Aristotle on Mind and the Science of Nature
On the basis of two premises to which he is committed, it would seem that Aristotle must be a “naturalist” about the investigation of the soul: 1. Natural things have both a material and a formal nature. 2. In the case of living things, their formal nature is their soul. This paper deals with a complication in the above inference. In De partibus animalium I 1, Aristotle insists that the natural scientist should not speak of all soul, since not all of the soul is a nature, though one or more parts of it is (641b8–9). In this paper I argue that this claim is consistent with everything he says in the De anima about the investigation of reason, and is a consequence of his views about the methodological norms of natural science. Aristotle is a naturalist when it comes to those parts of the soul human beings share with other animals, but his views about the mind are much more complicated.