Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Images, Appearances, and Phantasia in Aristotle

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Phronesis

Abstract Aristotle’s account of phantasia in De Anima 3.3 is notoriously difficult to decipher. At one point he describes phantasia as a capacity for producing images, but then later in the same chapter it is clear phantasia is supposed to explain appearances, such as why the sun appears to be a foot wide. Many commentators argue that images cannot explain appearances, and so they claim that Aristotle is using phantasia in two different ways. In this paper I argue that images actually explain perceptual appearances for Aristotle, and so phantasia always refers to images. I take a new approach to interpreting DA 3.3, reading it alongside Plato’s Theaetetus and Sophist. In the Theaetetus, Socrates explains how memory gives rise to perceptual appearance. I claim that Aristotle adopts Socrates’ account of perceptual appearance, but what Socrates calls memory, Aristotle calls phantasia.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania 433 Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Barnes J. The Complete Works of Aristotle 1984 Vol 2 vols Princeton
2. Block I. "‘Truth and Error in Aristotle’s Theory of Sense Perception’" The Philosophical Quarterly 1961 Vol 11 1 9
3. Burnyeat M. "‘Is An Aristotelian Philosophy of Mind Still Credible? (A Draft)’" Nussbaum and Rorty 1992 15 26 (1992)
4. Cashdollar S. "‘Aristotle’s Account of Incidental Perception’" Phronesis 1973 Vol 18 156 175
5. Caston V. "‘Why Aristotle Needs Imagination’" Phronesis 1996 Vol 41 20 55
6. Caston V. Salles R. "‘The Spirit and the Letter: Aristotle on Perception’" Metaphysics, Soul, and Ethics: Themes from the work of Richard Sorabji 2005 Oxford 245 320
7. Cooper J. Hutchinson D. S. Plato: Complete Works 1997 Indianapolis
8. Dow J. "‘Feeling Fantastic? Emotions and Appearances in Aristotle’" Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 2010 Vol 37 143 176
9. Everson S. Aristotle on Perception 1999 Oxford
10. Frede D. "‘The Cognitive Role of Phantasiain Aristotle’" Nussbaum and Rorty 1992 280 295 (1992)
11. Freudenthal J. Ueber Den Begriff Des Wortes ‘Phantasia’ Bei Aristoteles 1863 Göttingen
12. Gregoric P. Aristotle on the Common Sense 2007 Oxford
13. Hamlyn D. W. Aristotle’s De anima, Books II and III (with certain passages from Book I) 1968a Oxford
14. Hamlyn D. W. "‘ Koine Aisthesis’" The Monist 1968b Vol 52 195 209
15. Hicks R. D. Aristotle, De anima. With translation, introduction and notes 1907 Cambridge
16. Johansen T. K. Aristotle on the Sense-Organs 1997 Cambridge
17. Kahn C. Barnes J. , Schofield M. , Sorabji R. "‘Sensation and Consciousness in Aristotle’s Psychology’" Articles on Aristotle. Vol. 4: Psychology and Aesthetics 1979 London 1 31
18. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 1966 Vol 48 43 81
19. Lorenz H. The Brute Within: Appetitive Desire in Plato and Aristotle 2006 Oxford
20. Lycos K. "‘Aristotle and Plato on “Appearing” ’" Mind 1964 Vol 73 496 514
21. Modrak D. "‘ Koine Aisthesisand the Discrimination of Sensible Differences in De AnimaIII.2’" Canadian Journal of Philosophy 1981 Vol 11 405 423
22. Modrak D. "‘Φαντασία Reconsidered’" Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 1986 Vol 68 47 69
23. Nussbaum M. C. "‘The Role of Phantasiain Aristotle’s Explanation of Action’" Aristotle’s De Motu Animalium 1978 Princeton 221 269
24. Nussbaum M. C. Rorty A. O. Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima 1992 Oxford
25. Rees D. A. Anton John , Kustas George "‘Aristotle’s Treatment of Phantasia’" Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy 1971 Albany 491 504
26. Rorty A. O. "‘Aristotle on the Metaphysical Status of “ Pathē”’" The Review of Metaphysics 1984 Vol 37 521 546
27. Ross D. Aristotle De Anima 1961 Oxford
28. Schofield M. "‘Aristotle on the Imagination’" Nussbaum and Rorty 1992 249 277 (1992)
29. Lloyd G. E. R. , Owen G. E. L. Aristotle on Mind and the Senses. Proceedings of the Seventh Symposium Aristotelicum 1978 Cambridge 99 141
30. Sorabji R. Aristotle on Memory 1972 Providence, RI.
31. Sorabji R. "‘Body and Soul in Aristotle’" Philosophy 1974 Vol 49 63 89
32. Sorabji R. "‘Intentionality and Psychological Processes’" Nussbaum and Rorty 1992 195 225 (1992)
33. Turnbull K. "‘Aristotle on Imagination: De AnimaIII’," Ancient Philosophy 1994 Vol 14 319 34
34. Watson G. "‘Φαντασία in Aristotle, De Anima3. 3’" Classical Quarterly 1982 Vol 32 100 113
35. Wedin M. Mind and Imagination 1988 New Haven / London
36. White K. "‘The Meaning of Phantasiain Aristotle’s De AnimaIII, 3-8’" Dialogue 1985 Vol 24 483 505

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Phronesis — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation