What is a medium? – translation from Wolfgang Hagen part two

Acknowledging the fact to which Walter Seitter also refers, namely that the term was injected into an Aristotelian text where it does not appear in the origional. The arestotelian doctrine of perception did not know the concept of the medium.

The corresponding Corpus Peri Psyche was typically, and up to the threshold of 19th century, just under its Latin title “De anima” known based on translations of the 12th Century, shortly after the Corpus Aristotelicum in Europe was once again fully arrived. From 1268 it is Thomas Aquinas’ translations of and comments on “De Anima”, which from now on form for centuries the canon of all theology and philosophy of education, the latter of which, as we all know, down to the 19th centuries where Mandatory course for all science was physics. All western elites up until then studied the latin translations of “De Anima”.

In the second paper Sentencia Libri de Anima alone, the term medium is used more than 100 times. In the thirty chapters following it, even more often. There is no doubt that it was Thomas von Aquin, who first realized the full meaning of the single text devoted to what we are calling today an empirical or analytical psychology. But in the second Paper Sentencia Libri de Anima is the medium term much more than 100 times, and the 30 chapters of which appeared a little later, “Quaestiones de Anima” still much more frequently. No question: It is Thomas Aquinas, who was the first the importance Aristotle recognizes this single text, which is devoted to what we are today calling an empirical or analytical psychology would be reflected.

I do not want to bore you with philological details, but it is clear that among aristotles many many writtings, these books “about the soul” account as the most densely texts written by him. Olof Gigon, a famous Hellenist writes that “given the confusion of the various dispositions, terminology and doctrines (…)It is hard to imagine that Aristotle himself can be credited for its creation.” Olof Gigon writes of disparate and superficial gathering together of the materials in this text and explains this fact with its incompleteness. Alleged De Anima is the appendix of a lost Aristotle’s dialogue – Eudemos. Which, if at all, can only be interpolated from secondary sources.

But all this does not need to interest us. But it explains a little bit the historic-semantic findings and how it happened that the concept of the medium got implanted under the pretext to smooth out uncertainties of a given text corpus. Only as to become itself the medium for the construction and transmission of a new philosophy, namely a catholic. An immortal, because, in principle, divine soul of man – or so at least in Thomas Aqunias understanding. He who seek to unit secular monarchies with papacy with his attempt to unite the notions of a divine will and the new work ethics of his day. No other reasoning than to reach sovereignity over the siege by the Arab and oriental forces that he fears threatens western thought.

Back to Aristotle, who undertakes an empirical exploration of the soul in his work on Peri Psyches. The result is a truly staccato tour de france of roughing together sensory physiology and epistemology terminology. Only in the modern era (1460-Now) was his attempt to think them together again in a rational psychology – a sience of perception and of thinking on the basis of natural philosophy – accomplished.

Reading this text today, in addition with the palimpsest of a smuggled concept of a medium, is not an easy undertaking. At the forfront there is to note what A.C. Crombie in his work on the theories of classical optics recalls: “The striking difference between Greek and later medieval and modern optical theory is the absence of any conception of the Greek eye itself as an image-forming optical instrument and hence of any analysis of its dioptrical function. “(Crombie 1990.608)

Aristotle knows from the ear as an organ nothing. The voice is created for him in the windpipe. And from the eye as the organ of sight in Aristotle’s perception theory is nothing in the text. Incidentally, no beams fire, as in Plato and some pre-Socratics philosophers also. Aristotle’s system has no eye beams of fire, but describes the sensory perception, ie, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting, as an ontological unity of complex functions of the soul, the Psychä.


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