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118 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 29:1 JANUARY 1991 Gassendi's expletive insertions to D.L. lO. 31.9 concerning "aisthesis" (37-38) or to D.L. lo. 31.2 concerning "phthongous" (~5), as well as on his emendation of "allelois" (D.L. lo. 76.3, p. 28), and of "perilepsesi" (D.L. lo, pp. 95 and lo3-1o7). Alberti's version of the "originary" Epicurus is plausible, though here it looks one-sided, since she leaves out "ekmarturesis" and the role of "ennoia." On the whole, the demonstrations are very ingenious indeed. Nevertheless, I think they verge on artificiality (see pp. 83, 87), partly because of insufficient grounding of their premise (no critical discussion of which is even suggested), partly because of partiality in the selection of the textual samples used as evidence--both from D.L. 1o and from Gassendi's philosophical works. What is at stake is the very method to be adopted in the history of philosophy: Should it employ purely Euclidian deductive sets of inferences (acceptable, I should think, if and only if the hypothetical character of the premise is clearly stated, which is not the case in the book under review) or should it use a process of induction in which qualified and quantified generalizations come out (if at all) from the case studies? SYLVIA MURR C.N.R.S., Paris Eyjolfur Kjalar Emilsson. Plotmus on Sense-Perception: A Philosophical Study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Pp. ix + 179. NP. Plotinus's direct realism and soul-body dualism provide the foci of this engaging study of his views on sense perception. The dualism comes as no surprise to the student of Plotinus, but the direct realism marks a departure from the received view. Professor Emilsson provides convincing support for his interpretation, according to which realism and dualism underlie, respectively, two phases in the process of sense perception, the reception by the sense organ of sensations and the judgment by the soul of perceptions. In sensing an object, the eye reaches out to the sensed object through sympatheia, which links eye and object as an instance of the unity of body and cosmic organism. The eye is affected by the object by becoming assimilated to it. This does not consist of a physical change in the eye, however, but rather in the eye's coming to possess the object's color phenomenally, in other words, its coming to possess the visual field in which the colored object appears. Plotinus rests this feature of sensation on his view that the organ, as part of the human being, is neither wholly material nor wholly mental, but rather a compound of the two. Thus the sensation of color is extended and has spatial location,just as is the colored material object, but unlike the object it has no mass or bulk. Sensation provides the perceiver with an external object--the color is sensed at a distance--but until there is judgment, for example, that an object is red, or that it is a roof, or that it is fifty feet away, the individual cannot be said to have perceived any- BOOK REVIEWS 119 thing. Judgment, Plotinus holds, is a function of the soul alone. As judge, soul is affected by nothing external, but rather supplies a form or concept from itself. Plotinus calls such a form a "representation" or "image." It is the object of imagination or memory, and although related to sensation--it arises with a judgment that is correlated with sensation--it is not to be confused with sensation for it is in the individual while the object of sensation is external. The theory sketched is a complex one, and the author does an impressive job of supporting it through passages in the Enneads and illuminating it by comparing it with other views advanced by ancient and modern philosophers. For example, although there are clear echoes in Piotinus of Aristotle's views that in perception there is a taking on of the form without the matter of the perceived object and that perception is an activity (energeia),Emilsson shows how differently the verbally similar theories must be understood due to basic differences in orientation...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 118-119
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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