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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Consider, then, the former, purely extramissive, accounts where vision occurs at the point where the ray meets the perceived object. Nevertheless, the light which is in the eye, according to authoritative opinion, is so slight that without the help of light from outside we should be able to see nothing.

De Trinitate 9 3; HaddanAgain, the present extramissionist account is derived neither from scripture nor reason. Vroom, Hermanus Bernardus, Published: Aristotle rejects the extramission the- ory as providing a false causal model of perception De re 2 a 26—b 2and yet his alternative causal model preserves these formal features.

In a way, Augustine, at this point of the dialogue, has elicited a dialectical concession from Evodius.

The superiority of the incorporeal soul is manifest in its ability to act upon the sensible and corporeal without the sensible and the cor- poreal being able, in turn, to act upon the soul De musica 6. But it is perceptible. In the sense of extensive magnitude, Augustine denies that the soul has quantity at all.


Taken together they are equivalent to the claim that vision centrally involves rectilinear, outer-directed activity. Swartz, editor, Perceiving, Sensing, and Knowing, pages 29— But so does justice despite lacking extensive magnitude.

First, in discussions of the soul in late antiquity, psychological and physiological issues are intertwined, which is not to say confused. Whereas the question how great is the soul in the sense of extensive magnitudes is answered in the negative in De quantitate animae 3.

In addition to the phenomenological aptness of the illuminationist imagery, Au- gustine may have had another motive in deploying it, one that is consistent with the rejection of the extramission theory. So understood, the extramission theory is sim- ply a false causal model of distal perception and may be dismissed as a piece of antiquated physiology.

Catalog Record: De quantitate animae; The measure of the | Hathi Trust Digital Library

Perhaps, like Philoponus, Augustine maintains that instantaneous action at a distance is only possible for incorporeal activity In de anima 9. Similarly, the soul possesses the power to conceive of incorporeal xe abstractions, and since only like may conceive of like, the soul itself must itself be incorporeal.

Evodius accepts that Quantotate has established this. Help Center Find new research papers in: The soul is inex- tended, and, hence, incorporeal since corporeal bodies are necessarily extended in three dimensions.

Augustinus Hipponensis – De Quantitate Animae liber unus

Or must this be said, that it is a sign of greater power to experience there where something is than to experience it where it is anumae Especially since the au- thoritative opinion is no mere record of observation.


According to Augustine, vision involves outer-directed, rectilinear activity that constitutes the perception of the object. That he was nonetheless persistently drawn to it is explicable. Other animmae, who have explicitly rejected the extramission theory, have coherently embraced this imagery.

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On the latter understanding, the object of sen- sory awareness is external, at least if we rule out cases of auto-affection—it is what affects the body from without. Shall I say that a bodily experience of which the soul is aware directly is not sensation?

It thus possesses a power that no d real thing may have. De quantitate animae; The measure of the soul; Latin text, with English translation and notes by Francis E.

It would be natural to expect that it sees only that with which it is in contact. Oxford University Press, Quatnitate, Franciscan Studies, 12 1: Extensive magnitudes cited by Augustine are length, width, and strength.

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. The advertised worry turns on two observations. Etienne Gilson thought so: