The Interaction of Noetic and Psychosomatic Operations in a Thomist Hylomorphic Anthropology
KeywordsHylomorphism, New Mechanist Philosophy, Neuroscience, Psychology, Philosophical Anthropology, Aristotelianism, Intellectual and psychosomatic operations, Thomas Aquinas, Thomism, Emergentism
This article, the second of a two-part essay, outlines a solution to certain tensions in Thomist philosophical anthropology concerning the interaction of the human person’s immaterial intellectual or noetic operations with the psychosomatic sensory operations that are constituted from the formal organization of the nervous system. Continuing with where the first part left off, I argue that Thomists should not be tempted by strong emergentist accounts of mental operations that act directly on the brain, but should maintain, with Aquinas, that noetic operations directly interact with psychosomatic operations. I develop a Thomist account of noetic–psychosomatic interactions that expands upon the first part’s rapprochement between the new mechanist philosophy of neuroscience and psychology and hylomorphic animalism. I argue that noetic–psychosomatic interactions are best understood as analogous to the way diverse higher and lower order psychosomatic powers interact by actualizing, coordinating, and directing the operations of other psychosomatic powers. I draw on James Ross’s arguments for the immateriality of intellectual operations as realizing definite pure functions in order to elucidate the way noetic operations uniquely actualize, coordinate, and direct the psychosomatic operations they interact with. I conclude with a conjectural sketch of how this presentation of Thomist philosophical anthropology understands the noetic and psychosomatic deficits brought about by damage to the nervous system.
Aristotle. 1984. De anima. Translated by J. A. Smith. In The Complete Works of Aristotle, edited by Jonathan Barnes. Vol. 1, 641–92. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Aquinas, Thomas. Quaestio disputata de spiritualibus creaturis. ed. J. Cos, Leonine, vol. 24/2. Rome, 2000.
Aquinas, Thomas. Questiones disputatae de anima. B.C. Bazan, Leonine, vol. 24/1. Rome, 1996.
Aquinas, Thomas. Sentencia libri De anima. ed. R.-A. Gauthier, Leonine, vol. 45/1. Rome, 1984.
Aquinas, Thomas. 1962. Summa theologiae. Rome: Editiones Paulinae.
Aquinas, Thomas. 1961. Liber de veritate catholicae Fidei contra errores infidelium seu Summa contra Gentiles, t. 2-3. eds. P. Marc, C. Pera, P. Caramello. Rome: Marietti.
Aquinas, Thomas. 1953. Super Epistolas S. Pauli lectura, t. 1: Super primam Epistolam ad Corinthios lectura. ed. R. Cai. Marietti, Rome.
Aquinas, Thomas. Summa theologiae. trans. Alfred J. Freddoso, https://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/summa-translation/TOC.htm
Bazán, Carlos. 1997. “The Human Soul: Form and Substance? Thomas Aquinas’ Critique of Eclectic Aristotelianism.” Archives d’Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire Du Moyen Âge 64: 95–126.
Bennett, M. R., and P. M. S. Hacker. 2003. Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience. Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Braine, David. 1992. The Human Person: Animal and Spirit. University of Notre Dame Press.
Braine, David. 2014. Language and Human Understanding: The Roots of Creativity in Speech and Thought. CUA Press.
Brock, Stephen. 1998. Action and Conduct: Thomas Aquinas and the Theory of Action. Edinburgh: T&T Clarke.
Craver, Carl. 2007. Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
De Haan, Daniel. Forthcoming a. “Vade Mecum: A Neo-Aristotelian Heuristic for Philosophical Anthropology.”
De Haan, Daniel. Forthcoming b. “Freeing the Will from Neurophilosophy: Human Agency in Aquinas and Libet.”
De Haan, Daniel. 2017a. “Hylomorphism, New Mechanisms, and Explanations in Biology,
Neuroscience, and Psychology” in Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science, eds. William M.R. Simpson, Robert C. Koons, Nicholas J. Teh. Routledge, 293–326.
De Haan, Daniel. 2017b. “Hylomorphic Animalism, Emergentism, and the Challenge of New Mechanisms in Neuroscience” Scientia et Fides 5 (2) 2017, 9–38.
De Haan, Daniel. 2014. “Moral Perception and the Function of the Vis Cogitativa in Thomas Aquinas’s Doctrine of Antecedent and Consequent Passions.” Documenti E Studi Sulla Tradizione Filosofica Medievale 25: 289–330.
De Haan, Daniel. 2011. “Thomistic Hylomorphism, Self-Determination, Neuroplasticity, and Grace: The Case of Addiction.” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 85: 99–120.
De Haan, Daniel. 2010. “Linguistic Apprehension as Incidental Sensation in Thomas Aquinas.” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 84: 179–96.
De Haan, Daniel D., and Brandon I. Dahm. Forthcoming. “Thomas Aquinas on Separated Souls as Incomplete Human Persons.”
Feser, Edward. 2013. “Kripke, Ross, and the Immaterial Aspects of Thought.” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 87: 1–32.
Gilson, Etienne. 1988. Linguistics and Philosophy an Essay on the Philosophical Constants of Language.
Goodman, Nelson. 1983. Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Harvard University Press.
Hacker, P. M. S. 2008. Human Nature: The Categorial Framework. Wiley-Blackwell.
Haldane, John. 2006. “The Metaphysics of Intellect(ion).” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80: 39–55.
Hughes, Julian. 2011. Thinking Through Dementia. Oxford University Press.
Hutto, Daniel D. 2008. Folk Psychological Narratives: The Sociocultural Basis of Understanding Reasons. MIT Press.
Hutto, Daniel and Erik Myin. 2017. Evolving Enactivism: Basic Minds Meet Content. MIT Press.
Hutto, Daniel and Erik Myin. 2013. Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds Without Content. MIT Press.
Hyman, John. 2015. Action, Knowledge, and Will. Oxford University Press.
Jaworski, William. 2017. “Psychology Without a Mental-Physical Dichotomy” in Neo-
Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science, eds. William M.R. Simpson, Robert C. Koons, Nicholas J. Teh. Routledge, 261–291.
Jaworski, William. 2016. Structure and the Metaphysics of Mind: How Hylomorphism Solves the Mind-Body Problem. Oxford University Press.
Kendler, K. S., P. Zachar, and C. Craver. 2011. “What Kinds of Things Are Psychiatric Disorders?” Psychological Medicine 41 (6): 1143–50.
Klima, Gyula. 2009. “Aquinas on the Materiality of the Human Soul and the Immateriality of the Human Intellect.” Philosophical Investigations 32 (2): 163–82.
Klima, Gyula, and Alexander W. Hall, eds. 2011. The Immateriality of the Human Mind, the Semantics of Analogy, and the Conceivability of God (Volume 1: Proceedings of the Society for Medieval Logic and Metaphysics). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Kripke, Saul A. 1982. Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language: An Elementary Exposition. Harvard University Press.
Legg, Edward and Nicola Clayton. 2014. “Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius) conceal caches from onlookers.” Animal Cognition 17:1223–1226.
Lonergan, Bernard. 1992. Insight: A Study of Human Understanding. University of Toronto Press.
Lonergan, Bernard. 1988. “Cognitional Structure.” In Collection, ed. Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M. Doran, 205–21. University of Toronto Press.
Lonergan, Bernard. 1997. Verbum: Word and Idea in Aquinas. ed. Frederick E. Crowe and Robert M. Doran. University of Toronto Press.
Lowe, E. J. 2013. Forms of Thought: A Study in Philosophical Logic. Cambridge University Press. MacIntyre, Alasdair. 2007. After Virtue, 3rd ed. Notre Dame University Press.
MacIntyre, Alasdair. 2006. “What is a human body?” in The Tasks of Philosophy: Selected Essays, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press, 86-103.
MacIntyre, Alasdair. 1999. Dependent Rational Animals: Why Human Beings Need the Virtues. Open Court Publishing.
Madden, James D. 2013. Mind, Matter, and Nature: A Thomistic Proposal for the Philosophy of Mind. Catholic University of America Press.
Anna Marmodoro. 2017. “Aristotelian Powers at Work: Reciprocity without Symmetry in Causation.” In Causal Powers, ed. Jonathan Jacobs. Oxford University Press.
Nachev, Parashkev, and Peter Hacker. 2014. “The Neural Antecedents to Voluntary Action: A Conceptual Analysis.” Cognitive Neuroscience 5 (3–4): 193–208.
Oderberg, David S. 2007. Real Essentialism. Routledge.
Ross, James. 2008. Thought and World: The Hidden Necessities. Notre Dame University Press.
Ross, James. 1992. “Immaterial Aspects of Thought.” Journal of Philosophy 89 (3): 136–150.
Shaw, Rachael and Nicola Clayton. 2012. “Eurasian jays, Garrulus glandarius, flexibly switch caching and pilfering tactics in response to social context.” Animal Behavior 84:1191–1200.
Spencer, Mark K. 2014. “The Personhood of the Separated Soul.” Nova et Vetera 12 (3): 863–912.
Stoutland, Frederick. 2011. “Introduction: Anscombe’s Intention in Context.” In Essays on Anscombe’s Intention. eds. Anton Ford, Jennifer Hornsby, and Frederick Stoutland. Harvard University Press, 1–32.
Teichmann, Roger. 2015. Wittgenstein on Thought and Will. Routledge.
Vogler, Candace. 2016. “Nothing Added: Intention §§19 and 201.” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2): 229–247.
Wojtyła, Karol. 1979. The Acting Person: A Contribution to Phenomenological Anthropology. Translated by Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka. Analecta Husserliana. Springer.
Zahavi, Dan. 2011. “Empathy and Direct Social Perception: A Phenomenological Proposal.” Review of Philosophical Psychology 2: 541–558.
How to Cite
CC BY ND 4.0. The Creator/Contributor is the Licensor, who grants the Licensee a non-exclusive license to use the Work on the fields indicated in the License Agreement.
- The Licensor grants the Licensee a non-exclusive license to use the Work/related rights item specified in § 1 within the following fields: a) recording of Work/related rights item; b) reproduction (multiplication) of Work/related rights item in print and digital technology (e-book, audiobook); c) placing the copies of the multiplied Work/related rights item on the market; d) entering the Work/related rights item to computer memory; e) distribution of the work in electronic version in the open access form on the basis of Creative Commons license (CC BY-ND 3.0) via the digital platform of the Nicolaus Copernicus University Press and file repository of the Nicolaus Copernicus University.
- Usage of the recorded Work by the Licensee within the above fields is not restricted by time, numbers or territory.
- The Licensor grants the license for the Work/related rights item to the Licensee free of charge and for an unspecified period of time.
FULL TEXT License Agreement
Number of views and downloads: 95
Number of citations: 2