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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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Overlooked Occurrences of the Phrase ‘Common Sense’

Overlooked Occurrences of the Phrase ‘Common Sense’

(p.65) 1 Overlooked Occurrences of the Phrase ‘Common Sense’
Aristotle on the Common Sense

Pavel Gregoric

Oxford University Press

It has often been claimed that the phrase ‘common sense’ occurs only three or four times in the Aristotelian corpus. However, the phrase ‘common sense’ can also be found in Historia Animalium I.3 489 a 17 and Metaphysics I.1 981 b 14. This chapter examines the two overlooked occurrences to see what the phrase ‘common sense’ means there. In the overlooked occurrences the phrase ‘common sense’ refers to the individual senses, to the sense of touch in particular, or to the five individual senses indiscriminately. There the phrase is not a proper name for any particular perceptual capacity, but rather a description applicable to the individual senses in certain contexts. Aristotle describes the individual senses as ‘common’ to bring out the fact that they are shared by animals of different species.

Keywords:   Historia Animalium, Metaphysics, common sense, senses, touch

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