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Headword: Νοῦς
Adler number: nu,524
Translated headword: intellect, mind, reason
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Note] that the intellect contains in itself the rationales of all things, but with some of them [appearing] before it in the manner of an image, others after it paradigmatically.[1]
Interpretation of a dream: when elevated in the mind, know that [you] dwell in a foreign land.[2]
[Note] that Pythagoras used to say that the human soul is divided into 3 [parts]: intellect, wits and passion. Intellect and passion also exist in the other living beings, but wits just in the human being. And [he said] that the principle of the soul [comes] from the heart and [goes] up to the head, and that the part of the soul that is in the heart is passion, while the [parts that] are in the head are wits and intellect.[3]
[Note] that of the things that are thought, some were conceived of by experience, others by similarity, others by analogy, others by transposition, others by composition, others by opposition. And sensible things [are conceived of] by experience, but by similarity the things deriving from something set before [us are conceived of], such as Socrates[4] from his picture. By analogy [come those conceived of] by enlargement, [such as] Tityos[5] and the Cyclops,[6] and by shrinking, such as the pygmy. Even the center of the earth was conceived of by analogy from smaller spheres. By transposition [something is conceived of] like eyes in the chest; by composition, the hippocentaur; and death [is conceived of] by opposition [sc. to life]. Some things, such as the sayables and place, are also conceived of by transference. And something existent which is also good is conceived of naturally, and by privation, a handless man [is conceived of].[7]
[Note] that[8] the function of intellect, on account of its simple apprehensions, is also more powerful than capturing the facts [that result] according to a demonstration. It is such as perception, which in apprehending by chance what is white or this [particular] shape, is more powerful than [the one who] got his own knowledge following a demonstration. For it does not require a deductive argument for such a demonstration. And indeed the activity of the intellect[9] supervenes to those things that have come to reach purity and knowledge to the furthest point, and that, on account of pure virtues which exist without appearance, are accustomed to actualize [themselves] without perception. For intellect is such as the most perfect state of the soul. Accordingly, intellect also refers to what is object of intellect, thought to what is object of thought, and opinion to what is object of opinion. Of these faculties, intellect has the first range, thought the middle one, and opinion the last one. Thought dwells near our soul, since it has the middle range in every [thinking being], and, through thought, our soul goes back to the contemplation of what is object of intellect, [a contemplation] which is the perfection of the soul. For since our soul is brought up together with and of the same class with the perceptible objects, it is unable, due to its habituation with perceptions, to lead itself toward the contemplation of what is object of intellect and lacking matter, but it considers that these (i.e. contemplation and intellect) are bodies and have sizes. [Our soul] also imagines those thinks that are in the domain of what is perceptible. And Plato [says] in Phaedo: "this is the most difficult thing among the things that are in us, since whenever we lead [ourselves] a little toward leisure out of the bodily distractions, and want to aim at divine things with the contemplation of the divine objects, appearance presents itself and sets in motion a turmoil for us. And when [appearance] surmises that the divine is a body, and that it has seize and shape, it does not permit that we think of god as something lacking body and shape."[10] That is why the soul, in traveling toward its own perfection, must first be actualized in thought, which makes reference to the middle things. The things that are object of thought are both our soul and the contemplation concerning it; and the mathematical objects too.
Greek Original:
Νοῦς: ὅτι ὁ νοῦς πάντων ἔχει τοὺς λόγους ἐν ἑαυτῷ, ἀλλὰ τῶν μὲν πρὸ αὐτοῦ εἰκονικῶς, τῶν δὲ μετ' αὐτὸν παραδειγματικῶς. λύσις ὀνείρου: ἀρθεὶς νόον γίνωσκε γῆν ναίειν ξένην. ὅτι Πυθαγόρας τὴν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ψυχὴν διῃρῆσθαι ἔφη εἰς γ#: νοῦν, φρένας καὶ θυμόν. νοῦν μὲν καὶ θυμὸν εἶναι καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις ζῴοις, φρένας δὲ μόνον ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ. εἶναι δὲ τὴν ἀρχὴν τῆς ψυχῆς ἀπὸ καρδίας μέχρι ἐγκεφάλου. καὶ τὸ μὲν ἐν καρδίᾳ μέρος αὐτῆς ὑπάρχειν θυμόν, φρένας δὲ καὶ νοῦν τὰ ἐν τῷ ἐγκεφάλῳ. ὅτι τῶν διανοουμένων τὰ μὲν κατὰ περίπτωσιν ἐνοήθη, τὰ δὲ καθ' ὁμοιότητα, τὰ δὲ κατὰ ἀναλογίαν, τὰ δὲ κατὰ μετάθεσιν, τὰ δὲ κατὰ σύνθεσιν, τὰ δὲ κατ' ἐναντίωσιν. καὶ κατὰ περίπτωσιν μὲν τὰ αἰσθητά, καθ' ὁμοιότητα δὲ τὰ ἀπό τινος παρακειμένου, ὡς Σωκράτης ἀπὸ τῆς εἰκόνος: κατ' ἀναλογίαν δὲ αὐξητικῶς μὲν ὁ Τιτυὸς καὶ ὁ Κύκλωψ, μειωτικῶς δὲ ὡς ὁ πυγμαῖος: καὶ τὸ κέντρον δὲ τῆς γῆς κατ' ἀναλογίαν ἐνοήθη ἀπὸ τῶν μικροτέρων σφαιρῶν: κατὰ μετάθεσιν δὲ οἷον οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ στήθους, κατὰ σύνθεσιν δὲ ἱπποκένταυρος, καὶ κατ' ἐναντίωσιν θάνατος. νοεῖται δὲ καὶ κατὰ μετάβασίν τινα, ὡς τὰ λεκτὰ καὶ ὁ τόπος. φυσικῶς δὲ νοεῖται καὶ ὄν τι καὶ ἀγαθόν, καὶ κατὰ στέρησιν, οἷον ἄχειρος. ὅτι τοῦ νοῦ ἔργον ἐστὶν ἁπλαῖς προσβολαῖς καὶ κρεῖττον ἢ κατὰ ἀπόδειξιν ἐπιβάλλειν τοῖς πράγμασιν. ὥσπερ ἡ αἴσθησις προσβαλοῦσα τυχὸν τῷ λευκῷ ἢ τῷδε τῷ σχήματι κρεῖττον ἢ κατὰ ἀπόδειξιν αὐτοῦ τὴν γνῶσιν ἔσχεν: οὐ γὰρ δεῖται πρὸς ταύτην συλλογισμοῦ. ἡ δέ γε τοῦ νοῦ ἐνέργεια ἐκείνοις παραγίνεται, οἷς εἰς ἄκρον καθάρσεως καὶ ἐπιστήμης γέγονεν ἀφικέσθαι καὶ διὰ τῶν καθαρτικῶν ἀρετῶν ἀφαντάστως καὶ δίχα αἰσθήσεως ἐνεργεῖν συνειθισμένοις. ἔστι γὰρ ὁ νοῦς οἷον ἕξις τῆς ψυχῆς τελειοτάτη. καὶ γίνεται τοίνυν ὁ μὲν νοῦς περὶ τὰ νοητά, ἡ δὲ διάνοια περὶ τὰ διανοητά, ἡ δὲ δόξα περὶ τὰ δοξαστά. τούτων δὲ τῶν δυνάμεων πρώτην μὲν ἔχει τάξιν ὁ νοῦς, μέσην δὲ ἡ διάνοια, ἐσχάτην δὲ ἡ δόξα. ἡ δὲ διάνοια προσῳκείωται τῇ ἡμετέρᾳ ψυχῇ, ἐπειδὴ καὶ αὐτὴ τὴν μέσην ἐν τῷ παντὶ τάξιν ἔχει, καὶ διὰ τῆς διανοίας ἀνάγεται ἡ ἡμετέρα ψυχὴ ἐπὶ τὴν τῶν νοητῶν θεωρίαν, ἥτις ἐστὶ τελειότης τῆς ψυχῆς. ἐπειδὴ γὰρ σύντροφος καὶ σύμφυλός ἐστι τοῖς αἰσθητοῖς ἡ ψυχὴ ἡ ἡμετέρα, ἀδυνατεῖ διὰ τὸν συνεθισμὸν τῶν αἰσθήσεων ἐπὶ τὴν θεωρίαν τῶν νοητῶν καὶ ἀύ̈λων ἄγειν ἑαυτήν, ἀλλὰ νομίζει κἀκεῖνα σώματα εἶναι καὶ μεγέθη ἔχειν: καὶ ὅσα ἐπὶ τῶν αἰσθητῶν, κἀκείνων φαντάζεται. καὶ Πλάτων ἐν Φαίδωνι: τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ χαλεπώτατον τῶν ἐν ἡμῖν, ὅτι ὅταν σχολὴν ἀπὸ τῶν περιολκῶν τοῦ σώματος μικρὸν ἄγωμεν καὶ θελήσωμεν τῇ θεωρίᾳ τῶν θείων σχολάσαι, παρεμπίπτουσα ἡ φαντασία θόρυβον ἡμῖν κινεῖ, ὑπονοεῖν διδοῦσα, ὅτι σῶμά ἐστι τὸ θεῖον καὶ μέγεθος ἔχει καὶ σχῆμα, καὶ οὐκ ἐᾷ ἡμᾶς ἀσωμάτως καὶ ἀσχηματίστως περὶ θεοῦ ἐννοεῖν. διὰ τοῦτο δεῖ τὴν ψυχὴν ὁδεύουσαν ἐπὶ τὴν ἑαυτῆς τελειότητα πρῶτον ἐνεργῆσαι κατὰ διάνοιαν, ἥτις ἔχει περὶ τὰ μέσα τῶν πραγμάτων: οἷά ἐστι τὰ διανοητὰ ἥ τε ψυχὴ ἡ ἡμετέρα καὶ ἡ περὶ αὐτῆς θεωρία: ἔτι δὲ καὶ τὰ μαθηματικά.
Notes:
See also nu 523, nu 525.
[1] John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 126.30-31 Hayduck.
[2] From the dream-interpretations, in verse, attributed to Astrampsychus (see alpha 4251).
[3] Diogenes Laertius 8.30.
[4] sigma 829.
[5] tau 696.
[6] kappa 2652.
[7] This passage is largely taken from the Stoic doxography contained in Diogenes Laertius 7.52-53. On the Stoic 'sayables' see kappa 1039, lambda 658.
[8] For this long section cf. John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 2.7-3.9 Hayduck.
[9] This expression is Aristotle’s (see Metaphysics 1072b26-27); it is said of the prime mover or god, which is described as 'the activity (or 'actuality') of intellect' and as the life most good and eternal.
[10] Not an exact quotation; but for the Platonic thesis that our body has a perturbing influence upon our soul see Phaedo 66D, 67E-68B, 80B-81E, 82E-83E.
Keywords: biography; daily life; definition; dreams; mathematics; meter and music; mythology; philosophy; poetry; religion
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 20 September 2003@21:22:02.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 21 September 2003@06:41:32.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 30 September 2005@08:41:48.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaks and cosmetics; raised status) on 11 June 2008@10:25:15.
David Whitehead on 17 June 2013@07:30:52.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 14 December 2014@23:59:59.

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