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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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The Sensory Apparatus

The Sensory Apparatus

(p.40) 3 The Sensory Apparatus
Aristotle on the Common Sense

Pavel Gregoric

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at Aristotle's account of the sensory apparatus, that is the system of bodily parts that a living being must have if it is to be informed by a soul with a perceptual capacity. To accommodate both the complexity and the unity of the perceptual capacity of the soul, the sensory apparatus must consist of a continuous system of bodily structures which are differentiated at the periphery into the sense organs, such as eyes and ears, and which are all connected in one single central sense organ. This central sense organ, in Aristotle's view, is the heart, not the brain. It is argued that, on this picture of the sensory apparatus, perception does not really take place in the peripheral sense organs, but in the central sense organ.

Keywords:   perceptual capacity, sensory apparatus, matter, perception, senses, sense organs, central sense organ, heart, brain

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