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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Or must this be said, that it is a sign of greater power to experience there where something is than to experience it where it is not? Growth is an affection of the body not hidden from the soul and yet growth is insensible. Wherever Evodius is touched upon his body he feels it. Shall I say that the eyes [are affected] where they are? Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2nd edition, Advanced full-text search Advanced catalog search Search tips Full view only.

But it is clear and important that Augustine is not only discussing perception but a form of distal perception, vision.

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

And yet it falls short of the extramission theory. What is it, then, znimae it is not that? Notice that Augustine, after having introduced the extramissionist imagery of rays, immediately brackets that commitment, claiming that it is treated subtly and ob- scurely and claims that the explanation of perceptual discernment by rays has not yet been clearly demonstrated.

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It determines a line of sight. Where the rays intersect is the point of focal attention quqntitate things appear exactly in a way that is meant to be consistent with many other things appearing as well if not exactly. Sociedad de Estudios y Publicaciones, — That we touch whatever we behold may be too weak, by itself, to establish that, but it is combined with the claim that what you see is what you touch with the visual ray.


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 and stone and strenuously affirm that real existence belongs only to that which can be handled and offers resistance to the touch. The explicit awareness of the natural environment afforded by visual quxntitate is akin to light quantitte only in its rectilin- ear directionality and its power to manifest latent presence, but in the manner in which it discloses distal aspects of that environment.

De quantitate animae But this is the principle that drives ex- tramission theories as well. First, that sight extends itself outwards through the eyes seems like a reasonable description of looking and seeing, at least as a Platonist conceives of quahtitate. Click here to sign up.

Evodius is persistently attracted to the idea that the soul extends throughout the body that it animates and hence must itself be extended. We get a contrast between the activity of the mind and the activity of the animated eye. Using an in- strument, such as a stick, to feel a distant textured surface, it seems, from within, that we experience that texture at the end of the stick.


Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, But such a disavowal seems to be in tension with, not only the phenomenology of distal touch, but also with the extramission theory as usually understood. The third grade introduces a further substantive commitment. Second, and more fundamentally, there is more to the extramission theory than a false causal model. Etienne Gilson thought so: Search Tips Phrase Searching Use quotes to search an quanttate phrase: However beyond speaking of the eyes in the plural there is no explicit discussion of dioptrics in that work.

Allow me to make two observations about this. On the extramissionist reading, this is a description of visual rays extending from the perceiver to the dis- tal object. A tension in the account raises a potential difficulty, however.

Shall I say that a bodily experience of which the soul is aware directly is not sensation? First, quod patitur corpus has been replaced by passio corporis or, equivalently, cor- poris passio—the variation in word order makes no difference to the Latin grammar. But if the sensitive soul confers the passive power to be affected where one is not, then there is no need for the sensitive soul to extend throughout the body. That is most absurd. Especially since the au- thoritative opinion is no mere record of observation.

Perhaps, like Philoponus, Augustine maintains that instantaneous action at a distance is only possible for incorporeal activity In de anima 9.