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On The Soul   


find imagination, without discourse of reason. It is clear then that

imagination cannot, again, be (1) opinion plus sensation, or (2)

opinion mediated by sensation, or (3) a blend of opinion and

sensation; this is impossible both for these reasons and because the

content of the supposed opinion cannot be different from that of the

sensation (I mean that imagination must be the blending of the

perception of white with the opinion that it is white: it could

scarcely be a blend of the opinion that it is good with the perception

that it is white): to imagine is therefore (on this view) identical

with the thinking of exactly the same as what one in the strictest

sense perceives. But what we imagine is sometimes false though our

contemporaneous judgement about it is true; e.g. we imagine the sun to

be a foot in diameter though we are convinced that it is larger than

the inhabited part of the earth, and the following dilemma presents

itself. Either (a while the fact has not changed and the (observer has

neither forgotten nor lost belief in the true opinion which he had,

that opinion has disappeared, or (b) if he retains it then his opinion

is at once true and false. A true opinion, however, becomes false only

when the fact alters without being noticed.

Imagination is therefore neither any one of the states enumerated,

nor compounded out of them.

But since when one thing has been set in motion another thing may be

moved by it, and imagination is held to be a movement and to be

impossible without sensation, i.e. to occur in beings that are

percipient and to have for its content what can be perceived, and

since movement may be produced by actual sensation and that movement

is necessarily similar in character to the sensation itself, this

movement must be (1) necessarily (a) incapable of existing apart

from sensation, (b) incapable of existing except when we perceive,

(such that in virtue of its possession that in which it is found may

present various phenomena both active and passive, and (such that it

may be either true or false.

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