Aristotle 's Organizational System For Living Organisms Through His Work

893 Words Feb 10th, 2015 4 Pages
Aristotle developed an organizational system for living organisms through his work in the De Anima, putting them into three categories; plant, animal, and human. The level the soul resides is known as its Potentiality of the Soul, and moving up these levels is similar to moving up a staircase, see the above diagram. Each step up is the next step on the hierarchy. One must realize nutrition to move up the stairs to locomotion and perception, and must recognize the prior three to reach mentation.

“These faculties we spoke of were the nutritive, perceptive, desiderative, locomotive, and intellective, plants having only the nutritive, other things both this and the perceptive.” (De Anima, II.3, 414a-414b)

“And some animals have also in addition to these faculties that of locomotion, still others also the thinking faculty and intellect, such as man and any other creature there may be like him or superior to him.” (De Anima, II.3, 414b)

Plants fall into The First Potentiality of the Soul requiring only nutrition. Animals fall into The Second Potentiality of the Soul, which requires more than the First Potentiality. They need not only nutrition, but perception and locomotion so that they can explore the environment around them. They need the ability to know that something is coming twenty feet away before it’s reached them so that they can then reproduce their form. To reach The Third Potentiality of the Soul, the soul must obtain mentation as well as nutrition, perception, and…
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