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Nous or Nus ( ancient Greek νοῦς [ nûːs ]) is a term used in ancient Greek philosophy . In philosophical terminology, the term describes the human ability to grasp something mentally and the authority in humans that is responsible for cognition and thinking. In addition, the word has other meanings in common parlance. In German, “Nous” is usually translated as “ Geist ”, “ Intellekt ”, “ Verstand ” or “ Vernunft ”. The most common Latin equivalent is intellectus , but mens , ratio, and ingenium are also used as equivalents. In metaphysical and cosmological teachings that proceed from a divine control of the world, a principle operating in the cosmos is also referred to as nous, the divine world reason.

Etymology and related terms

The etymology of the word nous is controversial in research. According to an older hypothesis, it is derived from a developed form σνόϝος ( snówos ), which is related to “sniffing” in the sense of “ sensing a danger” (cf. English to sniff ). Accordingly, it is a matter of grasping a situation based on sensory perception. According to recent research, there is a connection with néomai (return) and nóstos (return).

The corresponding verb is νοεῖν ( noeín , think). Other philosophical terms belong to the same family of words: " Noesis " (thinking activity, act of thinking) with the associated adjective "noetic" (Greek noētós ), " Noetik " (a branch of logic or a non-psychological epistemology, with Edmund Husserl the phenomenology of reason), “ Noema ” (thought, individual thought content), “ Noumenon ” (what is thought, for Kant the thing in itself ) and “ Dianoia ” (discursive thinking). While in Greek diánoia often denotes a "dianoetic" way of thinking (inferential progress), nous often specifically refers to an intuitive "noetic" thinking (immediate grasp of an evident state of affairs). Thus dianoia corresponds more to the German term “Verstand”, nous more to the German concept of reason. The use of language in the ancient sources is, however, not uniform and not always clear.

The nous as an instance in people

Pre-Socratic period

The noun nous (originally in the uncontracted form nóos ) and the verb noein appear in the pre-philosophical usage of the archaic period . The extent to which clear, differentiated ideas were associated with these expressions at the time is not exactly known and is controversial in research. Homer also uses noein in contexts where it is about sensory perception (“recognize” in the sense of “perceive”, “notice”), for example in the statement “He was aware with the eyes”. For him, sensory perception is closely linked to the processing of the impressions it delivers, the sense organs are, as it were, tools of thought. The activity of the nous appears as the spiritual aspect of perception, which can be represented with "perceiving" or "realizing". Despite the close connection between sensory perception and its evaluation, Homer also differentiates between perception as such and the comprehension it induces, for example the knowledge that a perceived situation is dangerous. It is characteristic of this Homeric nous that it does not consider analytically, but grasps the situation immediately and prompts an appropriate reaction. In addition, with the poet , noos can also denote the thinking of a person who leads an inner monologue, who thinks something up and plans something.

The philosophical use of the term was linked to the colloquial one. In philosophical texts, too, it was about the correct understanding of what underlies the perceptible as reality. The aim of the philosophers, however, was not the action-oriented grasp of an intention or the meaning of a given concrete situation, as was the case with the characters of Homer, but rather insight into a reality hidden behind the face.

Pre-Socratic philosophers such as Empedocles and Democritus did not clearly demarcate thinking from perception as a skill or activity of a special kind. Like perception, they viewed it as a physical process in which materially like is grasped by like. They later reproached them with Aristotle . Empedocles believed that the “blood flowing around the heart” was the bearer of the power of thought. He believed that blood is the best mixed material and therefore suitable as the seat of knowledge.

Heraclitus stated polemically: "Knowledge does not lead to understanding ( nous )." By this he meant that a mere accumulation of knowledge does not give any deeper insight. He denied such insight to the vast majority of people.

The conditions for a clear distinction of sensory activity and mental activity created Parmenides . As the sole object of thought, he determined that which is independent of time, whose contrast to the realm of transitory sense objects he emphasized. According to his teaching, only the timeless and therefore unchangeable really exist. The world of changeable things is unreal and in its essence deceptive, so it does not come into consideration as an object of thinking that should lead to true statements. The timeless being, on the other hand, can be adequately grasped by thinking, since thinking and being have the same quality and form an inseparable unit. Therefore the nous is that authority in man that is capable of knowing the truth on its own. The thinker makes use of this faculty when he turns to immutable being. He also uses discursive, inferential thinking. According to the teaching of Parmenides, not only the immediate apprehension of being, but also logical inference is an activity of the nous.

The question of what the exact meaning of the verb noein is in Parmenides has long been controversial in research . Some historians of philosophy see it primarily as knowledge as an infallible, intuitive apprehension of truth; therefore noein - as Martin Heidegger already pointed out in his interpretation of Parmenides - should not actually be appropriately represented as “think”, but rather as “recognize”. Heidegger translates it as "perceive", since it is a pure perception of something that is present in its pure presence. These researchers refer to Parmenides' assertion that there is no no in that which does not exist . They think that with noein no thinking can be meant, because something that does not exist can definitely be thought. Another research direction prefers the translation “think” and points out that noos and noein are quite susceptible to errors in Parmenides. What remains to be said is that Parmenides ascribes the ability of human noein to correctly grasp his object, of beings, but only under conditions that are not given from the outset but must first be created by the thinker.


Plato takes up the approach of Parmenides and works out a sharp distinction between the physical objects of sensory perception and a purely spiritual area that is only accessible to the nous. By noesis he understands the highest cognitive faculty, that activity of the nous with which it grasps the unchangeable being directly and in accordance with reality, regardless of any sense perception. Basically all souls are naturally capable of doing this, but those who have connected with bodies have mostly lost their noetic cognitive ability as a result. This applies to the souls of animals, but also to most of the souls of humans. Plato believes that regaining the ability that has been lost is possible; For him, philosophy offers the way to achieve this.

In Platonism, Dianoia (thinking based on sensory impressions) is subordinate to the noetic mode of knowledge, which only conveys real knowledge . Dianoia, which includes mathematicians' partially perceptual thinking, can lead to knowledge, but it is prone to error because it is based on deceptive sensory impressions and unproven assumptions. All thinking that is not directed exclusively to the non-sensual only creates an inadequate, possibly wrong opinion ( doxa ).

Plato is convinced that the nous is always tied to a soul without which it cannot exist. Within the framework of the natural order of soul life, the nous rules and directs the soul. If he can actually exercise the steering function to which he is entitled, people act prudently and ethically correct. Misconduct can be traced back to a disturbance of the hierarchical order within the soul.


Essential parts of Aristotle's doctrine of nous are only sketchily presented in his works, not systematically worked out, and the transfer of his concepts into modern terminology is problematic. Therefore, the interpretation of key elements in research is controversial.

For Aristotle, the nous as the mind is the uppermost part of the human soul, defined as "that with which the soul thinks and makes assumptions". This part is only present in the human soul, while the ability to perceive also belongs to the animals and the function of the soul, which is responsible for nutrition, belongs to all biologically describable living beings. Not only actual knowledge, but also false opinions are produced exclusively by the nous. Aristotle attributes the ability of animals to behave appropriately to the situation on the basis of their perceptions to a special function of animal perception, which by its nature differs from the activity of the human nous.

The nous itself is formless, it has no predetermined content and no nature of its own (apart from its unrestricted receptivity) and no organ assigned to it. Aristotle compares it to an empty writing board. Because of this indeterminacy, the nous is able to absorb all forms, so it has them as far as possible. Only when he thinks about a certain form does the possibility of this form become reality. The nous always becomes what it thinks as long as it thinks it; for everything immaterial it applies that subject and object of thought are identical. In contrast to the other two parts of the soul, the nous is not mixed with the body, but autonomous, but for its activity it needs the ideas ( phantasmata ) that the perceiving part of the soul produces. The nourishing and the perceiving soul exist from the beginning only in connection with the body, while the nous is characterized by an existence independent of the body. It comes into the body from outside ("in through the door").

Aristotle rejects the view that there can be a material basis and explanation for the activity of the nous. According to his argument, a material basis would mean that thought, like the senses, would be limited to certain types of objects and to certain spatial areas. The non-existent would then be inconceivable for the nous; he would only have access to the distant by means of a material transference with which the distance is overcome. But the nous can think everything equally, it acts independently of the existence or the distance of what is thought. Moreover, nothing conceivable can excessively damage or destroy the nous, unlike the senses, where excessively strong impressions cause destruction.

Like Plato, Aristotle also distinguishes the reliable noetic apprehension of individual simple facts, the actuation of the nous in the narrower sense, from inferential and comparative thinking, which is based on the possibly erroneous derivation of one thought from another and is therefore fallible. Principles that have to be presupposed for a scientific demonstration, but cannot be deductively deduced themselves , can only be obtained in a noetic way. Aristotle does not consider this process to be intuitive in the sense of a Platonic view of essence, but rather interprets it empirically as the result of repeated perception: a memory is formed from several perceptions, several memories enable understanding ( lógos ); a plurality of memories leads to a certain experience ( empeiría ), the knowledge of principles is based on many experiences.

In Aristotle's philosophy, the distinction between different types of nous, which are required for every human thought process, plays an important role. One type is the “suffering” nous, which is affected, which can only experience effects ( nous pathētikós ). Aristotle regards this passive nous as transitory. A different nous is the effecting one ( called nous poiētikós by later commentators , Latin intellectus agens ). Only the effecting intellect, the nous in the proper sense, is eternal, immaterial and autonomous for Aristotle. He transfers the objects of thought from the possibility of being thinkable into reality, of being an object of thought. The effecting intellect is related to the sufferer as light is related to the colors which it makes visible. He is not affected by any influences. For Aristotle, his ceaseless activity is the highest purpose of human existence and at the same time the highest kind of happiness that a person can achieve. Errors that occur in thinking are due to the fact that the suffering nous, which belongs to the perishable things, like the body, is subject to a process of destruction.


The students of Aristotle and later followers of Aristotelianism, who were called Peripatetic in antiquity, sometimes set different accents in the Nous doctrine than he did or contradicted his view. Theophrastus von Eresos , the successor of Aristotle as headmaster ( Scholarch ), emphasized that the possible intellect is not pure possibility in the sense that it is absolutely "nothing" as long as it is not transferred into the act by a thought. Rather, it is also real as a mere possibility in the same sense as material substrates. Theophrast's successor Straton von Lampsakos turned against the strict separation of perception and thought. He said that the nous is not only responsible for evaluating the perceptions, but is already significantly involved in the act of perception, because it is he who sees and hears by noticing the stimulation of the sense organs.

During the Roman Empire , the influential Aristotle commentator Alexander von Aphrodisias dealt with the Aristotelian notion of a nous entering the body from outside. He said that this could not be understood spatially, but should be understood in a figurative sense as activation of the thinking potential through the onset of a thought process, since the mind does not change location. Alexander divided the nous into three parts by dividing the suffering side: he compared the effecting (current) nous with a potential (possible) and a habitual one. The potential (possible) nous ( dynámei nous , Latin intellectus possibilis ) is potentially (as far as possible) able to grasp the objects of thought, but it does not realize this possibility of thinking on its own. According to Alexander's teaching, it is "material-like" ( hylikós ), it is pure potency. Under the influence of the effecting person , it changes into habitual ( nous en héxei ) or acquired ( epíktētos nous ). The habitual intellect is the one that has already absorbed intelligible forms so that knowledge is there.

The late antique Aristotle commentators, who with the exception of Themistios were neo-Platonists , mixed Platonic and Aristotelian ideas in their nous and soul doctrine. Themistios, a Neoplatonic influenced Aristotelian of the 4th century, represented an Aristotelian concept with Neoplatonic elements. Like Alexander of Aphrodisias, he distinguished three types of nous. He said that the possible nous was not mixed with the body. Like the causing nous, it can be separated from the body; Both are immortal, but not in the sense of the continued existence of a consciousness of individuality after death, because both are supra-individual. There is also a third, suffering nous ( pathētikós nous ), which is inextricably linked with the body and is therefore perishable; the awareness of individuality is based on it. The suffering nous is responsible for memory, emotions and discursive thinking. Some late antique commentators identified the suffering nous with the power of imagination ( phantasía ).

The nous as an ontological and cosmological principle

Pre-Socratic period

Regardless of the reflection on the specifically human ability to think and cognize, the idea is already developing in pre-Socratic philosophy that there is also a superhuman, universal reason assigned to the divine realm that is responsible for the entire order and control of the cosmos. Heraclitus calls world reason logos , other pre-Socratics use the expression “nous”. Xenophanes ascribes the ability to the deity to shake everything "with the power of its nous". Anaxagoras takes on an eternal cosmic nous, to which he assigns divine properties and functions, in particular infinity (limitlessness) and the role of the authority that knows, arranges and orders everything. For this pre-Socratics, the nous is an independent principle that autonomously dominates the sensually perceptible world and causes changes in it; it is homogeneous, mixed with nothing, it is the finest and purest. It emerges from this that Anaxagoras distinguishes the nous only gradually, not in principle, from matter and does not consider it to be transcendent . In his teaching, the nous is the principle of becoming, but not itself involved in the process of becoming.


In Plato's philosophy, the doctrine of the rationality of the world order is one of the core ideas. As world reason, the nous rules over heaven and earth. In the Platonic doctrine of creation, it is the Demiurge (Creator God), whose Nous conveys the ideas , the eternal archetypes of things that can be perceived by the senses, to the physical cosmos and thereby gives it shape. The divine nous needs the world soul as an intermediary in order to be able to act on the alien spatiotemporal area of ​​matter . Through this spiritual influence, the inherently undesigned, chaotic world of senses receives its rational and thus also beautiful structure and is at the same time animated, because the Platonic world of ideas, to which it owes everything, is itself permeated with life. As a product of the world of ideas, the world of sensually perceptible forms is a living being inspired and guided by the world soul. It is also reasonable in itself, since the demiurge has endowed the world soul with its own nous, which is the cause of the regular processes in the cosmos.

Only good things come out of the nous, his creative activity always aims at the best possible. However, his rule in the cosmos is not absolute. The principle that limits its influence on the material world is necessity ( anánkē ). Necessity sets those limits to what can be realized within the material realm which necessarily result from the nature of matter. Because of its nature, matter is not suitable, like the spiritual world, to be shaped and guided by the nous without resistance. Their natural (and therefore necessary) deficiency does not allow this to happen without restriction. In the creation myth , which is told in Plato's dialogue Timaeus , the nous moves the necessity through “reasonable persuasion” towards submission and constructive cooperation. His rule prevails over the accidental and disordered, which necessarily result from the nature of matter. From this it follows that order and regularity prevail in the cosmos. The tendency of matter to become chaotic is curbed by the action of the nous. Thus the world in which people live is not, as a product of the perfect nous, absolutely optimal in every respect. Rather, the existing conditions are only the best that the nous can wrest from the necessity here.


For Aristotle, too, the nous is not only a part of the human soul, but also uses this term to describe a cosmological principle, the “first mover”. The first mover is the eternal, even immobile substance that is not subject to any influence or change and which causes all movement. Movable things are in motion because they are driven by their striving towards the immobile mover. This is indeed the cause of their movement, but without it itself pursuing any intention with regard to the cosmos. Its causality arises from its existence; he does not create the movement, but only triggers it.

In contrast to the (potentially) existing, only temporarily realized things, the nous as the first mover is pure reality ( enérgeia , act) in the sense of the Aristotelian distinction between act and potency . As the highest-ranking activity, thinking is at the same time the only one that is appropriate for the first mover and therefore necessarily always belongs to him. It follows from this in Aristotelianism that the nous thinks incessantly. Since the object of his thinking cannot be anything of lower rank than himself (otherwise his dignity would be impaired by turning to something less), he can only think himself. Thus, the thinking activity of the nous is related exclusively to himself, it is nóēsis noḗseōs ("thinking of thinking"). Since for Aristotle the first mover is the highest principle, he locates the nous, which is equated with this principle, at the top of the ontological hierarchy.

Hellenism and the Roman Empire

For Plato's pupil Speusippus , the nous is identical with the demiurge, he is a transcendent god. Xenocrates , another student of Plato, equates the nous with the monás , the one ( hen ) as the ontologically highest principle and supreme deity.

In Middle Platonism and New Pythagoreanism , the view is widespread that the ontologically highest principle is to be identified with beings and at the same time with the nous and with Plato's demiurge. The Middle Platonists emphasize the transcendence of this principle in relation to the other levels of being, which are all subordinate to it. With the positioning of the nous at the top of the hierarchical order, they agree with Aristotle and Xenocrates. The author of the Chaldean Oracle shares this view ; he puts the “first nous” as “monas” at the top of his system and understands the world soul, which in its hierarchy immediately follows this supreme deity, as the second nous. The influential Middle Platonist Numenios also adopts a second under the first nous, which he considers the creator of the sensually perceptible cosmos.

In the 3rd century Plotinus , the founder of Neoplatonism, understood the ideas with reference to Plato as the contents of the timeless self-perception of the absolute, supra-individual nous. He identifies this nous with the original being and - like the Middle Platonists - with the demiurge. In contrast to the Middle Platonists, he sharply demarcates the nous from the one, the highest principle. He considers the one to be “overseeing”, for him the nous is the image of the one and as such the second highest principle, which is directly subordinate to the one. Plotinus explains in detail his conviction that the one is different from the nous and is superior to it. He argues that if the thinking of the nous relates to itself, it is both thinking and thought, and thus a duality is already given in it, which excludes its identity with the absolute one. If, however, the nous turns thinking to an object that is outside of it, this object is presupposed as a principle preceding it, which also requires the assumption of an existing duality and thus makes it impossible to equate the nous with the highest principle, the original one .

Plotinus believes that the nous, on the one hand, turns to the one ("looks at it"), but on the other hand is also with itself and - as Aristotle assumed - thinks itself. This thinking is an immediate apprehension of the thinking objects contained in it. In the nous, the thinking subject, thinking object and the act of thinking that is to be understood over time form a unit, the thinking object has ontologically no priority over thinking. In addition to thinking and being, Plotinus emphasizes life as the third characteristic of the nous. The individual soul is basically capable of ascending to the supra-individual nous and in doing so to assimilate to it in such a way that it can grasp it intuitively.

In the late antique Neo-Platonists Iamblichos , Syrianos and Proklos , the nous doctrine is expanded and differentiated by subdividing the nous. Iamblichos introduces the distinction between a higher-ranking “ intelligible world” ( kósmos noētós ) and a subordinate “intellectual world” ( kósmos noerós ) within the nous , whereby he assigns both an internal structure. Syrianos and Proklos supplement this two-stage model with an intermediate stage, the “intelligible and intellectual world”. For Proklos, in the hierarchical order of levels, each level is the product of the act of thought of the respective immediately higher level.

Middle Ages and Modern Times

In the Byzantine Empire, Nous ideas about the works of influential theologians such as Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita and Maximus Confessor had an impact . The late antique Christian Neo-Platonist Pseudo-Dionysius, whose concept was followed by Maximus in the 7th century, adopted three forms of movement of the spiritual soul: a circular one with which the soul withdraws from everything external and concentrates on itself, a spiral one with which it discursively concludes, and a straight line with which she deals with the world of sense objects. Maximus assigned the first to the nous as the highest cognitive faculty of man, the second to the logos as the secondary cognitive faculty, and the third to sensory perception. In the Latin-speaking West, the philosopher Eriugena took up this classification in the 9th century .

In the Western and Central European philosophical literature of the Middle Ages and the early modern period , the Latin word intellectus was usually used for intellect rather than the Greek expression nous . However, intellectus also served specifically to designate discursive intellectual activity in contrast to reason, which is called ratio in Latin . The use of the term was not consistently clear and consistent.

In literary representations of a cosmology shaped by ancient thought, the nous, latinized as Noys , appears in Bernardus Silvestris and Alanus ab Insulis in the role of the personified divine spirit in the 12th century . For these authors, Noys is an allegorical female figure who embodies divine wisdom and providence and brings it to bear in creation. In Bernardus' poem Cosmographia she is one of the main characters and is referred to as God's daughter.


  • Gerhard Jäger: "NUS" in Plato's dialogues (= Hypomnemata Vol. 17). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1967
  • Christian Jung: The double nature of the human intellect in Aristotle . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2001, ISBN 978-3-8260-4407-6
  • Christian Jung: Knowledge of principles according to Aristotle - On the interpretation of Analytica Posteriora II 19 . In: Salzburger Jahrbuch für Philosophie 60, 2015, pp. 71-100
  • Hans Joachim Krämer : The Origin of Spirit Metaphysics. Studies on the history of Platonism between Plato and Plotinus , 2nd edition, Grüner, Amsterdam 1967
  • Maria Marcinkowska-Rosół: The conception of the 'noein' in Parmenides by Elea . De Gruyter, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-021759-9
  • Horst Seidl: The concept of intellect (νοῦς) in Aristotle in the philosophical context of his main writings . Hain, Meisenheim am Glan 1971
  • Thomas Alexander Szlezák : Plato and Aristotle in the doctrine of Plotinus . Schwabe, Basel 1979, ISBN 3-7965-0724-7


  1. James H. Lesher provides a brief overview of his research: The Meaning of ΝΟΥΣ in the Posterior Analytics . In: Phronesis 18, 1973, pp. 44-68, here: 47f.
  2. On the problem of rendering nous in German see Rudolf Schottlaender : Nus als Terminus . In: Hermes 64, 1929, pp. 228-242.
  3. Homer, Iliad 15,422.
  4. On the Nous in Homer see Arbogast Schmitt : Self-employment and dependency of human action in Homer , Stuttgart 1990, pp. 130–141, 182–226. Schmitt criticizes older research opinions, including that of Kurt von Fritz . Cf. Kurt von Fritz: The role of νοῦς . In: Hans-Georg Gadamer (Ed.): To the conceptual world of the pre-Socratics , Darmstadt 1968, pp. 246–363, here: 246–276; James H. Lesher: Perceiving and Knowing in the Iliad and Odyssey . In: Phronesis 26, 1981, pp. 2-24, here: 8-19; Thomas Buchheim : Die Vorsokratiker , Munich 1994, pp. 108–110, 112f .; Maria Marcinkowska-Rosół: The conception of the 'noein' in Parmenides von Elea , Berlin 2010, pp. 33–44.
  5. Kurt von Fritz: The role of νοῦς . In: Hans-Georg Gadamer (Ed.): To the conceptual world of the pre-Socratics , Darmstadt 1968, pp. 246–363, here: 279f., 283–285, 353f.
  6. Horst Seidl: The concept of intellect (νοῦς) in Aristotle in the philosophical context of his main writings , Meisenheim am Glan 1971, pp. 17-19, 21-24.
  7. Empedocles DK 31 B 105. See Maureen Rosemary Wright (Ed.): Empedocles: The Extant Fragments , New Haven 1981, pp. 250-252.
  8. Heraklit DK 22 B 40. See Miroslav Marcovich (ed.): Heraclitus. Greek text with a short commentary , 2nd edition, Sankt Augustin 2001, pp. 61-66.
  9. Maria Marcinkowska-Rosół offers a detailed overview of the research discussion: The conception of 'noein' in Parmenides von Elea , Berlin 2010, pp. 17–33; she herself advocates the translation of “think”.
  10. Filip Karfik: God as Nous . In: Dietmar Koch et al. (Ed.): Platon und das Götigte , Tübingen 2010, pp. 82–97, here: 94–96.
  11. Amber D. Carpenter: Embodying Intelligence . In: John Dillon, Marie-Élise Zovko (ed.): Platonism and Forms of Intelligence , Berlin 2008, pp. 39–57, here: 40–43.
  12. Aristotle, De anima 429a. See the commentary by Ronald Polansky: Aristotle's De anima , Cambridge 2007, pp. 434-445.
  13. Aristotle, De anima 430a.
  14. On Aristotle's handling of this epistemological problem, see James H. Lesher: The Meaning of ΝΟΥΣ in the Posterior Analytics . In: Phronesis 18, 1973, pp. 44–68 and Christian Jung: Knowledge of principles according to Aristotle. On the interpretation of Analytica Posteriora II 19 . In: Salzburger Yearbook for Philosophy 60, 2015, pp. 71–100; see. Horst Seidl: The concept of intellect (νοῦς) in Aristotle in the philosophical context of his main writings , Meisenheim am Glan 1971, pp. 82-85.
  15. Aristotle, De anima 430a. See the commentary by Ronald Polansky: Aristotle's De anima , Cambridge 2007, pp. 462–464 and Christian Jung: The double nature of the human intellect in Aristoteles , Würzburg 2011, pp. 98–103.
  16. Armin Hruby: Nous and Kosmos. Interpretations of Aristotle and Hegel's Anaxagoras Reception , Cologne 1986, pp. 62–77.
  17. For an understanding of the nous among the Peripatetic see Christof Rapp , Christoph Horn : Vernunft; Understanding. II. Antiquity . In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy , Volume 11, Basel 2001, Sp. 749–764, here: 757–759; on the nous doctrine of Alexander Paul Moraux : Aristotelianism among the Greeks , Vol. 3, Berlin 2001, pp. 343–353, 373–382.
  18. On the doctrine of the intellect of Themistios see Frederic M. Schroeder, Robert B. Todd: Two Greek Aristotelian Commentators on the Intellect , Toronto 1990, pp. 37–39; Omer Ballériaux: Thémistius et le neoplatonisme . In: Revue de Philosophie Ancienne 12, 1994, pp. 171–200, here: 173–186.
  19. ^ Henry J. Blumenthal: Nous pathētikos in Later Greek Philosophy . In: Henry Blumenthal, Howard Robinson (eds.): Aristotle and the Later Tradition , Oxford 1992, pp. 191-205, here: 197-205.
  20. Xenophanes DK 21 B 25. See Kurt von Fritz: Die Rolle des νοῦς . In: Hans-Georg Gadamer (Ed.): To the conceptual world of the pre-Socratics , Darmstadt 1968, pp. 246–363, here: 290f.
  21. On Anaxagoras' conception of the nous see Armin Hruby: Nous und Kosmos. Interpretations of Aristotle and Hegel's Anaxagoras Reception , Cologne 1986, pp. 12–15, 20–23, 28–37; Kurt von Fritz: The ΝΟΥΣ of Anaxagoras . In: Archive for Conceptual History 9, 1964, pp. 87-102, here: 90-92.
  22. ^ Plato, Timaeus 48a.
  23. On the relationship between nous and necessity in Timaeus see Lothar Schäfer : Das Paradigma am Himmel. Plato on Nature and State , Munich 2005, pp. 183–197.
  24. Michael Bordt : Noesis noêseôs . In: Otfried Höffe (Ed.): Aristoteles-Lexikon (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 459), Stuttgart 2005, pp. 374–376; Hans Joachim Krämer: Noesis Noeseos . In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy , Vol. 6, Basel 1984, Sp. 871–873; Horst Seidl: Aristotle's doctrine of the ΝΟΗΣΙΣ ΝΟΗΣΕΩΣ of the first, divine rational being and its representation in Plotinus . In: Jürgen Wiesner (Ed.): Aristoteles. Work and Effect , Vol. 2, Berlin 1987, pp. 157-176 (distinguishes between the teaching of Aristotle and its modification in later Peripateticians).
  25. Hans Joachim Krämer: The Origin of Spirit Metaphysics , 2nd Edition, Amsterdam 1967, pp. 214-217.
  26. Hans Joachim Krämer: The Origin of Spirit Metaphysics , 2nd Edition, Amsterdam 1967, pp. 32–45, 57–62.
  27. Jens Halfwassen : The Rise to One , 2nd Edition, Leipzig 2006, p. 45f .; Hans Joachim Krämer: Der Ursprung der Geistmetaphysik , 2nd edition, Amsterdam 1967, pp. 45–59, 69.
  28. Hans Joachim Krämer: The Origin of Spirit Metaphysics , 2nd Edition, Amsterdam 1967, pp. 27, 66-75.
  29. Jens Halfwassen: The rise to one , 2nd edition, Leipzig 2006, pp. 48–50, 137f.
  30. Jens Halfwassen: Geist und Selbstbewußtsein , Stuttgart 1994, pp. 21–30; Jens Halfwassen: The rise to one , 2nd edition, Leipzig 2006, p. 50, 130–149.
  31. Markus Enders: reason; Understanding. III. Middle Ages. A. Augustine, early Middle Ages, early scholasticism . In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy , Volume 11, Basel 2001, Sp. 764–770, here: 766f.
  32. See also the article reason; Understanding. I. About terminology . In: Historical Dictionary of Philosophy , Volume 11, Basel 2001, Sp. 748f.
  33. Bernardus Silvestris, Cosmographia , ed. Peter Dronke, Leiden 1978, pp. 97-99, 102-104, 118-121, 126, 137, 140-142; see. Pp. 31-33, 38-40; Alanus from Insulis: Anticlaudianus II 371, V 169, V 282, VI 434, VI ​​442, VI 461. Cf. Winthrop Wetherbee: Platonism and Poetry in the Twelfth Century , Princeton 1972, pp. 162-167, 178-181.