In 'On The Soul 2.1-6', Aristotle gives a very different account of the sould from Plato's by tying the soul to the body. The soul is the life-manifesting capacities that we all have and that distinguish living things, and explain their behaviour. He defines sould and life by reference to the capacities for using food to maintain structure and reproduce, for perceiving and desiring, and for rational thought. Capacities have to be defined by reference to the objects to which they are directed. The five senses, for example, are defined by reference to their objects, which are primarily forms like colour. And in perception we are said to receive these forms without matter. Philoponus understands this reception t physiologically as the eye jelly's taking on colour patches, but 'cognitively', like Brenta, who much later thought that Aristotle was treating the forms as intentional objects. Philoponus is the patron of n-physiological interpretations, which are still a matter of controversy today.
William Charlton was formerly head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Edinburgh.