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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These tasks will be pursued in chapters 23 to There it encounters what is like it, external light. Only in this way could it be pal- pable to perception and so perceived. Find in a library.

At times he complains of its subtlety and obscurity, emphasizing its failure to be clearly demonstrated. Justice may lack extensive magnitude and yet possess greater virtual magnitude than a sensible body.

Shall I say that the soul is not more powerful than the eyes, when the soul is the very power of the eyes? De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim 1 16; Taylor37—38 The present extramissionist account is derived neither from scripture nor reason, but is accepted as received authoritative opinion. It thus possesses a power that no corpo- real thing may have. It cannot be grasped and of- fers no resistance to touch and hence lacks strength, robustam.

A failure to recognize this, and so misattribute to Augustine a commit- ment to extramission, is due, at least in part, to unclarity about the commitments of the extramission theory. The soul need not be where the body is affected for this affection to be not hidden from the range of its attention De quantitate animae Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo Published: Oxford University Press, Oxford, That is to say, Au- gustine has argued that just because something is incorporeal does not mean that it is less real or less valuable than something corporeal.


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Your ray quanttiate to the sky more quickly than the batted eyelids reach the eyebrow. The imagery here not only emphasizes that vision is a kind of perception at a distance but invokes an active outward extension. So understood, the object of sensory awareness is a bodily affection, the way in which the body is affected.

The ex- quajtitate theory is motivated by the idea that the perceived object must be in contact with the sense. The central point of this passage is independent of the truth of the extramission theory. And if that is right, then the stick analogy is not sufficient for the attribution of an extramission theory.

In this way, the perceived object mediately acts upon the perceiver. Allow me to make two observations about this.

Moreover, just because justice is real despite being inextended, it does not follow that the soul itself is inextended. Perception, like the understanding, qyantitate a mode of awareness afforded by illumination. The third grade introduces a further substantive commitment. The stick analogy captures the formal features of the Timaeus account, namely, that the compound of emitted light dr external light constitutes a continuous, rectilin- ear, unity—just like a straight stick.

Quanyitate will maintain that the soul, while lacking extensive magnitude, nevertheless possesses virtual magnitude. One can feel what one is not in direct contact with. The illumination- ist imagery is undoubtedly of Neoplatonic origin, but neither Plotinus nor Por- phyry are extramission theorists.

If souls are inextended, if they lack extensive magnitude, then they are incorporeal.


De quantitate animae | Open Library

And so the sensitive soul, at least, must be extended throughout the body. On the basis of our discussion so far, we are in a position to usefully distinguish different grades of extramissive involvement. Many thinkers accept that perception at least centrally involves activity without accepting, as well, the extramission theory.

Augustine understands corporeal light as the image, in the Pla- tonic sense, of the true spiritual light. The rays, as Hill conceives of them, are merely part of the causal medium through which information about the perceived object is conveyed.

Quantirate, in discussions of the soul in late antiquity, psychological and physiological issues are intertwined, which is not to say confused. Moreover, it echoes a Neoplatonic theme.

But such a disavowal seems to be in tension with, not only the phenomenology of distal touch, but also with the extramission theory as usually understood. Augustine is sensitive to this tacit assumption even though he does not make it explicit.

Full-text searching is available within public quantitatf private collectionsand within individual items. Shall I say that the eyes [are affected by] nothing when we see? In the Sophist, the Eleatic Visitor convinces the Giants to modify their corpore- alism in order to allow for justice, since denying the existence of this virtue would be impious. So passio corporis is a kind of Au- gustinian shorthand for quod patitur corpus that is meant to inherit its ambiguities.