In Mortal Imitations of Divine Life, Diamond offers an interpretation of De Anima, which explains how and why Aristotle places souls in a hierarchy of value. Aristotle’s central intention in De Anima is to discover the nature and essence of soul—the principle of living beings. He does so by identifying the common structures underlying every living activity, whether it be eating, perceiving, thinking, or moving through space. As Diamond demonstrates through close readings of De Anima, the nature of the soul is most clearly seen in its divine life, while the embodied soul’s other activities are progressively clear approximations of this principle. This interpretation shows how Aristotle’s psychology and biology cannot be properly understood apart from his theological conception of God as life, and offers a new explanation of De Anima’s unity of purpose and structure.
Perception in Aristotle's Ethics seeks to demonstrate that living an ethical life requires a mode of perception that is best called ethical perception. Specifically, drawing primarily on Aristotle’s accounts of perception and ethics in De anima and Nicomachean Ethics, Eve Rabinoff argues that the faculty of perception (aisthesis), which is often thought to be an entirely physical phenomenon, is informed by intellect and has an ethical dimension insofar as it involves the perception of particulars in their ethical significance, as things that are good or bad in themselves and as occasions to act. Further, she contends, virtuous action requires this ethical perception, according to Aristotle, and ethical development consists in the achievement of the harmony of the intellectual and perceptual, rational and nonrational, parts of the soul.
Rabinoff's project is philosophically motivated both by the details of Aristotle’s thought and more generally by an increasing philosophical awareness that the ethical agent is an embodied, situated individual, rather than primarily a disembodied, abstract rational will.