A critique of physicalist interpretation of human intellect. Aristotelian and Thomistic approach
Rowan, Anna M.
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The dissertation focuses on the arguments for the non-physical nature of the intellect through the works of Aristotle and Aquinas. The goal of this work is to show that the methods, concepts, and distinctions used in Aristotle’s and Aquinas’ arguments continue to be a solid foundation for the understanding of the intellect and its acts. Selected arguments for the immateriality of the intellect by contemporary philosophers, and analysis of the role of the observer in quantum phenomena, demonstrate how Aristotle’s and Aquinas’ ideas continue to be used in present-day arguments for the non-physical nature of the human intellect and thus confirm the enduring value of their insights. I suggest that, in contrast to physicalist interpretations of the human mind, Aristotle’s method of inquiry, augmented by Aquinas, is more suitable to study a human being in his entirety and especially the human intellect. The approach comprises a detailed interpretation and discussion within the system of Aristotle’s and Aquinas’ primary works in translation, as well as selected works of contemporary scholars.