On Length and Shortness of Life Introduction The remaining sections return to the sphere of physiology; they discuss how life is maintained in the organism, and what the causes are which lead to deterioration and dissolution. Although the sections have received separate titles, the discussion is really continuous, and may be conveniently analysed as a whole. Maintenance of Life. All matter as it occurs in nature exhibits contrary qualities which act upon and tend to destroy one another.

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By and large, they can also be read as inquiries into different passages in the development of a specific theme psycho-physiology, for want of a better term in the history of ancient and medieval philosophy. Each of these accounts or inquiries presents original research designed to widen and deepen our understanding of the episode in hand. The contributors to the volume, all recognized experts in their respective fields, were not assigned specific topics for treatment according to any systematic plan; instead, some of them were invited to submit original papers on topics selected at their own discretion and on the basis of their own expertise, whereas others were asked to comment on one or another of these papers.

As a result, certain episodes in the history of the reception of the Parva naturalia—typically ones considered by contemporary scholars to be of particular significance—will be found to have captured the attention of more than one contributor; others, alas, are only touched upon in passing or not at all. For the benefit of those readers who legitimately wonder how one or another of these episodes connects with the rest and what the missing episodes were all about , the following introduction attempts to provide a skeletal outline of the study and reception of the Parva naturalia through the ages, with the bibliographical references necessary for putting flesh on the bones also regarding those parts of the story which are not directly addressed in any of the thirteen essays.

In this inquiry, Aristotle says, the results of the preceding discussion must be assumed. This is how the new inquiry begins: It is clear that the main attributes of animals, both those that are common [to all] and those that are peculiar [to some], are common to the soul and the body, for instance, sense perception, memory, spiritedness, appetite and desire in general, and besides these pleasure and pain.

Indeed, these belong to practically all animals. But besides them certain attributes are common to all things that partake of life, while others [belong only to] some among the animals. It so happens that the principal among these attributes constitute four pairs of opposites, namely: wakefulness and sleep, youth and old age, inhalation and exhalation, life and death. We must examine what each of these attributes is and which are the causes of their occurrence.

But it is also the task of a natural philosopher to discern the first principles of health and disease, since neither health nor disease can exist in things that are bereft of life. This is why pretty much the vast majority of natural philosophers end up in the study of medicine, whereas those among the physicians who pursue their art in a more philosophical way take the study of nature as their starting-point Sens. The English and Latin titles of these treatises used in the present volume are as follows: 1.

On sense perception and sense objects De sensu et sensibilibus, a1—b3 ; On memory and recollection De memoria et reminiscentia, b3—b11 ; On sleep and waking De somno et vigilia, b11—a32 ; On dreams De insomniis, a33—b11 ; On prophecy in sleep De divinatione per somnum, b12—b18 ; On longevity and shortness of life De longitudine et brevitate vitae, b19—b9 ; 7a. On youth and old age De juventute et senectute and 7b On life and death De vita et morte, b10—b5 ; On respiration De respiratione, b6—b Various degrees of interconnection between the several treatises are suggested by the existence of a number of transitional passages and cross-references, which also lend partial support to the relative order established in our standard editions.

This is also how these two series were mostly treated in the later tradition. Wendland b , v nn1—2. Indeed, each of the series 3—5 and 6—8 is practically always transmitted en bloc in the Greek manuscripts, and with only a couple of exceptions this is also true of the extended series 2—5.

In this period, however, the other treatises were not so strongly bonded. As for the collection as a whole 1—8 , all the treatises included were manifestly thought of as so many parts of a single general inquiry as early as the early third century CE, when Alexander of Aphrodisias correlated all of them except the De insomniis albeit not in the standard order with the programme of study outlined by Aristotle in the De sensu passage quoted above Alexander, In De sensu 5.

Of the fifty Greek manuscripts examined by Siwek , esp. As a rule the De motu animalium and occasionally other treatises is inserted between treatise 5 and treatise 6. Marwan Rashed , esp. Parva naturalia 7a—8, however, are not part of this corpus cf.

Burnett , 47— Do all the treatises study the same unique subject matter, or at least the same unique aspects of the same subject matter? I have my doubts. Leaving aside sense perception itself, memory as well as spiritedness, appetite and desire in general are at least indirectly dependent on it by being essentially correlated with objects of the phantasia phantasmata , since such objects are directly dependent on it.

With pleasure and presumably pain , however, this is not necessarily the case, since Aristotle allows that there are intellectual pleasures, which are correlated with intelligible objects, and these are not directly dependent on sense perception.

When it comes to the four pairs of opposites in the second list, what we might request is not proof of their belonging to the body as well as to the soul, but rather of their belonging to the soul as well as to the body. As for youth, old age, life and death, however, this can hold at best only for a proper subset of those creatures to which these attributes belong, namely, again, for animals.

For, as Aristotle himself has just pointed out b11—12 , some attributes belong to all living creatures without exception, and therefore also to plants.

It would seem to be as the principal among these attributes that youth, old age, life and death are adduced. But plants do not have sense perception. It is true that the remaining two opposites, inhalation and exhalation, do not belong to plants, and not even to all animals b12 , but again, it is dubious whether they are in any way dependent on sense perception cf. Freudenthal , 82 n4.

In sum, Aristotle does not seem to do a very good job of convincing us that those attributes of animals and plants that are the subject matter of the Parva naturalia are common to the soul and the body. Admittedly, there are certain discrepancies between the lists of attributes in the first chapter of the De sensu and the actual contents of the rest of the Parva naturalia.

None of the treatises in the collection deals, for instance, with the subjects of desire, pleasure and pain. One may note in this connection the way that these two attributes are presented as a sort of addendum to the first list. In some of them the De divinatione ends with the announcement of the De motu animalium b18a, marked as an interpolation by Ross but retained by Siwek. Michael of Ephesus was also of the opinion that the natural position of the De motu animalium is after treatise 5 and before treatise 6 , since, as he said, impulse and desire, which are causes of animal movement, follow phantasia, a prominent theme in treatises 2—5 In De an.

An even stronger indication to the same effect is provided by the following consideration. One problematic feature of the view that Aristotle in the Parva naturalia turns his attention to attributes that are common to the soul and the body is that it seems to presuppose that Aristotle in the De anima focuses on attributes that are not common to the soul and the body, but rather peculiar to the soul.

But he does not. Firstly, because he does not deal at least not in a programmatic fashion with attributes of the soul in the De anima.

The reason for this is that the De anima is a work on natural philosophy, and for the purposes of natural philosophy the soul is defined as the form, or actuality, of a living organism. Consequently any psychic activity or passivity, in so far as it falls within the domain of natural philosophy, necessarily involves a living organism. But the activities themselves are always common to the soul and the body. On the other hand, the faculties cannot be actualized without bodily organs.

As far as natural philosophy is concerned, these activities are common to the soul and the body. If there are any activities that are peculiar to the soul, the study of these belongs to a different science altogether.

Strictly speaking, it does not even fall within the scope of the De anima to discuss whatever faculties might enable such activities. Indeed, Aristotle is notoriously vague, in the De anima, about whether such a faculty even exists or not.

The upshot is that the Parva naturalia do not study the attributes they study because these are common to the soul and the body although they are , but because they are attributes of the soul. One must go to the first paragraph of the De anima to see the significance of the remark, in the De sensu, about common attributes a7—10 : Our aim is to grasp and recognize its [sc.

This syllabus in nuce mentions the subject matter both of the De anima—nature and essence of the soul—and the Parva naturalia—attributes of the soul. This has probably contributed to the popularity of another view, namely, that the Parva naturalia consist of a series of appendices to the De anima. But there is certainly plenty to lose by embracing the opposite extreme and writing off the Parva naturalia as a mere appendix to the De anima.

Alexander, however, is eager to stress that the new inquiry launched by Aristotle is one about animals as well as other ensouled creatures , apparently in response to some unnamed opponents who denied that Parva naturalia 1—5 belonged to the study of animals In De sensu 5.

But it does not mean that he takes the subject matter of the Parva naturalia to be something else than the activities of the soul. On the contrary: what Aristotle is doing, according to Alexander, when he says that the activities of animals and other ensouled creatures are practically all common to the soul and the body, is providing an explanation as to why it is reasonable for someone discussing the activities of the soul to discuss the activities of animals and other ensouled creatures In De sensu 2.

Some minor works in the corpus aristotelicum that develop aspects of the study of the attributes of the soul mainly physiological and physical ones derive from the earlier part of this period, namely De spiritu, De coloribus, De audibilibus and some of the Problemata.

More remarkably, the Parva naturalia do not seem to have been on the syllabus of any philosophy schools in Late Antiquity either, this time in stark contrast to other Aristotelian works on natural philosophy.

A clue to the reason for this situation is offered by a comparison of the three ancient commentators on the Meteorology whose works have survived: Alexander of Aphrodisias early third cent. Alexander In Meteor. He distinguishes between, on the one hand, works on the souls of plants and non-human animals and, on the other, the De anima. In De partibus animalium 1. In the same spirit, Olympiodorus compares the De anima to an amphibious animal In Meteor.

But whereas Ps. This purpose, however, he says In Meteor. For the Neoplatonists, then, the De anima is a transitional work. It represents the beginning of the ascent from the study of the natural world to that of the divine realm.

To say that it would have been awkward for them to continue their natural philosophy courses by expatiating on the attributes of animals and plants rather than proceed to mathematics and metaphysics is probably an understatement. In so far as they wished to lecture on zoology and botany they would have had to do so before the De anima. But the Parva naturalia, as we have seen, presuppose the De anima. Easier, then, perhaps, to dispense with them altogether. The Solutiones ad Chosroem survive only in a Latin translation, done, according to some, in the sixth or seventh century, but according to others, and I think more plausibly, in the milieu around John Scotus Eriugena c.

These are by Sophonias fl. Scholarios was aided in his mission to set things right by his knowledge of Thomas Aquinas and also, Demetracopoulos argues, of Albert the Great.

Conversely, as Lizzini writes ch. Various features inter alia, excerpts from the Arabic translation of Plotinus, Enn. For some brief notes on its fortuna in Jewish thinkers from Isaac Israeli c. Blumberg That of the De sensu is later, perhaps the work of Nicolaus Graecus, an assistant to Robert Grosseteste c.

Thurot References and quotations in authors such as Alfred of Sareshel died after testify to the spread and use of the translatio vetus around the turn of the twelfth century see Ricklin , — But the earliest extant Latin commentaries are either those by Adam of Buckfield, master of arts at Oxford dated before c.

Buckfield is otherwise known to have been highly reliant on Averroes as a commentator, but his commentaries on the Parva naturalia seem to constitute an exception: the one on the De sensu relegates all references to Averroes to excursuses, while the one on the De memoria mentions the Andalusian commentator but once, and then only to misrepresent his words Brumberg-Chaumont , — In that case, it is a rare testimony to the continued teaching of Aristotelian natural philosophy in the French capital during the first four decades after the proscriptions and to the benefits of the free movement of academics in Europe—including Britain.

Parva nat. Albert, too, discusses Averroes and other Arabic philosophers in excursuses. Consequently, depending on how the subject matter of the De anima was understood, the Parva naturalia would be conceived of as dealing either with the activities and affections of the soul or with the activities and affections of the ensouled body. The majority view was that they deal with the activities and affections of the soul.

But since the soul has three main faculties, the different treatises included in the Parva naturalia could be further divided according as they dealt with the activities and affections of the sensitive soul usually 1—5, De motu an. Given that the activities and affections of the soul are common to the soul and the body, it would seem only natural, then, to postpone the investigation of those bodies that are distinguished by being informed, respectively, by both a sensitive and a vegetative soul and by a vegetative soul only, until after these souls have been thoroughly understood.

The vast majority of these remain unedited, but one of the goals of Representation and Reality see above, Sect.


On the Soul. Parva Naturalia. On Breath

He studied under Plato at Athens and taught there 47 ; subsequently he spent three years at the court of a former pupil, Hermeias, in Asia Minor and at this time married Pythias, one of Hermeias s relations. After Aristotle, great Greek philosopher, researcher, reasoner, and writer, born at Stagirus in BCE, was the son of Nicomachus, a physician, and Phaestis. After some time at Mitylene, in 2 he was appointed by King Philip of Macedon to be tutor of his teen-aged son Alexander. After Philip s death in , Aristotle became head of his own school of Peripatetics , the Lyceum at Athens.


On the Soul & Parva Naturalia

Tuzragore But when one In the De sensu et sensato, VI Aristotle asks whether sensible qualities are infinitely parvz in the aristtele way as bodies are infinitely divisible, as is proved in Physics, VI. Skip to main content. Search Publications Pages Publications Pages. On the Soul.


Parva Naturalia

It was written around BC. The whole work is roughly a study in animal anatomy and physiology; it aims to provide a scientific understanding of the parts of animals and asks whether these parts were designed or arose by chance. On Divination in Sleep is a text by Aristotle in which he discusses precognitive dreams. Sense and Sensibilia is one of the short treatises by Aristotle that make up the Parva Naturalia. On Sleep is a text by Aristotle, one of the Parva Naturalia.

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