Quotes

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 464

There are numerous quotes from Aristotle's On the Soul which are worth considering. The text, as a whole, discusses what the soul is, what previous thoughts on the soul were, and the existence of the soul itself.

  1. "Knowledge of any kind is a thing to be honoured and prized." This...

(The entire section contains 464 words.)

See This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this study guide. You'll also get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

There are numerous quotes from Aristotle's On the Soul which are worth considering. The text, as a whole, discusses what the soul is, what previous thoughts on the soul were, and the existence of the soul itself.

  1. "Knowledge of any kind is a thing to be honoured and prized." This quote is important because it sets a very specific precedence for who Aristotle wants readers to think about knowledge. By stating this, Aristotle ensures that readers understand the utter importance of knowledge and how important this knowledge is.
  2. "To attain any assured knowledge about the soul is one of the most difficult things in the world." This quote's importance lies in Aristotle's acknowledgment that some things are definitively hard to define and explain. On one side, this may speak to the idea of forbidden knowledge. In some circumstances, some knowledge regarding the unknown is best left alone. On the other hand, Aristotle could be addressing his own acknowledged limitations (and subsequent failures) in defining and uncovering the mysteries of the soul.
  3. "For our study of soul it is necessary, while formulating the problems of which in our further advance we are to find the solutions, to call into council the views of those of our predecessors who have declared any opinion on this subject, in order that we may profit by whatever is sound in their suggestions and avoid their errors." This quote addresses the importance of looking to the past for advice and knowledge. The idea of looking to the wisdom of those who came before us is not unknown. Yet, the fact that Aristotle brings this up illustrates that he accepts that those of the past still possess knowledge important in the present.
  4. "If the soul is moved, the most probable view is that what moves it is sensible things." This quote shows readers that the soul, a seemingly undefinable entity, possesses the unique knowledge and ability it takes for one, or something, to be sensible. This could refer to the idea that the soul is more human than believed. The only piece of the quote which could negate this idea is the "if" present at the opening of the line. The use of the word "if," here, reiterates Aristotle's own difficulties in defining and classifying the soul.
  5. "In general, we may ask, Why has not everything a soul, since everything either is an element, or is formed out of one or several or all of the elements?" This final quote offers the most challenging question Aristotle presents in his argument. It is here that Aristotle declares the physicality of the soul, an argument that some may argue given the question of the soul's physical existence at all. Since one cannot literally see a soul, how can the soul be an element?

Illustration of PDF document

Download On the Soul Study Guide

Subscribe Now
Previous

Characters