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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 Memoria et Reminiscentia 1 450a10

De Memoria et Reminiscentia 1 450a10

(p.99) 4 De Memoria et Reminiscentia 1 450a10
Aristotle on the Common Sense

Pavel Gregoric

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an interpretation of the passage in De Memoria et Reminiscentia 1 which aims to show that memory does not belong to the rational capacity of the soul, but rather to what Aristotle calls the ‘primary perceptual capacity of the soul’ (proton aisthetikon) and, at one point, the ‘common sense’. The crucial step in the argument relies on the notion of the perception of time, which is investigated in some detail. It is argued that the perception of time requires joint operation of perception and imagination, and is hence the work of the sensory capacity of the soul. In other words, what Aristotle calls the ‘primary perceptual capacity of the soul’ and ‘common sense’ in this passage is the sensory capacity of the soul. This establishes the same reference for the phrase ‘common sense’ in De Partibus Animalium IV.10 and De Memoria et Reminiscentia 1.

Keywords:   common sense, De Memoria et Reminiscentia, De Partibus Animalium, perception, imagination, rational, non-rational, cognitive capacities, proton aisthetikon, koine aisthesis

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