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

Previous | Next

On The Soul   

or encouraging scene. Again within the field of judgement itself we

find varieties, knowledge, opinion, prudence, and their opposites;

of the differences between these I must speak elsewhere.

Thinking is different from perceiving and is held to be in part

imagination, in part judgement: we must therefore first mark off the

sphere of imagination and then speak of judgement. If then imagination

is that in virtue of which an image arises for us, excluding

metaphorical uses of the term, is it a single faculty or disposition

relative to images, in virtue of which we discriminate and are

either in error or not? The faculties in virtue of which we do this

are sense, opinion, science, intelligence.

That imagination is not sense is clear from the following

considerations: Sense is either a faculty or an activity, e.g. sight

or seeing: imagination takes place in the absence of both, as e.g.

in dreams. (Again, sense is always present, imagination not. If actual

imagination and actual sensation were the same, imagination would be

found in all the brutes: this is held not to be the case; e.g. it is

not found in ants or bees or grubs. (Again, sensations are always

true, imaginations are for the most part false. (Once more, even in

ordinary speech, we do not, when sense functions precisely with regard

to its object, say that we imagine it to be a man, but rather when

there is some failure of accuracy in its exercise. And as we were

saying before, visions appear to us even when our eyes are shut.

Neither is imagination any of the things that are never in error: e.g.

knowledge or intelligence; for imagination may be false.

It remains therefore to see if it is opinion, for opinion may be

either true or false.

But opinion involves belief (for without belief in what we opine

we cannot have an opinion), and in the brutes though we often find

imagination we never find belief. Further, every opinion is

accompanied by belief, belief by conviction, and conviction by

discourse of reason: while there are some of the brutes in which we

Previous | Next
Site Search