Perception and Passion in Dante's Comedy by Patrick Boyde

By Patrick Boyde

Patrick Boyde argues that the way Dante represents what he (or his fictional self) observed and felt used to be profoundly inspired by way of the thirteenth-century technological know-how of psychology. Professor Boyde bargains an authoritative account of how within which imaginative and prescient and the feelings have been understood in Dante's lifetime. He rereads a few of the so much dramatic and relocating episodes within the Comedy, and indicates how wisdom of Dante's philosophical principles might help us to appreciate the which means of his trip towards the resource of goodness and fact.

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It should have a thick bottom to prevent the food from sticking and burning, and it must be sufficiently robust to withstand repeated scouring and the knocks of daily use. The cook must be able to lift it from the stove when it is full and hot, so it needs two small handles placed rather high (unlike a cup). If it is intended to appear on the dinner table, it will probably have some suitable decorative pattern on the outside. But the ornamentation will not be so elaborate or so finely executed as it would have 26 MOVEMENT AND CHANGE IN LIFELESS BODIES been if it were a show-piece for display in a cabinet.

But here for the first time we are faced with a body that seems to be moving towards more than one goal, whereas the paradigm of rectilinear motion suggests that it is not possible to travel towards two different destinations at the same time. 10 We must therefore pause to take note of how Aristotle combines the weapons of distinction and subordination to defend his doctrine of final causes. Let us begin with the necessity of making distinctions. One simply has to accept that the definition of a finis will vary according to the point of view from which one chooses to consider the motus.

It is enough to imagine that the boy on the beach threw his stone at a passing seagull to be reminded that violent motion can have a purpose when it is considered from the standpoint of the agent; and the standard Aristotelian example of movement directed to a definite goal was in fact that of a projectile - the flight of an arrow to its 'proveduto fine'. In this perspective, the violent motion of a patient body must have its immediate or ultimate source in the natural motion of some agent or other.

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