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Essays on Aristotle's De Anima$
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Martha C. Nussbaum and Amélie Oksenberg Rorty

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236009

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019823600X.001.0001

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Nous Poiētikos: Survey of Earlier Interpretations

Nous Poiētikos: Survey of Earlier Interpretations

Chapter:
(p.313) 17 Nous Poiētikos: Survey of Earlier Interpretations
Source:
Essays on Aristotle's De Anima
Author(s):

Franz Brentano

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019823600X.003.0018

This essay explores Aristotle’s conception of the active intellect or nous poiētikos. The earliest, medieval, and most recent interpretations of this concept are discussed. It is argued that even Aristotle’s immediate disciples disagreed in their conception of the active intellect, nor was there any more unanimity in the Middle Ages. According to Trendelenburg, the difficulty of the Aristotelian doctrine lies in the fact that the nous is sometimes said to be so intimately connected with the other faculties of the soul that it appears to be incapable of existing without them. When it is viewed the highest nous, as nous poiētikos, it is separated from the rest of human nature and contrasted with it as something higher and its ruler.

Keywords:   Aristotle, nous poietikos, active intellect

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