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P. 1
Metaphysics by Aristotle Translated by W. D. Ross BOOK I

Metaphysics by Aristotle Translated by W. D. Ross BOOK I

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MetaphysicsBy AristotleTranslated by W. D. Ross----------------------------------------------------------------------BOOK IPart 1 "A !en by natre desire to #no$. An indication o% this is the deli&ht$e ta#e in or senses' %or e(en apart %ro! their se%lness they arelo(ed %or the!sel(es' and abo(e all others the sense o% si&ht. )ornot only $ith a (ie$ to action* bt e(en $hen $e are not &oin& todo anythin&* $e pre%er seein& +one !i&ht say, to e(erythin& else.The reason is that this* !ost o% all the senses* !a#es s #no$ andbrin&s to li&ht !any di%%erences bet$een thin&s. "By natre ani!als are born $ith the %aclty o% sensation* and %ro!sensation !e!ory is prodced in so!e o% the!* tho&h not in others.And there%ore the %or!er are !ore intelli&ent and apt at learnin&than those $hich cannot re!e!ber' those $hich are incapable o% hearin&sonds are intelli&ent tho&h they cannot be ta&ht* e.&. the bee*and any other race o% ani!als that !ay be li#e it' and those $hichbesides !e!ory ha(e this sense o% hearin& can be ta&ht."The ani!als other than !an li(e by appearances and !e!ories* andha(e bt little o% connected eperience' bt the h!an race li(esalso by art and reasonin&s. o$ %ro! !e!ory eperience is prodcedin !en' %or the se(eral !e!ories o% the sa!e thin& prodce %inallythe capacity %or a sin&le eperience. And eperience see!s pretty!ch li#e science and art* bt really science and art co!e to !enthro&h eperience' %or /eperience !ade art/* as Pols says* /btineperience lc#./ o$ art arises $hen %ro! !any notions &ained byeperience one ni(ersal 0d&e!ent abot a class o% ob0ects is prodced.)or to ha(e a 0d&e!ent that $hen allias $as ill o% this diseasethis did hi! &ood* and si!ilarly in the case o% 2ocrates and in !anyindi(idal cases* is a !atter o% eperience' bt to 0d&e that ithas done &ood to all persons o% a certain constittion* !ar#ed o%%in one class* $hen they $ere ill o% this disease* e.&. to phle&!aticor bilios people $hen brnin& $ith %e(ers-this is a !atter o% art."With a (ie$ to action eperience see!s in no respect in%erior toart* and !en o% eperience scceed e(en better than those $ho ha(etheory $ithot eperience. +The reason is that eperience is #no$led&eo% indi(idals* art o% ni(ersals* and actions and prodctions areall concerned $ith the indi(idal' %or the physician does not cre!an* ecept in an incidental $ay* bt allias or 2ocrates or so!eother called by so!e sch indi(idal na!e* $ho happens to be a !an.I%* then* a !an has the theory $ithot the eperience* and reco&ni3esthe ni(ersal bt does not #no$ the indi(idal inclded in this* he$ill o%ten %ail to cre' %or it is the indi(idal that is to be cred.,Bt yet $e thin# that #no$led&e and nderstandin& belon& to art ratherthan to eperience* and $e sppose artists to be $iser than !en o%eperience +$hich i!plies that Wisdo! depends in all cases rather
 
on #no$led&e,' and this becase the %or!er #no$ the case* bt thelatter do not. )or !en o% eperience #no$ that the thin& is so* btdo not #no$ $hy* $hile the others #no$ the /$hy/ and the case. 4ence$e thin# also that the !aster$or#ers in each cra%t are !ore honorableand #no$ in a trer sense and are $iser than the !anal $or#ers* becasethey #no$ the cases o% the thin&s that are done +$e thin# the !anal$or#ers are li#e certain li%eless thin&s $hich act indeed* bt act$ithot #no$in& $hat they do* as %ire brns*-bt $hile the li%elessthin&s per%or! each o% their %nctions by a natral tendency* thelaborers per%or! the! thro&h habit,' ths $e (ie$ the! as bein&$iser not in (irte o% bein& able to act* bt o% ha(in& the theory%or the!sel(es and #no$in& the cases. And in &eneral it is a si&no% the !an $ho #no$s and o% the !an $ho does not #no$* that the %or!ercan teach* and there%ore $e thin# art !ore trly #no$led&e than eperienceis' %or artists can teach* and !en o% !ere eperience cannot."A&ain* $e do not re&ard any o% the senses as Wisdo!' yet srely these&i(e the !ost athoritati(e #no$led&e o% particlars. Bt they donot tell s the /$hy/ o% anythin&-e.&. $hy %ire is hot' they onlysay that it is hot. "At %irst he $ho in(ented any art $hate(er that $ent beyond the co!!onperceptions o% !an $as natrally ad!ired by !en* not only becasethere $as so!ethin& se%l in the in(entions* bt becase he $as tho&ht$ise and sperior to the rest. Bt as !ore arts $ere in(ented* andso!e $ere directed to the necessities o% li%e* others to recreation*the in(entors o% the latter $ere natrally al$ays re&arded as $iserthan the in(entors o% the %or!er* becase their branches o% #no$led&edid not ai! at tility. 4ence $hen all sch in(entions $ere alreadyestablished* the sciences $hich do not ai! at &i(in& pleasre or atthe necessities o% li%e $ere disco(ered* and %irst in the places $here!en %irst be&an to ha(e leisre. This is $hy the !athe!atical arts$ere %onded in 5&ypt' %or there the priestly caste $as allo$ed tobe at leisre. "We ha(e said in the 5thics $hat the di%%erence is bet$een art andscience and the other #indred %aclties' bt the point o% or presentdiscssion is this* that all !en sppose $hat is called Wisdo! todeal $ith the %irst cases and the principles o% thin&s' so that*as has been said be%ore* the !an o% eperience is tho&ht to be $iserthan the possessors o% any sense-perception $hate(er* the artist $iserthan the !en o% eperience* the !aster$or#er than the !echanic* andthe theoretical #inds o% #no$led&e to be !ore o% the natre o% Wisdo!than the prodcti(e. learly then Wisdo! is #no$led&e abot certainprinciples and cases. Part 6 ""2ince $e are see#in& this #no$led&e* $e !st in7ire o% $hat #indare the cases and the principles* the #no$led&e o% $hich is Wisdo!.I% one $ere to ta#e the notions $e ha(e abot the $ise !an* this !i&htperhaps !a#e the ans$er !ore e(ident. We sppose %irst* then* thatthe $ise !an #no$s all thin&s* as %ar as possible* altho&h he hasnot #no$led&e o% each o% the! in detail' secondly* that he $ho canlearn thin&s that are di%%iclt* and not easy %or !an to #no$* is$ise +sense-perception is co!!on to all* and there%ore easy and no
 
!ar# o% Wisdo!,' a&ain* that he $ho is !ore eact and !ore capableo% teachin& the cases is $iser* in e(ery branch o% #no$led&e' andthat o% the sciences* also* that $hich is desirable on its o$n accontand %or the sa#e o% #no$in& it is !ore o% the natre o% Wisdo! thanthat $hich is desirable on accont o% its reslts* and the speriorscience is !ore o% the natre o% Wisdo! than the ancillary' %or the$ise !an !st not be ordered bt !st order* and he !st not obeyanother* bt the less $ise !st obey hi!. "2ch and so !any are the notions* then* $hich $e ha(e abot Wisdo!and the $ise. o$ o% these characteristics that o% #no$in& all thin&s!st belon& to hi! $ho has in the hi&hest de&ree ni(ersal #no$led&e'%or he #no$s in a sense all the instances that %all nder the ni(ersal.And these thin&s* the !ost ni(ersal* are on the $hole the hardest%or !en to #no$' %or they are %arthest %ro! the senses. And the !osteact o% the sciences are those $hich deal !ost $ith %irst principles'%or those $hich in(ol(e %e$er principles are !ore eact than those$hich in(ol(e additional principles* e.&. arith!etic than &eo!etry.Bt the science $hich in(esti&ates cases is also instrcti(e* ina hi&her de&ree* %or the people $ho instrct s are those $ho tellthe cases o% each thin&. And nderstandin& and #no$led&e prsed%or their o$n sa#e are %ond !ost in the #no$led&e o% that $hich is!ost #no$able +%or he $ho chooses to #no$ %or the sa#e o% #no$in&$ill choose !ost readily that $hich is !ost trly #no$led&e* and schis the #no$led&e o% that $hich is !ost #no$able,' and the %irst principlesand the cases are !ost #no$able' %or by reason o% these* and %ro!these* all other thin&s co!e to be #no$n* and not these by !eans o%the thin&s sbordinate to the!. And the science $hich #no$s to $hatend each thin& !st be done is the !ost athoritati(e o% the sciences*and !ore athoritati(e than any ancillary science' and this end isthe &ood o% that thin&* and in &eneral the spre!e &ood in the $holeo% natre. 8d&ed by all the tests $e ha(e !entioned* then* the na!ein 7estion %alls to the sa!e science' this !st be a science thatin(esti&ates the %irst principles and cases' %or the &ood* i.e. theend* is one o% the cases. "That it is not a science o% prodction is clear e(en %ro! the historyo% the earliest philosophers. )or it is o$in& to their $onder that!en both no$ be&in and at %irst be&an to philosophi3e' they $onderedori&inally at the ob(ios di%%iclties* then ad(anced little by littleand stated di%%iclties abot the &reater !atters* e.&. abot thepheno!ena o% the !oon and those o% the sn and o% the stars* and abotthe &enesis o% the ni(erse. And a !an $ho is p33led and $ondersthin#s hi!sel% i&norant +$hence e(en the lo(er o% !yth is in a sensea lo(er o% Wisdo!* %or the !yth is co!posed o% $onders,' there%oresince they philosophi3ed order to escape %ro! i&norance* e(identlythey $ere prsin& science in order to #no$* and not %or any tilitarianend. And this is con%ir!ed by the %acts' %or it $as $hen al!ost allthe necessities o% li%e and the thin&s that !a#e %or co!%ort and recreationhad been secred* that sch #no$led&e be&an to be so&ht. 5(identlythen $e do not see# it %or the sa#e o% any other ad(anta&e' bt asthe !an is %ree* $e say* $ho eists %or his o$n sa#e and not %or another/s*so $e prse this as the only %ree science* %or it alone eists %orits o$n sa#e.

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