φάος

Validation

Yes

Word-form

φαντασία

Transliteration (Word)

phantasia

English translation (word)

The re-presentation of appearances or images

Transliteration (Etymon)

phaos

English translation (etymon)

light, daylight

Author

Aristotle

Century

4 BC

Source

Id

Ref.

De Anima III.3, 429a2-4

Ed.

G. P. Goold, The Loeb Classical Library, 1975.

Quotation

φαντασία ἂν εἴη κίνησις ὑπὸ τῆς αἰσθήσεως τῆς κατ’ ἐνέργειαν γιγνομένη. ἐπεὶ δ’ ἡ ὄψις μάλιστα αἴσθησίς ἐστι, καὶ τὸ ὄνομα ἀπὸ τοῦ φάους εἴληφεν, ὅτι ἄνευ φωτὸς οὐκ ἔστιν ἰδεῖν.

Translation (En)

...then imagination must be a movement produced by sensation actively operating. Since sight is the chief sense, the name φαντασία (imagination) is derived from φάος (light), because without light it is impossible to see (Transl. W. S. Hett).

Other translation(s)

Modern Greek: ...η φαντασία θα πρέπει να είναι κίνηση που παράγεται από την ενεργή αίσθηση. Εφόσον η όραση αποτελεί τη βασικότερη αίσθηση, τότε πήρε το όνομά της από το φάος (φως), διότι χωρίς φως δεν είναι δυνατό να δει κανείς.

Parallels

[Simplicius], In De Anima 289.26-29 (Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca XI, ed. M. Hayduck, 1882):

καὶ τὸ ὄνομα δὲ ἐτυμολογεῖ τῆς φαντασίας κατὰ τὴν πρὸς τὰς αἰσθήσεις κοινωνίαν ἀπὸ τῆς ἀρίστης ἐν αὐταῖς τῆς ὄψεως, ἧς ἡ ἐνέργεια μετὰ φωτός, ἀφ’ οὗ ὠνομάσθαι τὴν φαντασίαν.

Modern etymology

From "φαντάζομαι" (origin "φαν-" from "φαίνω", which appears in many cases of composition and derivation): Chantraine 1968, 1170-1171.

Persistence in modern Greek

The word is still used in MG, denoting the ability of human mind to represent, evoke, form and combine figures/presentations, by using and surpassing the data of experience: 1. Thinking distanced from reality. 2. Creativity (Triandafyllidis Dict. of MG).