However he knew that contemporary philosophers often argued (as in modern science) that nous and perception are just two aspects of one physical activity, and that perception
is the source of knowledge and understanding (not the other way around).
 Alternative English terms used in philosophy include “understanding” and “mind”; or sometimes “thought” or “reason” (in the sense of that which reasons, not the activity
Students of the history of philosophy continue to debate Aristotle’s intent, particularly the question whether he considered the active intellect to be an aspect of the human
soul or an entity existing independently of man.
 Aristotle See also: Dianoia and Active intellect Like Plato, Aristotle saw the nous or intellect of an individual as somehow similar to sense perception but also
This sort of intellect [which is like light in the way it makes potential things work as what they are] is separate, as well as being without attributes and unmixed, since
it is by its thinghood a being-at-work [energeia], for what acts is always distinguished in stature above what is acted upon, as a governing source is above the material it works on.
Anaxagoras Anaxagoras, born about 500 BC, is the first person who is definitely known to have explained the concept of a nous (mind), which arranged all other things in the
cosmos in their proper order, started them in a rotating motion, and continuing to control them to some extent, having an especially strong connection with living things.
Like Plato before him, Aristotle believes Anaxagoras’ cosmic nous implies and requires the cosmos to have intentions or ends: “Anaxagoras makes the Good a principle as causing
motion; for Mind (nous) moves things, but moves them for some end, and therefore there must be some other Good—unless it is as we say; for on our view the art of medicine is in a sense health.
He did not rule out the possibility that nous might survive without the rest of the soul, as in Plato, but he specifically says that this immortal nous does not include any
memories or anything else specific to an individual’s life.
Derived from this it was also sometimes argued, in classical and medieval philosophy, that the individual nous must require help of a spiritual and divine type.
 It is also often described as something equivalent to perception except that it works within the mind (“the mind’s eye”).
In Aristotle’s influential works, which are the main source of later philosophical meanings, nous was carefully distinguished from sense perception, imagination, and reason,
although these terms are closely inter-related.
As mentioned above, Plato criticized Anaxagoras’ materialism, or understanding that the intellect of nature only set the cosmos in motion, but is no longer seen as the cause
of physical events.
Pre-Socratic usage In early Greek uses, Homer used nous to signify mental activities of both mortals and immortals, for example what they really have on their mind as opposed
to what they say aloud.
 In any case, in Al-Farabi and Avicenna, the term took on a new meaning, distinguishing it from the active intellect in any simple sense – an ultimate stage of the human
intellect where a kind of close relationship (a “conjunction”) is made between a person’s active intellect and the transcendental nous itself.
And intellect [nous] is directed at what is ultimate on both sides, since it is intellect and not reason [logos] that is directed at both the first terms [horoi] and the ultimate
particulars, on the one side at the changeless first terms in demonstrations, and on the other side, in thinking about action, at the other sort of premise, the variable particular; for these particulars are the sources [archai] from which
one discerns that for the sake of which an action is, since the universals are derived from the particulars.
…since in nature one thing is the material for each kind [genos] (this is what is in potency all the particular things of that kind) but it is something else that is the
causal and productive thing by which all of them are formed, as is the case with an art in relation to its material, it is necessary in the soul too that these distinct aspects be present; the one sort is intellect [nous] by becoming all things,
the other sort by forming all things, in the way an active condition [hexis] like light too makes the colors that are in potency be at work as colors.
 Plato See also: Phaedo and Timaeus (dialogue) Plato used the word nous in many ways that were not unusual in the everyday Greek of the time, and often simply meant
“good sense” or “awareness”.
By this type of account, it also came to be argued that the human understanding (nous) somehow stems from this cosmic nous, which is however not just a recipient of order,
but a creator of it.
Just exactly how Plato believed that the nous of people lets them come to understand things in any way that improves upon sense perception and the kind of thinking which animals
have, is a subject of long running discussion and debate.
 They also incorporated a theory of anamnesis, or knowledge coming from the past lives of our immortal souls, like that found in some of Plato’s dialogues.
As in Aristotelianism, they explained the interpretation of sense data requiring the mind to be stamped or formed with ideas, and that people have shared conceptions that
help them make sense of things (koine ennoia).
In the Philebus Socrates argues that nous in individual humans must share in a cosmic nous, in the same way that human bodies are made up of small parts of the elements found
in the rest of the universe.
 For example, in his Memorabilia 1.4.8, he describes Socrates asking a friend sceptical of religion, “Are you, then, of the opinion that intelligence (nous) alone exists
nowhere and that you by some good chance seized hold of it, while—as you think—those surpassingly large and infinitely numerous things [all the earth and water] are in such orderly condition through some senselessness?”
In his Phaedo, Plato’s teacher Socrates is made to say just before dying that his discovery of Anaxagoras’ concept of a cosmic nous as the cause of the order of things, was
an important turning point for him.
The One is prior to it, but not in the sense that a normal cause is prior to an effect, but instead Intellect is called an emanation of the One.
 On the other hand, Socrates seems to suggest that he also failed to develop a fully satisfactory teleological and dualistic understanding of a mind of nature, whose aims
represent the Good, which all parts of nature aim at.
It leads to a method whereby Aristotle analyses causation and motion in terms of the potentialities and actualities of all things, whereby all matter possesses various possibilities
or potentialities of form and end, and these possibilities become more fully real as their potential forms become actual or active reality (something they will do on their own, by nature, unless stopped because of other natural things happening).
 According to Anaxagoras the cosmos is made of infinitely divisible matter, every bit of which can inherently become anything, except Mind (nous), which is also matter,
but which can only be found separated from this general mixture, or else mixed into living things, or in other words in the Greek terminology of the time, things with a soul (psychē).
Nous, or Greek (UK: /naʊs/, US: /nuːs/), sometimes equated to intellect or intelligence, is a concept from classical philosophy for the faculty of the human mind necessary
for understanding what is true or real.
In pre-Socratic philosophy, it became increasingly distinguished as a source of knowledge and reasoning opposed to mere sense perception or thinking influenced by the body
such as emotion.
What our mind sees directly in order to really understand things must not be the constantly changing material things, but unchanging entities that exist in a different way,
the so-called “forms” or “ideas”.
But at the same time according to Aristotle each thing is also caused by the natural forms they are tending to become, and the natural ends or aims, which somehow exist in
nature as causes, even in cases where human plans and aims are not involved.
In his Generation of Animals Aristotle specifically says that while other parts of the soul come from the parents, physically, the human nous, must come from outside, into
the body, because it is divine or godly, and it has nothing in common with the energeia of the body.
Nous, he states, is the source of the first principles or sources (archai) of definitions, and it develops naturally as people gain experience.
 In his Nicomachean Ethics, Book VI Aristotle divides the soul into two parts, one which has reason and one which does not, but then divides the part which has reason
into the reasoning (logistikos) part itself which is lower, and the higher “knowing” part which contemplates general principles (archai).
• The Nous (usually translated as “Intellect”, or “Intelligence” in this context, or sometimes “mind” or “reason”) is described as God, or more precisely an image of God,
often referred to as the demiurge.
The term prolepsis was used by Epicureans to describe the way the mind forms general concepts from sense perceptions.
 On the other hand, he identified the active intellect (nous poietikos), through whose agency the potential intellect in man becomes actual, not with anything from within
people, but with the divine creator itself.
Like Parmenides, Plato argued that relying on sense perception can never lead to true knowledge, only opinion.
Aristotle explained that the changes of things can be described in terms of four causes at the same time.
It was one of several words related to thought, thinking, and perceiving with the mind.
On the other hand, in the Meno for example, Plato’s Socrates explains the theory of anamnesis whereby people are born with ideas already in their soul, which they somehow
remember from previous lives.
The soul is also an energeia: it acts upon or actualizes its own thoughts and creates “a separate, material cosmos that is the living image of the spiritual or noetic Cosmos
contained as a unified thought within the Intelligence”.
 The passage is often read together with Metaphysics, Book XII, ch.7-10, where Aristotle makes nous as an actuality a central subject within a discussion of the cause
of being and the cosmos.
The mind or intellect (nous) can be described variously as a power, faculty, part, or aspect of the human soul.
 On the other hand, concerning the active intellect, like Alexander and Plotinus, he saw this as a transcendent being existing above and outside man.
For him then, discussion of nous is connected to discussion of how the human mind sets definitions in a consistent and communicable way, and whether people must be born with
some innate potential to understand the same universal categories in the same logical ways.
 On the other hand, in some of his Platonic dialogues it is described by key characters in a higher sense, which was apparently already common.
Concerning the cosmos, in the Timaeus, the title character also tells a “likely story” in which nous is responsible for the creative work of the demiurge or maker who brought
rational order to our universe.
Knowledge, in its being-at-work, is the same as the thing it knows, and while knowledge in potency comes first in time in any one knower, in the whole of things it does not
take precedence even in time.
 This he explains after first comparing the four other truth revealing capacities of soul: technical know how, logically deduced knowledge (sometimes translated as “scientific
knowledge”), practical wisdom, and lastly theoretical wisdom (sophia), which is defined by Aristotle as the combination of nous and .
 It has been suggested that the basic meaning is something like “awareness”.
Aristotle’s remarks on the concept of what came to be called the “active intellect” and “passive intellect” (along with various other terms) are amongst “the most intensely
studied sentences in the history of philosophy”.
“ In the philosophy of Aristotle the soul (psyche) of a body is what makes it alive, and is its actualized form; thus, every living thing, including plant life, has a
Aristotle’s special description of causality is especially apparent in the natural development of living things.
 Aristotle says that the passive intellect receives the intelligible forms of things, but that the active intellect is required to make the potential knowledge into actual
knowledge, in the same way that light makes potential colours into actual colours.
Nous is associated with the rational (logistikon) part of the individual human soul, which by nature should rule.
• The intellect from outside, which became the “acquired intellect” in Islamic philosophy, describes the incorporeal active intellect which comes from outside man, and becomes
an object of thought, making the material intellect actual and active.
Amongst the new proposals he made was a way of explaining causality, and nous is an important part of his explanation.
Socratic philosophy Xenophon Xenophon, the less famous of the two students of Socrates whose written accounts of him have survived, recorded that he taught his students
a kind of teleological justification of piety and respect for divine order in nature.
Two of these four causes are similar to the materialist understanding: each thing has a material which causes it to be how it is, and some other thing which set in motion
or initiated some process of change.
 For him, the only possible human immortality is an immortality of a detached human thought, more specifically when the nous has as the object of its thought the active
intellect itself, or another incorporeal intelligible form.
 Alexander of Aphrodisias Main article: Alexander of Aphrodisias Alexander of Aphrodisias was a Peripatetic (Aristotelian) and his On the Soul (referred to as De
anima in its traditional Latin title), explained that by his interpretation of Aristotle, potential intellect in man, that which has no nature but receives one from the active intellect, is material, and also called the “material intellect”
(nous hulikos) and it is inseparable from the body, being “only a disposition” of it.
In post-Aristotelian discussions, the exact boundaries between perception, understanding of perception, and reasoning have not always agreed with the definitions of Aristotle,
even though his terminology remains influential.
His description was in other words (shockingly for the time) corporeal or mechanical, with the moon made of earth, the sun and stars made of red hot metal (beliefs Socrates
was later accused of holding during his trial) and nous itself being a physically fine type of matter which also gathered and concentrated with the development of the cosmos.
This does not mean that at one time it thinks but at another time it does not think, but when separated it is just exactly what it is, and this alone is deathless and everlasting
(though we have no memory, because this sort of intellect is not acted upon, while the sort that is acted upon is destructible), and without this nothing thinks.
Post-Aristotelian classical theories Until the early modern era, much of the discussion which has survived today concerning nous or intellect, in Europe, Africa and
the Middle East, concerned how to correctly interpret Aristotle and Plato.
“ Alexander of Aphrodisias, for example, equated this active intellect which is God with the one explained in De Anima, while Themistius thought they could not be simply
Later in the same discussion he compares the nous, which directs each person’s body, to the good sense (phronēsis) of the god, which is in everything, arranging things to
its pleasure (1.4.17).
 Among some Greek authors, a faculty of intelligence known as a “higher mind” came to be considered as a property of the cosmos as a whole.
As Davidson remarks: Just what Aristotle meant by potential intellect and active intellect – terms not even explicit in the De anima and at best implied – and just how he
understood the interaction between them remains moot.
But as in Anaxagoras this cosmic reason, like human reason but higher, is connected to the reason of individual humans.
 Anaxagoras wrote: All other things partake in a portion of everything, while nous is infinite and self-ruled, and is mixed with nothing, but is alone, itself by itself.
[‘The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles (3 ed.), Oxford University Press, 1973, p. 1417
2. ^ Several of the terms commonly used in English philosophical contexts come directly from classical languages. Nous itself comes from
Ancient Greek νοῦς (nous) or νόος. “Intellect” comes from Latin intellēctus and intellegentia. To describe the activity of this faculty, the word intellection is sometimes used in philosophical contexts, as well as the Greek words noēsis and noeîn
3. ^ See entry for νόος Archived 2021-03-08 at the Wayback Machine in Liddell & Scott, on the Perseus Project.
4. ^ See entry for intellectus Archived 2022-06-16 at the Wayback Machine in Lewis & Short, on the Perseus Project.
Rorty, Richard (1979), Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Princeton University Press page 38.
6. ^ “This quest for the beginnings proceeds through sense perception, reasoning, and what they call noesis, which is literally translated by “understanding”
or intellect,” and which we can perhaps translate a little bit more cautiously by “awareness,” an awareness of the mind’s eye as distinguished from sensible awareness.” Strauss, Leo (1989), “Progress or Return”, in Hilail Gilden (ed.), An Introduction
to Political Philosophy: Ten Essays by Leo Strauss, Detroit: Wayne State UP.
7. ^ This is from I.130 Archived 2021-04-16 at the Wayback Machine, the translation is by A.T. Murray, 1924.
8. ^ Long, A.A. (1998), Nous, Routledge, archived from the
original on 2011-05-14, retrieved 2011-03-26
9. ^ Metaphysics I.4.984b Archived 2020-08-06 at the Wayback Machine.
10. ^ Kirk; Raven; Schofield (1983), The Presocratic Philosophers (second ed.), Cambridge University Press Chapter X.
11. ^ Kirk;
Raven; Schofield (1983), The Presocratic Philosophers (second ed.), Cambridge University Press. See pages 204 and 235.
12. ^ Jump up to:a b Kirk; Raven; Schofield (1983), The Presocratic Philosophers (second ed.), Cambridge University Press Chapter
13. ^ Anaxagoras, DK B 12 Archived 2007-04-16 at the Wayback Machine, trans. by J. Burnet
14. ^ For example: McPherran, Mark (1996), The Religion of Socrates, The Pennsylvania State University Press, ISBN 0271040327, pp. 273-275; and Sedley,
David (2007), Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity, University of California Press, ISBN 9780520934368. It has been claimed that his report might be the earliest report of such an argument in Ahbel-Rappe, Sara (30 August 2009), Socrates: A Guide
for the Perplexed, A&C Black, p. 27, ISBN 9780826433251
15. ^ The translation quoted is from Amy Bonnette. Xenophon (1994), Memorabilia, Cornell University Press
16. ^ On the Perseus Project: 28d Archived 2020-08-06 at the Wayback Machine
Kalkavage (2001), “Glossary”, Plato’s Timaeus, Focus Publishing. In ancient Greek the word was used for phrases such as “keep in mind” and “to my mind”.
18. ^ 28c Archived 2020-09-03 at the Wayback Machine and 30d Archived 2020-09-03 at the Wayback
Machine. Translation by Fowler.
19. ^ Fowler translation of the Phaedo as on the Perseus webpage: 97 Archived 2021-06-05 at the Wayback Machine-98 Archived 2021-06-22 at the Wayback Machine.
20. ^ Philebus on the Perseus Project: 23b Archived
2020-09-03 at the Wayback Machine-30e Archived 2020-09-03 at the Wayback Machine. Translation is by Fowler.
21. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Aristotle’s Ethics, Glossary of terms Archived 2013-04-23 at the Wayback Machine.
22. ^ De
Anima Book III, chapter 3.
23. ^ “Intelligence (nous) apprehend each definition (horos meaning “boundary”), which cannot be proved by reasoning”. Nicomachean Ethics 1142a Archived 2020-08-05 at the Wayback Machine, Rackham translation.
24. ^ This
is also discussed by him in the Posterior Analytics II.19.
25. ^ Nicomachean Ethics VI.xi.1143a Archived 2020-08-05 at the Wayback Machine-1143b Archived 2020-08-05 at the Wayback Machine. Translation by Joe Sachs, p. 114, 2002 Focus publishing.
The second last sentence is placed in different places by different modern editors and translators.
26. ^ Jump up to:a b c Davidson, Herbert (1992), Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes, on Intellect, Oxford University Press
27. ^ De Anima, Bk. III,
ch. 5, 430a10-25 translated by Joe Sachs, Aristotle’s On the Soul and On Memory and Recollection, Green Lion Books
28. ^ See Metaphysics 1072b.
29. ^ “1075”. Archived from the original on 2021-06-17. Retrieved 2021-02-20.
30. ^ Generation of
31. ^ Dyson, Henry (2009), Prolepsis and Ennoia in the Early Stoa, Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 9783110212297
32. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Menn, Stephen (1998), Descartes and Augustine, University of Cambridge Press
33. ^ Lacus
Curtius online text: On the Face in the Moon par. 28
34. ^ De anima 84, cited in Davidson, page 9, who translated the quoted words.
35. ^ Jump up to:a b c Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). “Alexander of Aphrodisias” . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1
(11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 556.
36. ^ Jump up to:a b Davidson p.43
37. ^ Davidson page 12.
38. ^ Translation and citation by Davidson again, from Themistius’ paraphrase of Aristotle’s De Anima.
39. ^ Davidson page 13.
Davidson page 14.
41. ^ Davidson p.18
42. ^ See Moore, Edward, “Plotinus”, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, archived from the original on 2019-09-12, retrieved 2011-03-22 and Gerson, Lloyd (2018), “Plotinus”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, archived from the original on 2019-08-02, retrieved 2011-03-22. The direct quote above comes from Moore.
43. ^ Encyclopedia of The Study in Philosophy (1969), Vol. 5, article on subject “Nous”, article
author: G.B. Kerferd
44. ^ Irenaeus, On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis, I. i. 1-5
45. ^ Hippolytus of Rome, Refutation of All Heresies, vi. 29-31; Theodoret, Haer. Fab. i. 7.
46. ^ Rasimus, Tuomas (2009). Paradise Reconsidered
in Gnostic Mythmaking: Rethinking Sethianism in Light of the Ophite Evidence. BRILL. p. 108. ISBN 978-90-474-2670-7.
47. ^ Legge, F. (2014). Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 49–51. ISBN 978-1-107-45092-9.
Holsinger-Friesen, Thomas (2009). Irenaeus and Genesis: A Study of Competition in Early Christian Hermeneutics. Penn State Press. pp. 69–71. ISBN 978-1-57506-630-1.
49. ^ Iren. I. xxiv. 4; Theod. H. E. i. 4.
50. ^ Hipp. vi. 25.
51. ^ Clement
of Alexandria, Strom. iv. 25.
52. ^ Hipp. vi. 12 ff.; Theod. I. i.
53. ^ Hipp. vi. 20.
54. ^ Ap. Hipp. vi. 18.
55. ^ Herodotus, i.
56. ^ Aldihisi, Sabah (2008). The story of creation in the Mandaean holy book in the Ginza Rba (PhD). University
College London. Archived from the original on 2022-04-07. Retrieved 2021-12-17.
57. ^ Davidson pp.12-14. One possible inspiration mentioned in a commentary of Aristotle’s De Anima attributed to John Philoponus is a philosopher named Marinus, who
was probably a student of Proclus. He in any case designated the active intellect to be angelic or daimonic, rather than the creator itself.
58. ^ Davidson p.18 and p.45, which states “Within the translunar region, Aristotle recognized no causal
relationship in what we may call the vertical plane; he did not recognize a causality that runs down through the series of incorporeal movers. And in the horizontal plane, that is, from each intelligence to the corresponding sphere, he recognized
causality only in respect to motion, not in respect to existence.”
59. ^ Davidson pp.58-61.
60. ^ Jump up to:a b Davidson ch. 4.
61. ^ Davidson p.86
62. ^ From Shifā’: De Anima 45, translation by Davidson p.96.
63. ^ Davidson pp.102
65. ^ Davidson pp.111-115.
66. ^ Davidson p.123.
67. ^ Davidson p.356
68. ^ Davidson ch.7
69. ^ See, for example, the many references to nous and the necessity of its purification in the writings of the Philokalia
Cross, Frank L.; Livingstone, Elizabeth, eds. (2005). “Platonism”. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280290-9.
71. ^ TeSelle, Eugene (1970). Augustine the Theologian. London. pp.
347–349. ISBN 0-223-97728-4. March 2002 edition: ISBN 1-57910-918-7.
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74. ^ “Before embarking on this study, the reader is asked to absorb a few Greek terms for which there is no English word that would not be imprecise or misleading. Chief among these is NOUS, which refers to the `eye of
the heart’ and is often translated as mind or intellect. Here we keep the Greek word NOUS throughout. The adjective related to it is NOETIC (noeros).” Orthodox Psychotherapy Section The Knowledge of God according to St. Gregory Palamas Archived 2010-12-10
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or principles (q.v.) of created things by means of direct apprehension or spiritual perception. Unlike the dianoia or reason (q.v.), from which it must be carefully distinguished, the intellect does not function by formulating abstract concepts and
then arguing on this basis to a conclusion reached through deductive reasoning, but it understands divine truth by means of immediate experience, intuition or ‘simple cognition’ (the term used by St Isaac the Syrian in his The Ascetical Homilies).
The intellect dwells in the ‘depths of the soul’; it constitutes the innermost aspect of the heart (St Diadochos, 79, 88: in our translation, vol. i, pp.. 280, 287). The intellect is the organ of contemplation (q.v.), the ‘eye of the heart’ (Makarian
77. ^ Jump up to:a b The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir Lossky SVS Press, 1997, pg 33 (ISBN 0-913836-31-1). James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991, pg 71 (ISBN 0-227-67919-9).
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an Orthodox perspective Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine by Sergey S. Horujy
79. ^ “The Illness and cure of the soul” Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos
80. ^ The Relationship between Prayer
and Theology Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
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82. ^ Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos (2005), Orthodox Psychotherapy
Archived 2009-01-06 at the Wayback Machine, Tr. Esther E. Cunningham Williams (Birth of Theotokos Monastery, Greece), ISBN 978-960-7070-27-2
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84. ^ Martinich, Aloysius (1995), A Hobbes Dictionary, Blackwell, p. 305
85. ^ Bacon Advancement of Learning II.VII.7
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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ianjmatchett/6140892289/’]