|Aristotle's Thoughts on Personality
Aristotle describes the analytic process by which we divide kinds of beings to establish an essence. He works gradually from broadest down to narrower classifications. Aristotle points out that knowledge is valuable, however knowledge of the soul is even more so, "for the soul is the first principle of living things."
Aristotle tells us that all living things have souls, but there are more primitive souls. Plants have souls but the souls only the nutritive faculty.
Aristotle analyzes imagination, and intellect for us. He sees imagination as a bridge between sense perception and intellect and does not relate imagination to memory. Imagination requires perception as a foundation and can lead to understanding. Imagination is that faculty of soul "in virtue of which we say that an image occurs to us." Aristotle argues that imagination cannot be reduced to any combination of "perception, belief, knowledge, and intellect."
Intellect is another distinct faculty of the soul which only humans have, and all other creatures do not have. Because intellect is not associated with an external sense organ and is neither limited in the scope of its objects nor inclined to take on the qualities of its objects, as do the senses, it seems, "unreasonable that it be mixed with the body" at all. Aristotle also reveals that there are two kinds of intellect, passive and active. Passive intellect is intellect that a person has prior to experience, and active intellect is intellect that one gains after an experience happens.
|Other Philosophers on the topic of Personality|