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Aristotle - Metaphysics

Aristotle - Metaphysics

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 350 BC METAPHYSICS by Aristotle translated by W. D. Ross Boo I ! A"" #en by nat$re desire to no%. An indi&ation o' t(is is t(edeli)(t %e tae in o$r senses* 'or e+en a,art 'ro# t(eir $se'$lnesst(ey are lo+ed 'or t(e#sel+es* and abo+e all ot(ers t(e sense o'si)(t. -or not only %it( a +ie% to a&tion b$t e+en %(en %e are not)oin) to do anyt(in) %e ,re'er seein) /one #i)(t say to e+eryt(in)else. T(e reason is t(at t(is #ost o' all t(e senses #aes $s no%and brin)s to li)(t #any di''eren&es bet%een t(in)s. By nat$re ani#als are born %it( t(e 'a&$lty o' sensation and 'ro#sensation #e#ory is ,rod$&ed in so#e o' t(e# t(o$)( not in ot(ers.And t(ere'ore t(e 'or#er are #ore intelli)ent and a,t at learnin) t(ant(ose %(i&( &annot re#e#ber* t(ose %(i&( are in&a,able o' (earin)so$nds are intelli)ent t(o$)( t(ey &annot be ta$)(t e.). t(e bee andany ot(er ra&e o' ani#als t(at #ay be lie it* and t(ose %(i&( besides#e#ory (a+e t(is sense o' (earin) &an be ta$)(t. T(e ani#als ot(er t(an #an li+e by a,,earan&es and #e#ories and(a+e b$t little o' &onne&ted e1,erien&e* b$t t(e ($#an ra&e li+es alsoby art and reasonin)s. 2o% 'ro# #e#ory e1,erien&e is ,rod$&ed in#en* 'or t(e se+eral #e#ories o' t(e sa#e t(in) ,rod$&e 'inally t(e&a,a&ity 'or a sin)le e1,erien&e. And e1,erien&e see#s ,retty #$&(lie s&ien&e and art b$t really s&ien&e and art &o#e to #en t(ro$)(e1,erien&e* 'or e1,erien&e #ade art as Pol$s says b$tine1,erien&e l$&. 2o% art arises %(en 'ro# #any notions )ained bye1,erien&e one $ni+ersal 4$d)e#ent abo$t a &lass o' ob4e&ts is,rod$&ed. -or to (a+e a 4$d)e#ent t(at %(en Callias %as ill o' t(isdisease t(is did (i# )ood and si#ilarly in t(e &ase o' So&rates andin #any indi+id$al &ases is a #atter o' e1,erien&e* b$t to 4$d)e t(atit (as done )ood to all ,ersons o' a &ertain &onstit$tion #aredo'' in one &lass %(en t(ey %ere ill o' t(is disease e.). to,(le)#ati& or bilio$s ,eo,le %(en b$rnin) %it( 'e+erst(is is a #attero' art. Wit( a +ie% to a&tion e1,erien&e see#s in no res,e&t in'erior toart and #en o' e1,erien&e s$&&eed e+en better t(an t(ose %(o (a+et(eory %it(o$t e1,erien&e. /T(e reason is t(at e1,erien&e is no%led)eo' indi+id$als art o' $ni+ersals and a&tions and ,rod$&tions are all&on&erned %it( t(e indi+id$al* 'or t(e ,(ysi&ian does not &$re #ane1&e,t in an in&idental %ay b$t Callias or So&rates or so#e ot(er&alled by so#e s$&( indi+id$al na#e %(o (a,,ens to be a #an. I't(en a #an (as t(e t(eory %it(o$t t(e e1,erien&e and re&o)ni6est(e $ni+ersal b$t does not no% t(e indi+id$al in&l$ded in t(is (e%ill o'ten 'ail to &$re* 'or it is t(e indi+id$al t(at is to be&$red. B$t yet %e t(in t(at no%led)e and $nderstandin) belon) toart rat(er t(an to e1,erien&e and %e s$,,ose artists to be %iser t(an#en o' e1,erien&e /%(i&( i#,lies t(at Wisdo# de,ends in all &asesrat(er on no%led)e* and t(is be&a$se t(e 'or#er no% t(e &a$seb$t t(e latter do not. -or #en o' e1,erien&e no% t(at t(e t(in) isso b$t do not no% %(y %(ile t(e ot(ers no% t(e %(y and t(e&a$se. Hen&e %e t(in also t(at t(e #aster%orers in ea&( &ra't are#ore (ono$rable and no% in a tr$er sense and are %iser t(an t(e#an$al %orers be&a$se t(ey no% t(e &a$ses o' t(e t(in)s t(at aredone /%e t(in t(e #an$al %orers are lie &ertain li'eless t(in)s%(i&( a&t indeed b$t a&t %it(o$t no%in) %(at t(ey do as 'ireb$rnsb$t %(ile t(e li'eless t(in)s ,er'or# ea&( o' t(eir '$n&tionsby a nat$ral tenden&y t(e labo$rers ,er'or# t(e# t(ro$)( (abit* t($s%e +ie% t(e# as bein) %iser not in +irt$e o' bein) able to a&t b$t o'
 
(a+in) t(e t(eory 'or t(e#sel+es and no%in) t(e &a$ses. And in)eneral it is a si)n o' t(e #an %(o no%s and o' t(e #an %(o doesnot no% t(at t(e 'or#er &an tea&( and t(ere'ore %e t(in art #oretr$ly no%led)e t(an e1,erien&e is* 'or artists &an tea&( and #eno' #ere e1,erien&e &annot. A)ain %e do not re)ard any o' t(e senses as Wisdo#* yet s$relyt(ese )i+e t(e #ost a$t(oritati+e no%led)e o' ,arti&$lars. B$t t(eydo not tell $s t(e %(y o' anyt(in)e.). %(y 'ire is (ot* t(ey onlysay t(at it is (ot. At 'irst (e %(o in+ented any art %(ate+er t(at %ent beyond t(e&o##on ,er&e,tions o' #an %as nat$rally ad#ired by #en not onlybe&a$se t(ere %as so#et(in) $se'$l in t(e in+entions b$t be&a$se (e%as t(o$)(t %ise and s$,erior to t(e rest. B$t as #ore arts %erein+ented and so#e %ere dire&ted to t(e ne&essities o' li'e ot(ers tore&reation t(e in+entors o' t(e latter %ere nat$rally al%ays re)ardedas %iser t(an t(e in+entors o' t(e 'or#er be&a$se t(eir bran&(es o'no%led)e did not ai# at $tility. Hen&e %(en all s$&( in+entions%ere already establis(ed t(e s&ien&es %(i&( do not ai# at )i+in),leas$re or at t(e ne&essities o' li'e %ere dis&o+ered and 'irst int(e ,la&es %(ere #en 'irst be)an to (a+e leis$re. T(is is %(y t(e#at(e#ati&al arts %ere 'o$nded in E)y,t* 'or t(ere t(e ,riestly&aste %as allo%ed to be at leis$re. We (a+e said in t(e Et(i&s %(at t(e di''eren&e is bet%een artand s&ien&e and t(e ot(er indred 'a&$lties* b$t t(e ,oint o' o$r,resent dis&$ssion is t(is t(at all #en s$,,ose %(at is &alled Wisdo#to deal %it( t(e 'irst &a$ses and t(e ,rin&i,les o' t(in)s* so t(atas (as been said be'ore t(e #an o' e1,erien&e is t(o$)(t to be%iser t(an t(e ,ossessors o' any sense,er&e,tion %(ate+er t(e artist%iser t(an t(e #en o' e1,erien&e t(e #aster%orer t(an t(e#e&(ani& and t(e t(eoreti&al inds o' no%led)e to be #ore o' t(enat$re o' Wisdo# t(an t(e ,rod$&ti+e. Clearly t(en Wisdo# is no%led)eabo$t &ertain ,rin&i,les and &a$ses. 7 Sin&e %e are seein) t(is no%led)e %e #$st in8$ire o' %(atind are t(e &a$ses and t(e ,rin&i,les t(e no%led)e o' %(i&( isWisdo#. I' one %ere to tae t(e notions %e (a+e abo$t t(e %ise #ant(is #i)(t ,er(a,s #ae t(e ans%er #ore e+ident. We s$,,ose 'irstt(en t(at t(e %ise #an no%s all t(in)s as 'ar as ,ossible alt(o$)((e (as not no%led)e o' ea&( o' t(e# in detail* se&ondly t(at (e%(o &an learn t(in)s t(at are di''i&$lt and not easy 'or #an to no%is %ise /sense,er&e,tion is &o##on to all and t(ere'ore easy andno #ar o' Wisdo#* a)ain t(at (e %(o is #ore e1a&t and #ore&a,able o' tea&(in) t(e &a$ses is %iser in e+ery bran&( o' no%led)e*and t(at o' t(e s&ien&es also t(at %(i&( is desirable on its o%na&&o$nt and 'or t(e sae o' no%in) it is #ore o' t(e nat$re o' Wisdo#t(an t(at %(i&( is desirable on a&&o$nt o' its res$lts and t(es$,erior s&ien&e is #ore o' t(e nat$re o' Wisdo# t(an t(e an&illary*'or t(e %ise #an #$st not be ordered b$t #$st order and (e #$st notobey anot(er b$t t(e less %ise #$st obey (i#. S$&( and so #any are t(e notions t(en %(i&( %e (a+e abo$t Wisdo#and t(e %ise. 2o% o' t(ese &(ara&teristi&s t(at o' no%in) allt(in)s #$st belon) to (i# %(o (as in t(e (i)(est de)ree $ni+ersalno%led)e* 'or (e no%s in a sense all t(e instan&es t(at 'all $ndert(e $ni+ersal. And t(ese t(in)s t(e #ost $ni+ersal are on t(e%(ole t(e (ardest 'or #en to no%* 'or t(ey are 'art(est 'ro# t(esenses. And t(e #ost e1a&t o' t(e s&ien&es are t(ose %(i&( deal #ost%it( 'irst ,rin&i,les* 'or t(ose %(i&( in+ol+e 'e%er ,rin&i,les are#ore e1a&t t(an t(ose %(i&( in+ol+e additional ,rin&i,les e.).arit(#eti& t(an )eo#etry. B$t t(e s&ien&e %(i&( in+esti)ates &a$ses isalso instr$&ti+e in a (i)(er de)ree 'or t(e ,eo,le %(o instr$&t $sare t(ose %(o tell t(e &a$ses o' ea&( t(in). And $nderstandin) andno%led)e ,$rs$ed 'or t(eir o%n sae are 'o$nd #ost in t(e no%led)eo' t(at %(i&( is #ost no%able /'or (e %(o &(ooses to no% 'or t(e
 
sae o' no%in) %ill &(oose #ost readily t(at %(i&( is #ost tr$lyno%led)e and s$&( is t(e no%led)e o' t(at %(i&( is #ostno%able* and t(e 'irst ,rin&i,les and t(e &a$ses are #ostno%able* 'or by reason o' t(ese and 'ro# t(ese all ot(er t(in)s&o#e to be no%n and not t(ese by #eans o' t(e t(in)s s$bordinateto t(e#. And t(e s&ien&e %(i&( no%s to %(at end ea&( t(in) #$st bedone is t(e #ost a$t(oritati+e o' t(e s&ien&es and #ore a$t(oritati+et(an any an&illary s&ien&e* and t(is end is t(e )ood o' t(at t(in)and in )eneral t(e s$,re#e )ood in t(e %(ole o' nat$re. 9$d)ed byall t(e tests %e (a+e #entioned t(en t(e na#e in 8$estion 'alls tot(e sa#e s&ien&e* t(is #$st be a s&ien&e t(at in+esti)ates t(e 'irst,rin&i,les and &a$ses* 'or t(e )ood i.e. t(e end is one o' t(e&a$ses. T(at it is not a s&ien&e o' ,rod$&tion is &lear e+en 'ro# t(e(istory o' t(e earliest ,(iloso,(ers. -or it is o%in) to t(eir%onder t(at #en bot( no% be)in and at 'irst be)an to ,(iloso,(i6e*t(ey %ondered ori)inally at t(e ob+io$s di''i&$lties t(en ad+an&edlittle by little and stated di''i&$lties abo$t t(e )reater #atterse.). abo$t t(e ,(eno#ena o' t(e #oon and t(ose o' t(e s$n and o' t(estars and abo$t t(e )enesis o' t(e $ni+erse. And a #an %(o is ,$66ledand %onders t(ins (i#sel' i)norant /%(en&e e+en t(e lo+er o' #yt(is in a sense a lo+er o' Wisdo# 'or t(e #yt( is &o#,osed o' %onders*t(ere'ore sin&e t(ey ,(iloso,(i6ed order to es&a,e 'ro# i)noran&ee+idently t(ey %ere ,$rs$in) s&ien&e in order to no% and not 'or any$tilitarian end. And t(is is &on'ir#ed by t(e 'a&ts* 'or it %as %(enal#ost all t(e ne&essities o' li'e and t(e t(in)s t(at #ae 'or&o#'ort and re&reation (ad been se&$red t(at s$&( no%led)e be)anto be so$)(t. E+idently t(en %e do not see it 'or t(e sae o' anyot(er ad+anta)e* b$t as t(e #an is 'ree %e say %(o e1ists 'or (iso%n sae and not 'or anot(ers so %e ,$rs$e t(is as t(e only 'rees&ien&e 'or it alone e1ists 'or its o%n sae. Hen&e also t(e ,ossession o' it #i)(t be 4$stly re)arded as beyond($#an ,o%er* 'or in #any %ays ($#an nat$re is in bonda)e so t(ata&&ordin) to Si#onides :od alone &an (a+e t(is ,ri+ile)e and itis $n'ittin) t(at #an s(o$ld not be &ontent to see t(e no%led)e t(atis s$ited to (i#. I' t(en t(ere is so#et(in) in %(at t(e ,oetssay and 4ealo$sy is nat$ral to t(e di+ine ,o%er it %o$ld ,robablyo&&$r in t(is &ase abo+e all and all %(o e1&elled in t(is no%led)e%o$ld be $n'ort$nate. B$t t(e di+ine ,o%er &annot be 4ealo$s /naya&&ordin) to t(e ,ro+erb bards tell a lie nor s(o$ld any ot(ers&ien&e be t(o$)(t #ore (ono$rable t(an one o' t(is sort. -or t(e #ostdi+ine s&ien&e is also #ost (ono$rable* and t(is s&ien&e alone #$stbe in t%o %ays #ost di+ine. -or t(e s&ien&e %(i&( it %o$ld be #ost#eet 'or :od to (a+e is a di+ine s&ien&e and so is any s&ien&e t(atdeals %it( di+ine ob4e&ts* and t(is s&ien&e alone (as bot( t(ese8$alities* 'or /! :od is t(o$)(t to be a#on) t(e &a$ses o' all t(in)sand to be a 'irst ,rin&i,le and /7 s$&( a s&ien&e eit(er :od alone&an (a+e or :od abo+e all ot(ers. All t(e s&ien&es indeed are#ore ne&essary t(an t(is b$t none is better. Yet t(e a&8$isition o' it #$st in a sense end in so#et(in) %(i&(is t(e o,,osite o' o$r ori)inal in8$iries. -or all #en be)in as %esaid by %onderin) t(at t(in)s are as t(ey are as t(ey do abo$tsel'#o+in) #arionettes or abo$t t(e solsti&es or t(ein&o##ens$rability o' t(e dia)onal o' a s8$are %it( t(e side* 'or itsee#s %onder'$l to all %(o (a+e not yet seen t(e reason t(at t(ere isa t(in) %(i&( &annot be #eas$red e+en by t(e s#allest $nit. B$t %e#$st end in t(e &ontrary and a&&ordin) to t(e ,ro+erb t(e betterstate as is t(e &ase in t(ese instan&es too %(en #en learn t(e &a$se*'or t(ere is not(in) %(i&( %o$ld s$r,rise a )eo#eter so #$&( as i' t(edia)onal t$rned o$t to be &o##ens$rable. We (a+e stated t(en %(at is t(e nat$re o' t(e s&ien&e %e aresear&(in) 'or and %(at is t(e #ar %(i&( o$r sear&( and o$r %(olein+esti)ation #$st rea&(. 3

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