De quantitate animae: The measure of the soul; Latin text, with English translation and notes by Augustine of Hippo; 1 edition; First published in. PDF | Augustine is commonly interpreted as endorsing an extramission theory of perception in De quantitate animae. A close examination of the text shows. DE QUANTITATE ANIMAE LIBER UNUS S. Aurelii Augustini OPERA OMNIA – editio latina > PL 32 > De Quantitate Animae liber unus.

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That is to say that psychic powers, the powers and virtues of the soul, are superior to any corporeal power. Some modern commentators have marked a distinction between the psy- chological and the physiological claims that Augustine dee.

So an extramis- sionist dioptrics would resolve the difficulty raised by the account in De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim.

The ex- tramission theory is motivated by the idea that the perceived object must be in contact with the sense. Importantly, se was also agreed that: First, that sight extends itself outwards through the eyes seems like a reasonable description of looking and seeing, at least as a Platonist conceives of it.

Thus quantitats means of a stick one may feel the texture of a distant surface, or its hardness and rigidity. The advertised worry turns on two observations.

First, quod patitur corpus has been replaced by passio corporis or, equivalently, cor- poris passio—the variation in word order makes no difference to the Latin grammar. A failure to recognize this, and so misattribute to Augustine a commit- ment to extramission, is due, at least in part, to unclarity about the commitments of the extramission theory. A third spatial dimension, height, is latter added, De quantitate animae 6.

The objects of vision, for example, are external bodies located at a distance from the perceiver. In denying that the soul has quantity, Augustine is not denying that there are numerically distinct souls. Swartz, editor, Perceiving, Sensing, and Knowing, pages 29— But, again, the paradigmatic conception of touch is sen- sation by contact and not distal touch.


Search this index Full-text Catalog. De natura hominis 7; Sharples and van der Eijk— We get a similar description of the phenomenology of focal attention, also set within an extramissionist account, but where the dioptric character of vision is made explicit and exploited in an explanation for how we can see many things all at once.

But seeing is in some ways a distinctive form of perception.

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Perception and Extramission in De quantitate animae Mark Eli Kalderon Abstract Augustine is commonly interpreted as endorsing an extramission theory of perception in De quantitate animae. Allow me to make two observations about this. Sed, quemadmodum si virga te tangerem, ego utique tangerem, idque sentirem, neque tamen ego ibi essem ubi te tangerem. In this way, the perceived object mediately acts upon the perceiver. But they do not see themselves and nothing is where they are, except themselves.

If we accept, as seems evident, that Augustine had in mind a mode of awareness, then perhaps to describe the object of perception as not hidden from the soul is, after all, to provide a positive characterization of the sensory awareness afforded by perceptual experience.

Perception and Extramission in De quantitate animae | Mark Eli Kalderon –

On the extramissionist reading, this is a description of visual rays extending from the perceiver to the dis- quantitwte object. That conclusion upsets me very much, quantiatte much, in fact, that I am com- pletely stunned. But sensation by contact is not the only form of touch. Plausibly though it may be, the principle—to see, one must look—is a sub- stantive claim that not all may endorse.


Extensive magnitudes cited by Augustine are length, width, and strength. It is because Evodius is walking back from a previous commitment, shared with the extramission theory, that this is properly regarded as a dialectical concession.

Other thinkers, who have explicitly rejected the extramission theory, have coherently embraced this imagery. So a natural understanding of this phrase might be qquantitate the body undergoes. The superiority of the incorporeal soul is manifest in its ability to act upon the sensible and corporeal without the sensible and the quantitahe poreal being able, in turn, to act upon the soul De musica 6.

Sociedad de Estudios y Publicaciones, — Proclus, The Elements of Theology.

Catalog Record: De quantitate animae; The measure of the | Hathi Trust Digital Library

But the outward activity of looking and seeing is not the exclusive provenance of the extramission theory. Bodies are extended in three dimensions.

Quantiyate could not be an argument for the extramission theory, as occlusion is equally well explained on the intromissionist hypothesis. Of course, the latter, interactionist accounts also generates that requirement, but they generate that requirement on the basis of different explanatory principles. If the soul is not extended throughout the body, then how can it feel wherever the body is touched?

Here Evodius is echoing the position of the Giants. But what is it a metaphor for? Augustine on active perception.

If one perceives, one is acted upon. Attending only to sen- sation by contact, and perhaps by regarding it as an exemplary form of perception, can suggest that the principle governing sensation takes a certain a form.