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Carolina Sanchez Castro, Aristotle’s Appropriation of the Anaxagorean Concept of Mind

8 November 2018
P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden

The Institute for Philosophy is pleased to announce a lecture by

Carolina Sanchez Castro



In the first book of the De Anima, Aristotle’s discusses Anaxagoras’ theory of mind. As a matter of fact, what he acknowledges is that there is not enough material to perform a critical analysis of such a theory. Surprisingly, in book three Aristotle brings back the same theory but he seems to be endorsing it this time.

In this talk I would try to explain this apparent change of perspective towards the Anaxagorean concept of mind. I will claim that Aristotle applies a hermeneutical tool in order to clean up the concept and to make it useful for his purposes. Nevertheless, Aristotle’s commitment to the Anaxagorean conception of mind presents an important challenge to his psychological hylomorphism. I will then try to explain how and why Aristotle came to introduce what can be seen, prima facie, as an insurmountable obstacle for his psychological project.


I received my PhD in Philosophy from the National University of Colombia. I am currently at Leiden University as a guest scholar, in the frame of the Coimbra Group Scholarship for Young Professors and Researchers from Latin American Universities 2018, working on Aristotle’s reception of Anaxagoras theory of mind. This project is related to my postdoctoral research project on the Aristotelian tradition of the commentary of the De Anima in Late Antiquity that I have been developing at the University of São Paulo, sponsored by the São Paulo Research Agency (FAPESP).

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