Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Spiro Panagiotou


Mark Johnstone



Committee Member

David Hitchcock


In Physics IV, Aristotle poses the question whether time depends on mind for its existence (223a25-27). This thesis begins by arguing that Aristotle’s account of time is, in fact, one in which time is mind-dependent. The remainder of the thesis demonstrates how this interpretation of time informs and explains Aristotle’s accounts of perception, recollection, and habituation. The thesis is divided into four chapters, each dealing in detail with the topics of time, perception, recollection, and habituation. In Chapter One I argue that time is a phenomenon which requires minds in order to be actualized. In the second chapter I argue that time, as mind-dependent, is an incidental object of perception perceived by the common sense, and that this is consistent with Aristotle’s description of perception in De Anima. Chapter Three provides arguments that recollection, as understood in De Memoria, is a capacity which allows for the association between present perceptions and memory-images. In the final chapter, I argue that the process of habituation in the Nicomachean Ethics is best understood with reference to the associative power of recollection. In this way, I hope to demonstrate how Aristotle’s analysis of time in the Physics has significant implications for our understanding of his views on perception, recollection, and habituation.

McMaster University Library