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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 626: Natural Entanglements, I: Confused Perceptions in the Middle Ages

Tuesday 4 July 2023, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Global Perspectives on the History of Natural Philosophy (GPHNP)
Organiser:Nicola Polloni, Institut für Philosophie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Moderator/Chair:Gregory Clesse, Thomas Institut, Universität zu Köln
Paper 626-a'Stuff, as dreams are made on': Medieval Philosophers on Delusional Dreams
(Language: English)
Véronique Decaix, UFR de Philosophie, Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne
Index terms: Philosophy, Science
Paper 626-bThe Sound of Silence: Using Confused Perceptions to Conceive Metaphysical Principles
(Language: English)
Nicola Polloni, Institut für Philosophie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Index terms: Philosophy, Theology
Paper 626-cNatural, Intentional, Physical, or Spiritual?: The Being of 'Species' and Fluctuating Categories in Medieval Thought
(Language: English)
Yael Kedar, Department of Multidisciplinary Studies, Tel Hai College, Haifa
Index terms: Philosophy, Science

According to medieval Aristotelianism, knowledge starts from the senses and evolves through a chain of cognitive processes. Through perception, humans can access the world, make claims about its nature, and ponder about its unperceivable structures. This panel delves into peculiar types of perceptions and perceptual puzzles in medieval epistemology. The first paper discusses the kind of perceptions we have in dreams and delusional dreams (e.g., dreamless nights, nightmares, sleepwalking), which challenges the boundaries between fiction and reality. The second paper expands on the use of fringe perceptive cases (e.g., listening to silence, seeing darkness) to conceive ontological principles that cannot be seen or touched, such as prime matter. Finally, the third paper expands on the medieval understanding of intentionality by questioning the nature of the 'species' considered as a case-study to explore the intricate relations among what is physical, spiritual, and intentional in the Middle Ages.