adapted in Aristotle's biological and minor psychological works.

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Aristotle is considered by many to be the founder of "faculty psychology" - the attempt to explain a variety of psychological phenomena by reference to a few inborn capacities. In The Powers of Aristotle's Soul, Thomas Kjeller Johansen investigates his main work on psychology, the De Anima,from this perspective. He shows how Aristotle ...

Thomas Kjeller Johansen studied Philosophy and Classics at Cambridge, before taking up lectureships at Bristol, Edinburgh and Oxford. He has held a British Academy Research Readership, a membership at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and a fellowship at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC. He is the author of Pla...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:314 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:July 7, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198728999

ISBN - 13:9780198728993

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsAbbreviationsIntroduction1. Circumscribing the soul2. Towards a scientific definition of the soul3. Parts and unity in the definition of the soul4. The definition of dunamis5. The priority of the objects over the capacities of the soul6. The importance of nutrition7. The soul as an efficient cause8. The matter of the soul's activities9. The perceptual capacity extended10. Phantasia11. The intellect and the limits of naturalism12. The locomotive capacity13. The descent from definition: The capacities of the soul applied14. The capacities in the Parts and lives of animals

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". . .a significant contribution to our understanding of capacities and the soul in Aristotle and to our overall understanding of the De Anima. [Johansen's] interpretations are always carefully developed and show an excellent grasp of Aristotle's entire corpus . . . I would recommend this workfor all scholars working on Aristotle or on ancient understandings of powers or the soul. It may also prove of interest for those in contemporary philosophy who are working on the notion of powers." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews