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Aristotle’s Critique of Timaean Psychology

Jason W. Carter
From the journal Rhizomata

Abstract:

Of all the criticisms that Aristotle gives of his predecessors’ theories of soul in De anima I.3–5, none seems more unmotivated than the ones directed against the world soul of Plato’s Timaeus. Against the current scholarly consensus, I claim that the status of Aristotle’s criticisms is philosophical rather than eristical, and that they provide important philosophical reasons, independent of Phys. VIII.10 and Metaph. Λ.6, for believing that νοῦς is without spatial extension, and that its thinking is not a physical motion.

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Article note: This paper would not exist without the gracious help of a number of scholars who took the time to offer detailed criticisms of it or to discuss its central ideas with me over the past four years. For this, thanks are due to Thomas Johansen, David Charles, Marwan Rashed, Brad Inwood, Victor Caston, and a number of anonymous referees, who all offered essential criticisms and guidance at some stage of its development.

Published Online: 2017-7-18
Published in Print: 2017-7-26

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