Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of On The Soul

Previous | Next

On The Soul   

sensible objects. (Hence it is also obvious that the flesh cannot be

the ultimate sense-organ: if it were, the discriminating power could

not do its work without immediate contact with the object.)

Therefore (1) discrimination between white and sweet cannot be

effected by two agencies which remain separate; both the qualities

discriminated must be present to something that is one and single.

On any other supposition even if I perceived sweet and you perceived

white, the difference between them would be apparent. What says that

two things are different must be one; for sweet is different from

white. Therefore what asserts this difference must be

self-identical, and as what asserts, so also what thinks or perceives.

That it is not possible by means of two agencies which remain separate

to discriminate two objects which are separate, is therefore

obvious; and that (it is not possible to do this in separate movements

of time may be seen' if we look at it as follows. For as what

asserts the difference between the good and the bad is one and the

same, so also the time at which it asserts the one to be different and

the other to be different is not accidental to the assertion (as it is

for instance when I now assert a difference but do not assert that

there is now a difference); it asserts thus-both now and that the

objects are different now; the objects therefore must be present at

one and the same moment. Both the discriminating power and the time of

its exercise must be one and undivided.

But, it may be objected, it is impossible that what is

self-identical should be moved at me and the same time with contrary

movements in so far as it is undivided, and in an undivided moment

of time. For if what is sweet be the quality perceived, it moves the

sense or thought in this determinate way, while what is bitter moves

it in a contrary way, and what is white in a different way. Is it

the case then that what discriminates, though both numerically one and

indivisible, is at the same time divided in its being? In one sense,

it is what is divided that perceives two separate objects at once, but

Previous | Next
Site Search