Mortal Imitations of Divine Life
The Nature of the Soul in Aristotle's De Anima
Imprint: Northwestern University Press
In Mortal Imitations of Divine Life, Diamond offers an interpretation of De Anima, which explains how and why Aristotle places souls in a hierarchy of value. Aristotle’s central intention in De Anima is to discover the nature and essence of soul—the principle of living beings. He does so by identifying the common structures underlying every living activity, whether it be eating, perceiving, thinking, or moving through space. As Diamond demonstrates through close readings of De Anima, the nature of the soul is most clearly seen in its divine life, while the embodied soul’s other activities are progressively clear approximations of this principle. This interpretation shows how Aristotle’s psychology and biology cannot be properly understood apart from his theological conception of God as life, and offers a new explanation of De Anima’s unity of purpose and structure.
"...an extraordinary and welcome addition to academic library Philosophy collections and Aristotelean Studies supplemental reading lists" —Midwest Book Review
"A profound, intelligent and very helpful book for those who want to understand what really happens in a text difficult as the de anima.” —Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"[Diamond's] tireless hunt for echoes of the divine in all life functions often leads to insightful observations and suggestions about the structure of, and relationship between, those functions. Anyone with a serious interest in Aristotle’s scientific and metaphysical thought should consider reading this book." —Ancient Philosophy