De anima III.4

Any definite organ of knowledge is limited to knowing one class of knowable objects. Eyes can’t smell, noses can’t hear or detect infrared.

Mind is not limited to knowing one definite class of objects. Considered in their generality, it is not limited to the real or unreal, possible or impossible.

Mind has no definite organ.

A cognitive power that has no definite organ is no real thing before it knows.

Mind is no real thing before it knows. It is neither nervous system nor a part of it, not a light or darkness.  It is not one or many.

(still, it is mine, but it cannot be mine in a way that alienates it from being yours – this is why the things of mind are necessarily common goods)

Though it is mine, mind in its state cannot draw objects from this substance. It draws from outside of itself.

To draw from outside of oneself does not decide between recollection and abstraction. Both involve intuition of exterior objects and require initiation by sensation. Both allow ways in which mind is separate and ways in which it is essentially embodied.

Though mind cannot draw forth actualities from its substance, it is the actualities of all that is knowable, whether through the intuition of all things in recollection or the agent intellect of abstraction.

Both recollection and abstraction place all the actuality of what is knowable in mind. Both of them make mind empty prior to the initiation of exterior things.

(The apparent contradiction arises from judging mind in a way peculiar to definite or limited things. It’s being mine does not make it a this as opposed to that. Buber’s contributions are important here.)

I describe mind as an it or thing but this is mere grammar and not ontology nor logic. It is like the definition of “person” which grammatically describes a general sort of thing but can only name a concrete individual.

The opposition of persons is never simply an opposition between things. Still, there is some real sense in which persons such as us are ontologically opposed.

At the limit case of personality, personality itself is absolutely no principle of opposition between persons. The multiple selves are absolutely one.

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