Item description for A Commentary on Aristotle's 'De anima' (Yale Library of Medieval Philosophy Seri) by Thomas Aquinas & Robert Pasnau...
Overview This new translation of Thomas Aquinas's most important study of Aristotle casts bright light on the thinking of both philosophers. Using a new text of Aquinas's original Latin commentary (Rene-Antoine Gauthier's Leonine edition of 1984), Robert Pasnau provides a precise translation that will enable students to undertake close philosophical readings. He includes an introduction and notes to set context and clarify difficult points as well as a translation of the medieval Latin version of Aristotle's De anima (On the Soul) so that readers can refer to the text Aquinas had at hand.
Publishers Description "This translation is an important research tool for all philosophers interested in Aquinas's philosophy of mind and epistemology. . . .Every library of both undergraduate and graduate philosophy programs needs this work, and all of us interested in the history of medieval philosophy of mind should have this new translation on our desks. Highly recommended."-Anthony J. Lisska, The Medieval Review
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Studio: Yale University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.5" Width: 6.41" Height: 1.53" Weight: 1.84 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 1999
Publisher Yale University Press
ISBN 0300074204 ISBN13 9780300074208
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More About Thomas Aquinas & Robert Pasnau
Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) lived at a critical juncture of western culture when the arrival of the Aristotelian corpus in Latin translation reopened the question of the relation between faith and reason, calling into question the modus vivendi that had obtained for centuries. This crisis flared up just as universities were being founded. Thomas, after early studies at Montecassino, moved on to the University of Naples in 1244, where he met members of the new Dominican Order. It was at Naples too that Thomas had his first extended contact with the new learning. When he joined the Dominican Order he went north to study with Albertus Magnus, author of a paraphrase of the Aristotelian corpus. Thomas completed his studies at the University of Paris, which had been formed out of the monastic schools on the Left Bank and the cathedral school at Notre Dame. In two stints as a regent master Thomas defended the mendicant orders and, of greater historical importance, countered both the Averroistic interpretations of Aristotle and the Franciscan tendency to reject Greek philosophy. The result was a new modus vivendi between faith and philosophy which survived until the rise of the new physics. The Catholic Church has over the centuries regularly and consistently reaffirmed the central importance of Thomas's work for understanding its teachings concerning the Christian revelation, and his close textual commentaries on Aristotle represent a cultural resource which is now receiving increased recognition.
He was formally canonized in 1323.
Thomas Aquinas was born in 1225 and died in 1274.
Thomas Aquinas has published or released items in the following series...
Aristotelian Commentary Series
Dumb Ox Books' Aristotelian Commentaries
Latin/English Edition of the Works of St. Thomas Aquinas
Reviews - What do customers think about A Commentary on Aristotle's 'De anima' (Yale Library of Medieval Philosophy Seri)?
All Humans Desire To Know May 9, 2008
I read these works for a graduate seminar on Aristotle.
Soul- De Anima Latin for Greek word Psuche=Life. It is a Phenomenology of Life. Living things are Aristotle¡¦s primary interest. Renee Descartes says thinking is only aspect of soul, not life. For Descartes the soul is the mind. Aristotle classifies features of living things. A soul can¡¦t be a body, (like a corpse). Psuche=life is a living form of the body, the phenomenon of life. Capacity to live is what he means. Ergon=function or work, thus when he talks about soul it is a body¡¦s function. Thus, a corpse is a deactivated body. Dunamis=capacity, Energia= actuality, thus both words are active words and can be seen as ¡§activating capacity.¡¨ Like a builder while building a house, past potential but not actual until the house is complete.
Entelecheia=¡¨living things have their ends inside them.¡¨ A living being has an end in itself.
What is the soul? Psuche= soul is being working toward ends of a self-moving body having the capacity to live. This is another way of talking about desire (like an animal that is hungry). Desire-animals have this as we do. Orexis=desire. The phenomenology of desire is to be motivated towards something that is lacking at the time, hunger, etc. Pleasure and pain. Desire and action there are 3 kinds of desire.
1. Appetite like hunger and sex. 2. Emotion-like love not on crude level as appetite. 3. Wish-desire of the mind, (I want a good job).
All three strive towards something that is lacking. ¡§Desire is movement of the soul.¡¨ Human life is a set of desires. Human desires are more complicated. Desires clash like dieting and appetite.
¡§All humans desire to know.¡¨ This is the first line of the Metaphysics. Knowledge examined in terms of distinction between matter and form, perception has to do with intelligible form. Perception takes in visible form of something without the matter. Like imagination, an animal and human can do this. All knowledge starts with perception thus memory. Ultimate knowledge is intelligible form from visible form but mind is also using abstractions, this is a human capacity only. Humans use language to do this. Animals have image of a cat, word ¡§cat¡¨ is an abstraction for us. True knowledge organizes language.
Seing<³being seen. Two beings, seer and seen, this is act of vision it is only one actuality and two potentialities. In effect, Aristotle is saying that the capacity to see can only be actualized by seeing something. However, he goes the other way as well; something seeable only actualizes its seeability by being seen. One actuality, two potentials, the potential to see, the potential to be seen. In the modern world since Descartes, it is spoken as two actualities, the mind, and the outside world and there is a split between the two, two actualities, the mind as a separate thing and the object as a separate thing being seen. This is the source of the classic problem of skepticism. When there is seeing obviously you have two beings, the seer and the seen, but the act of vision is one actuality. Aristotle does not have this skeptical problem because he seems to stipulate this idea of single actuality and the whole point of the capacity to know is meant to hook up with things known. The whole point of knowable things is to be known by knower¡¦s, that is what he means by one actuality, thus there is no split between the mind and the world. There is no purely inside and outside. It isn¡¦t that minds are in here and the world is out there, and we might wonder about how they hook up. The nature of things and the nature of the mind are meant to hook up. Thus, Aristotle is not a radical skeptic like Descartes or Hume. Act of seeing the desk is joint actuality of seer and seen.
Actual hearing and actual sounding occur at the same time. Berkeley¡¦s famous question¡K¡¨If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? For Berkeley, to be is to be perceived. Aristotle answers Berkeley¡¦s question that it does make a sound, but you have to have the capacity to hear, it is a joint venture. The mind and the world are not separated like for Descartes. Aristotle doesn¡¦t buy the idea that ¡§everything in my mind can be false¡¨ like the skeptics argue, Aristotle would say this is impossible. Getting things true and false are part of what the mind has to do, but the possibility that the whole mental realm could be put into question is impossible. Thus, he doesn¡¦t have to answer the question put to skeptics. ¡§If you are right that there is a radical doubt about the possibility of our knowledge hooking up with reality, why would the human situation ever come to pass in this way that it is possible that we could be totally wrong.¡¨ The skeptics answer we are not sure that we are wrong, they are saying we can¡¦t be sure that we are right. If that were the case then Aristotle can say, well is this a recipe for the human condition? One can be skeptical about this or that, but not about everything.
Aristotle moves from perception to thought. The thinking of the world and world to be thought is actualization. Nous=highest capacity of intellect for Aristotle. Mind is potential and until it thinks isn¡¦t actualization. The implication of this the world wants to be known according to Aristotle. The world also activates our desire. One actualization of two potentialities. Taking in form without matter that is what knowledge is. A knowing soul cannot be separation from the body. The mind has built in capacity to understand for Aristotle, no actual knowledge until intellect engages with objects. ¡§Actually thinking mind is the thing that it thinks. In this respect the soul is all existing things.¡¨ Soul is capacity to think the world in the passage.
I recommend Aristotle¡¦s works to anyone interested in obtaining a classical education, and those interested in philosophy. Aristotle is one of the most important philosophers and the standard that all others must be judged by.