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Aristotle

ΠΕΡΙ ΜΝΗΜΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΑΝΑΜΝΗΣΕΩΣ

449 b I. Περὶ μνήμης καὶ τοῦ μνημονεύειν λεκτέον 5τί ἐστι, καὶ διὰ τίν᾿ αἰτίαν γίγνεται, καὶ τίνι τῶν τῆς ψυχῆς μορίων συμβαίνει τοῦτο τὸ πάθος καὶ τὸ ἀναμιμνήσκεσθαι· οὐ γὰρ οἱ αὐτοί εἰσι μνημονικοὶ καὶ ἀναμνηστικοί, ἀλλ᾿ ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ μνημονικώτεροι μὲν οἱ βραδεῖς, ἀναμνηστικώτεροι δὲ οἱ ταχεῖς καὶ εὐμαθεῖς.

Πρῶτον μὲν οὖν ληπτέον ποῖά ἐστι τὰ μνημονευτά· 10πολλάκις γὰρ ἐξαπατᾷ τοῦτο. οὔτε γὰρ τὸ μέλλον ἐνδέχεται μνημονεύειν, ἀλλ᾿ ἔστι δοξαστὸν καὶ ἐλπιστόν (εἴη δ᾿ ἂν καὶ ἐπιστήμη τις ἐλπιστική, καθάπερ τινές φασι τὴν μαντικήν), οὔτε τοῦ παρόντος, ἀλλ᾿ αἴσθησις· ταύτῃ γὰρ οὔτε τὸ μέλλον οὔτε τὸ γενόμενον γνωρίζομεν, ἀλλὰ τὸ 15παρὸν μόνον. ἡ δὲ μνήμη τοῦ γενομένου· τὸ δὲ παρὸν ὅτε πάρεστιν, οἷον τοδὶ τὸ λευκὸν ὅτε ὁρᾷ, οὐδεὶς ἂν φαίη μνημονεύειν, οὐδὲ τὸ θεωρούμενον, ὅτε θεωρῶν τυγχάνει καὶ ἐννοῶν· ἀλλὰ τὸ μὲν αἰσθάνεσθαί φησι, τὸ δ᾿ ἐπίστασθαι μόνον· ὅταν

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On Memory and Recollection

On Memory and Recollection

I. Our task is now to discuss memory and remembering: what it is, why it occurs and to what part of the soul this affection and that of recollection belongs. Men who have good memories are not the same as those who are good at recollecting, in fact generally speaking the slow-witted have better memories, but the quick-witted and those who learn easily are better at recollecting.

First, then, we must comprehend what sort ofWhat can be remembered? things are objects of memory; for mistakes are frequent on this point. It is impossible to remember the future, which is an object of conjecture or expectation (there might even be a science of expectation as some say there is of divination); nor is there memory of the present, but only perception; for it is neither the future nor the past that we cognize by perception, but only the present. But memory is of the past; no one could claim to remember the present while it is present. For instance one cannot remember a particular white object while one is looking at it, nor can one remember a subject of theoretical speculation while one is actually speculating and thinking about it. One merely claims to perceive the former, and to know the latter. But when one

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-parva_naturalia_memory_recollection.1957