Greeks and Mind-Body Problem

>Because the Greeks didn't hypostatize the mind or reason in the way moderns did. It's true, logos was always treated with great respect, but it was never seen as something uniquely human or necessarily related to consciousness as such. The human mind lacked certain associations which it gained in modern philosophy. Read De Anima and you'll find what some modern commentators consider to be "lack of introspection" on Aristotle's part, because he does not privilege his own consciousness or mind over anything else.
Why do pseudposters cap so hard here? Aristotle definitely isolated reason as something unique to humans in De Anima and either Nicomachean Ethics or Politics (I don't remember which one in particular).

Shopping Cart Returner Shirt $21.68

Unattended Children Pitbull Club Shirt $21.68

Shopping Cart Returner Shirt $21.68

  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    bonus level that you should invest all your time into:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_intellect

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I already did. I've come to the conclusion that Alexander of Aphrodisias was right about the active intellect, in that it is the same thing as the unmoved mover, and Victor Caston does a good job of restating the case for a modern audience.

      What are you quoting?

      An old post on IQfy with promising insight that unfortunately never got the full cross-examination that it needed.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Aristotle definitely isolated reason as something unique to humans

        >was right about the active intellect, in that it is the same thing as the unmoved mover
        yea, I guess

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    What are you quoting?

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The quoted post isn't incorrect. Aristotle conceptualizes the soul as just another kind of entelechy, not something separate or independent from matter, he doesn't think in dualistic, Cartesian terms. Aristotle distinguishes plant-like life from human only by virtue of a greater sophistication, but both are configured under the same schema. Which is very unintuitive.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      On one hand, it's "just another entelechy." On another hand, rational souls are unique among souls and are unique to humans and gods. And what can those rational souls perceive? The being of beings by becoming those beings virtually.

      So, I think the idea that humans were "nothing special" in Aristotle's eyes is a tad bit exaggerated.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    What you wrote doesn't contradict the post you quoted. Aristotle define humans as having a rational soul distinct from other animals but he doesn't speak of introspection, he doesn't consider the subjective perspective as primary. Also his notion of soul is very different from that of Descartes as should be obvious from the fact that he considers plants to have souls because they grow. His conception is objective and teleological (related to his active-passive, formal-material dichotomies) rather than subjective. Plants grow, animals have sensations and memory, humans reason. Also he lacks the insight that subjective experience is more self-evident and primary than everything else.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      So, would you say that while we would conflate mind, soul, and reason as overlapping with each other, the Greeks would see reason as merely a special case of mind/soul/etc.? Is that what you're getting at?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Yes I'm not completely sure but I think Aristotle would say that soul is the basic unit rather than mind. Poorly developed soul is merely nutritive and reproductive (plants), then sensation and memory are added (animals), then reason (humans). The perspective is teleological and functional (functions get added) rather than subjective. The soul is the form of the body and gains new functions in higher perfection of essence.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Poorly developed
          I should rather say, lower.

          >The soul is the form of the body and gains new functions in higher perfection of essence.
          The soul is the form of the body and has more functions the higher the perfection of its essence is (human>animal>plant).

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Poorly developed
          I should rather say, lower.

          >The soul is the form of the body and gains new functions in higher perfection of essence.
          The soul is the form of the body and has more functions the higher the perfection of its essence is (human>animal>plant).

          So what exactly is the issue then? The soul just seems to be something other than the mind, the structure of living bodies. It seems to be something completely orthogonal to the mind-body problem.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Well the soul is the (more or less perfect) essence or form of living organisms. Sensitive mind is basically a feature of the animal-level soul and the sensitive+rational minds are a set of features of the human-level soul. They can't be separated from the body or conceived as an abstract unity like the cartesian res cogitans (the modern notion of mind as distinct from matter which contains all thoughts and mental abilities) because the soul of which those minds are the features is the form of the body. Here the form means the formal cause which is typically understood as either a motion/activity (like sensation, or reason) of the body or its shape which give it its unity.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >They can't be separated from the body or conceived as an abstract unity like the cartesian res cogitans
            But aren't they recognized through the perception of sensible forms in a way that makes their perception separate from the object that is perceived?

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Well I'm not familiar enough with Aristotle's psychology to be certain, but I'd say it might be that the sensible or intelligible forms are not precisely the same as the actual form of the perceived/intellected object though they are related and similar enough to be suitable for perception/understanding. These sensible/intelligible forms CAN be separated from the actual perceived/intellected object though they are probably linked with some form of material substrate within the mind of the perceiver/thinker. They are abstracted from the object's forms during sense-perception and transformed through thinking.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >but I'd say it might be that the sensible or intelligible forms are not precisely the same as the actual form of the perceived/intellected object though they are related and similar enough to be suitable for perception/understanding.
            From what I understand, the sensible forms are pre perception, intelligible forms are post perception, and you have things like the common sense taking all these disparate sensible forms from different sense objects and coordinating them into a unity during the process, marking the beginning of the intelligible form. I'm always reminded of a tendency for the ancients to believe that knowledge = likeness, so that to know the thing is to have the form of the thing in the mind (virtually of course).

            I think the way to bridge the gap is to not think so much of a body-mind, soul-mind-reason, etc., distinction at all and to instead recognize the Greeks seemed to think that the entire world was pervaded by a kind of either mental substance or amenable-to-mind substance.

            Still think the idea that Aristotle didn't think humans were special is a step too far though.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >They can't be separated from the body or conceived as an abstract unity like the cartesian res cogitans (the modern notion of mind as distinct from matter which contains all thoughts and mental abilities) because the soul of which those minds are the features is the form of the body.
            It just makes it seem like Descartes was moronic in thinking that thoughts exist nowhere at all.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Descarte believed thoughts existed in the mind, which he posited was immaterial by way of his clear and distinct/arguement from understanding. Another major reason, why not only Descarte, but Plato i would wager and many other philosophers are dualist despite never overcoming Elisabeth of Bohemia's simple counter argument believe in thought before existence is because essence precedes existence, and that locked in a room with no information Descarte believed one would come up with arithmetic knowledge without being given any sensory experience xddd.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *