For the being-determination of the πάθη, it is important that they be understood in themselves only when they are taken as the πάθη of σῶμα; their εἶδος is primarily determined as determination of living things in relation to being-in in the world. Θυμός and φόβος are suited to an altogether determinately constituted body; they are “not separable.”270 There is nothing like a pure fear in the sense of an abstract comporting-oneself toward something. In itself, it is a comporting of the full human being in its corporeality. But this inability-to-be-abstracted is different than that of mathematical objectivities. The πάθη cannot be identified with the lines and surfaces of bodies in the mathematical sense.271 The Greek does not see a line primarily in itself, but instead γραμμή is always the limit of a surface, and surface the limit of a body. The surface has no being without the body—thus, here too, an inability-to-become-separated. In this way, the εἶδος of fearing also has the primary relatedness to a finding-oneself of the body. The difference lies in the fact that the determinate constitution of σώματα plays no role in mathematical inseparability, for instance in the being-brown or being-scratched of the body; while, for the πάθη, the thus and so constituted way of being is essential. Both are λόγοι ἔνυλοι, but in an entirely different sense.
This is the ground for the type of consideration of the πάθη, with a view to the εἶδος, which is found in the Rhetoric. It is important that Aristotle does not obtain a basic determination of a living thing from physiological considerations. The εἶδος of the πάθη is a comporting-oneself to other human beings, a being-in-the-world. Only from this standpoint can the ὕλη of the πάθη be genuinely examined.
Book 1, Chapter 1 of De Anima investigates the extent to which νοῦς, as a basic determination of the being of human beings, is a basic characteristic of this way of being; and the extent to which the human being only constitutes a definite possibility of the being of νοῦς. The ground lies in the fact that Aristotle sees that νοῦς, “supposing,” in contrast with all other ways of grasping, is a possibility of grasping that is not limited to a determinate region of being, as is hearing, seeing, and so on Instead, νοῦς goes toward τὰ πάντα; it is a possibility of grasping that grasps all possible beings, so that the being in question need not necessarily be present. This universality of the possibility of grasping is something that is not to be equated with the concrete being of the human being, which is always at the moment. What grounds this possibility of grasping everything, which grows out beyond the human being and its concrete being? In connection with this question, Aristotle discusses the πάθη as those phenomena in which it is shown that the concrete being of human beings can only be understood if one takes it in its fullness, and this on the basis of various considerations. It is, above all, decisive that we lose composure, as in the case
270. De an. Α 1, 403 b 17 sq.: τὰ πάθη τῆς ψυχῆς οὔ πως χωριστὰ τῆς φυσικῆς ὕλης τῶν ζῴων ᾗ δὴ τοιαῦθ’ ὑπάρχει, θυμὸς καὶ φόβος.
271. De an. Α 1, 403 b 19: οὐχ ὥσπερ γραμμὴ καὶ ἐπίπεδον.