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Aristotle: On Sleep and Dreams$
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David Gallop

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780856686740

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780856686740.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Aristotle: On Sleep and Dreams
David Gallop
Liverpool University Press

This chapter covers Aristotle's essays on sleep and dreams (De Somno et Vigilia, De Insomniis, and De Divinatione per Somnum), which are included in the collection of short treatises known as the Parva Naturalia. It discusses De Somno, which reflects Aristotle's mature philosophy of mind and view of the soul—body relationship called 'hylemorphism'. It also explains Aristotle's notion that the soul and body are not two independent substances, but each are capable of separate existence. This chapter explores De Insomniis, which addresses what mode of awareness dreaming is and whether it is the work of the perceptual or the intellectual part of the soul. It points out why Aristotle's theory on dreams contains no teleology, claiming that teleology assigns no purpose, function, or meaning on dreams, and its physiological aspect has been described as an almost mechanical picture.

Keywords:   Aristotle, sleep, dreams, De Somno et Vigilia, De Insomniis, De Divinatione per Somnum, hylemorphism

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