Matter and Form - of soul functions or activities(413a23 a...

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Matter and Form 1. Aristotle uses his familiar matter/form distinction to answer the question “What is soul?” At the beginning of De Anima II.1, he says that there are three sorts of substance: a. Matter (potentiality) b. Form (actuality) c. The compound of matter and form 2. Aristotle is interested in compounds that are alive . These - plants and animals - are the things that have souls. Their souls are what make them living things. 3. Since form is what makes matter a “this,” the soul is the form of a living thing. (Not its shape, but its actuality , that in virtue of which it is the kind of living thing that it is.) Degrees of soul 1. There is a nested hierarchy
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Unformatted text preview: of soul functions or activities (413a23). a. Growth, nutrition, (reproduction) b. Locomotion, perception c. Intellect (= thought) 2. This gives us three corresponding degrees of soul: a. Nutritive soul (plants) b. Sensitive soul (all animals) c. Rational soul (human beings) 3. These are nested in the sense that anything that has a higher degree of soul also has all of the lower degrees. All living things grow, nourish themselves, and reproduce. Animals not only do that, but move and perceive. Humans do all of the above and reason, as well. (There are further subdivisions within the various levels, which we will ignore.)...
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