234. Your Attention Please: Peter Olivi

Posted on 25 July 2015

Peter Olivi proposes that awareness occurs not through passively being affected by things, but by actively paying attention to them.

Further Reading

• A. Boureau and S. Piron (eds), Pierre de Jean Olivi (1248-1298). Pensée scolastique, dissidence spirituelle et société (Paris: 1999).

• S. Brower-Toland, “Olivi on Consciousness and Self-Knowledge: the Phenomenology, Metaphysics, and Epistemology of Mind’s Reflexivity,” Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 1 (2013), 136-71.

• D. Burr, “The Persecution of Peter Olivi,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 66 (1976), 1-98.

• R. Pasnau, “Olivi on the Metaphysics of Soul,” Medieval Philosophy and Theology 6 (1997), 109-32.

• J.F. Silva and J. Toivanen, “The Active Nature of the Soul in Sense Perception: Robert Kilwardby and Peter Olivi,” Vivarium 48 (1010), 245-78.

• J. Toivanen, Perception and the Internal Senses: Peter of John Olivi on the Cognitive Functions of the Sensitive Soul (Leiden: 2013).

Stanford Encyclopedia: John Olivi


Jzar 27 July 2015

Percieving only where there is access? The soul's access is limited by only opening to perception where there is scope for the soul to apprehend in a number of ways, where there is potential conflict of perception the soul maintains a gap and characterises it with whichever allience of will(s) is fit. 

It is right to see perception as being that which is limited, and likewise see Will as doing the Limiting, and soul as facilitating the bridging of the Will, encorperating the new perceptions into itself.

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