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Aristotel Despre Suflet

Aristotel Despre Suflet

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Classics in the History of Psychology
 
 An internet resource developed by
 
 
York University, Toronto, Ontario
 
De Anima (On the soul)
Aristotle (ca. 350 BC)
Translated by J. A. Smith
 Bekker page nubers are  given in s!uare brackets
 (Return to index)
Book I
Chapter 1
 Holding as we do that, while knowledge of any kind is a thing to be honoured and ri!ed, one kind of it may, "#$%a& either by reason of its greater exa'tness or of a higher dignity and greater wonderfulness in its obe'ts, be more honourable and re'ious than another, on both a''ounts we should naturally be led to la'e in the front rank the study of the soul. The knowledge of the soul admittedly 'ontributes greatly to the adan'e of truth in general, and, aboe all, to our understanding of *ature, for the soul is in some sense the  rin'ile of animal life. +ur aim is to gras and understand, first its essential nature, and se'ondly its roerties of these some are taught to be affe'tions roer to the soul itself, while others are 'onsidered to atta'h to the animal owing to the resen'e within it of soul. To attain any assured knowledge about the soul is one of the most diffi'ult things in the world. As the form of -uestion whi'h here resents itself, i!. the -uestion /hat is it0, re'urs in other fields, it might be suosed that there was some single method of in-uiry ali'able to all obe'ts whose essential nature (as we are endeaouring to as'ertain there is for deried roerties the single method of demonstration) in that 'ase what we should hae to seek for would be this uni-ue method. 1ut if there is no su'h single and general method for soling the -uestion of essen'e, our task be'omes still more diffi'ult in the 'ase of ea'h different sube't we shall hae to determine the aroriate ro'ess of inestigation. 2f to this there be a 'lear answer, e.g. that the ro'ess is demonstration or diision, or some known method, diffi'ulties and hesitations still beset us 33 with what fa'ts shall we begin the in-uiry0 4or the fa'ts whi'h form the starting3oints in different sube'ts must be different, as e.g. in the 'ase of numbers and surfa'es.
 
4irst, no doubt, it is ne'essary to determine in whi'h of the summa genera soul lies, what it is is it a this3somewhat, a substan'e, or is it a -uale or a -uantum, or some other of the remaining kinds of redi'ates whi'h we hae distinguished0 4urther, does soul belong to the 'lass of otential existents, or is it not rather an a'tuality0 +ur answer to this -uestion is of the greatest imortan'e. "#$%b& /e must 'onsider also whether soul is diisible or is without arts, and whether it is eerywhere homogeneous or not and if not homogeneous, whether its arious forms are different se'ifi'ally or generi'ally5 u to the resent time those who hae dis'ussed and inestigated soul seem to hae 'onfined themseles to the human soul. /e must be 'areful not to ignore the -uestion whether soul 'an be defined in a single unambiguous formula, as is the 'ase with animal, or whether we must not gie a searate formula for ea'h of it, as we do for horse, dog, man, god (in the latter 'ase the uniersal animal 33 and so too eery other 'ommon redi'ate 33 being treated either as nothing at all or as a later rodu't). 4urther, if what exists is not a lurality of souls, but a lurality of arts of one soul, whi'h ought we to inestigate first, the whole soul or its arts0 (2t is also a diffi'ult roblem to de'ide whi'h of these arts are in nature distin't from one another.) Again, whi'h ought we to inestigate first, these arts or their fun'tions, mind or thinking, the fa'ulty or the a't of sensation, and so on0 2f the inestigation of the fun'tions re'edes that of the arts, the further -uestion suggests itself5 ought we not  before either to 'onsider the 'orrelatie obe'ts, e.g. of sense or thought0 2t seems not only useful for the dis'oery of the 'auses of the deried roerties of substan'es to be a'-uainted with the essential nature of those substan'es (as in mathemati's it is useful for the understanding of the roerty of the e-uality of the interior angles of a triangle to two right angles to know the essential nature of the straight and the 'ured or of the line and the lane) but also 'onersely, for the knowledge of the essential nature of a substan'e is largely romoted by an a'-uaintan'e with its roerties5 for, when we are able to gie an a''ount 'onformable to exerien'e of all or most of the roerties of a substan'e, we shall be in the most faourable osition to say something worth saying about the essential nature of that sube't in all demonstration a definition of the essen'e is re-uired as a starting3oint, so that definitions whi'h do not enable us to "#$6a& dis'oer the deried  roerties, or whi'h fail to fa'ilitate een a 'one'ture about them, must obiously, one and all, be diale'ti'al and futile. A further roblem resented by the affe'tions of soul is this5 are they all affe'tions of the 'omlex of body and soul, or is there any one among them e'uliar to the soul by itself0 To determine this is indisensable but diffi'ult. 2f we 'onsider the maority of them, there seems to be no 'ase in whi'h the soul 'an a't or be a'ted uon without inoling the  body e.g. anger, 'ourage, aetite, and sensation generally. Thinking seems the most  robable ex'etion but if this too roes to be a form of imagination or to be imossible without imagination, it too re-uires a body as a 'ondition of its existen'e. 2f there is any way of a'ting or being a'ted uon roer to soul, soul will be 'aable of searate existen'e if there is none, its searate existen'e is imossible. 2n the latter 'ase, it will be like what is straight, whi'h has many roerties arising from the straightness in it, e.g. that of tou'hing a bron!e shere at a oint, though straightness dior'ed from the other 'onstituents of the straight thing 'annot tou'h it in this way it 'annot be so dior'ed at
 
all, sin'e it is always found in a body. 2t therefore seems that all the affe'tions of soul inole a body3assion, gentleness, fear, ity, 'ourage, oy, loing, and hating in all these there is a 'on'urrent affe'tion of the body. 2n suort of this we may oint to the fa't that, while sometimes on the o''asion of iolent and striking o''urren'es there is no ex'itement or fear felt, on others faint and feeble stimulations rodu'e these emotions, i!. when the body is already in a state of tension resembling its 'ondition when we are angry. Here is a still 'learer 'ase5 in the absen'e of any external 'ause of terror we find ourseles exerien'ing the feelings of a man in terror. 4rom all this it is obious that the affe'tions of soul are enmattered formulable essen'es. 7onse-uently their definitions ought to 'orresond, e.g. anger should be defined as a 'ertain mode of moement of su'h and su'h a body (or art or fa'ulty of a body) by this or that 'ause and for this or that end. That is re'isely why the study of the soul must fall within the s'ien'e of *ature, at least so far as in its affe'tions it manifests this double 'hara'ter. Hen'e a hysi'ist would define an affe'tion of soul differently from a diale'ti'ian the latter would define e.g. anger as the aetite for returning ain for ain, or something like that, while the former would define it as a boiling of the blood or warm substan'e "#$6b& surrounding the heart. The latter assigns the material 'onditions, the former the form or formulable essen'e for what he states is the formulable essen'e of the fa't, though for its a'tual existen'e there must be embodiment of it in a material su'h as is des'ribed by the other. Thus the essen'e of a house is assigned in su'h a formula as a shelter against destru'tion by wind, rain, and heat the hysi'ist would des'ribe it as stones, bri'ks, and timbers but there is a third ossible des'rition whi'h would say that it was that form in that material with that urose or end. /hi'h, then, among these is entitled to be regarded as the genuine hysi'ist0 The one who 'onfines himself to the material, or the one who restri'ts himself to the formulable essen'e alone0 2s it not rather the one who 'ombines both in a single formula0 2f this is so, how are we to 'hara'teri!e the other two0 8ust we not say that there is no tye of thinker who 'on'erns himself with those -ualities or attributes of the material whi'h are in fa't insearable from the material, and without attemting een in thought to searate them0 The hysi'ist is he who 'on'erns himself with all the roerties a'tie and assie of bodies or materials thus or thus defined attributes not 'onsidered as being of this 'hara'ter he leaes to others, in 'ertain 'ases it may be to a se'ialist, e.g. a 'arenter or a hysi'ian, in others (a) where they are insearable in fa't, but are searable from any arti'ular kind of body  by an effort of abstra'tion, to the mathemati'ian, (b) where they are searate both in fa't and in thought from body altogether, to the 4irst 9hilosoher or metahysi'ian. 1ut we must return from this digression, and reeat that the affe'tions of soul are insearable from the material substratum of animal life, to whi'h we hae seen that su'h affe'tions, e.g. assion and fear, atta'h, and hae not the same mode of being as a line or a lane.
Chapter 2
 4or our study of soul it is ne'essary, while formulating the roblems of whi'h in our further adan'e we are to find the solutions, to 'all into 'oun'il the iews of those of our  rede'essors who hae de'lared any oinion on this sube't, in order that we may rofit  by whateer is sound in their suggestions and aoid their errors. The starting3oint of our in-uiry is an exosition of those 'hara'teristi's whi'h hae 'hiefly been held to belong to

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