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On The Soul   

affirmation, and is in every case either true or false: this is not

always the case with mind: the thinking of the definition in the sense

of the constitutive essence is never in error nor is it the

assertion of something concerning something, but, just as while the

seeing of the special object of sight can never be in error, the

belief that the white object seen is a man may be mistaken, so too

in the case of objects which are without matter.


Actual knowledge is identical with its object: potential knowledge

in the individual is in time prior to actual knowledge but in the

universe it has no priority even in time; for all things that come

into being arise from what actually is. In the case of sense clearly

the sensitive faculty already was potentially what the object makes it

to be actually; the faculty is not affected or altered. This must

therefore be a different kind from movement; for movement is, as we

saw, an activity of what is imperfect, activity in the unqualified

sense, i.e. that of what has been perfected, is different from


To perceive then is like bare asserting or knowing; but when the

object is pleasant or painful, the soul makes a quasi-affirmation or

negation, and pursues or avoids the object. To feel pleasure or pain

is to act with the sensitive mean towards what is good or bad as such.

Both avoidance and appetite when actual are identical with this: the

faculty of appetite and avoidance are not different, either from one

another or from the faculty of sense-perception; but their being is


To the thinking soul images serve as if they were contents of

perception (and when it asserts or denies them to be good or bad it

avoids or pursues them). That is why the soul never thinks without

an image. The process is like that in which the air modifies the pupil

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