Analysis of Aristotle’s Thoughts on Thinking and Perception

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Analysis of Aristotle’s Thoughts on Thinking and Perception

Much of Aristotle’s argument is centered on the analysis of perception. Based on the readings provided, Aristotle undeniably discusses perception from a general standpoint as well as the way it occurs in terms of a person’s senses, specifically thinking. Initially, perception is the human soul’s ability to identify the distinctions that exist between living beings, specifically plants and animals. In this sense, the possession of this capacity acts as the defining point of an animal because each is able to touch and exhibit most of the expected senses. In respect to this line of reasoning, it may be posited that animals – for the purpose of subsistence – need to be capable of perceiving. Hence, for an animal or a person to undergo healthy development, he or it must be capable of sustaining himself or itself as well as find the correct path as an outcome of perception itself.

In an effort to relate the significance of perception to the human mind, Aristotle focuses considerably on the element of thinking. For the philosopher, the mind is the faculty that the soul relies on for knowledge and comprehension. It essentially allows people to know and comprehend different phenomena. Interestingly, the natural presence of the mind permits Aristotle to argue that the need to attain these things is embedded in human nature. Interestingly, the introduction of the mind in the argument allows Aristotle to further claim that the aspect in question is fundamental to humankind in as much as the possession of basic sensory modes is imperative for animals. Nonetheless, the human mind does not solely engage in understanding things, rather, it allows a person to engage in the thinking process, which is an essential attribute of being a human being. For the philosopher, thinking actually allows the human mind to bring theories into actuality. This is different from perception, which simply constitutes a mere sensory function that awakens other similar modalities.

The capacity to think among humans further differentiates them from animals due to the way it correlates to the facets of discrimination and intellect. For Aristotle, the ability to discriminate is ubiquitous to perception and intellect. As such, in exercising thinking as well as perception, the human soul actually manages to discriminate and grasp the phenomena in question. Therefore, since this form of discrimination is comprised of correctness or incorrectness, the aspects of thought and perception constitute the cognitive discrimination as far as their objects are concerned. In respect to these suppositions, Aristotle’s argument regarding the notion of thinking and its relation to perception allows to posit that thought is comprised of the structural components of the thought subjects. Interestingly, he contradicts this assumption by stating further that the mind – despite the benefits offered by thinking – is incapable of realizing a widespread variety of forms as far as the subjects of thought are concerned.

Despite the limitations that the mind offers, Aristotle manages to illustrate the significance of perception to the human soul. Unlike the mind, the element of perception is not transfixed to the limitations offered by the human body. Simply, perception does not possess an organ upon which it is dependent on unlike the mind. As such, the aspect in question and its capacity to facilitate thinking generates the assumption that the mind is an abstract concept that does not exist. Conclusively – as per Aristotle’s arguments – the mind solely becomes existent when the human soul resorts to perception and actualizes the thinking process.

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