Soul as Form according to Alexander of Aphrodisias
In this paper, Alexander’s view of the soul as an emergent form of a body is presented against the backdrop of the Galenic interpretation of the soul as a mixture of corporeal qualities. The paper argues that the two notions are not incompatible; rather, Alexander’s position is a more precisely thought-out version of the Galenic one. The thrust of the argument is the following: Alexander rejects the view that the soul is a mixture of bodies. Nevertheless, he admits that the soul arises from a mixture of capacities-forms in the material substrate of the body, namely as a complex capacity-form in which they reach their perfection. This is not in conflict with the Galenic view – at least insofar as Galen’s mixture of corporeal qualities is not a mixture of bodies, and thus itself a body, but a mixture of corporeal forms, and thus itself a form. The weakness of Galen’s position lies in his failure to render this point clear.