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The Powers of Aristotle's Soul$
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Thomas Kjeller Johansen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658435.001.0001

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Circumscribing the Soul: De Anima 1.1 and 2.1

Circumscribing the Soul: De Anima 1.1 and 2.1

(p.9) 1 Circumscribing the Soul: De Anima 1.1 and 2.1
The Powers of Aristotle's Soul

Thomas Kjeller Johansen

Oxford University Press

Aristotle opens the DA by asking how to define the soul. The answer depends on the kind of thing we take the soul to be. He therefore offers a general outline characterization of the soul in terms of his most general notions, form and matter, fulfilment (entelekheia) and potentiality (dunamis). This ‘common’ account states that the soul is a first fulfilment of an instrumental body potentially having life. Three main questions arise from this account: What does Aristotle mean by saying that the body has life only potentially, what is meant by calling the soul a fulfilment, and how is this claim related to and compatible with the claim that the soul is composed of capacities (dunameis)? The chapter develops answers which involve an interpretation also of Metaph. Θ.

Keywords:   fulfilment, capacity, change, substance, form, matter

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