Aristotle - On Memory And Reminiscence - 350 BC ON MEMORY...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Sheet1 Page 1 350 BC ON MEMORY AND REMINISCENCE by Aristotle translated by J. I. Beare 1 WE have, in the next place, to treat of Memory and Remembering, considering its nature, its cause, and the part of the soul to which this experience, as well as that of Recollecting, belongs. For the persons who possess a retentive memory are not identical with those who excel in power of recollection have a good memory, whereas those who are quick-witted and clever are better at recollecting. We must first form a true conception of these objects of memory, a point on which mistakes are often made. Now to remember the future is not possible, but this is an object of opinion or expectation (and indeed there might be actually a science of expectation, like that of divination, in which some believe) present, but only sense-perception. For by the latter we know not the future, nor the past, but the present only. But memory relates to the past. No one would say that he remembers the present, when it is present, e.g. a given white object at the moment when he sees it nor would one say that he remembers an object of scientific contemplation at the moment when he is actually contemplating it, and has it full before his mind that he perceives it, of the latter only that he knows it. But when one has scientific knowledge, or perception, apart from the actualizations of the faculty concerned, he thus 'remembers' (that the angles of a triangle are together equal to two right angles) the former, that he learned it, or thought it out for himself, as to the latter, that he heard, or saw, it, or had some such sensible experience of it. For whenever one exercises the faculty of remembering, he must say within himself, 'I formerly heard (or otherwise perceived) this,' or 'I formerly had this thought'. Memory is, therefore, neither Perception nor Conception, but a state or affection of one of these, conditioned by lapse of time. As already observed, there is no such thing as memory of the present while present, for the present is object only of perception, and the future, of expectation, but the object of memory is the past. All memory, therefore, implies a time elapsed which perceive time remember, and the organ whereby they perceive time is also that whereby they remember. The subject of 'presentation' has been already considered in our work On the Soul. Without a presentation intellectual activity is impossible. For there is in such activity an incidental affection
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Sheet1 Page 2 identical with one also incidental in geometrical demonstrations. For in the latter case, though we do not for the purpose of the proof make any use of the fact that the quantity in the triangle (for example, which we have drawn) is determinate, we nevertheless draw it determinate in quantity. So likewise when one exerts the intellect (e.g. on the subject of first principles), although the object may not be quantitative, one envisages it as quantitative, though he thinks it in abstraction from quantity
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 12/07/2010 for the course PHILOSOPHY 003456743 taught by Professor No prof during the Summer '10 term at Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology.

Page1 / 20

Aristotle - On Memory And Reminiscence - 350 BC ON MEMORY...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online