WHAT: The Dean’s Lecture Series
WHO: Russell Winslow, St. John’s College
TITLE: “On the Life of Thinking in Aristotle’s De Anima”
WHERE: Great Hall, Peterson Student Center, St. John’s College
WHEN: Friday, February 8, 8 p.m.
COST: This event is free of charge and open to the public.
DESCRIPTION: In this lecture, Winslow offers an interpretation of the tripartite structure of the unified soul in Aristotle’s De Anima. The principle activity that unities the nutritive, sensuously perceptive and noetically perceptive parts of the soul into a single, continuous entity is shown to be genesis (or the sexual begetting of offspring). Winslow provides the textual grounds to understand how both sensuous and noetic perception can be understood as a kind of embodied genesis. A further consequence of this argument will be an interpretation of “thinking,” of noetic perception, as a kind of open and passive reception of the primary forms of other beings. As such, Aristotle’s conception of thinking, qua nous, is a refreshing, if strange, contrast to the more common modern vision of “thinking” as the activity of an agent mentally seizing hold of beings in the service of the mastery of nature.