Mind and World in Aristotle’s De Anima

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2022.10.04 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Sean Kelsey, Mind and World in Aristotle’s De Anima, Cambridge University Press, 2022, 181pp., $99.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781108832915.

Reviewed by Klaus Corcilius, University of Tübingen

This is a short, rich, very unconventional, and in many ways illuminating, but also highly controversial book. It proposes two things: a new perspective on Aristotle’s theory of human cognition in the De anima and a very bold theory of how cognition and its objects relate in that theory. Kelsey raises two questions: by being what does the perceptual soul account for perception as a principle? And: by being what does the thinking part of the soul account for intelligent thinking as a principle? The mark of Kelsey’s approach is that he asks these questions not as modern philosophers would typically do when they investigate how cognition “works” in receiving information from the environment etc., but by asking what perception…

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