The Internal Senses in Context

  • Seyed N. MousavianEmail author
  • Jakob Leth Fink
Part of the Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind book series (SHPM, volume 22)


The aim of this volume is to contribute to the discussion of the internal senses in the Aristotelian tradition. Since the Aristotelian tradition covers more than 2000 years of interpretation, commentary, criticism and innovation, and since it spans many languages, including Arabic, Greek and Latin, it would be impossible to offer an inclusive and comprehensive account of the internal senses in the Aristotelian tradition. We attempt no such thing in this volume. Our scope is limited to a handful of questions on the existence and identity conditions of the internal senses in their historical contexts and some case studies about particular internal senses, namely compositive imagination/thinking (mutahayyila/mufakkira) and estimation (wahm), on the one hand, and the relationship between memory and the theories of mixtures and motion and the logic of non-existent objects of imagination, on the other hand. The selection of cases has been based on the current research interest of the authors. The chapters are divided into two main parts: I. Central Questions in Their Historical Contexts and II. Case Studies: From Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.



We would like to thank all the participants in the 2016 conference, The Internal Senses in the Aristotelian Tradition, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and all the members of the research programme Representation and Reality. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Aristotelian Tradition, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. We are specially indebted to the contributors to this volume for their valuable contributions, cooperation and patience. Also, we are grateful to an anonymous reviewer of this volume for his/her insightful and helpful comments and suggestions.


  1. Avicenna Latinus. (1972). Liber de anima I-II-III (S. van Riet, Ed.). Louvain/Leiden: Peeters and Brill.Google Scholar
  2. Avicenna [Ibn Sīnā]. (1959). Avicenna’s De Anima (Arabic Text): Being the psychological part of Kitāb al-Shifaˉ’ (F. Rahman, Ed.). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Avicenna [Ibn Sīnaˉ]. (1952). Avicenna’s psychology: An English translation of Kitāb al-Najāt (Book II, Chapter VI, F. Rahman, Ed. and Trans.). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Berto, F. (2013). Existence as a real property. Dordrecht: Synthèse Library, Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Black, D. (2014). How do we acquire concepts? Avicenna on abstraction and emanation: Essential readings and contemporary responses. In J. Hause (Ed.), Debates in medieval philosophy essential readings and contemporary responses (pp. 126–145). New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Black, D. (2013). Rational imagination: Avicenna on the cogitative power. In L. X. López-Farjeat & J. A. Tellkamp (Eds.), Philosophical psychology in Arabic thought and the Latin Aristotelianism of the 13th century (pp. 59–81). Paris: J. Vrin.Google Scholar
  7. Black, D. (1993). Estimation (Wahm) in Avicenna: The logical and psychological dimensions. Dialogue, 32, 219–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Casini, L. (2014). Renaissance theories of internal senses. In S. Knuuttila & J. Sihvola (Eds.), Sourcebook for the history of the philosophy of mind (pp. 147–157). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Faruque, M. U. (2016). The internal senses in Nemesius, Plotinus and Galen: The beginning of an idea. Journal of Ancient Philosophy, 10(2), 119–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Frede, M. (1996). Aristotle’s rationalism. In M. Frede & G. Striker (Eds.), Rationality in Greek thought (pp. 157–173). Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  11. Gregorić, P. (2007a). Aristotle on the common sense. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gregorić, P. (2007b). Alexander of Aphrodisias on the common sense. Filozofski vestnik, 38(1), 47–64.Google Scholar
  13. Gutas, D. (2012). The empiricism of Avicenna. Oriens, 40, 391–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gutas, D. (2003). Intuition and thinking: The evolving structure of Avicenna’s epistemology. In R. Wisnowsky (Ed.), Aspects of Avicenna (pp. 1–38). Princeton: Markus Wiener.Google Scholar
  15. Hacking, I. (1995). Rewriting the soul: Multiple personality and the sciences of memory. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Harvey, E. R. (1975). The Inward Wits: Psychological theory in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (Warburg Institute surveys) (Vol. 6). London: The Warburg Institute.Google Scholar
  17. Hasse, D. N. (2001a). Avicenna’s De Anima in the Latin west: The formation of a peripatetic philosophy of the soul 1160–1300 (Warburg Institute Studies & Texts). London: The Warburg Institute.Google Scholar
  18. Hasse, D. N. (2001b). Avicenna on abstraction. In R. Wisnovsky (Ed.), Aspects of Avicenna (pp. 39–72). Princeton: Markus Wiener.Google Scholar
  19. Kemp, S., & Fletcher, G. J. O. (1993). The medieval theory of the inner senses. American Journal of Psychology, 106, 559–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Klubertanz, G. P. (1952). The discursive power: Sources and doctrine of the Vis Cogitativa according to St. Thomas Aquinas. Saint Louis: The Modern Schoolman.Google Scholar
  21. Knuuttila, S., & Kärkkäinen, P. (2014). Medieval theories of internal senses. In S. Knuuttila & J. Sihvola (Eds.), Sourcebook for the history of the philosophy of mind (pp. 131–147). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Perälä, M. (in preparation). Aristotle on Incidental Perception. In J. Toivanen & C. T. Thörnqvist (Eds.), Sense perception in the Aristotelian tradition.Google Scholar
  23. Priest, G. (2016). Towards non-being (2nd Extended ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Priest, G. (2005). Towards non-being. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Scheerer, E. (1995). Die Sinne. In J. Ritter & K. Gründer (Eds.), Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie (Vol. 9, pp. 824–869). Basel, Schwabe.Google Scholar
  26. Sutton, J. (2007). Language, memory, and concepts of memory: Semantic diversity and scientific psychology. In M. Amberber (Ed.), The language of memory from a cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 41–65). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Steneck, N. H. (1974). Albert the great on the classification and localization of the internal senses. Isis, 65, 193–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Strohmaier, G. (1988). Avicennas Lehre von den “inneren Sinnen” und ihre Voraussetzungen bei Galen. In P. Manuli, & M. Vegetti (Eds.), Le opere psicologiche di Galeno (Atti del terzo colloquio galenico internazionale, Pavia, 10–12 settembre 1986. (= Elenchos, vol. 13), pp. 231–242). Naples: Bibliopolis.Google Scholar
  29. Theiss, P. (1997). Die Wahrnehmungspsychologie und Sinnesphysiologie des Albertus Magnus: Ein Modell der Sinnes- und Hirnfunktion aus der Zeit des Mittelalters (Europäische Hochschulschriften, Reihe III: Geschichte und ihre Hilfswissenschaften, Band 735). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  30. Toivanen, J. (2013). Perception and the internal senses: Peter of John Olivi on the cognitive functions of the sensitive soul (Investigating medieval philosophy) (pp. 225–265). Leiden: Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wolfson, H. A. (1935). The internal senses in Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew philosophic texts. Harvard Theological Review, 28, 69–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of ScienceUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.School of Analytic PhilosophyInstitute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM)NiavaranIran
  3. 3.SAXO-InstituttetKøbenhavnDenmark

Personalised recommendations