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By Z. Miguel. Louisiana State University at Alexandria.

Young people see in the dark all kinds of appearances when their eyes are wide open (462 a 12–15) buy oxcarbazepine online pills. In situations of half-sleep order oxcarbazepine 150 mg visa, one can have weak perceptions of light and sounds from one’s environment (462 a 19–25) order oxcarbazepine in united states online. Many people never had a dream in their whole lives; others first got them after considerable advance in age (464 b 1–11;cf. This is a substantial list of empirical claims, some of which testify to Aris- totle’s sharp observational capacities (for example, nos. However, we also find claims that are highly questionable from a modern point of view or for which the empirical basis can only be said to be very weak (e. It is difficult to decide to what extent these ‘data’ (phainomena or sumbainonta, as Aristotle would call them) are derived from deliberate and purposeful observation by Aristotle and his pupils themselves, or just from common human experience (on the list, observations 15 and 25 are also found in other biological works of Aristotle, but they are evidently only a minority). Moreover, we should certainly take into account the pos- sibility that Aristotle has borrowed some of these data from other scientific writings, for example the psychological works of Democritus (whom Aris- totle mentions in Div. However, since this tradition has only been preserved in fragments, it is difficult to assess the extent of his dependence on earlier sources. Yet when looking more closely at the way in which these empirical ‘data’ are used in Aristotle’s argument in On Dreams, it becomes clear that the treatise goes far beyond the level of empirical fact-finding. Aristotle does not present his theory as being built up, so to speak, inductively on the basis of a number of observations; on the contrary, the three research questions mentioned above ((i), (ii) and (iii)) are treated in a systematical and deductive way, and empirical ‘data’ are mentioned in the course of this theoretical argument – often in the form of examples or analogies – in order to support or clarify opinions and presuppositions which Aristotle already seems to take for granted. And although Aristotle’s style of reasoning seems very cautious and essayistic – the first chapter, for example, is highly aporetic25 – it is, in fact, rather dogmatic. The general impression one gets is that empirical evidence is primarily mentioned when it suits the argument – and if not, it is either ignored or explained away in a questionable manner. Thus at the end of On Dreams, it turns out that the three questions raised at the beginning are to be answered as follows: (i) Dreams belong to the sensitive part of the soul qua imaginative part (459 a 21); dreaming is not an operation of sense-perception but of ‘imag- ination’, which is defined by Aristotle as ‘the movement which occurs as a result of actual perception’ (459 a 17–18). This definition, together with Aristotle’s use of the words phantasia, phantasma, and phainesthai,isin broad agreement with his general theory of ‘imagination’ in On the Soul, to which he explicitly refers (459 a 15). In the course of the long argument which leads to this conclusion, only claims (1) and (2) play a part; for the rest, the argument is purely theoretical and logical. Aristotle assumes the following mechanism: During the waking state, the sense-organs are stimulated by a great quantity of sense-movements (stimuli brought about by sensible objects); but not all of these movements are equally strong. The stronger movements overrule the weaker, so that the weaker are ‘not noticed’ by the perceiving subject (460 b 28–461 a 8). Aristotle assumes, however, that the remnants of these weaker movements remain present in the sense-organs in the form of traces. When in sleep the sense-organs have stopped being active – and as a result of this cannot receive new stimuli – the remnants of 25 For an analysis see van der Eijk (1994) 36–8. Aristotle on sleep and dreams 183 these weaker movements, which escaped our attention in the waking state, get, so to speak, a second chance to ‘present themselves’ to the perceiving subject. The physiological picture to be drawn for this process is not completely clear, but seems to be roughly as follows. Aristotle thinks that apart from the peripheral sense-organs (eyes, ears, nose, etc. His view seems to be that, normally speaking, a sensitive impulse is transmitted from the peripheral sense-organs to the heart, where it is received, recorded and noticed, and co-ordinated with movements from other senses (461 a 31). The transmitting agency is probably the blood (although this is not quite clear from the text). The ‘perception’ or ‘noticing’ of these movements is dreaming in the strict sense. Thus dreams originate from weak sense-movements, which have entered the sense-organs in the waking state, but which were not noticed by the perceiving subject because of their weakness in comparison with stronger movements. By explaining the occurrence of dreams in this way, Aristotle manages to account for the fact that dreams often display many similarities with what the dreamer has experienced in the waking state (because they consist of movements received during the waking state), but that these elements often appear in a distorted, completely ‘unrealistic’ configuration due to the physiological conditions that influence the transmission to the heart. In order to substantiate this explanation, Aristotle has to presuppose, first, that the sense-organs actually receive very slight movements and, second, that these small movements are being ‘preserved’ (soizesthai¯ , 461 a 25)inthe sense-organs from the moment of their arrival (in the waking state) to the moment of their transport to the heart and subsequent appearance in sleep. When we look at our list of empirical ‘data’, we can see that numbers 3–9 are used by Aristotle in order to illustrate the mechanism of ‘linger- ing’ or ‘persisting’ sense-movements after the actual perception has disap- peared; numbers 8–9 point to the receptivity of the sense-organs to small 26 See 461 a 25 and b 11, 27. Number 13 serves as an illustration of the ‘extrusion’ of weak movements through stronger ones. Numbers 14–17 are concerned with the physiological conditions that influence or disturb the transport of sense-movements from the peripheral sense-organs to the central sense- organ. Numbers 10–12 and 18–20 illustrate the ‘experiencing’ or ‘noticing’ of the sense-movements by the dreaming subject: the experiences of illusion in the waking state serve as analogy for the fact that the dreaming subject often does not notice that what (s)he experiences is only a dream. From all this we have to conclude that the dream is a sort of appearance, and, more particularly, one which occurs in sleep; for the images just mentioned are not dreams, nor is any other image which presents itself when the senses are free [i. For, in the first place, some persons actually, in a certain way, perceive sounds and light and taste and contact [while asleep], albeit faintly and as it were from far away. For during sleep people who had their eyes half open have recognised what they believed they were seeing in their sleep faintly as the light of the lamp, as the real light of the lamp, and what they believed they were hearing faintly as the voice of cocks and dogs, they recognised these clearly on awakening.

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