Soul and the Senses
This chapter first looks at Avicenna’s account of the cause of the activities associated with a living body, a cause that he identifies with the soul. After brief comments on the powers of the so-called vegetative soul, the discussion turns to the powers of the animal soul, such as perception via the external senses, namely, hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste, with a particular focus on the power of vision and the role Avicenna sees light playing in vision. It next considers the so-called internal faculties or senses, such as imagination, memory, and the like. Here, the focus is on Avicenna’s criteria for deducing his list of the various kinds of internal faculties, with particular attention to his discussion of the compositive imagination and cogitative faculty in humans.
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