By Anna Marmodoro
Author: MARMODORO, Anna. Professor of Philosophy, Chair of Metaphysics, Durham University and Associate Faculty Member, Oxford University
Reference: Aristotle on Perceiving Objects.Oxford University Press. 2014. 304 Pages. ISBN: 9780199326006
How can we explain the structure of perceptual experience? What is it that we perceive? How is it that we perceive objects and not disjoint arrays of properties? By which sense or senses do we perceive objects? Are our five senses sufficient for the perception of objects? Aristotle investigated these questions by means of the metaphysical modeling of the unity of the perceptual faculty and the unity of experiential content. His account remains fruitful, but also challenging, even for contemporary philosophy.
Marmodoro offers a reconstruction of the six metaphysical models Aristotle offered to address these and related questions, focusing on their metaphysical underpinning in his theory of causal powers. By doing so, Marmodoro brings out what is especially valuable and even surprising about the topic: the core principles of Aristotle’s metaphysics of perception are fundamentally different from those of his metaphysics of substance. Yet, for precisely this reason, his models of perceptual content are unexplored territory. This book breaks new ground in offering an understanding of Aristotle’s metaphysics of the content of perceptual experience and of the composition of the perceptual faculty.