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By Richard A.H. King

Treatises on reminiscence that have come all the way down to us from antiquity are Aristotle´s ""On reminiscence and recollection"" and Plotinus´ ""On conception and memory"" (IV 6); the latter additionally wrote at size approximately reminiscence in his ""Problems hooked up with the soul"" (IV 3-4, esp. 3.25-4.6). In either authors reminiscence is handled as a ´;modest´ school: either authors think the lifestyles of a chronic topic to whom reminiscence belongs; and simple cognitive capacities are assumed on which reminiscence relies. specifically, either theories use phantasia (representation) to provide an explanation for memory.Aristotle takes representations to be alterations in concrete dwelling issues which come up from real conception. To be hooked up to the unique notion the illustration should be taken as a (kind of) reproduction of the unique adventure - this is often the way in which Aristotle defines reminiscence on the finish of his investigation.Plotinus doesn't outline reminiscence: he's thinking about the query of what recollects. this is often in fact the soul, which matches via diverse phases of incarnation and disincarnation. because the disembodied soul can have in mind, so he doesn't have Aristotle´s assets for explaining the ongoing presence of representations as alterations within the concrete factor. as an alternative, he thinks that once buying a reminiscence we gather a skill in admire of the thing of the reminiscence, specifically to make it current at a later time.

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This may sound as though there is a confusion between what memory is and its existence. But it has to be shown how memory as defined in the provisional definition can occur, by referring to the living thing, composed of body and soul. The final definition will combine the requirements of the PD with the basic elements of Aristotelian psychology. The aim of the enquiry is therefore to determine what these conditions are, and so explain what active memory is. 105 We can expect this explanation to use Aristotle’s causes.

That is to say, they are not affected merely by the passage of time; they are affected by being made part of an act of memory. And if we want to know more about what it means for them to be possessed and affected, well, we just need to read on. As already indicated, the Provisional Definition looks forward to a Final Definition. And in fact, the Final Definition (451a15 – 16) is phrased in terms of possession, not affection114 ; one way of reading affection in the PD might be to say that it is the affection that lies in the act of remembering: one has to regard the representation that remains from the perception or that bears the opinion in a certain way and so modify it.

1 Memory 25 Both of the first two, here used apparently for different phenomena, are alternative formulations for memory in De memoria et reminiscentia. 67 On the first blush one can make sense of both: Either memory is an affection of perception after time has passed or it is the continued possession of perception. 69 But it is certainly not the whole of Aristotle’s theory; he thinks that the mere remaining of a perception does not suffice for me to say that I remember it. And the concept of preservation does not occur in De memoria et reminiscentia.

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