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Aristotle's First Moves Regarding Perception

Lecture by Andreas Anagnostopoulos (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), organized by the Department of the History of Philosophy

In De Anima II 5, Aristotle makes his first systematic remarks concerning sense-perception, compares perception to thinking, and thereby contrasts it with the most ordinary forms of alteration (qualitative change). It is generally supposed that Aristotle here establishes the thesis that perception is an alteration, in part by clarifying the sense in which perception can qualify as an alteration.

On such an approach, I argue, we lose sight of the genuine difficulty Aristotle faces in accommodating such a thesis. Based on a detailed analysis of the argumentative structure of the chapter and key passages within it, I argue that it is intended to bring out such a challenge, and that in particular, Aristotle does not here clarify a special sense of alteration suitable for perception.

Andreas Anagnostopoulos

is Akademischer Rat at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich and Coordinator of the Munich School of Ancient Philosophy. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Topoi Excellenzcluster in Berlin. His research concerns Aristotle's natural science and metaphysics, on which he has published several articles.

When & where?

Wednesday, 1 March 2017, 3.15-5pm
Faculty of Philosophy, Room Omega

Last modified:10 February 2017 11.10 a.m.