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Aristotle on the Common Sense$
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Pavel Gregoric

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199277377

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277377.001.0001

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Simultaneous Perception and Cross‐modal Binding

Simultaneous Perception and Cross‐modal Binding

(p.129) 1 Simultaneous Perception and Cross‐modal Binding
Aristotle on the Common Sense

Pavel Gregoric

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at Aristotle's notion of simultaneous perception as a distinct perceptual function of the common sense, a function that has a parallel in contemporary psychology and neuroscience. In an aporetic discussion in De Sensu 7, Aristotle first works towards the conclusion that there can be no simultaneous perception of two distinct special perceptibles, especially if they are different in kind (heterogeneous), e.g. white and sweet. Having posed the problem, he solves it by introducing a higher-order perceptual power to which two special perceptibles can be present simultaneously and which can differentiate between them, and that power is the common sense. Although this solution is geared to the case of heterogeneous special perceptibles, Aristotle seems to think that it can be extended to the case of homogeneous special perceptibles, e.g. white and black, although in this passage he does not explain how.

Keywords:   simultaneous perception, De Sensu, cross-modal binding, common sense, homogeneous, heterogeneous, perceptibles, perception

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