Psychology (With Ethics & Religion)

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This is the first work to draw on the four hundred years of transition from ancient Greek philosophy to the medieval philosophy of Islam and the West. During this period, philosophy was often written in the form of commentaries on the works of Plato and Aristotle. Many ideas wrongly credited to the Middle Ages derive from these centuries, such as that of impetus in dynamics and intentional objects in philosophy of mind. The later Neoplatonist commentators fought a losing battle with Christianity, but inadvertently made Aristotle acceptable to Christians by ascribing to him belief in a Creator God and human immortality. The commentators provide a panorama of up to a thousand years of Greek philosophy, much of which would otherwise be lost. They also serve as the missing link essential for understanding the subsequent history of Western philosophy.

Volume 1 of this indispensable sourcebook deals with psychology, which for the Neoplatonist commentators was the gateway to metaphysics and theology. It was the subject on which Plato and Aristotle disagreed most, and on which the commentators went furthest beyond them in their search for synthesis. Ethics and religious practice fall naturally under psychology and are included in this volume. All sources appear in English translation and are carefully linked and cross-referenced by editorial comment and explanation. Bibliographies are provided throughout.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801489877
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2005
  • Series: Philosophy of Commentators 200 - 600 AD
  • Pages: 394
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Sorabji is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at King's College London and an Honorary Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. He is the author, editor, translator, and annotator of more than a hundred books.

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Table of Contents

Sources xi
Preface and Acknowledgements xiii
Introduction 1
1 Perception 33
1(a) Does perceptual recognition require opinion? 33
1(b) Perceptual recognition by concept-projection 37
1(c) Reception of form without matter 44
1(d) Dematerialisation of the sensory process 47
1(e) Intentional objects 52
1(f) Objections to vision involving travelling bodies 53
1(g) Philoponus' view, the activity of colour 56
1(h) Optic nerve 59
1(i) Proclus puts nous into perception 60
1(j) Is there perception of universals? 60
2 Phantasia 61
2(a) Aristotle's distinction between phantasia and doxa 61
2(b) Higher phantasia of intelligibles 63
2(c) Can phantasia apprehend things as true or false? 65
2(d) Is there ever phantasia of universals? 66
2(e) The mental image resides in the pneuma 67
2(f) Phantasia and memory involve projecting 68
2(g) Phantasia and vehicles of the soul: prophecy 70
2(h) Phantasia and vehicles of the soul: Hades 75
2(i) Phantasia in geometry 76
2(j) No images independent of sense perception 79
2(k) The role of will in imaging fictions 80
2(l) Creative and linguistic imagination 81
2(m) Imagination and inspiration 83
3 Thought 86
3(a) Intellect vs. reason 86
3(b) Relation of intellect and reason to pleasure and desire 87
3(c) Opiniative vs. scientific reason 88
3(d) Non-discursive thought: is it propositional? 90
3(e) Plotinus' undescended soul 93
3(f) The unconscious 100
3(g) Aristotle's active, actual or productive intellect 102
3(h) How distinct is intellect from soul? 118
3(i) Intelligibles and third potentiality 119
3(j) Passive intellect as phantasia 121
3(k) Identity of intellect with its objects 123
3(l) Intelligibles within intellect 129
3(m) Why is our thinking intermittent? 131
3(n) Are intelligibles efficient or final causes? 131
3(o) Are images needed in all thought and memory? 132
4 Self-Awareness 134
4(a) Self-awareness as contentless 134
4(b) Self-awareness as infinitely regressive 142
4(c) Unity of self-awareness 145
(i) Plato, Aristotle and Alexander 148
(ii) Plotinus 149
(iii) Proclus 150
(iv) 'Philoponus' on Plutarch of Athens 152
(v) Priscian and 'Simplicius' 153
(vi) [Epi]strephesthai 156
(vii) Damascius 157
(viii) Augustine 158
4(d) Neoplatonist terminology drawn from Stoics 159
4(e) Knowing self though others 161
4(f) Direct self-knowledge: Cogito and Flying Man 166
5 Recollection and Concept Formation 172
5(a) Recollection 172
5(b) Aristotle's theory of concept formation 173
5(c) Ascription to Aristotle of pre-nate concepts 177
5(d) Adoption of Plato's concepts alongside Aristotle's 180
6 Soul-Body 182
6(a) The dependence of mental on bodily states 182
6(b) Soul non-spatially related to body 204
6(c) Making bodies for incarnation 211
6(d) Transmigration into animal bodies 213
7 Immobility of Soul and of Intellect 217
8 Vehicles of Soul 221
8(a) Origins of the idea 221
8(b) Roles of vehicles 221
(i) Punishment after death 221
(ii) Mutual recognition and communication after death 224
(iii) Desires and senses generated from pneumatic vehicles 225
(iv) Hearing daemons through pneumatic vehicles 226
(v) Continuity for the soul after death 227
(vi) Enabling souls to move 227
(vii) Enabling prophecy and visions of gods 227
(viii) Shades in Hades, and daemons taking shape 227
8(c) Duration of vehicles 227
8(d) Alexander's criticism of mobility function 228
8(e) The Christian resurrection body 229
8(f) Spherical shape of vehicles 236
8(g) Punishment after death and the resurrection vehicle 238
9 Knowledge of Other Minds 242
(i) Humans 242
(ii) Soul vehicles and spiritual bodies 242
(iii) Gods 243
(iv) Daemons 243
(v) Animals 243
10 Definitions of Soul 245
11 Types of Soul 248
11(a) Tripartite soul in humans 248
11(b) Is there a rational soul in animals? 249
11(c) Image, trace, echo of soul 250
11(d) Is all soul alike? 251
11(e) Hypostasis soul, World Soul, human souls 252
11(f) Earth soul, plant souls, embryo souls 253
11(g) Attitudes to the earth 260
12 Immortality of Soul 262
12(a) Discontinuity of body 262
12(b) Does the soul survive? 262
12(c) How much of the soul survives? 264
12(d) Circular time and rejuvenation 268
12(e) What is remembered? 269
13 Emotion 275
13(a) Emotion depends on body and irrational forces 275
13(b) The correct classification of emotions 275
13(c) Apatheia and metriopatheia 280
13(d) Apatheia of soul: what part of us suffers emotion? 281
13(e) Relation of emotion to opinion 293
13(f) Mystical experience, shock and eupatheia 294
13(g) Pleasure 294
13(h) Iamblichus vs. Porphyry on emotional arousal 297
13(i) Catharsis 299
13(j) The emotional effect of music 302
14 Theory of Action 305
14(a) Up to us and responsibility 305
14(b) Proairesis 314
14(c) The choice of lives 317
15 Methods for Ascent to God 319
15(a) The Neoplatonist commentators' curriculum 319
15(b) Procedures for beginning ascent 325
16 Ineffability and the Rejection of Words 327
16(a) Negative theology, ineffability of the One 327
16(b) Scepticism: relation to theology 336
17 Ethics 337
17(a) Types of virtue 337
17(b) Does virtue admit of latitude and degrees? 344
17(c) Goals of conduct in virtue and art 346
17(d) Sin 348
17(e) Happy life as non-temporal 349
17(f) Happy life not dependent on externals 349
17(g) Suicide and martyrdom 350
17(h) Justice to animals 360
17(i) Communism in Plato's Republic 361
17(j) The morality of Homer's myths 364
17(k) EN 5 on justice 367
(i) Economics 367
(ii) Just war 367
(iii) Natural justice 368
18 Religious Practice 369
18(a) Sacrifice, propitiation, forgiveness, invocation 369
18(b) Theurgy 381
18(c) Prayer 390
18(d) Faith, truth, love and hope 394
18(e) Erotic magic is not due to the gods 400
18(f) Daemons 403
18(g) Divination 408
The Ancient Commentators on Aristotle translation series 411
Translators in the Sourcebook 413
Abbreviations and Sigla 415
Main Thinkers Represented in the Sourcebook 417
Index Locorum 421
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