Company Author(s): Daniel Heller-Roazen Source: October, Vol. 117 (Summer, 2006), pp.

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DANIEL HELLER-ROAZEN

there is always an interval. a work and itscommentary, It may conBetween thetemporal distance that one written ofa historical sist removal, separates thing need notbe merely from the one thatlaterseeksto explainit. But the interval can also be detected in theblanker in nature. Its presence regions chronological a majortext divide from thelesser ofa single spacesthat page:thetypographical itsargument. The border or besideit,aimto clarify beneath ones that, is,in any It belongs to theessenceofcommentary to comeintobeingat the case,decisive. and to movein theareasthat at once surround and do outermost edgesofa work oftheform from thenature and can be easwith it.Thisfact follows notcoincide ilyascertained.If an explanationhad no relationto thatwhichit aimed to itweretruly a part ofthat be noneat all;if, itwouldobviously bycontrast, explain, itwouldbe equally to distinguish itas such.A itaimedto clarify, which impossible in thenarrow that windroundthework moves regions upon always commentary and no matter and tracing itscontours; howdistant or it bears,following which never seeksto leap beyond itor to an exposition itmay howcloseto itstext seem, witha clarity thatleaveslittle it. As its classicalname indicates venture within thatuponwhich at every it thecommentum roomforcomment, stays point"with" a permanent resiIn therealmof texts, it is an eternal comments. accompanist, dent of the shifting space of being "with"{cum).It lives nowhereif not in itwouldnotbe to be, so to speak, without its"with," wereiteverforced company: at all. has been a practice of comFor the greater philosophy partof itshistory, at the edges of the its mostbrilliant inventions and it has conceived mentary, Late antiquity and the MiddleAgesare to accompany. corpusit has continued ofglosses, themostillustrious cases,periodsoftheproliferation exposiperhaps ofannotated editions and indexes)ofall and paraphrases tions, (to saynothing oftheseepochsregularly from It is a truism thatthethinkers the kinds. departed thosestatedin littera from ofthetradition theses and,moreprecisely, bytheone Aristotle. But such a claim whowas forthemthe Philosopher par excellence, theroleplayed with as longas itleavesunspecified meanslittle bytheencounter
Ltd.and Massachusetts Institute OCTOBER 117, Summer 2006,pp. 35-43. © 2006 October Magazine, ofTechnology.

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in sucha setting. thefaldsifa and "tradition" The commentators oflateantiquity, of classical the Latin Middle Arabic and the doctors of culture, filosofim Agesmay wellall haveconjoined their in differing to those oftheauthorities inquiries, ways, of antiquity. The factremains: morethanonce, they from the classics received other from the than what had been to them. It followed transmitted something nature oftheir craft. Glossators and their kindareincessantly in search oftheaniin their element textual that bearsno name:that dimension that, mating objects in timeto be exposed. demands Thinkers trained as readers, thephilosounsaid, ofthetradition wereno exception. knew howtofind thesecret source phers They ofincompletion sealedin every work ofthought, and howtodraw from itthematteroftheir art. Consider that most inventions: theconofancient far-reaching philosophical of in the of the fact as Aristotle wrote of the "sense," cept perception perception, theDeAnima, I amseeing "that andhearing."1 The Philosopher himself hadinvoked itmorethanonce.2 He found himself ofmethod, to raisethe forreasons obliged, of the of the soul to one its and if which attribute question faculty activity; might one considers all histreatises that on the at one must conclude surface, together, he proposed morethana single did Aristotle answer. Atno point, least, however, dwell of at length on thenature ofthe"sensation ofsensing" as a particular variety or indistinct or evenin itsownvarieties; distinct from others ofitskind, aisthesis, and nowhere where his did he dedicate moreattention to itthanin theDe Anima, discussion of the matter of sensing is fills lessthana singlepage. The sensation nowhere treated in the to it no technical classic which treatises, systematically assign itsconcept, is notAristotle's one mustconclude, designation. Strictly speaking, own. Itwasnotthemaster in thecenturies buthispupils thedissemiwho, following nation of the peripateticdoctrine,made of the perceptionof perceiving a And it it a name: was who sunaisthesis. full-fledged philosophical concept. they gave The distant was no the Greekterm originof the modern"synaesthesia," at the time the late ancient it a thinkers bestowed technical sense neologism upon in thedoctrine of thesoul.In theclassical varieties of thelanguage, admittedly, thenounappearsto haveconstituted ofa rareexpression, butitis not something without that theverb from which itwasdrawn, can be sunaisthanesthai, significance in twopassages found ofAristotle's owntreatises. the addition ofthe Formed by "with" to the verb "to sense" or "to , the (sun-) prefix perceive"(aisthanesthai) in all likelihood a in a common," expression designated "feeling perception shared that theStagirite invoked itin hisanalysis of bymorethanone. It is telling in the Eudemian as well as the At in Nichomachean Ethics.2* this the friendship point
1. Aristotle, DeAnima,III, 2, 435 b 12-13. 2. De Insomniis, See, mostfamously, Aristotle, 2, 455 a 13-455 a 26. 3. Eudemian Nichomachean Aristotle, Ethics, H, 12, 1254 b 24; Aristotle, Ethics, IX, 9, 1170 b 4. On the sense of sunaisthanesthai in these passages,see Antonia Cancrini,Syneidesis: II temasemantico della "con-scientia" nella Grecia antica (Roma: Edizioni dell'Ateneo, 1970), pp. 18-19; as well as Hans-Robert "'Bewusst'und 'Unbewusst'bei Plotin,"in Les Sources dePlotin, Fondation etude de HardtpourV Schwyzer,

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course of the Greek language, the application of the termwas to the communal lifeof many, and itsmeaninglayfarfromthe one thatwould be laterattributed to itbythe commentators. in the sense of the expressioncan be One of the earliestindicationsof a shift that flourished after the beginning of the found in the medical literature to Christianera. It has been noted that Galen, for instance,employssunaisthesis designatea sensationthatis "in common"not because it is shared bymanybut in in effect of multiplephysithatit reachesa singlebodyall at once, whileconsisting for the physician can characterize pain, example,as being "felt ological affections: of the the blood" a sphugmou withthe perception (met seethingof simultaneously such as A In othermedical authorsof the period, Aretaeus,one finds sunaistheseos) in a much more general the nominal and verbal formsof the expression used sense: here the word appears to designatethe acts of "detection," "registration," The wordin thisbroad meaningsoon leftthe of anysensation.5 and "realization" terrain of medicine and entered common usage, and it was not long before authorsas diverseas PhiloJudaeus and SextusEmpiricuscould invokeit to refer or "remarking" to the processof "noticing" upon a feltfact.6 Sometime close to the beginning of the third centuryA.D.,Alexander of which he defined in a to sunaisthesis, Aphrodisiasdevoted one of his Quaestiones and a good deal meaning at once wider than that of the Hellenistic physicians of the time.His point of departure more precise than thatof manyof the writers De Anima: "Since we sense was the dictumof the thirdbook of the Aristotelian it is eitherby sightthat [one] senses thatwe are seeing and hearing,necessarily that one sees, or by another sense."7The remarkwithwhich the commentator opened his discussion of the classical proposition already contained the new term,by which Alexander named an act to which the Philosopher himselfhad givenno name. One mustunderstand,the exegete began by explaining,thatin comes about for us when we this sentence Aristotle"enquires how sunaisthesis hemin sense certain things,and bywhat [it comes about] [zetei, pos hesunaisthesis

vol. 5 (Geneva: Fondation Hardt, 1960), pp. 343-90, esp. pp. 355-66; Pierre Vantiquite "classique, 12 (1986), le point sensible de l'amitie parfaitechez Aristote," Philosophie Rodrigo, Synaisthanesthai: dans la philosophie antique(1974; Paris: Vrin, pp. 35-51; Jean-ClaudeFraisse,Philia. La Notiond'amitie see also Guido Badalamenti,"Ierocle stoico e il con1984), esp. pp. 238-45. On the termsunaisthesis, 3 (1987), pp. 53-97, esp. di FirenzeXYNAII0III," AnnalidelDipartimmto cettodi Universita difilosofia A Sourcebook, vol. 1: Psychology oftheCommentators, pp. 85-92; compare Richard Sorabji, ThePhilosophy mentionof sunaisthesis withrefer2004), pp. 159-60, whichalludes to Aristotle's (London: Duckworth, 534 b 18. ence to insectsin Historia Animalium, 4. XIII, 1 (X 875, 14 Kiihn). methodos, Galen, Therapeutike 5. Aretaeus,II, 9, 2, p. 30. 25 Hude (CMG II, 1923); Iv,2, 4, p. 66. 10. Adv.Math.IX, 68. For these 6. 76; SextusEmpiricus, V, 72, 5; PhiloJudaeus,De virtibus, Polybius, "'Bewusst' und 'Unbewusst' bei Plotin,"pp. 356-57. Compare see Schwyzer, and other references, Archiv 89 (1933), pp. 525-50, Bewusstsein," conscientia, "Suneidesis, Pscyhologie furdiegesamte Gertrudjung, esp. pp. 237-39. De Anima, 7. III, 2, 425 b 11-12. Aristotle,

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on to assert aisthanometha kaitini] ."8The commentator went tinon, ginetai, epeidan theuniversality he ofthephenomenon: "Forto everyone whosenses something," madeclear, "there that comesabout,in addition to theapprehension ofthething he is sensing, also a certain sunaisthesis of [thefact]thathe is sensing" (Pantigar hoti It wasa variation on theclaimhe advanced in thecommentary aisthanetai).9 on the De Sensu, wherehe wrotethat"everyone, a whenperceiving," possesses sunaisthesis that"he existsand perceives."10 In the quaestio on the De Anima, Alexander went to thegreatest oflengths ofthis to insist on theimportance fact, which "The sunaisthesis of "toeverything thathas sensation." pertained bynature Alexander "comesabout in sensation's sensing," explainedin his conclusion, boththe thing in relasensedand itsownproper simultaneously sensing ability tionto thething sensed. Andforthisreasonitfollows foreverything necessarily, that hassensation, that italso has sunaisthesis forthe ofitsownsensing; itfollows, sensation that senses someone oftheoutside that itsimultaneously sensed, things alsosenses itself."11 it theclassical itis difficult that toavoidtheimpression Reading quaestio today, bearson a structure of thesoul closein form of to muchbetter known varieties awareness named inthe it.In theguise ofannotating an obscure longafter principle Aristotelian doctrine ofsensation, theHellenistic commentator couldbe saidtohave offered an unmistakable, ifcompressed, account ofwhat one day be called selfwould consciousness: one might even infer that isitsoldest sunaisthesis name. Buteverything on thetranslation oftheancient and on this term, depends question contemporary classical for or for better do notconcur. to be sure, makeno scholars, worse, Many, mention ofa philosophical or evenphilological buttheir as ediquestion; practice tors andtranslators thedifficulty oftheproblem. In contemporary discussions betrays ofAlexander, and Priscian, finds one very often Damascius, Simplicius, Philoponus, theGreekexpression rendered and "self-consciousness."12 Yet by"consciousness" other choices havealso been made.In hisEnglish version ofthe Quaestiones, R. W.
8. The quaestiois III, 7, in Ivo Bruns,Alexandri Commentaria Minora, Aphrodisiensis praeter Scripta vol.2.2 (Berlin:G. Reimer, R. W. Sharpies, Alexander 1892),p. 91. 28-29; trans. SupplemmtumAristotelicum, of 2.16-3.15 (Ithaca,N.Y.:CornellUniversity Press,1994),pp. 54-56. Aphrodisias: Quaestiones 9. Alexandri Commentaria 91. Bruns, 29-31; Sharpies, Aphrodisiensis praeter ScriptaMinora, p. Quaestiones, p. 54. 10. Paul Wendland,ed., Commentaria in Aristotelem vol. Ill, part 1: Alexandri in Librum De Sensu Graeca, Commentarium Alexander On (Berlin: G. Reimer,1901), p. 148. 9-10; trans.Alan Towey, ofAphrodisias: Aristotle's "OnSense (London: Duckworth, 2000), p. 134. Perception" 11. he mende sunaisthesis touaisthanesthai en toitenaisthesin hama te[tei] touaisthetou kai tes ginomene idiasperitoaistheton aisthanesthai. dioexanagkes kai sunaisthanesthai energeias hepetai pantiteiaisthanomenoi heautou aisthanomenou teihepesthai teiaisthesei aisthanomenoi tinostonaistheton exoontos tohamakai heautes aisthanesthai. Commentaria Bruns,Alexandri Minora,p. 93. 18-22; Sharpies, Aphrodisiensis praeter Scripta Quaestiones, p. 56. sciencede soi (sunaisthesis)" Documenti e studisulla tradizione medievaleS (1997), pp. 33-85 (esp. filosofica

aisthanomenoi tinos toutou ou aisthanetai, sunaisthesis Uskai ton prosteiantilepsei ginetai

12. See,among others: Ilsetraut "LaTheorie de la perception chezlesNeoplatoniciens: Hadot, many Sensation sensation commune sensibles communs et con(aisthesis), (koine aisthesis), (koina aistheta) sunaisthesis at sometimes as "conscience," at others as "conscience de soi"); pp. 63-71,where appears

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the termas "self-awareness," whileAlan Towey, in his translates Sharpiesconsistently for on the De another fureditionofAlexander's Sensu, commentary opts expression, from themodernidiom:"joint therstill perception."13 That renditionis literalbut exact. In distinctionto almost all the modern containsno reference to a equivalentsproposed forit, the Greek termsunaisthesis in of the Alexander at contrast to no scholars, "self,"and, many contemporary of an of a state the awareness alone one of raises (let subjective question point the if invocation of one takes the modas is "consciousness," impliedby cognition, finds ern philosophicaltermin its standardsense). In his gloss,the commentator or in the letterof his teacher not an inquiryinto the nature of "self-sensation" but what one term translation has "withas the it, "self-awareness," English might Alexander showslittleinterest in sensation,"and "how it comes about for us."14 is he and there no clear that believed reflection of the sign perceptionupon itself, forhis part,to have meditatedon such a subjectin the De Anima.The Aristotle, definesa movementof the soul that involvesthe coincicommentator'squaestio to occur: the itselfbut of an eventand its potentiality of the self with dence not in relation and its to the thing of a "sensible soul's sensation "ability thing" animal that lies or in the life of the sensed."This is an activity beyond, before,the a structural a doubled self alike: and awarenessof a single by "perceiving-with," whichthe perceptionof perceptualqualitieswould be, at every moment,necessarcoincide. This ily"joined" to anotherperception,withwhichit did not altogether of act to the execution natural would be the every of sensation. accompaniment it would with one without withit, it, tap out the meabeing completely Constantly was sensed at all. in which the time sures,so to speak,of something remained a technical term in ancient philosophy long after Sunaisthesis who It playeda notable role in the thoughtof Plotinus, AlexanderofAphrodisias. discussed Alexander's well and commentators knew the Aristotelian exegeses, in in middle of the third in Rome the in the seminarshe held century.15 particular,
3. 1-8 (London: OnAristotle's "Onthe Soul" William trans. Duckworth, 2000);Pamela Charlton, 'Phibponus' in Theophrastum: in hertranslation ofPriscian's as "consciousness" theterm Metaphrasus Hubyrenders onAristotle's On theSoul 2. 5-12,trans. with On Sense-Perception on Theophrastus' Priscian 'Simplicius' "self-awareness" as a andCarlos Steel(London: Pamela Duckworth, 1997).Elsewhere Huby adopts Huby M. Huby, andDimitri Robert W.Sharpies, W.Fortenbaugh, Pamela oftheterm: see William translation
vol. 4: and Influence, Sources Gutas,eds., Theophrastus commentary Thought, forHis Life,Writings, ofEresus: 13. "OnSense On Aristotle's pp. 36, 163. Towey, Perception,

The materials Gutas(Leiden, on theArabic contributions with byDimitri byPamelaHuby Psychology, E.J.Brill, Netherlands: 1999), pp.81-82. inSharpies, istobe found translation 14. The English Quaestiones, p. 54. in the Enneads 15. On sunaisthesis (IV, 4; V, 1; V, 3; V, 4; V, 6), see Schwyzer,Bewusstund and Sunesis: Presenceand 'Unbewusst'bei Plotin";F. M. Schroeder, "Synousia, Synaisthesis undNiedergang der romischen Welt ofConsciousness," 2. in thePlotinian Aufstieg Philosophy Dependence in Plotinus Enneads5. 1. [10] 7," of Consciousness 36. 1 (1987),pp. 677-99,as wellas "Conversion De Gruyter, Plotin unddiegeistige 114 (1986),pp. 186-95;Ottfried Hermes Becker, (Berlin: Aneignung in LateNeo-Platonism," Bulletin "Rival Theories ofSelf-Awareness 1940),esp.pp. 21-40;P. Lautner, of 29 (1994), pp. 107-16; AndrewSmith,"Consciousnessand theInstitute ofClassicalStudies no. 3 (1978),pp.292-301. inPlotinus," Phronesis23, Quasiconsciousness

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and In time, ofstudy, theworks oftheearly commentator becameregular objects Aristotle later cametodraw that from Alexander's thinkers concept consequences thesignsofan to haveconsidered. It is already to detect appearsnever possible alteration of the notionof sunaisthesis in the first of the exposition systematic on Aristotelian treatise on thesoulto havesurvived from the antiquity, Paraphrase Themistius the De Anima in mid-fourth Themistius the by century. completed commented work in meticulous detailand,whenhe came upon theAristotelian he to discuss in BookGamma, thesenseofsensing considered bythePhilosopher To infer that the invoked defined for the act. the Alexander naturally concept by of Constantinople commentator limited himself to retracing theexegetical steps ofhispredecessor, ofhisart. wouldbe profoundly to mistake thenature however, Ifone examines took thetext oftheParaphrase itseemsthat Themistius carefully, from thetradition in it,and hisreflections lead one a thing he wasthefirst tofind hima conto believe before thathe may wellhavereceived from thosewhowent that was never transmitted to him as such. cept Themistius recalls and rephrases Aristotle's discussion ofthesensebywhich "wesensethat we are seeingand hearing" with and precision, at no pointin his the of otherthan of does anyterm explanation perception perceiving he invoke This himself: aisthesis. the one employed forthe experience the by Philosopher thantheone fact alonemarks a departure from butitis lesssignificant Alexander, thansight that soonfollows. itcannot be bya senseother established that Having that one perceives to thesuccessive that one is seeing, Themistius turns principle butalsoperadvanced that notonly thesensible bythePhilosopher: sight perceives had ceivesthe event of itsownperception. For thisreason"itis clear," Aristotle "that is a to not hen tei written, aisthanesthai). (oukh sensing bysight single thing" opsei Andas an illustration ofthethesis, "when wedo not he hadadduceda further fact: me "itis bysight thatwe discern from darkness see,"he wrote, light" {garhotan thePhilosopher it at anylength, thephehimself did notdiscuss Although nomenon towhich he alludedraisedat leastas many In as it answered. questions what after in can one discern of vision and the all, see, way, obscurity faculty by thefullmeaning of the term, the dark? None woulddoubtthata sensecan be affected ofitsproper as itis commonly understood, bythepresence quality: peris in a else. But what could the be said to apprehend senses ception nothing way mereprivation and tobe receptive notto thepresence butto theabsenceoftheir characteristic Themistius finds thesolution to thedifficulty in theconqualities? of sunaisthesis. when we do not he the "Indeed, see," writes, cept paraphrasing "<as as well when we we 'discern and not we see>, Stagirite, [objects]bysight,'
16. De Anima, in relation to this one must understand that III, 2, 425b 21-22.It is perhaps passage theAristotelian statement to which thesenseof sight, likeevery has in truth two other, according "thevisible and theinvisible" kaiaoratou hen horatou II, 11,424 a 10-12:epid'hosper (DeAnima, objects:

hard teiopsei krinomen kai toskotos kai tophos, air oukh men, hosautos).16

homoios dekai hai loipaitonantikeimenon, kai anaptou). houto hehaphe touhaptou posheopsis,

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, yet sunaisthanometha] onlyperceivelightbut alsojointlyperceivedarkness[skotous not in exactly the same way."17 There is, in other words, a perception of the absence of perception.But it is so much a "sensing"{aisthesis) in the narrow sense as a "sensing-with" in the itself , bywhichthe sensitive (sunaisthesis) faculty, finding lack of all positive qualities, "jointly perceives" its purely privative state. Themistiusleaves no doubt thatin psychology, such a sensationof the absence of bit as important sensationis every as the sensationof its presence.He definesthe two as the two symmetrical acts of a single faculty, which apprehends, in each case, a bare factof perception:"We perceivethatwe are not seeing,"he writes, "by thevery same sense bywhichwe also perceivethatwe are seeing."18 the path of theAristotelian Themistius immetreatise, Methodically retracing to the book on diatelymoveson fromthispassage and its problemsand, faithful in the analysis whichhe comments, of the sense of sensingand its goes no further of a laterscholar.Of the lastgeneration absence.That was to be the achievement of of antiquity, the Greekcommentators Priscianof Lydialiveda good threecenturies and some hundredyearsafter after the authorof the Quaestiones Themistius. He was of thatmomentof late antiquity a distinguished in whichthe interrepresentative fromthe pretationof the peripateticteachingscould no longerbe distinguished elaborationofneo-Platonic doctrine.Littleis knownofhislife, buthe is said to have decreed playedan activerole in the Academyof Athensuntil529, whenJustinian closed. Acceptingan invitation that the pagan center of learningbe definitively from a monarch more benevolently disposed to his profession than was the Christian emperor,Priscian then journeyed, togetherwith two illustriouscolto the courtof the PersiankingKhosroes.Today leagues,Damasciusand Simplicius, in its totality: 's works survives a Metaphrase of a lost treatise on onlyone of Priscian a briefbut farby Aristotle'searlysuccessor,Theophrastus.It offers psychology reaching exposition of the problem of the sensation of sensing,which at once theinvention of theAristotelian recallsand refashions exegetes. Turning to the question of sunaisthesisin the final paragraphs of his Priscianintroducesthe argumentof Theophrastusby explainingthat Metaphrase, a ta auta tbiAristotelei "it proceeds along the same lines as Aristotle"(hat diatithesi tonlogon).19 One would be at a loss, however,to find any exact textualsource, or in the Parva Naturalia, forthe bulk of the discussionthat eitherin the De Anima

The fullpassage reads as follows: toinun hotioukhhaploslegetai 17. to aisthanesthai. kai gar phaneron ta opseikrinomenon kai ou monon alia kai skotous hot an me horomen, all' oukh sunaisthanometha, photos hotioukhhoromen, teiauteitauteiaisthesei hdsautos. heitoinun aisthesei aisthanometha aisthanometha kai hoti hautede estai he opsis.Richard Heinze, ed., Commentaria in Aristotelem vol. 5, part 3: Graeca, horomen, De AnimaParaphrasis Themistii in Libros Aristotelis (Berlin: G. Reimer,1899), p. 83. 22-26; trans.Robert B. Todd, Themistius: On Aristotle On the Soul (London: Duckworth, 1996), p. 105. hotioukhhoromen, teiaute tauteaisthesis 18. hei toinun aisthesei aisthanometha aisthanometha. Heinze, in Libros Aristotelis De Anima Themistii On the Soul,p. 105. Paraphrasis, p. 83. 24-25; Todd, On Aristotle 19. Aristotelicum\o\. in Theophrastum ed., Supplementum I, part2: Metaphrasis (Berlin: IngramBywater, in Theophrastum, Reimer,1886), p. 21. 32-33; trans.Huby,Metaphrasus p. 31.

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conthenfollows; and itis difficult to imagine thatit couldhavebeen altogether tained in the lostworkof the Stagirite's first its terminology student, being The commentator to be sure,byrecalling a neo-Platonic. unmistakably begins, basicprinciple in theAristotelian in thecomoftheforms ofperception: doctrine mentator's condensed that"theopposites are ofthesame [sense]"(tesgar terms, antestanantia)?0 He thenconcludesthatthe faculty thatsensesthe "activity" its of that sense must, token, (energeia) perception by "inactivity" (argia) too. Priscian that the and of faculty the"comunitary multiple explains simultaneously monsense"(koine alonecouldbe responsible for suchacts: aisthesis) abouthowwe sensethat we sense,he <Theophrastus> this, Following setsouthisargument thecomon thesamelinesas Aristotle, wanting monsenseto be that eina which has thisextradistinction [boulomenos tenepikrinousan] of each , since it perceives jointlyboth the activity
<sense> and its inactivity hekastes kaiu tes sunaisthanomenen [tesenergeieas

. For the opposites are of the same <sense>.But the common argias] senseis neither different. thesameas theparticular ones norentirely Foritis byway concentraofthesynthesis ofall <thesenses> and their tion into an undivided one [sunairesin kai teneis henameriston butasjoined together in theone [suneptai Foritbelongs to a teimiai]. from bodies to revert into itself and know itself, power already separate and each is morecorporeal in so faras it has been divided up, and it with the is apartbymeansofitsindivisible goesup moretowhat unity others. Forin fact this is indivisible [ameristos henosis] appropriate unity to the forms well whichare apartfrom bodies.But if,as he himself it this to the same <sense> to discern and for claims, belongs opposites, reasonof<itsown>inactivity on hand even <sense> each also, theone - for<otherwillgraspwhatis separate in a wayfrom itsownorgans wise>sight wouldnothaveperceived thatthesense-organ's notbeing affected was darkness, forit <sight>appearsto be activeevenwhen - and,on theother, <that>is notaffected to a greater extent thecommon<sense>, which is awarealso of theinactivity of thesensesthemselves. butnoteachindividualone>,will Hence,thecommon <sense>, sense itself and its and ifofitsactivity, thenalso of own jointly activity: itsinactivity: and ifof itsinactivity, it wouldat the same timebe, as and active inactive at once [diokaihekoine alVoukh hekaste with, sensingheautessunaisthesetai kai tesoikeiasenergeias. ei mengar tesenergeieas, kai tes ei tes de hama te an kai .21 hos argias. argias, argoie energoie sunaisthanomene]

. Hence in a wayeach <sense> sensesjointlythatit perapokoruphosiri] ceives [sunaisthanetai not as having been divided off hotiaisthanetai],

20. 21.

in Theophrastum, in Theophrastum, Bywater, Metaphrasis p. 31. p. 22. 1; Huby,Metaphrasis in Theophrastum, in Theophrastum, Bywater, Metaphrasis p. 31. p. 22. 14-16; Huby,Metaphrasis

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different" fromthem,the "Neitherthe same as the particularones nor entirely "common sense" is that in accordance withwhich the individualsenses "revert and originalprinciple.Where theyare corporeal,it is back into" theirindivisible incorporeal;wheretheyare separated,it is undivided;and wheretheyare bydefiThe centralsense is the powerin the soul nitionmultiple,it is byessence unitary. not as a "selP but as a faculty that"jointly sunaisthesetai), perceivesitself {heautes all felt at once, reach their"indivisiof the senses, in whichthe multipleactivities Priscianpresentsit as the constantcompanion to sensuous life,which ble unity." by nature cannot cease. As the commentatorobserves,wheneverthe senses are active,the "commonsense,"sensingtheiroperation,also remainsactive;when,by inacitsenses,too,theirrest,"as sensing-with, the sensesfallintoinactivity, contrast, hos kaienergoie tiveand activeat once" (hamatean argoie sunaisthanomene). This "commonsense" is at once more and less than those thatwentbeforeit and bore its classic name. The principle of the presence of perception as of its absence, it is thatbywhichlivingbeings feel thattheyfeel and feel,no less, that theydo not. When the various perceptualpowersof the livingbeing would seem to end, when all the organsof perceptionfindthemselves consigned,like the eyes in darkness,to the privationof those qualities to whose apprehension theyare Priscian suited, an element in the sensing power does not end: an aisthesis, outlastsits own activity. At teaches,continuesin anesthesia.Sensation,in thisway, and "with" thereremainsan absence of feelingthatis felt, the limit, nothingat all, defined To thisextent,the accompanying a perceptionof a kind persists. faculty is absolute. It willnot be deterred on the commentators bythislast commentator of thatwhichit would escort.An accompanistto the end, it stays bythe vanishing withoutany being withwhichit could be said to be. Like a marginalnote "with," thatexposes the blanknessof the page thatis itselement,the common powermay then. Itjoins the animal,disjoinedfromall thingssenrevealits naturemostfully sible, to thatwhichis no thingand which,neverfarfromthe edges of its senses, keeps it constantcompany:itslife.

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