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Sean Armel Kelsey
University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 6/30/2018

Aristotle's Soul: Essays on the Classical Scientific Treatise, De Anima

Four scholarly articles on Aristotle’s classical scientific treatise De Anima (On the Soul).

My project will focus on Aristotle's De Anima and will take the form of a series of free-standing articles and eventually a monograph. The topic of the De Anima is what we would call 'life'; the primary object of the book is to get clear about what life is. Aristotle's treatment of this topic does not occur in a vacuum; he is aware that he had predecessors, and though he thinks their views are absurd, he regards this absurdity as an index of the difficulties in this area. Thus I propose to examine Aristotle's conception of life by way of *his* problems, as these are revealed by his critique of his predecessors. I will focus on problems connected with perception and reason in particular. I will argue that, for Aristotle, the main difficulty is to develop a conception of life that respects the fact that perception and reason are sources of objective knowledge, without making this an inscrutable mystery.