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Headword: *)ana/mnhsis
Adler number: alpha,1967
Translated headword: recollection
Vetting Status: high
Recollection is a finding of a figment.[1] Having started from the soul it goes over the living body. For after recollecting that some fear was produced in us we become pale, and after recollecting the voyage we feel sea-sick. But how do we say that the movement started from the soul in recollecting? Surely not that the soul is recollecting the movement; rather, what we mean is that it occurs as if in the sense-perceptions. For the movement, after being originated from the sensible things, crossed over as far as the place in which the discerning and sensible power [is]: namely, the breath. And so, in the case of recollection or in the case of sense-perception, we say that the beginning of the recollecting movement also has been produced over again from breath, where the soul [is]. For that in which sense-perception terminates, thence the beginning of recollection occurs. In fact recollection, when it was produced in breath, is a finding of figment. For figments arise in breath, where the sensible soul is seated as well. So, from those residues present in breath, where the soul is, the soul had those residues -- which we call "figments" -- from the sensible apprehensions. From these the start of recalling movement arises. Therefore, when the soul attains by intuition again a figment that it had before, that is, an impression[2] that was born before in breath, it recalls and perceives such a figment[3] through the sense organ. And so [the soul] puts together the body with the sense organ.
Greek Original:
*)ana/mnhsis: a)na/mnhsi/s e)sti fanta/smatos eu(/resis. a)rcame/nh de\ a)po\ th=s yuxh=s diabai/nei e)pi\ to\ e)zwwme/non sw=ma. a)namnhsqe/ntes ga\r foberou= tinos h(mi=n genome/nou w)xria/samen, kai\ tou= plou= a)namnhsqe/ntes e)nautia/samen. pw=s de\ le/gomen a)po\ th=s yuxh=s a)/rcasqai th\n ki/nhsin e)pi\ th=s a)namnh/sews; h)\ ou)\x w(s e)kei/nhs au)th=s a)namnhskome/nhs, a)/ll' w(/sper e)pi\ tw=n ai)sqh/sewn le/gomen: a)rcame/nh ga\r h( ki/nhsis e)k tw=n ai)sqhtw=n die/bh me/xris e)kei/nou, e)n w(=| h( kritikh\ kai\ ai)sqhtikh\ du/namis: tou=to de/ e)sti to\ pneu=ma: ou(/tws de\ e)pi\ th=s a)namnh/sews le/gomen, o(/ti a)po\ tou= pneu/matos, e)n w(=| h( yuxh\, kai\ h( a)rxh\ th=s kata\ th\n a)na/mnhsin kinh/sews ge/gonen a)na/palin h)\ e)pi\ th=s ai)sqh/sews: ei)s o(\ ga\r teleuta=| h( ai)/sqhsis, e)kei=qen h( a)rxh\ th=s a)namnh/sews. h( ga\r a)na/mnhsis, fanta/smato/s e)stin eu(/resis, o(po/te e)ge/neto e)n tw=| pneu/mati. e)n tou/tw| ga\r gi/netai ta\ fanta/smata, e)n w(=| kai\ h( ai)sqhtikh\ yuxh\ i(/drutai. a)po\ tou/twn ou)=n tw=n e)n tw=| pneu/mati, e)n w(=| e)stin h( yuxh\, e)gkataleimma/twn, a(/per fanta/smata kalou=men e)gkatalei/mmata e)k tw=n kata\ ta\s ai)sqh/seis a)ntilh/yewn e)/sxen: a)po\ tou/twn h( a)rxh\ th=s kata\ th\n a)na/mnhsin kinh/sews gi/netai. e)piba/llousa ou)=n pa/lin tw=| fanta/- smati, o(\ pri\n e)/sxe, toute/sti tw=| e)ggenome/nw| pro/teron e)n tw=| pneu/mati to/pw|, a)namimnh/sketai kai\ di' ou(= ai)sqhthri/ou h)/|sqeto au)to/. kai\ ou(/tws sundiati/qetai tw=| ai)sqhthri/w| to\ sw=ma.
[1] This sentence = John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 158.15 Hayduck; and indeed the entry as a whole follows, with slight variations, Philoponus 158.5-23, the commentary on de anima 408b15-18. Aristotle is trying to show there that, even though we speak of the soul as being pained, pleased, angry, perceiving, and so forth, the soul is not moved. Aristotle suggests not saying that the soul learns or thinks but rather saying that the person does this with his or her soul. In the lines quoted and commented on by Philoponus Aristotle maintains, as a conclusion, that there is no movement in the soul but that sometimes such a movement terminates in it and sometimes starts from it. After this he introduces the example of recollection (anamnesis), since recollection, he goes on to argue, starts from the soul and terminates with the movements and rests of the sense organs. [On Aristotle' theory of perception, see generally Everson (below).]
The term phantasma is hard to render; I translate "figment", but it also means "image" or "mental image". Compare the opening sentence of this text with Aristotle, De memoria 453a14-16: "recollection is a searching (zetesis) for an image (phantasma) in a corporeal substrate" (Revised Oxford Translation).
[2] I read tupos (given by Philoponus, ed. Hayduck) instead of topos (in the Suda). In this epistemological context tupos gives a much clearer sense.
[3] The Suda text gives auto, which, I think, makes reference to phantasma. I read autou following Philoponus' text, ed. Hayduck.
S. Everson, Aristotle on Perception (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997)
Keywords: definition; philosophy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 16 November 2000@18:14:12.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 29 July 2002@09:43:46.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 24 February 2012@08:27:27.
David Whitehead on 30 June 2015@12:22:38.


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