The Unity of Knower and Known in Aristotle’s De Anima, Book III, 4


  • Soojung Kim


This paper tries to find the way to understand the unity of the mind and the object of the thought in an immaterial way. To have an understanding of the immaterial mode of knowing, I will precede from the investigation the object of the thought to the understanding of the mind. Then, I will try to understand the immaterial mode of cognition by the presentation of the perfect instance of the identity of knower and known.

The mind is potential to become all things. The mind can be other existing things, in that it can understand their forms in its activity. Form makes a thing exist, in that it determines the matter which is potential and constitutes the thing. Since form is the intelligible content itself in the mind, it also attributes the intelligibility of a thing to the mind. The mind becomes other things not in the composition of the elements but in its activities. Since the mind has no physical characteristics, according to Aristotle, it can be open to receive any object of thought and have cognition of it (429a20-21). Therefore, the knowing activity of the mind is distinguished from physical process and needs to be understood in an immaterial way.

Author Biography

Soojung Kim

AssistantProfessor,DepartmentofMedicalHumanitiesandSocialSciencesSchool of Medicine The Catholic Univ. of Korea






Independent Articles