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Aristotle on the Common Sense$
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Pavel Gregoric

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199277377

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277377.001.0001

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Conclusions on the Terminology

Conclusions on the Terminology

Chapter:
(p.124) 6 Conclusions on the Terminology
Source:
Aristotle on the Common Sense
Author(s):

Pavel Gregoric

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277377.003.0011

This chapter indicates that the phrase ‘common sense’ probably has not yet crystallized into a technical term with Aristotle. Nevertheless, there can be little doubt that, owing to Aristotle, it became a technical term at some point between Theophrastus and Alexander of Aphrodisias. There is consistency in Aristotle's use of the phrase ‘common sense’ which, on its own, would imply that the phrase is a technical term for Aristotle, functioning as a proper name for the sensory capacity of the soul. However, a survey of the other uses manifest variation which suggests that the phrase really did not have the status of a technical term for Aristotle. Depending on the context, the terms which make up the phrase can take different nuances in meaning within their respective semantic horizons and assume different word order to express different ideas. Aristotle takes advantage of this variability in different contexts, and it is possible that he would not be inclined to do so had the phrase been fixed in his mind as a technical term.

Keywords:   Aristotle, common sense, technical term, sensory capacity, soul

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