Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Krisanna Scheiter

Second Advisor

Maite Cruz Tleugabulova


Aristotle, Hume, Perception, Imagination, Desire, Justice, Knave


Perception, Imagination, and Desire in Aristotle’s De Anima:

Advisor: Krisanna Scheiter

Readers of Aristotle have been perplexed by a seemingly inconsistent triad presented in Aristotle’s treatise on the soul. In short, Aristotle seems to claim that all animals that perceive necessarily have the capacity for desire. Next, those that desire have the capacity for imagination. The perplexity arises when Aristotle seems to say that not all perceptual organisms have the capacity for imagination. All three of these claims cannot be true. I take a nuanced approach to the reconciliation of this seeming inconsistency by interpreting Aristotle as attributing imagination to all animals. I do so by providing a comprehensive analysis of Aristotle’s account of imagination, concluding that all perceptual organisms require imagination to explain appearances. In instances where Aristotle denies imagination to “grubs”, we can rest assured that these animals are simply in the early stages of cognitive development. Thus, I find the triad reconciled by an attribution of perception, desire, and imagination to all perceptual organisms.

Passion, Taste, and Hume’s Sensible Knave:

Advisor: Maité Cruz Tleugabulova

This paper looks to offer an answer to the long-standing question of Hume’s Sensible Knave. The Sensible Knave is a character introduced by Hume in his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. This individual is offered by Hume in anticipation of a challenge to his theory of justice. Hume believes that justice is an artifice implemented for the purpose of a functional society. We come to approve of it through education as a moral virtue that is learned. The Sensible Knave recognizes this and takes advantage of all the scenarios in which they can commit injustice for self-interested profit without being caught. Therefore, they seem to pose no threat to the fabric of justice. This is a problem for Hume because he is a sentimentalist; we come to know an act or character as virtuous due to the pleasure it invokes in us. Therefore, if the Knave does not feel inclined by his moral sentiment to commit himself to justice, has he found a loophole in Hume’s theory? Hume answers that he has sacrificed the superior pleasure of moral integrity for material amusements. Critics state that Hume cannot account for this claim, as sentimentalism seems to be a subjective theory—who is judge that one pleasure is superior to another? My paper looks to show that Hume can, in fact, account for this claim through his articulation of the True Judge. The True Judge is a theoretical persona with fine-tuned taste by which we can confirm or deny sentiments. With this articulation in place, Hume can preserve his theory of justice.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.