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Aristotle’s Theory of ‘Sleep and Dreams’ in the light of Modern and Contemporary Experimental Research (2014)

Author: Ch. S. Papachristou

Email: plotinos@edlit.auth.gr

Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

School of Philosophy & Education
Department of Philosophy
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
54 006 Thessaloniki

Article type: Standard scientific article

Section: History of Philosophy

Language: language

Abstract (english):

Aristotle’s naturalistic and rationalistic interpretation of the nature and function of ‘sleep’ (hypnos) and ‘dreams’ (enypnia) is developed out of his concepts of the various parts (moria) or faculties/powers (dynameis) of the soul, and especially the functions of cognitive process: (a) sense/sensation (aisthésis), (b) imagination (fantasia), (c) memory (mnémé), and (d) mind/intellect (nous). Sleep “is a sort of privation (sterésis) of waking (egrégorsis)“, and dreams are not metaphysical phenomena. The purpose of this paper is to provide a new reading of Aristotle’s ‘theory of sleep and dreams’ through its connection to modern and contemporary research. To be more specific, through this analysis we shall try to present that many of the Stageirite philosopher’s observations and ideas on the phenomenon of sleep and dreaming have been verified by current experimental research (e.g. Psychology, Psychophysiology, Neurobiology, Cognitive Science etc.).

Download/View: papachristou14.pdf

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