Sense-Perception and Self-Awareness: Before and After Avicenna

Jari Kaukua, Taneli Kukkonen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


It is sometimes regarded as distinctive of the premodern philosophical tradition that it tends to treat the various psychological phenomena according to the capacities or faculties (Gr. dunameis) a living being has for apprehending the world and for coming to terms with it. In short, the faculty psychology approach has it that reality comes laid out in layers of varying complexity and abstraction – it has sensible as well as intelligible properties, etc., and for each aspect of reality with which a living being has to contend, a corresponding psychological capacity is posited that is responsible for the reception and processing of that specific type of information. A seminal argument in this vein can be found in Aristotle’s De Anima, the second book (II 5–12), where five proper sensibles and five sensory organs are distinguished in correspondence with the five types of sense-impressions we routinely receive, and in the third book (III 1), where this list is put forward as being exhaustive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStudies in the History of Philosophy of Mind
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2007

Publication series

NameStudies in the History of Philosophy of Mind
ISSN (Print)1573-5834
ISSN (Electronic)2542-9922


  • Cognitive Faculty
  • Human Soul
  • Immaterial Substance
  • Internal Sense
  • Ontological Function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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