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The Powers of Aristotle's Soul$
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Thomas Kjeller Johansen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658435.001.0001

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The Soul as an Efficient Cause

The Soul as an Efficient Cause

(p.128) 7 The Soul as an Efficient Cause
The Powers of Aristotle's Soul

Thomas Kjeller Johansen

Oxford University Press

Aristotle claims in DA II.4 that the soul is a moving cause of the living body with respect to nutrition and perception. While GC insists that the soul in nutrition is the efficient cause, doubts are raised by the argument in Phys.VIII.6 to show that animal locomotion through nutrition depends on an external mover. Closer inspection of Phys. VIII and DA II.4 shows that the animal moves itself in nutrition but depends on nutriment as its instrument. Given the passivity of the sense-faculty, it is harder to see the soul as an efficient cause of perception. Nonetheless, Aristotle underlines the way in which the sense-faculty prior to the activity of perception can be said to perceive. The GA explains that an animal's own nutritive soul is responsible for the development of this capacity. Moreover, given the advanced stage of perceiving represented one may allow the capacity a contributory efficient causal role.

Keywords:   nutrition, final vs. first nutriment, perception, efficient cause, instrument

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