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

Previous | Next

On The Soul   

in another sense it does so qua undivided; for it is divisible in

its being but spatially and numerically undivided. is not this

impossible? For while it is true that what is self-identical and

undivided may be both contraries at once potentially, it cannot be

self-identical in its being-it must lose its unity by being put into

activity. It is not possible to be at once white and black, and

therefore it must also be impossible for a thing to be affected at one

and the same moment by the forms of both, assuming it to be the case

that sensation and thinking are properly so described.

The answer is that just as what is called a 'point' is, as being

at once one and two, properly said to be divisible, so here, that

which discriminates is qua undivided one, and active in a single

moment of time, while so far forth as it is divisible it twice over

uses the same dot at one and the same time. So far forth then as it

takes the limit as two' it discriminates two separate objects with

what in a sense is divided: while so far as it takes it as one, it

does so with what is one and occupies in its activity a single

moment of time.

About the principle in virtue of which we say that animals are

percipient, let this discussion suffice.


There are two distinctive peculiarities by reference to which we

characterize the soul (1) local movement and (2) thinking,

discriminating, and perceiving. Thinking both speculative and

practical is regarded as akin to a form of perceiving; for in the

one as well as the other the soul discriminates and is cognizant of

something which is. Indeed the ancients go so far as to identify

thinking and perceiving; e.g. Empedocles says 'For 'tis in respect

of what is present that man's wit is increased', and again 'Whence

it befalls them from time to time to think diverse thoughts', and

Previous | Next
Site Search