Back in late 2011 I decided to read back through the philosophical canon and to read some works I hadn't before and re-read some I had. I had not read De Anima.
It is one of those works which gives you insight into intellectual history, as many of the ideas proposed here had deep influence throughout our Western tradition, even if much of the science is incorrect. I enjoyed a few giggles even here and there.
This contains Aristotle's distinctions on souls and his discussion of the five senses and various aspects of thinking and what distinguishes them. I was intrigued to see that he anticipated Descartes (I've long thought Descartes was more derivative than advertised) by claiming that before a soul thinks, it is not actually any real thing. Because of this, he argued that mind and body were distinct (which Descartes argues, of course).
And there is an anticipation of Bill Clinton as well, "The word 'is' has many meanings."
One of the claims that was ultimately damaging to Christian thought was his insistence that anything which moves is imperfect. After merging with Greek thought the vibrant and dynamic Hebrew God was ossified into a Perfect Being who then broke apart in the modern world.
This notion was intriguing, "The soul is in a way all existing things." This because they are potentially part of the soul, because if a soul is to actually perceive of think about something, it must first potentially possess it.