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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This oc- casions puzzlement in Evodius. Many passages involving extramissive elements are, in fact, making a point about something other than perception. Interaction between the external body and the perceiver in the Timaeus.

Aristotle rejects the extramission the- ory as providing a quantitatd causal model of perception De sensu 2 a 26—b 2and yet his alternative causal model preserves these formal features. Maurini da Girolamo Brunelli How might the illuminationist imagery be understood if it is not, indeed, com- mitted to the extramission theory?

Moreover, it was earlier De quantitate animae The awareness afforded by visual experience is like a beam of light that wuantitate the latent presence of its object.

Augustinus Hipponensis – De Quantitate Animae liber unus

But what- ever is the nature of the power by which we discern through the eyes, certainly, whether it be rays or anything else, we cannot discern with the eyes that power itself; but we inquire into it with the mind, and if possible, understand this with the mind. On the extramissionist reading, this is a description of visual rays extending from the perceiver to the dis- tal object.

So a natural understanding of this phrase might be what the body undergoes. Vision, like il- lumination, has direction. The imagery here not only emphasizes that vision is a kind of perception at a distance but invokes an active outward extension. Growth is an affection of the body not hidden from the soul and yet it is insensible.


Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, If one perceives, one is acted upon. So understood, the object of sensory awareness is less a bodily affection than what affects the body.

Then, as the diffusion of rays shining out into the open from tiny pupils of the eye, and belonging therefore to our body, in such a way that, although the things we see are placed at a distance, they are yet quick- quantitare by the soul, so, just as we are helped by their effusion in compre- hending place-spans, the memory too, because it is somehow the light of time-spans, so far comprehends these time-spans as in its own way ot to can be projected.

Some modern commentators have marked a distinction between the psy- chological and the physiological claims that Augustine makes.

And yet it falls short of the extramission theory. Nevertheless, the light which is in the eye, according to authoritative opinion, is so slight that without the help of light from outside we should be able to see nothing. Compare Evodius position to the Giants: The Structure of Behavior. De quantitate animae; The measure of the soul; Latin text, with English translation and notes by Francis E.

Moreover, it echoes a Neoplatonic theme. This sensitivity is manifest in a curious shift in example. Perception and Extramission in De quantitate animae Mark Eli Kalderon Abstract Augustine is commonly interpreted as endorsing an extramission theory of perception in De quantitate animae. First, we shall provide a diagnosis for the misattribution in terms of unclarity about the commitments of the extramission theory.


Thus by means of quanttate stick one may feel the texture of a distant surface, or its hardness and rigidity. So understood, the object of sensory awareness is a bodily affection, the way in which the body is affected. Inanimate natural bodies can only be acted upon by what is in contact with them.

If we accept, as seems evident, that Augustine had in mind a mode of awareness, then perhaps to describe the object of perception as not hidden from the soul is, after all, to provide a positive characterization of the sensory awareness afforded by animar experience. Attending only to sen- sation by contact, and perhaps by regarding wnimae as an exemplary form of perception, can suggest that the principle governing sensation takes a certain a form.

One party is trying to drag everything down to earth out of heaven and the unseen, literally grasping rocks and trees in their hands, for they lay hold upon every stock quantitats stone and strenuously affirm that real existence belongs only to that which can be handled and offers resistance to the touch.

Perception and Extramission in De quantitate animae | Mark Eli Kalderon –

It is just this assumption that drives Evodius conviction that the soul must ankmae extended throughout the body. Shall I say that the eyes [are affected] where they are? Bodies are extended in three dimensions. Shall I say that the soul is not more powerful than the eyes, when the soul is the very power of the eyes?