There is more to perceiving than meets the eye: Aristotle's conception of consciousness
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In 'De Anima 3.2' Aristotle presents an account of perceptual consciousness in his theory of perceiving that we perceive. The aim of this dissertation is to determine whether Aristotle’s account in this chapter can be understood comparatively to contemporary intuitions about consciousness. My thesis deals with the issue of how we perceive that we see and hear, including discussions of other special senses. The issues of what Aristotle means by perceiving that we see by sight, and whether it is the faculty or the activity of sight that is perceived are under scrutiny in this chapter. The second chapter is concerned with how we perceive the special sensibles, and includes an investigation of the problem Aristotle poses: that perceiving that we see by sight entails the colouration of the perception of sight by the special sense object. The third and final chapter is concerned with the discussion of perceiving the common sensibles and the debates surrounding this, for instance the nature of the common sense and its power to perceive unitary moments of perception. Each of these issues in 'De Anima 3.2' is discussed with reference to the texts; some of which are included in Appendices for the benefit of the reader; while also taking the debates by modern scholars in to account to gauge the fullest understanding of the importance of Aristotle’s issues in contemporary thought.
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