From Agent to Active Sense: Was There an Augustinianism-Averroisant?

  • José Filipe SilvaEmail author
Part of the Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind book series (SHPM, volume 23)


Medieval Augustinians developed an account of perception aligned with the central theses of Augustine’s philosophy of perception. According to this theory, in perception the soul is the agent of its own perceptual acts. At the same time, some medieval thinkers followed Averroes in defending the existence of an agent sense in addition to the traditional five external senses to explain how perception is possible. Debates issued not only about the existence of such a sense, but also about whether it is internal or external to the perceiving subject. The purpose of this article is not to investigate this active model of perception as such. Instead, the aim is to show the connection between this Averroist model and the Augustinian philosophy of perception in their common goal of denying to the object the role of efficient cause of perception.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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