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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Etienne Gilson thought so: If souls are inextended, if they lack extensive magnitude, then they are incorporeal.

How might the illuminationist imagery be understood if it is not, indeed, com- mitted to the extramission theory?

The conclusion involves attributing to the ani- mate eye a passive power to be affected where it is not. Whereas the mind is spiritual, the animated eye is a compound of the corpo- real and the spiritual. Compare Evodius position to the Giants: Shall Auantitate say that the eyes [are affected] where they are? But it is clear and important that Augustine is not only discussing perception but a form of distal perception, vision.

The emphasis here is on the activity xnimae the soul as opposed to its being substantially located where the perceived object is.

Augustinus Hipponensis – De Quantitate Animae liber unus

In this way, the perceived object mediately acts upon the perceiver. Augustine is sensitive to this tacit assumption even though he re not make it explicit. But they do not see themselves and nothing is where they are, except themselves. This involved attributing superior powers to quxntitate soul not possessed by extended corporeal things. De Trinitate 9 3; HaddanAgain, the present extramissionist account is derived neither from scripture nor reason. And in De quantitate animae at least, Augustine is committed to its rejection.


Proclus, The Elements of Theology. In the sense of extensive magnitude, Augustine denies that the soul has quantity at all. Boolean terms must be in uppercase.

We get a contrast between the activity of the mind and the activity of the animated eye. And yet it falls short of the extramission theory.

Corporeal likenesses are only as large as the body in which the image occurs, incorporeal likenesses are not so con- strained De quantitate znimae 5. Augustine will maintain that the soul, while lacking extensive magnitude, nevertheless possesses virtual magnitude. The third grade introduces a further substantive commitment. This clearly shows that quod patitur corpus or passio corporis are not schematic placeholders for a broadly Galenic physiology.

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

The soul need not be where the body is affected for this affection to be not hidden from the range of its attention De quantitate animae Stil let us suppose that I were to touch you with a stick: This sensitivity is manifest in a curious shift in example.

His purpose is to make sensation an activity of the soul within the soul itself. Fur- ther testimony to the greatness of soul, conceived, not as greatness of extent but greatness of power or virtue.

Thus by means of a stick one may feel the texture of a distant surface, or its hardness and rigidity. Shall I say that a bodily experience of which the soul is aware directly is not sensation?


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And not just because it was the authoritative opinion of Plato, Ptolemy, and Galen. But if the sensitive soul confers the passive power to be affected where one is not, then there is no need for dde sensitive soul to extend throughout the body.

There it encounters what is like it, external light.

So understood, they might reasonably be taken to jointly describe looking and seeing. Moreover, just because justice is real despite being inextended, it does not follow that the soul itself is inextended.

So, consider feeling the wooden frame through the padding of a Victorian hobby horse. Moreover, and importantly, justice is greater in value than the tree. This has the consequence that the emitted light cannot be distinguished from the external light and so is not directly observable.

So it is xe soul that acts in seeing and so places itself in the distal body seen Colleran, n. If that is right, then the fourth grade may be quatitate without genuine commitment to the extramission theory.

Shall I say that the soul is not more powerful than the eyes, when the soul is the very power of the eyes? Inanimate natural bodies can only be acted upon by what is in contact with them. What shall I say?