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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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De Partibus Animalium IV.10 686a31

De Partibus Animalium IV.10 686a31

(p.83) 3 De Partibus Animalium IV.10 686a31
Aristotle on the Common Sense

Pavel Gregoric

Oxford University Press

In PA IV.10 Aristotle explains the upright posture of human beings with reference to physiological factors that determine the abilities to think and behave intelligently. A detailed interpretation of Aristotle's explanation is supplied by drawing on his physiological theory and contrasting it with Plato‗s explanation of human posture in the Timaeus. In the crucial passage Aristotle seems to couple ‘thinking’ with the rational capacity of the soul and ‘intelligence’ with the common sense. It is argued that the phrase ‘common sense’ is best taken with reference to the sensory capacity of the soul, that is the capacity of the soul which comprises perception and imagination. This capacity exhausts the cognitive repertoire of non-rational animals, and it accounts for their intelligent behaviour. In the next two chapters it will be argued that Aristotle uses the phrase koine aisthesis two more times in the same way, as a proper name for the sensory capacity of the soul, both times in the context of complex non-rational cognitive activities.

Keywords:   De Partibus Animalium, Plato, Timaeus, common sense, animals, human beings, posture, cognitive capacities, non-rational, koine aisthesis

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