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Remarks On The History Of An Ancient Thought Experiment

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates on one passage in Aristotle's De anima and examines two rival interpretations of the problem exposed there. To support their claim, both commentators supply us with short thought experiments serving their own, opposing purposes. The chapter illustrates not only how the two Neoplatonists made use of such a tool, but may also highlights a dispute among the Neoplatonists on the scope and role of sense perception. It also explains that selection of different aspects of basically the same thought experiment had an important role in the argument itself. In the passage of the De anima Aristotle is looking for a factor responsible for perceiving that we are perceiving.

Keywords:Aristotle; De Anima; Neoplatonists; thought experiments



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