PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOSTON AREA COLLOQUIUM IN ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY

PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOSTON AREA COLLOQUIUM IN ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
VOLUME XX, 2004

EDITED BY

JOHN J. CLEARY

AND

GARY M. GURTLER, S.J.

LEIDEN • BOSTON 2005

BRILL

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CONTENTS Preface .............................................................................................. Introduction ...................................................................................... COLLOQUIUM 1 Aristotle’s Metaphysics as the Ontology of Being-Alive and its Relevance Today ALFRED E. MILLER & MARIA G. MILLER ........................................ Commentary on the Millers JOHN J. CLEARY ............................................................................ vii ix

1 97

Millers/Cleary Bibliography .............................................................. 105

COLLOQUIUM 2 Socrates, Aristotle, and the Stoics on the Apparent and Real Good MARCELO D. BOERI ...................................................................... 109 Commentary on Boeri IAKOVOS VASILIOU ........................................................................ 142 Boeri/Vasiliou Bibliography .............................................................. 151 COLLOQUIUM 3 The Faces of Justice: Difference, Equality, and Integrity in Plato’s Republic ARYEH KOSMAN ............................................................................ 153 Commentary on Kosman MARY-HANNAH JONES .................................................................. 169 Kosman/Jones Bibliography .............................................................. 175

......................................................... COLLOQUIUM 7 The Relationship Between Justice and Happiness in Plato’s Republic DANIEL DEVEREUX .............. Index of Names .................. Commentary on Sallis NICKOLAS PAPPAS ...... 177 194 COLLOQUIUM 5 Aristotle’s Account of Agency in Physics III 3 URSULA COOPE .................................................... COLLOQUIUM 6 Class Assignment and the Principle of Specialization in Plato’s Republic SUSAN SAUVÉ MEYER ................................................................................................................................................................................. Devereux/Franklin Bibliography .................................................................................................................................................................................. Coope/Tress Bibliography ........................................................................ 222 227 229 244 263 265 306 312 313 317 ...............................................VI CONTENTS COLLOQUIUM 4 The Flow of ĭȪıȚȢ and the Beginning of Philosophy: On Plato’s Theaetetus JOHN SALLIS ............. 201 Commentary on Coope DARYL M......................................................................................................................................................... Sauvé Meyer/Brennan Bibliography ...................... About our Contributors ............................... Commentary on Devereux LEE FRANKLIN ................................................................................. Commentary on Sauvé Meyer TAD BRENNAN ............................................................................ TRESS ..........

In most cases. Finally. readers can use the Introduction that my co-editor has written. BOSTON COLLEGE . for his painstaking work in preparing cameraready copy for this volume in the Philosophy Department at Boston College.J. the dialogical character of such colloquia is partially preserved by publishing both a paper and commentary from each of the meetings. and Harvard University. I would like to thank the following people: David Depew. GURTLER. Daryl Tress. At the end of the volume. I wish to thank my colleagues on the BACAP committee. whose voluntary work structures the reality to which these Proceedings stand at one remove. together with the section ‘About our Contributors. David Roochnik. For their generous assistance as referees. this volume contains (in chronological order) papers and commentaries that were originally given during the 2003-04 academic year at different meetings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy. Smith. Bernard Freydberg. Boston University. Alessandra Fussi.PREFACE GARY M. so as to reflect the dialogical character of our Colloquium. Brad Inwood. In place of an index of contents. the College of the Holy Cross. Vasilis Politis. and the eighth volume that has appeared with Brill Academic Publishers. In conclusion. S. Michael J. In many cases these oral presentations have been extensively revised by their authors in the light of subsequent discussions. Each colloquium represents the activities of a single meeting at one of the following participating institutions: Boston College. we have retained the essential structure of these Proceedings. Dartmouth College. Once again. Brown University. I would also like to thank our editorial assistant. I want to acknowledge the continued financial assistance provided by the administrators at Boston College. covering the main topics touched upon by the papers published in the volume. I am very much indebted to my coeditor. John Cleary. giving a higher international profile to the series. Christine Thomas. Raphael Woolf. whose contribution has been crucial for the continuation of this series. Furthermore. Smith.’ readers will find a general index of names which was collated by our editorial assistant. Michael J. This marks the twentieth volume of the published Proceedings. and especially in response to critical comments from our external referees. whose support for this project has remained solid over the years. Clark University. As with previous volumes.

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However. CLEARY This volume is once again dominated by Plato. two colloquia concentrate exclusively on the Republic with reference to the justice of its principle of specialization. While offering their new interpretation. especially the Republic which is central to four of them. In their massive and challenging paper. They consider the following interpretive problem concerning the relation between the ontology of ousia in the Metaphysics and the biological . I. In addition. In addition. the Millers claim that such a paradigmatic framework can provide a systematic foundation for modern biological science. they also target what they call the ‘traditional’ interpretation of substance as a static entity which persists as a stable substratum for change. (2) that the ontology developed in the Metaphysics is the same as that applied in De Anima to the analysis of existing organisms. The exception is the Theaetetus whose dramatic elements are discussed in one of the colloquia. instead of pursuing detailed textual exegesis. and the relationship between justice and happiness. They propose to reinterpret the Metaphysics and De Anima in terms of a common underlying ontology that accounts for organisms as stable entities. let me adopt my usual procedure of giving a detailed summary of the contents of each colloquium. As a poor substitute for an index of contents to this volume. as well as for Aristotle’s biology. while Aristotle’s biology and ontology take center stage in the first colloquium. their interpretation depends on three explicit assumptions that guide their general perspective. For instance. as well as their interpretive stance with regard to specific issues: (1) that the Metaphysics as a whole constitutes a coherent didactic unity. Alfred and Maria Miller put forward a new paradigm for interpreting the ontology of ousia in Aristotle’s Metaphysics with reference to the dynamic entities represented by organisms in the De Anima. they elaborate and defend a number of interpretive theses.INTRODUCTION JOHN J. since four of these colloquia are devoted to studies of his dialogues. there is a colloquium on the historical appropriation of the Socratic problem of akrasia by the Stoics. (3) that the resulting ontological paradigm provides a conceptual and causal framework for analyzing ordinary experience and practice. However.

and hence active causal processes are not seen as playing a role in its continued existing as what it is. the being-alive of an organism exists as a dynamic physiological process of constant self-renewal and self-stabilization that actively preserves its identity. and hylomorphists. all of whom assume some kind of double-layered ontology. ousia as an individual composite entity is traditionally construed as a synthesis of unchanging form (eidos) imposed as a stable structure on unchanging matter. The Millers contrast their interpretation with those of dualists. though not as a one-time actualization of matter into its persisting stable eidos (form) at the time of genesis. Thus substance is conceived simply as the inertly persisting (static) presence of whatever an entity already is. According to the Millers. it must be reinterpreted in dynamic terms within the Metaphysics itself. they claim that modern functionalists tacitly assume two separate ontologies. CLEARY works: For Aristotle. In their terminology. The Millers insist that this self-stabilizing unified configuration results from continuing hou heneka causal relations and exists as entelecheia. Accordingly. the Millers claim. the process of being-alive exists as the holistically unified. its continuing identity is also dynamically constituted as the self-preserving unity of the configuration (ousia according to logos) of mutually enabling functions that comprise the functional organization of the unified process of self-maintenance. For instance. materialists. for Aristotle and for modern biologists the being-alive that constitutes the existing of any organism is conceived dynamically as a constant physiological process of self-perpetuation. For instance.’ which indicate an objectified or static conception of the existing of entities. this is tantamount to a sub- . By contrast. Thus the two reconceptions central to their dynamic reinterpretations of the ontology of ousia are as follows: (1) the ti en einai as the selfsufficient cause of ongoing existing. In order to resolve the apparent incongruity with the application of the ontology of ousia in De Anima.X JOHN J. as evidenced by translations of ousia as ‘substance’ and of ‘ti en einai’ as ‘essence. (2) entelecheia as the continuing actualization of the stable unity of the eidos as the product of hou heneka causal relations. namely. Furthermore. a static one for the existence of the body and a dependent dynamic one for the existence of the psyche as being-alive. the Millers hold that the ti en einai as formal cause of ongoing existing must be conceived as the dynamic organization of causally grounded sub-functions into the holistically unified process of self-maintenance. just as for biologists today. The Millers claim that ‘traditionally’ the ontology of the Metaphysics has been conceived in static terms both descriptively and causally. cooperative organization of the ongoing functional activities that are enabled by the instrumental potentials of the body.

Secondly. Adopting the conventional role of commentator. with reference to specific questions. modern biology accounts for the dynamic existing of organisms on the basis of their self-maintaining physiology. in terms of contemporary scholarly debate. Finally. They refuse to accept the hypothesis that between the Metaphysics and De Anima Aristotle may have changed his conception of the basic nature of ousia. he raises some doubts about a number of the claims made in the paper. In a very rich paper Boeri’s general claim is that. They argue that such a functionalist interpretation neither conforms with Aristotle’s conception of the existing of organisms as being-alive nor with modern biology. so as to replace what the Millers call the ‘traditional’ static interpretation of substance in the Metaphysics. however. In effect. Thus they insist that the ontology of ousia in the Metaphysics must be interpreted as fundamentally dynamic. the psyche as the ti en einai is constituted from the various functional potentials and activities exhibited by the organism which account not only for its ability to function appropriately in its environment but also for its very existing as being-alive. The second part of their argument is that the ontology of the Metaphysics itself must be reinterpreted dynamically so as to render it consistent with the application of that ontology in De Anima. which is critically appropriated by Aristotle and reappropriated by the Stoics. the Millers argue. For Aristotle. Similarly. Hence their project in this paper is to offer parallel dynamic interpretations of ousia in Metaphysics and De Anima. John Cleary first paraphrases the main claims of the Millers’ paper. Marcelo Boeri provides us with a highly nuanced account of how the distinction between the apparent and the real good functions in the Socratic approach to the problem of akrasia.INTRODUCTION XI strate/attribute ontology. as it presupposes the stable existing of the organism as a self-subsistent entity. which then functions secondarily. the functional activities of the psyche cannot be relegated to derivative status as products of dispositions grounded in an underlying substrate. II. although subsequent thinkers rejected Socratic intel- . But it is for the self-sufficient existing of an organism as being-alive that Aristotle tries to account in De Anima by treating the psyche as the dynamic process of being-alive which constitutes the fundamental ground of existing for organisms. which Aristotle firmly rejects for ousia. just as it is in the De Anima. he presses them to clarify where they stand on Aristotle’s view about the relation between the soul and the body.

The problem is to understand how people can do bad things. they could never dispense with Socratic elements in accounting for human action in terms of desire and cognition. and between knowing and believing. This is especially relevant for the Socratic analysis of the unwilling wrongdoer and the Stoic understanding of the unwilling base person. as Aristotle suggests is possible for craft knowledge like medicine. as other scholars have done. it is unlikely that Socrates would have accepted the possibility that wisdom or knowledge can be misused. In order to highlight both the continuities and discontinuities. With specific reference to the puzzle about akrasia. while knowing that their action conflicts with what is best for themselves. Thus Boeri’s narrative about the development of moral inquiry from Socrates to the Stoics underlines the continuity of themes and approaches rather than stressing the discontinuities. In the latter part of his paper Boeri claims that both Aristotle and the Stoics took for granted the Socratic analysis of the cognitive and psychological state of the agent for their evaluation of what the agent takes to be good. while knowing it to be bad for himself. For instance. CLEARY lectualism. Aristotle adopted some Socratic insights for use in his own ethical theories. despite criticism of Socratic intellectualism. For instance. Boeri examines Aristotle’s criticism of Socrates’ identification of virtue with knowledge. while also allowing for Aristotle’s criticism. which can either kill or cure. if someone does an action which is bad for himself. he explores how Aristotle incorporated some Socratic topics into his own accounts of human action. Despite differences between Socrates. Thus. we can understand him to be pursuing the apparent good. Boeri finds a common thread in their approaches to human action in the claim that what an agent takes to be really good depends on his cognitive state. while mistakenly believing it to be his real good. According to the Socratic intellectualist. This problem is usually thought to be dissolved by the Platonic Socrates through a parallel set of distinctions between the real and apparent good. it would be unintelligible for someone to perform a bad action. . He quite correctly points out that Aristotle’s use of his own distinction between different kinds of knowledge probably obscures what Socrates meant when he claimed that virtue is knowledge. Boeri argues that for Socrates the cognitive state of the agent is crucial for his correct assessment of the good and for the quality of the particular actions that he is able to perform.XII JOHN J. even while being critical of Socratic intellectualism. Aristotle and the Stoics. He tries to show that. but it is also important for Aristotle’s investigation of the akratic person. Boeri also discusses how the Stoics retained such intellectualism in their explanations of human action.

Vasiliou does not believe that the art of measurement is what distinguishes between good and bad pleasures in the Gorgias. since one lacked the art of measurement. For instance. however. they seem to share Aristotle’s view of the cognitive state of the akratic agent. and knows what is good and bad for himself. the Stoic solution to the problem of akrasia is to say that the individual is mastered by pleasure because he does not have knowledge in the strict sense but only opinion. By way of helpful commentary. while the virtues are forms of knowledge. he is responsible for his cognitive states and for the actions derived from the assents given to practical propositions stating what should be done in particular circumstances. Contrary to what Boeri claims. Boeri offers some insightful remarks on the parallelism between Aristotle’s practical syllogism and the Stoic model for the psychology of action. an agent gives assent to a practical proposition that describes a motivating phantasm. For both Aristotle and the Stoics it is characteristic of the incontinent person to regret his actions. Therefore. i. Iakovos Vasiliou claims that Boeri’s treatment of Socrates could be improved upon by focussing more on moral epistemology before he discusses the role which an understanding of the good plays in action. so that any failure to master oneself is treated as akratic. But this art of hedonism provides ‘salvation of life’ only on the assumption that hedonism is true. Given the hedonist principle. knowledge of the measurement of pleasures and pains. According to the Stoic psychology of action. so that he is unable to use the knowledge that he has. and Vasiliou wonders whether this is endorsed by Socrates. so that he assumes responsibility for what happened. one would be correctly aiming at maximizing pleasure but. the Stoics did not distinguish incontinence from intemperance. however. the Stoics held that vices are types of ignorance. the Stoics think that the akratic agent suffers some weakness in his rational faculties. namely. that these cognitive faculties are weakened but not totally absent.INTRODUCTION XIII With regard to the Stoics. Like Aristotle. Since a rational agent can give or withhold assent. Like Socrates. Vasiliou argues that the hedonist arguments in the Protagoras and Euthydemus dialogues differ in moral epistemology. despite the Stoic denial of conflict between parts of the soul. For instance. one would fail to determine correctly which action in fact leads to the most pleasure overall.e. where it is acknowledged that we seek pleasure for the sake of the good. Unlike Aristotle. Subsequently. When the . therefore. so that the assent becomes an impulse for action. But Vasiliou contends that this is not Socratic intellectualism. This has a definite bearing on the problem of akrasia. Boeri claims that they acknowledged the phenomenon of akrasia without abandoning their intellectualist approach to ethics.

namely. Kosman begins with two ‘straightforward’ questions about justice in the Republic. as illustrated by the image of the divided line. Kosman takes this image to be Plato’s way of figuring “the logical space of being” in relation to unity and difference. Kosman proposes to explore the notion of justice in the Republic as a normative principle of difference. By analogy. that it will work best if different people perform different jobs for which they are best suited. But Kosman regards this answer as unsuitable for understanding the Republic where ‘virtue’ does not refer narrowly to human morality but more generally to the excellent functioning of things. From this emerges the central claim about justice in the polis. and why is the exposition of justice so central to Plato’s ideal polis. what is the relation of justice to virtue. Aryeh Kosman begins his provocative paper by expressing puzzlement at modern scholars who view Plato as the ideologue of unity and the enemy of difference. Thus justice in the polis consists of each person performing the function for which he is best suited. however. according to which justice is central to morality because it concerns our relationship to others.XIV JOHN J. CLEARY distinction has been made between pleasure and the good. justice within the individual involves each differentiated element doing what it is best able to do. which in turn involves knowing its nature. Against this mistaken perception. as exemplified by Rawls. Plato addresses these questions by first imagining the origin of social collectivity in the division of labor that responds to our lack of selfsufficiency. Contrary to our modern intuitions about morality. III. This implies that finding justice in the polis will involve knowing its characteristic activity. Thus he examines how justice as a principle of appropriate differentiation in Republic I-IV is later complemented by Plato’s discourse on integrity. In brief. Kosman suggests that we cannot discover the nature of justice in a subject until we specify what kind of harmony is achieved when the differentiation of function is determined. Kosman points out that for Plato anything may count as a virtue of the polis if it makes that system of organization work well. a virtue is the quality possessed by something which enables it to perform its function well. For an individual person justice is a balance . He considers a typically modern answer. the problem of determining the good remains unresolved by the art of measurement. Perhaps that might help us to understand why Plato seems unconcerned about the existence of slavery in the polis. including artifacts.

Thus. therefore. as well as a political and moral concept. as well as proper differentiation. as in a just polis each citizen does what it is appropriate for him to do. however. thereby revealing the ideal unity and integrity of the line itself. each thing is what it is proper for it to be. In a functionally differentiated universe. Kosman draws attention to the horizontal or lateral dimensions of unity and integrity within the spatial metaphor for Plato’s ontology in the Republic. reason itself does not desire but rather through its exercise it facilitates the proper exercise of desire. According to Kosman. Generally. Kosman argues that the Republic may be read as an inquiry into the ethics and metaphysics of difference. He tries to show that no account of difference can do justice to Plato’s intentions without also stressing the importance of unity and integrity. she argues that while the normative . He suggests that Plato began by viewing justice in the polis before the individual soul because the former is more obviously a functionally differentiated being. justice can be seen as a general principle of adjustment between being and acting. given that it is a social collectivity founded on the division of labor. In the latter parts of his paper. which underpins the unity of a good polis. Kosman discusses the kind of unity reached through collection that is the other facet of justice in the Republic. Kosman stresses the equal importance of sameness and difference in Plato’s philosophical thought. In addition.INTRODUCTION XV achieved when each functionally differentiated element of his soul performs the function for which it is best suited. By way of dissent. Kosman claims that a central project of the Republic is imaginatively to represent the happiness of a human life ruled by reason when reason does not have to act like a tyrant. Mary-Hannah Jones reveals her appreciation of the fine points of Kosman’s argument concerning justice in Plato’s Republic. Thus. for instance. In her astute commentary. namely. as exemplified by the Platonic Forms. the Republic is an essay on the principle of appropriate division. in order to guard against one-sided interpretations that stress the one at the expense of the other. an investigation of the proper modes of being’s articulation into differentiated parts. insofar as it is an essay on justice. Indeed. which functions as a principle of political friendship and psychic harmony. It is consistent with the general requirement for such complex entities to be good they must show integrity and wholeness. He calls this the platonic virtue of integrity. such unity is promoted by the virtue of sophrosune. therefore. so that it can be presented both as a metaphysical concept. Generally. He also finds integrity manifested in the image of the divided line through the vertical relation of different parts of the line to one another. or an inquiry into the nature of right difference.

to be found at the very center of the dialogue. the luxurious. In his own inimitable fashion. this difficulty is also connected . and the ideal polis can all be called equally just. So there is a real doubt as to whether the austere. He claims that the image of Theaetetus flowing like olive oil is decisive for the discussion of physis in which virtually everything flows. According to Sallis. In general. Sallis takes the Theaetetus to be posing the question of how any determinacy can be discovered in the flow of physis such that a definite logos can be given.e. By means of his highly suggestive presentation. relying on the explicit references to the physis of Theaetetus in the dialogue. there is the vignette in which Theaetetus emerges suddenly from the gymnasium in the full flow of his youthful vitality. In other words. even if they perform their functions well in satisfying human desires. which he labels ‘the scene of physis’ and through which are translated certain theses about physis. Thus his declared intention in this paper is to trace the evolution and intersection of these two extended scenes. According to his analysis of the dialogue. What Sallis finds striking about the dialogue is that it translates its philosophical claims into theatrical spectacles that one can imagine happening before one’s eyes. IV. of saying anything definite or appropriate about physis. Jones suggests that the ideal polis is just and good because it exhibits integrity and wholeness with reference to the Form of Justice in a way that is not available to the other kinds of polis.XVI JOHN J. involving the showing of physis and the appearance of the philosopher in Plato’s Theaetetus. Thus a polis is just only when it has a division of labor that arises in the right way so as to achieve the right purpose. CLEARY principle of difference is a general one that applies to any functionally differentiated entity. For instance. she claims (pace Kosman) that justice for Plato is not the same as the normative principle of difference but is rather a special kind of normative difference. Sallis connects the initial appearance of Theaetetus with the extended scene which manifests physis. Sallis claims that the primary manifestations achieved by the dialogue are realized in and through such developing scenes as this. By way of conclusion. yet Plato’s notion of justice in particular is applicable only to entities in relation to a particular function.. John Sallis presents a phenomenological account of the theatrical element in Plato’s Theaetetus by inviting potential readers to imagine some of its scenes as if they were being presented on stage. But yet this flow of becoming challenges the very possibility of logos. the second scene that is stage-managed by Plato involves the appearance of the philosopher. i.

the discussion reveals that knowledge involves something not found in perception but. In the Heideggerean terms used by Sallis. so that it belongs to physis. as he appears in the central scene. since wonder is held to be the peculiar pathos of the philosopher. it shows that perception only becomes fully possible through a certain kind of knowing. Pappas argues. For instance. The wonderful nature of Theaetetus that is capable of excess (or monstrosity) serves as a prelude to the scene in which the philosopher appears (155d). as it is produced by the conflicting opposites within the soul.. But the promising young philosopher. According to Sallis’ phenomenological reading of the Theaetetus. gazing up at the heavens while failing to see what is under his feet. what is still lacking in the philosopher (e. namely. Even though this dialogue claims that wonder is the . Pappas claims that such issues are relevant for Platonic interpretation because the dialogues continually restage the first appearance of philosophy. Theaetetus. Nickolas Pappas wonders whether Plato’s maxim that ‘philosophy begins with wonder’ should be taken to say that the inauguration of philosophy was a historical event or simply a metaphysical possibility always ready to be repeated. In his sympathetic commentary. is a comportment that would remain bound to physis. Socrates is a typical example of such a Janus-faced figure. that it has already begun and can no longer begin again as it once did. namely. he finds the Theaetetus to be very preoccupied with the history of philosophy. yet it is still the look of something in physis. achieves this ‘monstrous’ condition through wonder. The original debt to someone like Thales is not discharged but increased with every subsequent engagement in philosophy. and so is mocked by the Thracian maid for falling down a well. philosophy involves an ‘opening to being’ that goes beyond physis while providing it with the determinacy that it lacks as flowing.g. then it does not matter so much that everyone always has the potential to begin philosophizing. Thus. in the final passages of Theaetetus. Sallis reads the concluding discussion between Socrates and Theaetetus on whether knowledge is perception in terms of the tension between the flow of physis and the stability of determinate being. on the other hand. If it is crucial that philosophy began with some historical event. the ‘look’ towards which perceptions stretch is something that exceeds physis. Sallis claims to discover a fusion of the two extended scenes.INTRODUCTION XVII with the declaration that wonder is the beginning of philosophy. Thales typifies this slightly ridiculous figure who is lost in wonder. while at the same time exceeding physis. For instance. On the one hand. the scene of physis and the appearance of the philosopher. Thales). looking to the beyond while still remaining bound to his physis.

While underlining this difference. Coope performs a valuable service by rendering Aristotle’s notion less strange to us by examining in detail the puzzle which he raises and the resolution which he reaches. it is most resistant to deciding whether that is an eternally present possibility or an actual historical event. It is precisely such strangeness that reveals the distance between the modern conception of causality and that of Aristotle. V. Yet this change is still the actuality of a potential of the agent. More specifically. . Thus the agent of change has a special kind of potential that can only be fulfilled in something else. This is a very shrewd approach because it clarifies Aristotle’s own conception of the problems associated with causal agency. qua such. With regard to the explanatory role of this sort of action. otherwise it would not occur in the patient. In this way. that an agent produces change by acting on something. even though different in being and definition. Ursula Coope brings out clearly how different from modern conceptions is Aristotle’s notion of causal agency. the capacity of a teacher to teach can only be realized in students who are learning – a sobering thought for university professors! Thus. a complete definition of change must cover both the potential of the patient to be changed and the potential of the agent to change the patient. even in the case of efficient causation. In making her analysis of Aristotle’s notion of causal agency. For instance. and not in the agent.XVIII JOHN J. she analyses Aristotle’s claim that the agent’s action is one and the same as the change brought about in the thing acted upon. Through her carefully argued paper. she wonders about what is involved in saying that the agent was acting on something to bring about change.3 concerning the relation between the agent and the patient involved a causal nexus. she focuses on a specific claim that Aristotle makes about agency in Physics III. namely. as Coope points out. From our perspective it appears rather strange that Aristotle should raise a puzzle about whether the action of the agent and the change in the patient are two distinct changes. Coope shrewdly explores the puzzle which he lays out and resolves in Physics III.3. According to Coope’s interpretation. So a change is the incomplete actuality of the potential patient and of the potential agent. a crucial point for Aristotle’s solution is that an agent’s action is simply the change that is occurring in the patient. But it is even stranger to find him resolving the puzzle by arguing that they are one and the same change. and avoids introducing a modern problematic. CLEARY beginning of philosophy.

Tress suggests that this thesis is excessively bold because it undercuts some Aristotelian assumptions about potentiality and its fulfillment. in order to suggest that one is more defensible than the other. Her paper critically examines Plato’s justification for the exclusion of artisans from political activity in accordance with the Principle of Specialization. In her well argued paper. But Meyer argues that Plato gives us no good reason to suppose that artisans are excluded from political participation because of any natural incapacity. A common interpretation of this principle is that members of the artisan class are naturally incapable of acquiring the political excellence that is necessary to become auxiliaries or rulers. however. Meyer finds it strikingly anomalous that the artisans. e. she describes as ‘very bold’ the thesis that change is the actualization of an agent’s potential that takes place in the patient. Thus she finds the bold thesis to be preferable as an interpretation of Aristotle because it is consistent with what he says about efficient causation by way of criticism of Plato’s Forms. She also argues that the institutions of the ideal city show no sign of having been designed to make sure that all those with a natural capacity to be guardians are given the opportunity to develop it.3. On the other hand.INTRODUCTION XIX Coope throws some light on Aristotle’s definition of change in Physics III. which tend to focus on the distribution of material goods.g. The bold thesis is that the reciprocity of agent and patient is such that change simply is their mutual contact.. fail to receive such an education in virtue. that a determinate substance has a limited set of potentials. Plato thinks the main task of the politician is to make the citizens good through an education in virtue. that a thing causes change by acting and not by simply being what it is. Tress finds this thesis quite bold from our modern perspective because it does not involve any mechanical push-pull that we associate with efficient causality. Daryl Tress distinguishes between two theses (bold and very bold) which Coope might be defending. While providing an admirably succinct commentary. which constitute the largest class of citizens in Plato’s ideal polis. by clearly differentiating it from modern notions of causal agency. Susan Sauvé Meyer discusses the relationship between class assignment and what she calls the Principle of Specialization in Plato’s Republic. Given this ancient perspective. By contrast with modern conceptions of political justice. The crucial question is whether the lack of civic . namely. VI.

’ such as exclusive focus and lack of impeding distractions. The main body of Meyer’s paper provides an analysis of the Principle of Specialization in terms of two clauses which specify.’ which describes how each citizen is assigned to a political class on the basis of natural aptitude.’ which may refer to a person’s ‘antecedent nature’ or to a person’s developed capacity (or ‘second nature’). respectively. But surely (one might object) Plato does make it clear that natural suitability is the relevant criterion for assigning people to different classes in his ideal polis. In the final part of her paper. which requires a person to specialize in a single craft. Meyer notes that the myth is a falsehood insofar as it represents the developed capacities of the three classes as if they were simply natural aptitudes. then it does not provide the sort of justification that is usually attributed to it. as it were. since the institutions of the ideal polis are not designed to ensure that all those with a natural aptitude to become guardians are given an opportunity to do so.XX JOHN J. In regarding artisans as being unsuitable for guardian functions. She thinks the myth is . According to her analysis. While nature in the sense of natural aptitude is invoked in the technical versions of the Principle of Specialization. For instance. Meyer argues. a natural aptitude for a particular occupation and a specialization in it to the exclusion of competing occupations. Meyer points to an ambiguity in the term ‘nature. in the sense of antecedent nature. Prof. Plato adopts the aristocratic prejudice that tradesmen are incapable of attaining the virtue of free men. a person who is naturally suited for carpentry and justice might still be relegated to the artisan class because of the political need for people to build houses. CLEARY virtue in the artisans is the result of a natural incapacity or of a lack of education in civic virtue. but it remains unclear whether this is due to their antecedent or developed natures. Meyer examines the so-called ‘myth of the metals. the facts about natural aptitude are insufficient to support the second clause. nature in the sense of developed capacity is equally important for achieving the goal of the principle. Meyer claims that the Principle of Specialization does not provide adequate justification for the fact that the artisans are denied civic education. since it does not entail that one lacks a natural aptitude for an occupation to which one is not assigned. This must be supported also by the so-called ‘requirements of expertise. which might have become second nature. if the principle assigns people to the artisan class on the basis of their developed rather than antecedent nature. But. Although this appears to provide justification for class assignment that is consistent with the Principle of Specialization. In response. Meyer argues that the Principle of Specialization is consistent with the possibility (not envisaged by Plato) that a person might not be assigned the occupation for which he is naturally suited.

such as the well being of the whole polis and its parts. Hence Meyer concludes that the Principle of Specialization is quite blind to what we now call ‘distributive justice. however. Therefore. . however. She finds a similar intent in the promise that the ‘metal’ of all offspring will be tested. he argues. For many reasons. In his critical response to Meyer’s analysis of the Principle of Specialization. By way of response. However. with reference to two related points: that Plato’s Kallipolis does not satisfy this principle and that the satisfaction of this principle is not a goal of his general political program. pace Meyer. Brennan agrees that it involves more than a principle for assigning people to jobs on the basis on the basis of natural ability. Brennan argues that the distribution of political power in Kallipolis is fair by the standards of Principle F but yet that Plato did not make fairness of distribution his goal. she casts doubt on whether the promise of equal opportunity implied in the Myth of the Metals actually functions as a constraint on the institutions of the ideal polis. even before the assignment of individuals is addressed. By way of critical commentary on Meyer’s paper. Given that the Republic treats political participation as a burden rather than a good. Brennan claims that there is evidence that Kallipolis actually does satisfy Principle F but yet he finds other reasons to conclude that Plato did not adopt as a political goal the satisfaction of that principle. Thus. he disagrees with her claim that other parts of the principle operate by assigning people to jobs on the basis of the requirement of expertise. which he takes to be central to her argument. it is the rulers of Kallipolis who have grounds for complaint about unfairness in the distribution of goods because they are forced to shoulder the burden of ruling. Brendan remains unconvinced by Meyer’s claim that people are assigned to jobs in Kallipolis on grounds other than their natural ability.’ since it quantifies over occupations and not persons in the polis. If anything. for the many reasons given in his thorough commentary. although it may be a collateral consequence of the pursuit of other goals. these other parts are directed to creating and justifying the right sorts of jobs to begin with. Tad Brennan formulates a principle of fairness (Principle F).INTRODUCTION XXI clearly designed to mitigate resentment on the part of those excluded from the guardian class. Brennan argues. so that a ‘golden’ child from an artisan family may be elevated to the rank of guardian. Brennan notes that it is possible to misunderstand Plato by applying to his thought modern concerns about unfair distributions of political power. Instead.

It would appear that such a proof is possible only if justice is a constituent of happiness. In his closely argued paper. The purpose of this digression is to show that Socrates in the Republic understands happiness as a consequence of justice in the same way that Aristotle views happiness as a consequence of virtue. In this way. Devereux claims that the argument of the Republic is composed of two parts. which is a second (and different) interpretation of Plato’s view that justice is valuable for its own sake. While he accepts that Aristotle may be called a eudaimonist because he regards happiness as the supreme good. and that what he means by justice being valuable ‘for its own sake’ is that it is intrinsically valuable. This interpretation is favored by many scholars because it yields one continuous argument in Republic II-IX. With specific reference to Aristotle’s concept of something being valuable for its own sake. . the first part shows that justice is valuable in itself. Devereux also lists a third interpretation which views happiness as a direct effect of justice. while the second shows the superior happiness of the just life..e. while the second shows that it yields happiness as a consequence. namely. CLEARY VII. Devereux acknowledges that it is difficult to square this interpretation of happiness as a consequence of justice with Socrates’ ostensible task of responding to Glaucon’s demand for a proof that justice is valuable in itself rather than for its consequences. discusses these questions by means of specific and detailed analysis of the text. Daniel Devereux revisits the scholarly debate about the relationship between justice and happiness in Plato’s Republic. subsequently. Having clarified these three possible interpretations of Plato’s view of the relationship between justice and happiness in the Republic. Devereux defends his interpretation of Plato’s conception against the charge of anachronism. Devereux defends the first interpretation by providing other plausible ways of understanding the passages in Books II-X that seem to tell against it. Devereux casts doubt on whether Plato can be called this since he holds that justice is the greatest good that human beings can possess. he outlines the debate through a schematic series of questions and. First. (1) that Socrates regards justice as intrinsically valuable. In this way. which is designed to show that justice is valuable for itself by showing that it yields happiness. i. and (2) that he views happiness as a consequence of justice. he tries to show how these passages are compatible with the two claims that constitute the first interpretation. In effect. Devereux argues that Plato regards happiness as being a consequence of justice. By contrast.XXII JOHN J. the first interpretation involves a two-part argument for the value of justice: the first part shows how it is valuable for itself.

But this is precisely what constitutes human happiness. The first colloquium. But. The dominant analytic tradition is well represented in at least three colloquia which reflect the virtues of careful argumentation and close textual analysis of Platonic dialogues. Franklin concludes. From this distinction Devereux had concluded that if justice is valuable for itself. which combines elements from both the analytic and hermeneutical traditions. Franklin undertakes to show that justice for Plato is the sort of entity whose intrinsic value is identical with the value it has due to its consequences. justice is valuable for itself because it makes us happy. which is a state of the soul. It essential for us to listen to all these differentvoices in order to promote fresh scholarship in ancient philosophy. the necessity of providing a phenomenological account of the dramatic and dialogical dimensions of these dialogues is shown in another colloquium. He argues that justice by definition is the source of a certain pattern of desire and action. deliberates and lives well. According to the function argument. which ably represents the hermeneutical tradition. however. in Republic IV. the excellence of a soul that is identical with justice is exactly the state in which it rules. which must be interdisciplinary in character. Thus the intrinsic value of justice is identical with its value as the source of happiness.INTRODUCTION XXIII In his concise commentary. Socrates’ account of justice is given in terms of the desires and actions it produces. Lee Franklin takes issue with Devereux’s argument that Plato is not a eudaimonistic because happiness is an activity which is a consequence of justice. BOSTON COLLEGE & NUI MAYNOOTH (IRELAND) . therefore. However. against this conclusion. According to the long-established practice of our Proceedings. In fact. Another colloquium reflects the Latin-American tradition in ancient philosophy. each colloquium in this volume is dialogical both in structure and content. For instance. which underlines our intention to provide a forum for conversation between different traditions of interpreting ancient philosophical texts. cannot be neatly classified under any tradition of scholarly interpretation precisely because it involves two practicing scientists who adopt a different approach to Aristotelian scholarship. then its intrinsic value must be distinct from the value it has due to any of its consequences.

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holistic-causal basis. We are grateful for the comments and suggestions from the respondent. MILLER I. as a whole is assumed to be a coherent unity that establishes the systematic ontology of ousia by a unified. II-V by showing how this framework resolves the issues and allows a consistent interpretation of the texts. The basic argument of the original paper remains unchanged. John Cleary.) by bringing to light a shared underlying ontology that accounts for organisms as well as stable entities on a dynamic causal basis. The account of the ontology of artifacts (Sec. Our other aim is to highlight the differences of our interpretation from other current approaches—a central question raised by commentators. but we have tried to clarify issues where questions were raised and amplify points where our argument was unclear or in need of more support. The Introduction lays out the background assumptions of our exegetic approach and shows how they enable a coherent unified exegesis of the texts. This interpretation closely resembles today’s scientific understanding of the corresponding problems so that illuminating comparisons are possible. A Dynamic Reinterpretation of the Metaphysics This paper proposes a combined reinterpretation of the Metaphysics (Metaph. I) was added to spell out the problems that prompted our interpretive approach and to elaborate the methodological assumptions underlying our reinterpretation of the ontology of ousia. cogent. methodologically organized argu_________ 1 This paper was originally presented at Boston University on Sept. .1 Our approach rests on three basic assumptions that determine the general perspective and interpretive stance on the issues: (1) The Metaph. We analyze the problem context that prompted the interpretation and clarify how our approach differs from other attempts to relate the ontology from the Metaph. MILLER & MARIA G. 2003. This revision attempts to address these points. from the anonymous referee and from participants in the discussions. to its application in De An.) and De Anima (De An. 18. A detailed defense of the background assumptions cannot be undertaken here. The intent is first to make these assumptions and our approach explicit and then demonstrate their cogency as a coherent interpretive framework in Sec. This introduction (Sec.COLLOQUIUM 1 ARISTOTLE’S METAPHYSICS AS THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE AND ITS RELEVANCE TODAY ALFRED E. itself must be reinterpreted on a dynamic. II) was also expanded to clarify and support our central thesis that the Metaph. This is to show the validity for stable entities of the dynamic causal ontology that emerges from the analysis of organisms in De An.

2 (2) The ontology of ousia developed in the Metaph. of course. n. It thematizes and reformulates this implicit ontological knowledge (the endoxa of daily life) into the systematic terminological framework that provides the conceptual and causal foundation of natural science—which we still rely on. We discuss our position on this issue in more detail later in this Introduction (cf. we can use today’s more detailed knowledge of causal mechanisms to help understand his more abstract ontological principles in concrete terms. which Aristotle explicitly equates with psuchê and with the existing [ijց ıՂȟįț] of the organism (An. includes inconsistent parts stemming from different periods in Aristotle’s philosophical development. Ǽ & ȁ]) essentially as we have it from Andronicus and Alexander. For now suffice it to say that we accept Ross’s (1924) position based on philological grounds.. that the work forms a unified text (with the exception of certain clear intrusions [į. we use ‘being-alive’ to refer to the life-constituting aspect of organisms whenever its seems appropriate to call attention to the dynamic nature of life. explicitly bases its account of the being-alive of organisms [the psuchê as ijր Ș‫׆‬ȟ] on the ontology of ousia developed in the Metaph. A. viz. but comes to the same conclusion. Owens (1963) argues more from systematic and didactic grounds. 3 Unfortunately a few pivotal empirical errors. Our major reason for assuming this unity of the work is that it enables a coherent systematic interpretation that conforms with its application in De An. led to serious misunderstanding and rejection of his valid conceptual framework and causal insights as the foundation of natural science.2 ALFRED E. MILLER & MARIA G. is the same as that applied in De An. 4 We use ‘being-alive’ to translate the infinitive ‘ijր Ș‫׆‬ȟ’. The substantialized conception of the . Although Aristotle most often uses the term ‘psuchê’ and seldom uses ‘ijր Ș‫׆‬ȟ’. (3) The ontology established in the Metaph. his ontological insights and analyses can also aid understanding of today’s problems in many fields. the scientific revolutions and paradigm revisions of twentieth-century physics and biology now make it possible to understand and correctly apply some of his most important ontological insights—which ironically were the very grounds for his rejection during the scientific renaissance of the 17th Century.4 This _________ 2 This assumption has. such as Aristotle’s acceptance of the geocentric conception of the universe and his failure to understand the nature of inertial motion. II 4.3 Because Aristotle’s original ontological analysis is still preserved in the basic framework of scientific thinking. MILLER ment. Conversely. As argued below. 21). because Aristotle’s ontology is the basis of the framework still used for analyzing and accounting for the physical world. starts from the understanding inherent in dealing with things in everyday life and language. Seeming Incongruence of the Ontology of Ousia in De Anima and the Metaphysics 1. 415b12-14). been hotly contested for the past century since Jaeger’s proposal that the Metaph. The Ontology of being-alive is inconsistent with a static interpretation of ousia in the Metaphysics De An. as the basic paradigm used to account for the existing of organisms—so that rigorous comparison of the two works is possible.

the relation between the ontology of ousia established in the Metaph. By contrast. However. Ousia as a composite entity is construed as a synthesis of unchanging form [eidos] imposed as an intrinsically stable structure on unchanging matter.) 5 The term ‘paradigm’ is used in Kuhn’s (1962) sense as the systematic conceptual and explanatory model assumed by a given science to serve as the overall framework for analyzing and accounting for particular phenomena. (All translations are our own. Yet as traditionally understood. These translations are indicative of a pervasive objectified (static) conception of the existing of entities [ousiai as tode ti] that has traditionally shaped the interpretation of the Metaph. It is beyond this paper to consider the variations and disputes within this diverse range of interpretation in any detail.5 However. just as for biologists today. and its application in the biological works as the ontology of living things also involves deep-seated interpretive problems. Thus the ontology of ousia provides the fundamental paradigm for Aristotle’s science of biology. We attempt to define more precisely what this static interpretation involves in the succeeding discussion. 6 By ‘traditional’ we mean not only the classic comprehensive interpretations and commentaries. Zeller 1889 or Ross 1924. The hyphenated form indicates the underlying infinitive [ijր Ș‫׆‬ȟ] suggesting its role as the ti ên einai of an organism [‘the existing as a living being’]. but also the vast body of more recent commentary and interpretation concerned with the Metaph. then. understanding ousia as ‘substance’ conceives its existing simply as the inertly persisting (static) _________ life-aspect of organisms evoked by the nominalized form ‘psuchê’ (and especially its standard translation as ‘soul’) implicitly biases the understanding of any interpretation in the static direction. Bonitz 1848-9. which we characterize as ‘static’.6 This static conception of ousia is evidenced in the conventional translation of terms like ‘ousia’ [beingness] as ‘substance’.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 3 ontology serves as the systematic conceptual and explanatory framework used to analyze and account for the nature of organisms. the ontology from the Metaph. how they exist and for their various functional capabilities. it is applied throughout the biological works as the basic conceptual and causal framework to account for the nature. For Aristotle. ‘being-alive’ emphasizes the dynamic nature of life and its functional manner of existing and thereby keeps the associated ontological problems in view. Schwegler 1847-8. such as Aquinas 1480. is conceived in static terms— both descriptively and causally. share basic assumptions regarding the general nature and ontology of ousia. the ti ên einai [the existing as what it (always) is] as ‘essence’ and other cases where verbal or perspectival Greek terms are rendered in modern languages and Latin in terms of concrete substantives. In effect. This paradigm as the general ontology of being-alive is developed most thoroughly and systematically in De An. the being-alive of an organism exists as a dynamic physiological process of constant self-renewal and self-stabilization which actively preserves its own existing and identity. . manner of existing and functioning of organisms. Our contention is that all extant interpretive approaches to the Metaph.

The integration and determination of the functional roles of the parts by the configuration of the whole is shown to result from the combination of the ti ên einai and hou heneka causal relations. used to describe being-alive existing as a selfmaintaining functional process (the ti ên einai). As will be shown. Aristotle accounts for this characteristic of living organisms on the basis of the openness of interacting dunameis [potentials] for being shaped dynamically by each other in merging into a causal relation.9 This unified functioning maintains itself as the uninterrupted _________ 7 Insofar as the eidos is understood as the so-called ‘formal cause’ of a substance. ongoing causation is assumed in some sense. 8 The term ‘dynamic’ is used to characterize the ontology of being-alive (or of ousia) in two interrelated senses. An. III. 9 By ‘cooperative’ we mean the mutually enabling organization of functions that also jointly brings about a unified functioning of the whole capable of more (something different) than the parts taken separately.B. ‘dynamic’ characterizes the cooperative organization of parts into a unified whole based on their functional interdependence. see Sec. this amounts to assuming that the eidos is simply a formal attribute [morphê] of the matter. As seen later. ‘dynamic’ is meant in the modern sense of a system that propagates itself through time by being the cause of its own subsequent continued existing. not in its continued existing as what it is.2).) The term ‘holistic’ is used to indicate the role of the inseparably unified and configured whole in determining the organized functioning or interactive fit of its parts. On the one hand. However. cooperative organization of ongoing functional activities enabled by the instrumental potentials of the body. MILLER presence of what already exists. the being-alive that constitutes the existing of an organism is conceived dynamically as the constant physiological process of self-perpetuation. By contrast. Active causal processes are assumed to play a role only in the coming to be or change of a substance. which is what really exists. It is also crucially co-determined by the unified functioning of the whole into which it is organized and by the role within this cooperatively integrated functional whole. On the other hand.7 In the same way. MILLER & MARIA G. we refer to this constellation of relation- . Consequently. 8. or alternatively that the eidos is an additional static substance somehow combined with its matter into a static hylomorphic complex. the continuing identity of an ousia (tode ti) qua substance is construed as the simple persistence of its hylomorphic unity that endures unchanged without needing further active causation. The mutual adaptation of the functional parts must be dynamically self-adjusting so the functional fit is maintained as needed for the unified functioning of the whole. which in turn are linked by the species-typical configuration [ousia according to the logos] of the whole. the eidos itself is conceived as a static structure simply persisting through time as a nexus of fixed relations of the unchanging materials that comprise it. (Cf.4 ALFRED E. for Aristotle. In holistically functioning systems the function and interactions of each part is not only dependent on its own potentials and those with which it interacts.8 This process sustains itself as a whole by continuous active self-renewal that comprises its existing as the organism it is (cf. Such being-alive exists as the holistically unified. just as for biologists today. II 4. n. 416b9-29.

The ontological analysis of this causal unity is presented most directly in An.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 5 process of being-alive and also continuously renews the bodily parts and potentials. Instead the basis of unity and stability (for which holistic causal relations account) is the species-typical fit (as unmoved mover) among the parts that is the ground of their merger into a holistic (all-or-nothing) unity. such efficient causation between levels of organization is explicitly denied by Aristotle (Phys. As discussed in Sec. we refrain from using these standard terms and rely directly on Aristotle’s own precise terminology. II 4 (415b8-28). 2000). II 7). which is used to describe the action of higher levels of organization on lower ones. the parts do not exist independently of the whole. there are no independent (actual) levels between which such causal relations could take place. Thus. Yet. n. Andersen. what appears to be the action of the whole on its parts is in fact the selfoptimization of the species-typical fit among the functional potentials of the parts themselves—but this is getting ahead of our story. To avoid the difficulties inherent in traditional interpretations and translations. but only as interdependent modules providing functional potentials for the continuing actuality of the whole. distinct levels (however such action is assumed to come about). 99). Such downward causal action presumably takes place by a kind of inverse efficient causation between actually existing.10 _________ ships or any component of it as holistic causation. the ti ên einai as the so-called ‘formal cause’ (more accurately the cause of ongoing existing [įՀijțȡȟ ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț]) must be understood as the holistically unified organization of causal subfunctions that cooperatively bring about self-preservation. but comparative interpretation shows that the . We call these special Aristotelian causal relations ‘holistic’ because they depend on the merger of parts into a species-configured whole. ‘Downward causation’ is meant to denote types of causal relations contrary to ‘upward causation’. III-IV. Accordingly. They conceal the coherent cogency of Aristotle’s biological analysis and its agreement with modern understanding of these same problems. the existing of an organism is not simply the persisting presence of material structures that are stable in themselves and function only secondarily. The holistic causal relations introduced by Aristotle sound unfamiliar today. As we shall see. Campbell 1974. et al. 10 The Latinized translations of these holistic causal relations as ‘causa formalis’ and ‘causa finalis’ are misleading and responsible for much of the misunderstanding of Aristotle’s natural philosophy as handed down. IV. even misguided as explanations as a result of the ingrained misunderstandings. The mechanisms of these relationships are discussed in Sec. Merged in this way. Thus. which is assumed to ground the higher (emergent) levels of organization reductionistically (cf. The interdependent unity of the entelecheia and ti ên einai aspects of the psuchê rests on the holistic unity of their special causal roles in the overall account of the nature of being-alive. these accounts correspond closely to modes of explanation used in modern science for equivalent phenomena and problems (cf. The term ‘holistic’ causal relations is intended to set Aristotle’s conception apart from so-called ‘downward causation’. Existing as being-alive (psuchê as eidos/ti ên einai) is itself the dynamic process by which an organism maintains itself as the entity it is. This whole simultaneously integrates and shapes its parts into an all-or-nothing unity that is self-sufficiently capable of preserving its own existing as what it is.

passim. Our interpretation of ‘ousia according to the logos’ (An. Metaph. hou heneka causation (as logos) is even more in the works [ԤȢȗį] of nature (and this cannot be a consequence of the logos in the epistemological sense [definition]. since an organism’s existing is constituted by the dynamic physiological process of self-preservation.2. The hou heneka cause is said to be prior to the moving cause (whence the archê of motion) because it is the logos as archê (starting point) in things by technê and in natural things. in the context of arguing for hou heneka causation in nature Aristotle asserts: Empedocles. Metaph. II 1. MILLER & MARIA G. (Comp. H 3. its “beingness [ousia] according to the logos” [ȡ՘IJտįȟ Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ]. in the overall argument of Metaph.) The concept ‘ousia according to the logos’ [ȡ՘IJտįȟ Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] is also treated in Metaph. Moreover. (We discuss later how the logos as known in technê comes to exist in the entity as the nexus of relations comprising the species-configuration. II 1. However. This configuration is the ontological embodiment of the defining logos of the species in the individual entity. A 1. 11 ‘Species-configuration’ refers to the spatially arranged nexus of functional potentials that brings about the appropriate interactions and thereby mutually sustaining causal relations among the parts that cooperatively constitute its stable structure. Continuing identity is also dynamically constituted as the self-preserving species-figuration [ȡ՘IJտįȟ Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] that comprises the functional organization of the process of selfmaintenance. 1041a27-30. its persisting identity as an individual also cannot derive from some unchanging substance that underlies this functional existing. 72. The double nature of the concept is ultimately grounded in Metaph. An. . The relation between the two meanings is apparent in an example of the ontological aspect at PA I 1. 11 This self-stabilizing configuration of mutually enabling functions is the result of continuing hou heneka causal relations and exists as entelecheia [ongoing actualization holding in a telos].g. just as technê is “in the artifacts. esp. H 6. also n. II 4. the “ijվ ԚIJijțȟ” of bone is the “logos of the mixture. which is its being as what it is. 639b11-16. An. b19-20) as species-configuration is based on Aristotle’s ontological usage of ‘logos’ as ratio or relationship in addition to the epistemological usage as definition. where it is also stated that this logos of bone is the ti ên einai and ousia.6 ALFRED E. led by the truth itself. is further clarified at PA I 1. such as Z 17. Z 10.A.) 12 For discussions of entelecheia cf. 993a17-22. 1035b12-16 and in Z 11. (Cf. ZH4 culminating in analysis of the causal role of the ti ên einai. though less concretely. 412b10-11.” e.” not some single element or two or three or all. but rather in the sense of ratio or relation between parts). 1045a29-33. as definition and as ratio/configuration. but must also be identical with the existing in the individual entity—leading to the well known aporia of incommensurability of universal and particular.” so the logos as archê and cause (hou heneka) is “in the natural things themselves” (641b12-15). 642a18-24.b.. Sec. 1044a7-11. 1037a13-18.) The relation between the meanings of logos.12 Entelecheia is _________ same causal relations are established more rigorously. II. is compelled to say that “ousia and phusis are the logos. Z 4-6 argument that the logos as definition expresses the species-typicality of the ti ên einai. The technician starts from the definition [logos] and thinks through [İțįȟȡտį] the causes of the thing to be made and why one should make it this way. MILLER Moreover. 415b9-20.

In De An. A common ontological paradigm for the Metaphysics and De Anima. is fundamentally incongruent with the dynamic ontology used to account for the nature of organisms in De An. so it is clear that it also must exist dynamically as the product of continuous ongoing causation. as ousia in full agreement with the . the statically conceived ontology of ousia in the Metaph. It is our counter-thesis. Thus. A consistent interpretation of the relation of De An. This stably existing substance then functions secondarily to bring about the lifefunctions of the psuchê as some kind of supervenient level of existing that accounts for the dynamic nature of how organisms exist. must be understood dynamically in that work to account for the nature of being-alive. I. the psuchê itself is defined as entelecheia. We argue in Sec. itself dynamically. as analysis of De An. As ordinarily interpreted. The body or the organism as a hylomorphic complex (or the psuchê in addition to the body for dualists) is presumed to exist as a self-sufficient substance accounted for by the statically interpreted ontology of Metaph. however. as ti ên einai and as entelecheia.. to the Metaph. III and IV. these two core ontological characterizations of the eidos. the same aspects of ousia as eidos have always been interpreted statically in the Metaph. that reconciling the ontologies in the two texts requires reinterpreting the Metaph. By contrast. This seeming conflict between the two works is the central problematic addressed by this paper. 2. II 1-4 shows in Sec. to account for the stable nature of non-living entities. which are the primary examples used in this work.. Traditionally interpreters have glossed over this difficulty by implicitly assuming a two-level ontology of some kind in De An. All such attempts to patch up the ontology of De An. which then allows interpreting the dynamic nature of the psuchê in De An. then.B that none of these interpretations conforms with Aristotle’s position in De An. nor are they in agreement with modern biological undestanding of the nature of being-alive. Existing as being-alive is itself constituted by the allinclusive functional process of self-preservation. as well as the more recent functionalist approaches. by superimposing a secondary functional layer on the underlying (static) substance ontology fail to provide an adequate account of the dynamic existing of organisms as being-alive. Such a two-level (substance/activity-attribute) approach is characteristic of the classical interpretations of De An. requires resolving this apparent incongruity of the ontologies in the two works.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 7 ordinarily thought of as a one-time actualization of matter into its persisting stable eidos [form] at the time of genesis—which then simply continues to exist as such. then.

deeper ontological paradigm in terms of the ongoing causal grounding of ousia that constitutes its ontology as better known by nature.13 B. Aristotle repeatedly emphasizes the importance of ‘the good’/hou heneka and intimates that it is a major contribution to his ontology. MILLER Metaph. fails to account for how its functioning constitutes the ongoing existing of an organism. species-typically configured whole. while the dynamic functioning of the psuchê is attributed to some type of semiindependent functional superstructure. Interpreters of De An. have always needed to account for how the dynamic functional nature of the psuchê fits together with the seemingly static ontology of the Metaph. The seemingly substantial aspects of organisms are assigned to the statically construed ontology of ousia. _________ 13 The crucial role of these causes in the ultimate ontology of ousia is presaged in Metaph. Thus. and he explicitly sets himself apart from his predecessors because they spoke of this cause not as it is naturally [ʍջĴȤȜıȟ] but only incidentally [Ȝįijո IJȤμȖıȖșȜցȣ] (A 7. 988b6-16). these interpretations assume a substrate/attribute ontological relation between body and psuchê. Interpretive Thesis for Resolving the Incongruency 1. This implicitly assumed status of the psuchê as an attribute. However. sustains its persisting identity and determines the functional activities for the sake of preserving its existing. on which it is grounded. Such a reinterpretion depends on uncovering an unrecognized. In effect. This causal ontology of ousia accounts for the stable as well as dynamic characteristics of all entities [ousiai as tode ti]—the dynamic characteristics of organisms as ousia analyzed in De An. Only this mode of causation is specifically mentioned in A 2 in characterizing sophia as the science of first principles and causes (982b4-10). as well as the stable ones primarily dealt with in the Metaph. To uncover the nature of this underlying causal ontology we must show how it depends on holistic causal relations (the ti ên einai and entelecheia as the outcome of hou heneka causal relations). alone by implicitly assuming an ontological grounding for the apparently stable bodily structures different from that for the dynamic psychic functions. This shared causal foundation (better known by nature) resolves the seeming incongruity between the ontology found in the two works. A. Two-level ontologies are not an acceptable solution. they have usually done so within De An.8 ALFRED E. MILLER & MARIA G. the functional processes of being-alive are implicitly treated as an additional level of existing comprised of activities arising from stable functional dispositions. These causes are holistic in the sense that their mechanisms are based on the cooperative nature of the interdependent functioning of parts that merges them into a stably unified. . however.

Consequently. Therefore. materialist debates. functionalist interpretations also assume a two-layered (substrate/attribute) ontology of organisms. i.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 9 Historically. the causal roles of an eidos/ti ên einai are attributed to the psuchê (as described in An. However.. The psychic functions are assumed to be products of (unexplained) quasi-self-sufficient dispositions based on some unchanging substantial substrate. As a result they consider the psuchê as ‘mind’ alone and thereby also ignore the basic ontological problems of combining the stable and dynamic aspects of being-alive itself. Then.g. This again fails to account for how the functioning of the psuchê constitutes the ongoing existing and persisting identity of the organism as well as determining how its parts function for the sake of preserving the whole. whose inadequacies he critiques and rejects in Book I of De An. In effect then. cf.C). 14 The self-sufficient being-alive of the organism is simply presupposed as the substantial ontological basis for the mind’s existing as a functional attribute. 15 ‘Purpose’ here is not to be understood as intent. It could be argued that these approaches (as well as other modern forms of dualism and materialism) are essentially sophisticated replays of Aristotle’s predecessors.e. the approach is irrelevant for interpreting Aristotle’s (or modern) biology where these are the central questions. despite the ontological inconsistency. Our use of the term ‘functioning’ to describe the dynamic manner of existing of the psuchê has led some commentators to assume that we are proposing a variety of modern ‘functionalism’ (as applied to De An.15 In Aristotle’s biology this is usually for the sake of _________ 14 The various contemporary functionalist approaches for interpreting De An. Shields 1988).. as do older interpretations in terms of so-called faculty psychology. . Recent ‘functionalist’ interpreters have more clearly recognized the problem of accounting for the quasi-independent integrity of psychic functioning and its relation to bodily functioning. I 1) without accounting for how psychic functioning conceived as an activityattribute of the bodily structures can account for what the psuchê in fact does.. for the sake of something [ԥȟıȜո ijȡȤ]. most interpreters have simply disregarded these ontological problems of combining the stable with the functional aspects of an organism. Shields 1988). Sec. For us the term ‘function’ [ergon] always signifies an activity determined by its role in relation to some purpose or end [telos]. IV. fall into this category (e. they approach the issue entirely from the perspective of the mind/body problem of modern Cartesian vs. but as determined by the overall configuration of a dynamically self-optimizing system of which it is a part (cf. it is important to distinguish our interpretation of Aristotle’s ontology from these recent ‘functionalist’ approaches.

This interpretation neither conforms with Aristotle’s conception of the existing of organisms as being-alive—nor with modern biology. An. which secondarily enables the functioning that constitutes the psuchê. II 1.for the cause of the existing [įՀijțȡȟ ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț] for all things is the ousia.16 The psuchê itself is comprised of the various functional potentials and activities analyzed and accounted for in the remainder of De An. .. II 4: “. which cannot be construed as a mere functional attribute of some underlying substance. 4). Instead. then. the ontology of ousia is based on holistic causation by the ti ên einai and the hou heneka relation. and the being-alive [ijր Ș‫׆‬ȟ] is the existing [ijց ıՂȟįț] of living things. (cf. If the functioning of the software were really analogous to the psuchê. For Aristotle. misconstrue Aristotle’s analysis of the nature of the psuchê as being-alive by failing to ac_________ 16 Cf. Functionalists presuppose the stable existing of the organism as a self-subsistent entity. An. as the cooperatively organized. II 1 emphatically rejects any such two-layered approach from the outset. self-maintaining unity of these functional processes. MILLER & MARIA G. the ‘functionalist’ approach considers functions as activityattributes of a universally definable type that are ‘realized’ by being grounded in some arbitrary substantial substrate. II 2-4). and the cause and archê of this is the psuchê. Aristotle asserts.” (415b12-14) 17 Computer analogies appropriated from the philosophy of mind for interpreting the psuchê/body relation strikingly (though unintendedly) reveal the difficulty of separating functioning from existing in organisms. The psuchê (qua eidos) as entelecheia and as the ti ên einai is the selfmaintaining functional process of being-alive that causes and constitutes the primary existing of an organism (An. it constitutes the ongoing existing of the organism itself. in arguing for the functional nature of the psuchê we do not consider being-alive as some emergent activity of the self-sufficiently existing organism or in some sense supervenient on it. (or today’s biology) systematically and causally accounts for based on the ontology of ousia. Unlike the functionalists. Because the psuchê is entelecheia of the body. the computer hardware would disintegrate whenever it is turned off since such functioning would constitutes its ongoing existing. however. By contrast.10 ALFRED E. This primary existing of an organism qua psuchê as the self-sufficient functional process of being-alive is precisely what De An..17 In sum. It is precisely this goal-determined nature of functioning that accounts for the dynamic stability of organisms (as well as non-living entities). Therefore. De An. MILLER preserving the existing of the organism. one should not investigate whether the psuchê and body are one—nor in general whether the matter of each thing (including artifacts) and that of which it is the matter are one (412b4-9). the current interpretive approaches to De An. the psuchê itself constitutes the primary existing of an organism.

This is why we limit our analysis in this paper to that life-function. Any satisfactory account of the ontology of organisms in De An. from a functionalist perspective miss the mark.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 11 count for how it constitutes the fundamental self-sufficient cause of ongoing existing in terms of the dynamic process of self-maintenance. Accounts of the so-called higher faculties (such as perception and nous) must be established within the ontological framework developed in regard to this primary mode of being-alive. Neglect of this point is probably a major reason that interpretations of De An.18 2. must deal first with the self-maintenance of the psuchê as being-alive by this fundamental life-activity—as Aristotle himself does. It seems highly unlikely that Aristotle changed his conception of the fundamental nature of ousia from the Metaph. A satisfactory interpretation of how the two works fit together must somehow deal with this dilemma.’s dynamic functional account of the existing of the psuchê itself. without change in De An. seriously misconstrue Aristotle’s analysis of the nature of the psuchê as being-alive. The fundamental ontological concepts applied in De An. Aristotle treats the ontology of ousia as fully equivalent in the two works and uses the terminology of the Metaph. the search for a consistent joint interpretation of the two works seems to force us in the direction of reinterpreting the ontology of ousia in the Metaph. Can we uncover a _________ 18 This conception of the psuchê as the self-maintaining process of being-alive is most obvious in regard to the primary or nutritive psuchê [ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ]. Yet it is impossible to overlook the fundamentally dynamic functional nature of the ontology of ousia as applied in De An. They fail to confront the basic issue of reconciling the incongruity of the dynamic nature of the being-alive of organisms with the statically interpreted ontology used to account for them. These approaches take their point of departure from the psuchê/body dichotomy of the philosophy of mind rather than from Aristotle’s unitary account of the existing of organisms. then. Resolving this problem is the central goal of this paper. these current approaches all rely on a static conception of the underlying ontology of ousia and account for the functional features of organisms by superimposing an additional dynamic level on the underlying static one. The two-layered (substrate/function) approaches of traditional as well as current interpreters. which is the essential ontological basis of being-alive at all. have always been understood in static terms. The same basic ontological concepts and relationships in the Metaph. Yet. In contrast to De An. are clearly used in a dynamic functional sense. Thus. itself in dynamic terms. so that these key works could be inconsistent with each other. The ontology of the Metaphysics itself must be reinterpreted dynamically. to De An. .

On the one hand. has always been understood statically. represent the ultimate formulation of the ontology of ousia? On the other hand.g. MILLER deeper dynamic level of Aristotle’s ontology in the Metaph.12 ALFRED E. Aristotle is known for adhering closely to ordinary understanding and generally accepted assumptions (endoxa) as the starting point of his analyses. Metaph. we contend that the systematic significance of concepts. Z is far removed from common language (esp. arguments and doctrines of Metaph. Moreover. Nevertheless. how is the obviously static analysis of the aspectual components of ousia in Metaph. are formulated in language that is unmistakably static (e. Difficulties of a Dynamic Reinterpretation of the Metaphysics 1. good reasons why the ontology of the Metaph. where and how is the dynamic ontology to be found that presents a doctrine so different from the static analysis of ousia given in Metaph. Z 1-9 seems to do exactly that. after all. that the timehonored static interpretation has somehow failed to grasp? C. Z have been misunderstood as such. Attempting to reinterpret the Metaph. and Metaph. Instead. the traditional static interpretation of the ontology seems consistent with everyday understanding of how entities exist as stable objects. as we see later. on a dynamic basis raises serious exegetic difficulties. Z 1-9? 2. MILLER & MARIA G. in fact lengthy arguments. On what grounds can we propose an interpretation that differs fundamentally from the traditional one? How could such a divergent understanding of the Metaph.. the arguments in these chapters are based on the endoxa embodied in ordinary language and practice. Our approach for resolving these interpretive difficulties does not presume that the familiar concepts. which is self-coined for the sake of precision (and. Reinterpreting the Methodological Structure of Metaph. Granted that he develops and employs unfamiliar terminology to carry out his analyses. . however.19 How can we reinterpret or account for this initial analysis of the nature of ousia if the ultimate ontology is so contrary to it? There are actually two interrelated exegetic problems here. Ǿǿĭ recontextualizes its parts. the concept of the ti ên einai and the arguments of Z 4-6). be overlooked if the proposed dynamic ontology is indeed present in the text? There are. Z to be understood if it does not. Z. in fact. Z 7-9). The seemingly static conception of ousia in Metaph. to enable the transition to a dynamic understanding of existing). textual analyses and arguments have been misconstrued by not discerning their methodological role in the overall argument that establishes the ontological paradigm—despite individual passages _________ 19 One might object that Aristotle’s terminology in Metaph. Many passages.

Z 174 9 in terms of the holistic causal relations that ground it. Brinkmann 1996 extends this point by arguing cogently and specifically that the alleged shift from the Categories. This analysis is ordinarily taken as laying the definitive foundation of the ontology. Z alone as to whether the eidos/ti ên einai is universal or particular and other such conundrums. I. which is so crucial for understanding its application in De An. Z 1-9 in terms of the triad of descriptive perspectives (eidos.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 13 being correctly interpreted. We suggest that the deeper significance and implications of the analyses in Metaph. as a whole is overlooked or misconstrued. The Reinterpreted Structure of the Argument in Metaph.) 21 As stated earlier (cf.e. The resulting lack of understanding of the systematic structure of the Metaph. Understanding the reinterpreted methodological role of the various parts of the Metaph. where the tode ti is considered to be primary ousia. 2). (Cf. little attention was given to the methodological principles underlying the structure of the overall argument by which the ontology is developed. but in fact it only establishes the conceptual framework for the ultimate ontology by formulating the essential characteristics of ousia as better known to us. but can instead represent a shift of perspectives in analyzing the same position. Therefore understanding how it is possible to reinterpret the ontology of ousia dynamically requires reconsidering the nature of the method in the Metaph. uncovers new significance for long-familiar ontological concepts and doctrines. our approach to the Metaph. I. Because of preoccupation with developmental analysis and textual critique during the past century. for developing the ontology of ousia as the science of being (Sec. These in fact are precisely the aporiai that Aristotle is analyzing in order to learn what is necessary to resolve them causally in later chapters.21 _________ 20 This misconception has led to centuries of (still continuing) fruitless debates based on Metaph. The seemingly static conception of ousia in Metaph. is based on the presupposition that it can be considered as a consistent. As Wians 1996 points out.” Admittedly. matter and composite) and the different aspects of the ti ên einai is patently static. which is only developed in Metaph. D..D and I.” i. ‘development’ does not need to mean a change of opinion or philosophical positions in the course of Aristotle’s life work.. as a whole is a major reason for overlooking the dynamic foundation of the ontology.E. to the Metaph.20 The definitive ontology itself is the account of ousia as “better known by nature. n.E). as it exists in itself. where the eidos/ti ên einai is assigned . coherent unity. Ǿǿĭ and the Roles of its Parts 1. the analysis of ousia in Metaph. Z 1-9 as the thematization and systematic conceptualization of entities as “better known to us. then. Z 1-9 (and hence the rest of the central books) have been misunderstood because the systematic methodological approach of the Metaph.

is interpreted. A 2 then characterizes the nature of sophia [philosophical wisdom]. Metaph. that establishes the dynamic ontology of ousia powerfully applied in De An. By considering the argument of the central books as proceeding along a similar. In fact. 22 Metaph. I 1 as proceeding from what is better known to us toward what is better known by nature. then. 23 Metaph. little regard is taken of this general methodological approach for developing the conceptual and causal framework (paradigm) for a science when the Metaph. more teachable (because teaching requires stating the causes of each thing). “first philosophy” (ontology) is designated as the science of being as such [ousia] (Metaph. A 1-2 plainly lays out the methodological route— parallel to Phys. (2) difficult to know (since it is further removed from immediate perception and therefore less familiar). Ĭ 1-2). A 1-2 not only invokes the _________ that role. (3) more fundamental [ԐȜȢțȖջIJijıȢȡȟ]) (since it is based on fewer principles). I 1—of proceeding from perception (as revealing what is better known to us about entities) through experience [empeiria]. MILLER This path of analysis follows Aristotle’s familiar methodological doctrine for establishing the conceptual and causal framework of a science. We contend that a similar interpretation can be given to the seemingly different positions or perspectives within the Metaph. which constitutes the science of ‘being’ (the nature of existents as such) by being knowledge of its first principles and causes (ousia as better known by nature). I 1. 184a10-18. IJijȡțȥı‫ה‬į] that account for the phenomena as better known by nature. A 2.” The epistêmê of first principles and causes is distinguished as (1) more universal (and therefore constitutes knowledge of all things in a general way). 982a4-b7 points out how each of the characteristics attributed to the person having sophia derives from knowledge of the principles and causes. However. įԼijտįț. itself. we maintain that we are able to uncover a highly systematic. Yet. concepts and general assumptions better known to us and proceeding from these to the principles. A 1. 23 Thus. and . carefully structured methodological path. this movement of the analysis of any given phenomenon from descriptive to more ontologically explanatory levels is characteristic of Aristotle’s approach to investigation in general—most familiar from Phys. Metaph. Sophia is characterized as the most universal and fundamental knowledge by being based on such first principles and causes. This analysis discloses how sophia constitutes what is better known by nature and also reveals why knowing the principles and causes comprises knowledge of this kind. is clear” (Metaph.14 ALFRED E. 982a1-3). designated in Phys. is actually a deepening of the level of analysis from the descriptive to the ontological. MILLER & MARIA G. fully consistent overall argument in the Metaph. I 1 as “better known by nature. Developing the fundamental paradigm of a science [epistêmê] requires beginning with the observations. causes and elements [ԐȢȥį‫ה‬. technê (which understands the causes by using them) and finally to the knowledge [sophia] that constitutes the science [epistêmê] we are seeking. Moreover. 22 “That sophia is epistêmê concerning certain archai and causes. which is best known as set forth in Phys.

The overall methodological structure of Metaph. there is abundant evidence that Aristotle uses the well known methodological procedure of the Physics in the Metaph. A (chaps. 25 A careful analysis of the methodological significance of Metaph. in establishing that ontology. Here we can only indicate its significance for the dynamic reinterpretation of the Metaph. Z 17 proclaims the new start of the analysis by examining the nature of ousia qua ti ên einai as the cause of existing (1041a6-10. Metaph. A and its application to the overall argument of the Metaph. Z 3 reiterates the intended progression for analyzing ousia from what is better known to oneself toward the account as better known in itself (i. and its significance for understanding that work remains largely unrecognized. that Metaph.. 1029b3-12). then. we are proposing. This reanalysis reveals how the parts constitute a coherent.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 15 methodological doctrine from the Physics for establishing a science. 24 The remainder of Metaph. the application of this method in the Metaph. A. Aristotle spells out which kind of knowledge the ontology of ousia has to provide when it progresses from what is better known to us to what is better known by nature. 3-10) examines the types of causal relations that are especially important for grounding ontology. 1041b27-28). then. Thus. Z 1-9 primarily develops the systematic terminological framework for conceptualizing and analyzing ousia as better known to us. This is accomplished by thematizing the essential characteristics of ousia revealed by the endoxa implicit in the conventions of _________ (4) known for its own sake (which is knowledge from which and because of which other things are known. We maintain. These chapters also spell out how the method is to be applied in the Metaph.24 Besides this detailed discussion of the method in Metaph. and not vice versa) and (5) most governing [ԐȢȥțȜȧijչijș] (because it knows the good for the sake of which everything should be done [ʍȢįȜijջȡȟ]). cf. ZH4. Moreover. Heidegger 1992. . by nature. systematically unified argument that establishes the dynamically conceived ontology of ousia. would lead us too far afield and must be postponed for later. We return to this topic later. This oversight is a major reason for misconstruing the overall structure of the argument that develops the ontology of ousia and hence the significance of the various parts of the Metaph. 2. Reconceiving the methodological role of parts of the text recontextualizes them and thus changes their significance within the overall argument. as well. Cf. 94-100. 121-125.25 Yet. and justify why knowledge of first principles and causes is better known by nature.e. Metaph. Here.

(The context. The necessity of causal grounding is not limited to its generation or modification. especially the problemsetting. However. Thus. 99-103. Not only is it necessary to use the terminology of classical physics to describe the experiments that measure the effects of the underlying quantum account.) . The various holistic causal relations will be seen to account for and constitute the existing of the descriptive aspects. Thus the causal grounding of the ontology of ousia constitutes its dy_________ 26 Metaph. (Cf.E). the theory must nevertheless be formulated in such classical terms.) Aristotle implies this necessary relation between description and account in the APo. which is illuminating philosophically. Thus. systematic ontological paradigm. ousia and its characteristic aspects must be accounted for by continuing causal relations that constitute them. Z 6 (1031b3-11.e. b18-20). MILLER ordinary language and the assumptions of everyday practice. For the dynamic ontology we are seeking. how they exist as better known by nature. from how we experience and deal with entities at all. which is then shown to be its nature as cause of ongoing existing (Z 17. 89b23-30) and likewise between description or definition and existing in regard to the ti ên einai in Metaph. the continued existing of any ousia requires ongoing causation. MILLER & MARIA G. makes clear whether a term is being used in a descriptive or causal sense. However. this conceptual framework does not comprise the causal account of the existing of ousia. the founding interpreter of modern quantum physics..16 ALFRED E..26 In itself. Classical concepts derive from everyday language. We cannot say how something exists without saying what it is that exists. i. the same terms that denote the descriptive aspects must also denote the causal aspects. we need to understand the causal relations that account for their particular characteristics. and other works. (II 1. while the causal account reveals how the same aspects exist as better known by nature. Murdoch 1989. 27 The descriptive analysis portrays entities as better known to us. There is also a suggestive parallel in modern physics to this interdependent relationship between descriptive and causal terminology. i.27 As with the being-alive of organisms. we postpone discussion of this step until the next sub-section (I. to know how the different aspects are constituted ontologically (how they exist as such) and what each contributes to the existing of an entity. which constitutes its ultimate ontology as better known by nature. they determine the conceptual framework for conceiving and hence describing the nature and relationships of the objects (entities) of the science —even though the nature and relationships are found to be non-objectifiable in the original classical sense. the familiar triad (eidos/ti ên einai. maintained that although the quantum account of phenomena (in effect the causal/ontological explanation) defies objective description in classical-physical terms. a26-30). then. In fact the different causal accounts of an entity are how its descriptive aspects actually exist. Therefore. 1041a9-10. however. and the unity of these causal relations is how the entity as a whole (composite ousia) exists as what it is. Niels Bohr. matter and composite) established in Metaph.e. Z 10-16 then critically analyzes these characteristics to reveal the aporetic problems inherent in integrating them in a consistent. Z 1-9 to characterize the key aspects of ousia validly designates these aspects throughout the Metaph.

1026a33-b2. D 7. (3) as dunamis. Z 17 and continuing through Metaph. In fact. ǿ-ĭ leads to misconstruing the significance of the analyses and arguments of these books.28 However. deal primarily with a separate topic or aspect of existents. Metaph. failure to understand the methodological role of Metaph... energeia (and entelecheia) and (4) as true or false. esp. treatises dealing with certain additional problems in regard to ousia or as different perspectives for analyzing the ontology of ousia. however. As with Metaph. They are generally viewed as semi-independent. ǿ-ĭ as the causal accounts of ousia—as “better known by nature.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 17 namic foundation and corresponds to the functional ontology of beingalive in De An. Other scholars (e. Consequently. but interrelated perspectives.” As with Metaph.) 29 Some scholars (e. ĭ .g. we shall see they provide the causal account (its ontology as better known by nature) of the characteristics and relations of ousia descriptively and conceptually analyzed in Metaph.. Witt 2003) assume that these books. _________ 28 Viz. no definite relationships are specified between them. Z. I. ǿ-ĭ as essential in establishing the ontology of ousia. 3. their modal characteristics in the modern logical or Kantian sense. (1) as existing per se [ȜįȚ‫ ׶‬įՙijր] vs.g. H-4. Kosman 1984) assume that dunamis/energeia relations represent a different perspective for analyzing of the characteristics and relations of ousia considered in Metaph. Since Books H and ĭ are formulated primarily in terms of dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations. Z 1-9 (Sec. ǿ and ĭ as playing a role in establishing the ontology. Z 1-9. (See Metaph. though interrelated. the existent] is said in four general ways is usually taken to mean that existents can be analyzed from four different. (2) according to the schemata of the categories.29 Even interpreters who consider Metaph. 1017a7-b9. but the nature of this role remains vague.C above) there are good reasons for the traditional interpretation of these books. Thus their methodological role of accounting for the ontology as better known by nature remains generally unrecognized. E 2. This causal basis of ousia that constitutes its existing as better known by nature is worked out stepwise beginning with the announcement of the “new start” in Metaph. viz. Aristotle’s doctrine that being [ijց Րȟ. Metaph.. Thus they recognize Metaph. Z. . these books can seem peripheral to the central argument establishing the ontology of ousia. largely overlook the causal implications of these analyses. accidental [Ȝįijչ IJȤμȖıȖșȜցȣ]. so that the significance of the different perspectives must be determined by their roles and interrelationships in various contexts and ontological analyses. they are often treated as dealing with a different aspect of being in general rather than with the nature of ousia itself. which designates a particular category.

ĭ explicitly extends the dunamis. as the cause that a potential existent (matter) exists actually (qua eidos). In the succeeding argument. Z 17. H 1-2 is recognized as providing the solution to the problem of unity.g. Likewise.18 ALFRED E. energeia and entelecheia _________ 30 See Metaph. H and 4 and establishing the context for interpreting them because Metaph. H 1-2. the ti ên einai is also said to include for-the-sake-ofwhich [ijտȟȡȣ ԥȟıȜį] causal relations. we attempt to show how the H 1-2 analysis merely sets the stage for the lengthy analysis and causal resolution of the aporia at issue. Z 17 explicitly announces the beginning of the account of the ti ên einai as the cause of (ongoing) existing [įՀijțȡȟ ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț] of entities out of their material parts. 640a33-35 and the explicitly dominating role given to hou heneka causation in this work (e. H 1-3 deals with the problematic matter/eidos relation only in terms of dunamis. energeia and entelecheia—making no mention of the causes familiar from the Phys. based on the (only) explicit statement of the grounding role of the ti ên einai for the parts of animals at PA I 1. to the dunamis/energeia formulation of the eidos/matter relation. PA I 1 641a2-18). In fact. 87 in Sec. viz. This interrelationship is examined in detail in Sec. Moreover. however.31 Metaph. the implication of this Z 17 transition to causal analysis is usually unrecognized as setting the stage for Metaph. A. they scarcely seem connected to the earlier dunamis. MILLER Yet. The mechanism for the necessary belonging together of the ti ên einai and hou heneka is clarified in Phys. the central theme in Metaph. the dunamis/energeia analysis of the unity of ousia is typically understood as a purely descriptive and static account of that unity. or Metaph. Most interpreters consider the issue already resolved by the account provided by Metaph. H 4. Z 10-12 and Z 17. Aristotle clearly indicates that Metaph. IV). MILLER & MARIA G. As noted earlier. H 6 explicitly relates the ti ên einai as the cause of existing.30 Nevertheless. H and 4 provide the causal accounts that ground the ontology of ousia. 31 The nature of these aporetic difficulties and their resolution are discussed in more detail below (n. Moreover. Thus. II 7 198b4-9... H and 4 clearly relates them to the problems of accounting causally for the characteristics of ousia analyzed in Metaph. ǿ 3-ĭ 9. However. Instead. Metaph. Z. . IV. a key problem raised in Metaph.C. Metaph. Metaph. The double role of the ti ên einai as cause of ongoing existing and as hou heneka is reaffirmed (implicitly) throughout PA I 1. 1041a26-32. the continuing unity of eidos and matter is not seen as needing an ongoing account in terms of holistic causal relations as developed in Metaph. energeia and entelecheia to account for the unity of the composite entity. when the four causes are explicitly referred to in Metaph. Nevertheless. this analysis is not usually seen as a causal account of the relation between the matter and the eidos/ti ên einai that grounds the ongoing existing of the composite entity. energeia and entelecheia analysis. In both books the matter/eidos relation of ousia is reanalyzed in terms of dunamis.

Consequently. it is understandable that the role of Books H and 4 in establishing the causal basis of the ontology as better known by nature is generally unrecognized. Thus the fact that the ontological analyses of Metaph. III 13 explicitly accounts for the (dynamic) efficient causal interactions on the basis of dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations. This task is accomplished by using dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations to ground the mechanisms of the causal relations that account for the nature of this existing of ousia. ignore its implications for the ontology of ousia. III and IV. it is our thesis that Metaph. Dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations account for causal relations in ousia as well as in motion. A 1-2 by establishing the causal account of the ongoing existing of ousia.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 19 account of motion (developed in Phys. two major misunderstandings must be overcome which mask their causal interpretation. ǿ and ĭ fulfill their methodological roles in grounding the ontology of ousia. not for the continued existing and persisting stable identity of entities. III 1-3) by analogy to the matter/ousia relation. are usually oblivious to this ontological basis of causal relations in general. ǿ-ĭ expressed in dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations actually constitute a causal account of how ousia exists goes unrecognized.) To show how Metaph. However. In modern philosophy causation is only considered necessary to account for change. (1) Although Phys. ǿ and ĭ do follow the methodological program suggested in Metaph. B. ǿ and ĭ formulated in terms of dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations go unrecognized as accounts of the holistic causal relations needed to establish the dynamic causal ontology of ousia (the ti ên einai and entelecheia resulting from hou heneka relations). Thus the crucial causal ontological implications of these analyses are entirely missed. interpreters of the Metaph. ǿ-ĭ in estab- . (2) The second reason for overlooking the role of Metaph. it makes no explicit use of causal relations in doing so. Thus the detailed analyses in Metaph. (The details of how the ti ên einai and hou heneka causal relations are accounted for by dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations are the subject of Sec. Even scholars cognizant of the dynamic account of efficient causal interactions in the Phys. Thus. Despite the seeming absence of causal analysis of the type found in Phys. The former analyses are presumed merely to examine characteristics of existents that exist as stable entities in their own right and require no further causal account. the equivalence of the dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations investigated in these books and the causal account of ousia as better known by nature goes unnoticed. 4.

) . A 1-2 from the conceptual analysis of ousia in Metaph. they are less familiar and more difficult to understand than efficient causation because they require deeper analysis of the ontological nature of dunamis. This analysis is precisely what Metaph. However. in correspondence with the functional processes of being-alive. H-4 provides. _________ 32 For precisely this reason. and De An. Methodological Role of the Ontological Aporiai 1. III-IV. the roles of holistic causal relations (and their dynamic functional natures) in the ontology of ousia are more obvious in accounting for the existing of organisms. these can also be interpreted as existing dynamically in the Metaph. We have seen how the central books follow the methodological path laid out in Metaph. However. This is why comparative analysis of the Metaph. it is difficult to comprehend how Metaph. As seen later. ǿ-ĭ constitutes the causal grounding of ousia (its ontology as better known by nature). Z 1-9 to the causal account of its essential characteristics in Z 17-4 9. MILLER & MARIA G.D above.20 ALFRED E. implicit understanding of these causal relations is inherent in knowing how to deal with things in everyday practice and by technai [crafts]. (See Sec. Aporiai frame the issues of the ontology of ousia and guide development of the causal accounts for resolving them. itself. Consequently. is useful in both direction. helps understand that ontology in the Metaph. MILLER lishing the causal ontology of ousia is that the primary problems dealt with (unity and stability) depend on holistic causal relations for their solutions. Therefore examining the application of the ontology in De An. energeia and entelecheia together with the modes of interplay by which they are determined. I. 32 These holistic causal relations account for the most fundamental and essential characteristics of the nature and ongoing existing of entities as ousia. it remains to be shown how Aristotle ascertains the nature of the causal relations that constitute the ultimate ontology accounting for the persistent existing of ousia. Since the causal relations involved in both cases exist as dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations. E. Most modern philosophers explicitly or tacitly reject formal and ‘for-thesake-of-which’ [ti ên einai and hou heneka] causal relations as legitimate ontological accounts distinct from efficient and material causes. (1) As indicated in Sec. it is a necessary objective of this paper to relegitimate these prime Aristotelian modes of causation by showing how the mechanisms and relations that Aristotle uses to ground them and account for their mode of action have been reincorporated into modern science at the cutting-edge during the past century. A 1-2 suggests two interrelated methodological routes for this development. Metaph.

clear passage] consists in resolving these difficulties (aporiai). A 2 reveals in addition about the link between this aporetic method and the uncovering of the causes: It is necessary in relation to the epistêmê being sought. we first examine its presentation there and then consider what Metaph. However. cannot build on a more universal ontological paradigm since it is itself that most universal science. because those investigating without first going through the aporiai [İțįʍȡȢ‫׆‬IJįț] are similar to those ignorant of whither [ʍȡ‫ ]ה‬one must proceed.. whose role is also sketched in Metaph. B 1 provides the most familiar and detailed analysis of this second methodological route. (2) This second method for uncovering the causes that constitute the ontology as better known by nature is aporetic analysis and resolution.. it is first necessary to discuss the issues that block understanding [ԐʍȡȢ‫׆‬IJįț] and work through them well [İțįʍȡȢ‫׆‬IJįț Ȝįȝ‫׭‬ȣ]. however. the ontology of existents as such. for the later clear passage [ı՘ʍȡȢտį] is the solution of the earlier aporetic issues [ԐʍȡȢȡȤμջȟȧȟ]. but it is clear to one having dealt with the aporiai in advance [ʍȢȡșʍȡȢșȜցijț]. The passage makes four major points: (1) For establishing the epistêmê being sought (the science of being as such). for the telos is not clear to him. . but to solve [them] is not possible if one is ignorant of the bond [İıIJμցȟ]. B 1. Therefore.. “First philosophy.” however. A 2 (982b7-21. The special sciences presuppose the general ontology of existents as the paradigmatic basis for investigating the characteristics of a particular genus. Metaph. and this is . 995a24-25. 983a11-20). formalized and systematically organized. (2) This is advantageous because success [ı՘ʍȡȢտį.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 21 This causal understanding has been accumulated by individual and cultural experience and is implicitly embodied in ordinary language and in the know-how of technai transmitted from one generation to the next. as the science of being as such. a34-b2) This well known passage analyzes the nature of aporiai and their methodological role in establishing a consistent conceptual framework for a systematic science [epistêmê]—in this case the ontology of ousia itself. for us to discuss [ԚʍıȝȚı‫ה‬ȟ] first the issues about which [ʍıȢվ կȟ] one first ought to be perplexed [ԐʍȡȢ‫׆‬IJįț]. . To become a systematic science [epistêmê]. a27-30. Aristotle’s second basic methodological doctrine is especially important for guiding the discovery and grounding of the first principles and causes of being as such. and in addition to these [shortcomings] it is not possible to recognize whether one ever has discovered [ı՝ȢșȜıȟ] the thing being sought or not. How is this accomplished? This methodological step is especially difficult for the most general science.. this tacit understanding must be made explicit. Therefore. (Metaph. And for those wishing to have clear passage [ı՘ʍȡȢ‫׆‬IJįț] it is advantageous [ʍȢȡ՜ȢȗȡȤ] to go through the aporiai well [İțįʍȡȢ‫׆‬IJįț Ȝįȝ‫׭‬ȣ].

especially in regard to sophia as the science of first principles and causes sought for its own sake rather than practical usefulness. MILLER impossible without knowing them well. methodological doctrine is pivotal in establishing the causal ontology of ousia and therefore crucial for interpreting the overall argument of the Metaphysics. These new problems together with Plato’s original ones are the key aporetic issues that must be resolved in establishing the ontology of ousia as better known by nature which constitutes the science of being qua being. the substantive issues analyzed in Metaph. B 1 as well as the consequences of overlooking its application in the central books exemplifies the basic hermeneutic (and scientific) principle that how the problem is framed and understood determines which kind of answers can be arrived at. M. The precept put forth in Metaph. (4) Moreover. but largely disregarded. A 2 offers the most explicit discussion of the methodological role of aporiai in developing the causal account necessary for the ontology of ousia. Causal resolution of the aporiai establishes the consistent ontology of ousia. A 1-2 as a whole is concerned with the crucial role of causal understanding in scientific knowledge [epistêmê]. 983a11-20) provide the link between the first methodological principle (that knowing things by nature requires uncovering their archai and _________ 33 Cf. Z as if it represented the definitive foundation for the ontology. Thus. MILLER & MARIA G.22 ALFRED E. This generally recognized. Moreover. B 2-6 are primarily concerned with the problems raised by the Theory of Ideas as pertinent for the ontology of ousia. failure to understand the nature of the impasse also precludes recognizing the solutions because the goal is only clear to one having investigated the aporetic problems in advance [ʍȢȡșʍȡȢșȜցijț]. 982b721. aside from some general methodological problems. Cleary 1995 for a detailed discussion of this passage in relation to mathematics in Metaph. Overlooking its key role in developing the ultimate ontology of ousia is responsible for much of the misunderstanding of Metaph. . Metaph. (3) Ignorance of the impasse (aporia) precludes knowing the methodological direction for proceeding with the investigation (to resolve it).33 By itself this key passage concerning the methodological role of aporiai gives little indication of how the method is actually used to resolve issues and guide the development of the causal ontology of ousia in the central books. Two key passages (A 2. only Book Z takes up analysis of the wider range of difficulties that Aristotle himself first unncovers in combining Plato’s insights with the causal insights of his physicalist predecessors. 2. Metaph.

B 1. Metaph. these aporetic problems serve as the primary guideposts for developing the systematic causal framework that constitutes the ontology as better known by nature. Here. by showing how the seemingly incompatible aspects are actually mutually grounding factors within the overall unifying causal framework. Aporiai (impasses in understanding) are the sources of wonder [ȚįȤμչȘıțȟ] that instigate and drive philosophy as knowledge for its own sake. B 1. By contrast.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 23 causes) and the pivotal role of analyzing and resolving aporiai in establishing the foundation of any science—as discussed in Metaph. Z 10-16 plays a central role in analyzing the aporiai inherent in the characteristics of ousia. The mechanism of this type of causation. 35 Thus. the only cause explicitly named among the first principles and causes that characterize this epistêmê (A 2. the aporiai delineate the conditions that the causal relations must fulfill to integrate the conflicting characteristics of the descriptive aspects of ousia into the consistent systematic paradigm comprising the ontology. On the other hand. resolving the aporiai that arise from the apparent incompatabilities of certain essential characteristics of ousia requires causal accounts that reconcile them in order to establish a consistent systematic paradigm. i. investigates the basis of logically incompatible perspectives and reconciles them by showing how they are integrated as necessary conditions for each other. aporiai are resolved by demonstrating the complementarity of the logically conflicting characteristics. In this way the causal accounts that simultaneously resolve the aporiai and account for the essential characteristics of ousia (as better known by nature) are revealed as the knowledge [sophia] that first philosophy is seeking.35 In this way the conditions disclosed by the requirements for resolving the aporiai determine the structure of the causal accounts necessary to resolve them. in turn. then. As seen earlier. . Metaph. aided by modern insights. 982b4-10). establishes the foundation of this ontology (as _________ 34 It should also be noted that this same argument of A 2 emphasizes “the good and forthe-sake-of-which” [ijԐȗįȚցȟ Ȝįվ ijց ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį] as the [chief] cause of sophia.34 Together with Metaph.C. Metaph. is discussed in Sec.e. aporetic analysis in the Metaph. IV. these passages clarify the crucial double role of aporetic analysis in developing the causal ontology of ousia. It will be seen that interpretation of the ontology of ousia necessarily centers around ‘the good’ (the optimally self-preserving configuration as telos) and hou heneka causation. the method and goal of aporetic analysis as used in the central books differs from dialectic analysis (as described in the Topics) that examines conflicting opinions and demonstrates which one is more tenable. On the one hand. Z 1-9 thematizes and systematizes the descriptive ontology of ousia (better known to us) in terms of the aspectual triad of ousia and the nature of the ti ên einai. Z 17-4 9. Coming to know the causes resolves the difficulties and overcomes the ignorance underlying the wonder.. Thus.

the incompatibility of universal knowability and individual existing discussed in Z 13 analyzes the aporia already inherent in Z 4-6 where the ti ên einai is thematized in this double significance which must be combined in the material entity. the grounding of a general ontology of ousia.36 This requires reconstructing the core ontological aporiai from the related issues discussed in the text and from the problems inherent in the subject matter itself. MILLER & MARIA G. However. that Metaph. Our exegetic task. Z 10-16 and how they relate to the subsequently developed causal resolution. It is not surprising. then. 344-360). What are these core aporiai that guide the development of the causal ontology. The key ontological aporiai arise from three major logical incompatabilities between essential characteristics of ousia. therefore.. i. 3.e. Nevertheless the seeimgly incompatible characteristics must be combined in the composite ousia.24 ALFRED E. The second approach of problemdiscovery is guided by examining the application of the ontology to the being-alive of organisms in De An. these chapters do not make explicit how the logical difficulties uncovered there will finally be resolved in a consistent ontology of ousia. The first approach involves determining how these aporetic-analysis chapters fit into the overall argument of the central books to play their role in the meaningful unity of the whole. In this way we attempt to support our initial sketch of the dynamic ontology that accounts for both organisms and artifacts by showing how this interpretation makes a meaningful unity of the texts. where the basic ontological problems are more easily recognized. Gadamer 1960. Likewise. 37 It will be seen that Z 10-11 primarily analyze the difficulties of unifying form and matter in composite entities (as thematized in Z 7-9) based on the different nature of the parts of the logos (expressing the form as eidos) and the parts as matter and their different ontological priorities in relation to ousia (as eidos and as sunholon). MILLER better known by nature) by grounding the causal relations between its formal and material aspects in terms of dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations. and what conditions are imposed on the completed ontology by the _________ 36 Here Gadamer’s principle is helpful that the hermeneutics of philosophical texts requires determining the problems that the texts are attempting to answer (cf. .37 Here our objective is primarily to show how these key ontological aporiai determine the structure of the overall argument of the central books and that the causal ontology developed there resolves them.. Z 10-16 links these two levels of analysis by beginning the analysis of the aporiai that guide the establishment of the causal ontology. A detailed textual analysis is beyond the scope of the present paper. is to identify the ontological questions and their implications that are addressed by the aporetic problems treated in Metaph.

the aporetic problems shared by biology and the Metaph. The seeming incompatibility of the two essential characteristics of ousia leads to both the so-called ‘participation’ [methexis] problem in the Theory of Ideas and the ‘third-man’ argument. The best known aporia is the logical incompatability of the species-nature of entities. The basis of the problem and its resolution are readily understood in the context of biology where the dynamic functional nature of _________ 38 This does not mean that Aristotle came to the aporiai or their solutions from his work in biology. Knowability as species-typicality vis-à-vis individual existing. How does an entity composed of changeable. which is ‘universal’ in the sense of being in-common to all members of the species. a. Thus. it is advantageous to point out the biological difficulties and their solutions first and then investigate how the same problems are manifested and analyzed in the Metaph. To the contrary. 39 This dilemma plagued philosophy throughout the Middle Ages as the universal/particular debate and has recurred in recent decades in a new round of debates over whether the eidos or ti ên einai should be considered as a universal or a particular. the aporiai that concern us are often more evident—even though more complex—in organisms than in stable entities. which is unique to each thing. provide a crucial basis for comparing the ontology of the two works.39 Yet experientially it is obvious that all entities have both a species-nature and exist as individuals.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 25 necessity of resolving them? The key ontological aporiai derive either from the difficulties familiar from Plato’s Theory of Ideas (the universal/particular problem) or from the seemingly incompatible characteristics of the formal and material aspects of ousia (cf. distinguishable material parts nevertheless exist as a stable. . 37). and other biological works strongly suggests that he was primarily influenced by the difficulties that arise in the Theory of Ideas and the new problems that Aristotle had to deal with in reconciling the conflicting key insights of Plato and physicalists. How does the being-alive of an organism exist as a stable unified identity despite being composed of constantly changing physiological processes with distinguishable functional parts? These key problems inherent in existing as being-alive manifest the aporiai of composite unity and dynamic stability in concrete ways that constitute the core issues of the science. and the tangential nature of their treatment in De An. fn. the way they are analyzed in the Metaph.38 As a result. vis-à-vis their individual existing. all-or-nothing unified whole (qua eidos)? How does the existing of an individual entity as such a holistic unity depend on its speciesdetermined organization? The central problems of biology also hinge on accounting for precisely these dilemmas. Moreover.

which serves ontologically as the dynamic functional cause of ongoing existing [įՀijțȡȟ ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț].26 ALFRED E. while the existing of an entity is unique to the individual (cf. An. PA I 1. Moreover. which is determined by a particular speciesconfiguration. Individual organisms only exist as distinct species-types. II-III. This is why only certain distinct species of entities exist. The ti ên einai constitutes and accounts causally for the ongoing existing of the individual entity by being the cooperatively organized functioning of its parts that brings about the self-sustaining functioning of the whole. Code 1984. Aristotle could not know the mechanisms for this dependency of the existing of individual organisms on their species-configuration in the detail that we do today. MILLER existing easily illuminates the roots of the difficulty and its solution. (Cf. will be shown to apply to ousiai in general. what is knowable and what exists could be different and would require something else in-common to link them (the so-called “third-man” argument). This interdependent relation between speciesconfiguration and the existing of each individual. Only certain species-typically patterned configurations lead to such mutually enabling. holistic functioning that preserves and stabilizes the very configuration that brings it about. which is obvious for organisms. an obvious logical contradiction. those capable of perpetuating themselves over time in this way. II 4. Nevertheless. the basic principles and conditions were clear to him (cf. the Theory of Ideas had already thematized and analyzed the crucial role of species-types and its problems. Yet as Metaph. 1003a6-17). Aristotle resolves the difficulty by reconceiving the eidos construed by Plato as an ideal type into the ti ên einai. The resulting functioning of the whole in turn preserves the cooperative configuration of its parts necessary for its self-sustaining existing. What is knowable (the species-type) must be common to many entities recognizable as species-members. B 6.) As shown in Sec. MILLER & MARIA G. Z 6 argues explicitly. This is because only specific configurations of functional parts are capable of cooperatively bringing about the self-sustaining life-processes—as well as functioning in their environments as needed to survive and reproduce. I 5). In this way the logical incompatibility of species-typicality and individual existing is converted into causal interdependence between them. Metaph. B 4-6 (esp. Thus . Z 13). Thus. the same eidos/ti ên einai must account for the species-typicality (knowability) and individual existing of an entity. The functional organization that enables the whole to exist self-sustainingly depends on the parts fitting together functionally in a mutually sustaining way. Obviously. Aristotle reanalyzes this central aporia of Plato’s in his own terms in Metaph. it seems necessary for the same eidos to be something both unique and in-common. Otherwise.

The being-alive of an organism exists as an all-or-nothing unity (either intact as alive or else dead). this same entity seems to have contradictory characteristics. III. I 5). the process of selfmaintenance constituting being-alive consists of many subfunctions. Metaph. which must be unified in composites. which constitutes and causes its ongoing existing. the aporia is resolved by the causal interdependency of the functional aspects that are logically incompatible from a descriptive standpoint (the indivisible whole and its parts). PA I 1. All-or-nothing unity of the eidos vis-à-vis divisible material parts. the resolution of the difficulty is also clear in organisms. the nature of this problem and its resolution are more obvious in biology. Again. Both points exemplify the methodological roles of analyzing and resolving the aporia. The vulnerability of being-alive to interruption of any essential function reveals its dependency on the mutually enabling functioning of its parts necessary for its ongoing existing. A second core aporia arises from the logical incompatibility of the holistically indivisible eidos of an entity and its divisible material aspect. the appropriate functioning of each part is only possible in its proper context within the whole. then. We deal with this aporia and its resolution by the holistic causal role of the ti ên einai in detail in Sec. but the general principle was already clear and significant to Aristotle and physicians of his day (cf. It also reveals the necessary role of the unifying organization of the whole (the holistic speciesconfiguration) in sustaining the existing of the individual entity. Logically speaking. As with the first aporia. Conversely. Again. b. the whole ceases to exist.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 27 the aporia points the way toward the dynamic causal account of the existing of entities (as better known by nature). and the organism as an entity consists of many functionally and spatially distinguishable parts. Moreover. the causal account (the existing as known by nature) that resolves the descriptive logical incompatibility (as first known to us) again depends on the role of the holistic unity of the organism. If any vital function fails to fulfill its role appropriately. the whole/part aporetic difficulty is less well known because it only comes to light when Aristotle combines the all-or-nothing unity of Plato’s eidos with the account of entities in terms of their material parts (as seen by the physicalists). We understand the mechanisms of this functional interdependence in more detail today. then. (Cf. Yet. The all-or-nothing unity of beingalive results from the interdependence of its functioning parts.40 _________ 40 In contrast to the first aporia.) . Z 10-11. Thus the existing of an organism as being-alive is both an indivisible unity and a composite of parts.

the existing of a relationship as functional is determined by its role in the overall unified configuration in which material parts can act in some specific instrumental manner. the roles they play in this unity (as specified in terms of ‘hypothetical necessity’. Metaph. and its resolution plays a central role in establishing the dynamic causal ontology of ousia. In Metaph. the material aspect is divisible into spatially distinct parts. ‘Functioning’ is not simply an activityproperty of the matter involved—or something ‘emergent’ or ‘supervening’ on matter (as the functionalists assume). however. Z 17 the problem of unity of eidos and matter is reformulated in terms of how the ti ên einai as ousia (i. the problem is raised repeatedly in this work. thereby constituting the indivisible unity of ousia. as spe- .28 ALFRED E. it seems to be simultaneously divisible and indivisible—an obvious logical contradiction. cf. as living organisms demonstrate. I. Aristotle has a clear conception of the nature of functional relations on which the unity of ousia depends. Z 10. IV). material parts only form a heap [IJȧȢցȣ. Functional parts. They are always delineated by hou heneka [for-the-sake-of-which] relations (discussed in detail in Sec. MILLER & MARIA G. MILLER As suggested in Sec.. function) or be defined independently of the functional unity whose parts they constitute (just as a finger cannot function apart form the living organism. PA I 5). The material requirements of composite ousia are secondary to the functional roles of the parts. In fact. 1041b11-16. The eidos (as expressed by the definition) denotes the functional all-or-nothing unity of the entity necessary to constitute its existing.e. Metaph. Z 17.B. There the aporia is brought to light by the logical incompatibility of the eidos and material aspects of entities considered as conceptual perspectives of the same composite unity. and 1041a26-30] but never constitute the indivisible unity that characterizes ousia (as entelecheia). then. In themselves. Conversely. Thus in a functional relation the holistically functioning unity and its functional parts determine each other causally. Rather. This initial logical characterization and analysis of the aporia is reformulated and reanalyzed stepwise and ultimately resolved causally in accord with the dynamic interdependency of whole and parts just as in the biological example. Z 10-11 begins examining this aporia inherent in the eidos/matter relation as descriptively delineated in Z 7-9 (better known to us). By contrast. cannot exist (i. Material parts as such only exist independently (as pieces) when the functional unity disintegrates. The whole/part aporetic difficulty is equally important in non-living entities—but less obvious and scarcely recognized as an issue by interpreters of the Metaph. Since the eidos and matter describe the same entity from different aspects. 1035b23-25). the functional unity—based on the proper interactive fit of the parts—is indivisible and exists all-ornothing.e. Metaph.

III and IV).41 Thus. Yet. Its sameness as an individual cannot be interrupted without its demise because existing as being-alive is the same process of self_________ 41 As seen in Sec. as entelecheia) over matter as dunamis resolves the unity of whole and parts in its most fundamental causal way. ǿ and ĭ. Since the two aspects of ousia refer to the same unified entity (just described from different perspectives). II-IV. The eidos must be unchangeable to constitute the persisting identity and species-typicality of the entity. analysis of the aporia reveals the kind of holistic causal relations needed to account for the unity of eidos and matter and thereby for the ongoing existing and stability of the entity organized as what it is. In Metaph. The identity of an organism remains the same throughout its lifetime despite continuous changes in its material parts. The third core aporia arises from another logical incongruence between the eidos and material aspects of ousia.. Z 17 raises the question how parts are made into a unity (instead of just a heap) by the ti ên einai although it is immaterial and cannot be a part itself. In this way the aporiai also determines the nature of the causal accounts required to establish the ontology. Thus. as a whole.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 29 cies-configuration [ousia according to the logos]) accounts for the ongoing existing of the composite entity as what it is by organizing its parts into a holistically functioning unity. The logical incompatability between the holistic eidos and the distinguishable parts of the composite is resolved by the causal interdependence of whole and parts. the nature of the whole/part aporia and its analysis show the direction for uncovering its resolution. This issue of the dependence of the existing of the composite on its holistic unity remains central to the argument throughout Metaph. the same thing seems to be both changeable and unchangeable. We see later that this is the same holistic causal resolution of the interdependence of whole and parts displayed so clearly by organisms (Sec. c. just as in the aporia arising from the incompatibility of speciestypicality and individual-existing. which must also be reconciled to account for their unity as a composite entity. this aporia (in its various stages of resolution) is one of the central themes that reveals the methodological unity of the Metaph. The problem is raised again in discussing the nature of the unity of entelecheia in Metaph. ǿ 3 and in analyzing the role of the ti ên einai in causing the unity of ousia in H 6. . the problem of reconciling the holistic (all-or-nothing) unity of composite entities with the apparent divisibility of their distinguishable parts comes up repeatedly in the remainder of the central books. Again organisms provide the best example. ĭ 8 the ontological priority of energeia as eidos and telos (viz. Metaph. Stability of the unified whole vis-à-vis changeability of the parts. Similarly. the material components must be changeable to account for genesis as well as continued existing.

What remains stable is the holistic configuration of functional relations necessary for self-preservation. the physiological processes that constitute being-alive would merely be changing attributes (alterations) of what really exists. Likewise. Cannon 1932). If this were the case. the continued existing of an individual organism depends on the persisting sameness of the functional configuration that brings about its existing as its species-type so that ongoing existing and persisting identity are inseparable. It is the whole as the unified functional configuration that remains the same over time despite internal changes in its parts. however. The actions of parts on each other change so that the stable existing of the whole is maintained under differing circumstances.42 Socrates is the same person as a boy and as an old man for the same reason that a chipmunk never becomes a squirrel. The most fundamental way. In an organism (Aristotle’s prime example of ousia). MILLER & MARIA G. In organisms the internal functional relations of the configuration itself (not only its material components) adjust for modified internal and external conditions in order to preserve the dynamic stability of the whole. the aporetic dilemma is clearly illustrated by the nature of organisms. to be simultaneously both changing and unchanging. A well known example is the famous tribute ship to Delos that was rebuilt piecemeal until no part of the original remained. in artifacts any stable structure must be configured so that the forces between parts compensate appropriately for varying loads to sustain the stability of _________ 42 As discussed in detail in Sec. its existing as what it is. Since these characteristics are logically contradictory. The aporia of accounting for the simultaneous changeability and stability of ousia is less obvious in artifacts and other non-living entities because the replacement of parts while preserving the continued identity of the whole is less common in such things. Internal changes great enough to preclude its being the individual and kind of organism it is would also preclude its continued existing as an organism at all. But the continuous functioning itself is the being-alive that constitutes the existing of an organism. the same difficulty of reconciling the stability of form [eidos] with the changeability of material parts occurs in both cases. The variable functioning of the parts is determined by their role in the overall configuration so that they adjust to maintain the stability of the whole under differing conditions. it seems necessary for the ousia.30 ALFRED E. in which the ousia of an entity is both changeable and stable (in artifacts as well as organisms) is a consequence of the basically dynamic nature of existing. This is the well known biological phenomenon of physiological homeostasis (maintaining a stable internal environment. . then. There is no unchanging substantial substrate that persists by inertly underlying the functional processes of being-alive. MILLER maintenance that constitutes its persisting identity. III and IV. Nevertheless.

stability) directs us toward a resolution in terms of the interdependent causal relations between those seemingly incompatible characteristics.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 31 its overall functional configuration. Again. I 7). The persisting substrate connecting sequential contrary states accounts for the change as a unified phenomenon—not two unrelated states of affairs (Phys. . alteration and other kinêseis are interpreted by analyzing the process into (1) an unchanging substrate that persists through the change and (2) the replacement of one contrary attribute of the substrate by another. However. However. 43 Thus preservation of the ongoing existing and identity (the ousia) of either an organism or an artifact as a stable holistic unity comes about not despite changes of its parts—but rather as a result of the proper changes to compensate for changing conditions. The dynamic interrelation of stability and change in the existing of ousia is highlighted by contrast with the relation between persisting substrates and changing attributes dealt with in the Physics. the original logical aporia (changeability vs.44 What changes in replenishing and adjusting the functioning of parts during genesis or ongoing existing is not extraneous to the ousia itself (like an attribute). Changes such as locomotion. the composite ousia itself undergoes internal modification of its own parts while still _________ 43 The ongoing existing of such seemingly static entities is actually constituted by the nexus of mutually sustaining forces that hold the parts together and sustain their stable functional structure as a whole by being an equilibrium that brings about the stability of the whole. the nexus of sustaining forces does not appear outwardly to constitute an active process of self-maintenance. this conceptual framework cannot simply be extrapolated to ousia or modified in some way to account for the integration of change and stability of eidos and matter in genesis or ongoing existing. then. who actually know better. 44 The widespread misunderstanding of the eidos/matter relation (and its extension to the psuchê/body relation) stems largely from simply extrapolating the substrate/attribute model of the account of change from the Physics to the analysis of composite ousia. of ousia) in combination with compensatory changes in its parts is where the ontological aporia of being stable and changing at the same time arises. The stability of the substrate itself (i. This is because modern biological research concentrates primarily on the composition and functioning of particular parts rather than on how the entire organism necessarily fits together into an interdependently unified whole necessary for remaining alive. Any engineer is familiar with this actively equilibrated nature of stable structures and takes it as the necessary basis for designing or repairing them. Because of the stable equilibrium condition. Even biologists. Instead. tend to think of the anatomy as what really exists and then functions secondarily to maintain itself.e. the way in which the different forces involved in the equilibrium compensate or accommodate to outside changes reveals the true dynamic nature of the nexus of causal relations that sustains the entity as what it is. not an accompanying property of the substrate as in alterations.

MILLER remaining the same ousia. a very different approach is needed for the ontological integration of eidos and matter as the stable and changeable aspects of ousia—rather than considering the eidos as if it were simply a special sort of attribute of its matter. As a consequence. Each aporia represents a particular aspect of this central problem of accounting for this stable unity of ousia (in both works) and also points the direction toward the solution (as Metaph. All cats have parts. which enables us to show that Aristotle’s account was not ‘teleological’ in the sense of quasibackward efficient causation.) is that one and the same entity as ousia is simultaneously both changing and not changing. then. . The central ontological aporiai just discussed all point to the same root difficulty that entities must exist as holistic (all-or-nothing) unities while nevertheless being composed of distinguishable parts. Considering the psuchê/body relation in biology (as we do in this paper) makes the inadequacies of the functionalist models clear since the psuchê as being-alive must constitute the primary existing of the organism. IV we discuss Aristotle’s resolution of this difficulty. MILLER & MARIA G. Holistic causal relations resolve the logical incompatibilities.45 In Sec. His holistic causal relations established in Metaph. Thus again. Z 17-4 9. but the parts cannot be separated and still be a living cat. analysis of the aporetic problem guides developing the causal ontology by showing what is necessary to resolve the difficulty and account for the stable ongoing existing of ousia. account for the dynamic stability of ousia in organisms and artifacts alike. Today these same relationships are well understood in scientific terms as self-stabilizing cooperative systems. results from precisely this erroneous extrapolation of the model for attribute change from the Phys. (as opposed to the Phys. as well as De An. The body provides instrumental dunameis for enabling the functioning of the psuchê as the unified whole that constitutes the individual organism’s ongoing existing. his account of the dynamic stability of entities based on his conception of entelecheia and its relationship to hou heneka causation and “the good” (for preserving the ousia). Such dynamic stability is seen to result from determination of the functional roles of the changeable instrumental matter by the overall functional configuration. The difficulty in the Metaph. but logically incompatible characteristics of ousia as eidos and as matter are _________ 45 Much of the misunderstanding of Aristotle’s conception of the psuchê in recent ‘functionalist’ approaches to interpreting De An. B 1 suggests). these approaches treat the functions of being-alive comprising the psuchê as if they were mere activity-attributes of a self-sufficiently existing body. Nor do broken tools exist as tools since they cannot fulfill their functions.32 ALFRED E. That solution establishes how the essential. What makes the composite whole [IJփȟȡȝȡȣ ȡ՘IJտį] exist as an indivisible unity is the key question of the Metaph. Thus. 4.

9). This account is set forth in terms of the interrelationships between (1) the ti ên einai. and their solutions. these causal relations account for how such a dynamic. in accord with the analysis of the aporiai. Moreover. This comparison illuminates the ontological paradigm common to both works by mutual elucidation. Interpretive Strategy Our strategy for interpreting the dynamic causal ontology of ousia established in the Metaph. in terms of the ontology of ousia. (2) its species-typical configuration [ousia according to the logos] as the organizing functional configuration and (3) entelecheia as the existing of that configuration and as the telos and product of hou heneka causal relations. Applying the ontology in De An. Aristotle’s resolution of each of the aporetic difficulties depends on the unified whole serving in a particular way as the ultimate causal basis of the ongoing existing and stability of the entity. By formulating the concrete problems of De An. The conceptual and causal framework of ousia from the Metaph. provides De An. clarifies the role of causal relations in accounting for the existing of organisms (qua persisting entities) as an ongoing process of self-preservation. Sections II through IV analyze and account for the ontological nature of these holistic causal relation and their roles in grounding the dynamic existing of stably persisting entities—living and non-living. is to account for the mechanisms by which these holistic causal relations accomplish what they do. is to compare its systematic development there with its application in De An. interactively existing unity maintains and stabilizes its functional parts on the basis of the species-configuration of the whole (cf. Accounting for the existing of organisms on the basis of the ontology of ousia exemplifies the dynamic nature of the key ontological problems of the Metaph. F.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 33 nevertheless united in term of their interdependent causal relatedness. Moreover. The major challenge in establishing the dynamic ontology of ousia. with a predeveloped systematic framework for analyzing and resolving the ontological problems of being-alive and its causal grounding. The types of causal relations required are holistic (in contrast to individual efficient causes) in two interrelated senses. the formulation of these causal accounts in terms of dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations discloses a deeper level of . fn. (2) At the same time. they are situated in a paradigmatic framework that organizes their accounts into a systematic science. (1) The causal relations at issue account for the cooperative organization of the parts into a holistic (all-or-nothing) unity based on their functional interdependence. then.

and in De An. Therefore the causal basis of the descriptive ontological aspects is already presupposed as established. The ontological nature of the causal relations involved in being-alive— and thus ousia in general—is further elucidated by discoveries and insights of twentieth-century science that are strikingly consistent with the basic conceptual and causal framework of De An. This furnishes deeper understanding of the mechanisms of the causal relations that account for the nature and behavior of complexly organized systems. the ontology is established stepwise in the Metaph. as they are in the Metaph. . the causal accounts are developed that ground those characteristics and resolve the aporetic difficulties of integrating them into the completed systematic ontological paradigm (Z 17-4 9). As discussed in Sec. MILLER & MARIA G. Finally. Consequently. as a full systematic unity from the beginning. matter and composite entity). MILLER analysis.34 ALFRED E. to make meaningful comparisons it is necessary to ascertain the precise significance of terms from the issues under discussion and from their context within the _________ 46 As discussed earlier. require taking account of the differing structures of the analyses in the two works. the comparability of basic conceptual frameworks and causal accounts of the fundamental ontology of ousia with Aristotle’s as well as today’s biology derives largely from the correspondence of the basic aporetic and general ontological problems faced by these disciplines.46 1. Comparing the ontology of ousia in De Anima and the Metaphysics requires identifying corresponding components. Next. and De An.D. The resulting conceptualization is systematized into the triad of descriptive perspectives (eidos/ti ên einai. The conceptual analyses and causal accounts are not separated in De An. The comparability of concepts and arguments is determined by their corresponding roles in the ontology. This completed ontology is applied in De An. The conceptual framework is first developed by thematizing and formalizing the endoxa regarding the nature of ousia (Metaph. the aporetic difficulties inherent in the incompatabilities among the essential characteristics are analyzed (Z10-16). However. modern knowledge casts light both on Aristotle’s biology and on its ontological foundations.. which necessitates considering the different approaches in each work. the same terms must be use to denote both the descriptive and causal accounts of the perspectives. as argued earlier. Z 1-9). Thus. As valuable as the comparative approach is for mutual elucidation of the ontology of ousia in the Metaph. which also enables demonstrating the ultimate unity of the various causal relations and their comparability in the two works. I. it also raises its own methodological and exegetic problems. Valid comparisons of corresponding components of the Metaph.

For example. as dunamis and entelecheia (and not in terms of flesh or organs and the living organism. viz. (ousia as better known by nature). and is only completed in Metaph. the same triadic conceptualization of ousia is immediately explicated in dynamiccausal terms. Therefore understanding the methodological route for developing the ontology of ousia in the Metaph. Z 3.” (An. is formulated in terms of dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations. by contrast. shape morphê/eidos. the body and their interrelations in a way that resolves the problems equivalent to those dealt with by the Metaph.. must be rethought in the specific context of applying them to organisms existing as being-alive. II 1 begins the analysis of organisms as ousia in terms of the descriptive triad (matter. the aporetic analyses and causal accounts worked-out in the Metaph. II 2-4 can therefore continue the investigation of what this terminology implies causally for the existing of organisms as beingalive. II 1. H-4.49 _________ 47 The account of how the eidos and matter constitute the unity of the sunholon begins with Metaph.47 At this stage the triad is exemplified by purely static referents. is essential for discerning the equivalent problems in organisms and how they are dealt with in De An. but the question of their causal basis is not yet raised. when An. In fact. The argument in An.. the eidos is entelecheia. this cannot be understood as a simple reiteration of the purely descriptive conceptualization introduced in Metaph. ĭ 1-9 is also necessary to ground the dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relationships used in Metaph.. II 1.. H to account for the unity of ousia. so it is necessary to associate the mechanisms analyzed in these terms with the corresponding causal relations. This reanalysis involves reconceiving the ontological nature of the psuchê. 412a9-10).)48 Equating matter and eidos with dunamis and entelecheia shows that Aristotle. Moreover. much of the causal account in De An.. . where the ti ên einai (the species-configuration) is stated as the only cause (aside from the efficient causal maker) that huletic dunameis are actualized into an entity (1045a29-33).THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 35 overall composition of the work. where the triadic description is introduced (1029a15). in fact. viz. shape/schema and statue (1029a3-5). where the key aspects are thematized and conceptualized. 48 “And while the matter is dunamis. as bronze. Z 3 (1028b37-29a5). and composite out of these. 412a6-9). Rather. just as in the Metaph. H 6. is not simply a matter of subsuming biological concepts under those developed in the Metaph. In An. the entire analysis of Metaph. In Z 3 the analysis of ousia is in its first phase (as better known to us). to describe corresponding characteristics of organisms—as the parallel conception of eidos/matter and psuchê/body relations might suggest. invokes the entire causalontological analysis of the Metaph. formulated in the original descriptive terminology but already understood as related by the causal accounts developed in Metaph. 49 The application of the ontology of ousia to De An.

MILLER Thus. Z 17-4 9.1) in relation to the Metaph. To develop the metaphysical foundation of physics in the MF it was necessary to re-develop the concepts. (starting in II. more definitive ontological paradigm which is constituted by the causal accounts of the existing of ousiai (as better known by nature). Our task. This work was written between the two editions of the Critique of Pure Reason (CPR) and was intended to show how the principles developed in the CPR could be applied to the field of physics to serve as an a priori basis for the principles of that science. ǿ-ĭ. To accomplish this. 210-213). establishes a previously unrecognized. is to account for the essential characteristics of beingalive and the causal mechanisms that sustain it. xii. A core thesis of the paper is that the Metaph. Therefore. therefore.. Z are presupposed as already resolved by the causal relations and dunamis/energeia/entelecheia analyses of Metaph.36 ALFRED E. The primary concern in De An. comparing the discussion of causal relations in the two works also requires taking account of the differing contexts in which the analyses and accounts are carried out. by contrast. 290-323). understanding the ontological analysis in De An. Aristotle’s analysis of ousia in De An. In the Metaph. The ontological paradigm must be understood in its systematic coherency and internal unity. principles and relations from the CPR in direct relationship to the problem of moving bodies by repeating the basic analysis of the CPR in the more specific context (Miller & Miller (Plaass) 1994. is another striking example of the interactive nature of interpretation by application—a general hermeneutic principle emphasized (in non-scientific contexts) by Gadamer (1960. this difference of approaches is also responsible for making the comparison so illuminating in both directions.. They can be legitimately and fruitfully compared if the appropriate correspondences are respected in doing so. The aporetic analyses of Metaph. Plaass showed that the deeper interpretation of the ontological principles of the CPR that resulted from the rethinking involved in their application to the MF accounts in turn for many of the modifications of the CPR that are found in the second edition (Plaass 1994. This _________ 50 A similar example of the reflexive interpretation from applying general ontological principles to specific fields was shown by Peter Plaass (1994/1965) in his study of Kant’s Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (MF). however. 24-28). . however. depends primarily on comparing it with the causal analysis of ousia developed in Metaph. However. is to uncover this underlying level of the paradigm and demonstrate its conceptual coherency and causally grounding power. Kant could not develop the ontological principles needed for physics by simply subsuming the concepts that characterize material bodies under the concepts that apply to all possible experience worked out in the CPR. the major concern is with the fundamental aporiai that must be analyzed and causally resolved in establishing the dynamic ontology of ousia.50 2. Thus the same basic ontology framework and its holistic causal mechanisms accounting for ongoing existing and dynamic stability are common to both works. MILLER & MARIA G. based on the ontology of the Metaph.

It requires demonstrating that the paradigm provides a consistent conceptual and causal framework that enables an adequate account of the phenomena and a coherent interpretation of the texts involved. i. (Again. we sketch the core reconceptions and justify the central arguments on the basis of internal coherence and consistency guided by the text—without attempting an interpretation based primarily on textual exegesis. Kuhn 1962). The dynamic equilibrium of forces that constitutes the stable unity of a non-living entity (such as an artifact) plays the same ontological role of accounting causally for its self-sufficient preservation over time. This interdependent unity of the paradigm precludes presenting and arguing for its validity in a piecemeal or a simple straight-line fashion. whose existing involves constant dynamic change. then.. the new causal ontology develops the general systematic paradigm needed to account for both the stable entities primarily dealt with in the Metaph.. being-alive. This holistic unity constitutes the distinct and persisting identity of the entity and is self-stabilizing by functional counteractions to distorting influences.) (4) Both the process of self-preservation and self-stabilization depend on the species-typical functional configuration [ousia according to the logos] . (3) The holistically unified process of being-alive determines the functioning of its parts (by hou heneka causal relations) in such a way that they maintain their unity and properly fulfill their roles in preserving the process of self-maintenance. and also for organisms in De An. is to illuminate the systematic unity of a consistent scientific paradigm in which the basic concepts. Yet. methodological assumptions and causal accounts are mutually defining (cf. Our presentational challenge.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 37 paradigm synthesizes the causal approaches of accounting for phenomena introduced by the physicalists with Plato’s approach based on knowable species-forms. (2) Despite being composed of many constituent subprocesses and specialized functional relations. As a compromise. a satisfactory detailed analysis and defense of the reinterpreted paradigm would be too long for the present paper. the being-alive of an organism (or the existing of an artifact) is constituted as an all-or-nothing unity (existing as entelecheia).e. dynamically selfmaintaining process (the ti ên einai) that constitutes its existing as what it is. Our presentation is organized in terms of four interrelated theses: (1) The being-alive of an organism is a unified. the comparable ontological relationships and causal mechanisms exist in stable artifacts between the all-or-nothing unity of the whole and its functional parts. By resolving the aporetic difficulties inherent in this synthesis.

MILLER & MARIA G. MILLER of the organism and require holistic modes of causation to account for them. applies both to stable entities such as artifacts (Sec. (Cf. Our plan. PA I 1. Unlike modern biology. Aristotle’s biology (esp. Instead.51 Biologists have taken these holistic characteristics and problems of the nature of being-alive for granted for almost a century—though they have seldom reflected on the ontological significance of their assumptions. For biologists today they are embodied in many ad hoc accounts of particular phenomena such as homeostasis of the organism as a whole or the self-configuration and stabilization of tertiary protein folding on the molecular level. . is to investigate how the basic ontological paradigm developed in the Metaph.5. Phys. A 7. Metaph. Aristotle turns out to be the only philosopher who provides adequate conceptual and causal tools for interpreting the scientific revolutions of the 20th century. they invent poorly founded ad hoc concepts and methods to circumvent explanations that might be construed as ‘teleological’ when confronted by phenomena that obviously require holistic accounts. They were misinterpreted as unacceptable teleology (in the sense of predetermination by some future state or outside purposive direction) or as circular explanations. II 7-9. Ironically. who carefully avoid association with such seemingly unacceptable accounts.) recognized the same characteristics and problems of being-alive that modern biology assumes and for which it is still learning to account at various levels of analysis. The consistent systematic unity and explanatory adequacy of this ontological paradigm is demonstrated by how its holistic causal basis accounts for the essential features of being-alive and ousia in general—as well as resolving the core aporiai by reconciling the seeming incongruencies of certain essential characteristics (Sec. IV). An. for the very reasons that led to his rejection by the scientific revolution of the 17th century. II) and also to the dynamic functional nature of the being-alive of organisms (Sec. The ghost of these historical misconceptions still haunts scientists and most modern interpreters. Yet. Aristotle’s reliance on these holistic causal relations was a central reason for the wholesale rejection of his scientific work.38 ALFRED E. then. however. _________ 51 Aristotle’s use of these holistic modes of causation was seriously misunderstood during the scientific revolution of the 17th century. the most fundamental advances and paradigm shifts in 20th century physics and biology have incorporated versions of holistic causation very similar to those that Aristotle systematically introduced to account for such phenomena. De An. II 4. GA II 6. For Aristotle these causes are systematically analyzed and embodied in the ti ên einai and hou heneka [for-the-sake-of-which] relations—for organisms as well as artifacts. Aristotle was more directly concerned with the ontological nature of the problems involved and explicitly introduced holistic causal relations and accounts needed to resolve them.) Failure to see the cogency of Aristotle’s position in this regard only seems explicable as a tenacious retention of the rejection of these modes of causation by 17-19th century science. In both cases the reinterpreted ontology succeeds in accounting for the stable as well as the dynamic functional natures of the entities in question. III). then.

Although organisms are his prime examples of ousia (Metaph. The Dynamic Ontology of Ousia in the Metaphysics—The HolisticCausal Relation between Eidos and Matter Exemplified by Artifacts A. I. Nevertheless. artifacts are predominantly used in the Metaph. (and even in De An. we examine a simpler example of Aristotle’s dynamic ontological paradigm grounded on holistic causal relations. Z 7. however. 52 Because of this causal basis of existing that is common to all ousiai. artifacts are helpful concrete models of the systematic dynamic paradigm and its validity for interpreting the ontology of ousia in the Metaph.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 39 II. artifacts also exemplify the essential role of holistic causal relations in accounting for the nature and stability of the _________ 52 It will be recalled from the Introduction (cf. Artifacts display directly and concretely how the material parts are cooperatively organized into a self-sustaining unified entity—not because of their material existence per se—but by the functional roles they play in the unifying configuration of the whole. do not have a principle of motion and stasis in themselves.2-4) that our dynamic reinterpretation of the ontology is based on the methodological assumption that the ontology of ousia consists of the causal account (better known by nature) that grounds the characteristics of ousia and its functional manner of existing. our task is to show how Aristotle’s dynamic. . stability and other ontological characteristics of stable entities like artifacts. The ontology of artifacts is more transparent and simpler to understand than that of organisms since they are less complex. holistic causal relations account for the ongoing existing. The continued existing of ousia (non-living as well as living) requires ongoing causation. In this sense artifacts also exist dynamically and their characteristics as existing entities must be accounted for ontologically (and physically) in terms of continuing dynamic and holistic causal relations..D. In addition.) to exemplify the basic ontological principles and arguments. unity. 1032a19). This clarifies how the specifically configured organization of the parts comprises the functional unity of the eidos as ti ên einai that constitutes the self-sustaining existing through time of a particular entity as well as its species-defining functioning as what it is. Sec. they depend on the same functional and holistic causal relations between eidos and matter that account for the psuchê/body relations and other features of organisms. Conceptual Analysis and Causal Grounding of the Eidos/Matter Relation as Exemplified in an Artifact Before investigating how the ontology of ousia accounts for the nature of organisms in De An. and their parts are not constantly being replaced and modified. Thus.

The form of artifacts is usually simplistically conceived as a static structure reductively accounted for by construction out of unchanging material. Furthermore. it is important to show how this interpretation also accounts for the existing of stable objects. The ti ên einai. However.40 ALFRED E. which constitutes the ongoing existing of an entity. Pieces of wood fastened together in a mutually supporting configuration become parts of a box (sides. bottom and top) by being organized into its unified existing as a container. A final reason for examining the ontology of ousia as applied to artifacts is the key role they play in the analyses of the Metaph. We maintain that the traditional static conception of the ontology must be reinterpreted dynamically in the Metaph. MILLER & MARIA G. Since the Metaph. has two ontological aspects: (1) the self-preserving functioning of the entity as a whole and (2) its species-configuration [ousia according to the logos]. which are the primary models of ousia used in the Metaph. 1. MILLER configuration that brings about their ongoing existing. Our aim is to demonstrate the cogency of the dynamic causal interpretation of the general ontology of ousia. which exemplify best how the unity and stability of any ousia must ultimately be accounted for as dynamic-functional processes. The material components per se might seem to constitute its existing as an entity (as better known to us). then. In this way artifacts provide a key model for analyzing the two-way causal interdependency between matter and form that illuminates the poorly understood causal relation between body and psuchê. engineers consider material parts primarily as bearers of the forces that preserve the unified configuration of the entity under varying conditions as long as it exists . and the prevailing assumption that stable entities are what the ontology of ousia primarily accounts for. this implicit understanding can be thematized and systematized into explicit knowledge of the causal relations involved. Take a simple wooden box as an example. Actually they show clearly how the holistically organized cooperative unity of the eidos both enables and determines the necessary roles of the parts. we are familiar with how various types of causal mechanisms work by knowing how to make and use artifacts capable of stably existing and fulfilling their functions. As a result. Therefore. itself. is ordinarily interpreted statically on the basis of stable examples of ousia. artifacts demonstrate how the full systematic conceptual and causal paradigm resolves the core ontological problems and fits together as a coherent ontology. As examples of ousia. The principles and causal relations can then be generalized to more complex and obviously dynamic entities like organisms. it is essential to demonstrate that our dynamic interpretation of the ontology also accounts for the characteristics and existing of stable entities.

However. When completed. the same cooperative functioning of parts that constitutes being a box is also the cause of its ongoing existing by sustaining its function-enabling configuration.E. 1049a18-24). The example shows (1) how the species-configuration [ousia according to the logos] accounts for the ongoing existing of an entity by organizing its functional parts into a self-sustaining unity—without being anything besides the nexus of interactions themselves.53 A piece of wood held in a certain way by other parts is thereby organized into the unified configuration. In this way the configuration of functional interactions sustains the continued existing of a box and brings about its holistic functioning as a container. Thus. e.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 41 (not only during construction). During construction.) _________ 53 This determining of the functioning of parts by the whole implicitly invokes the hou heneka causal role of the ti ên einai. In this way. The position and support of a side. Moreover. IV. I. Sec. The crucial role of the interactions among the parts (internal forces) in sustaining the unity and stability of the whole is more dramatic in a tall building or the arches of a bridge. which enables its functional role as a particular part of the container. the parts must be held in position by something substituting for the forces of the finished configuration. then. however. but it is not different in principle for a simple box (one of the Aristotle’s examples in Metaph. which we take up in detail in Sec. The ontology of ousia recognizes in the same way that the functional configuration is what (1) enables the parts actively to support each other using the instrumental potential of their material and (2) also enables each part to play its role in the functioning of the whole. the properly configured functioning of the parts and the holistic configuration that brings about their functioning are mutually enabling and interdependent.g.3. the parts hold each other interactively in their proper relationships. bring about its functioning as a lateral retaining surface of the container. the species-configuration as the cooperatively functioning unity of parts in particular relations to each other also enables and determines the functional role of each part. The cooperatively organized functioning of all the parts (the configuration) integrates their roles into the unified functioning of the whole as a container—which constitutes its existing as a box.b on the role of functionality in the resolution of the whole/part aporia. 4 7. the configuration constituting the ti ên einai (the cause of ongoing existing) exists entirely as the specially organized nexus of interactions among the parts that makes it self-sustaining.. (2) Conversely. (Cf. it is already essential here in analyzing how the functioning and the species-configuration are mutually enabling. .

g. I. and which is sought in regard to the being [Ԛʍվ ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț]. the connectedness of the ti ên einai and hou heneka cause. 1041a26-32) Thus. which in some things is the ‘what it is for-the-sake-of’ [ijտȟȡȣ ԥȟıȜį]. IV). it is not the determining cause. The same cooperatively organized functioning of the whole that constitutes its being a container also maintains the functional relations among the parts that comprise the unifying configuration so its existing continues as what it is. matter like bronze that can be a sphere. i.. That is to say.a. bricks and stones. The functional forces among the parts constitute and sustain the very configuration that organizes their subfunctions into (1) the self-sustaining holistic functioning that comprises the ongoing existing as well as (2) the species-typical external functioning of the whole as a container.. MILLER & MARIA G.42 ALFRED E. 55 The same static conception of existing also underlies ancient and modern dualist and hylomorphic approaches to the ontology of organisms or the philosophy of mind as well as . This holistic functioning constitutes its being a box by serving as a container. (Cf. it is evident that Aristotle’s ontology of ousia radically transforms the conception of the nature of existing itself. Moreover.3. a house? Well. He rejects the static (Parmenidean) notion that the existing of anything is simply the inertly persisting presence of what is already there. e. in regard to a house or a bed. Sec. e.54 Yet. the ti ên einai is the cause of the matter actually existing as a certain ousia. e.. exists as an actual sphere (1045a29-33). indicated in the quoted passage of Metaph. . H 6 states similarly that the ti ên einai is the only cause (besides the efficient-causal maker) that a potential sphere. the double nature of this holistic functioning of the ti ên einai (maintaining its own existing and bringing about its species-typical external function) is not made up of two separate functions. the bricks and stones existing as a house (rather than as another artifact from the same materials—or just a heap of them). Z 17 turns out to be crucial in Aristotle’s new paradigm of ousia (cf. Sec. This cooperatively unified functioning of the whole organized by the species-typical functional configuration [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] is the ti ên einai [the existing as what it (always) is] of each entity [ousia as tode ti].e. on the aporia of individual existing vs. as the ti ên einai is. Thus. This static conception of existing is most evident in materialist ontologies. Thus the species-typical functional configuration and the self-maintaining holistic functioning are two aspects of the same ti ên einai. The same holistic functioning is also the cause of its continued existing [įՀijțȡȟ ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț] as a box.E. it is clear we are seeking the cause. and this is the ti ên einai. The ti ên einai is the ongoing cause of existing by the functional process of preserving itself—not only of coming to be.g. (Z 17. Z 17 begins the analyis of the ti ên einai as the cause of existing: Why are these things. MILLER a. speciestype. then. it is not the matter that is the cause of existing of a house or a sphere.g.. 55 They _________ 54 Metaph..) Even in this stable example.. The conclusion of the causal analysis in Metaph.

2-3). in the context of discussing the ti ên einai as the beingalive of organisms (Sec. 416b14). inherent in the self-sufficient [ȜįȚ‫ ׶‬įՙijր] nature of any ousia. the science of being qua being (ousia)—not in regard to generation.) This dynamic conception of the entity itself existing as the process of selfpreservation again emphasizes the important difference between our interpretation and the ‘functionalist’ approaches.56 b. it is assumed to simply persist inertly as the substrate of any changes of attributes (and of external functioning) based on dispositions of the existence-grounding static structure. By contrast. (esp. (Cf. II 4. II 4.2.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 43 assume that active causation of what exists self-sufficiently [ȜįȚ‫ ׶‬įՙijր] occurs only during the generation of an entity. Self-maintaining physiological processes stabilized by homeostasis in organisms are analogous to the equilibrium of forces sustaining an artifact. not in its continued existing as what it is. which considers only ‘mental processes’ as functional—not the existing of the organism itself. This function of self-preservation causally maintains its own organizing configuration and functioning by using outside resources to _________ interpretations of De An.A. I. chapters A 1 and A 2) clearly emphasizes the crucial role of causation in grounding the existing of ousia in general. our discussion in Sec. This selfsustaining causation of ongoing existing derives from its form [eidos]. The overall physiological (functional) process of being-alive (the psuchê as the ti ên einai) constitutes its ongoing existing by actively maintaining its being what it is.—just more complexly applied. . Instead as the ti ên einai. B. Aristotle’s ontology replaces this static conception by reformulating existing as the ongoing functional process of self-preservation [IJօȘıțȟ ijսȟ ȡ՘IJտįȟ] (An. the dynamic process of self-preservation that constitutes continued existing. the extensive discussion of causation in the introduction to the Metaph. 56 That Aristotle reconceives ongoing existing as a process of self-preservation [IJօȘıțȟ ijսȟ ȡ՘IJտįȟ] is clearest in An.. The distinctions are not essential for our present argument.D. This dynamic conception of existing is familiar in an organism. Once generated. which is no longer conceived as simply a statically persisting structure— neither in organisms nor in artifacts. There causation is discussed entirely in regard to the role of the principles and causes in establishing sophia. This dynamic conception assumes that the continued existing of any entity also requires ongoing causation. III. the nature and existence of the underlying matter is assumed to remain unchanged—only being rearranged into new static structures. However. form is reconceived as the cause of ongoing existing [įՀijțȡȟ ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț]. Even in the generation of entities.

MILLER sustain the self-maintaining functions of being-alive.44 ALFRED E.B. III. are not the ultimate ontological basis of the unity and stability of the box-configuration as a whole—as might easily be supposed.) . However. the primary product of the function of being-alive (as vegetative psuchê. equilibrated forces constituting the overall configuration accommodate to outside changes reveals the true dynamic nature of the causal relations that _________ 57 An. ontologically) on the cooperative actions of these interacting forces of the parts on each other and their functional roles in the entity as a whole. II 4.58 In a box the sides and bottom hold each other in the proper positions to maintain their mutual supporting actions and to function as the retaining surfaces necessary for the whole to serve as a container. the nexus of sustaining forces does not appear outwardly to constitute an active process of selfmaintenance. Rather. glued or dove-tailed) enable the forces produced by them to act on each other. i.. The internal self-preserving functioning of an artifact (comparable to the physiology of an organism) occurs by means of the active forces between the parts that maintain its configuration as a stable unified whole. (Discussed in Sec. they are instrumental parts for transmitting forces just as the sides are for generating them. II 1 argues that the psuchê as the ti ên einai [the existing of each thing as what it is] is the functional existing qua being-alive of the organism as a whole in the same way that the sight of an eye is its functional existing as an eye. as a homeostatic unity. This dynamic. the way in which the cooperatively organized. MILLER & MARIA G. Because of the stable equilibrium condition. Thus the (indivisible) unity of the box depends ultimately (i. In this way being-alive as the functional process of self-preservation constitutes an organism’s ongoing existing through time. esp. As shown in An.. self-preserving nature of existing is just as essential for the systematic causal ontology of stable entities.57 The material body as the necessary instrument for the functioning of its physiology is also maintained by this process. While it is less obvious in artifacts than in organisms. The joints between parts (whether nailed. ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ) is the preserving [IJȧijșȢտį] of the organism as what it is. Because of the complexity of the physiological and regulatory mechanisms that bring about the holistic causation of being-alive in organisms. Such gradients require the spatial proximity of the respective organ systems (as material parts) but they are determined and maintained as gradients by the functioning and stability of the organism as a whole. 73.1.e. its analysis there is simpler and more transparent. self-maintenance.e. n. III. (Sec. The forces between stable parts are comparable to the physiological diffusion gradients between vegetative organ systems. The physiological gradients represent the configuration of vegetative functions. like the nutrient gradient between digestive and circulatory system. The parts in turn maintain the spatial relations of the interactions and provide the instrumental potentials that are the sources of the interacting forces. the unity and generality of the ontological principles involved are difficult to discern. then.) 58 The joints as such.

this species-configured organizing principle of the ti ên einai. the species-configuration is the organization of functional relations of the parts that brings about the self-maintaining functioning of the whole. Rather. How does the species-configuration account for these essential characteristics of entities attributed to the eidos/ti ên einai? How does the species-configuration itself exist as the organizer of relations among the parts—without being anything in addition to the material parts and nevertheless serving as the ultimate cause of both ongoing existing and speciestypicality? Our challenge is to account causally for how this immaterial complex of relations organizes its own parts into a unified functioning whole that sustains the necessary interactive relations and also the overall enabling configuration. only the organization of the functional parts themselves (cf. The actions of the parts on each other constitute the dynamic functional existing of the box as the entity it is. a. Metaph. The key feature of the ti ên einai that constitutes and sustains the existing of an entity is its specific pattern of functional interactions that unifies and organizes them into the self-perpetuating functioning of the whole. Nevertheless. How the species-configuration [ousia according to the logos] organizes the functional parts into a cooperatively unified whole. the actions of the parts on each other comprise the existing of the whole by sustaining the functional relations that stabilize their positions and functional roles in the whole. the seemingly static structure composed of unchanging parts is actually a self-maintaining dynamic equilibrium of forces enabled by the material potentials of the parts. Yet this configuration of the whole is not something besides the functional relations among the parts themselves. The stability of the whole is maintained under changing external stresses by the role-determined compensation of the equilibrated forces in the configuration so that the parts continue to fulfill their functional roles determined by the overall configuration. which is the ti ên einai that constitutes its continuing existing. 1041b25-31). Reciprocal determination of the species-configuration and the cooperative fit among interdependent functioning of the parts. The species-configuration [ȡ՘IJտįȟ Ȝįijչ ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] as this pattern of organization depends on the parts fitting together functionally so they enable each .THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 45 sustain the entity as what it is. plays the determining role in sustaining the ongoing existing. The material parts as such are not what primarily constitute the existing of an artifact as what it is. Thus. As shown by the box. 2. Z 17. holistic unity and species-typicality of each entity.

Hypothetical necessity is usually interpreted in terms of the type of material necessary for a particular function. Thus the species-pattern of interactions is the specific organization of functional roles of the parts that fits them together precisely so they constitute a self-sustaining holistic unity. strength. the mutual determination of the functional fit between the parts and the overall species-configuration that cooperatively unites their roles into a self-sustaining whole already points ahead toward the resolution of the aporia of combining the stability and changeability of ousia. IV. which we consider later in the context of hou heneka causal relations (Sec. is the reciprocally determining relation between interacting parts that accounts for their cooperative unity and dynamic stability as a self-sustaining whole. If the relations between parts do not fit together in the overall pattern. If the nexus of functional relations among the parts were arranged otherwise.C). This arranging and holding of the functional parts by each others’ actions integrates and organizes their subfunctions cooperatively into the species-defining functioning of the whole. in fact. The parts must hold each other in the proper positions to sustain the overall configuration that enables it to function as a whole. bottom and top make a box self-sustaining and bring about its functioning as a container. Reciprocally. Any part must be functionally adequate to fulfill its . 60 Conversely. of the pieces must be appropriate for serving as sides of a box. not every arbitrary configuration of functional _________ 59 This functional interdependence of parts in a specific pattern that unites them cooperatively into a self-sustaining functional whole is. Similarly. the proper interactive fit of the functional parts is determined and enabled by their roles that integrate them into the overall pattern of the species-configuration. then. The cooperatively organized functioning of the parts that sustains the functional whole depends on the mutual enablement of the functional roles. which directs development of the ontology toward this holistic causal account of the nature of existing. MILLER other’s functional roles and collaboratively sustain the overall configuration in a stable way. Here we can see the requirement is actually more general. and this unified self-preserving action of the whole constitutes the existing of the entity. Only the cooperating roles of the sides. 60 This requirement that parts have the proper functional fit within the whole to fulfill their particular roles in the overall species-determined functional configuration reveals the true ontological basis of Aristotle’s much-debated conception of ‘hypothetical necessity’. etc. Functional fitting. Aristotle’s resolution of the whole/part aporia. The shape.46 ALFRED E. MILLER & MARIA G.59 It is a requirement for any functional relation between parts as well as between the functional whole and the role of any part contributing to the whole.. the parts cannot comprise a box. An axe must be made of iron or bronze in order to cut. Thus the cooperatively integrated functioning of the parts sustains the whole as what it is. their interaction would not lead to the self-preservation of the whole. The mutual enablement of the functional parts is brought about by the species-configuration of relations that is organized precisely so that this occurs.

(1) the dynamic existing of an entity is constituted by the continuous function of self-preservation (the ti ên einai) brought about by the species-configuration that organizes the functioning of its parts into a self-sustaining unity. Reversal of the causal grounding in the ontology of ousia: how the unified whole determines and brings about the functioning of its parts. e. between cats and dogs—let alone. the functional potentials of the parts are employed instrumentally to fulfill their functional roles in sustaining the unified whole. other conceivable configurations cannot sustain themselves and so cannot exist. IV. (3) This same holistic functioning that sustains the entity also enables the species-defining external functioning. Thus the functionally unified whole is what constitutes the being of an entity. Only certain overall patterns of interacting parts comprise such self-sustaining unities. Z 10 discusses the issue in terms of the priority of the eidos over the material parts. Z 7 (1033a5-23) and ĭ 7 (1049a18-b3). which makes it the kind of thing it is. (Cf. between birds and horses (except mythologically as Pegasus). The morphê [shape] as an attribute imposed on the material (which is the primary existent prior to construction) becomes the holistically functioning eidos. In this way the ontological aspect (level of organization) that constitutes the existing of an artifact is reversed from the situation prior to construction or as interpreted from a materialist viewpoint. but they must be interactively merged by being organized according to the species-configuration to be actualized into the unified existing of the whole. which now constitutes the existing of the entity. the material potentials actualized by their cooperative organization into the unified function of the whole. (2) By incorporation in this configuration. The material parts provide the instrumental potentials.g. It accounts for how the psuchê as the be_________ necessary role in the species-configuration of the whole.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 47 parts forms a stable self-maintaining whole like a box. This is why species-types are distinct so that a continuous spectrum of intermediate types does not occur. Selfmaintaining wholeness is a necessary condition for species-types that actually exist. The aporia involved is resolved only in ĭ 8 (1050a3-b6) as the priority of energeia and entelecheia as ousia over dunamis as matter. As seen. the material becomes the instrumental woodenness of the box. This broader (more ontological) sense of the term is made evident textually in PA I 1 and I 5 where Aristotle discusses the organization of the functions of the parts of animals on the basis of the hypothetical necessity of their roles within the whole or some module of the whole. b. then. Sec. This priority of the formal aspect of an entity by constituting its primary ground of existing is particularly conspicuous in organisms.61 The whole (qua unified configuration) is now the cause of the appropriate functioning of its parts. Metaph. 61 This reversal of ontological levels is described and analyzed by Aristotle in Metaph..) . Conversely.

. ĭ 8 with the argument for the ontological priority of energeia and entelecheia as ousia over dunamis (1050a3-b6). The holistic functioning of the ti ên einai as species-configuration realizes the potentials of the material parts as the actuality of the holistically unified entity (Metaph. only the unified configuration and functioning of the box can serve as the holistic cause that determines and enables the role-function of each part. i. MILLER ing-alive of the organism constitutes its existing and is also the determining cause of the functioning of its bodily parts. 1045a29-33). The species-configuration brings this about by determining and enabling the functional roles of the parts as cooperatively organized into the holistic existing of what it is. however. IV. 1041a26-32). ǿ 6.. 90).e. Again. Sec. In generation the telos is posterior in time as the product [ergon] that comes to be.e. This is how the primary grounding relation that accounts for the existing of entities is reversed (vis-à-vis the materialist approach _________ 62 This causal relationship is ultimately explained in Metaph. the constructing of an artifact elucidates how the organizing role of the species-configuration accounts for reversal of the causal grounding priority between the whole and its parts. the holistic causation that brings about and determines the functioning of parts by their roles in the overall configuration is an ontological principle of ousia in general—which has important implications not only for biology. the telos as ousia and eidos is prior to the dunameis (also in generation).” (1050a4-5).48 ALFRED E. . then. Z 17. The telos is the organizing principle for the sake of which the dunameis interact and thereby sustain it. Likewise. This causal role of the whole acting by the functional fitting of parts into the species-configuration is. which exists potentially as the knowing-how to make it in a technê. “. the mechanism by which the ti ên einai serves as the so-called ‘formal cause’. 1034a31).. in constructing an artifact we see the role of the speciesconfiguration in unifying the entity and the mechanism by which it brings about the various aspects of holistic functioning. discusses how the conception of the matter/eidos relation as analogous to the dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations of motion provides the ultimate basis for the dynamically stable existing of entities (cf. [W]hat is posterior in generation is prior in eidos and in ousia . 62 Thus. n. rather than the material components. The existing as the holistic function of self-perpetuation. is converted into the actual functional species-configuration [ousia according to the logos] of the parts by the actions of the craftsman. accounts for the causal relation between eidos and matter (as whole and part). then...ousia is the archê of all things. MILLER & MARIA G. the cause of the matter existing as the unified entity that it is (Metaph. Only the completed box exists as an entity that performs its defining function as a container. but for science and practice in general as well as philosophy. In constructing a box its logos..” (Metaph. Z 9. i. Ontologically.. how “. Contrary to the conventional wisdom. in fact.

THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 49 and everyday understanding). (This point is examined in detail in Sec. Thus. IV we argue in detail how individual functional relations between parts merge their fittingly interacting potentials [dunameis] into the single common energeia that makes them a functional unity according to the configuration of the ti ên einai. Instead. Shields 1988). In Sec. A box exists as the entelecheia of the instrumental potentials . the species-configuration is the organization that fits the functional parts into an all-or-nothing unity of the self-preserving whole whose mutually enabling interactive roles are determined by that species-pattern. The overall configuration of such interactions and joint actualizations of matching potentials as equilibrated forces (according to the eidos/ti ên einai) comprise a unified stable state. Like the being-alive of an organism. By organizing such mutually stabilizing interactions into a self-sustaining whole. viz. Entelecheia as the dynamically stable. the parts enable each other to fulfill their roles in the unified functioning of the whole—both its external functioning as the kind of thing it is and its internal functional as self-preservation. cf. then. by the holistic causal role of the ti ên einai determining the functioning of the material parts. In a box the forces acting between sides at a joint hold each of them in its position necessary for serving as a lateral retaining surface. the eidos (as ousia according to the logos) is the organized configuration of functional relations among the parts themselves. But what is the ontological mechanism that fits the parts into such an allor-nothing unity so that it exists as a stable species-typical entity? The dunamis/energeia/entelecheia conception of ousia provides Aristotle’s most fundamental causal and ontological account of this problem. Thus. Nor is it an additional structure superimposed on the underlying stable material parts that brings forth new the emergent properties comprising the box (as some of the contemporary functionalist interpretation of the psuchê would imply. the functional configuration also merges the functional potentials of the parts (as retaining surfaces) into the holistically unified functioning as a container. which Aristotle calls entelecheia [holding in a telos].) 3. ongoing unitary actualization of the functional potentials according to the species-configuration on the basis of the hou heneka relationship. the eidos/ti ên einai as cause of existing is not some additional entity acting on its matter (like a kind of downward or reversed efficient cause).. IV. Yet. By being functionally organized according to the holistic configuration. the holistically organized functioning of the box constitutes its ongoing existing. the unified whole exists as the merger of the potentials of its parts into the single actuality as entelecheia.

MILLER of its parts merged into a functional unity by their cooperative organization in accord with the species-pattern of a container. This additional condition required of existing speciesconfigurations is another reason that species are distinct and that only particular species-types exist. from a new external load. This process of entelecheia is also self-stabilizing since it exists as the species-typical nexus of interdependent interactions that constitutes its holistic unity.. Therefore the eidos as entelecheia must also exist as a dynamic process of ongoing actualization.E. Traditionally this actualization of the whole as eidos out of the potentials of the material parts is assumed to occur only during generation. This one-time actualization of the matter qua potential into its form during generation is presumed to leave a static structure superimposed on its stable matter. (The mechanism of unity of entelecheia and its dynamic stability by hou heneka causal relations is examined in detail in Sec. The functioning of the parts and their unified actualization as a container is determined by their configuration-organized roles for the sake of the whole. and its enabling configuration exists as the interactively unified species-organization of its functional parts. so the joint entelecheia of the whole is the outcome of hou heneka causation. IV. (3) stability of the whole despite changeability of its parts. This dynamic nature of the configuration (existing as entelecheia) was illustrated above by how the sides of the box actively hold each other in the arrangement necessary for fulfilling their roles in constituting the container. it cannot serve as the configuration of an entity that actually exists. Any changed force on one side of an equilibrium.3) as: (1) all-or-nothing unity of the whole despite consisting of distinguishable parts. Unless the configuration brings about such selfstabilization of the whole. I.g. . As we have seen. however.50 ALFRED E.) B. (2) logical incompatibility of the existing of the individual entity with its species-typicality. The core aporiai of the general ontology of ousia were pointed out earlier (Sec. e. This dynamic equilibrium makes the whole self-stabilizing under changing external conditions. the ti ên einai exists as the dynamic functioning of the whole. Thus the equilibrium of forces is continuously actualized out of the material potentials of the parts as the balance of forces that each enables and determines in the others through their interactions. applying Aristotle’s dynamic ontology to a stable artifact also illustrates how its core aporiai are resolved. MILLER & MARIA G. evokes a corresponding change in the counterforce of that interaction. The Dynamic Ontology of Ousia Resolves the Fundamental Aporiai Besides exemplifying its basic principles and causal framework.

Z 17. The same interdependence of species-configured whole and cooperatively functioning parts that resolves the first aporia also is the basis for resolving this second better known one. (2) Artifacts also illustrate how the aporia of logical incongruence between the existing of the individual entity and its species-typicality (as knowably universal) is resolved by the holistic. b25-28). the mutual support of the parts necessary for continued existing and functioning as a box comes about only if the configuration organizes them cooperatively in accord with a box-pattern (logos). dynamic ontology. However. the material components would not exist as a unified entity [ousia] but only as a heap [IJȧȢցȣ] of pieces (Metaph. The interactions between parts actualizes their potentials for exerting such forces. The interdependence of configuration and functioning not only resolves the aporia of how distinguishable parts constitute an indivisible whole. instrumental functioning of the parts as a cooperative unity. This organization of the instrumental potentials of the parts enables their roles in the unified functioning as a container that makes the entity species-typical as a box. The mutually enabling pattern of these forces continuously actualizes the overall functional configuration as the joint entelecheia of the interacting potentials of the parts. 1041b11-16. The organizing configuration of the whole is the primary cause of the ongoing existing of the box by bringing about the mutually enabling. This indivisible unity exists as the box-configuration of forces [ousia according to the logos] between the parts and holds them in their proper positions for playing their roles in the holistic functioning of the container. The ti ên einai of the box exists as this immaterial nexus of forces between components organized in accord with the box-configuration. Thus the species-configuration and the unified functioning of its parts are mutually enabling. This functional nature of the unity also accounts for the causal priority of the whole in relation to its parts by being the cause of their ongoing existing as a container. It also accounts for how ongoing existing is constituted by self-maintaining functioning (the ti ên einai)—even for an artifact. Without being organized as a functional unity in this way.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 51 (1) The box exemplifies how its parts comprise an all-or-nothing unity by their dependence on each other to enable their functional roles in being a container. The functional forces among the parts of a box constitute and maintain its unified configuration as a container. Moreover. At the same time the cooperatively organized forces constitute the ongoing existing of the box by sustaining the configuration and functioning of the box as what it is. the same species-typical functioning of forces that constitutes .

The box as a whole maintains its overall stability as a container as long as it exists as such. Moreover. Thus. By contrast. 63 Again then. the same seemingly incompatible characteristics that lead to the logical aporia provide the causal basis for resolving it because of their mutual grounding and hence unifying interdependence. IV. In summary then. . the individual forces (functions) between its parts change in adjusting to differing loads and circumstances. is simultaneously what defines it as the kind of thing it is. again the logically incongruent characteristics that lead to the aporiai turn out to be mutually grounding causally. which constitutes its individual existing. the species-configuration can only exist as the joint actualization of the potentials of its individual parts by organizing their instrumental functioning into a unified whole. mutually supporting forces between them remains stable.52 ALFRED E. a container. MILLER & MARIA G. the stable structure of artifacts existing as the dynamic equilibrium of forces organized according to the species-configuration shows how the stability/changeability aporia is also resolved by holistic causal relations. Functioning as a container. the box exemplifies how its ti ên einai as species-configuration is the cause of its individual existing by organizing its functional parts according to a pattern common to species members. Yet the box-configuration of the parts united by the adaptable. The overall stability of the box comes about because the configuration of interactions between parts is arranged in such a way that the forces cooperatively support and stabilize each of the parts. Being a rectangular container is what any box has in common with other boxes. Conversely. analysis of the ontological nature of a simple artifact illustrates how both its ongoing existing and stable configuration as the kind of thing it is are grounded on a dynamic causal basis. Thus. The dynamic equilibrium of the forces by which the parts support each other makes them adaptable (individually and collectively) to changing stresses and conditions imposed on the whole. (3) Finally. MILLER the ongoing existing of the box as an individual entity also constitutes its functioning as the kind of thing it is. the dynamic stability of the configuration results from the cooperative nature of the functional interactions which brings about their appropriate adjustment for changing circumstances. Thus. The changeability of the individual forces between parts is what enables the whole to be stable under changing conditions. this same causal account resolves the core ontological aporiai by showing that the logically incongruent characters that evoke the aporiai are actually _________ 63 The equivalent mechanisms by which the whole determines and stabilizes the interactions of its parts in more thoroughly dynamic systems such as organisms is examined in more detail in Sec.

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mutually interdependent from a causal perspective. Ontological distinctions and sameness of organisms and artifacts. There are, of course, important differences between how a stable artifact maintains itself as an entity and how an organism does so. The fundamental distinction of entities existing by nature [phusei onta] is having a principle of motion and stasis in themselves, while artifacts need an outside source of motion for generation and for organizing the configuration that provides their continuing stability. Moreover, the material constituents of organisms are continuously replaced, while this is not the case in artifacts. The functional parts of organisms themselves consist of ongoing physiological processes constituted by flows of constituents and bio-energy. By contrast, the functional parts of artifacts consist of independently stable materials. An artifact is a closed system whose configuration is maintained by the equilibrium of forces derived from the stable constituent materials. By contrast, an organism is an open system that sustains its dynamic existing as being-alive by continuously taking materials and energy sources from its environment to replenish its parts and to maintain its physiological processes. These activities themselves constitute the existing of the organism—demonstrating in a striking way how its unity qua ousia (as entelecheia) exists as an ongoing process that perpetuates its own unified configuration, thereby sustaining its ongoing existing and dynamic stability. Despite these deep-seated differences, however, the coming sections demonstrate that the same dynamic, holistic causal ontology that accounts for the existing and stability of artifacts (and resolves their basic aporiai) also accounts for the existing and persisting identity of organisms (and resolves the same aporiai). The analysis of the nature and mechanisms of these holistic causal relations is the subject matter of the remainder of the paper. III. The Dynamic Ontology of Ousia as Applied to Organisms A. The Conceptual Analysis of the Psuchê as Being-alive As discussed earlier, An. II 1 begins by introducing the familiar conceptual triad of ousia from the Metaph. (as matter, form and sunholon out of both) and mapping the corresponding concepts onto the respective aspects of organisms (412a6-9) (Sec. I.F.1). Thus organisms exist as ousia and can be characterized by the same aspects developed in the Metaph. to analyze and account for stable entities such as artifacts. In this way the triadic ter-

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minology for ousia is established as the conceptual framework for analyzing and accounting for the existing of organisms. However, the aporetic analyses and development of causal accounts carried out in the Metaph. are not repeated in De An.. Instead the complete ontology and its implications are presupposed from the Metaph. and assumed to apply in toto to organisms qua ousiai. This explicit application has important consequences in both directions. On the one hand, it provides the systematic conceptual and causal paradigm for biology in terms of the ontology of ousia established in the Metaph. Conversely, the analysis of organisms using the ontology of ousia serves as a concrete application (and hence interpretation) of the ontological framework developed in the Metaph. as a dynamic account of existing. (Cf. fn. 50.) An. II 1 begins by analyzing the ontological nature of the psuchê as ousia qua eidos, while the body is ousia as matter (412a3-21). As such, the triadic characterization would be simply descriptive, expressing what is better known to us. Yet, the concept of entelecheia is immediately invoked to characterize the psuchê as eidos, which indicates from the start that the analysis is to be carried out at the causal level, as better known by nature (cf. our sketch of the causal role of entelecheia in Sec. I.D and the detailed discussion in Sec. IV.). The first definition of the psuchê reads:
It is necessary, then, for the psuchê to be ousia as eidos [and not ousia as matter] of a natural body having life potentially [İȤȟչμıț Șȧռȟ Ԥȥȡȟijȡȣ]. But ousia is entelecheia. Therefore, [the psuchê] is entelecheia of such a body. (II 1 412a19-22)64

Thus, the first definition of the psuchê in An. II 1 does double duty: it describes the psuchê/body relation as an eidos/matter relation and then accounts for it as an entelecheia/dunamis relation—both relationships having been developed and analyzed in the Metaph. In this way the stage is set for investigating what the entelecheia/dunamis relation entails in the case of organisms. From the analysis of artifacts we can assume that the bodily dunameis are integrated and organized by the functional speciesconfiguration of the psuchê qua eidos so that the organism exists as a selfsustaining, all-or-nothing unity.

1. The conceptual framework for the dynamic existing of the psuchê. The remainder of An. II 1 introduces the central theme regarding the na_________
64 We break off the passage here to postpone discussing Aristotle’s emphasis on the double sense of entelecheia (An. II 1, 412a9-11, a21-27) to Sec. IV.A (including n. 84), where we focus on “first entelecheia.”

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ture of the psuchê, viz., how it exists as a constantly changing dynamic process (II 1, 412a21-b25). Traditionally these passages are interpreted as simply reiterating various ways of describing the eidos/matter relation from the Metaph.65 In fact, however, they begin the dynamic reconception of the fundamental nature of the psuchê. This reconception represents Aristotle’s major paradigm shift away from the static (Parmenidean) conception of existing held by his predecessors (and still tacitly assumed by most modern philosophers). The psuchê as the existing of an organism qua being-alive is constituted by the organized unity of the various selfsustaining life-functions themselves, not out of stable faculties that first exist in their own right and then function only secondarily. The basic conceptual framework used to account for the nature of beingalive is presented tersely in terms of the interrelationships among entelecheia, ousia according to the logos and the ti ên einai.
Indeed if one should state something common [Ȝȡțȟցȟ] in regard to every psuchê, it would be the first entelecheia of a natural body able to act as an instrument [IJօμįijȡȣ ĴȤIJțȜȡ‫ ף‬ՌȢȗįȟțȜȡ‫]ף‬. Hence one also should not seek whether the psuchê and the body are one, just as not [the being one of] the wax and the schema [seal], nor generally the matter of each thing and that of which it is the matter; for since ‘one’ and ‘being’ are said in more ways, the authoritative way [ȜȤȢտȧȣ] is entelecheia. Generally then it has been said what the psuchê is; for it is the ousia according to the logos [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijչ ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ]. And this is the ti ên einai for such a kind of body [with a psuchê] just as if any of the instruments [ijț ij‫׭‬ȟ ՌȢȗչȟȧȟ] were a natural body, e.g., an axe; for the existing as an axe [ijր ʍıȝջȜıț ıՂȟįț, the ti ên einai of an axe] would be the ousia of it, and the psuchê is this [the ti ên einai as ousia of an organism]; and [if] this [the ti ên einai] were separated, it would not still be an axe, except homonymously, ... (An. II 1, 412b4-15)

Several important points are made here: (1) The psuchê exists as entelecheia, and the relation of the body to the psuchê as entelecheia is functional since the body serves as its instrument.66 (2) Conceiving the psuchê _________
65 Hicks 1907, 312-18; Ross 1961, 213-14; Hamlyn 1968, 85-86; Apostle 1981, 96-99. In contrast, cf. Kosman 1984, 1994, on the active nature of being. 66 The concept of ‘instrumental dunamis’ [ՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ] is complex and is discussed repeatedly by Aristotle and in this paper. In PA I 1: “...the body is an instrument [ՐȢȗįȟȡȟ] (for each of the parts is for-thesake-of-something [ԥȟıȜչ ijțȟȡȣ], and similarly also the whole [is for-the-sake-ofsomething], ...” (642a10-12). In PA I 5 : “And since every instrument [ՐȢȗįȟȡȟ] is for-the-sake-of-something [ԥȟıȜչ ijȡȤ], and each of the parts of the body is for-the-sake-of-something [ԥȟıȜչ ijȡȤ], and that which it is for-the-sake-of [ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį] is some praxis [ʍȢֻȠտȣ ijțȣ], it is evident that the composite body [IJփȟȡȝȡ IJ‫׭‬μį] has been put together for-the-sake-of-some polymeric praxis [ʍȢչȠıօȣ ijțȟȡȣ ԥȟıȜį ʍȡȝȤμıȢȡ‫ף‬ȣ].” (645b14-16)

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as entelecheia makes the question of what unites body and psuchê unnecessary since entelecheia is the authoritative way of being ‘one’ (a unity). These points are clarified in Sec. IV by analyzing how entelecheia is the outcome of hou heneka causation. The present passage essentially declares that the ontological framework developed in the Metaph. also serves as the core ontology of the psuchê. (3) As entelecheia the psuchê is ousia, more precisely, ousia according to the logos [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] of the body as instrument, and in this way the psuchê is the ti ên einai. As seen in regard to artifacts (Sec. II.A.2), ousia according to the logos is the speciesconfigured organizing principle of the ti ên einai. This set of relationships comprises the core of Aristotle’s ontology—and therefore of our investigation. The passage closely parallels Metaph. H 3 (1043b32-44a11, esp. 1044a7-11), where entelecheia is defined as ousia according to the eidos [ԭ Ȝįijո ijր ıՂİȡȣ ȡ՘IJտį] and where it is argued that entelecheia (as ousia) is like the ti ên einai insofar as nothing can be taken away or added without losing it. There can only be “more or less” of a composite ousia. (4) Finally, an artifact-instrument (an axe) is used as a simple model to show what it means that the ti ên einai of something is its ousia according to the logos (its beingness as the kind of thing it is). The ti ên einai of an axe as its ousia is analogous to the psuchê of an organism qua ti ên einai, which constitutes its existing as what it is. The artifact-instrument [ՐȢȗįȟȡȟ] example makes clear that the ti ên einai itself is to be understood functionally rather than as mere presence of an indwelling eidos in the limited literal sense of the appearance of an axe. The existing of an axe is its ability to function as an axe, e.g., splitting wood. This overtly instrumental example prepares the coming argument regarding the functional nature of the psuchê as ti ên einai, viz., that the existing of an organism is constituted by the functioning of its life-sustaining processes, not its material structures as such.67 Having established this conceptual framework, we now investigate how the three concepts, entelecheia, ousia according to the logos and the ti ên einai, denote interdependent ontological aspects of the eidos when it is
_________
The most penetrating (if terse) analysis of the body asҏՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ, though not named as such, is in the final passages of An. II 4 (416b20-23, b25-27) where Aristotle analyzes the body as one of the means by which [֭] the psuchê nourishes the organism and thereby preserves the ousia. We discuss this argument at the end of this section (Sec. III.B.2). 67 As shown in regard to the box and will be seen as central to the nature of organisms, the species-organized internal functioning that sustains ongoing existing is one and the same as the functional organization that brings about the external functioning characteristic of the kind of thing it is. Being-alive is the internal functioning that sustains the existing of an organism. Being-alive as a particular kind of organism is its specific way of functioning in the environment that enables it to sustain itself.

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reconceived dynamically. Their meanings and interrelations must be understood from the analyses in the Metaph., i.e., from their roles in resolving the aporiai and establishing the general ontology of ousia—as well as from their usage in De An. and other works. Entelecheia is the ongoing joint actualization of the instrumental dunameis that holds in a telos. This dynamically stable state constitutes the existing of the functional configuration. Ousia according to the logos [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] is the functional configuration of the instrumental dunameis of the body which are integrated and organized in accord with the species-nature of the ti ên einai. As such it also constitutes the telos in which the entelecheia holds. The ti ên einai means the ‘existing as what it [always] is’, which constitutes the self-preserving functioning of being-alive. This unified functioning of the whole is brought about by the cooperative functional organization determined by its species-configuration [its ousia according to the logos]. 2. The ti ên einai as self-preserving functioning that constitutes ongoing existing as being-alive. Thus, An. II 1 introduces not just the descriptive conceptual framework, but also the causal ontological paradigm for reconceiving the psuchê dynamically. This is clearest from the culmination of the chapter that characterizes the ti ên einai as constituting the existing of the psuchê as the overall functional process of being-alive (412b10-25). Having introduced the simple instrumental model of an axe existing only insofar as it can function as an axe, Aristotle extends this functional conception of existing (stepwise) to organisms by analogy with an instrumental part of the organism itself. The eye as the instrument for the function of seeing is then taken as analogous to the whole body as the instrument for the selfsustaining functioning of being-alive:
For if the eye were an animal, sight [ՐȦțȣ] would be its psuchê; for this [sight] is the ousia according to the logos [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] of an eye. And the eye is the matter of sight [՝ȝș ՐȦıȧȣ], and if it [sight] departs, it is no longer an eye, except homonymously, just as the one of stone and the one having been drawn. Indeed one should assume [what is the case] in regard to the part [the eye] in regard to the whole living body; for analogously as the part holds in relation to the part [i.e., sight to the eye], in this way the entire perception [ԭ Ցȝș įՀIJȚșIJțȣ] [holds in relation] to the entire perceptive body [ʍȢրȣ ijր Ցȝȡȟ IJ‫׭‬μį ijր įԼIJȚșijțȜցȟ], as such [as perceptive]. (412b18-25)

Thus, (1) the existing of an eye is its function as an eye, sight. The matter of the eye in itself does not constitute its existing because having sight is

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its ousia [beingness] (according to the logos) and therefore its existing as an eye.68 Thus the material eye in itself cannot be ousia—as if sight were merely a dispositional property. (2) Analogously, the existing of the whole perceptive body is constituted by having perception, not by the material body itself which then would have perception as an attribute. Instead, the whole animal body is an instrument for the function of perceiving in general, which constitutes its existing as a perceptive body. Finally, the analogy can be further extrapolated to the being-alive of the organism as a whole. The material body as such does not constitute the existing of an organism. Instead, its primary existing is constituted by the functioning of the vegetative psuchê [ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ], the capacity of selfnourishment, which is the essential function of being-alive [ijր Ș‫׆‬ȟ]. Being-alive constitutes the existing [ijր ıՂȟįț] of an organism—just as the eidos constitutes the existing of any ousia.69 Unlike perceiving, however, being-alive is an activity that cannot be interrupted. (Therefore the psuchê [qua ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ] is designated as “first entelecheia.”) Being-alive itself is the constant functional process of self-renewal and active adaptation to changing conditions by using external resources in self-nourishment. 70
_________
68 We first continue to consider the ti ên einai as the functional basis of existing. In the next subsection (III.A.3) we take up its equally important ‘essence’ aspect as species-typical configuration [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] (412b19-20) and how matter is functionally configured by it in composite ousia. 69 That the functioning of the psuchê rather than the material body is the existing of the organism is expressed repeatedly, e.g.: “If indeed the psuchê is this [like the eidos of a bed] or part of a psuchê or not without psuchê, in any case if the psuchê departs, it is no longer an animal, nor do any of the parts remain the same, except only in schema, just as those in myths that are turned to stone ...” (PA I 1, 641a17-21). “That it [the psuchê] is [cause] as ousia is clear, for ousia is the cause of the [ongoing] existing [įՀijțȡȟ ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț] for all things, and the being-alive [ijր Ș‫׆‬ȟ] is the existing [ijր ıՂȟįț] of living things, and the cause and the archê of this is the psuchê.” (An. II 4, 415b1214). 70 This definition of being-alive is introduced near the beginning of the substantive discussion in An. II 1 and then again in II 4 to initiate the discussion of the nutritive psuchê [ȚȢıʍijțȜռ ȦȤȥս] proper. Finally, being-alive is explicated in the summing up of the activities of the nutritive psuchê at the conclusion of An. II 4, before taking up the discussion of the special functions (starting in II 5). “We call life [Șȧս] the nourishment [ijȢȡĴս] through itself [İț‫ ׶‬įՙijȡ‫]ף‬, as well as the growing and diminishing” (II 1 412a14-15). “So that first one should speak concerning nourishment and generation; for the nutritive psuchê [ȚȢıʍijțȜսȟ ȦȤȥսȟ] belongs also to the others, and it is the first and most incommon potential of the psuchê, by virtue of which being-alive [ijց Ș‫׆‬ȟ] belongs to all. It is that whose functions [ԤȢȗį] are to reproduce and to use nourishment” (II 4 415a22-26). The more complex discussion (II 4 416b20-29) of how being-alive as the function of self-preservation is brought about by the nutritive psuchê is analyzed in detail at the end of this section.

then. Yet. how the psuchê can exist as a dynamic process. As effective as this approach has been in understanding efficient causal mechanisms in biological systems. conceiving the existing of an entity as a steady self-maintaining process is not as strange as it first seems. fountains. and indeed the lives of individual organisms are considered as entities. Rivers.. These individual actions serially enable each other and collectively utilize outside resources (wax and oxygen) that sustain the overall process. shows not only how the constant renewal of components by self-maintenance accounts for the existing of its persisting identity. But this is only the naive reductionist account. it nevertheless remains . how can we account for its stable unity and persisting identity. The ti ên einai. A candle flame. This new dynamic conception of existing has important consequences. just as sight [ՐȦțȣ] is the existing of an eye and perception [įՀIJȚșIJțȣ] is the existing of the perceptive body. The flame exists as a self-maintaining process constituted by a cycle of efficient causal actions. e. by accounting for how a constantly changing process constitutes the existing of an organism as a persisting entity. Inseparability of functioning as ti ên einai and species-configuration [ousia according to the logos]. which are traditionally explained by the statically conceived eidos? 3. It must be shown. rather than a static structure. Functional activities in themselves are ephemeral and hardly seem capable of constituting the ongoing existing and persisting identity of a real entity. but also how the holistic configuration of causal relations brings about the self-sufficient causal basis of the flame as an ongoing entity. flames. reconceives the eidos dynamically by understanding its existing as constituted by the self-preserving functioning of an entity.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 59 Without this self-maintaining and adaptive functioning. The combustion of preheated wax at the interface of the flame with the surrounding air heats and melts more wax from the candle.g. At least so it may seem superficially. Foremost. if an organism’s existing is its constantly changing functioning (physiology) that preserves its being-alive by continuous selfrenewal. In this way the cycle of efficient causes that constitutes the flame maintains itself by the cooperative functioning of its component actions that collectively bring about utilization of wax and oxygen to keep the overall process going. Thus. therefore. so is the activity of the self-nourishing ability [ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ] the existing of the organism as beingalive. This enables liquid wax to flow up the wick by capillary action where it can be vaporized by the heat of the adjacent combustion and brought to ignition. an organism ceases to exist as such and becomes a rapidly deteriorating corpse.

the efficient causal interactions disappear as well. MILLER & MARIA G. 99. the unified functioning of the whole itself is the cause of the continuation of the same kind of functioning.71 Similarly the mutually enabling functions of being-alive must be integrated and organized into a holistically functioning unity for an organism to maintain itself by consuming resources from the environment. selfmaintaining unity. This integration and organization is brought about by the appropriate speciesconfiguration [ousia according to the logos] that merges the nexus of interdependent efficient-causal relations into a holistically functioning. As seen later. Thus. wick and where combustion is to occur must be taken into account in determining what kind of wick is appropriate for a particular diameter of candle and type of wax.60 ALFRED E. (Comp. Metaph. Similarly. Such self-maintaining functioning comprises the ti ên einai as the cause of ongoing existing. could accomplish such self-maintenance without being organized into a cooperatively functioning unity. A physician must take into account the entire homeostatic system for the regulation of glucose metabolism and how it responds to particular dietary stresses in order to design a diet and insulin regimen for a particular patient or to bring a patient in diabetic coma back into metabolic balance. As any engineer knows in designing a candle or a building. Thus when the functional configuration is disrupted. If the configuration of the causal relations is modified and thereby functionally interrupted. as the candle flame shows in a simple case. and any physician in caring for a diabetic patient. n. Thus. None of the components. A 7. floors. an engineer designing a building must use the overall functional configuration of mutually stabilizing relations among wall. etc. Only the whole as an integrated unity can utilize external resource for maintaining its own existing. 988a34-b16). self-maintaining functioning is critically dependent on the specific configuration of the whole _________ 71 In designing a candle the overall functional configuration of wax source. to determine the strength of materials needed to enable the finished structure to withstand the particular kinds of stresses to which it may be subjected. its component causal relations no longer enable the flame to maintain itself. certain problems recently encountered in developmental biology also make this insufficiency of the reductionist approach especially evident in a modern context.) .. the configuration of functional components that accounts for their cooperative integration into a self-maintaining whole is as crucial as the component causal relations themselves. MILLER seriously incomplete by simply presupposing the crucial factor in greatest need of being accounted for. Aristotle also clearly saw the inadequacy of the reductionist approach as shown by his emphasis on appropriate holistic causation (cf. The whole in turn must be organized to supply the functional needs of its parts and to sustain the functional relationships among them that bring about their cooperative functioning as a whole. If the wick gets too short so not enough wax is vaporized. combustion ceases. not even all of them together.

This completes the original eye analogy for the ti ên einai from which we started. only particular configurations of functions enable the continued existing of an entity. i. the configuration plays a crucial causal role in the existing and persisting identity of all entities. Aristotle also resolves a key aporia of the Metaph.e. Metaph. function by using their material parts instrumentally in the cooperative way that sustains their unity and being as entities.. (This aporia is more familiar in its traditional formulation of ‘particular vs. In showing how the functional existing of an organism depends on its species-typical configuration.) .THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 61 besides the efficient causal relations themselves. is alive) in a species-typical manner... the inseparable connection to IJփȟȡȝȡȣ ȡ՘IJտį is a necessary consequence. As the sight of an eye or the psuchê of an organism. the ti ên einai is not only the functioning that constitutes their beingness [ousia] as ongoing existing. universal’. however. However.. Ǿǿĭ. the configuration of a flame or an organism accounts for how the functional parts are organized into a self-sustaining unity capable of functioning holistically in the ways that are characteristic of the kind of thing it _________ 72 Thus. Only individuals exist. In this way the material parts are determined by the ousia according to the logos and posterior to it. how the ti ên einai constitutes both the existing individual and the species-typicality [as ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] of an entity. then. The configuration is nothing other than the specific arrangement of efficient causal relations that fit together as a self-maintaining functional whole. 1035b11-25) for Aristotle’s explicit argument on ‘ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ’ and its relationship to matter and to IJփȟȡȝȡȣ ȡ՘IJտį. Cf. the ousia according to the logos is prior to the sunholon. this functioning also constitutes their species-typical beingness. 645b28-33). as Aristotle himself first poses it in Metaph. functioning) over material parts.e. The nexus of relations that constitutes this integration and organization of parts into a functional whole is the species-configuration of the organism. Each member of a species functions (i. viz. B 6 (1003a6-17) before transforming and resolving it in Metaph.e. the ti ên einai as ousia according to the logos. Despite this purely organizational nature. and these configurations are the same for all individuals that belong to the same species. Since functioning necessarily involves matter (for the efficient causal interactions involved). as well as on the importance of ‘functioning’ for the definition and for the existing of parts. i. their “ousia according to the logos” (412b18-21).. the conception of ‘ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ’ is the linchpin that inseparably connects the species-typical eidos nature of the ti ên einai and the existing qua functioning of the individual entity. Z 10 (esp. The material parts and their relationships to each other follow from the relationships of their functional interdependence (PA I 5. See also: PA I 5 on the priority of praxeis (i. Likewise..72 This crucial role of the species-configuration does not mean that the ti ên einai as ousia according to the logos is anything in addition to its functional components—such as a special efficient cause or material structure that unites and directs the subfunctions. Just like the eidos of the box.e.

. characteristic of its way of existing. IV examines in detail how the species-configuration exists as entelecheia. beingalive as the self-maintaining process of metabolism together with the equally dynamic configuration that enables it. the cooperatively organized causal interactions that produce bio-energy and renew structural components).62 ALFRED E. A familiar example is the interdependence of the vegetative functions [ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ] needed for the being-alive of any animal. which both maintains and is sustained by its unified functioning. MILLER is.) These gradients bring about the distribution of nutrients and oxygen to all cells of the body.e. the configuration of the vegetative functions consists of the appropriate concentration gradients of nutrients and oxygen maintained between digestive and respiratory systems and circulatory system. The metabolic functioning of the cells (i. The stability of these gradients (i. i. where they are needed for the self-maintaining functioning of the organism (efficient causal processes of metabolism). The Interdependence of Functioning and Species-configuration in the Existing of Organisms as Ousia 1. in turn. viz.. These interdependent causal relations constitute the organism’s species-typical configuration. sustains the functional potentials of the three systems and their configuration that brings about their functioning as a unity to maintain the existing of the organism—its being-alive. MILLER & MARIA G. The digestive.) B. Therefore a core issue of modern biology is the mutual enablement of configuration and functioning. of the functional configuration) is brought about by a variety of physical and chemical interactions—not the least being the pumping of the heart that automatically adapts its output to meet varying circulatory requirements as venous return increases (Starling’s Law). for the production of energy and the maintenance of body.. respiratory and circulatory systems are cooperatively organized so that they mutually enable each other’s functioning and supply the resources for the metabolism of all cells of the body.. The seemingly more persistent anatomical components (which are themselves in constant physical turnover and dependent on nourishment and oxygen delivered to their cells) are only instrumental means of bringing about and stabilizing the real basis of existing.. For organisms the dynamic nature of the functional configuration is crucial for maintaining its holistic functioning as being-alive and problematic because it must constantly adapt to changing conditions on which this depends.73 _________ 73 Ultimately. (These mutually enabling relations between physiological systems in animals are analogous to the equilibrated forces among parts of an artifact which comprise its functional configuration.e. The species-configured interactions of appropriate potentials within and between these systems brings about their mutually enabling functioning. (Sec.e. Contemporary physiology exemplifies Aristotle’s conception of unity as cooperative interdependence.

(1) The digesting of food transforms it into nutrients that can be assimilated into the body to sustain it and empower its potential functions. 74 Here the psuchê as ti ên einai is represented entirely by the self-nourishing-ability [ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ]. (1) The passage gives a biological account of how the nutritive psuchê employs the instrumental functioning of the body for using food to nourish the body and so preserve the organism. Aristotle calls this the transformation of food from being “unlike the body to like it” (416b6-7). the such archê of the psuchê is a dunamis [i.e. 76 The analysis of using food for preserving the ousia of an organism (its existing as being-alive) has a double significance for our interpretation of being-alive as ousia. Analysis of the nourishing-ability [ȚȢıʍijțȜЅȟ] as the cycle of selfpreservation of ousia by using food. 74 Not having our modern knowledge of the role of oxygen (and hence respiration) or the circulatory system in the physiology that constitutes being-alive. the primary capacity that any kind of psuchê must have and continuously exercise to be alive. 75 “. II 1. biologists are especially concerned with the nature of configurations. how they come about and how they are maintained. (2) The digested food is then incorporated into the body by the nourishing-ability to preserve it (the equivalent of metabolism in modern terms). a27-2. There the psuchê qua eidos was analyzed as first entelecheia of the body as its instrumental dunamis [ՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ] (412a19-21. 75 This enables the continuing activity of the nourishing-ability itself as well as the potentials for all other activities of the organism. which is brought about by the holistic unity of its configuration at any stage. b4-69). as having it]. The functioning of the developing zygote. At the end of An. on the other hand the nourishment prepares [the dunamis] to be active [ԚȟıȢȗı‫ה‬ȟ]. (2) The same account completes the methodological project of providing an ontological grounding (causal account) for the original conceptual analysis of the psuchê/body relation and its functional nature given in An.76 _________ The interdependence of configuration and self-maintaining functioning is even more obvious in embryonic development.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 63 2.” (An.. Such assimilation of nutrients sustains the bodily material and prepares its potentials to be at work. II 4 Aristotle analyzes this interdependence of functioning and configuration in regard to the organization of the same vegetative processes discussed above in modern terms.e. Aristotle himself recognizes this interdependence of ongoing functioning and developing configuration of the zygote in GA II 6 (742a32-b12).. Thus.. In this way Aristotle recognizes the complete cycle of internal self-preservation brought about by the nourishing-ability together with the instrumental activity of the body for using outside resources. at the same time is actively transforming its own configuration from the egg into the species-typical larva or adult. Aristotle’s analysis considers only the cycle of causal actions by which the nourishing-ability uses food and the body as the digestive instrument to sustain the same body itself. II 4. Self-nourishment includes two interrelated functions.. 416b17-20). Here Aristotle shows how the psuchê (as entelecheia) determines the functioning of the . ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ] of a kind to preserve the thing having it [the dunamis] as such [i.

b25-29). 231) and is also favored by Ross 1961. (2) on the other hand. And that by which [֭] [the psuchê] nourishes [the body] is twofold. The cause of nourishing is self-preservation.e.77 (1) What is being nourished [ijȢıĴցμıȟȡȟ] is the body [IJ‫׭‬μį]. a mover [that is] also being moved [Ȝțȟȡ‫ף‬ȟ Ȝįվ Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ]. The descriptive conceptual framework and causal analysis of nourishing. 416b25-29) b. The causal account of beingalive as self-preservation by the nutritive psuchê is simultaneously the ontology (as better known by nature) of the characteristics of the psuchê orginally analyzed in An. (2) that by which the body is nourished [֭ ijȢջĴıijįț] is nourishment [ijȢȡĴս]. . This much belabored passage must be interpreted in its larger textual and _________ instrumental potentials of the body. This textual sequence was suggested by Torstik (according to Ross 1961. 416b20-23. (II 4. II 1 as better known to us. i. hence everything with a psuchê has heat. which includes generation [ȦȤȥս ȚȢıʍijțȜս Ȝįվ ȗıȟȟșijțȜս]. MILLER & MARIA G. It addresses the problem of how the immaterial psuchê is the cause of ongoing existing by bringing about nourishment of the body. that which is only being moved [Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ μցȟȡȟ].what is [doing the] nourishing [ijȢջĴȡȟ. And it is necessary for every nourishment [ijȢȡĴսȟ] to be digested. that the immaterial psuchê nourishes the material body. but not Hicks 1901 and Hamlyn 1968. the psuchê as telos of the hou heneka causal relation that unifies and stabilizes the configuration of the organism. and (3) “. the being-alive. is the most difficult—but also the most interesting ontologically. our interpretation does not hinge on the strict textual sequence since it is important to read the passage in the overall context of summing-up the discussion of the nutritive psuchê. 415a23-25). just as that by which [֭] one steers is the hand and the rudder. 416b20-23). The psuchê as functional configuration (ousia according to the logos) acts as telos. 416b20-23 and b25-29) as contiguous because the first summarizes the descriptive conceptual framework within which the second passage explicates causally the function of the psuchê in nourishing. the preservation of the being-alive of the particular ousia and the preservation of life beyond the individual as perpetuation of the species are interdigitated in such concluding passages. and the hot works the digestion. It is to be expected that both functions. 77 We interpret these two passages (An.78 The last point. 78 The nutritive psuchê [ȚȢıʍijțȜս] is the primary psuchê because it is “the first and most in-common dunamis of the psuchê by virtue of which being-live [ijր Ș‫׆‬ȟ] belongs to all things.” (II 4. The concluding argument of An.. II 4. II 4 summarizes the three factors whose causal interplay brings about self-nourishment (II 4. (1) on the one hand. the nourisher] is the primary psuchê [ʍȢօijș ȦȤȥս]” (II 4. The following passage analyzes these activities of the nutritive psuchê and its holistic causal relationships to the body and nourishment.. However..64 ALFRED E. MILLER a.

THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 65 biological context.e. the life process. Yet. They neglect considering the earlier discussion of the psuchê as cause. Ross 1961. ( An. on the other hand the nourishment [ijȢȡĴսȟ] prepares [the dunamis] to be active [ԚȟıȢȗı‫ה‬ȟ]. on self-preservation. such archê of the psuchê is a dunamis of the kind to preserve [IJօȘıțȟ] the thing having it [the dunamis] as such [i. 80 Earlier in II. they overlook that that “by which” the psuchê nourishes the body is the body itself (as the digestive instrument of nourishing)—besides the food.4 Aristotle explains: .. the commentaries by Hicks 1901. 98-9. How is this causal role of the psuchê to be conceived since it cannot act as an ordinary efficient cause? As seen in Sec. (ijȢȡĴս. They also disregard the immediate context that is examining the function of nourishment as preserving the ousia (416b11-15. It has just been argued that the nutritive psuchê nourishes the body by using food to preserve its ousia and prepare the dunameis to be active. Hamlyn 1968. the bodily functions of digesting food and assimilating nutrients are not sufficient in themselves to account for preserving the being-alive of an organism. these commentaries are confused because they attempt to interpret this analysis of how the nutritive psuchê works only in terms of material-efficient causation. b17-20). Not taking account of the body being the instrument [ՐȢȗįȟȡȟ] of the psuchê. i. I. the eidos (here the psuchê) acts via holistic causal re_________ 79 Cf. Aristotle maintains that the psuchê itself (qua ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ) is the active cause of selfnourishment [ijȢջĴȡȟ]—in a way that preserves being-alive.. which in turn requires using nourishment in a precisely controlled way. Finally. Only material entities (the body and its instrumental functions) can act or be affected by efficient or material causal relations. II 4. This requires sustaining its configuration that brings about its self-maintaining functioning. 416b25-29).80 The issue now remains how the immaterial psuchê can use food (via the bodily functions) to nourish and preserve the organism and its dunameis. 416b17-20) Here... . Aristotle details the points that characterize self-preservation as a function of the psuchê: (1) that the nourishing-ability is the archê [principle] of the psuchê that is the dunamis for preserving the very entity that has that nourishing-ability—thus defining selfpreservation.79 It concludes An. (3) existing depends on nourishment. 231-2.) The causal analysis of how the psuchê nourishes the body is provided in the passage quoted above (II 4. 348-9. hence what lacks nourishment is not able to exist. (2) that the nourishment prepares the nourishing-ability or the dunameis generally to be active. II 4 by accounting for how the nutritive psuchê uses food to preserve the being-alive of the organism by means of the instrumental functioning of the body. Thus. does so by means of the food. viz. but rather the psuchê as nourishing-ability. as ousia and as telos of hou heneka causation (415b8-20). So that on the one hand.e. like the English ‘nourishment’ means both the food and the process of being nourished.. as having it].[A]nd nothing generates itself but preserves [IJօȘıț] itself. it is not the food per se that nourishes the body (the reductionistic viewpoint). In our judgment.

the psuchê uses the body as the mover [Ȝțȟȡ‫ף‬ȟ] that acts on food in digesting it. (1) In the first instance. Aristotle compares the process of digestion to the craftsman who is not affected by the matter on which he acts but only changes from idleness into activity [energeia] (An. In this process the body is also being moved [Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ]. The issue. but not by interaction with the food (as one might assume).” characterized as only being moved [Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ μցȟȡȟ] is the food. This analogy shows how efficient causes and effects are directed by their roles in the organization of the whole to bring about goaldirected action. III) also showed how the functional configuration [ousia according to the logos] is necessary to bring about ongoing existing by organizing the constituent efficient causal relations into a unified. self-sustaining whole. is how the immaterial psuchê can be the nourisher [ijȢջĴȡȟ] that preserves the ousia of the organism. The two means by which the psuchê as nourisher preserves the ousia are compared to the instrumental roles of the hand and the rudder in steering a ship. and the assertion is that the psuchê accomplishes this via two means “by which [֭]” it nourishes the body.66 ALFRED E. MILLER & MARIA G. Instead. The efficient causal relations are organized and determined by their roles in the configuration as instruments by which the organism is self-preserving. 416a34-b3). II) and the flame (Sec. The analysis of the box (Sec. This organizing and determining of the constituent causal relations is how the immaterial psuchê is able to use its material body and food as instrumental means for preserving the organism as being-alive.” characterized as being both a mover and also being moved [Ȝțȟȡ‫ף‬ȟ Ȝįտ Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ]. is the body (acting as instrument of digestion). Here this holistic causal account shows how individual instrumental actions (such as digestion) are brought about in living organisms by the ontological relationships analogous to those in artifacts. the two instrumental means by which [б] the psuchê nourishes the body: efficient causes transformed into holistc causal relations. The first “by which [֭]. This organization of the psuchê that brings about its holistic functioning as being-alive does so as the telos that directs the instrumental functioning of the body to achieve self-preservation. The psuchê is the functional configuration of the organism that organizes its subfunctions into the unified cooperative process of being-alive. The second “by which [֭]. then. Body and food. MILLER lations. c. the body is being moved [Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ] as an instru- . II 4. The quoted passage (416b25-29) analyzes this extension of the causal account: The psuchê as the organized functioning of self-nutrition constitutes the telos for which the bodily functions and food serve as instruments to preserve its being-alive.

To achieve this goal. II 1. (It will be seen later how the psuchê acts as an unmoved mover (qua telos) in moving the body as its instrument. accounts for how the psuchê acts as the nourisher [ijȢջĴȡȟ. is “only moved [Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ μցȟȡȟ]” by the psuchê using the instrumental bodily potential: “the hot works the digestion” (An. however. would only represent the results of efficient causal interactions (just as the combustion of wax and oxygen in a flame). 416b21-22] of the body. organized manner.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 67 ment for the sake of self-preservation by the psuchê as active nourisher [ijȢջĴȡȟ]. Thus. Thus digestion acts on food as a moved mover and converts it from something unlike the body to something like it so it can be used to preserve its material (by renewal) and activate its potentials. it is moved for the sake of keeping the ship on course. II 4. the body serves as the instrument for the nourishing activity of the nutritive psuchê that preserves the ousia of the organism. (In modern terms. it moves the rudder by which the proper course is maintained. viz. This configuration is the psuchê (as first analyzed conceptually in An. the rudder is also a means by which the ship is steered. as determined by the species-typical functional configuration [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ]. including its potentials for digesting and assimilating the nourishment needed to preserve the organism. exists as such only in relation to an organism for which it can function to preserve the ousia— . Nevertheless. The rudder is only passively moved by the goal-directed action of the steersman’s hand. But how does the psuchê ‘use’ the body? Aristotle likens using the action of digestion on food for preserving the organism to the action of the hand on the rudder for steering the ship (preserving its course to the destination). Its role as configuration. digestive enzymes act on food to transform it into nutrients that can be assimilated. the second means “by which [֭]” the psuchê nourishes.) Nourishment.. 412b425). (2) Food. These bodily processes preserve the existing of the organism only if they function in a specific. moving and being moved as digestion and assimilation. In themselves the bodily activities. by being the functional organization of the bodily potentials that transform food and assimilate it to preserve the organism. then. Like the hand. As such. the psuchê ‘uses’ the bodily potentials to replenish the body. it is not a goal-directed mover in its own right. 416b28-29). The hand is a moved mover. the instrumental digestive function is moved by its functional role in the configuration of the nutritive psuchê and thereby moved for the sake of preserving the organism. they would not account for the ongoing self-preservation of an organism.) In nourishing the organism.

the nutritive functioning of the psuchê concretely illustrates the causal interdependence of instrumental functioning and speciesconfiguration. 412b18-20). MILLER & MARIA G. II 1. (2) as that for-the-sake-of-which [ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį] and (3) as the ousia of living bodies [ԭ ȡ՘IJտį ij‫׭‬ȟ ԚμȦփȥȧȟ IJȧμչijȧȟ]. the psuchê acts as the mover using the body as instrument.E) of how the holistic causal account that grounds the essential characteristics and resolves the aporiai thereby provides the ontological paradigm of ousia as better known by nature. and how the organism as an indivisible whole determines and is dependent on its distinguishable parts. By presenting the causal framework that accounts for how the relations between psuchê and body bring about self-nourishment. so too is nourishing (the primary ti ên einai of the body as alive) the functioning of the bodily processes in accord with the logos. The example also shows how the three ontological aproriai are inseparably interrelated: how the stable integrity of the organism is maintained by compensatory changing of the material constituents. Again. 415b8-28) the psuchê is characterized as being a cause in three senses: (1) as mover [ՑȚıȟ ԭ ȜտȟșIJțȣ]. 3. In digesting food as well as in using the resulting nutrients to preserve the ousia of the organism. IV. MILLER and this relationship is not incidental [ȡ՘ Ȝįijչ IJȤμȖıȖșȜցȣ] (An. 416b9-11). 82 Just as sight (the ti ên einai of an eye) is the functioning of an eye in accord with the logos [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] (An. . the species-configuration is the prime factor that determines what can serve as food by being digested and replenishing the body. II 4. In Sec. The causal account constitutes the dynamic ontology (better known by nature) of the characteristics and relations of the psuchê and body that were analyzed conceptually in An. I. how the species-typical configuration is essential for the existing of the particular entity.68 ALFRED E.81 Thus. II 4. It also shows how outside resources are incorporated into the organism while maintaining it as what it is—the feature that distinguishes organisms having the source of motion in themselves from artifacts. maintaining the homeostatic state).82 This organizing configuration of the psuchê. Only the functioning of the body organized in a speciestypical way by the configuration of the psuchê (its ti ên einai) can preserve the existing of an organism as what it is. Sec. II 1 (as better known to us). 83 This exemplifies the methodological principle (cf. then.C the mechanisms are _________ 81 Thus.83 Earlier in the chapter (An. the preceding analysis completes the establishment of the ontological paradigm of the psuchê as ousia. accounts for how the bodily functions can be used as the instrument for preserving its being-alive. The psuchê is the cause of existing as ousia and as the telos of hou heneka causation. the double activity of the psuchê in nutrition provides refined differentiation of the material-bodily activities of digestion proper (guided by the psuchê) from the functionalconfigurational activities necessary for preserving the psuchê as the being-alive of the organism itself (in modern terms.

the logos of the potentially existent [ijȡ‫ ף‬İȤȟչμıț Րȟijȡȣ] is entelecheia. The passage further analyzes the indivisible. Aristotle now reiterates in causal terms how the psuchê is ousia according to the logos [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ]. while the logos of the same living body is its ousia [according to this logos]. so does nature also. for ousia is the cause of [ongoing] existing [įԼijտį ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț] for all things. and this is its telos. And in living things the psuchê is such [i. the species-configuration whose unity exists as entelecheia (again as first analyzed in An. and the cause [įԼijտį] and principle [archê] of this is the psuchê. The potentially existent is the living body capable of serving as instrument [ՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ]. An. II 1. And it is evident that the psuchê is also cause as hou heneka [that for-the-sake-of-which]. Furthermore.. the preservation of the ousia (the being-alive of the organism or the ship’s destination). 415b12-20 As the ontological grounding of the original conceptual analysis in An. the account of how the psuchê uses the body for nourishing the organism depends on considering the psuchê as hou heneka cause [for-the-sake-of-which] and telos [goal state]. because all the natural bodies are instruments [ՐȢȗįȟį] of the psuchê. its existing as entelecheia and how this relates as telos to the body as instrument: That it [the psuchê] is [cause] as ousia is clear. II 4. The next section examines how hou heneka causation brings about the necessary . II 1 and to be discussed further in Sec. like the ones of animals. so also the ones of plants are existents [Րȟijį] for the sake of the psuchê [ԥȟıȜį ij‫׆‬ȣ ȦȤȥ‫׆‬ȣ]. IV). This is the telos for the sake of which the constituent efficient causes are organized in the species-typical way and function to fulfill their roles in overall self-maintenance. it is the ti ên einai as the species-configuration of the bodily efficient-causal interactions that organizes them into the self-maintaining functioning of being-alive.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 69 examined through which the psuchê acts as mover by being the telos for the sake of which the bodily dunameis are active and by which they are directed as such instruments. and being-alive [ijր Ș‫׆‬ȟ] is the existing [ijր ıՂȟįț] for living things [ijȡ‫ה‬ȣ Ș‫׭‬IJț]. In this way the psuchê is the life-sustaining functioning of the organism as a whole. However. As seen in the causal framework of nutrition. a telos as being-alive] according to nature. We have seen repeatedly that the psuchê as ousia is the cause and archê of the existing itself. for just as thought [ȟȡ‫ף‬ȣ] acts for the sake of something [ԥȟıȜչ ijȡȤ]. its existing. the being-alive of living things. Nourishing the body or steering a ship depends on an overarching (holistic) causal context. As such.e. dynamic unity of body and psuchê here by characterizing it as the unity of dunamis and entelecheia. this passage makes the connection especially clear between ousia (as ousia according to the logos).

We must now show how the corresponding unity. The Dynamic Stability of Ousia as Entelecheia in Organisms and Artifacts Analysis of the ongoing existing of organisms as being-alive has now shown how this existing is constituted and caused by their ti ên einai reconceived functionally as the continuous process of self-maintenance. The existing of such unities is inherently dynamic because they depend on the cooperative functioning of the parts within the whole. (B) Causal account: the unity of entelecheia is continuously actualized by merger of its enabling potentials within the holistically unified speciespattern. (C) Holistic-causal account: the species-typical pattern of the entelecheia is determined and stabilized by hou heneka [for-the-sake-of-which] causal relations including “hypothetical necessity. IV.” . This is accounted for by the dynamic existing of the functional configuration as entelecheia. To account for the adaptable dynamic stability and persisting identity of being-alive as this process of continuous self-renewal. This configuration itself exists as entelecheia constantly actualized out of the interacting component dunameis as the persisting configuration that it already is. This is topic of the next section IV.70 ALFRED E. thus for the ousia of artifacts and of organisms. MILLER & MARIA G. stability and self-sustaining functional organization is brought about causally by the more dynamic nature of the species-configuration in organisms. Modern scientific insights are especially helpful here for clarifying the role of this long disregarded and shortsightedly discredited cause of stability in dynamic systems and for illuminating the mechanisms by which it works. Such a cause is essential for the stability of functional unities. We interpret this account in three steps: (A) Descriptive analysis: the functional configuration [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] is the unified nexus of causal relations that brings about the cooperative functioning of the ti ên einai as a self-maintaining unity. MILLER relationship between the psychic ti ên einai as ousia according to the logos and the bodily potentials as its instruments. we must also account for the dynamic organizing configuration [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] that brings about the self-sustaining functioning. The stability and holistic unity of artifacts is brought about by the interdependent functional fit of the mutually enabling functional parts organized by their speciesconfiguration.

the psuchê as first entelecheia is analogous to epistêmê. As “first entelecheia” the psuchê provides the uninterrupted continuity of being-alive. Yet. Like a flame. it is the psuchê that provides the continuity of being-alive. 412b4-6). which are entelecheia as intermittent actualizations of dispositional potentials (cf. then. being-alive exists as a self-maintaining process that cannot be interrupted without ceasing to exist. First entelecheia. 412a27-29). but continues in sleep as in waking (II 1.84 Therefore. As the functional configuration. An. is contrasted to entelecheia as the activities of thinking or perceiving. II 5). The psuchê is not an activity of the organism that can occur intermittently. 2. In an organism. and for which the body as substrate could provide the continuity. 412a21-27). The functional configuration [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] that integrates and organizes the causal components of this process into its holistic functioning as a unity is itself the continuous product of the same self-maintaining processes that it brings about. the anatomical structures appear to provide a stable basis that serves as its configuration enabling it to function self-maintainingly. . a21-23). Instead. which as a ԤȠțȣ [disposition] exists as a kind of entelecheia even when its dispositional potentials are not actively being exercised (as ȚıȧȢı‫ה‬ȟ). like thinking [ȚıȧȢı‫ה‬ȟ]. An. This distinction is very important for characterizing the existing of the psuchê as eidos and ousia by specifying that they are first entelecheia: Hence [considering the double sense of entelecheia] the psuchê is the first entelecheia [Ԛȟijıȝջȥıțį ԭ ʍȢօijș] of a natural body having life [Șȧս] potentially. entelecheia is self-perpetuating. even these relatively stable components are constantly renewed and _________ 84 In regard to the continuity of existing. existing as first entelecheia of instrumental parts [ՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ] is what is common [Ȝȡțȟցȟ] to every psuchê (II 1. both of which are entelecheia but in different ways (412a9-11. corresponding to knowledge [ԚʍțIJijսμș] and thinking [ȚıȧȢı‫ה‬ȟ]. These are not continuously or immediately involved in preserving the ousia as being-alive in the same way that the primary psuchê [ȚȢıʍijțȜռ ȦȤȥս] is. The Psuchê as Entelecheia Exists as the Continuous Holistic Actualization of the Species-configuration [Ousia according to the Logos] 1. And such [a body] is one that can serve as an instrument [ՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ]. (II 1. II 1 characterizes entelecheia as having two senses.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 71 A. The entelecheia constituting the psuchê is “first” because the activity of being-alive (which comprises the psuchê) cannot be interrupted.

as the self-sufficient and stable function/work [ergon] according to the eidos. i.. this reciprocally enabling relationship between functioning and configuration only works for configurations with specific organizational patterns. MILLER reshaped by the overall physiological process. However. In fact. ousia [beingness] exists as energeia. How does such a nexus of functional relations account for the ongoing existing and persisting identity of an organism? The configuration is comprised of the same functional relations that constitute the cooperatively self-maintaining functioning of the ti ên einai. The unified configuration itself constantly comes about as entelecheia. 1050a7-15). the ongoing actualization of the potentials of the parts. ĭ 8. Entelecheia embodies the species-typicality of the configuration. In relation to matter as dunamis.86 Entelecheia is the unity _________ 85 The seemingly more persistent anatomical components are only instrumental means of aiding and spatially stabilizing the real basis of existing and persisting identity. Thus.e. self-perpetuating nexus of the mutually enabling causal interactions of the parts. insofar as ousia is the telos for the sake of which generation occurs (ĭ 8. II 1 definitions) fit together to bring about such a unity..85 Thus. namely as a particular entity of a certain kind. as the being-at-work of matter. which is both the cause of further propagation of the wave and its continuous product. the continuously actualized configuration constitutes the persisting unity and identity of the individual organism. ousia exists as entelecheia. 1045b32-46a2). 86 The relationship between energeia and entelecheia is succinctly stated in Metaph. In contrast to energeia. 3. 1050a3-1050b2) in which Aristotle explicates the analogical extrapolation of the dunamis/energeia relationship from motion to existing (stated at ĭ 6.72 ALFRED E. Thus. like a wave (or a flame).. ĭ 8: “energeia .. However. The species-typical actualization of entelecheia sets it apart from energeia and it is that at which energeia aims. as long as it is continuously actualized by being-alive. 1048a35-b9) and brings it to completion by relating energeia to entelecheia (as projected in ĭ 1. i. there is no additional substrate to account for the existing of the configuration. the configuration itself also exists dynamically. MILLER & MARIA G. being-alive as the self-maintaining process itself—together with the equally dynamic configuration that enables it. Nevertheless. In the same sense the eidos and the telos of generation are energeia as the being-at-work of the respective matter as dunamis (1050a3-16)..e. This species-pattern determines how the subfunctions (the ՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ of the An. Without these processes the body is merely a corpse. stably patterned process of existing as self-maintenance. This short passage is part of the detailed discussion (Metaph. viz. This functional configuration is nothing besides the unified. the concept of entelecheia expresses existing as spe- . aims at entelecheia [IJȤȟijıտȟıț ʍȢրȣ ijռȟ Ԛȟijıȝջȥıțįȟ]” (1050a22-23). the functional configuration is unified as the species-patterned. Such a functional configuration is selfperpetuating like the self-propagating form of a wave. the configuration determined by the pattern of functional fit among its parts provides the dynamic stability of the organism only as long as the self-maintaining process persists.

. but the function [ԤȢȗȡȟ] is energeia [rather than dunamis]. This chapter deals with how the continuous change of the matter into differentiae [İțįĴȡȢįվ] (like the threshold or lintel of a house) occurs by efficient causation according to the logos (definition). Entelecheia [holding in the telos] is the unity according to the eidos [ԭ Ȝįijո ijր ıՂİȡȣ ȡ՘IJտį]. H 2-3. synthesis. ousia as entelecheia is explicitly contrasted with the energeia of H 2. next n. The difference of ousia as energeia and ousia as entelecheia are discussed in H 2-3—though this important argument is generally not recognized in the literature.e. 1042b15-31. Any “more or less” is only possible for composite ousia with matter. i. IV. What is analogous to ousia in differentiae is that both are predicated of matter as energeia according to the definition (1043a5-14). like ‘work’ in English. i.. 86). where nothing can be added or subtracted without destroying them (1043b32-44a11). i. which is why the name ‘energeia’ is said in respect to the function [ԤȢȗȡȟ] and aims [IJȤȟijıտȟıț] at entelecheia. The task. As will be shown. for the discussion of the same topic in Metaph.g. but instead can only exercise their functional role within ousia as a functional whole. ĭ 8 summarizes this relationship of energeia to entelecheia: For the function [ԤȢȗȡȟ] is the telos. it is nothing material (1043b14-18).e. how it is constituted in some way out of its differentiae [İțįĴȡȢįտ] as parts and nevertheless is immaterial as an indivisible. just as the definition [ՍȢțIJμցȣ] or the ti ên einai.e. energeia (the beingat-work and named after ԤȢȗȡȟ) aims at entelecheia. 1043a4-14). Metaph.87 _________ cies-typical unity.e. In Metaph. etc. function. (Cf. not even if all are combined (1043a4-5). They are not self-sufficient entities. (‘Ergon’.e. i. as the being-at-work of the matter. (e.. Ousia as entelecheia does not come to be by continous change like the differentiae. H where the causal account of ousia is given in terms of dunamis. It is eternal [Ԑǹİțȡȟ] or destructible without being [in the process of being] destroyed [ĴȚįȢijսȟ ԔȟıȤ ijȡ‫ ף‬ĴȚıտȢıIJȚįț] and generatable without being [in the process of being] generated [ȗıȗȡȟջȟįț ԔȟıȤ ijȡ‫ ף‬ȗտȗȟıIJȚįț]. Metaph.. insofar as the telos is the issue. mixing. in either case not by the usual continuous process of change.. Because of the functional nature of existing of ousia. all-or-nothing unity—and in which sense the differentiae as energeia aim [IJȤȟijıտȟıț] at entelecheia (cf. since entelecheia denotes the entity as species-typical unity (i. ‘the holding in the telos’. H 3. is to understand how entelecheia as species-configuration exists. . (1050a21-23) Thus. (See Sec.) In effect. energeia and entelecheia. then. means both the product and the exercise of work. preceding n. the causal account of entelecheia depends on the for-the-sake-of-which relations [ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį] as the functionally organizing cause in which the interacting potentials are active for the sake of the telos (a kind of aiming at the telos)—and thus are determined by the telos. and exists all-or-nothing. Aristotle defines entelecheia here as the product [work. being-at-work with respect to position. in its telos) while in the conception of energeia neither unity nor species-typicality is inherent. i. H 2 deals of ousia as energeia in relation to matter as dunamis..) 87 The conception of entelecheia is worked out most thoroughly in Metaph.e.. the unitary function [ergon].C). ergon] where matter is at work [energeia] for the sake of the telos and thus exists as the result of hou heneka causation. But the differentiae are not ousia. the answer lies in the functional roles of the differentiae that can be exercised only within the unity of entelecheia.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 73 according to the eidos [ԭ Ȝįijո ijր ıՂİȡȣ ȡ՘IJտį] and exists as such or not at all.

III). is entirely with the systematic and ontological role of entelecheia (as distinct from energeia) in accounting for the unity and stability of the enmattered eidos in the Metaph.) In this way. The same species-patterned functional fit among the components brings about the continuous actualization [entelecheia] of their organized relations as the holistic unity constituting the configuration (ousia according to the logos as first entelecheia). From this perspective the distinction between energeia and entelecheia made in Metaph. is an all-ornothing unity as “ousia according to the eidos” [ԭ Ȝįijո ijր ıՂİȡȣ ȡ՘IJտį]. a species-configuration must organize the functional components of an organism into a holistically integrated process of self-maintenance (as the unified functioning of the ti ên einai discussed in the preceding Sec. we often fail to distinguish these two senses of ‘form’— particularly in regard to perception. Much of this debate hinges on the question of whether there was a development in Aristotle’s use of the concepts and the distinction between them. (See. entelecheia constitutes the persisting unity and identity of the individual organism.88 B. IV. This accounts for how the configuration exists dynamically as the continuous actualization of entelecheia and nevertheless remains stable in accord with its species-typical pattern as telos. Cleary 1998). both necessary for survival—which is why species-types are distinct and stable. The Unity of Entelecheia as Species-typical Merger of Potentials—the Ontological Basis of Physical Causal Relations Aristotle designates the unity of entelecheia as authoritative [ȜȤȢտȧȣ] (An. MILLER & MARIA G. the functioning of the ti ên einai and its enabling configuration existing as entelecheia are one and the same process (though they denote different characteristics of it). MILLER Organisms are good examples for such unity as entelecheia: To be viable. Blair 1992.g. then. H 2-3 is especially crucial. 88 Since specific types [ıՀİș] of functional configurations also usually have characteristic spatial arrangements [μȡȢĴįտ]. II 1. Entelecheia. Thus entelecheia is not a unity by having no parts like a point and not a quantitative unity like a monad.C. Aristotles’s frequent use of “μȡȢĴս Ȝįվ ıՂİȡȣ” draws attention to this distinction. H 3 (1043b32-44a11). Instead. 412b8-9) and characterizes its special kind of unity in a key passage in Metaph. as long as it is actualized by being-alive. Our concern. (The mechanism that accounts for this stability by hou heneka causal relations is discussed below in Sec. its unity (being that of the ousia it constitutes) derives from the species-pattern of its functional configuration _________ A longstanding debate exists about the distinction or sameness of energeia and entelecheia. he argues. and De An. e.74 ALFRED E. Therefore it is easy to overlook that it is the functional nature that ultimately determines what kind of thing it is. by contrast. As ousia according to the logos.. then. . Only certain patterns of configurational organization meet both these requirements of jointly enabling self-maintenance and stable existing.

Sec. This functional unity comes about because of the interdependence of the roles of the parts and the organizing configuration in sustaining the unified whole. as well as motion. Entelecheia [actualization holding in a telos] is how the motion [ȜțȟսIJțȣ] itself exists as a stable ongoing process. IV. This common actualization as a single energeia of two dunameis from separate sources is the ontological basis of efficient causation. Thus. III 1-3 and its extension to holistic causation in Metaph.C). Thus. the configuration exists as the nexus of interactions organized into the species-typical whole that brings about the function of self-perpetuation. the functional unity of the whole depends on the ontological unity of the entelecheia itself as the stable merger of the interacting potentials. As the particular motion.e. Such merger of interacting potentials is the ontological unity that constitutes the ground of all causal relations— both efficient and holistic. a18).THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 75 and so is also not material in itself. the merger as energeia is the being moved [Ȝțȟı‫ה‬IJȚįț] of the movable [Ȝțȟșijցȟ] from one state to another. toward another telos that . the stability of ousia also depends on the all-or-nothing unity of its configuration as entelecheia despite being composed of distinguishable interacting parts. e.. On the one hand. its unity and its species-typical stability. are inseparably linked in the underlying speciesconfiguration and are both accounted for by the same hou heneka [for-thesake-of-which] causal relations. Entelecheia exists as the steady actualizing merger of the component potentials into the joint telos state of their interactions. which are co-essential for the ongoing existing of ousia. The distinction between energeia and entelecheia in the analysis of motion is important for the extension by analogy to the existing of ousia. Qua functional. the merging dunameis are in their common telos as long as the motion exists. (Because of its role in the causal grounding of ousia. 89 and 90. In causal interactions two dunameis (those of mover [ȜțȟșijțȜցȟ] and movable [Ȝțȟșijցȟ]) are actualized by merger into a single energeia of both [μտįȟ ԭ ԐμĴȡ‫ה‬ȟ ԚȟջȢȗıțį] and a common entelecheia of both [Ԛȟijıȝջȥıțįȟ ԐμĴȡ‫ה‬ȟ] which exist in the thing affected (Phys. these two key characteristics of entelecheia. On the other hand. this holistic (all-or-nothing) unity results from the functional interdependence of whole and parts necessary for the organism to function as a self-maintaining unity. That is to say. III 1-3 elucidates the ontological mechanisms of the causal relations responsible for motion/change [ȜտȟșIJțȣ] that in modified form are also the basis of the dynamic but stable existing of ousia. such causal relations exist physically in this way—in contrast to causation in the logical sense of demonstrative explanations as analyzed in the APo. 4 1-8 in nn. it underlies the unity of organisms as entities both as their ongoing existing and their persisting identity.g. a15-16. By contrast. As seen in the box example.)89 _________ 89 The argument in Phys. we summarize the ontology of efficient causal relations as presented in Phys. i. esp. III 3.. 202a13-21. existing as a particular alteration rather than another motion such as growth or housebuilding (III 1 201a11-19). though not in the same way (cf.

If the nature of existing is conceived dynamically (as most clearly shown by organisms). There is no other telos (as in motion) separate from their roles in the unified functioning of the whole. the merger of interacting dunameis as their joint energeia and entelecheia accounts not only for individual efficient causal relations.e. ĭ 6 (cf. in particular as applied in PA I 5. in their telos state as functions while nevertheless in ongoing activity.. instead. ĭ 6 later in the section. acting for the sake of the other parts as praxeis [ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį ʍȢֻȠțȣ ijțȣ] and together as composite body for the sake of the psuchê [ij‫׆‬ȣ ȦȤȥ‫׆‬ȣ ԥȟıȜıȟ] as the being-alive. and many others). 90. II 4.) There has been extensive philological analysis and debate regarding how motion [ȜտȟșIJțȣ Ԑijıȝսȣ] and praxeis [ԚȟջȢȗıțį ԑʍȝ‫׭‬ȣ] are related and expressed by different kinds of verbs and tenses—esp. is based on the usage and significance of the terms in regard to the ontological problem under consideration. An. This work is interesting but not helpful in the present context. The interactions in ousia. praxeis as energeia haplôs [ԑʍȝ‫׭‬ȣ] are the (co-)causes of ongoing stable existing and part of hou heneka causation. As energeia the motion is not yet in the telos toward which it is moving.) They are functional parts of the body as instrument [ՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ]. are praxeis [ʍȢչȠıțȣ. Ackrill 1965. which Aristotle describes as using food (An. 416b20-23). in reference to Metaph. ĭ works out the ontological basis of the causal grounding for the mat- .) Thus. ĭ argues. Metaph. (Cf. MILLER & MARIA G.76 ALFRED E. Metaph. The potentials of these functions are merged into the single entelecheia of the being-alive of the organism as a whole. The entelecheia and energeia of a motion are inseparable. Our analysis. PA I 5. However.g. e. 645b14-33 for an explicit discussion. Such joint actualizations of species-organized potentials also account for the unifying ontological relation between matter and eidos as dunamis and entelecheia and hence how the configuration of the psuchê exists dynamically.) (This analogy between change and stable existing is one of Aristotle’s great ontological insights. discussing the matter/form relation of ousia. 90 on praxeis.. ĭ extends the ontological account of efficient causal relations that ground motion and change (ĭ 1-5) to the holistic causation of the existing of ousia and its stability (ĭ 6-9). n. takes these concepts and their causal implications for granted as standing for matter and form. (Cf. energeia and entelecheia (cf. Just as the entelecheia of motion accounts for its stable existing as an ongoing motion of a particular kind. In themselves these interactions might be considered incomplete energeia [Ԑijıȝսȣ] like motions [ȜțȟսIJıțȣ]. therefore. We return to the parallel problem addressed in Metaph. Again. rather it is the incomplete [Ԑijıȝսȣ] common energeia of the movable [Ȝțȟșijցȟ] and moving ability [ȜțȟșijțȜցȟ]. MILLER As Metaph. ĭ 6 and n. which comes to full fruition in his functional conception of ousia. since they exist as part of the overall configuration according to the eidos (as entelecheia) they are in their telos as functions. 201b5-7).90 The essential features of such merging interactions _________ is separate from the energeia and entelecheia of the motion itself. 415a25-6. the entelecheia of ousia accounts for its stable existing as an ongoing unified entity of a particular kind. while motions [ȜțȟսIJıțȣ] as incomplete energeiai are the cause of change. 431a6-7 for the use of ԑʍȝ‫׭‬ȣ in this sense. 87). (Cf. just as in motions. 89 and n. whose telos is the preserving of the organism that already exists. III 7. 90 Metaph. In both instances these relations are analyzed in terms of dunamis. since being moved [Ȝțȟı‫ה‬IJȚįț] as the energeia of the motion occurs only as long as the entelecheia exists (III 1. this unity and ongoing existing of ousia as entelecheia comes about by the merger of interacting dunameis (the instrumental potentials of the body as ՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ) into single energeiai of particular functions. Only Metaph. H. also n. the metabolic processes. i. actions]. Penner 1970. however. cf. stable existing itself—not only change and coming to be—requires ongoing causation.

then. the ensuing entelecheia is self-sufficient. By contrast. (Cf.. With each step the telos is more integral to the interaction of the dunameis itself as the analogy moves from pure motion to the fully autotelic nature of the dynamic stability of ousia. respectively (1049a7-18). In the case of ousia.) Metaph. viz. when nothing prevents their existing from outside or inside. this exemplifies the holistic causation of existing.) Thus. Unlike in motion. This argument emphasizes the necessary fit of the corresponding dunameis in order to be actual as entelecheia. A dunamis. 4 6 can be interpreted as extending and incorporating the ontological account of efficient causation of motion into holistic causation of praxeis and ousia. “. 87 on Metaph. based on the functional fitting of its dunameis alone. [W]hat is posterior in generation is prior in eidos and in ousia. ĭ 6. in natural entities as well as artifacts. This ontological priority of ousia as energeia and entelecheia over dunamis is the topic of ĭ 8. 1050a3-b6. the entity continues to exist as the ousia it is. Moreover. the eidos as ti ên einai and ousia according to the logos for the sake of which the dunameis interact and sustain the entity as what it already is. 86). III 1-3. Therefore Aristotle can assert that energeia aims at entelecheia (1050a2123. ĭ 6. It comes to be [merely] from thought [Ԑʍր İțįȟȡտįȣ] when it is wished (ĭ 7. In praxeis the interacting dunameis are dependent on the common telos (the self-preservation of the ousia) as that for the sake of which they function and with which they form a functional unity. This analogy is grounded in the dynamic nature of existing common to motion [ȜտȟșIJțȣ]. cf. action] and energeia as ousia are considered to be analogous to energeia of the dunamis/energeia relation of motion (Metaph. species-typical unity of the interacting parts. In Metaph.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 77 _________ ter/form relation by building on the corresponding analysis of motion given in Phys.. n. (See the following subsection.. the progression of the analogy of Metaph.. the species-typical unity (holding in the telos). determines when each thing [ԥȜįIJijȡȟ] fully exists potentially—namely when nothing has to be changed for the existing as the entelecheia of which it is the dunamis..e. In generation the telos is posterior in time insofar as it is the product that comes to be. The telos is the organizing principle. ǿ 3. 1048a30-b9). The scope of this paper only allows indicating how the text supports our approach to this topic of accounting for the stability and all-or-nothing unity of holistic composite enti- . ĭ 7 and ĭ 8 the analysis is then extended to ousia as energeia and as entelecheia with the telos fully integrated. existing in the inherent telos state (as entelecheia) is the holistic causal ground of the self-suffient. In effect. i. while their distinction and transformation depends on the different role of the telos. is not the ability to be at work as energeia unless all the conditions are met for its joint actualization with other dunameis as a particular form of entelecheia. that the whole (as entelecheia) determines the parts (existing as dunameis) and the parts enable each other and the whole. Energeia as praxis [ʍȢչȠțȣ.. for ousia there is no outside telos other than sustaining the ousia (as entelecheia) itself. This is the core principle underlying holistic causation. the telos as ousia and eidos is prior to the dunameis (even in generation).. praxis and ousia (based on their dunameis).” (1050a4-5). But ontologically. 1048b18-35 presents this telos-based distinction by analogy for motion as incomplete energeia [Ԑijıȝսȣ] and for praxis as energeia haplôs. the telos of ousia existing as entelecheia (or of its component functional praxeis) is inseparable from the telos of joint actualization of interacting dunameis as entelecheia that simultaneously constitutes the existing of the ousia. The telos toward which a motion moves (qua energeia) lies outside the entelecheia of the motion (the existing of the motion itself). By holding in this telos of self-preservation (as entelecheia). 1048b37-1049a7). Entelecheia. n.

as a moved mover (III 2.. etc.g. MILLER & MARIA G. 91 Phys. ĭ 1 is summarized in the following two footnotes. as an alteration or growth. 202a3-5.)91. The unity of the single common energeia of interacting dunameis is based on their being relative to each other [ʍȢրȣ ijț]: The dunamis for causing moving [ȜțȟșijțȜցȟ] exists as such only in relation to the correlative dunamis for being moved [Ȝțȟșijցȟ]. motion [ȜտȟșIJțȣ] is the entelecheia of the movable [Ȝțȟșijցȟ] qua movable and this accompanies the contact of that which can cause moving [ȜțȟșijțȜցȟ] so that at the same time it is also affected [ʍչIJȥıțȟ]” (Phys. Aristotle concludes: “Therefore. i..g. is the product of the interaction and also what holds the merged atoms together. an analysis of energeia and entelecheia as presented causally in Phys. The being active [ԚȟıȢȗı‫ה‬ȟ] of the mover is the causing-to-move [Ȝțȟı‫ה‬ȟ] and this occurs by contact [ȚտȠțȣ] with the movable. as entelecheia. correspondingly any entelecheia is different from its constituent dunameis without anything else being added. 202a5-7). 201a19-25. III 1-3 and ontologically grounded in Metaph. so that the mover is at the same time affected [ʍչIJȥıțȟ] (III 2. esp.e. These relationships are well exemplified today by a covalent chemical bond. Thus. the unity of the interacting potentials as entelecheia is both the product of their merger and the unifying relationship that holds the resulting unity together as its optimally merged state (telos). Carbon dioxide is very different from its constituent atoms without anything else being added. the characteristics of the individual atoms are markedly different from those of the stably unified molecule. (Again. The entelecheia in the movable. The merging can occur because the active mover [Ȝțȟȡ‫ף‬ȟ] is also movable [Ȝțȟșijցȟ] and moves [Ȝțȟı‫ ]ה‬by being itself in motion [Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ]. Miller & Miller 1996).92 _________ ties. The unity of the molecule. common energeia in the movable. III 2. III 1 200b28-32). therefore. also III 1. is both a product of the merger of dunameis and also the way in which the particular motion is stable as such. In the same way the orginal interacting dunameis have different characteristics from those of their common entelecheia. 89) again provides the analysis of the ontological mechanisms underlying the merger of dunameis in ȜտȟșIJțȣ [motion or change. III 1-3 (as in n. Similarly. e. MILLER between dunameis clarify the nature of functional relationships: (1) The merging dunameis lose their independent characteristics and identity as component parts and are subsumed as instruments for their functional roles in the configuration of the merged state. because of the importance for the ontological unity of ousia. The entelecheia of entities (as ousia) also exists as a merger of the interacting dunameis of its . 202a7-9). the dunamis for being moved [Ȝțȟșijցȟ] exists as such only in relation to the correlative dunamis by agency of which [ՙʍր ijȡ‫ף‬ ȜțȟșijțȜȡ‫ ]ף‬it can be moved (Phys. which corresponds closely to the nature of the chemical bond just discussed. e.]. mover and movable form a single. The potentials of the interacting atoms (represented by the component electrons) merge into the shared orbitals that comprise the bond uniting the parts into the holistically unified molecule. in a carbon dioxide molecule.78 ALFRED E.. a22-25). Thus. For a more detailed analysis of the nature of dunamis/energeia/entelecheia relations cf. Conversely.

92 The ultimate ontological ground of the relational nature of interacting dunameis and the oneness of their common energeia and entelecheia is presented in Metaph. encompasses the unity of both the active and passive dunamis. However. 103-107. In the key passage at ĭ 1. when the dunameis are naturally united [IJȤμʍջĴȤȜıȟ] (as ‘İȤȟįijցȟ’ is defined in the following quote). Yet. (Cf. As entelecheia the fit of the merging potentials is determined by the species-configuration of the eidos qua ti ên einai (as ousia according to the logos). Being capable [İȤȟįijցȟ] of being acted on inherently determines the nature of the (fitting) dunamis by agency of which it can be acted on.. it is not acted on by agency of itself. The praxeis of organisms are a prime example. entelecheia as being-alive (and generally in ousia as entelecheia of existing). on the one hand. the correlative dunameis to act and to be acted on exist as different [թȣ Ԕȝȝș] insofar as they are in different entities. Heidegger 1981. while the heat (which burns the oil) is in what is capable of heating [Ԛȟ ij‫ ׮‬ȚıȢμįȟijțȜ‫]׮‬. The functional fit among the parts inherent in the speciesconfiguration accounts for the unity and stability of the merged potentials in motion (entelecheia as ԐȝȝȡտȧIJțȣ or ȜտȟșIJțȣ.. their functional fitting together. for it is one [ԥȟ.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 79 (2) The merger of dunameis in a functional relation involves concomitant reciprocal determination of the original openness of the potentials. several points pertinent to our present concerns need mention: (1) The interactive relation of dunameis in different entities (or in one entity qua different).. (1046a19-22. a unity] and not another. The functional fit that enables the interaction of correlative dunameis also results in their unified merger. but also for energeia haplôs (praxeis)—and thus for the ongoing existing of composite ousia [IJփȟȡȝȡȣ ȡ՘IJտį] as the unity of the common entelecheia of the interacting dunameis of its instrumental parts.) as well as in the psuchê. a27-29) An adequate discussion of Aristotle’s conception of how correlative dunameis exist as a unity as well as being different is beyond the scope of this paper. 91).Ȝįվ] by [having] another by agency of it [ij‫ ׮‬Ԕȝȝȡ ՙʍ‫ ׶‬į՘ijȡ‫[ ]ף‬i. as one single dunamis [թȣ μտį İփȟįμțȣ]. Each potential is open to being actualized in a spectrum of ways depend_________ parts.e. . However. 1046a19-29 Aristotle argues that the correlative potentials to act and to be acted on [İփȟįμțȣ ijȡ‫ ף‬ʍȡțı‫ה‬ȟ Ȝįվ ʍչIJȥıțȟ] exist.. but in another sense it [the dunamis] exists as different.e. by agency of which the passive dunamis is acted on]).ĭ 1. This holds not only for the incomplete [Ԑijıȝսȣ] energeia of motions. On the other hand. To be capable [İȤȟįijցȟ]. but leads to stability of the whole rather than change because such instrumental dunameis are in their telos functioning to sustain the entity as what it is. even when the active and passive dunameis exist in separate entities (before interacting and merging into a single energeia). and this functional fit is what constitutes the interaction. etc. i. . [But] insofar as it is naturally together [IJȤμʍջĴȤȜıȟ]. is based on the inherent ontological oneness of being capable [İȤȟįijցȟ] from which potentials to act and to be acted on derive. they are still ontologically interdependent because they only exist as dunameis relative to each other (as discussed in n...) The core passage reads: It is evident then that it [dunamis] exists in one sense as a single dunamis of acting and being acted on (for it is capable [İȤȟįijցȟ] by its having [ij‫ ׮‬Ԥȥıțȟ į՘ijց] the dunamis of being acted on as well as [Ȝįվ. This distinction is exemplified by oil being the burnable [ȜįȤIJijցȟ]. in fact. they do not act on each other because they are a unity [ԥȟ]. (3) The all-or-nothing unity of entelecheia is based on the fitting merger of correlative dunameis into joint energeiai. (2) The single [common] energeia actualized by the merger of interacting dunameis is grounded on the same ontologically oneness of such dunameis.

The reciprocal functional fit of interacting dunameis determines and enables their merger. esp. examples of ousia. 198b34-36: “. The mutual molding into a shared jointly determined state constitutes the grasping fit [ȚտȠțȣ] of their interaction that merges them into a unity. I..E. esp. b5-8.) . cf. 1046a19-27. Aristotle accounts for the unity and stability on the basis of the species-typical pattern of the outcome as telos.” In this context it is clear that Aristotle wants to explain the regularity with which things occur in nature—not eternal eidê [ıՀİș] per se. the unified species-typical pattern [ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] of the functional configuration persists as a stable unity precisely because of its dynamic existing as the continuous actualization of its enabling potentials—rather than despite its dynamic manner of existing. It serves as the unifying organizer of the functionally existing ti ên einai and as the telos of the continuous actualizing of entelecheia. a2227) or the single process of teaching and learning (in spite of the fact that to teach and to learn are not the same) (Phys.for all things by nature either always come to be in this way or for the most part. Sec. e. 95 With his conception of entelecheia as the steady actualization of changeable dunameis into the stable. 94 See. ǿ 4. 1044a25-32). In an organism it is the optimum mutual reinforcement of interdependent functions that maximizes capability for self-preservation. dynamic configuration. the stable pattern of the species-configuration determines and links the two dynamic aspects. What constitutes the proper fit and how such a merger occurs depends on the stability of the resulting unity from how the functioning of the parts fit together (fulfill their roles) in the overall functional speciesconfiguration as entelecheia.93 Aristotle illustrates this unifying fit between interacting dunameis with heat and the burnable oil (Metaph.. unified pattern of a functional configuration. organisms existing by ongoing self-renewal are prime. which corresponds to the maximum bond strength. II 8. though complex.”94 In fact then. however.c. b16-22). III 3. Phys. but none of these by luck or chance.. Introduction.3. of uniting change and stability. Metaph. Therefore. MILLER ing on what it interacts with (though not in unlimited ways.g. In either type of functional unity of ousia. Phenomenologically he justifies this on the basis that in nature things come to be in the same way “always or for the most part.80 ALFRED E. 202b5-22. (3) The functionally interdependent unity of dunameis by merger as a joint entelecheia is inseparable from the stability of the merged state. Aristotle in effect resolves the core aporia of the Metaph.95 _________ 93 In a chemical bond this is the minimum Gibbs free-energy. MILLER & MARIA G. more so than artifacts where the ongoing interactive merger occurs via the equilibrium of forces between stable parts. Thus the single entelecheia comes about by the reciprocally determined fit of the interacting potentials into a cooperative. (Cf. ĭ 1.

Furthermore the seed exists as potential [dunamei] and we know how dunamis holds in relation to entelecheia.) Furthermore. so does nature also. like the ones of animals. And in living things the psuchê is such [i. . that for-the-sake-of-which and from necessity [ijր ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį Ȝįվ ijր ԚȠ ԐȟչȗȜșȣ]. The existing of dunameis (there of the seed) in relation to entelecheia is accounted for by invoking hou heneka causation and hypothetical necessity acting in this causal relation. III and must now complete it. for just as thought [ȟȡ‫ף‬ȣ] acts for the sake of something [ԥȟıȜչ ijȡȤ]. because all the natural bodies are instruments [ՐȢȗįȟį] of the psuchê. The account of the psuchê as cause in multiple ways in An. 415b14-20)96 _________ A discussion of thought [ȟȡ‫ף‬ȣ] is beyond the scope of this paper. II 4. since the body is an instrument [ՐȢȗįȟȡȟ] (for each of the parts is for the sake of something [ԥȟıȜչ ijțȟȡȣ] and similar also the whole [ijր Ցȝȡȟ]). And it is evident that the psuchê is also cause as hou heneka [ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį. A similar. the interactive merger that comprises it must be self-stabilizing.. The Stability of Entelecheia by Hou Heneka Causation: Hypothetical Necessity and Optimization of Mutual Functional Enablement as the Good for Ousia 1. both involve hou heneka causation and hypothetical necessity. Here we only can point out that both intentional as well as configurational organizations of natural bodies are functional in nature. The stability of entelecheia as the result of hou heneka causation— today’s dynamic self-optimization. Since the entelecheia that constitutes the configuration exists as the continuous unifying actualization of its functional potentials. Aristotle accounts for the self-stabilizing nature of entelecheia (as well as its persisting unity) on the basis of holistic hou heneka [for-the-sake-of-which] causation. We now examine the mechanism by which the functional fit of its parts constitutes the unity of the species-configuration and also accounts for its inherent stability. (We began consideration of this passage about the psuchê as cause of existing at the end of Sec. therefore it 96 . for-the-sake-of-which].THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 81 C. (An. and this is its telos.e. Therefore there exist these two causes. so also the ones of plants are existents [Րȟijį] for the sake of the psuchê [ԥȟıȜį ij‫׆‬ȣ ȦȤȥ‫׆‬ȣ].. entelecheia is the logos of the potentially existent [ijȡ‫ ף‬İȤȟչμıț Րȟijȡȣ]. more explicit train of thought connecting entelecheia and hou heneka causation is found in PA I 1 (641b23-642a18). therefore.. The stability brought about by hou heneka causal relations adds a new factor to the account of ousia (qua ti ên einai) as the cause of existing by considering its unity with the body. This functional aspect makes the commparison illuminating and fruitful. II 4 (415b8-28) explicates the unity and relationship between entelecheia and the instrumental bodily dunameis in terms of hou heneka causation. a telos as being-alive] according to nature.

including the exptrapolations to the eternal unmoved mover (Metaph. (PA I 1. The ‘for which’ [ijր ȡ՟]. our interpretation of this passage at the end of Sec. besides the food in digestion. On the one hand. since a ‘by which’ [ijțȟվ or ijր ֭] depends on motions by material-efficient interactions (cf. if that [the whole] is to exist. all the reproductive-nutritive activities necessary for reproduction. 416b25-29) Aristotle explicates how that ‘by which’ [֭] the psuchê nourishes the body is the body being active itself (body as Ȝțȟȡ‫ף‬ȟ Ȝįվ Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ). On the other hand. doing “whatever they do [ʍȢչijijıț] for the sake of this. Our translation and interpretation of the double nature of the hou heneka relation is unconventional. however. the ‘for which’ and the ‘by which’. in regard to the reproductive-nutritive psuchê (II 4. Unfortunately.) Aristotle uses the same shorthand formalization of the double nature of the hou heneka relation.” as the making of another thing like itself (in order to participate in the eternal and divine as much as this is possible). the being-alive. this mechanism by which functional parts dynamically fit together and hold themselves in an optimal configuration as telos has generally been misunderstood as ‘tele_________ is [by hypothesis] necessary for it [the whole] to be this kind of thing and out of these kinds of things.. Likewise it follows that the ‘by which’ consists of the bodily functions as instruments. At the end of the same chapter (II 4. 101 on unmoved movers). .. is how the hou heneka relationship accounts for this unity of the psuchê/ti ên einai and for its dynamic stability as entelecheia. the ‘for which’ [ijțȟցȣ or ijր ȡ՟]. MILLER & MARIA G. II 4. 415a25-b8).97 Our question. then. and that for the sake of this [ԚȜıտȟȡȤ ԥȟıȜį] they do [ʍȢչijijıț] whatever they do according to nature. now the preservation of the species rather than the particular ousia. The ontological distinction between ‘for which’ as the telos being an unmoved mover and ‘by which’ as efficient causal interactions and moved mover is further discussed in n.. the efficient causal interactions that maintain the species-configuration [ousia according to the logos] and its self-maintaining functioning. 1072b1-4). Being eternal. There he summarizes the “most natural function for living things. again comprises the means to that end. these processes are self-maintaining only because of the species-configuration [ousia according to the logos] of the psuchê by which they are organized to function holistically. again refers to the telos.” i.e. only one aspect of the hou heneka relation can apply. Ȃ 7. n. The ‘by which’ [ijր ֭]. (Cf.and the hou heneka [ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį] is double [İțijij‫׭‬ȣ]. III. II 7. 101. the preservation of the functional configuration as unity [ousia according to the logos]. 415b20-21). Thus the bodily dunameis act for the sake of the psuchê which they preserve by their functioning. but our interpretation is consistent with the other passages where Aristotle uses these expressions. 102 in regard to the analysis of hou heneka causal relations in Phys. 642a10-13) 97 The quoted passage (II 4 415b14-20) continues by summarizing (and formalizing) what was just said about the hou heneka relationship between psuchê as telos and its instrumental dunameis: “. the ‘for which’ [ijր ijı ȡ՟] as well as the ‘by which’ [Ȝįվ ijր ֭]” (An. the ongoing existing of the psuchê as ousia depends on the efficient causal interactions of the body as its instrument. It follows naturally from the preceding argument that the ‘for which’ is the psuchê as telos. 641b36-642a3.82 ALFRED E. MILLER The interdependent unity of the psuchê as entelecheia and instrumental bodily dunameis is here accounted for by considering the psuchê as telos in a hou heneka relation with the body serving instrumentally for the sake of preserving it as being-alive.

1962). In organisms the parts themselves are dynamic processes stabilized by their internal interactions rather than being stable components that only require stabilizing of their interactions within the larger configuration. Instead. The functional organization of protein molecules. and its holistic causal mechanisms are well understood.98 Today we understand the mechanisms of such dynamic stability between a whole and its parts (the basis of hou heneka causal relations) more precisely than Aristotle could.) 99 Such holistic self-stabilization of entities by the same forces and mechanism that unify them out of their parts is repeatedly encountered in modern science. (Comp. next subsection and n. the basic nature of the holistic selfstabilization is the same: mutually determined functional fit by optimization of interactions in a species-configuration. e. Our task in the following analysis is to define and account for this holistic causal relationship more precisely.g. This reciprocal stabilizing of parts within a unified whole corresponds to how the interactions between the parts of a box hold each other in a cooperatively unified functional configuration. as enzymes. The key is the cooperative nature of these interactions. the telos serves as an unmoved mover in the sense that it is the unified configuration (as ti ên einai) in which functional parts (efficient causal interactions) fit together to perform their roles optimally for the good [Ȝįȝցȟ] of the whole organism (or ousia). II 7.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 83 ology’ in the pejorative sense—as a kind of backward efficient causation from something existing separately from the functional parts.99 Many of _________ 98 Aristotle himself explicitly argues that hou heneka causation is not to be understood as acting like an efficient cause (Phys.. surmised that all types of form in modern physics are ultimately accounted for by so-called cooperative phenomena of this sort (like resonance or crystal structure). Nevertheless. Edward Purcell. the basic principles that he discovered phenomenologically remain valid for today’s physics and biology. II 7. Modern science accounts for the self-stabilization of such holistically functioning systems by the self-optimization of the functional fit among the parts. The functional components hold themselves in the specific pattern by the optimal mutual enablement of interdependent functioning of the parts so that any deviation from this optimum is counteracted. This mechanism of species-configural self-stabilization is manifested under different descriptions in a wide variety of phenomena. the Nobel laureate who demonstrated and accounted for nuclear magnetic resonance. 102 on Phys. 101. Cooperative phenomena are stable entities because of the two-way relationship in which the interactions of the parts constitute a unified whole that in turn stabilizes the functioning of each of its parts (personal communication. he maintains. Thus an unmoved mover as an eidos/telos is not a dunamis at all and so cannot act on the bodily dunameis in a kind of backward efficient causation. is determined by the energetically optimal fit among molecular parts that both shapes them structurally and enables their enzymatic activity. however. Recent discoveries in molecular biology and embryology suggest that the same is true in biology. 198a35-b9). In embryology Nüsslein-Volhard and Wieschaus’s . In both cases.

simple phenomena. in turn. This self-stabilizing mechanism of cooperative phenomena is what Aristotle describes and accounts for in terms of entelecheia. Similarly. Yet. This holistically configured unity. MILLER these are complex. . and the entire structure disintegrates. such as metabolic regulation or quantum resonance states. MILLER & MARIA G. in our physiological example (Sec. any deviation from the optimal interacting relations automatically produces disequilibria that tend to move the system back toward the optimal set of relations defining the species-configuration. Puncture a bubble. like soap bubbles. this whole is something very real with an all-ornothing existence that constantly brings about the continuing existence of its parts and the relations between them. exemplify the basic principles involved in the mechanisms of all these phenomena. This is obvious with a chemical bond or the stable state of an atom. respiratory and circulatory systems and cellular metabolism) functions for the sake of the being-alive as a holistic process. it should be emphasized that the whole that shapes its own parts is not anything besides the unified interactions of the parts themselves.. 100 Here again. Nevertheless.84 ALFRED E. Interrupt a vital function of an organism or its necessary interrelations with the environment. in turn. _________ 1995 Nobel Prize work demonstrated that the differentiation of the egg cell into specialized tissues also depends on interactive stabilization for establishing the basic body plan of the animal at early stages of development. The spherical configuration of soap bubbles results from the self-optimizing equilibrium of the surface-tension forces between soap and water molecules that hold the bubble together. using modern understanding of how the stable species-configurations of dynamic systems are accounted for. then. and the entire unified process of being-alive ceases. the optimizing relationship works in both directions between whole and parts— corresponding to the bi-directionality between whole and parts in the hou heneka causal relation100 —to which we now turn. the stability of blood glucose levels under widely varying conditions of glucose intake and utilization. e. In this way the whole as an optimized cooperative unity holds its parts together and shapes their interactions to sustain the configuration of the whole. is maintained and shaped by the whole so that it fulfills its role as a necessary means for maintaining the whole as being-alive. In effect. integrates and stabilizes the interactions of its parts (the pulls among its soap and water molecules) so they optimally fulfill their roles in the configuration of the spherical bubble. Each system or subprocess. each component (digestive. Moreover. Again.g. The action of the whole (which is the eidos) is the optimized collective effect of all the parts cooperatively acting on each of them. This phenomenon is familiar in modern biology in terms of the homeostasis of physiological systems. we can more easily discern the nature and meaning of Aristotle’s ontological account.1). Because the optimal configuration is determined by the equilibrated interaction of mutually reinforcing functions (as exemplified by the bubble).B. There is no additional stable eidos structure of any kind besides the self-optimizing interactions that stabilize themselves. the configuration as a whole remains stable despite changing constituents and relations of the functioning parts within it. III.

. While generation. II 7 (198a33-b4) explains the mechanism of telos and hou heneka causation as a second archê of motion. Aristotle’s ultimate ontological problem (in the Metaph.e. II 7 (198a33b4) he terms these directions the two principles [archai] of physical motion that work together in hou heneka causation. (Phys. because it does not have the principle of motion in itself [ȡ՘ ȗոȢ Ԥȥıț ȜțȟսIJıȧȣ ԐȢȥսȟ Ԛȟ įՙij‫]׮‬. the opposing cause [ijռȟ ԐȟijțȜıțμջȟșȟ įԼijտįȟ] to “whence the archê of motion [ՑȚıȟ ԭ ԐȢȥս ij‫׆‬ȣ ȜțȟսIJıȧȣ]” (Metaph.e. telos and/as hou heneka causation is distinct by being an unmoved mover: But the principles. A 3. (This distinction between moved and unmoved mover is also emphasized in the preceding passage. 198a35-b4) Thus. hou heneka causation is one of the two physically moving principles [įԽ ԐȢȥįվ įԽ Ȝțȟȡ‫ף‬IJįț ĴȤIJțȜ‫׭‬ȣ] since the telos and hou heneka are inseparable from the efficient causes that act for the sake of the telos. the physically moving ones [įԽ ԐȢȥįվ įԽ Ȝțȟȡ‫ף‬IJįț ĴȤIJțȜ‫׭‬ȣ] are two. These same factors are combined in hou heneka causation. is mostly investigated as the succession [ԚĴıȠ‫׆‬ȣ] of acting and being acted on (i. efficient causation based on moved movers). which causes motion not by being itself in motion but in some other way. As seen earlier. II 7. the key to the causal basis of the unified species-pattern and its stability is the bi-directional self-optimization of the cooperative interactions that constitute it.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 85 2. 198a28-29. just as the completely immovable [ʍįȟijıȝ‫׭‬ȣ ԐȜտȟșijȡȟ] and first [mover] of all things [ʍչȟijȧȟ ʍȢ‫׭‬ijȡȟ] and the whatness [ijվ ԚIJijțȟ] and the shape [μȡȢĴս]. This is the double nature of the hou heneka relation that unites the . Aristotle argues.) is also to account for the unity and stability of species-configurations—despite their dynamic way of existing. 983a30-32). which is the optimal preservation of the whole.. Phys. the functional organization of the ti ên einai as the process of self-preservation is dependent on its species-configuration [ousia according to the logos]. This actualization occurs by interaction of the parts for-the-sake-of the telos. III 2 202a3-5) makes this cause ‘not physical’ [ȡ՘ ĴȤIJțȜս] since being in motion [Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ] is Aristotle’s definition for belonging to nature. i. Nevertheless. The unity and stability of the species-configuration in turn depend on the continuous actualization of functional potentials into the joint entelecheia. In Phys. Aristotle explicitly recognizes this bi-directional causation in the hou heneka relation as well as the mechanisms that account for it in both directions. the physical world (Phys.” Like modern biology and physics. the telos and/as hou heneka is an unmoved mover. because it is a telos and hou heneka [ijջȝȡȣ ȗոȢ Ȝįվ ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį].) Being unmovable [ԐȜտȟșijȡȟ] in this sense (rather than simply being at rest. 185a12-13). Hou heneka causation is bi-directional: the “good” as “unmoved mover” acts via “hypothetical necessity. as well as in De An. of which one is not physical [ȡ՘ ĴȤIJțȜս]. which _________ 101 Phys. As the soap bubble shows. And it is such if something causes moving [while] not being in motion [Ȝțȟı‫ ה‬μռ Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ].101 In generation. The species-configuration of the ti ên einai is the telos (that for-thesake-of-which) of the continuous actualization as entelecheia. I 2.

for how the telos works as that for-the-sake-of-which the efficient causes are active (the bi-directional whole/part relationship). the species-configuration (telos as ousia according to the logos) as unmoved mover is the optimal pattern of mutual enablement among the functional roles of the parts for the best _________ ‘for which’ [ijր ȡ՟] and the ‘by which’ [ijր ֭]. MILLER proceeds over time towards the telos. Ȃ which (qua being eternal) exists as ‘for which’ [ijțȟցȣ or ijր ȡ՟] without a ‘by which’ [ijțȟվ or ijր ֭]. Thus. 99. n. i. not by backward or ‘downward’ efficient causation. albeit with much more detailed understanding of the mechanisms involved. this comes about by interacting potentials merging into a unified configuration by reciprocally determining each other in fitting together (cf. the telos as unmoved mover and the means to this telos.) . II 7 concerns generation.e.86 ALFRED E. mutually determine and enable) each other by acting and being acted on. The telos [as ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį. Understanding this difficult relationship continues to be a burning issue of contemporary embryology. but completely immovable [ʍįȟijıȝ‫׭‬ȣ ԐȜտȟșijȡȟ] like the first mover of all things [ʍչȟijȧȟ ʍȢ‫׭‬ijȡȟ] or whatness [ijվ ԚIJijțȟ] or shape [μȡȢĴս]. (For a discussion of ‘ijր ȡ՟’ and ‘ijր ֭’ see n. The efficient causal interactions between parts move (or. which we only now are in the process of regaining. Instead. then. The priority of the two archai. 104). is unmoved [ԐȜտȟșijȡȟ]— not by being at rest. fn. 97. however. is different ontologically (concerning ousia) than temporally (concerning generation). This distinguishes it from the eternal unmoved mover discussed in Metaph. (For ‘optimization’ see below and n. as discussed earlier in regard to energeia as their joint actualization. as praxeis. As seen. the efficient-causal moved movers. By contrast. the means for-the-sake-of-this] have priority insofar as the embyro is in the process of changing. Yet. but the efficient-causal interactions [as ijȡփijȡȤ ԥȟıȜį. Aristotle conceptualized the problem with astonishing clarity. the second archê of physical motion. While the analysis in Phys. MILLER & MARIA G. also in the developing living embryo.) In the physical motion of generation the telos as unmoved mover cannot exist by itself (because qua eidos as ti ên einai it is the functional configuration and as such it cannot exist apart from the efficient causal interactions of which it is constituted as their configuration). which involves matter (Metaph. further explicated in EE VIII 3 1249b13-18).. that for-the-sake-of-which] has priority in regard to existing. In GA II 6 (742a18-36) Aristotle makes this case for the developing embryo in a complex but astounding argument. the same bi-directional relationship causes the existing as entelecheia. 1072b1-3.. As will be seen. the telos ‘functions’ by being an optimal speciesconfiguration in regard to which the interacting efficient causes move each other to reach an optimally mutually enabling functional state. i. the factors involved in hou heneka causation are more easily discerned than in existing as ousia where the same factors are in the telos at any moment. the hallmark of stability in cooperative dynamic systems. they are moved movers.e. An important consequence of this characterization of the causal role of the telos is that it cannot occur by dunamis-dunamis interactions between whole (qua telos) and its parts. the telos and that for the sake of which the efficient causal parts act. 89 and 91). (Cf. L 7. Causing motion while not being in motion itself is crucial.

The causal relation inherent in hypothetical necessity is hou heneka causation in the sense of the whole (qua telos) determining the nature and interrelations of its own parts. e. viz. 200a13-15. is more fully analyzed in PA (I 1 640a33-35). like (1) that [Ցijț] it it is necessary for this [ԐȟչȗȜș ijրİı] to be out of this [ԚȜ ijȡ‫ף‬İı] (and out of this either haplôs [i. Point (3) states why (1) and (2) are necessarily connected in hou heneka causation. the telos as the ti ên einai...) This necessitating of the functional relations between parts and between the overall configuration and the mutually enabling dunameis is designated as hypothetical necessity [ԚȠ ՙʍȡȚջIJıȧȣ ijր ԐȟįȗȜį‫ה‬ȡȟ] by Aristotle and analyzed as such (or as hou heneka causation) (Phys. esp. i.e. and (3) because [İțցijț] it is better [Ȗջȝijțȡȟ] in this way.e. now connected to each other by hypothetical necessity (“necessary . II 7. Thus. cf.g. Thus. 200a19-24]).102 _________ 102 Having established the telos and hou heneka as unmoved mover and second archê of motion (Phys. PA I 1. and if [ıԼ] it is going to be this [ijȡİտ. as conceptualized and explicated in Phys.. if”). not haplôs [not absolutely]. 198b4-9) Points (1) and (2) speak of the two archai of motion of the immediately preceding passage (198a33-b4). particular thing] (just as from the premise the conclusion [i.. Phys. II 9. but rather [better] in relation to the ousia of each thing [ʍȢրȣ ijռȟ ԚȜչIJijȡȤ ȡ՘IJտįȟ]. out of the material-efficient causal interactions (which other investigators of generation consider to be the only archê of motion). Thus. and the ‘why’ should be given in all senses [ʍչȟijȧȣ Ԑʍȡİȡijջȡȟ ijր İțչ ijվ]. the species-configuration as telos (unmoved mover) moves by determining the necessary functional fit among parts such that these parts move each other into optimal functional relations by their own interactions.. Sec. III). We examine this frequently yoked relationship of hou heneka causation and ‘the good’ in terms of optimization later in this subsection (and n. II 9 (199b34-200b8.. 642a2-18). 104). 198a33-b4). if this [ijȡİվ] particular thing is going to exist. it is necessary for it to be out of this [ԚȜ ijȡ‫ף‬İı]. Aristotle proceeds to state all three factors [İțչ ijվ] involved in hou heneka causation and the way they necessarily belong together: [S]ince nature is for the sake of something [ԥȟıȜչ ijȡȤ].e. (These factors and relationships are beautifully exemplified today by homeostatic regulatory mechanisms in physiology and quantum state resonance and other stabilizing mechanisms in atomic and molecular structures.. II 7.e. How the ti ên einai determines what kinds of parts an entity must have if it is to exist. namely because [İțցijț] it is better for ousia as an existing entity (i. the telos of generation. 200b4-5. and (2) that [Տijț] this would be the ti ên einai. ‘hypothetical necessity’ denotes the aspect of the hou heneka relation that accounts for the stability of the entity by interactively determining the functioning of the parts necessary for the sake of sustaining the whole. 200a7-15). thereby clarifying that the second archê is ousia according to the logos (i.. cf. one also ought to know this [viz. This treatise on the causes why animals consist . always] or for the most part).THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 87 overall functioning of the organism. Point (2) states the second factor [İțո ijտ].. telos and hou heneka cause]. II 9. the functional configuration of the entity. with the same certainty. better for preserving its existing than other configurations would be).e. (Phys.

and others tortuously attempt to interpret this passage as restating the four causes from the beginnning of the chapter rather than analyzing the nature of hou heneka causation itself. II 2 (413a20-b10) and II 3 (entire chapter. 102. 414a29-415a13) he argues that certain perceptual abilities fit together and are necessary for sustaining different levels of animal life. MILLER & MARIA G. Conversely. recognizes essentially the same sentence structure and argument that we propose here. 217. Charlton 1970. 641b23-642a18. 113. A detailed philological analysis further to support this interpretation is beyond the present scope. esp. as applied to organisms in De An. 85-7. to argue and present . 250. It comes out clearly in his stand against Empedocles in An. Zekl 1987. Ross 1936. 527-8. Apostle 1980. It has taken physics and biology two millenia to regain and ground the same insights. II 4 (415b28-416a5) arguing that functionally the head of animals corresponds to the root of plants. Aristotle accomplished this by pure observation and ontological reasoning. In modern physiology such shaping of functional parts by their roles in the whole is familiar in homeostasis. Aristotle devotes an entire work. II 7 in fn. (2) the ti ên einai as telos [ijր ȡ՟].103 _________ of their particular parts (PA II 1. PA I 1. In An. MILLER (Because of the central role of the hou heneka relation in accounting for the nature and ongoing existing of ousia. 646a8-12) is centrally concerned with the interrelationship of hou heneka causation and hypothetical necessity. and PA. the fit of the parts in their functional roles for-thesake-of something [ԥȟıȜչ ijțȟȡȣ]. This corresponds to how the overall configuration of the soap bubble determines the interactive fit among the forces that hold each part in place in the optimized spherical configuration. viz. and (3) as being the good (optimally self-preserving) in relation to ousia. the species-configuration shapes the functional parts (via their reciprocally determining interactions) to perform their roles optimally in preserving the whole. Thus Aristotle’s conception of the telos as an unmoved mover corresponds closely to the modern physical understanding of the stability of configurations as the optimal state of cooperative phenomena. accounting for the mechanism of hou heneka causation requires showing how the three factors comprise a unity: (1) the material-efficient causal interactions. II 7 regarding hou heneka causation is applied to analyze the concrete problems of how organisms are functionally unified and organized. accounts for how they constitute the unity of the organism and its specific configuration. the preservation of the whole as telos. which provide the ‘out of which’ or ‘by which’ [ijր ԚȠ ȡ՟ or ijր ֭]. However. then.) In sum. (E..) In one direction. which are necessary for the sake of sustaining the whole. There the theoretical discussion of Phys. we discuss the explicit treatment of this cause in the Phys.88 ALFRED E. 101. 104. the maintaining of optimal states and relations of the functional parts under varying conditions. Unfortunately. Moreover. PA. 103 That Aristotle saw the necessity of the functional fit of parts in constituting the unity of the configuration is shown repeatedly. In the present paper we argue for this interpretation primarily on the basis of how it enables understanding Aristotle’s ontology. and in relation to each other. which constitutes the configuration within which these sustaining functions are possible. 1932). 37.g. as necessary to sustain optimal overall functioning of the organism (Cannon.

646a7-12. for preserving the ousia as the self-maintaining functional unity of developing and existing entities.. is “that it is better this way for the ousia.) Aristotle.e. Earlier thinkers (“forced by truth itself”) also considered ‘the good’ as a cause in some sense and even as the hou heneka. throughout this work. A argues that the predecessors did not succeed in distinguishing the hou heneka cause clearly from efficient causation. II 4. by contrast. Thus we can use modern insights regarding the mechanisms to show that Aristotle’s conception of holistic causation was on solid ground in regard to such phenomenon. 984b8-22.” i. (Cf. its selfpreservation [IJօȘıț ijսȟ ȡ՘IJտįȟ] (An. 416b14). The overall mechanism that serves as the archê of motion by which the whole determines its functional parts is the optimal pattern of interactions serving as an unmoved mover of the parts. which in turn is (hypothetically) necessitated by the unity of the whole. Aristotle makes it clear that the aspect (direction) of the hou heneka relation being applied is hypothetical necessity where the telos if it is to exist necessitates the materialefficient interactions and not vice versa (641b23-642a18).. conceives of ‘the good’ as entirely integral to the existing and coming to be of self-sufficient entities as ousia. 198b8-9). the cause of unity of the parts [“out of this”] organized according to the ti ên einai. Thus. The optimum that determines the telos of the entelecheia and thereby serves as unmoved mover (optimizer) of their interactions is the good in relation to the organism. As argued earlier. Conversely. the ultimate force behind hou heneka causation. but not as Aristotle conceived it. his conceptual analyses offer deeper understanding of the ontological significance of our more detailed knowledge today by providing a systematic framework for posing and exploring the questions that ground our investigations.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 89 Aristotle also explicitly recognizes the nature of these mechanisms that account for such control of the interacting parts by the whole. 102).. viz. but not that something exists or comes to be for the sake of the good. No one understood how the ti ên einai as the configuration best for the self-sufficient existing of an ousia could cause such existing by being the telos for the sake of which the component efficient causes interact as they do. but [better] in relation to the ousia of each thing [ʍȢրȣ ijսȟ ԛȜչIJijȡȤ ȡ՘IJտįȟ]” (Phys. Conceiving ousia as entity that exists through the good (functional) fit of the parts. Metaph. self-maintaining systems. not as an efficient cause (whence the motion) and not as existing separately from ousia. 104 As quoted earlier (n. viz. Grasping the holistic causal nature of ousia as unmoved mover was also difficult in Aristotle’s time. b27-28). Furthermore. the hou heneka relation exists “because it is better [Ȗջȝijțȡȟ] in this way. A 3. They either took ‘the good’ as a source from which the motion comes or as the cause of ousia. not in an absolute sense [ȡ՘ȥ ԑʍȝ‫׭‬ȣ]. In the methodological discussion of PA I 1 he argues that the ti ên einai determines what kinds of parts an animal must have in order to exist (640a33-b4).104 Hou heneka rela_________ examples of how hou heneka causation is the cause that makes a unity out of its parts (PA II 1. While we have relied for our analysis primarily on the Physics. A 7. 988b6-16. where causation is dealt with explicitly—albeit mostly in regard to motion and change—Aristotle makes use of . Metaph. Metaph. but most explicitly in PA I 1. This is accomplished by being the telos (as ousia according to the logos) for the sake of which the parts function and come to be. was a revolutionary and difficult idea then—and remains so today. as the optimal interactive relation between functional parts for preserving the whole. esp. we explain such unity and stability today by the self-optimization of cooperatively interdependent. II 7.

Thus the general principle that stable. II 2. and give virtually no account of it (PA I 1. 4 ).” . 194a27-33: Aristotle argues that nature [ĴփIJțȣ] as telos and hou heneka does not refer to the ultimate [ԤIJȥįijȡȟ] telos (as is the case in motion and in some poet’s ridiculous fancy that one has a telos. death. Phys. ‘hou heneka’ and ‘telos’ are the good as that for-the-sake-ofwhich motion occurs or ousia exists (Metaph. Unity of the Causes as the Persisting Identity of Ousia and the Basis of Sophia A. Today’s science is still pursuing this basic principle and its consequences. The legitimacy of this ontological extension rests on the analogical relationship between motions and praxeis (worked out in Metaph. which are the functional parts of dynamically existing organisms (cf.” and that all who fail to state this say nothing about nature. viable configurations of organisms are determined by the optimized functional fit among their parts is a pivotal component of his approach to biological understanding. 982b4-11. Cf. MILLER & MARIA G. To the contrary. Toward the end of the methodological introduction PA states that there are these two senses of cause. Ȝįȝցȟ]. A 3. has taken the place of the good [ijռȟ ijȡ‫ ף‬Ȝįȝȡ‫ ף‬ȥօȢįȟ]. V. PA I 5. The Unity of the Causes Constitutes the Ontological Unity of Ousia _________ the same mechanism of hou heneka causation in PA (as repeatedly indicated) and elsewhere (including An. Cf. This powerful insight regarding the key role and nature of hou heneka causal relations arose from the phenomenological necessity of accounting for why certain configurations come to be “always or for the most part” out of components that could be actualized in other ways. 983a27-33: Hou heneka and the good [ԐȗįȚցȟ] are one cause. Thus. as his predecessors assumed. nn. 645a23-26: “For what does not happen by chance but rather for the sake of something [ԥȟıȜչ ijțȟȡȣ] exists most of all in the works [ԤȢȗį] of nature. the hou heneka and “hypothetical necessity. Metaph. MILLER tions are repeatedly characterized as for the sake of the good [ԐȗįȚցȟ. or the telos is said to be the better [Ȗջȝijțȡȟ] or as taking the place of the good [Ȝįȝցȟ]. II 4) in accounting for the self-preservation of organisms. 105 Cf. so-to-speak. 988b6-16). 89 and 90).90 ALFRED E. A 7. and the telos forthe-sake-of-which [hou heneka] they are composed [IJȤȟջIJijșȜıȟ] or have come to be. for the sake of which one came to be) but rather to the best [ȖջȝijțIJijȡȟ]. A 2. Aristotle recognizes that configurations of existing species depend on the functional fit among their parts being better for enabling the selfmaintaining functioning of the whole than other thinkable configurations. 642a2-18).105 The good in this context is not to be taken as the source of motion or the source of ousia.

II 2 announces the typical transition from the descriptive analysis of the psuchê (as better known to us) to its causal account (413a11-20). Sec. in fact.DE). rely on the same holistic causal relation to account for their dynamic manner of existing and mechanisms of self-stabilization. Unity of the Causes as the Persisting Identity of Ousia and the Basis of Sophia A. As a corollary the seeming stability of such entities is found to require a dynamic causal mechanism to account for stabilizing their configuration and identity which exist as dynamic processes. These relations are key to resolving the aporetic problems encountered in establishing the dynamic ontology. Reprise of the central ontological role of the causes. as united by hou heneka relations). . and De An. presumed more modern philosophical positions. The most striking features of the causal level of Aristotle’s ontology uncovered by our interpretation are the necessary dynamic accounts of entities that traditional philosophy as well as 17th-19th century science has always taken for granted as the stable basis of everything else. This discloses Aristotle’s ontology. As in many other works. An. as far closer to the worldview of 20th century science (and today’s thought in general) than are other. using an artifact model. we concentrated on the central role of holistic causal relations (the ti ên einai. ousia according to the logos and entelecheia. enable Aristotle’s reconception of the ontology of ousia in terms of holistic. The completed conceptual and causal ontological framework provides a consistent systematic account of the existing of stable entities as well as organisms. Here comparison of the Metaph.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 91 V. To demonstrate the systematic coherence and consistency of this dynamic ontological paradigm. The ongoing existing of ordinary entities is found to occur as the continuous self-sufficient causal process of self-preservation rather than as simple inertly persisting presence. I. II shows how these roles of the causes are used to ground the ontology of ousia in the Metaph. These methodological principles and tightly structured argument of the Metaph. Then. dynamic causal relations. Sec. which obviously embody highly dynamic modes of existing. This causal account provides understanding of those characteristics and relations as ‘better known by nature’ and also resolves the aporetic problems uncovered in the preliminary analysis (cf. Both works. The Unity of the Causes Constitutes the Ontological Unity of Ousia 1. is especially valuable since the one treats primarily stable entities while the other accounts for living beings. however.

II 1 (412b11-25). it might not seem obvious from this passage alone that these causes refer back and account for the characteristics of the psuchê analyzed in An.. II 1. II 1.1. however. for the psuchê is the cause [as] whence the motion [ՑȚıȟ ԭ ȜտȟșIJțȣ] and hou heneka [ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį] and as the ousia [թȣ ԭ ȡ՘IJտį] of living bodies. Metaph. that the causal account in An. II 4 to denote the features of ousia analyzed in II 1. These texts employ the terminology used for the causes in An. A 3. The ti ên einai is not specifically mentioned. Further. A final important point in the causal account of being-alive is the unity of the causes inherent in the psuchê. .3). MILLER & MARIA G. II. Unity of the causes in An.g.1). then.C. II 4 (415b12-13) can be taken as equivalent to the ti ên einai described in its functional-causal role in An. Therefore. Z 17.B.” (983a27-33). This is further confirmed by the analysis of the causal role of the ti ên einai in Metaph. And these [cause and archê] are said in many ways. Aristotle states his own conception of the four causes and considers ousia and ti ên einai as one cause: “. II 4 begins: And the psuchê is cause and archê [įԼijտįț Ȝįվ ԐȢȥս] of the living body. III. b27-28) Aristotle introduces the ti ên einai qua ousia as the “primary cause of existing” [įՀijțȡȟ ʍȢ‫׭‬ijȡȟ ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț].106 We have already discussed how entelecheia as “the logos of the potentially existent” (415b14-15) is (qua logos) ousia [according to the logos]. A 3 explicitly links ousia as cause with the ti ên einai as cause. It is not unclear. Most of all. II 4. we say one cause [μțչȟ μպȟ įԼijտįȟ] is ousia and the ti ên einai .4 explicates the conceptual account of the psuchê in An. MILLER 2... Z 17 (1041a26-30. and similarly the psuchê is a cause in three senses that have been distinguished. we discussed how the hou heneka relation serves as the causal mechanism that accounts for ongoing entelecheia as the stable dynamic unity in which the psuchê is the telos (as ȡ՘IJտį Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ) for the sake of which the bodily potentials serve as instrument [ՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ] (cf. the same terminology used in An. II. ousia as cause of being [įՀijțȡȟ ijȡ‫ ף‬ıՂȟįț] invoked in An. and we had to make clear how entelecheia (415b14-15) relates to ousia and hou heneka causation. Sec.. which state this same relationship between the body as ՌȢȗįȟțȜցȟ and the psuchê as entelecheia. Sec. before discussing his predecessors’ opinions. (An. the species-configuration that brings about the functional organization of the bodily potentials (e. II 4 (415b12-13). In Metaph.. which accounts for the unity of the characteristics of the psuchê itself. 415b8-12) If we had not explicitly linked the conceptual analysis of the psuchê in An. the connection between the conceptual definitions of the _________ 106 In Metaph. II 4 does indeed ground the characteristics of the psuchê identified in the definitions of II 1. Other passages also reveal this linkage of the causes to An.92 ALFRED E. IV. The pertinent passage of An. II 1 to the causes discussed here and in the following lines (415b8-28).

Z 3 maintains that learning comes about from things less known by nature.THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 93 psuchê in II 1 and its causal account in II 4 is supported by Aristotle’s general methodological principle that the causal account established as better known by nature must ground the characteristics initially analyzed descriptively (cf. Thus.e. I. but more known to us.e... are interdependent grounds of being-alive as its self-maintaining functioning and its unifying and selfstabilizing species-configuration (Sec.108 _________ See. 107 108 . e. repeatedly suggests that these three causes are somehow the same or comprise a unity. organizes and shapes the functioning of the body as instrument [րȢȗįȟțȜցȟ] for the sake of preservation of its own being [IJօȘıțȟ ijռȟ ȡ՘IJտįȟ].g. in fact. Persisting Identity as the Ongoing Process Uniting Self-maintenance and Species-configuration in the Hou Heneka Causal Relation The three causes presented in An. 198a24-27. II 4. Metaph. which in this context consists entirely of the vegetative dunameis [ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ]. the principles and causes).D-E). As the species-typical configuration [ȡ՘IJտįȟ Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] it is the telos that integrates. The unified organization of the process of self-maintenance is dependent on the configuration [ȡ՘IJտįȟ Ȝįijո ijրȟ ȝցȗȡȟ] of causal relations that bring it about (Sec.. An. having learned how the conceptual components of the descriptions of the psuchê in An. Introduction. Phys. II 4. III. in terms of principles and causes) what “first is known to us only slightly [ԬȢջμį ԚIJijվ ȗȟօȢțμį] and holds little or nothing of the existent [qua existing] [μțȜȢցȟ ԰ ȡ՘Țıȟ Ԥȥıț ijȡ‫ ף‬Րȟijȡȣ]” (Z 3 1029b3-12). then. Without this causal knowledge. The psuchê as ti ên einai is the cause of existing (ousia). II 1 are causally interrelated gives us knowledge [epistêmê] of how the psuchê and living entities exist as such. makes known to us (i. their beingness as known by nature. i. which in turn enables its functioning to maintain the dunameis of the ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ. At the beginning of the ousia analysis Metaph. H 4.B. II 7. In this process the psuchê is also a moving cause in acting on food.C).107 The analysis in An. In the overall process of using food to nourish the body and bring about self-maintenance. and occurs by advancing [μıijįȖįտȟȡȟijįȣ] from there to what is known by nature (i. then. As cause of existing it maintains the body.3). the psuchê serves as the bi-directional hou heneka [for-the-sake-of-which] cause. by digesting it from something unlike the body into something like it. B. Aristotle. Knowing things by nature. 1044a33-b1. we know little or nothing about existing things [ijո Րȟijį].B and IV.e. II 4 of the cycle of self-preservation by the nutritive psuchê [ȚȢıʍijțȜռ ȦȤȥս] (using food and the bodily potentials to nourish the organism) also exemplifies this unity of the causes. 416b20-29. III.

MILLER & MARIA G. the unchanging nature of the eidos was all that seemed needed to account for the continued existing and persisting identity of the entity. this configuration brings about stable continuous actualization (qua entelecheia) of the material potentials into the same persisting configuration that maintains the entity. we can now more fully understand Aristotle’s points characterizing the knowledge of first principles and causes that the wise person [IJȡĴցȣ] has about being as such. (1) It is knowledge [epistêmê] that is universal/general because it applies to all self-sufficiently existing entities (ousiai). Aristotle first provided a consistent temporal account for the characteristics of entities previously attributed to the statically conceived eidos. With this dynamic ontology of ousia. A 2 (982a4-b10) from where our investigation started. which also was assumed to account for the same cluster of characteristics. Therefore. not by knowing each and every thing but by having knowledge of them in a general way. The causes form a unity precisely because they jointly constitute the dynamic grounding of the originally (Platonic) statically conceived eidos. it was necessary to reconceive the continuing sameness (persisting) of entities in a correspondingly dynamic way. however. He accounted for this dynamic stability of composite interactive unities on the basis of their cooperative functional fit in a species-configuration (cf. viz. then.. IV). (2) It is knowledge hard to acquire because it is furthest removed from immediate perception. Sophia: The Knowledge of First Principles and Causes. As telos of the functional roles of its parts. he reconceived the nature of existing itself as the active functional process of self-preservation through time brought about by the ti ên einai. The static eidos was understood as constituting the species-typical and individual identity of entities by uniting and delimiting them by means of a particular kind of form [μȡȢĴս] or schema. what constitutes their existing as ousia. but unrelated ways. The self-maintenance of the individual entity and its dynamic.94 ALFRED E. At the same time. because existence was conceived simply as persisting presence. Returning to Metaph. but stable species-configuration depend causally on each other in the hou heneka relation whose outcome is the unitary existing as entelecheia. To match this dynamic and consequently changeable nature of existing. MILLER Thus. ‘Forced by the truth itself’. C. the unity of the causes thematized here is not an arbitrary coincidence in the sense that the same thing happens to serve as a cause in several different. Aristotle saw that the holistic unity of entities consisting of distinguishable parts can only be conceived in dynamic functional terms (best demonstrated by organisms). the . Perceptual knowledge is what is better known to us. Sec.

and in De An. in the same sense nature also [acts]. It is because of this knowledge and from this knowledge [İțո ȗոȢ ijį‫ף‬ijį Ȝįվ ԚȜ ijȡփijȧȟ] that all other things become known [ȗȟȧȢտȘıijįț].THE ONTOLOGY OF BEING-ALIVE 95 starting point of the investigation. (5) This knowledge is most governing [ԐȢȥțȜȧijչijș]. Aristotle conceives perceptual and noetic activities as inseparable from their meaningfulness for the organism as a whole. First principles and causes are those that ground ousia itself. stable existing of entities.D. (4) It is knowledge for its own sake. Aristotle offers powerful insights about the relation between the nature of existing and our understanding of _________ 109 We have presented an interpretation of Aristotle’s conceptual framework for the primary psuchê [ȚȢıʍijțȜցȟ] without which being-alive is impossible. (3) It is more fundamental knowledge [ԐȜȢțȖջIJijıȢȡȟ] because the first principles are fewer in number than those in the special sciences..—as well as what the consequences of this conception are for our understanding of the world. We have seen that ‘the good’ in relation to ousia is its unity and selfpreservation brought about by the species-typical configuration of fitting material-efficient causal interactions. The good and/as hou heneka [ijԐȗįȚցȟ Ȝįվ ijր ȡ՟ ԥȟıȜį]. I. we would maintain that the conceptual and causal framework analyzed here is paradigmatic for the higher functions as well. This is knowledge in the highest degree [ijռȟ μչȝțIJijį ԚʍțIJijսμșȟ] since it is the basis of all sciences by establishing the unitary. the existing of all entities. not conversely that the principles of ousia become known because of things underlying [İțո ij‫׭‬ȟ ՙʍȡȜıțμջȟȧȟ] (like matter). not for practical use. and this is its telos.e. is crucial for sophia as one of the causes that this epistêmê contemplates [ȚıȧȢı‫ה‬ȟ].. however. 23. On the contrary. This should not be understood as implicitly reducing the higher functions of animal and human life to mere physiological processes. then.[J]ust as nous works for the sake of something. 109 Much remains to be thought about the nature of these first principles and how they are established in the Metaph.1. the ‘organism as a whole’ is most significantly (but not only) defined by linguistic and socio-cultural factors. since it knows the good for-the-sake-of which each thing [ԥȜįIJijȡȟ] is to be brought about [ʍȢįȜijջȡȟ] as it exists. 415b16-17. (These points were sketched first in Sec. fn. This first-hand knowledge requires conceptual thematization and analysis of the logical difficulties [aproiai].) In beinghuman. But this is a topic for another day. i.) Our analysis makes a start at showing how this knowledge characteristic of a wise person [IJȡĴցȣ] becomes expressed in the founding principles of Aristotle’s ontology of ousia. which then in their different aspects are the subject matter of special sciences.” II 4. .. (“. in terms of for-the-sake-of-which relationships that integrate these functions into the overall unity of being-alive.

Finally our thanks go to Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker who first planted the seeds for our pursuit of the relevance of Greek thought for contemporary problems. MILLER & MARIA G.96 ALFRED E. Kurt Pritzl. Harvey Stupler. Robert Sokolowski. Our challenge is to recapture and use them anew in approaching today’s problems. With gratitude we would also like to thank our friends and colleagues.110 THE CATHOLIC UINIVERSITY OF AMERICA _________ 110 Our heartfelt thanks go first to Daniel Dahlstrom whose friendship and collegial help has sustained us for many years through his unwavering belief that philosophical issues can be clarified and that this is important. MILLER it—insights as valid today as then. Richard Pfanzelt and Eric Miller for their intellectual support and encouragement in many discussions and their personal warmth and commitment during the long gestation of these ideas. .

I paraphrase what I think are the main claims of this challenging and insightful paper. Summary Analysis The explicitly stated general aim of their paper is to propose a dynamic reinterpretation of Aristotle’s basic ontological paradigm of ousia in the Metaphysics. It is just such a delicate balancing act between ancient and modern perspectives that every interpreter of Aristotle must attempt. so to speak. F. and the Millers provide us with the skilled high-wire act of two scholars well acquainted with both perspectives. 251. 3 (ed. Finally. since I have no head for heights. See also W. with reference to specific questions. Given Darwin’s praise of Aristotle. CLEARY Introduction Not long ago Max Delbrück 1 half-jokingly suggested that Aristotle be posthumously awarded the Nobel prize for the discovery of DNA. My task as commentator is to assess the merits of this claim from both the ancient and modern perspectives. Secondly. Now it seems that the professors Miller have quite seriously claimed that Aristotle should be credited with the discovery of functional systems in dynamic equilibrium. I raise some doubts about a number of the claims being made by the Millers. as exemplified especially by living organisms. Darwin). London: Murray. I. my contribution will seem very pedestrian and it may never even get off the ground. so as to stimulate discussion within the scholarly commu- _________ See M. Delbrück (1971).2 there are some grounds for interpreting Aristotle positively from the perspective of modern biology.COMMENTARY ON THE MILLERS JOHN J. with reference to a contemporary scholarly debate. p. I press them to clarify where they stand on Aristotle’s view about the relation between the soul and the body. By contrast. 1 2 . Kullmann (1978). yet there is also the hermeneutical difficulty of remaining true to his ancient problematic and its presuppositions. First. See The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin Vol. 1888.

In any event. . (b) On the other hand. where the Millers draw parallels with the modern ontology of organism. (3) that the species-configuration aspect of the ti ên einai exists by continuous actualization as entelecheia. as witnessed by typical translations of the term as substance or essence. conceptualized as the ti ên einai. involving a comparison of the ontology of substance in Aristotle’s Metaphysics and De Anima. In both cases. psychê as the being-alive of the organism. the Millers claim that this passage introduces the conceptual framework for reconceiving the nature of the psychê dynamically.98 JOHN J. is constituted by its various life-functions. the species-configuration (kata ton logon) that constitutes the telos. and they also compare it with the dynamic understanding of comparable phenomena in modern biology and physics. (2) that the psychê is conceived of as a dynamic process of the ti ên einai. there is a modern dimension. Using DA II.1. not by static parts as in the case of artifacts like a box or a table. there is an ancient dimension. which allegedly stem from a static conception of ousia in Metaphysics VII-IX. 412a21-b25 as evidence for the existence of psychê as a constantly changing dynamic process. so perhaps it will prove helpful to readers if I paraphrase some of its major claims in slightly different terms. by contrast with the static conception of existence held by Aristotle’s predecessors. But it was only after many rereadings that I grew accustomed to the peculiar terminology used by the Millers in this paper. as in the case of artifacts. CLEARY nity. They discuss how their reinterpretation can be applied to De Anima in order to account for the nature of being-alive (to zên). which is to be interpreted as the self-maintaining functioning of being-alive rather than as a static structure that then functions secondarily. Since the first thesis is uncontroversial. The basic framework used to account for the nature of being-alive consists of the following elements: the ongoing actualization of instrumental dynameis that yields a telos as a dynamically stable state (entelecheia). and ‘existing as what it is’ (ti ên einai) as the self-maintaining functioning brought about by the organization of its species-configuration. Thus there are two different dimensions to the Millers’ project: (a) On the one hand. the three central interpretive theses of the Millers’ paper are as follows: (1) that Aristotle applies the eidos/hulê ontology of ousia to resolve the aporiai about the psychê/body relation in De Anima. In effect. which is unified and stabilized through hou heneka causality. they want to reject traditional misinterpretations. I will focus almost entirely on the second and third theses which constitute the core of the paper.

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On the basis of their reconception of psychê, the Millers claim that Aristotle adds holistic modes of causation to traditional material and efficient modes; e.g. ti ên einai as cause of ongoing existing (aition tou einai) and for-the-sake-of-which causation, which accounts for the unity and stability of the continuous actualization of the species-configuration as entelecheia. By means of their apt example of a candle flame, the Millers try to render more plausible the notion of the existence of an entity in terms of a steady self-maintaining process. Their example illustrates how the holistic configuration of causal relations brings about the self-sufficiency of the flame as a persisting entity. In summary, the cycle of efficient causes that constitutes the flame maintains itself by the cooperative functioning of its component actions that collectively bring about the utilization of wax and oxygen to keep the overall process going. However, any reductionist physical account in terms of efficient causal interactions proves insufficient to explain the continued functioning of the complete self-maintaining system, and so for this we need a configuration of functional components. In the case of living things, this is none other than the appropriate speciesconfiguration of the organism which enables it to maintain itself as a whole by consuming resources for sustaining its own existence. Thus the whole must be organized to supply the functioning needs of its parts and to sustain the functional relationships among them that bring about their cooperative functioning as that whole. According to the Millers, this is the real meaning of self-maintenance and such functioning constitutes the ti ên einai as the cause of existing. In this way, according to the Millers, Aristotle is able to resolve the aporia in the Metaphysics about how the ti ên einai constitutes both the existing individual and the species-typicality of an entity. For example, the functioning of sight in the eye is its particular beingness (ousia), like the psychê of an organism, but it is also its species-typical beingness; i.e. ousia kata ton logon. The species-configuration of an organism is not an additional efficient or material cause but rather the appropriate arrangement of efficient causes that fit together in a self-maintaining functional whole. Yet the species-configuration still plays an active causal role in the existing and persisting identity of all entities. For example, the configuration of a flame accounts for how the functional parts are organized into a self-sustaining unity that is capable of functioning holistically in ways typical of the kind of thing it is. For organisms, however, the nature of the configuration is especially puzzling because it is constantly undergoing changes to itself so as to adapt to its environment. Thus the Millers do not find it surprising that a core issue of modern biology is this mutual en-

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ablement of configuration and functioning; e.g. the interdependence of the vegetative functions needed for the being-alive of any animal. II. Doubts and Objections According to the Millers, therefore, the nexus of functional relations accounts for the ongoing existence and persisting identity of an organism. But it is unclear to me whether they regard this is an instance of change (kinêsis) or of activity (energeia) in Aristotle’s terms.3 One crucial difference is that a change happens over a definite (and finite) period of time during which the potentiality for change is eventually exhausted, whereas an activity is complete in each moment but yet does not exhaust the correlative potentiality. For example, the growth of a human being from an embryo to a mature adult involves a process of change, whereas that person being engaged in thinking would constitute an activity. Judging from their frequent use of terms like energeia and entelecheia, it would appear that the Millers have activity primarily in mind, though Aristotle uses both of these terms to define change and to describe different kinds of change; cf. Phy. 201a27-31, 201b31-33, 202a7-8. For instance, the actualization of the potential for species-form involves a process or change (kinêsis) which is completed when a living organism comes into existence. This is different from the activity (energeia) of continual self-preservation of the organism, which seems to be what the Millers have in mind when they propose their dynamic reconception of the psychê as the overall functional process of being-alive. Unfortunately, they continue to use the terms energeia and entelecheia as if these designated particular substances rather than the mode of being of such substances. Since potentiality and actuality are modes of being that apply to all genera of being (i.e. the categories), it seems to me misleading to use them as substantive terms. In any case, the Millers lay down two requirements for the viability of a living thing: a species-configuration must organize the functional components of an organism into a holistically integrated process of selfmaintenance, and also continuously actualize the relations of those components into the stable unity of the whole that constitutes the persistence of the same configuration. While the Millers concede that Aristotle nowhere explicitly connects entelecheia with hou heneka causation, yet they refer to PA I for his account of how hou heneka relations are the cause of unity and functional fit among the parts of animals. The Millers rightly

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3 In their revised version of this paper the Millers have now clarified their view that the ongoing existence of an organism is an activity rather than a change.

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warn against any misunderstanding of Aristotle’s teleology as a kind of backward efficient causation from something independently existing, and they refer to Physics II.7, 198a35-b-9 where he argues that hou heneka causation is not to be understood as acting like an efficient cause. A potential difficulty for their interpretation arises from the fact that the eternal species-form must act through the bearer/parent on the material for generation, and it is also both temporally and ontologically prior. Yet if the continued survival or self-preservation of the organism were dependent solely on the activity of the species-form (without the appropriate matter) then the individual organism could be eternal, or at least imperishable. But the only example in Aristotle of such an enduring conjunction of kinêsis and energeia is to be found in the circular motion of the heavenly bodies, which involves both their natural potential for motion and also the characteristic activity of their species-forms. It is no accident, I think, that both Plato and Aristotle conceived of rational thought in terms of the circular motion of the heavenly bodies. However, this cannot serve as Aristotle’s model for conceiving of the relationship of the human soul to its body, since human beings are mortal unlike the heavenly entities which he took to be immortal. Furthermore, despite what the Millers seem to assume, the modern evolutionary perspective on species-configuration differs from Aristotle’s view of species as fixed and not historically adaptive to the environment, even though they ‘feed off’ their surroundings through psychic functions like nutrition and perception. Of course, it is reasonable to suggest that Aristotle would have regarded living organisms as being well-adapted to their environment for the purposes of survival and self-propagation, but that is different from the sort of ‘feed-back’ effect of the environment on the organism that Darwin envisaged. The only approximation to such an effect in Aristotle is where he talks about the circular motion of the heavenly bodies, and specifically the oblique orbit of the sun, as causing the cycle of the seasons and thereby effecting the generation of living things; cf. Met. 1071a15-18. In this way the eternal motion of the universe serves as a subsidiary efficient cause for the generation of living things in the sublunary realm due to the special kind of heat provided by the sun. But yet for Aristotle actuality is prior (in every important sense, including temporally)4 to potentiality, so that he posits eternal forms as the formal causes of these organisms, and ultimately he appeals to an eternal unmoved mover as a final cause for the existence of a unified cosmos. There-

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See J.J. Cleary (1988).

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fore, unlike Darwin, Aristotle did not think that time plays any significant causal role in the development of organic species, even though he accepted that the individual organisms which instantiate each species are born and perish in time. For Aristotle the species are unchanging forms, by contrast with modern species, conceived of as historically stable patterns of organization. On the other hand, the eternal species-form must act efficiently through the male parent on the material for generation, and so it is both temporally and ontologically prior. What does all this have to do with the Millers’ paper, given that they have not taken any position on the compatibility of Aristotle’s notion of species-form with modern evolutionary theory? Well, I am still unsure as to where they stand on the issue, despite the parallels which they have drawn between ancient and modern approaches to biology. I am sure that they are aware of the controversies among contemporary Aristotelian scholars. For instance, the late David Balme (1980) thought that Aristotle’s philosophy of biology does not exclude the possibility of the evolution of species but rather that he never considered it due to lack of empirical evidence. On the other hand, James Lennox (2001) holds that Aristotle is committed to the fixity of species, which rules out the possibility of evolution.5 Still, Lennox does not think that Aristotle is necessarily committed to eternal forms, even though the species may continue to exist throughout all time due to the continual propagation of individual instances of the species. III. Functionalism and Dualism It is also unclear to me where the professors Miller stand with respect to the traditional mind/body problem. For instance, they claim that Aristotle’s application of the ontology of ousia to the nature of organisms lays the foundation for dealing with the difficult problem of accounting for the causal relations between psychê and body in both directions. While material causation (i.e. changes in bodily parts that affect the functional whole) seems unproblematic, there is still a problem concerning the way in which the psychê, as the principle of unity for the whole, affects the functioning of its own parts. The Millers claim that, for Aristotle, the important question is how the whole controls the actions of its own parts. They claim that the whole does not act on its parts by efficient causation but rather by facilitating the optimal shaping of their actions on each other; i.e. through

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5 For a good discussion of this issue, see D.M. Balme (1972, p. 97), and J.G. Lennox (1985 p. 90).

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for-the-sake-of-which (hou heneka) causation. The controlling action of the whole on each part is simply the organized action of all the other parts in accord with the species-configuration necessary for the entity to exist as what it is. But, despite its intrinsic plausibility, it is not completely clear to me how this analysis maps on to what Aristotle actually says in De Anima when he defines soul as the form of an organic body potentially having life; cf. DA 412a20-22. In the light of this passage we could review three possible ways in which the soul as a form might be related to body: (1) as a form which is a structural or physical feature of matter; (2) as a form which is supervenient but dependent for its existence on immediate physical features of matter; (3) as a form which does not depend on material features for its existence. The latter possibility might cover Platonic dualism but that is obviously not Aristotle’s view about the relation of soul and body, though it might capture his view of the relationship between intellect and body. The first possibility could be described as a kind of reductive physicalism, while the second would be some sort of dualism. What remains unclear to me is how the Millers would characterize the view of Aristotle, given their analysis of his teleological functionalism. They claim that the materialists and dualists (both ancient and modern) are making the same mistaken ontological assumption; namely, that the ongoing existence and identity of organisms are grounded in statically persisting substrates. Thus the functional activities typical of being-alive are assumed to exist only as ephemeral activity-attributes of the corresponding unchanging substrate, which has an inherent potential for such activities. Such statically conceived existence will require causal explanation only when things are coming to be, whereas dynamically conceived existence requires causation that actively sustains it throughout life. As Robert Heinaman (1990) points out, however, there are persuasive reasons for thinking that Aristotle regarded all forms, including the soul, as immaterial entities. Thus he considers Aristotle to be a kind of dualist, just as does Christopher Shields (1988) who regards him as being a supervenient dualist with respect to properties of mind and body, rather than with respect to substrates, as in the case of radical Cartesian dualism. This would fit with Aristotle’s rejection of Plato’s separation of soul from body, as well as with his opposition to Empedocles for trying to reduce the soul to the elements. Shields admits that Aristotle’s anti-reductivism is compatible with materialism, but claims that the best overall interpretation of Aristotle’s position is that he is a ‘supervenient dualist’. I am therefore pressing the Millers either to describe Aristotle’s position in these modern

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analytic terms, or else to tell us whether it is at all possible to situate his view of the relationship between soul and body within the context of the modern (post-Cartesian) debate. This is hardly an unreasonable request, given that their paper tries to show how Aristotle’s biology can be better understood from the perspective of self-regulating and dynamic systems in modern biology. Conclusion What the history of Aristotelian scholarship shows is that Aristotle’s texts are like potentialities that can be actualized in different ways, depending on the presuppositions of the interpreter. It is very tempting to read Aristotle as the grandfather of modern biology but there are real dangers of anachronism. If species-forms are eternal for Aristotle, they cannot be products of historical evolution, as Darwin suggested. Does this make any difference for our understanding of the functioning of species-forms within shorter periods of time? Well, for one thing, the hypothesis of eternal species-forms implies that the development of the human species is not open-ended but is rather determined by an actually existing form. Thus for Aristotle there can be no ‘hopeful monsters’ (in Stephen Jay Gould’s terms)6 but only monsters that deviate from the norm to no particular purpose. In effect, all such deviations from the ideal are hopeless accidents. Secondly, when we ask about Aristotle’s views on the relation of the soul to the body, we find modern interpreters attributing to him positions that range from emergent dualism all the way to a radical identity theory. There are at least two possible explanations of this curious state of affairs: either Aristotle held very nuanced or even ambiguous views on the relationship between soul and body, or he was not thinking about the problem in the same way as modern philosophers of mind. The Millers suggest that Aristotle’s rejection of the materialism and dualism of his predecessors can be used as evidence to infer an implicit rejection of modern dualism and reductive materialism with regard to the relation between mind and body. But perhaps such an inference runs the risk of making the anachronistic assumption that the post-Cartesian problem-situation is the same as that in which Aristotle developed his psychology.
BOSTON COLLEGE & NUI MAYNOOTH (IRELAND)

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6

See S.J. Gould (1985, pp. 371-3).

1 & 2. Grinnell. On the Many Senses of Priority in Aristotle. Gotthelf. P. (tr.. New York. H. Cannon. 1974. (tr. “Aristotle’s Conception of Final Causality.” in Philosophical Issues in Aristotle’s Biology (eds. 1992. Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Aristotle.) 1985. Cambridge.B. (ed. Hamburg. W.). Seidl. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy. Aristotle. J. J. Bonitz.) 1966.-G.” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie LXII: 1-12. Lennox. A.) 1987. 1988. Hamburg. Aristotle’s Physics. W. M.) 1987. Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Wahrheit und Methode. Aristotle.) 1968. A.G. Oxford.D. New Essays on Plato and Aristotle. Aristotle on Nature and Living Things. New York: Columbia University Press. J. T. Gotthelf & J. _______ 1961. _______ 1981. Notre Dame.) 1989. J. I & II. Finnemann. G. H.). Physics I & II. Grinnell.P. H.) 1965. Aristotelis. Parts of Animals. Secondary Texts Annas. (tr. (ed.V. Bd. A. Über die Seele. 1987. Oxford. Cambridge. “Aristotle’s Biology was not Essentialist. H. Andersen. _______ 1980. Tübingen. Aristoteles. (tr. II. Oxford. (tr.) 1972/1992. _______ 1936.D. Aristoteles’ Metaphysik. Theiler. .G. Loeb Classical Library. and Christiansen. C.MILLERS/CLEARY BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Aristotelian Texts Apostle.M. Seidl. Philosophical Issues in Aristotle’s Biology. Cambridge: University Press: 204-242. Emmeche. Zekl. Blair. Ross.A. (ed.) 1995. Oxford Classical Texts. (ed.G. 2000.. Monod & E. De Anima. Rowan J. Hicks. Oxford. W. De Anima. Gotthelf. Pittsburgh. F. Aristotle’s De Anima II & III (With Passages from Book I). Aristotle’s Metaphysics.1-3).) 2001. A. Peck. Energeia and Entelecheia: “Act” in Aristotle. Charlton. H.). Balme.) 1984.B. 1971 “Aristotle-totle-totle. (tr. _______ 1961. Gotthelf A.) 1942. Lennox). Oxford.W. Delbrück. I. 1980. Cleary. Balme. W. Borek). (ed.M. Aristotle’s On the Soul. Cambridge. Ottawa. (tr. D. On the Parts of Animals I-VI. 1995. J. R.G. (tr. P. _______ 1956. Loeb Classical Library. Hamburg. Bambrough. (tr. Studies in the Philosophy of Biology. Oxford. Oxford.. Oxford.) 1907. (eds.” in Microbes and Life (eds. T. Generation of Animals. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. and Dobhansky. Downward Causation. (tr. D. Aquinas. The Wisdom of the Body. New York. Cambridge.) 1970 Aristotle. Berkeley. Ayala. Aristotele. (ed. Hamlyn. Oxford. H. Aristoteles’ Physik I-IV. D.) 1924. 1932. R. Vol. Bd. Vol. 1960. De Anima. Gadamer. (tr. and Lennox. Aristotle’s Physics.O.L. N. De Partibus Animalium I and De Generatione Animalium I (With Passages from II. Aristotle.J. Aarhus.G.

In Gotthelf and Lennox (eds.): 289-302. 1962. T. Aristotle and the Earlier Peripatetics. A.) 1996. (ed. Aristotle’s Biology was not Essentialist. G.) 1994.) 1995. and Gill. K. M. Nussbaum.) 1970. Halper. Heinaman. In Ayala and Dobzhansky (eds. M. and Stengers. Unity. W. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science Vol. M.) 1992. 159.” Review of Metaphysics 58. Toronto. Zeller. _______ 1992 Platon: Sophistes.): 291-312. Lennox. In Bambrough (ed.” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 6: 103-137. F. P. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.). Miller. M. Aristotle’s Distinction between Energeia and Kinesis. (trs. 1987. Order out of Chaos.” Phronesis 35: 83-102. T.T. Bickhard. The Crossroads of Norm and Nature: Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics and Metaphysics. 1996. Aristotle’s Philosophy of Biology. In Andersen et al. (eds. Reflections on Natural History. Owens. 33.G. F. Aristotle’s Philosophical Development. Prigogine. 1897. The Flamingo’s Smile. 19. Kant’s Theory of Natural Science. Aristoteles. New York.G. In Wians (ed. Schwegler.): 322-348.A. Pittsburgh: Mathesis Publications. Campbell. D. Essays on Aristotle’s De Anima. D. Downward Causation in Hierarchically Organized Biological Systems. The Consistency of Aristotle’s Thought on Substance. Metaphysik Q1-3.P. and Campbell. Murdoch. Dordrecht. III. Ryle. 1978. D. Kuhn. 1989. 1988. Bd. Balme. and Explanation in Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Niels Bohr’s Philosophy of Physics. Randall. 2004. and Pitcher. London Translated Texts by Authors other than Aristotle Plaass. 1990.E. Die Metaphysik des Aristotles.L. 1965. I.T. S.) 1994. D. Frankfurt.H. Boston. Brinkmann. The Shape of Life. I. O’Rourke. “Soul and Body in Aristotle. Aristoteles und die moderne Wissenschaft. Freiburger Vorlesung 1931. _______ 1985. Wood. “Are Aristotelian Species Eternal?. 2000. Sim. and Miller (Plaass). Marburger Vorlesung 1924/~25.106 MILLERS/CLEARY BIBLIOGRAPHY Gould. Garden City. (eds. 1981.): 121-141. Frankfurt. 1984. O. Identity. Wians. and Rorty. The Doctrine of Being in the Aristotelian Metaphysics. Kullmann. Columbus.S.C. Gesamtausgabe Bd. A. J. Charles. 1985. Costelloe and Muirhead (trs. (ed. 1989. (eds. C. 1996. Frankfurt. M. I & II. New York & London: Norton. A Gotthelf).” Aristotle on Nature and Living Things (ed. .H. Shields.M. J. “Aristotle and the Mind-Body Problem. Heidegger. (eds.): 179-186. J. A.O. W. Lanham. J. Chicago. Chicago. 1960.. Scaltsas. Raff.L. 1963. Aristotle.1: 3-59. E. R. M. 1974. One and Many in Aristotle’s Metaphysics. “Aristotle and the Metaphysics of Evolution. D. 1965. Oxford. Stuttgart: Steiner. Cambridge. Vol.J. Oxford. 2001. Cambridge: University Press.C. 1847. E. New York. Article from a Secondary Text Ackrill. Gesamtausgabe Bd.

1990. and Energeia. Supplement 1: 1-10. _______ 1997.): 175-220. In Nussbaum and Oksenberg Rorty (eds. 1984.): ix-xiv. 1996. 1992.MILLERS/CLEARY BIBLIOGRAPHY 107 Code. A. 1998. _______ 1996b. A.E.” Canadian Journal of Philosophy. .J. C. 1988.G. Charles and Gill (eds. 1970. and Moravcsik. 1996. Aristotle’s Ti Ɯn Einai as Functionality: the Unity of Universal and Individual. L. Methexis XI: 19-64.F. In Annas (ed): 121-149. X: 1-20. Phronesis XXXV/~1: 83102. 1991.G. and Formal Causation in Metaphysics H. R. Developmental Biology 173: 335-372. _______ 1994. T.): 393-460. and Miller. J.E. Seattle. Wians. Penner. J. Determination of the Embryonic Axes of Drosophila. In Scaltsas. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 6: 103-137. Code. Gilbert. Sokolowski.): 195-213. Verbs and the Identity of Actions . Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy. Development. Review. Cleary. Entelecheia. Opitz J. Aristotle on Dunamis. In Plaass: 1-162.A Phiolosophical Exercise in the Interpretation of Aristotle. Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy. In Sim (ed. Binghamton. Temporality and Time. M. S. Explaining various Forms of Living. R.): 360-391. Miller. W. Nüsslein-Volhard. Aristotle and the Mind-Body Problem. Heinaman. Energeia. The American Philosophical Association. Elements and Substance in Aristotle. and Miller (Plaass). The Activity of Being in Aristotle’s Metapahysics. Being. Animals and other Beings in Aristotle. In Wians (ed. Substance. A.): 129-145.M. Matter. Journal of History of Philosophy 8:263-288. A.J. Working through Puzzles with Aristotle. Binghamton. M. Soul and Body in Aristotle. Shields. Analytic Introduction and Commentary. In Wood and Pitcher (eds. Kosman. Powers that be: The Concept of Potency in Plato and Aristotle. J. Introduction. 1984. 1996a. C. R. and Raff. _______ 1987. Article from a Journal Cleary. Supplementary Vol.A. In Gotthelf and Lennox (eds. 1995.A. 1970. 1994. Resynthesizing Evolutionary and Developemental Biology. The Aporematic Approach to Primary Being in Metaphysics Z.. Papers Presented Miller.

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advice. there seems to be a formal agreement with regard to that. Nobody disagrees about whether or not one wishes to do well. BOERI I. It is even stupid or ridiculous to raise such a question. Marina McCoy. This piece was written with the financial support of Universidad de los Andes (Chile. (Prot. Apparently. but one that should be seriously taken: how we ought to live. Gary Gurtler. and critical remarks I am grateful to John Cleary. . I am also indebted to the anonymous referees for their criticisms. David Roochnik. The difficulty put forward by Socrates (Plato) in these passages was earnestly considered by all the philosophers who were worried about the subject. the discussion of whether just people (or. 278e3-280b6).COLLOQUIUM 2 SOCRATES. my commentator in the BACAP session. where the distinction between the apparent and real good is suggested. in general. 464d1-465a2). AND THE STOICS ON THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD1 MARCELO D. ARISTOTLE. virtuous people) live better and are happier than unjust people is not a haphazard topic. This is the puzzling aspect of the issue. In fact. so that it seems to be of highest worth? As is obvious for any reader familiar with some of Plato’s early dialogues. 356b5-8. Now. 357d1). the most natural answer is “through having goods” or rather “many goods. the question should be how we are to do so. project FIL-002-03). and especially Iakovos Vasiliou. 354a-d. Euthydemus (Eu. Deborah De Chiara-Quenzer. Introduction All people wish to do well. as a matter of fact. the most serious issue _________ 1 For their questions. or in order for something to be really good should it be pleasant and beneficial in the middle and in the long term as well? Is there any reason to think that if one does not have his or her cognitive abilities trained enough he or she is deceived by what is always most pleasant (in the short term). such as Protagoras. on which almost everyone disagrees. Michael Pakaluk.” But at this point one has to face an extremely difficult problem: what is the good or what is a true (or “real”) good? Can something be a good because of the fact that it looks pleasant and beneficial just in the short term. and Gorgias (Gor. since we wish to do well. this is just a paraphrase of some well known remarks contained in texts.

and that Aristotle (and probably the mature Plato) disagreed with it at some important points.10. 500c1-4. the Stoics distinguish the mere “living” from “living well” (a point on which there is general agreement). Everyone remembers the opening pages of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (EN). Wachsmuth (cf. 3 volumes (abbreviated SVF). where he lays down that all people (both the many and the refined) are in agreement on the fact that the highest good— among the goods that are achievable for human beings—is happiness. abbreviated LS (followed by the section and text number). Stromateis. regarding what happiness is.511). See also Clement. in a presumably Stoic manner. 5. who establish a semantic equivalence between such expressions as “living according to nature. There is a sharp controversy. this meaning “living according to virtue”). 7. and they suppose that living well and doing well are the same as being happy. in spite of the fact that the Socratic insight into the way human action should be grasped is always puzzling in its details. Sedley.” and “to live according to virtue”. ed. Crito. who. Long & David N. (Ecl. 48b5-d3: it is not living that matters but living well. in the quotation of the Stoic passages I shall indicate the section and number text of the cited passage in Anthony A. SVF 3. and are in line with the Socratic-Platonic tradition maintaining that living well means living in accordance with virtue.16 and LS 63A. is critically developed by Aristotle—in his criticism of the Socratic account of human motivation—and is resumed by the older Stoics.5 1-3. Even the Stoics.” “living honorably. ed. Eclogae. The aim of this essay is to sketch an account of how the distinction “apparent-real good” is meant to be understood in a line of thought that begins with Socrates. says that all action done by the one having knowledge (epistemon) is doing well (eupragia). 1903-1905.” “living well. I will begin by describing some well known Socratic theses.” “to be happy.110 MARCELO BOERI that everyone should take into account (Gor. . Accordingly. and the many and the wise do not account for it similarly (EN. With regard to Aristotle I will explore the way in which he appears to have incorporated some Socratic topics into his own moral discussion and how he refined them within his account of action. 2 volumes.) 2. are willing to accept the Socratic-Platonic view. none of them was able to get rid of some Socratic features in accounting for the complex mechanism that takes place between desire and cognition when what is intended is to explain human action. _________ 2 See Stobaeus. compare this Stobaeus’ passage with Plato. Finally. 6. 16-78.77. placing emphasis on some issues I consider that were particularly relevant both for Aristotle and the Stoics.2 I am perfectly aware that the subject I intend to deal with is too large to be examined in detail within the limits of a single paper. My most general claim is that. When possible. which is what happiness consists in. 1987. Republic [Rep.] 352d2-6). and in Herman von Arnim. however. 1095a16-22). Stählin-Früchtel-Treu (SVF 3.

something that for Aristotle—but probably also both for Socrates and the Stoics—is impossible to put into practice. my translation). I hope to offer some evidence that. and that they may have been sensitive to some criticisms Aristotle addressed to the allegedly Socratic extreme intellectualism (mainly represented by the Socrates portrait coming from Plato’s Prot. where it is quite clear that the fact of being unable to define the Form of Good and distinguish it from the other things is a feature of someone who _________ 3 This topic has been largely discussed by a number of scholars. Unless otherwise stated. share a common background as well.. I think that this undertaking might be helpful to shed light on these ancient views about action that. 1968. for example). in recent years he appears to have partially accepted Sandbach’s suggestions.. Long responded to this criticism (in his 1996: 185. . and the Stoics would agree with Plato that if something X is a real good. but without dismissing their intellectualist approach to moral matters.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 111 with respect to the Stoics I will be suggesting that they took for granted some relevant details of the Socratic approach to moral matters (an issue that is not novel at all). 468b1-c1. 1998: 363. in fact. Long. notably by A. 20d. 13). my concern is rather systematic.A. even though he still believes Sandbach’s position to be extreme (Long. and n.3 even though they seem to have taken into consideration Aristotle’s criticism of the so-called Socratic intellectualism. 7). More recently the connections between Socrates and the Stoics have been treated in detail by Alesse.. the Stoics might have known some of Aristotle’s strategies for dealing with the account of practical weakness.. The connections between Aristotle and the Stoics I intend to establish will not be explored for the sake of merely comparing their explicative devices of action. and thus it is beyond the moral treatment (as understood by these philosophers). such as [Plato?] Greater Hippias. I consciously avoid dealing with Plato’s mature developments in this topic. 205e-206a.4 None of them. like Plato seems to be considering the point in the passage I just quoted (see also Rep. and Gor. and aims at analyzing their philosophical motivations. even though they sometimes seem to be conflicting. though. Aristotle. Socrates. I believe that if I took into consideration the Platonic account of the good (such as the subject is presented in the Rep. it is “what every soul pursues as that for the sake of which the agent performs all his or her actions” (Rep. especially chapters 5-9. At this point. Long’s paper was critically examined by Sandbach 1985: 24-28. no matter how controversial this strategy may be. The same conception is present in some “Socratic dialogues”. 505d11-e1. all the translations are mine. 4 See also Symposium. n. would be willing to admit that such a good is “the Good itself” in terms of a Platonic Form. and Philebus. 534b-c. 297b2-7. 2000. I would have to make reference to the Form of Good.).

Plato keeps regarding the distinction “apparent-real good” as crucial. See also Rep. but probably not with “the supreme object of knowledge” (megiston mathema. Rep. 7-8 (cf.85. 11b. “the only thing good alone by itself”.5 and in Rep. 1096b32-34. something that Socrates indeed would have identified with knowledge. Ecl. The same position is defended. 8 _________ 5 See the significant passage of Rep. VI what can be labeled as being “the real good” or “what is unqualifiedly good” is definitely the “Form of Good”. 8 In recent years some scholars have been skeptical about a developmental approach to Plato. 7 Of course.. Ferber 2001: 10-17. 507a5-c7). Some of the most influential interpreters emphasise that for Socrates knowledge is a necessary and a sufficient condition for moral virtue. When speaking of “Socrates”.112 MARCELO BOERI knows neither the Good itself nor any good thing). See also On the soul. On Moral Virtue (MV). particularly when such an approach relies on the fact that the early dialogues are intended as showing the historical Socrates’ positions (see Kahn 1996: chapters 2-3. 6 In Plato’s Eu. 1991: 209214. As any other Form. LS 61A). LS 61B). For discussion see Santas. Diogenes Laertius. where the theme of “the good for man” (i. pleasure or reason) as proper candidates for being the human good. 433a28-30) in so far as they identify the good with virtue. pleasure or reason) is stressed. where the appearance-truth opposition is stressed in characterizing painting as an imitation of appearance. and more recently Annas 1999: 23-30). Santas. like Aristotle. 505d5-9. 1042e (SVF. Irwin.. 472c1-2). 505a2) understood as a Form. passage and with Gor. Plato himself must have noticed that the Form of Good is not “the human good” in terms of the good attainable and practiced by the agent.89-90 (SVF 3. For discussion see Carone 2000: 265-279.. Vlastos. not to the mature Plato. where the distinction between “what appears to be good” (ta dokoûnta agatha) and “what is really good” (ta onta) is sharply made. and the other things (those which usually are supposed to be “real goods”) are not good at all (279a-281e). 3. 1094b7.94) make reference to Socrates on this topic. 2002: 192-93. and virtue is just the commanding of the soul—which for the Stoics is a body—disposed in a certain way.. EN.60.. 67a6). by the late Plato (compare Laws. Socrates maintains the awkward thesis that the virtuous person has all that is necessary to be happy: wisdom. 60R). the Form of Good might be “attainable” in so far as one comes as close as possible to it (see Rep. 598b1-5. SVF 3.e. See also Philebus. DL 7. 660e2-661e4 with this Eu. they did identify the Form of Good with what is impossible to be practiced (prakton) or what is unattainable for a human being (kteton anthropoi [dative]. On Stoic SelfContradictions (SC). almost in the same terms. 441c-d (SVF 1. I am thinking of Plato’s construal such as it can be found in some of Plato’s early dialogues.6 As for the Stoics. 2. His final answer is that “a measured mixture” of pleasure and reason should be the good (Philebus..e.262).7 Thus I shall start by assuming that Socrates can be a suitable starting point to explore this subject. 1993: 39-48. 1979: 231-232. 1098a16-17) and the Stoics (who identified the good with virtue and with what participates in virtue. Plato finally dismisses both alternatives (i.202.197. EN. Gill 2002: 214. Note that such a construal . Both Aristotle (who identified “the human good” with an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. For the Stoic evidence see Plutarch. 1995: chapters 3-4. Stobaeus. Plutarch. 631b3-d2. (DL) 7.

The Older Stoics defended a psychology without opposing parts that would fit . 236b-c. On the Soul. On the other hand. or as “what is really good” (Protrepticus. It does seem to me that. EE. phantasma. however. Cf. Topics.1: ontos agathon). As stated above (n. 3.313). 9 Both in Plato and Aristotle the distinction between “the real and apparent good” is pretty obvious. 598a-b. 596e4. 3. the distinction “appearance” (phantasia. he can be led to confuse the apparent with the real good. Against Aristotle’s reliability as evidence for Socrates’ philosophical positions see Kahn. For the Stoics Socrates (as presented by Plato).4. 1113a21. 8). 505d5-9. ta onta têi aletheiai [dative]. Socrates on what appears to be good and what is good From Socrates onward the Greek philosophers have taken as crucial the difference between performing an action pursuing “what appears to be good” (phainomenon agathon) and pursuing “what is good” without qualification or “the real good. 1235b25-30. 1227a22.. a distinction that cannot be found in Plato’s early dialogues (see. EN. the point they disagree on is the criterion that should be employed to determine which things are really good. where the “apparent-real good” distinction seems to be present). the developmental assumption that we can clearly distinguish a “Socratic” from a “Platonic” dialogue has been seriously questioned. ed. I shall take the early dialogues as “Socratic” in character.. Aristotle also contrasts what is good (agathon) with what appears to be good (phainomenon agathon). 288. Indeed Plato’s philosophy on moral matters was crucial for Stoic ethics. 433a27-30. Frag.885. Sometimes Aristotle refers to “the real good” as “that which is good in the strict sense” (Protrepticus. aletheia) in Plato’s mature dialogues in most cases refers to the difference between a Form and its copy. 3. 599a2. Rep. This point looks particularly significant both in the case of the allegedly unwilling Socratic wrongdoer and the presumably unwilling Stoic base person (phaûlos). 1227a28-29: “wish is of what is good by nature”). Although what appears to be good can coincide with what is really good..157.. e. 2. 10 The fact that I do not deal with the mature Plato does not mean that I believe that he can be left out of this story. 1996: 81-87. He even identifies the real good with “what is object of wish by nature” (physei bouleton. in Socrates as well as in Aristotle and the Stoics.”9 Socrates. if the agent only bases his choices on a doxastic belief (doxa).THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 113 II. even though the Stoics were hostile to him in some points of detail (SVF. Düring: ijր ȜȤȢտȧȣ Րȟ ԐȗįȚցȟ). 30. an assessment by a certain agent of what is really good strongly depends upon the cognitive state of the agent at that time. 9.“reality” (to on. see also Philebus. Plato is quoted or referred to a number of times in the Stoic sources. phainomenon) . See Eudemian Ethics (EE). Philebus. for the sake of convenience. Frag. not the mature Plato. Aristotle and the Stoics agreed that there are things that appear to us to be goods and things that are goods. 42b9-c1). was the model they took as an ethical exemplar. 42b8-c7. 146b36147a4.10 Some leading Greek philosophers took pains to arrive at a _________ was taken seriously by Aristotle and by the early Stoics and Epictetus. Sophist. in Plato it is displayed through expressions such as “what appears to be good” and “what is good” (Rep. but it probably also plays an important role in Aristotle’s investigation of what is really good.g.

The difficult point is to account for how that phenomenon takes place.. The early Stoics do not follow the tripartite Platonic psychology (at least up to Posidonius). it might be the case that the desire Socrates attributes to everyone is not the desire for and only for what each agent conceives as good for him. it is not so clear that what is thought to be good is actually good and the point is how to discern “the object of desire” rightly. Therefore. people act somehow knowing that their actions conflict with what is best is something that appears manifestly (toîs phainomenois enargôs. 1-34. 12 I am aware that the issue is not so simple. Aristotle and the Stoics. it is not rational that an agent performs an action pursuing something bad for himself). Meno. Gor. 1145b27-28). Gor. for such an action produces harm rather than a benefit. he or she will do what is good. see Plato. as it can be found in the Republic and the Timaeus. Thus even though one cannot make a mistake in wishing what is best for himself. this issue proved to be an important one and the point. Plato. As Aristotle says. Gadamer 1985: 174-177. respectively. Smith (1994: 87-88). represented by Socrates. So what the agent thought to be good turned out to be bad. 77b-78a). and since nobody pursues what is bad or harmful for himself. at least as the one that mainly appears at Prot. as long as any agent knows what is (really) good (when he or she is able to discern the object of desire rightly).13 _________ better into the “Socratic” psychology.C. Thus.114 MARCELO BOERI reasonable account of the manner in which the cognitive and desiderative factors involved in human action work. 11 See Anscombe. as part of his criticism of Socrates. it may happen that in performing an action such an action turns out to be something bad or harmful for the agent (Plato. oiesthai) that that for the sake of which the agent does what he does is good is different from knowing (epistasthai) that that for the sake of which the agent does what he does is good (the difference between “to think” or “to believe”. 77c3-5. it seems to me. one can make a mistake in believing that this determined thing is best for himself. 57-70.D. 461c3. at 3-10. which shows that this supposedly good thing was actually bad.. d1-6). Davidson. In fact. it follows that the agent has not performed his action wishing it. Gor. If this were the . 468d1-7). 509e5-7. In the Greek moral tradition.11 Socrates is used to saying that to think (or to believe. As pointed out by T. EN.12 If this is so. 1980: 27-35. Hence nobody does wrong willingly and the agent chooses the lesser good only on account of ignorance (Plato. 1963: 14. continues to be significant for some contemporary philosophers. Everyone agrees that those things in view of which his or her actions are performed are seen by himself or herself as being goods (in fact. Gadamer 1993: 501-502. and “to know” that something is good or bad is clearly drawn by Socrates with the verbs oiesthai or hegeîsthai and gignoskein or epistasthai. Anscombe: 1995.. Meno. Brickhouse & N.. the agent did not do what he really wished..

468c). in the context of the argument. it must be said that a tyrant wants to kill his enemies if and only if such an action is beneficial to himself. although they can do all these things.e. can be only clear to the one whose cognitive state is knowledge (episteme). and drive them into exile (466b).. i. It follows that what we really want is the real good because what effectively benefits us is the real good. and it is full of disturbance (tarache) and regret (metameleia). Socrates observes that it may happen that.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 115 The allegedly intellectualistic Socratic position in moral choice is present in a crucial passage contained in Plato’s Gorgias. So. people wish that for the sake of which they do things rather than the things they do (to put Socrates’ example. 577d10-e3 the tyrannical city and soul least do what they want. but again the condition for grasping this is not to be ignorant (Plato. The tyrannical soul is dragged by “the stings of a gadfly”. 468b7-c6. the agent would not be capable of analyzing his own cognitive states. As we have seen above. So tyrants and orators do what they do believing that it is better for them to perform their actions rather than not (ȡԼցμıȟȡț Ԕμıțȟȡȟ ıՂȟįț ԭμ‫ה‬ȟ ijį‫ף‬ijį ʍȡțı‫ה‬ȟ. they have the least power in their cities and do not do what they really want. even though they do whatever may seem best to them (Ԓȟ į՘ijȡ‫ה‬ȣ İЅȠш ȖջȝijțIJijȡȟ 466d6-e2). such an action turns out to be bad or _________ case. Otherwise. Meno. there would be no room for the distinction between doing what one desires and doing what one thinks is best for himself... 468b6). 77d4-e4). as it had been taken for granted earlier (467c5-10). provided that every rational agent wants the good. they can confiscate their enemies’ property. if it is harmful he does not want it (Gor. of course) are done for the sake of some good and hence what we (really) want in each action is the good for the sake of which we want to perform the action (Gor. whose argument can be roughly outlined as follows: most people claim that orators and tyrants can do what they want. in performing an action. Brickhouse and Smith suggest that this dichotomy is just possible if one desires only what is really best for himself. it seems to me. . If this conclusion is applied to the example under consideration. What is really good is what is really desired. kill them. 499e8-9). 13 At Rep. they neither have great power (if “power” is understood as something good for the one who has it) nor do what they want (467b3-9). However. In the context it is quite clear that Socrates implicitly assumes that all our actions (voluntary actions. an epistemic state that makes his possessor really a knower. But this dichotomy. An agent doing what seems to him the best thing might not be doing what he really wants. people who take some medicine do not want what they do— drinking a medicine and suffering—but to be healthy). If an agent performs an action it is because he believes that such an action leads him to something good or beneficial. and he or she does not want the bad or what is neither good nor bad. Astonishingly Socrates objects that.

e. at the passage quoted below (Eu. It is true that at Lesser Hippias 367a Socrates asserts that the ignorant person would often tell the truth unwillingly when he wants to tell falsehoods. for the sake of action. Socrates points out that knowledge. 16 Plato’s use of words such as sophia. actually. it follows that the agent has not performed his action wanting it: the agent did not know that what he thought to be good for him was actually bad (see also Meno. and if the agent acts according to that knowledge..15 This point can be also drawn from the Socratic argument (included in Plato’s Eu. 15 Professor Vasiliou has objected to me that there is no reason to think that Socrates says that an agent without the skill of measurement will “always” err. 281a5) with “good sense” (phronesis) and “wisdom” (sophia) as being the conditions that the things taken to be goods by most people are goods (281d8). inasmuch as it is ruling and conducting the action rightly. and since nobody pursues what is bad or harmful to himself. n. Charmides. cited by Kahn). the ignorance of calculations that one can have does not seem to be the same as the ignorance that the one has when lacking the art of measurement of the Prot. 173d. (discussed below).. he will do well and be happy (see Plato. 174b-d). in addition to that. the latter is the ignorance preventing one from properly recognizing what the good is (i. 14 The Gorgias passage shows that the agent having a doxastic belief as his characteristic epistemic state can be wrong with regard to what he thinks to be good. The knowledge involved in practical matters must be a sort of knowledge that benefits us since it is a knowledge of what is good and bad. The wrongdoer’s choice is thus based upon ignorance and his choice depends on his epistemic state: “doxastic belief” or opinion (doxa) for no one willingly performs something bad for himself. 280a7-8) Socrates does explicitly say that sophia (an apparently possible agent’s cognitive state for Socrates) never errs. Socrates suggests. and that wisdom (sophia)16 can be identified with good fortune because it makes people more fortunate. The former consists in being ignorant about what three times seven hundred is. it suffices to have a true belief since at the practical domain true belief is not worse or less beneficial than knowledge (97ac).. See also the very “Socratic” passage in Theaetetus 145d11-e6. In fact. But this occurs by chance. Apology.116 MARCELO BOERI harmful to the agent (Gor. .. and quotes the Meno passage where Socrates argues that. where “wisdom” (sophia) is said to be the same as “knowledge” (episteme). And this is so. compare “the knowledge of carpentry” (Eu. an ignorance implying a practical consequence for the agent).. 77b-78b). this bad performance being something disadvantageous. 279d6). because wisdom never errs (280a7-8). what these passages in the Gorgias appear to suggest is that the one having opinion as his characteristic cognitive state always fails. Besides the fact that the issue concerning true belief is not present in the Eu. 40. provides people with good fortune and with well doing (eu- _________ 14 This is what Kahn calls “the prudential paradox” (see his 1996: 92. 279c7-8. 25c5-d3. phronesis and episteme is quite wide. and Plato.) intending to clarify what a real good is. 468d5-6). there Socrates maintains both that people take good fortune (eutuchia) to be the greatest of the goods (Eu.

is good.18 But if moral virtues are necessarily beneficial. since the things having to do with the soul are in themselves neither beneficial nor harmful but with wisdom or folly they become beneficial or harmful (Meno 88c-d). For Socrates.92) asserts that “the control by ‘ignorance’ of attributes whose very essence is wisdom is a counterfactual. At Plato’s Gor. passage (and at Gor. is a certain kind of recklessness or boldness. 281a8-e1). too. they must be forms of wisdom. accordingly.17 They are goods if and only if “good sense” (phronesis) and wisdom (sophia) rule over them (Eu. and moral goods (temperance. health. 467e4-6. cited in the previous note) the point is not so clear: for Socrates virtues are attributes whose essence is wisdom.. as long as everyone recognizes that to be brave. . health. and such a cognitive state is that which allows them to make a “correct use” of things. If we suppose that a moral good.. because such things can harm us. 88a-b). and wisdom. such as justice. 87e-88a). good sense. along with health and wealth. justice. beauty. it can harm us. shoemaking. temperance.. Now. and what can guarantee the right use of these is knowledge. no craft can be performed rightly: neither can medicine produce health nor shoemaking produce shoes nor the pilot’s craft prevent the loss of life at sea (Charmides.. wisdom or knowledge describe the cognitive state of the individuals. The right use (orthe chrêsis) of these goods (wealth. Vlastos (1991: 228. 88b3-5). beauty) and crafts (medicine. 174cd). as being a (conventional) good (see also Eu. As it was established at the outset of the argument.” He quotes the Meno passage where indeed the issue is put forward in terms of a counterfactual: ıԼ μս ԚIJijț ĴȢցȟșIJțȣ ԭ ԐȟİȢıտį Ȝ. such as courage.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 117 pragia). 279a-c: everyone acknowledges as being good both things such as wealth. such as medicine or shoemaking.. 281d-e. 279a7-b3). not for the majority of people. then. if one takes away knowledge from crafts. the thesis that we shall do well through having many goods might be true on one crucial condition: what people usually call “goods”—including moral virtues. 467e4-6 even wisdom (sophia) is recognized. 18 In commenting on Eu. 281d4-5) refer to all the goods listed at the outset of the argument: non-moral goods (wealth. for the common sense both the non-moral and moral goods are “conventional” goods. In fact. the pilot’s craft) benefit us and their wrong use harms us (Meno. This distinction could eventually be applied to moral virtues. n. the cognitive state of the agent _________ 17 I think that the words į՘ijո ȗı ȜįȚ‫ ׶‬įՙijո (at Eu. (tharros ti) and that. political power. We are not happy by the mere presence of things such as wealth or beauty (Meno.. Similarly. beauty. But at the Eu. This becomes clear at Eu. and courage.ȝ.ij. where virtues are included among the things whose nature is not to be good by themselves. and courage—are not goods by nature or in themselves. it is not accompanied by wisdom. 279a4-5). 279c1-2 and the next note). honor.. for example.

This must be understood as the result of a miscalculation that the apparent benefit of a course of action had shown as beneficial or convenient for the agent in the short term. the same knowledge that had been agreed to be measurement (357d1-e2). i. Note. As we shall see. apparently.118 MARCELO BOERI is crucial for the correct assessment of what the good is and.. In fact. 356c8-d4. so. This is so because if one weighs pleasant things against pleasant. if our doing well (eû prattein) depended on doing and choosing large quantities (presumably of what is pleasant) and avoiding and not doing the small quantities (of what is painful) there would be two candidates that we might see as our salvation in life: either the art of measurement (metretike techne) or the power of appearance (he tou phainomenou dunamis. of course. who does not vacillate. 17-112. i. or hold an opinion and.e. Ecl. 356b5-8). as every art or craft. So when an agent fails to do something good. 8). where the cognitive state of the agent is closely related to his state of character. for the quality of the particular actions he or she is able to perform. we need a criterion to measure pleasures and pains. never makes a (moral) mistake (Stobaeus.. Pleasures and pains are different in magnitude.e. so if an agent weighs pleasant things against painful ones and the painful ones are exceeded by pleasures—whether the near by the remote or the remote by the near—he has to perform the action in which what is really pleasant (among the things that appear to be pleasant. lack of knowledge. however. See also 357a5-b4). no human being has ever attained the sort of wisdom that would allow him to render his own life harmonious “by tuning” his deeds to his words (Plato. the greater and the more should be taken. if one weighs painful things against painful. good) prevails (Prot. that Socrates had established a criterion for distinguishing what appears to be pleasant: the very enjoying of something can be called “bad” whenever it deprives the agent of greater pleasures than it itself has or provides him with greater pains than the pleasures that are present in it (354c5-d1).. accordingly. But since we are easily deceived by the quantity of pleasure and pain (in so far as the near pleasures and pains look greater than the remote ones). the fewer and the smaller should be taken (356b-c). Laches. this Socratic conception is adopted by the Stoics and is incorporated without discussion into the ideal of the sage person. . 188d4-6). by contrast. when overvaluing the pleasure of the moment and de- _________ 19 This faces important difficulties for we may have strong reasons for thinking that no one can rightly claim to have the sort of knowledge which makes its possessor wise (see Brickhouse & Smith 1994: 31). apparently overcome by pleasure. Once the premise that the good should be identified with pleasure and the bad with pain has been laid down (354c3-6). there was actually ignorance. This is the art of measurement that. Socrates suggests that.19 I would like now to turn to a widely commented upon passage in Plato’s Prot. is (for Socrates) a form of knowledge. 111.

but this point can be seen at Gor. as well. which. In a different context. the warning seems to be that the kind of hedonism Socrates rejects is the one based on the short-term pleasure. one is deceived. and probably assuming a different psychology (of conflicting parts)..THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 119 valuing the pain of the moment. But this does not necessarily mean that the long-term pleasure cannot be related to what is good. see also Gor. appears to be good. Socrates is willing to admit that if X is good because of being merely an immediate pleasure. and the two candidates mentioned above concerning what we should pursue to get “salvation in life” are strongly contrasted. conversely. 356d5-6).. (356b5-8). A lot has been said about the two different positions defended by Socrates in the Protagoras and the Gorgias on pleasure. His psychological state is wavering. but cares nothing for what is best (464e-465a).. epithymiai) exist is the sort of thing that is seduced (anapeithestai) and changes its mind suddenly . and probably his cognitive abilities are not reliable (Prot. To be sure. the enjoyment of something that appears to be good in the immediate moment can be called “bad”.. however. 467c5-10). There flattery (kolakeia) is an example of something shameful. X cannot be a real good. Plato’s Socrates says that the part (touto) of the soul where appetites (or irrational desires. Each of them is characterized by the presence of two different cognitive and psychological states in the individual: the agent who is ruled by the power of appearance is weak-minded and such power of appearance makes him change his mind about the same things (metalambanein) and regret (metamelein) his own actions and choices. 356d1). which for the most part coincides with sensual pleasure. In spite of the apparently contradictory versions offered in both texts. if it deprives the agent of greater pleasures or provides greater pains than the pleasures that are in it (Prot. There is some evidence that this is so in the Prot. When Callicles is pressured by Socrates to accept that there are types of pleasure (500a). I think there is a way to make them coincide: both in the Prot. Socrates is particularly interested in seeking how we are to do well in life (Prot. 464d1-2). it appears to be good because it aims at what is pleasant. and in the Gor. Flattery “deceives folly with what is always most pleasant” (implying “what is always most pleasant in the short term”. 354a-d. the actual situation of being in pain (like medical treatments) can be called “good” when it relieves pains greater than the ones that are in it and.

500a4-6). accordingly...). which means a belief accompanied by knowledge. where he sharply distinguishes the soul that understands and knows (which is the same as having “intellect”.. Gor. a type of knowledge that can fail or...22 The person having “the art of measurement” cannot remove the appearance— which does not depend on him—but he will not be ruled by it insofar as he will be able to assess it critically. (508d7-9). However. therefore. the agent having the art of measurement will be able to make the power of appearance powerless and. a wording reminding Plato’s Prot. he will have peace of mind and will “save his life. noûs) from the soul merely “holding opinions.21 If virtue requires moral knowledge (Laches. 356d5-6. what is worse. 29b6-7).” The truth here must mean the correct calculation in weighing pleasant things against the painful ones (Prot. we should conclude that for him knowledge involves the guarantee that.120 MARCELO BOERI (metapiptein) up and down (Gor. the action will be necessarily good. 1945d1-2. whenever one acts in possession of it. 509c4-7). and changing its mind up and down” (İȡȠչȘıț ijı Ȝįվ ԐμȖȝȤօijijıț Ԕȟȧ Ȝįվ Ȝչijȧ ijոȣ İցȠįȣ μıijįȖչȝȝȡȟ). 296e8-297a1). . that fails all the time. 22 A pistis monimos. Hence if we act in the cognitive state of opinion we can be following our best judgment but such a judgment. he should assume himself to have an “oscillating character” (as in fact he admits in the Lesser Hippias passage just cited). 361b1-2) and Socrates is honest when he declares he lacks moral knowledge (Apology. Prot. 505e2-3. cannot guarantee the un- _________ 20 The issue reappears in Plato’s Rep.. By contrast. This is not the case of the one whose cognitive state is opinion.. 372b3-4. 376c2-3). where Socrates asserts that knowledge is a fine or noble thing capable of ruling the person having it (352c3 ff. which is the same as a feeble form of knowledge and. Lesser Hippias. The explicit assumption is that the grasp of the real good and. dimming. by noticing the truth. conversely. which is the same as saying that he knows that injustice is something shameful and bad and.20 Socrates attributes this “oscillating state” to himself. Maybe this calculation is the expertise demanded by Socrates to make a correct distinction between good pleasures and bad ones (Gor. 21 See note 19 above and also Lesser Hippias. in being one based on a weak form of knowledge (doxa). 356d4e4). 21b1-d7. Now if we conflate this argument with the opening discussion on what “to be overcome by pleasure” means. insofar as he includes himself among the people who are searching for knowledge and have not attained it yet: “I waver (planômai) up and down regarding these and it never seems to me the same thing” (Plato. the ability to become a virtuous person presuppose the existence of a “stable belief”. 493a3-5). Socrates has some moral knowledge: he does know (oîda) that it is bad to do wrong and to disobey one’s superior (Apology. Socrates also knows that good people are not unjust (Eu. as Plato goes on to think at Rep.. that justice is something fine and good.

to some extent. I think the point deserves to be discussed again emphasizing other details.24 However. took for granted in their own moral inquiries. In this section I shall concentrate on some points that I have presented and discussed briefly in the previous part of my paper and that I believe to be crucial for the understanding of how Aristotle and the Stoics. (ii) some analogies between Aristotle’s and the Stoics’ strategies for explaining the acratic behavior. Within the same sphere _________ 23 The state of mind described by Socrates as proper to the virtuous person can be paralleled with what Plato says of the guardians. 503c4). I shall start by showing that. while the one having opinion will attain what is apparently good (and does not coincide with the real good). This strongly opposes the peace of mind (hesuchia) that the art of measurement provides to the agent who can make the appearances lose their power. Again. .. Some interesting connections concerning the Socratic language in Aristotle (and the Stoics) can be found in Alesse 2000: 256-262. 24 See Robinson 1977: 83-84. considered the distinction between the apparent and the real good. In what follows I shall concentrate on the following topics: (i) Aristotle’s criticism of the Socratic identification of virtue with knowledge.23 III. Aristotle incorporated some Socratic features into his ethical accounts. who have firmness and peace of mind as their characteristic psychological state (Rep. some others have argued for the thesis that Socrates’ views on moral matters influenced Aristotle. Opinion as one’s characteristic epistemic state fits very well in the oscillating psychological condition of the agent dominated by the power of appearance. I am aware that this is not novel. Cleary 1991: 107-110. even within his criticism of Socratic intellectualism. I shall also try to show how plausible is my suggestion that the Stoics might have known and taken into consideration Aristotle’s strategies for accounting for weakness of will. and his action will be wrong. (iii) the way in which the (Socratic) thesis of the “power of appearance” influenced both Aristotle’s and the Stoics’ accounts of what appears to be good/pleasant in the short term. The agent having knowledge will always attain what is truly good and act accordingly.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 121 derstanding of the real good. sometimes on Socratic grounds. The Socratic Heritage in Aristotle and the Stoics I have emphasized the Socratic issue concerning the cognitive and the psychological state of the agent in evaluating what he or she takes to be good because I think this is a crucial point that both Aristotle and the Stoics took into account and.

even taking for granted a Socratic intellectualistic picture in their theory of virtue. which is absurd.e. when one performs an unjust action. reasonable within a philosophical discussion—probably fails to clarify what Socrates must have meant by “knowledge” (episteme) or “wisdom” (phronesis) when he argues that knowledge is what allows and guarantees the agent to make a correct use of goods. alethôs) or “in order to make a mistake” (i. because the wise and the base would not be distinguished from one another. I shall point out the relevance that the psychological state of the vicious agent. it might be possible to use justice incorrectly. “correctly”. and knowledge can be used either correctly or incorrectly. one will be doing such actions on account of knowledge. in so acting people would be acting wisely. Let me outline them: (1) Socrates claims that all virtues are forms of knowledge. First. in performing unjust actions. wisdom) can be used in only one way. In this respect. Now. Aristotle’s example of misusing knowledge . 1246a31-b2). had for Aristotle and the Stoics in evaluating the cognitive and the psychological state of the weak-minded agent. when someone willingly writes incorrectly. what “knowledge” means. in his view) identification of wisdom (phronesis) with knowledge (episteme) and tries to deepen the absurd consequences that would follow from considering that phronesis can be misused (I just sketch the first part of the criticism): if wisdom is knowledge and something true. In other words. incorrectly. which is absurd. I begin by focusing briefly on two arguments Aristotle addresses against Socrates’ identification of virtue with knowledge. described above as an “oscillating state”. he is using knowledge as ignorance. EE. to some extent. Therefore. 280a7-8).122 MARCELO BOERI of problems. one should investigate. Aristotle contends..e. if this is the case. (2) Aristotle’s second argument focuses on the (wrong. one will be unjust on account of justice. if Socrates is willing to defend his thesis that wisdom (sophia) never errs (Eu. it would be possible to act foolishly out of wisdom and to commit the same mistakes as the person lacking wisdom (aphron). if justice is a form of knowledge. i. for example. but the fact that they are based on Aristotle’s own distinctions of types of knowledge—what is. seem to have made room for the arguments Aristotle deploys against Socrates. because an agent cannot be ignorant out of knowledge (apo epistemes. hamartanein). as injustice. Aristotle’s arguments sound persuasive and seem to solve the somehow counterintuitive Socratic identification of virtue with knowledge. since knowledge can be used either “truly” (i. So. Aristotle adds that if something (i. he may not have accepted the possibility of misusing wisdom or knowledge. virtues cannot be forms of knowledge.e. then.e. I propose some evidence to show that the Stoics.

it should be included among the “know how” forms of knowledge. but from lack of knowledge. and to choose what appears really good and coincides with what is good. Eu. Someone with knowledge (epistemon.25 For Socrates the only bad action is to be deprived of knowledge (Plato. he seems to be admitting the possibility that an _________ 25 Aristotle’s criticism derives from his view that knowledge is a sort of logos. the kind of knowledge Socrates is talking about when saying that by acting according to knowledge we should do well and be happy does not seem to be the sort of knowledge craftsmen have. it is indeed a techne and. i. 174b-c). Charmides. of course. When at the very beginning of Plato’s Lesser Hippias (365d-366a) Socrates says that the wily (polutropoi) are deceivers due to their cunning or villainy (panourgia) and some kind of wisdom (phronesis). either. are not necessarily happy. one could wonder: “how about the art of measurement”? After all. Aristotle’s remark that it would be possible to act foolishly out of wisdom was probably envisaged by Socrates himself. Prot. for Socrates. but that is not the kind of knowledge he takes to be “knowledge of what is good and bad”. and that on account of having wisdom they know what they are doing. But. and the same logos can show the thing and its privation (Metaphysics. the knowledge that virtue is turns out to be like craft knowledge. from ignorance as the opposite cognitive state. but being deprived of knowledge does not come from a deliberately incorrect use of knowledge. But perhaps Socrates. 281e. 22d3-4). The knowledge that makes the agent happy is the one of what is good or bad (Plato. the form of knowledge that allows you to draw the distinction between what is good and bad. not as the result of misusing knowledge. By contrast. as such. Physics. 1046b7-9). even having the knowledge specific to their field of expertise. It is a know-how knowledge that. a doctor. for instance) can make a mistake willingly (hamartanei hekon. does not necessarily guarantee happiness to the one possessing it. 345b5. Second. was heavily concerned with warning against confusing a (mere) skill—which just allows you to have good fortune or success at your craft—with moral expertise. a knowledge of which one cannot make a bad use. .. 251a32-33).e. 292b).. although hewould not have identified this kind of wisdom with the wisdom that virtue is and that helps the agent make a correct choice. Furthermore. the knowledge craftsmen profess cannot be that which prevents the agent from confusing an apparent good with a real good.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 123 (grammar) is the kind of knowledge Socrates attributes to craftsmen and explicitly declares himself to lack (Apology. in declaring himself to lack the sort of knowledge the possessors of technai have. 173d-e. Indeed craftsmen.

one could object that the bulk of this Socratic argument is rather concerned with the fact that deceit presupposes some type of knowledge. then. Aristotle contends. what the Socrates of the Lesser Hippias appears to be accepting is the possibility that an agent can do wrong willingly. he has adapted it to his approach of what a right moral inquiry should be in considering a cognitive factor involved with virtuous action. If this reading is plausible. while prudence (phronesis) is not cleverness. the goodness or badness of cleverness depends on the quality of the target (skopos) the agent has set before him: if it is fine or noble. But the knowledge of the wily is not. It is tempting to suggest that this kind of phronesis is later developed by Aristotle under the form of what he calls “cleverness” or “quickness of mind” (deinotes). So in this passage phronesisҏ does not mean wisdom or knowledge of what is truly good. but in another way he made a mistake. in the standard Socratic terms. but he was right in thinking that such (moral) virtues do not exist without phronesis. Now Aristotle stresses that. if it is base. but while the former may aim at what is evil (when associated to kakia). Aristotle proceeds to apply his own conceptual schemes to Socrates.ҏ To be sure. if the context of this passage is analyzed in detail. Socrates could be implying that the person who is skillful in deceiving is ignorant of what is best for himself. Both cleverness and prudence presuppose a certain kind of knowledge. cleverness is praiseworthy. not for Socrates who uses interchangeably the Greek words for knowledge and wisdom (see above n. In other words.124 MARCELO BOERI individual willingly may act against his knowledge of what is best. it does not exist without cleverness (EN. Aristotle characterizes cleverness as a capacity which permits one to do the things aiming at the proposed target and hitting it. Now. The deceivers are able to deceive because they have a certain knowledge or wisdom which is indispensable to deceive (exapatân). they. It is indeed suggestive to note that Aristotle accepts part of the Socratic dictum in his identification of virtue with different forms of knowledge:26 in saying that all virtues are forms of phronesis. 1144a26-29). 1144b17-18: aretai are phroneseis. 16 and the passages indicated there). the same as the understanding of what is morally good. He was wrong in believing that all virtues are forms of phronesis. Of course. the latter just aims at what is fine or noble. Socrates did his research rightly in one way. But the ability itself to do the things tending to the proposed end corresponds to cleverness. and with his doctrine of prudence Aristotle seems to _________ 26 “Different” forms of knowledge (“practical wisdom or prudence”—phronesis—and knowledge—episteme) for Aristotle (EN. we could accept that Aristotle has taken a Socratic topic again and. EN 1144b2930: aretai are epistemai). are somehow phronimoi (365e5). . after refining it. it is reduced to cunning or mere villainy.

52. their notions of knowledge and ignorance must have been different from the Socratic ones.. 1144b18-24. 1145a5-6)—has to do with particular cases (ta kath’ hekasta). it is not possible to be good without practical wisdom or practically wise without moral virtue (EN. In a Socratic vein. the Stoics maintain that vices are ignorance. 445b).93). as Socrates appears to have done). fits properly into the Socratic requirement concerning the presence of an intellectual component in virtue (even though this does not necessarily mean to identify virtue with such a component. turns out to be decisive in the moral domain. DL 7. For them incontinence is a vice subordinate to intemperance (DL 7. The apparently “orthodox” Stoic psychology of action can be roughly outlined as follows: firstly. prudence. 292. as long as it is an intellectual virtue. 89. a person whose cognitive state is opinion or ignorance.1. MV. the Stoics did not distinguish incontinence from intemperance (see Plutarch’s complaints about this point. ed. 1150b29-31. So. Unlike Aristotle (EN. since acting—which is where prudence plays a crucial role insofar as it makes the agent do the things that lead to the end (EN. But if this is effectively the case. and it is impossible to be a virtuous person without having refined one’s cognitive abilities. 1106b36-1107a2). the Socratic puzzlement: in any account of action there is an intellectual factor involved. Ecl. 439e6-440a3). SVF 2. LS 65A). LS . As Aristotle reminds us. Moral virtue. then. even being an agent in a state of passion and. The Stoics recognize the existence of the phenomenon of incontinence without renouncing their intellectualist position. De Lacy). at least in part. Therefore. with the concrete situations. Rep. Prudence. and virtues forms of knowledge (cf. a phantasia (whose contents humans express propositionally through articulated language. 1151a11-14) and following Plato’s view (Laws. seems to envisage that it is advantageous not to do what he or she is about to do (Stobaeus. 6-9. For them any failure in being master of oneself counts as an instance of akrasia. but such right reason is reason according to practical wisdom (EN. 17-20. they cannot leave aside the concrete situations of action. they did not draw the conclusion that there is no incontinence. accordingly. is a state of character that exists according to the right reason. 636c7. even though some universal standards are relevant in accounting for action (standards expressed in the Socratic definitions of virtues). see also EN. despite being an intellectual virtue. [PHP].49. 1146b19-24. given that the Stoic incontinent. how can the incontinent action be explained? Although the Stoics identified virtue with knowledge. or rather. Galen. In addition to that.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 125 have resolved. 1144b30-1145a2). 55. 5. On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato.

28 Once the agent has given assent to a practical or evaluative proposition of the form “I ought to do X” an impulse is produced (see Plutarch.. Cicero. supported by Plutarch. 232.. 17-18. Long 1996: 283-284. and such agents are also responsible for the actions derived _________ 27 At this point I am following (with no argument) the prevailing view according to which an appearance has a content which can be expressed in a propositional way.86. Ep. Plutarch. included in LS 41C).. Ecl. Sorabji. 2. 2. Such an impulse is his assent translated into an intentional movement toward what the agent takes to be good and. A convincing defence of this position can be seen in Inwood.1. 1122c. 328-29). [M] 7.. For a challenging analysis of Stobaeus. 66-75. 2-6 (LS 33I). 1988: 407-417. For further discussion see Inwood. The proposition “the appropriate thing to do is X” expresses the content of the impulsive appearance. seems to present the supposedly orthodox account (De ira.126 MARCELO BOERI 39A) appears to the agent.29 Assent causes the impulse to perform the action described in the proposition’s predicate. vol. 1993: 173-74. 1987: 151-76. 41-42 (cf. Against Colotes. 2. 1056f-1057a (cf. n. 1985: 73-75 and especially Frede. 41. 24-25. .27 Secondly. LS 41E and 53S). see Ioppolo. Other scholars have followed this view too: see LS 1987. 2000. What activates impulse is the impulsive appearance. 2000: 43. Seneca.30 Now a rational agent is. 1993: 228-230. assent is given to a propositional formula (logos). 1056f and Stobaeus. and more recently. Ioppolo. 29 For evidence see Cicero. who is willing to suggest that “not every appearance of what is appropriate motivates” (see also 423. 1998: 116. When you give your assent to the proposition “X is Y”. For a detailed discussion of this passage see Inwood. the assent becomes an impulse (horme• for action. 30 This could be understood in terms of the impulse that immediately translates the proposition’s predicate into action. not to an appearance (see Sextus.86. probably reproducing a Stoic position). 1: 293-241. n. Sorabji. no impulse necessarily follows.19). If this is so. 113. On Fate. 18.29. accordingly. 154. So when the agent gives assent to the practical (or evaluative) proposition describing the content of an impulsive or motivating appearance (phantasia hormetike).” See Stobaeus. whose propositional content can be “the right thing to do is X. offer a different sequence: appearance. Ecl. according to the Stoics. However. at 27-8. Against Ioppolo’s interpretation that Zeno and Cleanthes held that impulse precedes assent. SC. impulse. 1995: 25-55. Actually at this passage what causes impulse to be in motion is the direct “impulsive appearance” (phantasia hormetike) of that which is appropriate (kathêkon). There has been a good deal of discussion on this topic. Cf. 1985: 60-2. see Inwood’s persuasive remarks in his 1993: 166. and in order to act in accordance with this proposition the agent must assent to it first. Acad.. appearance is followed by an assent (sunkatathesis).88. LS 62C) and Seneca. able to give or to withhold assent to such propositions. Labarrière. which is the act of accepting such an appearance (or rather the propositional formula of its contents) as true. Ecl. the rational agents are responsible for their cognitive states. Adversus Mathematicos. 17-18 see now Sorabji (2000: 33. 28 Strictly speaking. 2.3-5). choiceworthy. SC. in observing that anger (ira) does not follow immediately without the involvement of mind giving assent to the appearance. and Gill. 2. assent. Every impulse comes from assent but not every assent yields an impulse.

1378a19-24. These actions. 33 See Aristotle. In this line of thought. 1378a30-32. this properly describes what Aristotle calls “actions done in ignorance” (EN. who believed that the incontinent acts by ignorance (EN. are not “involuntary” without qualification. 1145b21-31). Unlike Socrates. 1147a10-b5). though. but the person is responsible for being in the state he is in. to some extent. even though he _________ 31 Aristotle takes to be the extreme intellectualist position the one discussed in Plato’s Prot. they also recognized that emotions are not automatic reactions but the agent is acting according to his own judgment. the Stoics acknowledged that cognition is decisive in emotional response. 1382a21-22. The cognitive faculties of the individual are momentarily deactivated. in accordance with Aristotle (EN. 34 See Rhetoric. any emotional state involves a certain type of judgment or belief (what’s more. So he is also responsible for the ignorance that such states produce. the incontinent person acts in ignorance and. 1110b24-27).31 The solution provided by this moderate intellectualism would be to say that the individual is mastered by pleasure because he does not have knowledge in the strict sense but only opinion. the Chrysippean emotions are judgments): a person is angry at someone or is afraid of something because he believes that someone is despising him or something harmful is going to happen to him. 32 Some brief and thoughtful comments on the issue can be seen in Inwood 1985: 15-17. that it is possible that someone acts against his better judgment. this judgment being doxa. would coincide with that of those who.32 Like Aristotle. 1145b33-1146a4). the cognitive mistake involved in the incontinent action happens due to the influence of emotional states over the rational abilities (EN.33 For Aristotle. both Aristotle and the Stoics must face the same puzzlement: what does “knowledge” mean when it is said that the incontinent “knows” in performing his or her action. 1356a15-16. at the same time. the Stoics would have accepted both that nothing is more powerful than knowledge and. (see EN. when explaining the practical weakness.34 Now. mad or drunk—show that the agent cannot consciously control his action. This seems to display a moderate intellectualism on the part of the Stoics. what I shall do is to present some modest remarks on the topic. and Fortenbaugh 1979: 145-148. which. but do not agree that no one is able to act against what they think is best. It is tempting to try to establish some parallels between Aristotle’s practical syllogism and the Stoic model of the psychology of action.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 127 from the assents they have given to certain practical propositions indicating what should be done. claim that nothing is superior to knowledge. For Aristotle. Aristotle’s examples—a person asleep. as for the Stoics. 1145b27). Rhetoric. and like Aristotle. .

Stobaeus. but is unable to practice it. Stobaeus. Thus the Aristotelian picture of the incontinent action emerges as the consequence of an inner conflict between rational and irrational motivations belonging to two opposing parts of the soul. Ecl. who defend a psychology without parts in conflict. like the Aristotelian one. they seem to share with Aristotle’s account of the cognitive state of the incontinent agent the fact that his cognitive faculties are weakened. The Stoic thesis that the base person only has the theory of what ought to be done. he is directly responsible for the emotional states that provoked his incontinent action. 4). The Stoic incontinent. it is as though the agent had the belief that the actions which have been performed were erroneous by the agency of himself (ʍıʍȢįȗμջȟȡțȣ թȣ ʍįȢ‫ ׶‬įՙijȡ‫ף‬ ԭμįȢijșμջȟȡțȣ). although the Stoics.. 2.126). that. Now. not the prâxis (DL 7. the Stoic sage is the one who is in possession of prudence (phronesis). By contrast. In the Stoic view. 4-5). 25-103. sounds similar to what Aristotle says in comparing the incontinent to a city that votes for all that should be done and has excellent laws. and the phaûlos (who is an intemperate person) is prone to regret and to change his mind (Stobaeus. It clearly follows. .35 The base person (phaûlos). has an “oscillating” character..128 MARCELO BOERI is indirectly responsible for his actions.102. which shows him swinging hesitantly from one course of action to another. Both Aristotle and the Stoics also think that the incontinent person regrets. Ecl.92. he is prone to instability (eumetaptotos) and liable to regret about each thing he does. but in so far as incontinence is a vice derived from intemperance. 102. not totally absent.. but never makes use of them (EN. then. in not having experience of the right use of things (apeiros.102. 22-23). Regret is a pain (lype) about what has been performed. 22-25). recognized that cognition is crucial in emotional response. This is not what happens according to the Stoics. 1150b30-31. which explains why the acratic only has the theory of what should be done.59. if he is responsible for what happened. he must have certain knowledge of what is good and bad for himself.. EN. a well justified belief (knowledge) of what should be done and of what should not be done (DL 7. like Aristotle. 2. In both cases the agent is thought to have his rational faculties weakened so as to be able to put into practice the knowledge he has. 2. 1152a20-21). Ecl. Nevertheless. So the person having regret suffers sorrow and is angry at himself for having been responsible (aition) for the things that have happened (Stobaeus. but because the soul as a whole is emotionally disposed and the individual’s beliefs are based on error. The Stoic sources do not say that the incontinent regrets. Ecl. does everything badly. I think that the Stoics would have probably agree with Aristotle’s view that the incontinent regrets. this is not due to the fact that a part of the soul is overpowered by the other. they maintained (unlike Aristotle) that emo- _________ 35 Aristotle.

270. where it is said that passionate people (ijȡւȣ Ԛȟ ijȡ‫ה‬ȣ ʍչȚıIJțȟ Րȟijįȣ) frequently “see” or “notice” (horôntas) that it is advantageous not to do anything. as a whole. 11.” See Gosling. but are dragged by the violence of passion and are drawn into doing it (Stobaeus. But in the Stobaeus passage what is compared to a disobedient horse is not the irrational part of the soul but the hegemonikon of the soul which. Epictetus (Discourses. is explained because such an agent has given a weak assent to this proposition.28. 1996: 227. when reason as a whole is understood in terms of passion. For the “oscillation model” see also Galen (PHP. Those who are in states of passion are carried away by the violence of passion as though by a disobedient horse. cf. 4. passions). 240.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 129 tion (pathos) is not different from reason (logos)..196 and 230. Ecl. On this point see Gill. De Lacy). The Stobaeus simile. For the “model of oscillation”.37 If this is so.5. Even though they notice (mathosi) that they should not feel pain or fear (i. see SVF.111. That the acratic “sees” what the correct course of action is can be confirmed from a significant passage in Stobaeus (mentioned above). 37 Inwood holds (1985: 142-43) that this Stobaeus passage is influenced by Posidonius or by a Platonising philosopher (in fact. 20-21). in the picture of the horses in Plato’s Phaedrus the disobedient horse depicts the irrational part of the soul and somehow it is that part. This is not what _________ 36 See Plutarch. a “perverse” (poneros) and “intemperate” (akolastos) reason. In all these passages the weakness of the soul— proper to the Stoic passionate person—is described and particularly emphasized in terms of a “vacillating mind. 1995: 327-28.e. 6. ed.389. they allow themselves to be drawn by passions.459. 2. I think.205.89. see Joyce. 446F-447A (SVF 3. 274. For the Stoics there is no conflict (diaphora) or civil war (stasis) between reason and passion. MV 441C. 610). LS 61B. looks like the one of the runner cited by Galen (PHP. the comparison of the passionate state with a disobedient horse reminds us of Plato’s Phaedrus. [Dis.] 1. even though the acratic person seems to envisage the temperate as well as the intemperate propositions. 2. it might be suggested that the conduct of an agent supposedly willing to assent to the proposition “the correct thing to do is X” but not doing X. it is vice. 4-90.36 What is particularly important here is that. and Stobaeus (Ecl. 1987: 186-87. 3. 14. 246a-249e). since he is changing his mind all the time.. what happens is a sort of turning (trope) of one and the same reason in two distinct directions or states. Although a weak-minded agent can be described as really assenting to p in time 1 and then really assenting to –p in time 2. 36-242. More recently Inwood has acknowledged how hard is to argue that the Stobaeus passage uses the Platonic image of the horse deliberately and has also shown how difficult is to decide whether or not a Platonic dualism is consistent with Stoic views (see his 1993: 158-60). . his assent. is weak. if compared to the sage person’s assent. n. LS 65A). he always assents to the intemperate one. 1-3). n. To be sure. is emotionally disposed.

It is also suggestive to note that in the Stoic account the proposition to which assent must be given somehow contains both the major and the minor premises of Aristotle’s practical syllogism. 611-613. “a Stoic impulse is not like the major premise of an Aristotelian practical syllogism. italics are mine). One last remark on this point: both Aristotle’s and the Stoic’s model contains a practical proposition which is prescriptive of what should be done. For Aristotle. 39 As persuasively observed by Brennan. but it is suggestive that they.38 Similarly.113. if applied to the concrete situation of action. for changing one’s mind is liable to false assent (Stobaeus. Broadie. Of course. the Stoic acratic seems to envisage the temperate as well as the intemperate propositions. so the incontinent agent possesses the right standard of action but at this moment his knowledge is purely theoretical to the extent that he is unable to use it (EN 1146b31-35).. would produce a good action. Both Aristotle and the Stoics largely exploited the Socratic thesis that in order to neutralize the power of appearance and attempt to discriminate properly the apparent from the real good the agent _________ 38 For further discussion see Gauthier-Jolif. like Aristotle. in both cases the result of the process is an action. Ecl. but rather like the psychological synthesis of both premises together” (see his 2003: 267. Prot. 1958-59: II. 1147a31-1147b3). consider the fact that the weak-minded agent cannot practice the knowledge he has regarding what should be done. 357a5-b4). thinks that the acratic agent knows that his or her act is incorrect because somehow he knows that the rational standard is a standard that.39 The last point I want to deal with in this section is concerned with the already mentioned topic of “the power of appearance” (Plato.. 1991: 304- 307. but he is unable to give assent to the temperate one (the practical proposition that must be assented to in order to produce a correct action). although the action will be different depending on whether the agent connects the particular premise either with the correct universal belief or with the incorrect one. probably like the Stoics. Both syllogisms have the same particular premise. Aristotle. the “in potentiality/in actuality” distinction is not present in the Stoics. EN. 3-7). it may be the case that the agent has set before him both a syllogism containing a correct universal premise (“what is sweet should not be tasted”) and a syllogism having an incorrect universal premise (“what is sweet must be tasted”. 356c8-d4. .130 MARCELO BOERI happens to the sage. Now the account that the Stoic incontinent is able theoretically to recognize the truth value of the temperate proposition but is not capable of translating the predicate of such a proposition into action reminds me of the emphasis Aristotle places on the fact that the acratic character is unable to actualize the knowledge he has. 2.

1113b3-14). both virtue and vice are up to us. no matter whether our action is fine or base. no one will be responsible for his or her actions. In fact. but the agent acts badly on account of ignorance. For the activities related to each particular case (peri hekasta) produce the corresponding characters (EN. there can be cases in which either the agent is forced to do something or his action is done by ignorance (Ȗտֹ ԰ İț‫׶‬ Ԕȗȟȡțįȟ. no one will be responsible for his own bad action. That is the case of the drunk. Aristotle insists. for what appears to him to be good (EN. However. I intend to examine briefly the way in which the Stoics recommend to deal with appearances to avoid being seduced by the apparent good. I shall start by making a brief comment on a passage by Aristotle where he seems to have in mind Socrates’ insight into the role that one’s state of character plays when the agent evaluates his end and his appearance of what is good for himself. 1114b1-4. So. 1113b24-25). Therefore. EN. 1113b32-33). If acting is up to us. The Socratic claim that the agent’s character makes him careless with regard to what he should know and it is not hard to know and. he will also be responsible. being a decent or a bad person is up to us as well (EN. 1114a1-7). it is reasonable to think that the actions promoting the end are done according to choice and are voluntary. ultimately. Secondly. somehow. if Socrates is right and nobody fails willingly. To put it roughly. can be punished if the agent seems to be responsible for his ignorance. Otherwise. Now. the agent . for the principle of action is in himself: whether or not he gets drunk depends on him (EN. for in being somehow responsible for his state of character. although he certainly is somehow responsible for the way the end appears to him or to her. But no one would be willing to say that in these cases the person is responsible. Now. since wish is for the end and we deliberate and choose about what promotes the end. Of course. the activities concerned with virtues are related to what promotes the end. See also 1140b17-18). makes him ignorant is straightforwardly attacked by Aristotle: it is because of living carelessly and in injustice and intemperance that the agent is responsible for having the character he has. Now Socrates used to argue that nobody is bad willingly. if an agent is somehow responsible (pos aitios) for the state of character he is in. Aristotle is cautious enough to include the adverb “somehow” affecting both the issue of being responsible for one’s character and the appearance of the end one has. this is an important part of the objection Aristotle deploys against Socrates. Now.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 131 should strengthen or refine his or her cognitive abilities. but the individual’s ignorance. so is not acting. the agent is not responsible in the strict sense for the appearances he has.

But in such modeling of one’s character each one should develop some refinements with regard to his or her cognitive abilities in order to be able to assess correctly what appears to him or to her to be good and. With respect to the responsibility one has for his character. if virtues are voluntary. This makes it clear why we are “somehow” responsible for our state of character: even when the way in which the end appears to an agent is in close connection with his state of character.132 MARCELO BOERI must also be responsible for doing a proper evaluation of the way in which the object of wish (bouleton) appears to him. Now. So Aristotle seems to be suggesting that all people have a certain ethical perception. If his thesis that everyone is both responsible for his character and how the end appears to him is rejected. Socrates was their ethical exemplar. 1114b3-8). Aristotle is also watchful. but such an ethical perception is strongly conditioned by the way his or her character is modeled. I think. accordingly. That is why Aristotle says that we actually are “somehow co-responsible” (sunaitioi pos) for our states of character (EN. and this is explained again by the fact that the way in which noble or pleasant things appear to each person depends on one’s state of character. but what appears to him is what is true (talethes. such as the concept of virtue (arete) as a form of knowledge (episteme). for both the early Stoics and Epictetus. what Aristotle emphasizes is that we are naturally disposed to receive (dexasthai. As I have said at the outset of this paper. Accordingly. This agent indeed has appearances of what is good. he should also be responsible for the effects that examining badly his own appearance of the end would have for his good life. 1103a25) virtue and to make it perfect through habituation. So. chapter 3. too. each agent also has some natural dispositions that do not depend entirely upon the agent. we should accept that the agent acts through ignorance of the end and that the aiming at the end is not self-chosen. see Sherman: 1989. vices will be so. For instance. not everyone has the same natural disposition to be brave. it turns out to be impossible to explain how virtue will be more voluntary than vice (EN. Aristotle maintains that the excellent or virtuous person judges each concrete situation of action correctly. in addition. Virtue does not arise in us by nature. although it is highly refined. 1114b21-22). the thesis _________ 40 On the Aristotelian topic of the choosing of character. the Stoics took for granted some standard Socratic tenets.40 Let me turn now to the Stoic analysis of the role of appearance in searching for what is good. EN. 1113a29-31). but we are born with a natural ability to discern rightly and choose what is truly good (EN. . But if this is the case. worth choosing. 1114b12-13). especially 86-94. no matter whether he or she is naturally disposed to acquire braveness as a moral virtue. is a Socratic heritage. And this. EN.

2000: 42-43). can work together as a whole): we give assent to certain propositions or statements (axiomata). Stobaeus. 42 Plutarch.95.58. 2. there would not be two events (assent and impulse) but only one (see Brennan.”42 Thus rational impulse is always “practical”. Some textual evidence. 18-19 (cf. 7... If this is so. 2. 43 According to Stobaeus’ testimony. there would be one virtue (knowledge) and one vice (ignorance). 4-60. 1037f (SVF. For a detailed analysis of the unity of virtue thesis in Stoicism. Sorabji. 1034d-e (LS 61C). that fits into the Socratic view that to be deprived of knowledge is the only bad action (Plato. assent and impulse can be considered as being two different events. 2. see also 97. 2. 3. 2-6). 10-15). In other words.169. just as every impulse is an act of assent. both the passionate and the equilibrated states have a clear cognitive origin. Ecl. and 2003: 266. Prot. impulse is a movement leading toward action (Ioppolo. and this sort of impulse is emotion or passion (pathos). PHP.63. when the characteristic cognitive state of the agent is opinion.2. SVF 3.88. Ecl. whose content is “I ought to do X”.6 above.. LS 60K). 15-98. 436. Ecl. And ignorance is nothing other than a vice opposed to prudence or wisdom (phronesis). 1. In the sequence of Stoic psychology of action. though—included in Stobaeus too—suggests that assent and impulse are two different things (that. See also Stobaeus. 20-22). in Plutarch.87. is the same thing as performing an impulse for doing X. 7. if nothing hinders it) intentionally toward action as a result of an assent to an appearance.43 Then it is arguable that impulse becomes exces- _________ 41 For the scope of these theses when attributed to Socrates see n. Ecl.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 133 of the unity of virtues and that virtue is necessary and sufficient for happiness.59. Stobaeus. 1988: 410-11). it is a movement of mind in which action is involved (Stobaeus. as for Socrates.. the Stoics maintain that. it is what makes the agent’s impulses unstable (akatastatous) and fluttery (ptoiodeis. opinion or doxastic belief (doxa). for example. 2000: 293-99. For the Stoics. the Stoics hold that all impulses are assents (Ecl. which may mean that impulse comes directly from assent. DL. his or her impulses are excessive or fluttered.97. In fact.175. SC. eventually. I would be willing to accept that assent and impulse are a unique totality as . As suggested by Ioppolo.. see Alesse. which is ignorance. What this view seems to imply is that.92-93. 2. Ecl.. The presence of these Socratic positions in the Stoics can be found. n.88. 68. 1998: 28. that is to say. 2.19. The Stoic Chrysippus says that “impulse is the reason of man prescribing (logos prostaktikos) him to act. 3-5).86. is the characteristic cognitive state of the base person (phaûlos). 345b5). impulse is considered as a motion of the soul which is directed (or can be directed. LS 53Q). Ecl. LS 53R). According to Chrysippus (as reported by Galen. 3. LS 61H). 17-8 (SVF.. since while assent is a sort of cognitive act implying the recognition of the truth of the proposition. SC. 6). 6-10 (LS 61D) and DL 7. Some scholars suggest that giving assent to an appearance. so too every assent to an appearance is an impulse..41 That appearance (phantasia) plays an important role in the Stoic account of action becomes obvious out of the Stoic psychology of action. 8 (cf. 2. and impulses are toward the predicates (kategoremata) (see Stobaeus. See also Stobaeus.

1056f.45 There has been a good deal of discussion concerning the “cataleptic” or cognitive appearances (kataleptikai phantasiai). SC. Those who have followed Frede’s treatment of this topic will note that he still thinks that the traditional view that the cataleptic appearances involve a clue of infallibility must be rejected. 1999: 303-307). On the Stoic sage’s epoche see Plutarch. M. have changed suddenly from the correct disposition into the bad one.44 This fits quite well into what Stobaeus says when reporting the two types of assent recognized by the Stoics. the “acataleptic”. SVF 3.3. behaves precipitately and gives his assent before having a real understanding or apprehension (Stobaeus. a couple of points that are relevant for my argument in this section. 17-18 (SVF 3. De princ. perverse opinions (ponerai doxai) and judgments (kriseis) that do not arise as a result of parts of the soul in conflict (as Platonists assume). that in a moment.382). in a human adult they can derive both from true propositions and from objects (see his discussion on the ambiguity of hyparchon• in the definition of cataleptic appearances. 1047c=SVF 2.. 7. the base person’s assent (which is identified with ignorance) is changeable and weak. In the critical cases where the sage cannot decide about the reliability of an appearance he must suspend judgment “in order not to make surmises” (Plutarch. A base person. especially 60-74. Passions are “excessive impulses”. See also Hankinson 2003. Cherniss’ translation). but are impulses (hormai) of the ruling part of the soul as a whole. Ecl. He does not think any more. 44 Plutarch. with Inwood’s discussion in his 1985: 78-81. however.111. MV. For emotions (pathe) as deviations (diastrophai) or perversions of reason see Themistius. (the first kind of opinion) and in making weak suppositions (the other kind of opinion). though. 3. 441C. 46 Frede 1987: 151-179. 107. 1999. Passions are certain states of one’s reason. 45 See Origen. . in de An. due to weakness and lack of stability.134 MARCELO BOERI sive as a result of the assent the agent has given to a proposition of a certain kind.. A fundamental feature of any cataleptic appearance is that it “arises from what is and is stamped and impressed exactly in accordance with _________ long as impulse immediately translates into action the proposition’s predicate (once that proposition has been recognised as being true). Before a non-graspable appearance the sage person simply suspends judgment.459 and LS 65G). For a wise person never makes a false supposition nor does he assent to anything which is not graspable. By contrast. certainly. Sextus. and his assents must be those that arise after a critical acceptance of an appearance. The Stoic sage is characterized like the one who has no surmise (hyponoia). SC. in giving his assent to what is not graspable. The cognitive state of the wise person guarantees that his beliefs are always safe and firm. 2. 17-112. that the cataleptic appearances should come just from perceptible objects: in fact.156. he neither holds opinions nor is ignorant.1. 446F-447A (cf. this is why for the Stoics he holds no opinion at all.46 Let me discuss briefly. 8).763.

THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 135 what is (kat’ auto to huparchon). he is deceived if the appearances are false (for evidence see Plutarch. 49 Inwood’s translation (in Inwood & Gerson 1997).993] and Tieleman’s discussion 1996: 184-85. others can eventually be true but unclear. 90.88. and that when it is here we shall do well by it. with the comments by Görler. a mirage. 5-7 (SVF 3.47 On the other hand. and it is of such a kind as could not arise from what is not” (Sextus. 7. At this point there is a significant difficulty having to do with the way in which it would be possible to account for how an appearance that does not reflect its object adequately occurs. SC. translation LS. LS 41G).” Similarly. rather.548.248. 90.244) as exemplifying the Stoic distinction concerning the “convincing appearance that is false. When an agent precipitantly yields to what is unclear. On the wise person’s aproptosia. if the sage person does not give his assent to the non-cognitive appearances it is due to the fact that such phantasiai appear before him and.” It is false as long as one can make a false assertion (pseudes kategoria) of it. 131). 8-9. 1977: 8587. 40E).48 (LS 31B). it does not explain how the sage can have non-cognitive appearances. the latter does give his assent to such appearances uncritically. 2. M. he rejects them and suspends judgment. What distinguishes the sage from the fool is that. see DL 7. But. 12).. when one says “I believe the oar is bent.48 and Papyrus Herc. at least necessarily. 7.247). 193-94). after having examined them critically. 1020 (SVF 2. the cause of fear “is believing (doxazein) that a bad thing is approaching” (Stobaeus.378.48 This can be clearly seen in the definition of some emotional states (pathe) which are closely linked to or are identified with an apparent good or bad. But this does not explain common cases of delusion that do not presuppose. Note that the causal account of each particular emotion is made from the base person’s viewpoint: the cause of appetite “is believing that a good is approaching. . for while some non-cataleptic appearances are false. For the Stoics. that he has them is obvious. on precipitancy as a feature of the Stoic base person see Stobaeus.. 65A). “Appetite” (epithymia) is described as directed at the apparent good.g. while the former does not assent to the non-cognitive appearances (or.. 16-18=SVF 3.” 48 DL 7. M. “non-precipitancy”. 1056f [SVF 2. The issue of non-cataleptic appearances is more sophisticated than what I have sketched here. Ecl. 7.49 But the evaluation of what appetite and _________ 47 The latter example is reported by Sextus (M. Ecl. e. that the perceiver is in a pathological state (for instance. By contrast. and fear (phobos) as directed at the apparent bad (Stobaeus.112. non-cataleptic appearances occur when the agent is in a pathological state (Sextus. Ecl. 2. to their propositional expressions). the psychological state of a passionate agent explains why those who are not trained in their appearances (phantasiai) have precipitancy (propeteia) in their assertions and veer into disorder (akosmia) and carelessness (eikaiotes). an oar that looks bent under the water).

The distortion that the base person’s emotions consists in—a distortion concerning what is good and bad—arises. What follows in Plutarch’s passage is part of his dispute with the Stoics. so it can lead to error. Both the sage and the fool receive cataleptic and non-cataleptic appearances. SC. But there is a systematic problem that should be stressed: what is appropriate must be different in the sage and in the fool. he avoids _________ 50 Plutarch. In their debates with the Academics. As is obvious. and that those who maintain that when an appropriate appearance (oikeia phantasia) occurs. But once more this shows the weak cognitive state of the agent. receiving the latter. 1037f-1038a).50 So Plutarch observes that. inasmuch as the standards they have for deciding what appearances are really appropriate are different and their evaluations of what is good or bad can disagree. 1057A (SVF 3. 43). In order to escape from the contradiction Plutarch attributes to Chrysippus. 5. DL 7. impulse ensues immediately without any yielding or assent (ı՘Țւȣ ՍȢμֻȟ μռ ıՀȠįȟijįȣ μșİպ IJȤȗȜįijįȚıμջȟȡȤȣ) talk nonsense. SC. When something X appears to an agent to be something leading him to what appears to be good or bad. and he attempts to show that Chrysippus is contradicting himself in saying that there is neither action nor impulse without assent and in suggesting later (1057a-b) that no assent or yielding is required. the issue of assent and the cognitive state of the agent in giving assent to a proposition turns out to be crucial in order to account for how a person can distinguish an apparent from a real good. but only action and impulse towards what appears. Galen.116. the agent shows himself as not being able to discriminate the true value of his appearances. PHP. This explains why the sage person does not have appetite but “reasoned desire” (boulesis). which is just an ill-justified belief. 16-18). the Stoics Chrysippus and Antipater seem to have defended the thesis that there is neither action nor impulse without assent (asunkatathetos). and this appearance of what is good or bad does not coincide with what is really good or bad (and not only with what appears to be good or bad in the short term). because of the “persuasiveness of appearances and instruction” (İțչ ijı ijռȟ ʍțȚįȟցijșijį ij‫׭‬ȟ ĴįȟijįIJț‫׭‬ȟ Ȝįվ ijռȟ ȜįijսȥșIJțȟ. or why he does not have fear but watchfulness (eulabeia. Chrysippus says. but when the sage. doubts that the proposition describing its contents is true. is the same as performing an impulse for doing X (see above n.177. .136 MARCELO BOERI fear are is based on a belief that is not accompanied by knowledge (and consequently that is not well justified). after all. this passage might be understood as meaning that giving assent to a proposition describing an impulsive appearance. 320. such as “I ought to do X”. Plutarch.5. requiring no assent. LS 53S). for the Stoics the mere presence of the appropriate appearance activates the impulse immediately.

on account of this.. 436. 2. since in order for an action to exist the agent must assent to the statement describing the appearance’s content. They take seriously only good things. the person having his cognitive capacities rightly trained will have his character well disposed too. if an agent considers that the pleasant is good and the painful bad. then. later that it is neither good nor bad. But in order to make our choices and avoidances correctly we need philosophy. 2. This shows that the impulsive appearance is just a necessary condition of action.22. The immediate effect is that he believes. this agent is being ruled by the power of appearance. In Socratic words. and if he follows this belief (doxa). and we possess by nature these tendencies toward each one. that the same X is bad. such an appearance being an appearance of what is truly good.22.2. not a sufficient one. PHP.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 137 assenting to it and suspends judgment.256). Epictetus says. we choose what appears to be good and avoid what appears to be bad. By contrast. 25). according to Chrysippus. by contrast. he is “ignorant of the essence of good” (ԐμįȚռȣ ԚIJijțȟ ȡ՘IJտįȣ ԐȗįȚȡ‫ )ף‬and. Consequently. 2. the one who is unable to discriminate what is good from what is evil (and what is neither good nor evil) cannot love. whoever has knowledge of what is good should love it. but assent depends on the agent. prompting his instability of character and indecisiveness. that X is good. Again. In all our actions. SVF 3. De Lacy. what will guarantee assent to what is really appropriate is that the cognitive state is episteme. first. they take seriously neither evils nor what does not concern them. to love is proper to the prudent or wise person (phronimos) alone (Dis. which makes him change his mind about the same things and takes away his peace of mind. while not making a correct use of his senses and not discriminating his appearances rightly. So if they take seriously the goods. chooses the former and avoids the latter. too. 23-29. People take seriously. those things that they suitably love. 7. he is intemperate. 5-7. ed. they love them. he is disturbed (ijįȢչijijׄ) and overcome (ԭijij‫׭‬IJțȟ) by appearances and their persuasiveness. Therefore. The reason why the fool cannot distinguish between what is good and what is bad is that. Epictetus offers an interesting argument that helps scrutinize the different attitudes the virtuous and vicious agents have before an “appropriate appearance”.. whose function is to teach us what is truly good and bad (ijЄ ȜįijѺ ΔȝЁȚıțįȟ ΔȗįȚЅȟ ijı ȜįЂ ȜįȜЅȟ). We should wonder whether or not it can occur that the fool stands before what is properly or really good and does not acknowledge it as being so.22. not doxa. 1-3). On the contrary. Galen reports that. (Dis. then. . in its therapeutic function philosophy becomes the means by which we could distinguish the apparent from the real good (Galen.

1.2.. accordingly. The thesis that lies behind this account is that one will have a good moral life if and only if one makes a correct use of appearances (a topic on which Epictetus frequently insists). Of these requirements. and to make a correct use of appearances is nothing other than testing and discriminating among them (Dis. . 1.e. correctly disposed.. the most important and urgent. if they are perverse and distorted.8. Nothing indicates that one should be necessarily good or bad. In addition to that Epictetus argues that the task of a rational agent who is making some progress in his moral life lies in (a) desire and rejection.. Dis. 4). 3. Indeed we should presume that the other two requisites also contribute importantly to emotional states not arising. to have a good life. 1. (b) in impulse and repulsion. but they can scrutinize them. in order not to be in error. in fact. 13. one’s state of character (or prohairesis.29. Epictetus maintains that nature has endowed us with reason for making a correct use of appearances. 52 On the difficulties to render prohairesis in Epictetus see Long 2002: 28-29. which displays what humans are as agents who are properly defined in terms of their own volitional acts) depends on each person. the agent will attain its own good or bad. 1. (c) in assent (prosthesis) and suspension of judgment.20.20 5-8). they make our choice good. 52 The place that the external things (ta ektos) have for Epictetus displays how one’s prohairesis should work in order to attain the real good and. is the first one. The external things are the materials (hulai) for our choice: depending on how one’s choice behaves.29.1.. 2-4).5. 12. in connection with this. in order to be unerring in the former. 7. 1. 1). For the correct evaluation of impulse and repulsion (which should be translated into an impulse to act or not to act in a determined direction) and. 1. 16.1. 1.6. Epictetus remarks. on the contrary.51 which is the only thing that is up to the agent... they make it bad (Dis.4. 1. And the only way through which choice will attain the proper good is not having a special consideration for such materials: if one’s beliefs (dogmata) regarding materials are correct. 3. On the use of appearances in Epictetus see Long’s comments in his 1996: 275-281 and more recently 2002: 85 and 214-17. 218-220. and not stumbling in the latter. for passions arise when desire is frustrated or when the agent falls into what he rejects (Dis.27. 1. in order to reject those appearances which have not passed their reason’s inspection. in order not to be deceived (Dis. 1. Even the “essence of the good” (and of the evil in the same way) depends upon the use of appearances (2. the origin of an emotion is explained as wanting something to happen and that it does not come about. 1. Humans cannot remove appearances from their lives.138 MARCELO BOERI and will realize that the good of man is his prohairesis disposed in a certain manner (i. 10-11). 12). the assessment of assent and suspension of judgment (which prevents us from being deceived by what is unclear) pro- _________ 51 See Dis.

one might ask: “whose soul?” If Epictetus means the soul of the prudent person. what can he do to be aware of his own state of ignorance? Furthermore. and to suspend judgment (epechein) with regard to what is unclear.3. everyone comes into the world endowed with an inborn conception of what is good and bad (Dis. To be sure. I think it is reasonable to believe that for Socrates a cognitive enlightenment must transform the agent by showing him what he really knows . trusted. 3. i.4). he contends. Without overstating my case. of course.11.e. Perhaps Epictetus is just pointing out the natural disposition that the rational beings have toward what is good.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 139 vide the agent with proper resources for having beliefs based on knowledge. One’s soul will never reject “a clear appearance of good” (ԐȗįȚȡ‫ ף‬ĴįȟijįIJտį ԚȟįȢȗսȣ. it must reject the bad and what is neither bad nor good. 3. so too the agent’s soul must be moved by its desire for the good. according to the Stoics.e. an impulse which.3.. a problem still remains: if the fool is ignorant. while when what appears is what is bad the soul moves away from it. one’s assessment of appearance will be deficient. However. but if he believes this to be so with regard to every soul (including the fool’s soul) the point sounds problematic. Dis. a peculiar task of the good person is to deal with his appearances properly. and unwavering beliefs. otherwise. But for doing that. it immediately activates the soul toward it. Epilogue Throughout this paper I have been emphasizing the fact that both Aristotle and the Stoics conducted their moral inquiry as a reaction to and as a development and refinement of Socrates’ theses. Now when the good appears. i. “in accordance with nature” (Dis. 1). one has already to be good or sage in Stoic terms. in so far as.. firm. 2. IV. to reject (ananeuein) what is false. you need to have your beliefs accompanied by knowledge in order not to reject such a clear appearance of the good. Besides. But the appearance of the real good is the only one which is able to set in motion the correct impulse. 34). is translated into a virtuous action. Epictetus observes that just as it is in every soul’s nature to assent (epineuein) to what is true.. But. there is no problem. What seems to be more or less clear is that there is an essential relation between the good as an object of impulse and the good as an object of knowledge. and this is in such a way that the agents will be completely or really rational when they recognize what is good at the theoretical level and act good at the practical lvevl. according to Epictetus. one should presume.

This is certainly far away from the presumably Socratic psychology as described in Plato’s Prot. 2. EN. Aristotle’s indication that the virtuous person hits the mean. I am following Gerson’s remarks in his 1995: 247-49. is obvious from the fact that the person must be properly prepared beforehand (or “cultivated”: prodieirgasthai. 1223a34. 1179b24-31). and epithymia. EE.. will allow the agent to delight in and to be pained by things that he ought (1104b11-12). not by his choice. Such a distinction was taken to be appropriate both by Aristotle and the Stoics. His account is again based on a dividedmind conception of the soul.55 and they probably did so believing that the desire aiming at what is good belongs to us as something distinctive of a rational being and that.87. 1224b1-2. 1119b5-7. 1370a17-18. although Aristotle considered that wrongdoing cannot be accounted for merely on the grounds of ignorance.54 Emotions may be cultivated in order to put them in line with reason. 1179b24) by means of habits for enjoying and hating finely (EN. the ignorance involved in a wrong action does not come from merely cognitive factors. implies that the virtuous agent is morally evaluated for his actions as well as for his emotions. but it is also based on a Socratic distinction between two kinds of desire: boulesis. 21-22. if the agent is able to establish the right states of his character. 116 (SVF 3. 1147a10-22). for the way he brings his emotions into line with reason. 1111b13-14).53 Both Aristotle and the Stoics took this proposal seriously. For the Stoics see DL 7. because of that. 1227a28-31.431). 210b-c. 509e5-6). 1996: 321-25. .140 MARCELO BOERI about what is good and bad for himself. his failure is due to the fact that he acts guided by his irrational desires. See also Plato. 433b5-6). EN. a desire for what is good. Rhetoric. Charmides. in a very Socratic manner. 55 See Aristotle.. 1111b16. 167e1-5. but it is a result of such factors plus a good state of character. Stobaeus. EN. 54 On this and other related topics see Vigo. making reference both to emotion and action. The incontinent agent’s problem is rather that he cannot actualize the knowledge he has: in order to do that one has to internalize his knowledge (sumphuênai) as well as to incorporate it into his habituations (EN. This becomes clear from the fact that for Aristotle the incontinent agent does not necessarily have an incorrect appearance of what is good (in fact. That for Aristotle emotions can be moderated or cultivated. we _________ 53 At this point. or rather. A proper education of character. Ecl. To be sure. 1235b22-28. that rational beings are able to distance themselves from the immediate desires concerning bodily pleasure. 1369a2-3. Theaetetus.. but Aristotle also stresses. a synchronic model describing the conflict between opposing parts (On the Soul. Gor. then. a desire for what is pleasant and not necessarily good (Plato.

. and how to apply them to the concrete situations of action (Galen. a form of desire that works following a cognitively enlightened appearance of the object of desire. both Chrysippus and Epictetus emphasize the fact that philosophy is the correct therapy for transforming our feeble beliefs into firm beliefs. 2. in the development of character. 320. That is the most reliable way to dismiss the “persuasiveness of (false) appearances. “in accordance to nature”) our preconceptions of what is rational or irrational. CHILE . For their part. 1-3). 1. 15).e. 1. Dis.” UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES SANTIAGO.5. The proper therapy for Aristotle consists in saying that. not to Aristotle. b29-30). This means that we need a philosophical education to learn how to use properly (i. For him. and that the very beginning of exercising philosophy and applying it to one’s life is one’s own awareness of the proper state of one’s commanding faculty (Dis. 16-18. PHP. 5. The view of philosophy as therapy properly belongs to the Stoics. early education is crucial.2. good or bad.THE APPARENT AND REAL GOOD 141 must pursue a rational or “reasonable” desire..5-6.11.26. there are some agents (the intemperate) whose dispositions of character are incurable (EN. 1150a21-22.

discuss what they say happiness (eudaimonia) is. Aristotle. the similarities between Aristotle’s and the Stoics’ alternative accounts of incontinence. his project is “to sketch an account of how the distinction ‘apparent-real good’ is meant to be understood” (113). but virtuous activity that is (part of) the highest good. before addressing the role one’s grasp of the good or apparent good plays in action. Beginning with Socratic Intellectualism. At its broadest. he discusses Aristotle’s criticism of it. in particular. which addresses knowing what ought to be done in the here and now: how does an agent correctly determine what to do in some concrete situation. though closely related.COMMENTARY ON BOERI IAKOVOS VASILIOU Marcelo Boeri’s rich and interesting paper focuses on moral psychology. and the Aristotelian and Stoic views about how the different ways the good appears to an agent affect action (121). 109. As Boeri himself states (114-115). .1 But there is also a second set of epistemological concerns. as Aristotle insists. which holds that virtue and knowledge are identical. frequently raised in the paper (e. I shall also briefly point out how these issues might indicate the importance of a couple of neglected passages to his conclusions about the relationship of Aristotle and the Stoics to the Platonic Socrates. having her judgement about what to do adversely affected by a presently available pleasure? Boeri frequently speaks of these two cognitive assessments together: “One might think it is _________ 1 I say “essentially bound up” as a way of ignoring for present purposes all of the substantive differences between their respective views concerning the relationship between virtue and happiness: whether virtue is merely necessary or also sufficient for happiness. since happiness itself is an activity. In the opening two pages of Boeri’s paper several importantly distinct. and how does she avoid.g. This sounds like a project in moral epistemology: How do we know what is the real good and how do we distinguish it from the merely apparent good? One might then discuss what the ancients say about what the overall real good is – that is. it is not the state of being virtuous. the real good for human beings is essentially bound up with virtue. and the Stoics. etc. for the Platonic Socrates.. whether. 110). In the limited space I have to discuss such a wide range of material. I shall argue primarily that Boeri’s treatment of Socrates might benefit from a more detailed focus on moral epistemology. questions are raised.

however. of course.2. with which Boeri begins. Naturally enough. the puzzle of incontinence then arises. If Aristotle had the Protagoras specifically in mind. I simply suggest the possibility that this was a famous line from the historical Socrates that everyone knew. Now Socrates’ position. 3 I say “apparently”.5). Aristotle. In the third paragraph.”2 (a) concerns knowing what to do in the here and now. then. although I think almost all scholars take the reference to Socrates’ denial that “knowledge could be dragged around like a slave” (1145b23-4) to be a quotation from the Protagoras. is a limiting case that largely collapses the distinction between moral epistemology and moral psychology: if the true grasp of the good guarantees correct action. 1145b21-7). have in action? What goes wrong when a person acts contrary to her conception of the real good? Does a person ever act contrary to the way the good appears to her? Boeri is now asking about the effect of our beliefs about the real and apparent good on our actions. as opposed to the merely apparent good. and a study of the similarities and differences between Socrates. This. I want. incorrectly believing that it is. But I may have. So the gap between the apparent and the real good opens up on two distinct fronts in moral epistemology. Boeri shifts his focus to moral psychology: what role does the grasp of the real good. and how we justify them. then grasping the real good is the beginning and end of virtue. and the Stoics on akrasia dominates much of the paper. (b) is knowing what one’s happiness consists in. I find it surprising that there is . is Socratic Intellectualism. I might have a mistaken conception of my overall good. the Protagoras is important since it is the dialogue that seems to offer the most extensive defense of Socrates’ intellectualism and since it is apparently quoted from by Aristotle in his own discussion of incontinence (EN. either alternatively or in addition. rather than raising questions about which of those beliefs are the right ones. to call attention to their difference. The first two paragraphs of the paper focus on correct and incorrect judgements about the real good in both of these senses. so that there is not even the possibility of a person with a true grasp of the good failing (voluntarily) to act correctly. VII. honor or pleasure (think of Aristotle’s consideration of conceptions of happiness in EN I.3 Immediately before his discussion _________ 2 Although Professor Boeri said this in the original draft of his paper. it was cut from the final draft. say. Unsurprisingly. which is then quoted both in the Protagoras and in the EN. a mistaken grasp of what I ought to do in the here and now.COMMENTARY ON BOERI 143 a truism to maintain that one must have a certain refinement of his or her intellectual abilities when attempting to (a) make a proper evaluation of what the correct course of action is or (b) of what the real good is for oneself.

This sentence once again joins the epistemological question of knowing what the overall good is with the question of knowing what the good action in the here and now is. but putting aside moral psychology questions (is that knowledge alone sufficient to get me actually to use things correctly?). simply knowing that I need to know how to use it correctly. and not misuse it. Now this is the problem addressed in Socrates’ second engagement with Clinias in the Euthydemus (288d292e). Boeri writes: “For Socrates. be taken as straightforward evidence of what Socrates (or Plato) thinks about wisdom. goods. which figures so centrally in the argument for the denial of incontinence. however. the cognitive state of the agent is crucial for the correct assessment of what the good is and. Socrates and Clinias (and Crito as well) are not able to specify what that knowledge is (292e) despite its being (at least) necessary _________ no mention at all of its hedonism. There it is concluded that what is needed is some sort of “royal skill (ȖįIJțȝțȜռ ijջȥȟș). or health. as it often is. Aristotle takes it as obvious that incontinence has to do with being overcome by some sort of pleasures and pains (1146b10-11). 4 I think that the Euthydemus argument should not. It establishes that knowledge of how to use other things correctly (ՌȢȚ‫׭‬ȣ) is necessary for those things to function as goods.” which will provide us with knowledge of how to use the first-order skills and their products. are merely conditional goods insofar as their goodness depends upon their being used properly (i. The Meno and Euthydemus argue that only wisdom/knowledge are necessarily beneficial. and his discussion of the hedonist argument in the Protagoras. say. because only wisdom/knowledge guarantee the correct use of things. It is not an investigation into the truth about the nature of wisdom and happiness. While this argument is hardly trivial. will not help me to determine what to do. It also provides the transition between Boeri’s discussion of the “misuse arguments” in the Euthydemus and Meno. I cannot elaborate on this here. and I shall try to explain why. by knowledge). of course. there is a lot more work to be done simply in terms of discovering what the good is: what would it be to use. these “apparent” goods can become downright harmful. wealth. since it arises in a very particular and charged context: an explicit example of protreptic aimed at turning the young Cleinias towards virtue and philosophy. But famously and frustratingly. like fortitude. it nevertheless clearly leaves important questions unanswered.4 Other apparent goods. But what is it to use these things correctly? Knowledge is the state that enables an individual to make correct use of things.144 IAKOVOS VASILIOU of the Protagoras.. I am not certain we ought to connect these arguments in the way Boeri advocates. and happiness. wealth “correctly”? If I want to do what is truly good in the here and now with my wealth. it is explicitly an attempt at conversion. for the quality of the particular actions he or she is able to perform” (118).e. then. Misused. to be contrasted with the methods of Euthydemus and Dionysodorus. .

but not in the way an incontinent goes wrong. The “art of measurement. In the Euthydemus the wisdom is simply wisdom of how to use things “correctly” or “rightly” (ՌȢȚ‫׭‬ȣ). because I was overcome by the good. not the art of measurement. is not a skill the possession of which enables a person to know what the overall good is. The knowledge that is critical to happiness has an object in the Protagoras: it is knowledge of the measurement of pleasures and pains. in contrast to the mere “power of appearance. The answer to that question is simply accepted in the Protagoras: the real good for human beings is pleasure. is clearly cashed out: “rightly” means in order to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure overall. a knowledge that will make people good – but in what respect they are good remains undiscovered. on which Boeri focuses. as was the case with the “royal skill” of the Euthydemus. It does not help. by contrast. The art of measurement is not a second-order techne. is the “salvation of life” only on the assumption that hedonism is true. therefore. given that pleasure is truly the good. It seems to me that the key difference between the hedonist argument in the Protagoras and Socrates’ arguments in the Euthydemus is that although they both prize knowledge as critical.5 This is relevant to the issue of incontinence. knowing it was bad. it does not address that question in moral epistemology.” If one had only the “power of appearance” to go by one would go wrong. whose end or product is problematic.” then. The art of measurement. nor is it concerned with. the good. and thus right action. But I cannot discuss this here. Hedonism enables one to swap the terms “the pleasant” and “the good” and thereby render “I did what was bad. In the Protagoras. whose end is clear: the maximization of pleasure. it is. the question of whether pleasure is in fact the real or only the apparent good. in the Protagoras the argument proceeds on the assumption that what the good is has already been determined. further. because I was overcome by pleasure” as “I did what was bad. . knowing it was bad. Given the hedon- _________ 5 An assumption explicitly brought up for consideration five or six times. What the knowledge of this skill will enable one to do. which leads me to be sceptical about whether the hedonism is endorsed by Socrates. What ensures the absence of incontinence is the hedonism. anymore than knowledge of medicine is what makes a person know that the end of medicine is health.COMMENTARY ON BOERI 145 that knowledge is (292e) despite its being (at least) necessary for happiness.” is to guarantee that one gets acting well in the here and now right. It is rather a first-order techne.

146 IAKOVOS VASILIOU ist principle one would be correctly aiming at maximizing pleasure. ch. I do not think that the art of measurement can be what distinguishes between good pleasures and bad ones in the Gorgias. Further. 1982]. The art of measurement deals exclusively in pleasures and pains. Once we have effected a distinction between pleasure and the good. both in general and in the here and now. and I know that this action fails to maximize it. This is not Socratic intellectualism as I understand it – this is the different and significantly weaker idea that you need knowledge or (as the Meno claims. “I know that pleasure is the good. there is no independent sense to “good” and “bad. and Value (Oxford. a kind action. Let us assume that the hedonist argument is correct. does Boeri’s idea that the Gorgias and Protagoras may be reconciled mean that he thinks that Socrates is a hedonist of some sort? If so. 97c) at least true belief to get things right. since they are obviously opposed to hedonism? . one would fail to determine correctly which action in fact leads to the most pleasure overall.’s 3-4). for the moment. how does this influence his assessment of Aristotle’s and the Stoics’ relation to Socrates. rises again with full force. Rudebusch. the problem of determining what the good is. that I would also not agree with Boeri’s suggestion. but. even though he knows via his art of measurement that it is not the action that provides the most pleasure overall. and although he also knows.6 Consider the following example. in contrast to the confused person with the mere power of appearance. as happens in the Gorgias. 1999). that the Gorgias and Protagoras may be rendered consistent by distinguishing between short and long-term pleasures. similar to Gosling and Taylor’s (The Greeks on Pleasure [Oxford. We can imagine Fred saying. Boeri describes the agent with the art of measurement. he will have peace of mind and will ‘save his life’. overcome by pity. Maybe this calculation is the expertise demanded by Socrates to make a correct distinction between good pleasures and bad ones (Gorgias 500a4-6) (118). The Protagoras is a special case where this question has. by noticing the truth. as follows: …[he] will be able to make the power of appearance powerless and. 356d4-e4).” The whole point is that these terms have been replaced by quantitative measurements of pleasure and pain. not via the art of measurement. See also. Pleasure. and that Fred possesses the art of measurement. for example. then. because one lacked the art of measurement. I just _________ 6 It is not surprising. The truth here must mean the correct calculation in weighing pleasant things against the painful ones (Prot. subsided. for there it is acknowledged that we seek pleasure for the sake of the good and not vice versa (500a). G. that pleasure is the good. We can imagine the possibility of an incontinent Fred who chooses to perform. but then. Socrates.

his emphasis). where one is persuaded to act contrary to pleasure and not in exchange for greater pleasure. since knowledge can be misused. Aristotle as well in his account of incontinence dismisses the importance of whether a person acts contrary to knowledge or simply to belief. This seems to me to affect Boeri’s later discussion of Aristotle’s critique of Socrates’ identification of virtue and knowledge (122-125). Boeri begins by saying that Socrates’ thesis in the Euthydemus that sophia never errs appears to preclude the idea that knowledge can be misused.). 1146b29-30). in the final argument in the Meno (97c ff. discussed by Boeri. even if knowing that hedonism is true and possessing the skill of measurement is sufficient for virtue and happiness. it would be as paradoxical as his denial in the more ordinary contexts where hedonism is not on the table. Boeri notes. if Socrates does believe that the person with knowledge will always attain what is truly good. is not envisioned – all of those present. I shall accept Boeri’s interpretation of Aristotle’s criticism of Socrates in the extremely difficult EE VIII. as he presumably would. however. But I do not see that Socrates’ argument excludes such a possibility.3. the virtues cannot be forms of knowledge. I do not see where Socrates says that a person without the skill of measurement will “always” fail – could he not get lucky sometimes. where the person who attempts to be a liar about sums but is ignorant of calculation is said to run the risk of accidentally speaking the truth (367a).COMMENTARY ON BOERI 147 can’t resist this plea for help. Second. that Aristotle’s examples involve ordinary craft-knowledge and that “[craft-knowledge] is not the kind of . then the knowledge in question is not the knowledge of the art of measurement alone.1: in a nutshell.” In the context of the Protagoras such incontinence. but must be the possession of that skill plus the knowledge that hedonism is true. A related disagreement I have with Boeri concerns his insistence that according to Socrates a person with mere opinion will “always” fail (116. First. while the one having opinion will always attain what is apparently good (and does not coincide with the real good). “for some are convinced no less about what they believe than others about what they know” (EN VII. relying simply on his beliefs? Indeed. but the virtues cannot. For present purposes. Socrates notoriously claims that true belief can operate just as reliably as knowledge when it comes to action. If he denied this sort of incontinence is possible. top 121 twice): “the agent having knowledge will always attain what is truly good and act accordingly. and his action will be wrong” (121. I have two remarks. Consider too the Hippias Minor. and “the many” for whom they answer already accept hedonism.

Without this knowledge. [the art of measurement] is indeed a techne and. was heavily concerned with warning against confusing a (mere) skill with moral expertise. questions of incontinence entirely aside.148 IAKOVOS VASILIOU knowledge [Socrates] takes to be ‘moral knowledge’. correctly. and the other “apparent” goods. Socrates can never . Without the plausibility of this assumption. in my view. Hedonism solves that problem: things are used correctly when they maximize pleasure. the art of measurement from the Protagoras seems indeed to be just such a craft. the art of measurement. which is a first-order craft. in the context of the Protagoras it is assumed that no one would voluntarily act against what is most pleasant – that is. The art of measurement of pleasures and pains. does prevent the agent from confusing what appears to be the good with what is really good. the second-order craft arises in the context of there being no substantive picture of what will count as using the first-order crafts. That this knowledge by itself causes us to choose the real good is plausible only when conjoined with the hedonism of the Protagoras. He writes: After all. If he were able to answer the Socratic “what is F?” question he would be able to distinguish without error the virtuous from the non-virtuous actions. And. But perhaps Socrates. the knowledge that virtue is turns out to be like craft knowledge. the form of knowledge that allows you to draw the distinction between what is good and bad. As I noted earlier. This is the knowledge that the art of measurement provides on the assumption that hedonism is true. It is true that this first-order techne. what he denies. as such it should be included among the “know how” forms of knowledge. is not moral expertise in the sense of enabling us to know what our overall good is. Furthermore. either” (123). When Socrates denies having craft knowledge of virtue. since of course Socrates seems to be searching for just such a craft. It is not a “royal craft” because hedonism preempts the necessity for such a second-order skill – the special sort of wisdom that cannot be misused. as Boeri himself wonders. in declaring [that he lacks] the sort of knowledge the possessors of technai have. is knowledge of how to determine what the right action is in the here and now. and. and to choose what appears really good and coincides with what is good (123). however. we are stuck with the denial of incontinence that Aristotle complains “conflicts with the manifest appearances” (1145b27-8). the knowledge [craftsmen] profess cannot be that which prevents the agent from confusing an apparent good with a real good. Here I think the distinction is critical between knowing what happiness is and knowing what the correct action in the here and now is. This should strike us as puzzling. or ‘knowledge of what is good and bad’. but in the here and now. there would be no one like incontinent Fred.

Boeri attributes a moderate intellectualism to the Stoics according to which one cannot act contrary to knowledge. Both of these goings-wrong would be different from cases that might possibly be considered “weakness” cases: in those type of cases we are acting against either what we believe to be our overall good. two ways we might “go wrong.COMMENTARY ON BOERI 149 know (without the aid of his daimonion) that what he does is actually virtuous. In fact in the closing passage of the chapter (which I wish Boeri had discussed) Aristotle famously pulls back from and seems to half-retract his criticism of Socrates. But several times in EN VII. In Ross’s Oxford Translation: And because the last term is not universal nor equally an object of knowledge with the universal term. but to virtue. 1. if we follow the above distinction.3 the blame is put on a faulty minor premise. even if he is explicitly aiming at acting virtuously. but can act contrary to what seems best to one (127). the Stoics claim that a person is overcome by pleasure because he has only opinion. On his account of Aristotle the incontinent’s failure is due to his having the incorrect major premise. the position that Socrates sought to establish actually seems to result. we may pursue our false conception of the good incorrectly by not doing the actions that would in fact lead us to maximize our pleasure—this would be rectified by the knowledge of the art of measurement. If the good is not identical to pleasure. there are. or what we take to be the good in the here and now. which Boeri does not discuss. Of course this sounds quite similar to Socrates. But it seems to me that this also ought to be compared with Aristotle’s absolute rejection of the possibility that the phronimos acts incontinently (1146a4-9).” One is that we might mistakenly believe that pleasure is the good: when we pursue the pleasant then we are not acting incontinently. But this kind of “going wrong” is of course different from weakness cases. This strikes me as a critical (though famously difficult) passage to come to terms with for assessing Aristotle’s similarity with Socrates as well as his . According to Boeri. Since space is limited I shall conclude by simply mentioning two critical passages in Aristotle. but not knowledge. we are pursuing what we falsely believe is the good. for it is not what is thought to be knowledge proper that the passion overcomes (nor is it this that is dragged about as a result of the passion) but perceptual knowledge (1147b13-17). but which I believe are important for understanding how these issues in Socrates connect to both Aristotle and the Stoics. 2. Boeri says: “It is also suggestive to note that in the Stoic account the proposition to which assent must be given somehow contains both the major and minor premises of Aristotle’s practical syllogism” (130). In addition or alternatively.

150 IAKOVOS VASILIOU potential connection with the Stoics. If the incontinent’s failure concerns the minor premise. it seems to me that Aristotle’s position moves much closer to the Stoics’. THE GRADUATE CENTER/BROOKLYN COLLEGE. CUNY . insofar as they claim that the distinction between the Sage and non-Sage stems from differences in particular propositions about the world around them to which they assent.

BOERI BIBLIOGRAPHY
Alesse, F. La Stoa e la tradizione socratica, Napoli. Annas, J. 1999. Platonic Ethics. Old and New. Ithica and London. Anscombe, E. 1963 Intention, Oxford. _______ 1995. “Practical Inference”, in R. Hursthouse, G. Lawrence, W. Quinn (eds.) Virtues and Reasons. Philippa Foot and Moral Theory, Oxford 1995, 1-34. Arnim von, H. 1903-1905. Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, Stuttgart. Brennan, T. 1998. ‘The Old Stoic Theory of Emotion’, in J. Sihvola, T. EngbergPedersen (eds.) The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy, Dordrecht-BostonLondon, 21-70. _______ 2003. “Stoic Moral Psychology”, in B. Inwood (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics, Cambridge, 257-294. Brickhouse, T.C., Smith, N. D. 1994. Plato’s Socrates, New York-Oxford. Broadie, S. 1991. Ethics with Aristotle, New York-Oxford. Carone, G.R. 2000. “Hedonism and the Pleasureless Life in Plato’s Philebus”, in Phronesis, XLV/4, 257-283. Cleary, J.J. 1991. “Socratic Influences on Aristotle’s Ethical Inquiry”, in K.J. Boudouris (ed.) The Philosophy of Socrates, Athens, 98-115. Davidson, D. 1980. Essays on Actions and Events, Oxford. Ferber, R. 2001. “Ist die Idee des Guten nicht transzendent oder ist sie es doch? Nochmals Platons epekeina tês ousias”, in Méthexis, XIV, 7-21. _______ 2002. “The Absolute Good and the Human Good”, in G. Reale & S. Scolnicov (eds.) New Images of Plato. Dialogues on the Idea of Good, Sankt Augustin, 187-196. Fortenbaugh, W.W. 1979 ‘Aristotle’s Rhetoric on Emotions’, in J. Barnes, M. Schofield, R. Sorabji (eds.) Articles on Aristotle. Psychology and Aesthetics, London, 133-153. Frede, M. 1987. “Stoics and Skeptics on Clear and Distinct Impressions”, in his Essays in Ancient Philosophy, Oxford, 151-179. _______ 1999. “Stoic Epistemology”, in K. Algra, J. Barnes, J. Mansfeld and M. Schofield (eds.) The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, Cambridge. Gadamer, H.G. 1985. “Logos und Ergon im platonischen Lysis”, in Griechische Philosophie II (Gesammelte Werke VI), Tübingen. _______ 1993. Hermeneutik II. Wahrheit und Methode (Gesammelte Werke II), Tübingen. Gauthier, R-A., Jolif, J.Y. 1958-1959. Aristote. L’ Éthique à Nicomaque, LouvainParis (vols. I-III). Gerson, L. 1999. “On Knowledge and Self in Plato”, in J.J. Cleary & G.M. Gurtler, S.J., (eds.) Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, vol. XV (1999), Leiden-Boston-Köln, 231-253. Gill, C. 1996. Personality in Greek Epic, Tragedy, and Philosophy. The Self in Dialogue, Oxford. _______ 1998. “Did Galen Understand Platonic and Stoic Thinking on Emotions?”, in J. Sihvola, T. Engberg-Pedersen (eds.), The Emotions in Hellenistic Philosophy, Dordrecht-Boston-London, 113-169. _______ 2002. “Critical Response to Hermeneutic Approach from an Analytic Perspective”, in G. Reale & S. Scolnicov, (eds.), cited above, 211-222.

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Görler, W. 1977. “Asthenes sunkatathesis. Zur stoischen Erkenntnistheorie”, in Würzburger Jahrbücher für die Altertumswissenschaft neue Folge, Band 3, 83-92. Gosling, J. 1987. “The Stoics and Akrasia”, in Apeiron, 20, 179-202. Hankinson, R.J. 2003. “Stoic Epistemology”, in B. Inwood (ed.), quoted above, 59-84. Inwood, B. 1985 Ethics and Human Action in Early Stoicism, Oxford. __________1993. “Seneca and Psychological Dualism”, in J. Brunschwig and M.C. Nussbaum (eds.) Passions & Perceptions. Studies in Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind. Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium Hellenisticum, Cambridge, 150-183. Inwood, B., Gerson, L.P. 1997. Hellenistic Philosophy. Introductory Readings, Indianapolis-Cambridge. Ioppolo, A.M. 1987. ‘Il monismo psicologico degli stoici antici’, in Elenchos, 8, 449466. _______ 1988. “Le cause antecedenti in Cic. De fato 40”, in J. Barnes & M. Mignucci (eds.) Matter and Metaphysics. Fourth Symposium Hellenisticum, Napoli, 397-424. _______ 1995. “L Horme Pleonazousa nella dotrinna stoica della passione”, in Elenchos, Anno 16, 1, 25-55 Irwin, T. 1995 Plato’s Ethics, Oxford. Joyce, R. 1995. “Early Stoicism and Akrasia” Phronesis, 60, N° 3, 315-335. Kahn, C.H. 1996. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue: The Philosophical Use of a Literary Form, Cambridge. Labarrière, J.J. 1993. “De la ‘nature phantastique des animaux chez les Stoïciens” in J. Brunschwig and M.C. Nussbaum, (eds.) cited above, 225-249. Long, A.A. 1968. “Aristotle’s Legacy to Stoic Ethics”, in Bulletin of the University of London Institute of Classical Studies, 15, 72-85 (reprinted in Irwin, T. [ed.] Classical Philosophy: Collected Papers, vol. V: Aristotle’s Ethics, New York 1995, 378-391). _______ 1996. Stoic Studies, Cambridge, _______ 1998. “Theophrastus and the Stoa”, in van Ophuijsen, J.M, van Raalte, M. (eds.) Theophrastus. Reappraising the Sources, New Brunswick and London, 355-383. _______ 2002. Epictetus. A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life, Oxford. Long, A.A., Sedley, D.N. 1987. The Hellenistic Philosophers, Cambridge (2 vols.). Robinson, R. 1977. “Aristotle on Akrasia”, in J. Barnes, M. Schofiedl and R. Sorabji (eds.) Articles on Aristotle: Ethics and Politics, vol. 2, 79-91. Sandbach, F.H. 1985. Aristotle and the Stoics (PCphS suppl. Vol. 10), Cambridge. Santas, G.X. 1979. Socrates. Philosophy in Plato’s Early Dialogues, London. _______ 1993. “Socratic Goods and Socratic Happiness”, in T. Irwin & M.C. Nussbaum (eds.) Virtue, Love & Form. Essays in Memory of Gregory Vlastos, Edmonton, 37-52. Sherman, N. 1989. The Fabric of Character, Oxford. Sorabji, R. 2000. Emotion and Peace of Mind. From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation, Oxford. Tieleman, T. 1996. Galen & Chrysippus on the Soul. Argument and Refutation in the De Placitis, Books II-III, Leiden-New York-Köln. Vigo, A.G. 1996. Zeit und Praxis bei Aristoteles. Die Nikomachische Ethik und die zeit-ontologischen Voraussetzungen des vernunftgesteuerten Handelns, FreiburgMünchen. Vlastos, G. 1991. Socrates. Ironist and Moral Philosopher, Ithaca-New York.

COLLOQUIUM 3

THE FACES OF JUSTICE. DIFFERENCE, EQUALITY, AND INTEGRITY IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC
ARYEH KOSMAN

I recently read two books in which Plato plays an emblematic role as villain.1 Both books are in one way or another devoted to celebrating modalities of difference (mainly religious and cultural) among people, and to urging greater respect and appreciation for these differences. And in both, impediments to what one of the authors terms the ‘dignity of difference’ are attributed primarily to Plato, who is not discussed in any detail, but who is depicted as an archetypal champion of unity and enemy of difference. I recognize as common the perception that difference is something to which Plato is hostile, but it is a perception that puzzles me, and the puzzlement is connected to my reading of one of Plato’s master dialogues, the Republic. For that work, it seems to me, includes among its many and complex themes arguments that call into question such a characterization of Plato. One of those arguments seems central to the manifest thinking of the dialogue. Here it is: one way to characterize justice, ostensibly the dialogue’s central topic, is as a normative principle of difference. In the first part of this essay I want to explore this characterization of justice. The discussion of justice that rules the early sections of the Republic, in the course of which the meaning of the virtue is most clearly articulated, reveals justice to be a principle of appropriate differentiation. In later moments in the dialogue, the emphasis upon differentiation in Books 1 to 4 is complemented by a discourse on equality and unity, and in the second part of this essay, I will consider justice in relation not to differentiation, but to integrity. The discourse on integrity is connected to the complex account of being and forms elaborated in the central books of the dialogue and illustrated by the figure of the divided line. That figure, to be sure, alerts us by its central trope of images and what they are images of to

_________
1 Jonathan Sacks, Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations, (London: Continuum, 2002) and Daniel Boyarin, A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). These books are not in any sense about Plato, and my exploitation of them here as symbolic of a cultural cliché should not be read as critical of their larger purposes, which are in many ways admirable.

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the existence of governing themes in the dialogue’s ontology other than that of the unity and differentiation that I will discuss. But I will suggest nevertheless how the divided line is used by Plato to figure the logical space of being in relation to unity and difference, attention to which might offer new perspectives on the old question of the one and the many. I Let us begin briefly with what I have (somewhat tendentiously) styled the ‘obvious’ point about the Republic. Consider these two fairly straightforward questions about justice in the Republic. 1) What does it mean to speak of justice as a virtue, or perhaps more generally, what is the relation of justice to virtue? 2) Why is the exposition of justice in the Republic so importantly related to the elaboration of an ideal city? An easy read of the dialogue might offer in answer to the first question the fact that justice is a paradigmatic form of virtue. It is not difficult to see why, and seeing why may at the same time answer my second question. For we often think of justice as a primary mode of social or political virtue, and we often think of social or political virtue as essential to our notion of morality. We might also be impressed with the fact that justice concerns itself with our relations to others; if we think that our moral, in contrast to our prudential, concerns are essentially about our relations to others, this might lend credence to the centrality of justice in our moral repertory. On both of these views, justice is seen to organize the moral habits and modes of actions and institutions in which as individuals we are able to flourish in our dealings in the political and social realm. It is perhaps some such reasoning that leads John Rawls to claim at the beginning of his Theory of Justice that justice is to morality as rationality is to inquiry and science. Thinking of justice and virtue this way may help us to understand why justice was such a key concept in Greek moral thought. It would explain to us why İտȜįțȡȣ is a standard word for doing right, and ԔİțȜȡȣ for wrongdoing. But this view depends on a very broad understanding of virtue, in which ‘virtue’ refers to a general state or condition of morality. As we read the Republic, however, we very soon come to realize the infelicity of this view. Recall when the notion of virtue is first introduced in the Republic. It comes first early in Book 1 at 335b when we read of the virtue of dogs and the virtue of horses, by which, it is made clear to us, is meant the characteristics that make dogs good dogs or horses good horses. Somewhat later, in a discussion with Thrasymachus at 353b, the notion of virtue is connected with that of function. A function—the Greek word is

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ergon—is, as it becomes for Aristotle, a characteristic activity; it is what something is busy doing when it is most being itself. It means, as we can hear in its English cognates, the work specific to an entity under some particular description. So a virtue is the quality that something has that enables it to perform its function well, that is, to be itself characteristically in a good fashion. That is why Socrates is able to discuss the virtue of a dog or of a horse. Putting the matter most simply, we might say that a virtue is a good quality. Morally, we ought perhaps to be less inclined to speak of a general condition of virtue than to speak of particular virtues, recognizing that a virtue is a good state of character. Justice therefore is a virtue. This means simply that it is a state or quality of an entity that in some sense enables that entity to do well what it characteristically does. But what kind of virtue is justice? This is the very question that the Republic asks in book 1 and then addresses in books 2 to 4. Socrates there proposes (a) that the answer to this question, because justice is a general attribute, will be constant over several different kinds of entity to which we might ascribe it and (b) that we would do well to look at justice in a political organization where it might be easier to discern. So: whatever it is to which we are ascribing the virtue of justice (saying of it, in other words, that it is just) justice is (one of the things that) enable it to do well what its function is. To know then what justice is in a city (that is, in a social or political commonwealth) we will need to know what its characteristic activity is, that is, we will need to know what is the nature of a city. Socrates suggests that we address this question by imagining the origin of social collectivity, and finds this origin in the division of labor, that feature of social organization that responds to the fact that none of us is self-sufficient. Thus Socrates at 369b:
I think that a city comes to be because none of us is self-sufficient, but we all need many things; ….so we call one person to do one thing for us, and another to do another.

The argument with which he immediately follows this observation that the city is founded on a division of labor is simple but critical. Different folks are different; they are therefore able to do different things well, differently suited for different tasks. There will therefore be better and worse divisions of labor depending on who does what. Put this observation together with the claim that one will do her best at a given task if she devotes the large part of her energies to it, and there emerges the central claim of this

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section of the Republic. A society will work best if different people do different jobs and do the jobs for which they are best suited. Given this originating principle of a city as a political organization, anything will count as a virtue of a city if it makes that system of organization work well. Note that we can devise the same archaeology with any kind of social organization that is constituted for a purpose. Suppose for example that we wish to organize a group to rob a local bank. There are several characteristics that our group will need to cultivate or hope that it antecedently has so as to enable the venture to be successful. It will need intelligent planning. It will need not to be easily frightened. It will need to have a kind of self-restraint, by virtue of which our robbers will not necessarily grab the first piece of money they see nor be so greedy as to endanger the operation, by ignoring, for example, a timetable because there is still more money to be had. Notice that the characteristics I have just listed include three of the four cardinal virtues that Socrates invokes in these books of the Republic, the virtues of wisdom, courage and IJȧĴȢȡIJփȟș: temperance or self-mastery. In addition, a number of particular functions will be required. One person might be required to act as a driver; another might be needed to handle the alarm systems, and yet another to stand guard. Note furthermore that for each of these functions there will be an appropriate virtue, such that for each function some of our company will be better suited than others. It will be best to have as a driver someone who knows how to drive; indeed, someone who is able to drive well. Similarly the person who is to deal with alarm systems should understood such systems; the person who is to stand guard should be someone who is alert. So our band of thieves will require wisdom, courage and temperance (IJȧĴȢȡIJփȟș). But what about justice? Is Platonic justice a virtue that appears in this project? In fact, this is what we have just now been talking about. The assignment of these tasks according to the principle, give to each person the job for which he is best suited, is justice. And so it is, according to Socrates, in general. It is in light of just such a principle that justice is defined in the conversation at Republic 433a and b:
Justice, I think, is exactly what we said must be established throughout the city when we were founding it… We stated, if you remember, that everyone must practice one of the occupations in the city for which he is naturally best suited. Moreover, we have heard many people say and have often said ourselves that justice is doing one’s own work and not meddling with what isn’t one’s own…. Then it turns out that this doing one’s own work—if taken in a certain way—is justice.

In listening to how Socrates here articulates the definition of justice, understand by “one’s own” what is appropriate to one, or more specifically,

not even if we add. A city is constructed on the principle of the division of function. At least two things important for the understanding of this dialogue follow from this account. that is because division of labor is the fundamental feature of social life. and I have suggested that the kind of harmony is that achieved when the differentiation of function is determined by who or what is best able to carry out the several specific functions of the subject. individual justice is an analogue of justice in the city. It is of course important to realize that justice is a principle of harmony. what is the connection of this sense of justice to the more obvious sense of justice as ‘doing right. But it is not that. In the first place. we need to note that it is not sufficient to say. but in the individual as well. like temperance. That is the force of Socrates’ condition: “ijȢցʍȡȟ ijțȟչ: in a certain way. not by fulfilling justice in the city. Here is how Socrates puts it at 441d: A man is just in the same way as a city…. it is a different sort of virtue from wisdom and courage.’ But this discussion will be possible only if we understand justice as an internal principle of individual virtue. Justice is the differentiation of function based on virtue. the other does not properly belong to any part. It obtains when each functionally differentiated element of the individual does what it is best able to do. It is tempting but wrong to suppose that because justice in the city consists of each person doing what she is best suited to do.. but only to the whole by virtue of some global fact about the parts in their relation to one another or to the whole. as we sometimes do. The question is: what should different groups of folks . Then each one of us in whom each part is doing its own work will himself be just. A robust discussion of justice in the dialogue will then need to ask: what is the relation between this sense of justice and the sense of justice by which one contributes to the justice of the city? And more pointedly. that justice is a quality of balance or harmony among the parts of the city or of the individual. Recall next that this account applies to justice not only in the city. But we have not specified the nature of justice in a subject until we specify what kind of harmony or balance it is.THE FACES OF JUSTICE 157 what one is best suited to do. note that an individual is just by analogy to. and that. doing what she is best suited to do. And the city was just because each of the three classes in it was doing its own work…. So we can now put fairly simply the notion of justice that is developed in the discussion of books 2 to 4 of the Republic. proper balance or harmony. Secondly.” Justice in the city is each person doing what he is best suited to do. The one sort belongs to the whole by virtue of belonging to some part of the whole. justice for the individual will consist of acting accordingly.

It is. and what are its function and its virtue? And what is it to desire and to desire appropriately? At the end of that exercise. Note two consequences of this understanding. And the reason this is understood to be a virtue is quite simple. just. a self-referring virtue. it is. and that in turn means the function for which it has the appropriate virtues. one that is indeed generated by the Republic. I take one central project of the Republic to be that of inviting us to imagine the felicity of a life ruled by reason when reason is not a tyrant. It is in light of such a general account that justice is able to . and what it is that they do. It is the virtue that characterizes those entities whose functional differentiation is in accordance with the principle of function following virtue. For individuals to do what they are good at is a good thing. that is. therefore. justice is a balance achieved when each functionally differentiated element of a person is given and performs the function for which it is best suited. to reveal again why we think of it as justice. It is precisely because social organization is not merely a matter of collectivity. We need to say that quite carefully. another question. For Socrates. But we need to come back to difference. So it turns out that justice is. that is. it is good for individuals to do what they are good at. between the way things are.158 ARYEH KOSMAN do? The answer is: what they have the virtue for. The same type of analysis then yields an understanding of justice in each individual. of course. what is the function of mind? And we should also be led to ask. is a virtue of any complex entity that is functionally differentiated in such a way that function is assigned on the basis of virtue. Realizing this fact should lead us to reflect on the question: what is the virtue of mind. what is wisdom or IJȡĴտį? ǿn terms of the question. but through its rational powers enables a proper exercise of the desiderative faculties. 2) Justice now turns out to be a quite general principle of the adjustment between being and acting. that Socrates turns first to the city in explicating the nature of justice. To realize this is to realize that that which rules properly—the guardians of a good city or the mind of a good individual—is non-tyrannical. as we might say. we should be clear that the mind does not desire. why begin with the city? Justice may be ‘easier to view’ in the city not simply because justice is a social or political virtue. so to speak. That is only. whether for them to do what they are good at is a good thing for individuals. what is spirit. 1) Recognizing justice as a normative principle of differentiation offers an interesting answer to the question. but of collectivity founded upon the division of labor. the proper adjustment of function and virtue. Justice. but because a city is more obviously a functionally differentiated being. an appropriate function means the function for which a thing is best suited.

each citizen does what it is appropriate for him to do. coming to be is figured as a mode.THE FACES OF JUSTICE 159 appear as a metaphysical concept in the Republic. We might describe the distinction between these two thinkers in anachronistic terms as the distinction between an ontological politics of equality and an ontological politics of difference. that is. of justice as the ideal principle that governs the downward direction of Book 6’s divided line. of ontological pleonexia. existent things overstep the primordial justice of equality represented in the indeterminate apeiron. The notion of the forms and their connection to the Good is governed by this concept. offering the allegiance of particular things to their essential natures. coming into being. the greed and overreaching of one’s due that violates proper justice. This ontological justice is determined by an equality of individuals under the forms. Plato situates himself directly in the midst of this dialectic. so to speak. although the forms themselves are defined in their being by their essential difference from one another. Compare this view with the saying of Heraclitus that war is common and that İտȜș is ԤȢțȣ: justice is strife. by the love that the phenomenal world has for its own true nature. 22B80 . these two fragments from the now lost tapestry of philosophy before Plato. and things going out of being as their rightful return to that nature when “of necessity they give to one another just recompense and penalty (İտȜșȟ Ȝį‫ ה‬ijտIJțȟ) for their injustice (ԐİțȜտį)”2 On Anaximander’s view. and. Anaximander speaks of generation. For the universe is itself a functionally differentiated complex. Think here. _________ 2 Simplicius. producing the diaspora of being whose upward direction is in turn governed by eros.18-21 = Diels-Kranz 12B1 3 Diels-Kranz. as well as a concept that is grounded both politically and morally. 24.3 Heraclitus sees justice in the eristic struggle of difference found in being and in its deepest polemical structure. to their forms. IX (Berlin: Reimer: 1882). as the emergence of things out of some indeterminate nature and corruption. a vector of imaging. its vectors thus evoke the twin themes of justice and love that properly divide and hold together the commonwealth of being. following Plato’s spatial metaphors. In Aristotelis Physicorum libros quattuor priores commentaria. as in the just city. as a mode of justice. We may wish to recall in this connection earlier ontological invocations of justice. When we think of the divided line in these dynamic terms. in for example. but also of dispersion and exemplification. so in a just universe each thing is what it is appropriate for it to be. Commentaria in Aristotelem graeca.

in the first place. ԤȢȗȡȟ. the inquiry into justice is an inquiry into that principle. The vision of justice the dialogue elaborates. which in the conceptual scheme of the Republic means that parts must be given the functions for which they are best suited. justice is once again some form of adjustment between proper being on the one hand. We might call this the platonic virtue of integrity. What are the principles of right collection to which Plato’s discourse in this dialogue attends? If a city is to be appropriately organized. It is a virtue that. in the second place. is never made thematic in quite the way that justice as normative difference is. Justice must therefore attend to equality at a deeper level than that of mere equity. insofar as it is an essay on justice. It must also be true. In what follows. that a good city is a properly unified city. figured in the dialogue as virtue. But it informs the Republic’s discussion from politics to ethics to ontology. a whole. is functionally differentiated. I want to ask about the importance in the Republic of what is. although frequently invoked in Socrates’ remarks in the Republic. In so far as it is right for things to act out their nature. an investigation of the proper modes of being’s articulation into differentiated parts. as a city perforce is. we have seen. the other face of justice. I have hoped to show by this long discussion of the relationship between justice and virtue that the Republic may be seen as an inquiry into the ethics and metaphysics of difference. II The dialogue’s foregrounding of justice as a principle of difference. figures justice as a principle of difference in which function is determined by ability and differentiation follows the lines of virtue. may avert our attention from the corresponding issue of appropriate collection. it must not only be differentiated in the right way. is an essay on the principle of appropriate division. ԐȢıijս. For since that principle is justice. figured in this dialogue as function. a city for example. What I have suggested is that if a complex entity. It must also be true. an inquiry into the nature of right difference. the Republic.160 ARYEH KOSMAN So the sense in which justice plays a role in the ontology of the Republic becomes clearer in light of the notion of justice I have urged is at work in that dialogue. and proper action on the other. In this sense. however. by which I mean that the question of the integrity of being. as I have urged is true with the differentiation of . that only differences that truly make a difference are honored. as it were. and not merely a random cluster of parts. The city must be attentive to those accidental differences that mask an underlying equality. the Republic asks: what is the principle of right differentiation.

one group of images at the lowest level is unified by being the images of a certain original on the next. I have suggested. but the individual soul as well. are given unity and integrity only in reference to higher levels of the line that provide the principle at once of their commonness and of their integrity. and another group by being the images of another original. the lateral relation of items at the same level to one another. I take this fact to be central to the philosophical thrust of Plato’s imagery. These items. which in Book 4 matches justice as a global virtue. We are enabled to recognize images insofar as we see them in terms of what they are images of. The image of the divided line. It is thus the principle of political friendship and psychic harmony. though perhaps less obvious. But consider now the fact that the divided line may also be thought of as having a horizontal axis. and. At the most obvious level. These arrays are not independent of one another. The upper level of the line is thus the source of the unity and integrity of the manifold of objects at the level below it. the many originals of the next level (510a). In this section. as a virtue that characterizes complex beings like cities or persons by reason of global facts about them rather than facts about one or another of their parts—in this case the global fact of proper agreement rather than proper differentiation. that is. both here and in the upper sections of the line. Integrity is clearly seen in the vertical relation of different parts of the line to one another. Along this axis is arrayed. It is more subtly exhibited in features of the spatial imagery of the divided line. the ideal unity of being and appearance. and the modes of being introduced in Book 6. is the integrity invoked in the other dimension of which I have just been speaking. I am going first to say something briefly about sites of equality in the dialogue. and then about its vision of what I am inviting . at another. does not simply organize kinds of entities and their corresponding cognitive states along a vertical axis. at one echelon. it also figures justice and eros in the directional vectors of that axis. it is represented in the correspondent virtue of IJȧĴȢȡIJփȟș. not only the city. But of equal importance. I suggested. The requirement that complex entities. the ideal unity and integrity of the line itself. This unity figures the most basic unity of the Republic. must exhibit integrity and wholeness as well as proper differentiation is revealed in a number of ways in the Republic’s argument. if they are to be good. then. characterizes in general the complex entities within the dialogue’s purview. the manifold of images of which Socrates speaks in introducing ıԼȜįIJտį.THE FACES OF JUSTICE 161 being. a unity that is most fundamental to the dialogue’s vision of justice.

For a form is a principle of structured wholeness. to the question of women. we ought to forbid this to the bald ones…And aren’t we in this ridiculous position because at that time we did not introduce every form of difference and sameness in nature. The instances of a form are in turn not fungible. and if the long-haired ones are cobblers. there can be no significant difference between the two. is the respect in which difference is the condition of proper unity. of the Parmenides. but focused on the one form of sameness and difference that was relevant to the particular ways of life themselves? (454b) The question here is the obvious question: are men and women different in a way that is significant? For not every difference makes a difference. as with men and women. Much of the rest of the dialogue concerns these conditions on difference. the question is one of understanding the relative weight of sameness and difference. but this is not quite accurate. Here is how he puts it: When we assigned different ways of life to different natures and the same ones to the same. [So] we might ask ourselves whether the natures of bald and longhaired men are the same or opposite. More important. we didn’t at all examine the form of natural difference and sameness we had in mind or in what regard we were distinguishing them…. It is revealing that at this moment in the dialogue. Some of them involve cases in which sameness trumps difference. each of them is characterized by many other predicates that make them different from one another. then.. I said earlier that one pole of ontological justice is represented by an equality of individuals under the forms. Note how this concern emerges from the discussion we have been following. And. that is. So the unity of a form is . think. in a way that might seem accidental. not merely of collective totality. For they are equal only insofar as they are instances of that form. For one way of reading philosophy in the Platonic lexicon is as the ability to understand principles of sameness and difference. for instance. when we agree that they are opposite. however. Here Socrates mounts a notorious argument for the equality of women’s access to the role of guardian: since women are inferior to men in every respect. the discussion turns. For the question as Socrates spins it is explicitly the question of whether all differences are differences that demand differentiation of the sort to which we have attended. not identical with one another so as to be interchangeable. in the language of the Theatetus. just before philosophy is introduced into the discussion. a Ցȝȡȟ and not simply a ʍֻȟ.162 ARYEH KOSMAN us to think of as the lateral or horizontal dimensions of unity and integrity in the spatial metaphor of Plato’s ontology. and therefore quite soon after the explicit account of justice as a principle of proper difference. Very early in book 5. we ought to forbid the long-haired ones to be cobblers. if the bald ones are cobblers. The unity of instances under a form is.

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permeated by difference, a difference among individuals brought into harmony by the form that marks their common being. They inhabit a field of difference organized in so far as a form is the principle of their being this or that. It is because the form governs a field of difference, and not merely a plurality, that we can speak of the horizontal vector of the divided line, the relation among the several images that are images of a single original, or among the several instances of a kind that are instances of that single kind, or among the several accounts of a being that are various ways of revealing the single nature of that being. III To explore further this horizontal dimension, with an eye to showing how the mode of unity that is achieved is that of integrity, I want to look at a passage in another dialogue, the Statesman. In that dialogue, there is a long process of division that the Guest from Elea introduces as part of a quest for the definition of a statesman and the nature of the kingly art. At what seems the end of that process, Young Socrates allows that their goal seems to have been reached; the explanation of the nature of the statesman, he says, is now complete. But the Guest insists that there are still problems, and that these problems might be cleared up by producing what he calls a ʍįȢչİıțȗμį—an example or model. Indeed, he adds, (277d) it is in general difficult to achieve the kind of understanding we seek without the use of an example, a ʍįȢչİıțȗμį. Then, because young Socrates is not quite sure what he means, the Guest expresses his realization that, as he puts it, the notion of ʍįȢչİıțȗμį is itself in need of a ʍįȢչİıțȗμį. What does he mean? When Young Socrates, as I said, allows that the explanation of the statesman is complete, the term he uses is ԐʍցİıțȠțȣ. This word, usually translated as ‘demonstration’, derives from the root İıțȜ- found in the verb İıտȜȟȤμț—to show or reveal. In speaking of the ԐʍցİıțȠțȣ of the statesman, Young Socrates suggests that the nature of the statesman has been revealed by a series of articulations that show the successively more determinate kinds to which he belongs. For that is, after all, what the method of division consists of: his nature has been de-marcated and demonstrated, one instance of ԐʍȡİıտȜȟȤIJȚįț, being de-monstrated, completely shown or revealed, succeeding another.

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But the Guest from Elea thinks otherwise. For, he says, it is difficult to get a clear grasp of the nature of something (the word he uses is ԚȟİıտȜȟȤIJȚįț—to be shown into something) without making use of ʍįȢįİıտȗμįijį. We might say that it is difficult to grasp something’s nature without (though Plato does not use this word, rare in antiquity) some act of ʍįȢչİıțȠțȣ—some act by which the thing’s nature is ʍįȢįİıտȜȟȤIJȚįț, side-revealed by lateral comparison with another instance of the same kind and shown, so to speak, from the side. And that, on the Guest’s view, is part of the pathos of human understanding: ԐʍցİıțȠțȣ, the mode of revealing something’s nature by revealing the kind of which it is an instance, rarely does the trick without reasoning through ʍįȢįİıտȗμįijį—without the cooperation of some form of ‘ʍįȢչİıțȠțȣ’ by which the nature of one instance of a kind is revealed by being set beside another instance of the kind, a lateral as it were rather than a vertical form of revelation. I suggest that the use in this short section of Statesman 277 of these three variously prefixed forms of the verb İıտȜȟȤμț, show—Ԛȟ-İıտȜȟȤμț, Ԑʍȡ-İıտȜȟȤμț and ʍįȢį-İıտȜȟȤμț—are to be taken seriously by us. We ought to think of a ʍįȢչİıțȗμį, whatever subsequent history the term may be and whatever other nuances may be given it by other contexts and, above all, whatever other customs and usages its English cousin paradigm may have adopted over the years—we ought to think of a ʍįȢչİıțȗμį in terms of this notion of lateral comparison, as a side shower. These indeed are exactly the terms in which the Eleatic Guest explains the nature of paradigmatic understanding when he provides a ʍįȢչİıțȗμį designed to illuminate for us the nature of ʍįȢչİıțȗμį. (278b) When you are teaching young people to read and they are able to recognize a set of letters in simple words but not in more complex ones, here is what you do: get them in front of both sets of words and then, putting the words side by side—ʍįȢįȖչȝȝȡȟijį—show them—ԚȟİıțȜȟփȟįț—that the very same characters are in each of them. In this way, he says, the words that are known, by being placed beside the unknown ones—ʍįȢįijțȚջμıȟį— and being shown—İıțȥȚջȟijį—will thus become side shown—ʍįȢįİıտȗμįijį, and thus side revealers. This use of paradigmatic thinking in the sense of lateral thinking is introduced by the Guest not to replace an earlier paradigm thought to be defective, but because of a problem in the inconclusive nature of the ԐʍցİıțȠțȣ that has preceded it. It is not that the dialogue’s division yields the wrong account; it yields an account that is underdetermined, that is, unable to pick out the statesman from a number of competing candidates who could be said equally to fit the account that results from the dieresis. It is for this reason that the ʍįȢչİıțȗμį is introduced and that the Guest

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from Elea seeks to illustrate its nature with the ʍįȢչİıțȗμį of learning to read. It is an important feature of Plato’s thought that the hierarchical and vertical relation of form to particular cannot by itself accomplish the noetic clarity of which Plato thinks us capable; such clarity requires the addition of a lateral elucidation by some form of what I have here styled ʍįȢչİıțȠțȣ, thinking along the ‘horizontal’ dimension. This fact is an integral part of Plato’s analysis of the relation of particular to logos and of logos to form throughout the early dialogues, and as I have suggested, it is revealed in the imagery of the divided line. The complex activities of division and collection—İțչȜȢțIJțȣ and IJփȗȜȢțIJțȣ—together with such close kin in the Western tradition as resolutio and compositio, and analysis and synthesis, may be, as the Statesman suggests, the central activities in the process of realizing the world’s intelligibility; but these activities enable us to learn to read our experience (as the Guest’s paradigm suggests) only by the transversal play among correlative particulars and (as most notably in the Socratic dialogues) the transversal dialectic of coordinate accounts of a form. It is surely to this dimension of our thinking that the dialogue’s ʍįȢչİıțȗμį of weaving, with its correlative warp and woof, is meant to alert us, in particular contrast to that of carding. (279b-283b) The use of ʍįȢչİıțȗμį to mark the illumination that a parallel but better-known particular can provide is not unique to Plato; think of Aristotle’s account of ʍįȢչİıțȗμį at the end of book II of the Prior Analytics. “It is evident” he writes, “that a ʍįȢչİıțȗμį concerns neither the relation of particular to general nor of general to particular, but of particular to particular when both are instances of the same general term but one is better known than the other.”4 The use of the term “better known” here reminds us that a paradigm is not just any instance but an exemplary instance of a kind, a paradigmatic instance, as we might say. But what that means is that its exemplary nature allows it to serve as a means of making clear other instances of its kind, instances, that is, governed by the same principle of being and therefore on a lateral par with it. Over-devotion to the vertical axis of Plato’s thinking—to the relation between form and particular—risks blinding us to the importance of transversal reasoning founded on example, analogy, and collateral vision. But it is this reasoning that ultimately grounds the power that we have to read particulars in light of their forms.

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Prior Analytics 2.24, 69a14-17

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The Guest’s observation that, as he puts it, his ʍįȢչİıțȗμį is in need of yet another ʍįȢչİıțȗμį should remind us of a further truth about Plato. For Plato no theoretical discourse is illuminating without the experiential understanding that ‘paradigmatic’ reasoning brings, and this reasoning is not itself reducible to a form of theoretical reason. Even on the standard reading of the Guest’s remarks, according to which examples themselves need examples to be understood, this point emerges; there can be no explicit rules for how an example is to be read, just as there can be none for how to interpret theory. What allows us to read an example and to understand how it applies to a case, or how it makes clear a theoretical point, is an acquired skill, an art. This connects to the larger view of the dialogue, which concerns the capacity of the statesman, a capacity that is also an art or skill. IV But here I stray; for my purpose in introducing this discussion of the Statesman has been to stress the importance of the lateral dimension in the spatial metaphors of Plato’s ontology, an importance that would make no sense without the recognition of difference I have here tried to reveal. It has also, I hope, served to show that no account of difference can capture Plato’s intentions without also stressing the vital importance of unity and integrity. To recognize that fact is simply to acknowledge the importance of the Platonic Form. In that spirit, a more charitable reader than I might not have been so upset by the works that first occasioned this discussion. But we must not lose sight of the salient fact that the Platonic form is ideal, that is, it is a virtual although at the same time transcendent principle of the being of its many instances. That is why these instances, as I have claimed, occupy a field of difference such that their unity must be achieved not by mere collection, but by the integrity that is the other face of justice. Recall the just individual: precisely because he
does not allow any part of himself to do the work of another part…he puts himself in order…and harmonizes the three parts of himself like three limiting notes in a musical scale… He binds together those parts and any others there may be in between, and from having been many things he becomes one, moderate and harmonious. (443d)

This integrity of the individual and the corresponding integrity of the city are reproduced in the ontological register in the integrative harmony of the many in relation to the one. Ultimately, what governs this mode of integrity for Plato is the Good.

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A well-known later tradition recounts that Plato, in his lectures on the Good, maintained (on some versions to the disappointment of those present) that the first principles of all things are the One and the indefinite Dyad.5 This myth invokes for us an interesting connection between the Good and these principles. The principles of the One and the Dyad are different from those either of cardinality or of ordinality. One and two are principles of cardinality, that is, of number, as first and second are of ordinality, of the order of sequential experience; but the One and the Dyad are principles of the opposition between collection and division, dynamic principles of unity and multiplicity. Thus they are in a sense not principles of number at all. The One and the indefinite Dyad, unity and teeming diversity, are principles of being; more precisely they are principles of how it is that the manifold of experience presents itself to us in an organized fashion, both in our ability to organize elements in our experience into units, and of our ability to see similarities among the elements of our experience and to organize different things into their kinds. It is our ability to understand the structure of experience as involving the organization of different things into their kinds that is part of the foundation of Plato’s theory of Forms. It is to be sure only one part; nothing I have said in this essay touches on the other and perhaps more significant theme that runs through Plato’s ontology: the question of being and its appearance. This issue, clustered as I have suggested around the figure of imaging, is of critical importance in understanding Plato’s thought. We will, I think, fail to understand that thought properly if we consider appearance as always contrasted to being rather than thinking in terms of being’s appearance. We need, in other words, to distinguish appearance as coming to light from “mere appearance” or semblance (Heidegger’s schein and anschein). But all of that is a different issue from what I have been discussing. What I have here hoped to do is alert us to what I take to be two connected and dangerous misreadings of Plato. One is the Gnostic otherworldliness that pictures the Forms as resident in a world far, far away from ours, rather than as the principles of the intelligibility and being of this world. The other is the thought that these principles are ontological tyrants who wish to stamp out diversity, difference, and otherness. That is the upsetting view with which I began. We need to remember that the Republic is a concerted argument against tyranny, against the tyranny of the political

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5 Simplicius, In Aristotelis Physicorum libros quattuor priores commentaria, Commentaria in Aristotelem graeca, IX (Berlin: Reimer: 1882), 151.6-11, 435.25-30

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ruler and the tyranny of reason alike, and against the tyranny of Forms as well. It is indeed an argument for rational rule, but that rationality is one which can flourish only by the process of proper collection and division, only by the recognition of the true similarities and differences alike in the world. This is simply to say that Plato is devoted to a philosophical vision designed to enable us to see things as they are.
HAVERFORD COLLEGE

not out of altruism. rather than any sort of historical claim. because many of our needs will not be met otherwise. and all complex entities that are just. And so the just city. must exhibit unity and wholeness. It makes sense that we want to live in association with others in order to have partners and helpers in meeting our needs. Kosman argues that we should understand virtue as that which allows something to perform its function (ergon) well. but we all need many things. Kosman argues rightly that here Socrates is making a claim about the function and nature of a city. In Book II of Plato’s Republic. Justice on this reading is a sort of upper level virtue: it is a quality of a functionally differentiated entity which is so organized as to assign function on the basis of virtue. . I will argue that while the normative principle of difference is a general principle that applies to any functionally differentiated entity. Kosman goes on to argue that Platonic justice requires that the proper differences within a city be properly unified differences. indeed by thinking through the themes of differentiation and integrity in the Republic we can appreciate how tightly integrated and how subtly differentiated the philosophical project of the Republic is. but because we think it best for ourselves (369c). “I think that a city comes to be because none of us is selfsufficient.COMMENTARY ON KOSMAN MARY-HANNAH JONES Professor Kosman provides us with an elegant reading of the Republic in investigating two complex and interrelated Platonic themes. Plato’s notion of justice in particular is applicable only to entities in relation to a particular function. In his thought-provoking and acute argument Aryeh Kosman shows that both these themes work to structure Plato’s ethics and his metaphysics in the Republic. difference or differentiation.” Socrates does not provide any sort of argument for this claim. Socrates tells us his view of the origin of cities (369b). and perhaps he does not need to. And this principle is metaphysical as well as ethical. as is made evident by harmonic integration of the many to the one in a Platonic Form’s relation to its instances. This normative principle of difference is a general principle of adjustment between what things are and what they do. and integrity or unity. My comments will mostly concern the first part of Kosman’s discussion. And it makes sense that we want to share with these partners. rather than random clusters of differences. thus justice is a metaphysical concept as well as an ethical concept.

) And so there is a surprisingly close connection between the opening of Socrates’ discussion of the origin of the city and the definition of justice that is fi- . and so the city pared down to barest necessity would be a city with only four or five citizens: a farmer. Socrates argues for the principle of the division of labor. And so other artisans must perform the functions of making tools etc. which function it performs much better on account of the division of labor. since more and better necessary goods will be produced and shared by the citizens if each citizen practices that one particular craft that she can do best (370a-c). Socrates observes that we all need food and shelter and clothes and shoes and things of this sort (369d).. and the model city must expand accordingly. virtue is keyed to function. And so the result of the introduction of the principle of division of labor is a city that is much larger than the minimal city. By building up a theoretical model of a city. The transformation takes place because the four or five original artisans will need tools and raw materials and imports from abroad and other things to perform their function well. or rather a series of theoretical models. Socrates specifies the city’s function as enabling its citizens to produce and share with one another food and shelter and clothes and other goods necessary for life so that these particular needs of the citizens are met (371b). as Kosman argues. It is important to notice that the function of the first model city is not directed toward the satisfaction of all human needs and desires. (At 443c the principle of the division of labor is called a phantom (eidolon) of justice. Socrates hopes to see how justice and injustice come to be in a city. And since. Socrates certainly does not think that there was ever such a city as a historical matter.170 MARY-HANNAH JONES This specification of the function of a city is the first step in the thought experiment that Socrates proposes to help answer Glaucon’s and Adeimantus’s questions about what justice and injustice really are and what their benefits really are (368c). That Socrates is not making a historical claim is made clear by the peculiar citizen body of the first model city he considers. Once the nature of a city is explained in terms of function. weaver and cobbler. The principle of the division of labor transforms the minimal city of 4 or 5 artisans into a comparatively large community with a marketplace and currency and merchant sailors and other importers and exporters (370d-371d). builder. given what Socrates claims a city’s function is. and the division of labor is what ensures that the city perform its function best. it should be no surprise that a form (eidos) of this principle of the division of labor becomes the definition of justice in Book IV (433a-d). but nevertheless has the same function as the minimal city. they will not attempt to provide these things for themselves because each is attending to her own craft. but the association of these particular artisans exhibits the minimal structure necessary to count as a city.

as Kosman shows. For this reason Plato does not call the principle of the division of labor justice. is the connection between function and virtue. not that each individual does her own work. This is not to deny that virtue is keyed to function and not to deny that even a gang of bank robbers who performed their function well would necessarily do so on account of some kind of virtue or excellence. Justice cannot be the cause of injustice. And this seems persuasive. and perhaps a sort of phantom (eidolon) of justice. provided that each criminal was assigned to the function she was best able to do. But he also takes the position that any assignment of functions would count as justice if the assignment were according to the principle of giving each individual the function that she can do best. is not the same as the function of the city that Socrates specifies at the opening of the discussion in Book II. their lives revolve around the production of goods that satisfy mere necessary desires. but merely a phantom (eidolon) of justice. justice is a special kind of normative difference. the city to which the definition of justice pertains. strictly speaking. because as a general principle what is good cannot through its good activity be the cause of something bad (379a-c). I agree with Kosman that the normative principle of difference is quite general. These necessary desires are appetitive desires that we cannot suppress through habituation and those whose satisfaction does us some good. And this connection. shelter. The austere city of Book II has the function of enabling its citizens to produce and share with one another the goods necessary for life: food. A city is just only when it has a division of labor that comes about in the right way so as to achieve the right purpose. 441d). Thus Kosman argues that even a gang of criminals organized for the purpose of robbing a bank would be a just gang. that each of the three classes of the ideal city does its own work (434d. . It cannot be the case that for Plato an organization that has the purpose of doing something unjust is itself a just organization. Kosman takes the position that what he calls the normative principle of difference is quite general and applicable to many different kinds of things. Glaucon finds the way of life of the citizens of the austere city to be repulsive because it is so very unsophisticated. clothing. But Plato could not identify that virtue or excellence with justice.COMMENTARY ON KOSMAN 171 nally reached in Book IV. In Book VIII at 558d-e Socrates describes desires for such things as necessary desires. etc. And so it is significant that the function of the city discussed in Book IV. but I suggest that justice for Plato is not the same as the normative principle of difference. although Kosman’s arguments show that Plato could not deny that such a virtue or excellence is analogous to justice. The definition of justice is.

(Socrates says that the transition from the austere city to the luxurious city is an overstepping the boundary (horos) of necessities to give oneself over to the unlimited (apeiron) acquisition of money (373d). although one might question how it remains the case that each individual performs the job that they are best able to perform.) The principle of division of labor is active in structuring the luxurious city. But unnecessary appetitive desires do not have this natural limit. But he agrees with Glaucon that the life of the citizens of this city would not satisfy everyone. there is only one class. But the ideal city’s function is certainly not the same as the function of the austere city. he calls it a true and healthy city (372e). But while the austere city’s function was to enable the citizens to fulfill their necessary appetitive desires. the luxurious city’s function is to enable its citizens to fulfill all of their appetitive desires. and that it would be helpful to move on to the examination of a luxurious city to see how justice and injustice grow up in cities. There are only a few necessary appetitive desires. because it is the principle of the division of labor that requires that a professional army be created to appropriate the land and resources of neighboring cities so as to serve the proliferating appetites of the citizens of the luxurious city and to prevent the variety of luxurious goods . The austere city’s function resembles the function of the producing class in the ideal city. The necessary appetitive desires are a special class of appetitive desires in part because they seem to have natural limits that are part of the structure of this kind of desire. when so many of the jobs may now be to supply the means to satisfy dubious and amorphous desires. And there is good reason for this. but the austere city lacks the tripartite class structure. but merely “true” and “healthy”. although its function seems to be an extension of the function of the austere city. because the city’s function does not require three classes with three different kinds of functions. because there justice is defined as each of the three classes of the city doing its own work.172 MARY-HANNAH JONES Their food is so simple that Glaucon thinks it is like fodder for pigs (372d). But it is clear that the division of labor is still active in the luxurious city. Neither is the luxurious city’s function the same as that of the austere city. Socrates is more sympathetic to this city. Although everyone in the austere city performs the function they are best suited for. and these desires can be satisfied with a limited amount of food or other appropriate resources. It is significant that Socrates does not call the austere city “just”. and accordingly the number of unnecessary appetitive desires can grow indefinitely large while the resources required to satisfy each individual unnecessary appetitive desire can also increase without limit. Strictly speaking the austere city could not be just according to the definition of justice in Book IV.

because in each the function of satisfying desires is performed by those who can best perform that function? One way of avoiding this consequence would be argue that it is in fact the ideal city that best performs the overall function of a city in satisfying human desires. And Socrates does indeed argue that it is only in the city ruled by philosophers that all citizens can have as happy a life as their natures allow (473e). The progress from the luxurious city of Book II to the purged and just city of Book IV can be understood as Plato’s gradual specification of which desires (and the desires of which citizens) it is a good city’s proper function to provide the means to satisfy. as Kosman has shown. But if we do not already have some understanding of what the entity really is. But I suspect that there may be a deeper problem lurking here. But. Every entity of the relevant sort engages in many activities. Which activity is the function? The function must be that characteristic activity of the entity that makes the entity what it really is. At the beginning of this discussion. of course. The austere city has a specifiable and achievable function. before we decide what it would be for that entity to perform its function well. this formulation is inadequate. If we take this statement as equivalent to the claim that the general function of a city is to provide the means to satisfy human desires generally. then cities will differ from each other on account of the particular kinds of desires those cities are meant to satisfy.COMMENTARY ON KOSMAN 173 that the city has accumulated from being seized by other aggressive cities (373d-374d). And so a good city is a city that performs well its function of satisfying human desires and needs. Socrates said a city comes about because humans have many needs and they are not selfsufficient. By “good” I mean virtuous or excellent. The luxurious city has a function that is indefinite and unachievable. to produce and share the goods necessary for life. which Kosman speaks to in his discussion of the proper adjustment between what a thing is and what it does. we will not be able to pick out the entity’s characteristic activity . to produce and share the means to satisfy an indefinitely large number of desires requiring an indefinitely large amount of resources. and it is only when reason rules in the soul that the desires of the lower parts of the soul can be given as much satisfaction as their nature permits (586e587a). and so it is the ideal city which is maximally just. If we understand the excellence of a entity as its performing its function well. but. then we need to understand what its function really is. Does it follow that the austere city and the luxurious city and the ideal city are all equally just cities. virtue just means that quality that allows an entity with a function to perform that function well.

in his account of the ideal city. But there does not seem to be a way of reducing one of these accounts of knowledge to the other. The ideal city is just and good in a way that the austere city fails to be. These two accounts of authoritative knowledge are not mutually exclusive. for what it is cannot be understood in isolation from what it does. we will not be able to understand its nature. And if we do not have some grasp of what a thing characteristically does. whose knowledge of the use of the things he uses enables him to inform even the maker (poietes) of how best to make excellent instances of the things that the user uses (601d-e). is incomparably richer and truer than the account of human nature presupposed in the construction of the austere city. And secondly. But human justice can also be understood to be the normative standard inherent in what it is to be a human being.174 MARY-HANNAH JONES from among all its other activities. the ideal city possesses justice not solely on account of a more exhaustive application of the normative principle of difference. and understanding a thing in terms of what it is. WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY . there is the authoritative knowledge of the user. That is to say. there is the authoritative knowledge of the craftsman (demiourgos) who looks toward the Form (596b). as Kosman puts it. Human justice can be understood to be the overarching human function’s differentiation of sub-functions assigned on the basis of virtue. And understanding what human beings really are is already understanding human beings in normative terms. what humans really are. That is to say. Plato’s depiction of human nature. A craftsman may very well be a user as well. seems to require some independent insight into its function. the integrity and wholeness it achieves in reference to the Form of Justice. Firstly. and so knows how to make excellent instances of what he crafts. Understanding a thing in terms of its function seems to require some independent grasp of what it is. I suspect this is why in Book X Plato presents two different accounts of authoritative knowledge. what it is to be one of those kinds of being that are given their proper wholeness and integrity through their relation to the Form of Justice. I would like to end with the suggestion that the progress from the luxurious city of Book II to the purged and just city of Book IV is not only a progress from a city that fulfills its function less well to a city that fulfills its function very well. because the ideal city exhibits.

1968. Daniel. 967. A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity. Aristotle. Sacks. In Aristotelis Physicorum libros quattuor priores commentaria.D. Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations. IX. London: Continuum. Oxford: Clarendon. Berlin: Reimer. Volumes I and IV. 2002 Simplicius. 1956. Secondary Material Boyarin. and Kranz. Berkeley: University of California Press. Opera. Oxford: Clarendon. 1882 . Jonathan. Ross.KOSMAN/JONES BIBLIOGRAPHY Plato. edited by John Burnet. Commentaria in Aristotelem graeca. edited by W. Analytica Priora et Poesteriora. Zurich: Weidmann. Die Fragmente Der Vorsokratiker. Walther. 1994. Diels. Hermann. 1964.

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scenes that one could well imagine seeing on stage. not just that its temporal and topical settings—both doubled in this case—shape the sense of its discourses. not just that the identity and deeds of the various characters. suddenly appears before Socrates and Theodorus. Or think of the scene pictured by Socrates in which the head of the deceased Protagoras pops up out of the ground in order to castigate Socrates for talking nonsense. Though there are a number of highly impressive vignettes such as that of the sudden appearance of Theaetetus. having just finished oiling himself. including the deeds carried out through ȝȪȗoȣ itself. What is striking about the Theaetetus is that it stages the drama. All translations are my own. encompassing and setting in relation the various vignettes.1 Think of how Socrates dons the disguise of a midwife and sets about aiding. there are also scenes that evolve and that are of somewhat larger compass. It’s not just that the Theaetetus is dramatic. though I have consulted the translation by Seth Benardete: Theaetetus: Part I of The Being of the Beautiful. into spectacles that one can imagine seeing. to its power to make something manifest. as if his presence had been invoked by the words of praise that had just been uttered by Theodorus. as midwives do. It is in and through these overarching. Or think of the scene where Theaetetus with his gymnast friends has just been exercising and. What is striking in this dialogue is that it translates its philosophical openings and theses into concrete scenes. contribute essentially to the dialogue’s disclosive capacity. Theaetetus’ perhaps not entirely natural birthings of ȝȪȗoț. his body gleaming in the full bloom of youth. that it stages certain scenes corresponding to what is said and shown. l986). certain scenes that contribute to the showing of what is said. de- _________ 1 References to the Theaetetus are given in the text by Stephanus numbers only. translated and with commentary by Seth Benardete (Chicago: University of Chicago Press.COLLOQUIUM 4 THE FLOW OF ĮȋȉȀȉ AND THE BEGINNING OF PHILOSOPHY ON PLATO’S THEAETETUS JOHN SALLIS In the Theaetetus there is much that is theatrical. . or rather. the natural process of birth. much that belongs to theatre.

while this partition has no doubt a certain legitimacy. in relation to ĴփIJțȣ. In saying that the evolution of these two scenes spans the first part of the Theaetetus. it is allegedly shown what a philosopher is. The first part of the dialogue is determined by two such evolving scenes. These two scenes run throughout the first part of the dialogue until finally. And yet. One is the scene of ĴփIJțȣ. then. I am referring of course to the usual. and for opening thereby a certain exchange between them. the scene into which is translated a certain thesis regarding ĴփIJțȣ. casting his vision . not simply a defining of the philosopher. by which. for mutually superimposing various spacings. and a graceful and elegant Thracian servant girl is said to have jeered at him. In their fusion something comes to be made manifest about ĴփIJțȣ and about the philosopher’s relation to ĴփIJțȣ. were it not precisely such that in its inception it dissolves all whatness and indeed all being. various ways of configuring the dialogue. For the topology of the Theaetetus is such that precisely at its center there occurs a discourse on the philosopher. So. and looking up. It could be called even a thesis about— producing thus a scene of—what ĴփIJțȣ is. To this extent there is some warrant. My intention is to trace the contours of these two extended scenes as they evolve and intersect in the first part of the dialogue and to mark especially the discourses and enactments by which are achieved decisive showings of ĴփIJțȣ and of the appearance of the philosopher. it is by no means the only way in which the shape. that in his eagerness to know the things in the heaven he was unaware of the things in front of him and at his feet” (174a). of the dialogue can with justification be construed. conventional partition of the dialogue (excepting the introductory sections) into three parts corresponding to the three different answers that Theaetetus appears to give to Socrates’ question as to what knowledge is. Most decisive will be the concluding fusion in and through which is made manifest the inception of philosophy. Indeed it is not simply a discourse. it is the scene of the philosopher’s coming upon the scene. . The name of the philosopher who appears in this scene is Thales.178 JOHN SALLIS veloping scenes that the primary manifestations achieved by the dialogue occur. The other scene is that of the appearance of the philosopher. they coalesce. rather it is a discourse that stages a scene in which. One configuration that may be superimposed on the tripartite division can be drawn by marking the center and the extremes of the dialogue. he fell into a well. . in the concluding section of this part. its beginning. Here is the well-known passage in which Socrates describes the scene: “As Thales was studying the stars . the spacing.

327a). as in the Theaetetus. “I went down [ȜįijջȖșȟ] to Hades to inquire about the return of myself and my friends” (Ody. she enjoys a certain superiority and mocks the philosopher Thales whose everyday comportment is so thoroughly disrupted by his higher vision that he is incapable of coping with what is at his feet. gracefully. Just as Odysseus went down to Hades to speak with the dead and as Socrates. This is the same as the very first word of the Republic. As he appears in this scene. In the Republic. In this scene the philosopher appears as casting his vision above while stumbling about in the world around him. the philosopher is determined primarily by his ascensional orientation. inviting the derision that common sense with its servant girls heaps upon him. Socrates says of this comic scene: “The same jest suffices for all those who engage in philosophy” (174a-b). so likewise Euclides went down to the harbor of Megara where he met Theaetetus on the verge of death. the going-down is intrinsically linked to death. with ease. I met Theaetetus being carried from the army camp in Corinth to Athens” (142a). as he says. Both passages may be read as citations of the passage in the Odyssey where Odysseus tells Penelope of the day when. Euclides has just returned from a brief trip outside the city. Because her everyday comportment is uninterrupted by any engagement beyond. the philosopher Thales is oblivious to the everyday world in which the Thracian servant girl makes her way elegantly.” suffering indeed from wounds inflicted in battle but still more from the dysentery that has broken out in the army. It is around this scene that the larger. It is as if the cost of maintaining this upwardness were that he must unwittingly play a role in a comedy. the descent is counterposed to the philosophical ascent described and enacted in the images of line and cave in the center of the Republic. gazing at the heaven above. in the Republic. where also it denotes going down to the harbor.THE FLOW OF ĮȋȉȀȉ 179 upward. He explains to Terpsion: “On going down to the harbor. enacted at the beginning what finally is told in the myth of Er. And in all three texts. The opening scene is set in Megara and occurs many years after the death of Socrates. The opening and closing scenes of the dialogue belong to this larger scene. evolving scene of the appearance of the philosopher is deployed. Socrates saying: “I went down [ȜįijջȖșȟ] yesterday to Piraeus” (Rep. As the scene opens.252-53). He tells Terpsion that Theaetetus was “barely alive. by the upward directionality of his vision. . 23. Going down: the word is ȜįijįȖįտȟȧ.

just before his death. And yet. that he is not even the only one whose appearance is to be staged. This juxtaposition. It turns out—remarkably—that Socrates had subsequently narrated the speeches of this conversation to Euclides. as he calls it. that of ĴփIJțȣ. Once Euclides has mentioned writing this book. had written down the conversation. Socrates—as Euclides puts it— “expressed great admiration for his nature” (142c). . The larger scene of the appearance of the philosopher thus begins to take shape through the juxtaposition of the central image of philosophical ascendancy with the katabasis invoked at both the beginning and the end of the dialogue. As the scene of the conversation opens. In the middle of that conversation Socrates told Theaetetus of the philosophical ascent. Indeed. even prior to this scene. Socrates makes a remark that serves to link the dialogue to the chain of events that will lead to his death. there is—as mentioned—a reference to ĴփIJțȣ. he had met Theaetetus. I must go to the portico of the king to answer to the indictment that Miletus has drawn up against me” (210d). already in the opening conversation between the Megarians. the other philosopher whose appearance as such is staged in the dialogue is not so much Socrates as it is rather Theaetetus. in which Socrates’ conversation with Theaetetus is recorded. then just a lad. however. For he says: “Now. which is also the end of the dialogue Theaetetus. on the basis of his conversation with Theaetetus. had with Theaetetus.180 JOHN SALLIS Euclides reports that as he then returned to Megara he remembered and wondered at how prophetically Socrates had spoken about Theaetetus. “expressed great admiration for his ĴփIJțȣ. that ascendancy alone does not suffice to make one a philosopher. in this very first occurrence of the word in the dialogue. What is thus read constitutes the remainder of the dialogue. at his leisure. What is especially remarkable is the way in which the initial scene of Theaetetus’ appearance broaches the other extended scene. who at that time was in the full bloom of youth. Euclides reports that Socrates. this spread. the stage is set for a boy to read it to Euclides and Terpsion. and on the basis of their conversation. conferring further with Socrates regarding points he failed to remember. the reference is— significantly—to Theaetetus. to his ĴȫIJțȣ. and had had a conversation with him. which is thus doubly authored. who then. One suspects already. It is the narrative of the conversation that Socrates.” This reference recurs almost immediately as the boy proceeds to read Euclides’ book. from the case of Socrates. is indicative that Thales is not the only philosopher in the dialogue. For shortly before Socrates’ death. Yet at the end of that conversation with Theaetetus.

and about his “wonderfully fine nature [ȚįȤμįIJij‫׭‬ȣ ı՞ ʍıĴȤȜցijį]” (144a). There will be the flow of youth and vigor. and so effectively to learning and investigation. and all with so much gentleness. if multiplied by itself. the dysentery from which the dying Theaetetus is suffering most severely. one of whom happens to be named Socrates. is well-oiled. The account that Theaetetus proceeds to give concerns specifically the research on incommensurables that he and young Socrates had carried on beyond what Theodorus had taught them. It is not long before Socrates—the older one—puts the question to him. Then Theodorus concludes his praise of Theaetetus with a very remarkable figure: “But he goes so smoothly. it will turn out that virtually everything flows. the side of a square of area 3—so what we call ¥3) and the five-foot (so. His body. Theaetetus draws a parallel with his mathematical research. the sense is that to say that 3 is the power of 9 means that 3 has the power. Theodorus tells Socrates about Theaetetus. short of an answer to Socrates’ Theaetetus’ account of his mathematical research constitutes the first of a series of six passages that need to be examined closely in order to draw the precise contours of the two extended scenes unfolded in the first part of the dialogue. as for it to be a cause of wonder that someone of his age behaves in this way” (144b). literally powers. to be sure. one presumes. When Socrates refuses the many that Theaetetus has offered in place of the one that would be knowledge itself. who speak about the youth of Athens. Theaetetus reports that with the drawing Theodorus had shown them that the three-foot (i. as indeed in the very first instance broached already in the opening report by Euclides. In the present passage the word İփȟįμțȣ is actually restricted to those kinds of roots on which the research has been focused. This figure of wonderful Theaetetus silently flowing like olive-oil is decisive for the entire first part of the dialogue: once the scene becomes that of ĴփIJțȣ. for the time being at least. As if evoked by the words comparing his manner to the flow of oliveoil. about his resemblance to Socrates. though even this parallel leaves him. but in modern mathematical terminology roots. to produce 9. and he is accompanied by at least two fellow gymnasts..THE FLOW OF ĮȋȉȀȉ 181 Theaetetus is not yet present but only Socrates and Theodorus. the question as to what knowledge is. so unfalteringly. and the other ijջȥȟįț.e. ¥5) and the others up to the 17-foot are incommensurable . but also the flow of decay and death. Theaetetus at that very moment appears. shoemaking. Theaetetus refers to some drawing shown them by Theodorus concerning İȤȟչμıțȣ. just as a flow of oliveoil flows without a sound. Without yet naming him. In response Theaetetus offers several knowledges: geometry.

And yet. the paradigm has turned out to be rather curious. since their multitude seemed unlimited. to gather them into one. Once these features are noted. Yet—curiously—they began not by gathering into one but by dividing into two. incommensurable with the one. then. The ostensible point of this mathematical paradigm is that just as Theaetetus and his comrade gathered the roots into a one corresponding to the name. the anticipation. lengths and roots. into two ones. In other words. Still further. the entire multitude. they have gathered all numbers into two ones two times. the one designated by the name root (İփȟįμțȣ). More precisely. a kind of still open forestructure. by which all these roots can be named (147e). then. determining the bounds or limits of what the name İփȟįμțȣ names. correspond to what later will be termed rational and irrational numbers. is such that each of the many gathered under it is incommensurable with the unit. to gather into one (IJȤȝȝįȖı‫ה‬ȟ ıԼȣ ԥȟ) all the roots.. In order to gather a certain multitude of numbers (the roots) into one. indeed by dividing into two ones. These two kinds. What Theaetetus and young Socrates attempted was to extend this without limit. Furthermore. The line that forms a side of the square of an oblong number they determined as a root (İփȟįμțȣ in the more restricted sense). so now—Theaetetus understands—he is to gather knowledges into a one corresponding to the name knowledge. into two pairs of ones. they divided all numbers into square numbers (i. one cannot but suspect that the gathering of knowledge into one will likewise turn out to be something like a gathering into two ones. here there is. Specifically. first into square and oblong numbers and then into lengths and roots. This is. one will anticipate that in the gathering of knowledge the many to be gathered into one of the two ones would be such that each of that many would be incommensurable with the one. one will expect that the multitude gathered into one of the two ones would contain no ones whatsoever nor anything even commensurable with one. a gathering-into-one of a many none of which is one or even has a common measure with one. one of these ones.e. those that cannot be formed in this way but only by multiplication of two unequal numbers). those that can be formed by multiplying two equals) and oblong numbers (i. delimiting what the name names. Theaetetus and his comrade have had to gather all numbers. even a double gathering into two ones.182 JOHN SALLIS with the unit.e. The line that forms a side of the square of a square number they determined as—gathered under the one name—a length (μ‫׆‬Ȝȡȣ). that is evoked by the mathe- ..

and likewise for what appears to you. in effect.” This response hints at one of the primary tensions in the entire discourse on knowledge as perception: the appearing in which the identity of knowledge and perception appears . As it is not immediately apparent that this Protagorean ȝȪȗoȣ says the same as what Theaetetus has said (that knowledge is perception). as such. “Perception is always of being” (152c). more significantly. a kind of schema for the gathering of knowledges that the dialogue will venture. Having thus shown that the equation of perception with knowledge depends on their common reference to being. that [or: as. Theaetetus answers: “It appears so [Ĵįտȟıijįț]. Socrates cites the ȝȪȗoȣ: “Human being is the measure of all things. but also. then the third equation (perception is always of being) can be made to yield the conclusion (perception is knowledge).THE FLOW OF ĮȋȉȀȉ 183 matical paradigm. that whatever is of being is knowledge. The second in the series of passages is the longest. The third equation follows from the first two: in Socrates’ words. knowledge is nothing else than perception” (151e). Socrates immediately identifies Theaetetus’ answer with a ȝȪȗoȣ spoken—and written—by Protagoras.” Thus. It is not insignificant that Theaetetus’ answer is couched in the language of seeming and appearing: “It seems [İȡȜı‫ ]ה‬to me. To Socrates’ declaration linking perception. that whoever knows something perceives that which he knows. how (թȣ)] they are. Socrates will set out to differentiate them by showing that perception is not of being but only of becoming. it will have been demonstrated that the Protagorean ȝȪȗoȣ says the same as Theaetetus’ thesis that knowledge is perception. Referring to the situation in which the same wind may be cold to one and not cold to another. and knowledge. Socrates begins by explaining what Protagoras meant: that as each thing appears to me. that of being with appearing. being. If this tacit assumption is granted. then. and of the things that are not. more precisely. only “said in a somewhat different way” (152a). and as it now appears [Ĵįտȟıijįț]. he says: perception is knowledge. that [թȣ] they are not” (152a). of the things that are. or. it is such to me. it is not false. and. He continues: “and as knowledge it is not false. Socrates proceeds to interpret the Protagorean ȝȪȗoȣ and by a series of equations to show that it is the same as Theaetetus’ answer. Thus. that knowledge is of being. that there is no such thing as false knowledge. Socrates states a second equation. This account yields the first equation. It begins with Theaetetus offering a one in answer to Socrates’ question regarding knowledge. that of appearing with perception. In this conclusion it is presupposed not only that all knowledge is true.

This presumably ugly man Socrates. In this book. would be required for its restoration. Even before this exclamation. grace. As Socrates nonetheless goes on to speak about this secret truth. he declares: “I will speak a very nontrivial ȝȪȗoȣ. Before saying it. . the relation of his saying to what is said assumes more subtle and complex forms. who represent charm. conspicuously avoiding the word true. . at the point where he finally establishes the link between the Protagorean ȝȪȗoȣ and Theaetetus’ thesis that knowledge is perception. despite the identification made between appearing and perception.184 JOHN SALLIS cannot have been a matter merely of perception. suddenly swears: ʍȢրȣ ȥįȢտijȧȟ—By the Graces! Thus he invokes the goddesses. This avoidance has to do with a particular rhetorical feature that he is about to introduce and that remains in play throughout the remainder of this passage. he does not simply represent as true something that he knows to be false or at least later will declare false. . In the book Truth the truth would not in truth be found. Theaetetus cannot have perceived that perception is knowledge. as reflected in the rhetorical structure of his speech. As he goes on to depict the Protagorean scene. as he begins to say the secret Protagorean truth. which at a certain point he will contest. Rather. it will become ever more manifest that this scene is indeed so devoid of beauty and grace that nothing less than the graces. What his swearing actually introduces is the curious supposition that Protagoras put forth an enigma for the many (namely. is beautiful and graceful or because it lacks—and so is in need of—beauty and grace. he plays on the title of Protagoras’ book Truth. as one perceives that the wind is cold. The question is whether he invokes them because the scene he now envisages. At this point something very remarkable happens. he defers saying it in order first to take a certain distance from what he is about to say. telling the truth as a secret to his pupils. the scene produced by translating the Protagorean ȝȪȗoȣ. nothing less than a gift from above. by its mis-en-scène. Socrates says that perception as knowledge is not false (ԐȦıȤİջȣ). that . the saying that human being is the measure of all things) while. Thus. beauty. In this supposition Socrates’ irony is unmistakable. which Theaetetus admits he has read. all daughters of Zeus. one would find the enigmatic saying “Human being is the measure of all things” but not the truth that Protagoras told in secret to his pupils. later. on the other hand. whose ugliness was mentioned earlier by Theodorus in comparing Theaetetus to him. indeed even more so when.”—then going on to say the Protagorean ȝȪȗoȣ.

addressing them incorrectly. he says first that he is going to say it—that is. which equates appearing with being. itself (į՘ijր ȜįȚ įՙijց)]” (152d). in relation to. he lends his voice to the Protagorean ȝȪȗoȣ in such a way as to translate that ȝȪȗoȣ into a scene in which the consequences deployed by that ȝȪȗoȣ are depicted. it will also appear small. But this means that it is not one in relation to itself. it can—and. almost as in ventriloquy. of their selfsameness. cold and not cold. The example of the wind has already broached this consequence. makes it impossible to speak of them correctly.THE FLOW OF ĮȋȉȀȉ 185 Thus. it produces a disempowering of ȝȪȗoȣ. not one with itself. as Protagoras would . Thus the dissolution of the oneness of things. but if you address it as large. his speech begins to evoke the scene that results from the dissolution of oneness. one will have spoken incorrectly. small. not one but two. It is not that things come to be. of perpetual becoming. it can also be something other than what it is. Socrates speaks of “becoming in becoming” (153e). but [everything] always becomes” (152d). something different. From this dissolution of oneness the second consequence follows directly: “You could not name correctly anything of whatever sort. he lends his voice to it. Rather. they become without ever having come to be. The scene is aptly described when. Later in the discourse Socrates will assume still other relations to the Protagorean ȝȪȗoȣ. His description is of a scene of genesis: “From locomotion and movement and mixing with one another. presumably. If something is called by one name. for nothing ever is.” (152d). Socrates proceeds to ventriloquize the esoteric Protagorean truth by drawing out the consequences of the exoteric maxim. For. The scene is one of unceasing genesis. sometimes turning critically against it. and if heavy. Or. a bit later. for instance. in calling it large. . it is both cold and not cold. light . In other words. hence. As Socrates broaches the third consequence. not cold—hence. as calling for a different name. that they undergo becoming and then are. without ever being. There are three consequences. at other times assuming the voice of Protagoras himself. speaking for him as if he were present. there come to be all the things that we say are. not one and the same as itself. The dissolution of oneness thus engenders a disruption of the capacity of speech to address things correctly. cold. The first he states immediately: “Nothing is itself one alone by itself [or: in accord with. Since the wind appears cold to me and not cold to you. . for instance. will— always appear as something other. for instance. instead of simply saying that ȝȪȗoȣ. large. being one thing.

Since Oceanos is the river that encircles the entire world and Tethys. the dissolution of being does not simply follow from the dissolution of oneness implicit in the Protagorean maxim but rather depends on the analysis of perception. has displayed himself in a progeny that resembles its parent. One sees only private (Հİțȡȟ) singularities as they are generated in the flow of radical becoming. In the scene that translates his thesis (or at least the allegedly equivalent Protagorean maxim). this thesis—that knowledge is perception—is already refuted. To be sure. According to that analysis. Thus. which is carried out only after the dissolution of being and the various signs taken to attest to it have been declared. . at the moment when he first declares the dissolution of being. Born from the interaction. Theaetetus has produced an image of himself. as the discussion of Theaetetus’ thesis has just begun. “Nothing is itself by itself” (157a). at this point in the dialogue. This is the third consequence. to link the genesis of the gods to this couple is tantamount to saying that they—and. But if perception is not of being. constantly changing as other eyes or one’s own in another condition are struck by something different. This development alone suffices to suggest that in the first part of the dialogue much more is at stake than merely Theaetetus’ thesis. The word flowing (‫ע‬ȡս) is the same word that Theodorus used earlier in the figure of Theaetetus as flowing like a flow of olive-oil. declaring again the dissolution of being. the actual seeing and the color seen are products of this interaction. it is a matter of the dissolution of being. But now the scene is one where all things flow forth from flowing. But it is only the poet of poets who is actually cited: “Homer with the line ‘Oceanos and mother Tethys. vision involves the interaction of the eyes and what strikes the eyes. If being is utterly dissolved into perpetual becoming. then it cannot be identified with knowledge. the becoming [or: origin (ȗջȟıIJțȣ)] of the gods’ has said that everything is the offspring of flowing and motion” (152e). by implication. and indeed poets too. all things—are the offspring of flowing and motion. Hence. color is relative and momentary. then it can no longer be maintained—in accordance with the third of the equations—that perception is of being.186 JOHN SALLIS have told his pupils in secret. From this consequence another follows directly. Socrates—ventriloquizing—invokes all the wise (except Parmenides) who are said to attest to this dissolution: not only Protagoras but also Heraclitus and Empedocles. as Socrates says. is the mother who gave birth to all other rivers. Already. In any given case. his sister and consort. even the gods themselves.

with false lying purpose. substituting for them the word that I have translated as to make utterances (ĴȚջȗȗıIJȚįț). Without recounting the details of the contexts. The voice of Socrates declares what is required in the wake of this dissolution: “being [ijր ıՂȟįț] must be removed from everywhere” (157b). the lady Hera said. prophetic voice like that of the Sibyl? What sounds could possibly resonate with ĴփIJțȣ? Or with the flow of olive-oil flowing without sound? . how is it possible to speak Ȝįijո ĴփIJțȟ? Is it perhaps because this requirement is aporetic that Socrates avoids the usual words that denote speaking. let me simply mention that the line is spoken by Hera and that both times the speech in which it occurs is introduced with the words: “Then. the gods are descended. deleted entirely from discourse. if ĴփIJțȣ is a scene of incessant flow. in place of a discourse of being. that is. Socrates—still ventriloquizing— brings this consequence to bear explicitly on ȝȪȗoȣ itself. which can denote not only human speech but also the vocal sounds made by animals? It is also the word that Heraclitus uses in Fragment 92 to describe the raving. But. if it is a perpetual becoming in which the dissolution of oneness and being disempowers ȝȪȗoȣ itself. but from their sibling Chronos.201. which run throughout the depiction of the scene of perpetual becoming. within this ȝȪȗoȣ. is it possible to speak Ȝįijո ĴփIJțȟ? How is it possible to speak appropriately of ĴփIJțȣ? Must one resort to a raving. then. the word to be must be removed from ȝȪȗoȣ. . The manifold references to birth and being born (especially the word Ĵփȡμįț.” But. and to speak of it requires that one’s utterances be in accord with ĴփIJțȣ. Yet he adds.THE FLOW OF ĮȋȉȀȉ 187 The line cited from Homer occurs twice in the Iliad (14. with evident irony: “not that we’ve not been often compelled even now by habituation and lack of knowledge to use it.” In both instances Hera is involved in deceptive. 302). having declared the dissolution of being. passive of Ĵփȧ). . Not only are these words thus uttered in a situation of lying and deceiving but also what they say is false: though Oceanos and Tethys were responsible for the generation of some heroes such as Prometheus. prophetic voice of the Sibyl. “one must make utterances in accord with ĴփIJțȣ [Ȝįijո ĴփIJțȟ]—becomings and makings and perishings and alterings” (157b). not from them. That this scene is the scene of ĴփIJțȣ becomes unmistakable at the point where. seductive acts. even the words of Homer—like all others—turn out to be false and deceptive. itself disempowered by the very disempowerment of ȝȪȗoȣ that it says. Thus. strongly suggests the connection with ĴփIJțȣ. How. This scene on which being has been dissolved is none other than ĴփIJțȣ. .

referring to a battle between them being waged within their souls. that is. it itself does not at all alter?” (154b). Socrates mentions the wonderful and laughable things: “Since as it is now. What figures most prominently in this passage are the wonderful and laughable things that Socrates and Theaetetus are driven to say about the very scene of ĴփIJțȣ that puts all saying in jeopardy. . Mentioning still another example. interrogated with respect to the question of the possibility of ȝȪȗoȣ. my friend. is it possible that anything become larger or more otherwise than by increase?’ what will you answer?” (154c). are more than the four and one and a half times as much. comes to be interrogated in the third passage. he exclaims: “And there are moreover myriads upon myriads of these” (155c). they’re less and half as much. if you apply four to them. Protagoras’ declaration thus proclaims indeterminacy and discontinuity. that it is possible. The opposition is between two ways of construing the scene of becoming. have come to be something else. change can be utterly discontinuous and indeterminate. staged by the second in the series of passages. something can become larger (for instance) only by itself gradually increasing. we’re being compelled somehow or other to say without qualms wonderful and laughable things.188 JOHN SALLIS The scene of ĴփIJțȣ. as Protagoras would say and everyone who tries to say the same as he does” (154b). According to the other construal. He declares—in the form of a question—that even in the flow of ĴփIJțȣ there is a certain determinacy or continuity: “Isn’t it the case. Socrates’ declaration thus says that something could not come to be something else if it did not itself undergo alteration. Next. a small paradigm: “we say surely that six dice. and there will be continuity as it increases to a larger size. in its fall on something else. In view of the small paradigm. if. ‘Theaetetus. Socrates stresses the opposition between the two declarations. and it’s unsupportable to speak in a different way” (154c). as he calls it. He then formulates the wonderful and laughable things as a question put by Protagoras to Theaetetus: “If Protagoras or someone else asks you. The passage begins with Socrates taking a certain stand against being utterly swept away by the incessant flow of becoming. Theaetetus must answer yes. proclaims that it is possible for something to become larger or more otherwise than by increase. Socrates explains by referring to. it would never. that if that against which we’re measuring ourselves or which we’re touching were great or white or hot. it will have been a determinate size. and if you apply twelve. According to the first. then.

the excess that comes to be added proves already to belong.THE FLOW OF ĮȋȉȀȉ 189 In setting up the opposition as he does. increasing. It is curious—indeed remarkable—that Socrates says these wonderful and laughable things precisely at the threshold of what may be the most decisive moment of the dialogue: the moment when Theaetetus confesses his wonder and Socrates declares wonder to be the beginning of philosophy. The word ĴչIJμį is related to Ĵįտȟȧ (bring to light) and so to the middle voice form Ĵįտȟıijįț (appear). then ȝȪȗoȣ will be virtually silenced. Or. A hint is provided when Socrates refers to the opposites battling within their souls. a portent. a strange appearance. What is at stake here is the peculiar logic outlined by the wonderful and laughable things. It can designate an apparition or phantom. Socrates is in effect posing the question: How can the flow of ĴփIJțȣ be granted and yet a certain moment of determinacy be maintained? How. it will itself become larger through this excess only if the excess also belongs to it. as of something not present. if there is stress on the moment of strangeness. that is. Thus. that is. of deviation from the natural cause of things. when he refers to them as ĴչIJμįijį. in some way other than by itself altering. something else exceeding the thing will be added to it. something exceeding. And yet it must also exceed. What must this involve? In such a case a certain excess will be added to the thing so that it becomes larger. can a certain determinacy come to hold sway and to limit the flow? How can oneness and being be dissolved without determinacy also vanishing? If there is no determinacy within the flow of ĴփIJțȣ. within the flow of ĴփIJțȣ. that is. would not itself become larger. at least in its capacity to say things as they are. what could limit ĴփIJțȣ without simply violating it? For. How is it that wonder breaks out precisely at this moment when Socrates has just said these wonderful and laughable things? One cannot but wonder whether something is at stake here that is less than apparent on the surface. yet given to. if determinacy were to come to ĴփIJțȣ from elsewhere. If the wonderful and laughable declaration is reformulated as a statement. Otherwise it would simply be conjoined with something else (the excess). ĮչIJμį can also mean a sign from heaven. the word can mean monster. And yet. it reads as follows: something can become larger or more otherwise than by increase. that is. It is a logic of excess or of monstrosity. A ȝȪȗoȣ geared to such alien determinacy would still remain incapable of speaking Ȝįijո ĴփIJțȟ. so that it becomes larger yet without itself increasing. And yet. human vision. it would not be the determinacy of ĴփIJțȣ. to speak Ȝįijո ĴփIJțȟ. .

not only of discourse on wonder but of discourse spoken from out of a state of wonder.190 JOHN SALLIS must also remain other than the thing. exclaiming “And by the gods!” and then going on immediately to confess his wonder.” (155d). expressed great admiration for his ĴփIJțȣ. In a word: monstrosity. if it were simply homogeneous with the thing. Theaetetus enacts the beginning of philosophy. Suppose. Across an expanse of further engagement with the Protagorean ȝȪȗoȣ and its scene. there would be mere increase rather than a becoming larger otherwise than by increase. In wonder his ĴփIJțȣ is exceeded from within and in the moment of wonder becomes monstrous. Theaetetus wonders in a way that exceeds his ĴփIJțȣ. as was the practice. that of wondering [ȚįȤμչȘıțȟ]. Such excess is required for the very possibility of ȝȪȗoȣ. In exceeding his ĴփIJțȣ so as to be drawn beyond himself. The connection could hardly be more manifest: in the face of the excess or monstrosity posed by the wonderful and laughable things. with those who are clever at speaking in court and who thus are obliged. enacting the beginning. For nothing else than this is the beginning [ԐȢȥս] of philosophy . . this passage contrasts the philosopher. as it brings the philosopher Thales onto the scene. of an opening to the beyond. as Euclides reported. The word ՙʍıȢĴȤ‫׭‬ȣ signifies a manner that goes beyond ĴփIJțȣ. One presumes that it was because Theaetetus’ ĴփIJțȣ proved capable of monstrosity that Socrates. identifying the scene as that of the philosopher coming upon the scene. then. The words of Socrates. if ȝȪȗoȣ is to say ĴփIJțȣ as it is. for otherwise. we reach again—now as the penultimate passage—the discourse on the philosopher that occurs at the very center of the Theaetetus. Yet. to have the length of their speeches timed by . For it has already become manifest in this third passage that there is need for determinacy to be added to the flow of ĴփIJțȣ. Now it is Theaetetus who swears. then the excess must also belong to ĴփIJțȣ. Theaetetus says indeed that he wonders excessively. to speak Ȝįijո ĴփIJțȟ. It is a matter. might be called the opening of philosophy. What this discourse addresses. are perhaps the most celebrated in the entire dialogue: “For this pathos is very much that of a philosopher. then. what will come to be added to nature is something other than nature that yet belongs to nature. . Thus. The fourth passage is the discourse of wonder. Hence. a divergence from nature within nature. that what is to become larger or more than it is is ĴփIJțȣ. It is a matter of an opening beyond. in his leisurely orientation to being. of an opening to being.

What the Thales of this scene lacks is the monstrosity that Theaetetus achieves in the moment of wonder. it seems. who are advocates of one being and of determinacy. And yet.THE FLOW OF ĮȋȉȀȉ 191 the water clock. his ascendancy would be—but cannot be—such as to bear even ĴփIJțȣ itself beyond itself. The final passage. so as then to have no need of going down to any of the things nearby. Socrates and Theaetetus have just been speaking of Heraclitus and Parmenides. addresses such monstrosity. with which the first part of the dialogue concludes. somewhat as others go down to a harbor or river. It is between these—between the flow of ĴփIJțȣ and determinate being—that the conversation in this passage is stretched. for it will be shown that knowledge involves something not found in perception. What is lacking in the philosopher as he appears in this central scene is a comportment that. As the passage opens. They are pulled. They have compared themselves to those who. the passage . the passage will lead to the explicit refutation of this thesis. Socrates begins by restating Theaetetus’ thesis that knowledge is perception. at the extreme. play at a tug-ofwar in which they stand in the middle between two opposing teams. Indeed the ascendancy of the philosopher would. and now toward those who arrest all things. On the contrary. Yet his katabasis is inadvertent. in exceeding ĴփIJțȣ. in both directions—now toward those who set things aflow. Philosophy would thus bring an opening to being—an opening of being—beyond ĴփIJțȣ. bound by katabasis—as this central ascensional discourse is literally bounded by the discourses of katabasis with which the Theaetetus begins and ends. in a gymnasium. Regarded most straightforwardly. would at the same time remain bound to ĴփIJțȣ. What the Thales of this scene lacks is an ascendancy bound to katabasis. in turn. for Socrates speaks—remarkably—of the philosopher’s thought as “exploring everywhere all the ĴփIJțȣ of each whole of the things that are and letting itself down to not one of the things nearby” (174a). On the other hand. everything—or almost everything—that has preceded in the dialogue has served to deprive flowing ĴփIJțȣ of being. be so all-determining that even ĴփIJțȣ itself would— or would be taken to—undergo a kind of displacement beyond. While their condition is described as being such that “water in its flow is bearing down on them” (172e). who advocate the flow of ĴփIJțȣ. In his ascendancy he would exceed ĴփIJțȣ without also continuing to be bound to ĴփIJțȣ. Thales’ leisure does not go undisturbed. a comic fall that earns him the jeers and no doubt the laughter of the Thracian servant girl. His contemplation of the things in the heaven does not escape interruption. he falls in a well.

beginning thus to rehabilitate the mathematical schema generated by Theaetetus’ research. for the commons. the look is determined by the logic of excess. that which is had in common by perceptions that come through different senses. Rather. to ĴփIJțȣ.192 JOHN SALLIS will. belongs itself. The question that Socrates then poses concerns the apprehension of the looks. that which it looks upon through itself is such that the soul must stretch itself toward it. in a certain sense. the look toward which perceptions stretch is something beyond. The one look would. looks upon the common things about all of them” (185e). if many of these perceptions sit in us as if in wooden horses. be that in which the perceptions through the various senses come together. To this end Socrates introduces the common (ijր Ȝȡțȟցȟ). of monstrosity. Socrates says: “The soul itself through itself looks upon some things. it appears to me. for it will show that it is through a certain knowing that perception of things becomes fully possible. Here is Socrates’ question to Theaetetus: “So through what [İțո ijտȟȡȣ] do you apprehend [or: think (İțչȟȡțį)] all these things about the pair? For it’s possible neither through hearing nor through sight to grasp the common [ijր Ȝȡțȟցȟ] about them” (185b). something that exceeds ĴփIJțȣ. Socrates’ repetition of the answer gathers the means of apprehension. They come together in the look by stretching toward it. and correspondingly for hearing. but all these do not stretch together [IJȤȟijıտȟıț] toward some one look [Լİջį]” (184d). vindicate Theaetetus’ thesis. Theaetetus refers then specifically to being and observes that it belongs “in those things that the soul by itself stretches itself toward [ԚʍȡȢջȗıijįț]” (186a). into two kinds. it is the look precisely of something in ĴփIJțȣ. that we see. He mentions the is that may be said of both sound and color. Socrates and Theaetetus agree that in perception it is through (İțչ) the eyes. the looks. It remains only to identify the looks more precisely in their relation to ĴփIJțȣ. my boy. the through which. exceed ĴփIJțȣ and so require that apprehension of . also the same and other that may be said of both (since each is the same as itself and other than the other). by being extended toward it. and yet. rather than by the eyes. it concerns that through which the stretching toward the look is carried out. then. Thus. The first decisive move comes as Socrates says: “That’s because it’s surely dreadful [İıțȟցȟ]. and some things through the power of the body” (185e). In other words. Theaetetus swears “By Zeus!” and then answers: “The soul itself through itself. to this extent. it is not as though the soul looked upon certain aspects of ĴփIJțȣ through the senses and then looked upon others through itself. Thus.

who. as Phaedo reports. its very elements. “put his feet down on the earth and for the rest of the time conversed sitting in this way” (Phaedo 61d). of monstrosity. they have all too often been mistaken this way in the history of Platonism. so the philosopher. On the one side. the commons are common to the things we perceive and the looks are the looks of these things. A double gathering into two ones has thus been carried out. even though. translated into the sensible and the intelligible. bound to his ĴփIJțȣ. the moments of determinacy. And yet. There is no greater paradigm than Socrates. THE PENNSYVNIA STATE UNIVERSITY . Their relation is not arithmetic but rather one of inherent excess. While exceeding ĴփIJțȣ. there are also two: (1) the flow of ĴփIJțȣ with its changing perceptual qualities and (2) the looks. But what decisively differentiates the schema of knowledge from the earlier. for within ĴփIJțȣ itself the dissolution of oneness will remain in force.THE FLOW OF ĮȋȉȀȉ 193 them stretch itself beyond ĴփIJțȣ. For just as ĴփIJțȣ proves to require the common excess that yet belongs to it as its determinacy. appearing in the moment of wonder. On the other side. the commons. In this final passage the two extended scenes are fused. the scene of ĴփIJțȣ and that of the appearance of the philosopher. they belong also to ĴփIJțȣ as the very elements. facing death. heedfully. opened his thoughts and words to the beyond and yet. there are (1) the soul’s apprehension through the senses and (2) its extensive apprehension through itself. of determinacy. must be drawn beyond himself while remaining advertently. mathematical schema is that sense qualities and commons or looks are not related simply as two ones. Because the flow of ĴփIJțȣ is not itself determinate—but only monstrously so—it corresponds to the incommensurables in the mathematical schema.

if that’s the metaphor you prefer.” Professor Sallis renders the famous passage literally: “This pathos is very much that of a philosopher. or is it a metaphysical possibility always ready to be repeated? Aristotle. For nothing else than this is the beginning of philosophy” (Theaetetus 155d). It is striking however that in addition to these familiar Platonic scenes of institution. a curiosity it’s nice to find out about but practically irrelevant to the present-day phenomenon? The converse would also have to be true: the more it matters that philosophy began on some ancient occasion. There is no one better to read with these questions in mind than Plato. the less it counts that every human being contains the potential to embark upon philosophy. 982b11-19). “no other beginning of philosophy but this.COMMENTARY ON SALLIS NICKOLAS PAPPAS I. or legislating the language in which philosophy will henceforth speak. Plato’s works keep clearing the ground on which philosophy will stand. For translated absolutely word for word the last clause says. almost quoting Plato’s words but also tweaking them. “Philosophy begins in wonder. because there is no place like the Platonic dialogue for a perpetual restaging of the first appearance of philosophy. Is it true?—considering not the “wonder” just now but the “is. that of wondering. makes wonder the cause of both human beings’ latter-day beginnings in philosophy and the human species’ first beginning (Metaphysics A 2. and which one do you add? Do you say that to wonder is the ԐȢȥսof philosophy or do you say that it was the ԐȢȥսin other words that philosophy began with wonder? Is the inauguration of philosophy a historical event. then why was there a specific and now celebrated event when it first happened? Shouldn’t the first philosophizing have the standing of the first handshake.” To become minimally comprehensible the English needs a copula. The original first philosophy creates an indebtedness not discharged by subsequent practices of philosophy but increased with every subsequent practice. But can the answer be fully both? If the ԐȢȥսin philosophy can come to everyone naturally. the Theaetetus also positions new philosophical claims against .” the present tense of it.

What is it that brings a philosopher into the world—as Protagoras appears for example in this dialogue’s conversation in miraculous partial rebirth before ducking back to turn over in his grave (Tht. Those allegedly intelligible traits of things that Plato calls “common properties. .” . so the philosopher. II. Professor Sallis hears stories of the birth of philosophy in the Theaetetus’s first section. which is to say with the thought that philosophy already began and therefore can no longer begin as it once did. 171d)? What is that upand-down movement of a life in philosophy? The episodes of the Theaetetus press and strain this question. as well as philosophical stories of nature as the place of constant birthing. turn out to exceed nature even while continuing to belong to nature. coalesce. must be drawn beyond himself while remaining . though that relation does not catapult philosophy into the “intelligible” realm familiar to the history of Platonism. Instead the philosophical ȝցȗȡȣtreats that which grows out of ĴփIJțȣ as nature’s monstrous efflorescence. Then as Professor Sallis says “the two scenes .” The philosopher’s special standing with respect to nature follows from his mimetic or emblematic relationship to nature. in relation to IXVL9. On his reading philosophy is being alleged to begin in a relation to nature. Now.” Their fusion demonstrates in his words “the inception of philosophy.COMMENTARY ON SALLIS 195 philosophies of the past. This might be the Platonic dialogue most occupied with the history of philosophy. . bound to his ĴփIJțȣ. . he simultaneously charts the philosopher’s appearance. its beginning. appearing in the moment of wonder. . it is also the dialogue most resistant to pinning down that beginning as either an eternally present possibility or an actual historical past event. as Plato describes a philosophical ȝցȗȡȣproper to nature’s wild fluctuations. “[J]ust as ĴփIJțȣ proves to require the common excess that yet belongs to it as its determinacy. And that is to say: if the Theaetetus is the dialogue that calls wonder the beginning of philosophy.” ijչ Ȝȡțȟչ.

Indeed philosophy begins by rejecting it. 150b). He will become a canonical figure in philosophy’s story of itself. for his concern is with the laboring soul instead of the body. He is a midwife metaphorically speaking. These both are and are not the terms in which Diogenes characterizes Socrates’ priority. Diogenes will call Thales the first to study astronomy (Lives of Eminent Philosophers I. Does that mean that Plato blames Thales for falling into a well. he says. And speaking of ĴփIJțȣspeaking of philosophy’s beginning: here at the heart of the Theaetetus is Thales—“precisely at its center” as Professor Sallis says. When he craned his literal neck to look literally up at the literal heights he set himself up for a literal fall. “the first one to be called IJȡĴցȣ” (Lives I. A 3. which is one way of saying that Socrates effected the first Copernican revolution in philosophy. the point of the anecdote is that Thales is a man of ĴփIJțȣ. according to some people. Socrates says something different about natural processes in the Theaetetus too.24).21). 983b20).” Thales is already a known quantity.22). What you have is still discourse or dialectic. which is the right place for a “discourse on the philosopher.23). turning that cosmological enterprise around to look at human values. Centuries hence when Diogenes Laertius wonders where and in the person of whom philosophy began (ԔȢȠįț). for remaining subject to physical laws? No.196 NICKOLAS PAPPAS III. for instance in that famous scene in which he says his skill is like (ՑIJį) that of midwives (Tht. Thales cannot control the circumstances of his own descent. he will put Thales close to the scene of that event. Besides being the first philosopher tried and executed. Philosophy by comparison rejects the literality of ĴփIJțȣ. Socrates was the first “who conducted discourses about life [ʍıȢվ ȖտȡȤ İțıȝջȥȚș]” (Lives II.20). Why just as they spoke of Thales? Is Thales not a philosopher? Professor Sallis has observed that there is something lacking about Thales. You might say that in the movement to a metaphorical domain the philosopher renounces the body in favor of things pertaining to the soul. but saying something different—no surprise given Socrates’ conviction that “theory about nature is nothing to us” (Lives II. without the philosopher’s having to endure the actual fate that Thales faced. as Aristotle also does (Metaph. In Republic VII Socrates and Glaucon are . Thales was also the first to conduct discourses about nature (ʍıȢվ ĴȤIJջȧȣ İțıȝջȥȚș: Lives I. And this passage into metaphor is why people might speak of the philosopher “just as [խIJʍıȢ]” they speak of Thales (Tht. 174a). He was the first named among the Seven Sages. Up and down for him are a physical up and down.

. 529a-b) The philosophers of the Republic’s city are not going to fall into any wells. Glaucon agreeing that it’s essential to education. or made intermittently determinate. the Socratic philosopher moves both upward and downward in and by means of his soul. Amidst all this talk of nature’s flow he is the figure in everyone’s mind who had said that all is water. Glaucon and his conception of “learning about what is above” (ijռȟ ʍıȢվ ijո Ԕȟȧ μչijșIJțȟ).” But the ascendancy he has in mind is a metaphorical one. 528e-529a). the subject actually turns the soul to look down (Ȝչijȧ ȖȝջʍıțȟRep. VII. with minds’ eyes) at the “stars” (i. You could say that Thales lacks the central philosophical metaphor. they ensure that their downward movement will be limited to the as-if travel allegorized in the story of the Cave. Is it as Professor Sallis says? “What the Thales of this scene lacks is an ascendancy bound to ȜįijչȖįIJțȣ. Rather than look at the stars they will “look” (i. But I can’t think that any other learning makes the soul look up than the one about being and the invisible. points of light newly understood as images of geometrical patterns). as if it were mathematics. 529a).e. The philosopher will be spoken of “as” Thales was. except that the up-and-down of philosophical thinking is metaphorical where Thales’s look up and fall down happened within ĴփIJțȣ. . Thales represents the ĴփIJțȣ to be countered. For as astronomy is practiced by those who should be leading their pupils up (įȟչȗȡȟijıȣ) to philosophy. Thales looked up with his body. says that astronomy directs the soul to “what is above [Ԕȟȧ]” (Republic VII. VII. and wanting not to sound mundane-minded. Glaucon is part of that problem. That idea of the above sounds a lot like Thales’s. says Socrates. And by studying astronomy as mathematics. . in the same way that Socrates should be spoken of as a midwife. But he also conducted discourse about ĴփIJțȣ.COMMENTARY ON SALLIS 197 planning the guardians’ education when Socrates mentions astronomy. Not exactly. Socrates on the soul. . He is ĴփIJțȣ and he is also the philosophical ȝցȗȡȣ. The philosopher is therefore like Thales and Thales is like a philosopher.. You are close to believing that if someone looking at decorations on the ceiling with his head tilted back should learn something about them. he is looking at them with his mind and not his eyes.e. For indeed “ascent” becomes Plato’s metaphor for the movement into metaphor. Glaucon is trying but still much too literal. with a philosophical ȝցȗȡȣ. (Rep. The natural midwife acts on the body.

when Socrates digresses to describe the philosophical character. could say something ourselves after having rejected such incomparably ancient and wise men” (Tht. Now. If one team is stronger than the other they should join it (Tht.” metonymized (180a). What about Homer. he says. Theodorus encourages him to pursue the digression however long it takes.” Now it is striking that Theodorus denies the dramatic status of their scene. being as we are rather low types. in other words said again and yet not said in the same way but rather restated. He’s the one who first speaks by commenting on the natural endowments of Theaetetus (Tht. 144a). simplified here into a tug of war between Heracliteans and Eleatics. as Socrates restates Protagoreanism. “we would be ridiculous to think that we. when Socrates proposes his strategic approach to discovering the truth about nature. Is Theodorus as blind to the drama being composed in front of him as he is to the citizens no doubt lining up behind them for jury selection? Maybe he does not notice the stichomythia latent in philosophical discourse. 173c). 181b). “We have neither a juror standing by to penalize and govern us. each new version of it as he says “freshly renamed [Ȝįțȟ‫׭‬ȣ μıijȧȟȡμįIJμջȟ‫]׫‬. nor (as poets do) a theatrical audience” (Tht. like the back and forth of eight pages later. Somewhat later. who functions as a philosopher in this conversation? If you believe Socrates. 181a). Theodorus thinks they are talking about nature. the cryptic doctrine about Oceanus and Tethys came to be “openly [ԐȟįĴįȟİȪȟ] promulgated” by the latest crop of philosophers. rejecting what someone else says without saying something else might be a matter of restating what has been said. or as the Ephesians (according to Theodorus) incessantly reformulate the philosophy of Heraclitus. The method calls for Socrates and the others present to review the history of philosophy. He gives . We’re not slaves to the clock. The philosopher’s relationship to tradition might explain something about Theaetetus’s moment of transformation into a philosopher. But in fact Socrates is about to face half a thousand jurors.198 NICKOLAS PAPPAS IV. it will not be exactly a matter of saying something new. and whatever they do after rejecting their predecessors. Philosophers of the present like Socrates have to acknowledge that they come on the scene after other philosophers and because of them. Professor Sallis began by saying: “In the Theaetetus there is much that is theatrical. Socrates says. If both sides speak unreasonably. Time is tight.

“I am going to tell you the mystery doctrine [ijո μȤIJijսȢțį]” of Protagorean doctrine. Intercourse. As Professor Sallis recounts the drama in the Theaetetus. (156a) The most inaccurate word in that translation is “principle. In other words.” What Socrates says is that this is the ԐȢȥս. half a page after the ԐȢȥս seemed like maybe a personal beginning. The ԐȢȥս has been here and already been said. Instead Socrates promises to expound the Protagorean teaching. After all there is no “uninitiated one [Ԑμփșijȡȣ]” in sight. makes the primary relationship of the philosopher a relationship to already enunciated teachings. The principle is the following.COMMENTARY ON SALLIS 199 voice to his wonder at nature’s confusions and Socrates welcomes him into the philosophical corps—but that welcome does not take the form of a guided look at nature. But now it seems that the philosopher’s arrival presupposes the earlier appearance of another philosopher. On the other reading the philosopher reacts against a philosophical patrimony represented as falling into holes in the ground (Tht. it becomes a philosophical teaching. Socrates can’t say enough about nature’s fecundity. dead and buried (Tht. V. specifically an initiation that entails being taught philosophical doctrine. On one reading the philosopher reacts to the monstrous fertility of nature. But the dialogue also dramatizes a struggle that happens within philosophy. But whether accepting or rejecting them the philosopher is oriented toward antecedent philosophers. eternally possible for all potential philosophers. You would have to repress the . To fuse the scene of nature with the scene of first philosophy you have to leave this other drama out of the picture. It has too much life in it. 171d). pairings. its essential confrontation brings the philosopher face-to-face with nature. 183e). and everything we were just saying depends on this. and the only thing left for you to do is learn it. “very elderly” (Tht. Those two scenes are supposed to coalesce: the appearance of the philosopher and the ever-reappearing flow of nature. births. in other words in need of being either freshly wakened or—as in Protagoras’s case—subjected to a fresh wake. 174a). Moreover Socrates’ talk of initiation. that everything is motion and besides this motion there is nothing. The philosopher can reject all the teachings that came before.

Philosophy continues to begin. THE CITY COLLEGE AND THE GRADUATE CENTER.200 NICKOLAS PAPPAS importance of philosophical forebears. Thales must be a philosopher in order for his being supplanted to matter— much as Homer has to be called a philosopher to explain why anyone cares that he spoke of Oceanus and Tethys. He’d have to be a natural man. the story of philosophy can no longer be told as it had been. If conducting discourses about ĴփIJțȣ makes Thales a predecessor in the discipline then philosophy will still have work to do. Plato becomes a footnote to Thales. but the work will not be a wondrous new start but rather a start within what has already started. for instance by diverting attention away from Protagoras to his theory of nature. The philosopher who precedes falls victim to a new kind of indeterminacy. ready to teach philosophers without being one. If Thales is ĴփIJțȣ then everyone can draw the lesson that Theaetetus does and make a fresh start for philosophy. THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK . For once the drama of philosophy’s history becomes part of the Theaetetus. Thales must not be a philosopher if supplanting him is to be a possibility eternally available to philosophers.

What does it add to our understanding of why a change occurred to know. for Aristotle. can the sculptor’s sculpting explain the bronze’s becoming a statue. 194b29- 32). 991a22-3). If the agent’s action and the change that the agent brings about are one and the same change. unless these are two different events? _________ 1 An efficient cause. ‘different in being’). is this. a sculptor makes some bronze into a statue by sculpting the bronze.1 In this paper. An agent is thus a type of efficient cause. not just that a certain agent was responsible. For example. He maintains that Platonic ideas by themselves could not cause change. 2 For there to be a change. makes a kettle hot by heating it. then. 1071b17). which Aristotle often uses for exercising a capacity.2 Fire. Introduction Among the things Aristotle describes as causes are agents. for instance. I shall be focusing on a particular claim Aristotle makes about agency: the claim that an agent produces change by acting on something. how can one of them explain the other? How. My question. is a ‘source of change or rest’ (Physics II 3. ‘looking towards the ideas’ (Metaph. in a sense to be explained. Aristotle claims that when an agent acts on something to produce a change.) This point that an agent must be something that acts is the basis for one of his criticisms of Plato. it is not enough that there should be something that has the capacity to produce change. unless this thing also acts (Metaph. My question is about the explanatory role of this kind of action. A 9. To be an agent is to be a certain kind of source of change. the agent’s action is one and the same change as the change that is brought about in the thing acted upon. L 6. he says.COLLOQUIUM 5 ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 URSULA COOPE I. A change could only be produced by something that acted (ijր ԚȢȗįȘցμıȟȡȟ). the sculptor’s action of sculpting the bronze and the bronze’s becoming a statue are both one and the same change (though they are. . but also that that agent was acting on something to bring about the change? This is a question that becomes puzzling when we look closely at Aristotle’s account of what it is for an agent to act on something. (The verb for ‘acts’ here is ԚȟıȢȗı‫ה‬ȟ. for instance.

then. rather than the agent. does he think that an agent. Aristotle holds that an agent acts on something in virtue of having a special kind of potential that is actualised in that thing. 195a5-6. he says. the sculptor) as the efficient cause. even if Frede is right that it is. According to Frede.g. I look at two reasons why we might want to insist that producing a change involves acting upon something and I show that neither of these can be Aristotle’s reason. in fact. On his view.3 My point here is that the strangeness of Aristotelian efficient causes is. strictly speaking. Aristotle does also often cite the agent as the cause. II 3. I first examine Aristotle’s account of agency in Physics III 3 and explain his argument that the agent’s action and the change in the thing acted upon are one and the same change (sections II-IV). more radical than Frede’s argument suggests. 195b23-5. the art of sculpture) rather than the agent (e. . that is the efficient cause is a question that is beyond the scope of this paper. Then (in section V) I return to my question about the explanatory role of the agent’s action. Although he thinks of _________ 3 Aristotle calls the art of sculpture the efficient cause at Phys. What it is for a form to be an efficient cause is an interesting question that I cannot go into here.202 URSULA COOPE In what follows. On the other hand. In ‘more theoretical contexts’. strictly speaking. 195b5-6). Of course. as the efficient cause. even efficient causes are not. Even in those places in which Aristotle does suggest that agents are causes. This conclusion bears on a question that is commonly asked about Aristotelian efficient causes: to what extent is Aristotle’s notion of the efficient cause something we would recognise as a notion of causation? Michael Frede (1987. B 2. II 3. 194b29-32) the house-builder (or the housebuilder building) is the cause of a house being built (Phys. 126) has claimed that ‘there is a strong tendency [in modern thought] to conceive of causes as somehow active’ and that the strangeness of Aristotelian causes stems from the fact that they cannot be thought of in this way. It is not just that Aristotle often picks out the form. Why. we need to understand that this change is the actualisation of such a potential. the notion of causal activity that emerges from his account is very different from any that might be employed in modern philosophy. must act on that thing? I end by suggesting an answer. 996b6-7. he says that the efficient cause of a house is ‘the art or the builder’. the father is the cause of the child (Phys. II 3. any similarity to ‘our’ notion of cause is deceptive. Aristotle cites the form (e. in order to understand why a change occurs in the thing that is acted upon. II 3. For example. As we shall see. He says that the art of building is a cause that is ‘prior’ to the builder at Phys. Whether Frede is right to say that it is the form. the form that is the efficient cause.g. this does not in itself show that Aristotle would reject the idea that such a cause must be active. At Metaph. strictly speaking. things that act to produce change. if it is to cause a change in something.

192b23-7). in Aristotle’s sense. In such a case. ijր ʍȡțȡ‫ף‬ȟ) is the thing that acts on something to produce a change. What exactly does he mean by ‘agent’. it is. is an acting upon something. on Aristotle’s view. in the sense that concerns us here. his notion of what it is for an agent to act on something is not ours. 1046a10-11). to the fire’s heating the kettle). The thing that the agent acts upon. Q 1. I shall call the patient (ijր ʍչIJȥȡȟ. If. thinking is an activity (an ԚȟջȢȗıțį). ijր Ȝțȟȡփμıȟȡȟ). Just as a sculptor exercises agency in acting on some bronze to turn it into a statue. It is important to be clear about this because the English expression ‘the agent’s activity’ could be taken to refer to an activity (ԚȟջȢȗıțį) in the agent that enables it to act on the patient (for example. I do not mean to refer to this kind of activity in the agent. When I write of an agent’s action here. Aristotle says. we need to be clear about certain key terms. ‘patient’ and ‘change’? The agent (ijր Ȝțȟȡ‫ף‬ȟ. where something only counts as an agent if it is capable of intentional action. ‘action’.ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 203 agents as things that act to produce a change. But to think is not to act upon something. It is important not to confuse this with the use of the word ‘agent’ in modern philosophy of action. he is both the agent of the cure and the patient that undergoes the cure (Phys. Key terms Before looking in detail at Aristotle’s account of agency. need not be animate. In the examples above. II 1. II. rather. to the fire’s actively being hot). the agent acts on itself qua other (Metaph. An action (ʍȡտșIJțȣ). but rather to the agent’s action upon the patient (for example. The doctor has the potential to cure any suitable patient (anyone who is unwell and has the potential to be healthy). when a doctor cures himself. so thinking is not an action (ʍȡտșIJțȣ). Agents. on a particular occa- . the patients are the bronze (the thing that is sculpted by the sculptor) and the kettle (the thing that is heated by the fire). There are certain kinds of activity (ԚȟջȢȗıțį) that are not actions in this sense.4 _________ 4 According to Aristotle. making the kettle hotter. the fundamental difference between Aristotle’s view and ours is not that we think that causes must be active whereas he does not. that his notion of what it is for an agent to act on something is very different from any that we might adopt. For example. there are cases in which agents act upon themselves. so also fire exercises agency in acting on the kettle. Thus. For example.

I am already in the state that results from seeing it. as Aristotle puts it). While I am looking at a thing. one way for the bronze’s potential to be a statue to be actual is for the bronze to be a statue. If Xing is a kind of changing. Aristotle’s discussion of agency in Physics III 3 follows immediately upon his account of change. can be fast or slow. insofar as it is merely a potential. he also happens (on that occasion) to be a suitable patient. Aristotle says. He says that building is a change at 201b13. but have been influenced by that of Hussey 1993. ĭ 6.6 This change is an actuality of the bronze insofar as the bronze is potentially a statue (as opposed to an actuality of the bronze’s potential just to be bronze) (201a29-34). Consider the bronze’s change into a statue. For the bronze to change into a statue is for this potentiality to be fulfilled (or actual. I have not yet got to B. Seeing is not defined in terms of some goal that can only be achieved when the seeing has come to an end. The bronze’s change into a statue is. This is something that can be done more or less quickly. Aristotle uses the fact that changes are directed in this way at an end point that has not yet been reached to draw a distinction between changes and activities that are not changes. 6 The Greek word is Ԛȟijıȝջȥıțį (though Aristotle also uses the word ԚȟջȢȗıțį. He has defined change. The change is the actuality of the bronze’s potential.204 URSULA COOPE I have said that we are interested in what it is for an agent to act on a patient to produce a change (ȜտȟșIJțȣ). I can walk from A to B more or less quickly. then while something is Xing. as ‘the actuality of what is potentially qua such’ (201a10-11). unlike other kinds of activities. The bronze is potentially a statue. 1048b18-34). the action of sculpting a statue. 1173a32-1173b4). Of course. For example. 7 He makes this assumption at 202a14-15. is an activity that is not a change. in addition to being a doctor. the incomplete actuality of the bronze’s potential to be a statue. This. walking from A to B is a change. While I am walking from A to B. but seeing is not the sort of thing that can be done more or less quickly (Nicomachean Ethics X 3. at 201b713). thus.7 Consider. he is able to cure himself. This difference between changes and other kinds of activities is reflected in the fact that changes. this will be because. A consequence of distinguishing in this way between changes and other activities is that the action of bringing about a change turns out itself to be a change. somewhat cryptically.5 What does this mean? It is easiest to understand it with reference to an example. for instance. Seeing. Being a statue is not a kind of change. It is an action that is di- _________ sion. is an incomplete kind of actuality (201b31-33). in contrast. . it has not yet Xed (not yet reached the goal of Xing) (Metaph. 5 Translations are my own.

He presents arguments that seem to show that. To ask what these changes are in is to ask a different question. Similarly. a certain puzzle. To understand the account. The argument that the agent’s action and the patient’s change cannot be two distinct changes takes as its starting point the following question: if they were two distinct changes. then. that of the patient is a modification (ʍչȚȡȣ) (202a24). III. there must be some one thing that undergoes that change. Aristotle is using the expressions ‘change of X’ and ‘change in X’ in quite a precise way here. The Puzzle In Physics III 3. since it is an actuality of a power of the bronze. The puzzle is about whether the action of the agent and the change in the patient are two distinct changes or are one and the same. I shall first consider the argument that the agent’s action and the patient’s change cannot be distinct changes and then turn to the argument that they cannot be one and the same change. Aristotle lays out his account of the relation between the agent. He does this by presenting. but for now this is left undecided. what would they be changes in? This question stands in need of some explanation. however we answer this question. A change of X is the incomplete actuality of one of X’s potentials. It is in this sense that the agent’s action is a change of the agent. We have already seen that any change is the incomplete actuality of some potential. we need to look in some detail at this puzzle. there will be impossible consequences. and then attempting to solve.8 This end is not achieved until the sculpting is over and the statue has come to be. the patient. Thus. Aristotle thinks that if there is a change. It will turn out that the product of action and the modification produced in the patient are one and the same thing. There must. the sculptor’s sculpting is a change of the sculptor.ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 205 rected at the end: there being a statue. The product or end of the action of the agent is the product of action (ʍȡտșμį). Aristotle reminds us that both the actuality of the agent and that of the patient have a ‘product or end’. be some _________ 8 In his discussion of agency. While I am making a statue I have not yet made it. that is. since it is an actuality of a power of the sculptor. To ask what a change is of is to ask what it is that has the potential of which the change is an actuality. the agent’s action and the change that is brought about in the patient. His solution is to disarm the objections to the view that the agent’s action is the same change as the change that is brought about in the patient. the bronze’s becoming a sculpture is a change of the bronze. .

that changes are individuated. it is ‘in the agent’). .e. but she infers that ‘if both are involved in the motion. In Physics I 7. In other words. he is asking what it is that undergoes the change that is the agent’s action. in the motion that is the agent’s action and the patient’s change). one change cannot be the incomplete actuality of two different potentialities and hence that the agent’s action and the patient’s change must be two distinct changes. two alternative answers to this question. the bronze’s becoming a sculpture is not only a change of the bronze but is also a change in the bronze. in part. When he is discussing agency. When Aristotle asks what the agent’s action is a change in. To say that this is both a change of the sculptor and a change of the bronze is not to say that the change has two subjects. But this does not imply that the agent is moved.9 If the agent’s action is a different change from the change that is brought about in the patient. that a change can only have one subject. 16-17). in every case. he is asking what it is that changes (‘changes’ being intransitive).206 URSULA COOPE one thing that changes (where the verb ‘changes’ is intransitive). The agent is involved in the motion because it is a motion of the agent. 142).10 Aristotle argues that neither of these alternatives is possible. in my view) that ‘both the agent and patient are involved in the motion’ (i. His evidence for this is Aristotle’s claim. V 4. That would only follow if the motion were in the agent. by their subjects (and hence that it is impossible for one change to have two different subjects) (Charles 1984. Mary Louise Gill argues (rightly. Thus. in Phys. fail to take sufficient account of this distinction between being a change in X and being a change of X. in Phys. we cannot assume that. David Charles claims that. to suppose that ‘everything that produces change will change or having change it will not change’ (202a30-1). Either the agent’s action is a change undergone by the agent (i. That is just what it means to ‘have change’. To suppose that the agent’s action is a change in the agent is. a change that is the actuality of one of X’s potentials) will also be a change in X. Something that has a change in it undergoes that change. III 3 with which I am disagreeing in this paper each.e. Perhaps he thinks that this is ruled out by his stipulation. a change of X (i. Aristotle identifies the subject of a change with the thing that the change is in. and hence distinguishing between the notions ‘change in X’ and ‘change of X’. or the agent’s action and the patient’s change are two distinct changes that are both undergone by the patient (i. they are both ‘in the patient’). So if _________ 9 The two main interpretations of Phys. it seems. the one change that is both the sculptor’s sculpting and the bronze’s becoming a statue only has one subject: the bronze. he claims. 10 Aristotle does not consider a third alternative: that the agent’s action is a change in both the agent and the patient. V 4. To say that a change is in X is to say that X is what undergoes the change. This inference is unwarranted. However.e. On the interpretation that I am defending.e. then there are. then both the agent and patient are changed in a single motion’ (Gill 1980. in different ways. for Aristotle. he calls this thing that undergoes the change the underlying thing or subject (՘ʍȡȜıտμıȟȡȟ) of the change.

the bronze also acts on the sculptor to produce a change in him (Phys. its action to bring about this further change in the patient. but also to bring about the agent’s change in the patient. cannot be right. there will be no need for a further agent to explain it.ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 207 the agent’s action is a change in the agent. His thought. the bronze would undergo the change producing a statue.13 This leaves _________ 11 He himself believes that all changeable agents must undergo a change when they act to produce change (202a3). This is because.12 If the action of this further agent is a change that this agent undergoes. 13 However. Aristotle adopts neither of these strategies. there is still a regress that would threaten. he claims. would itself have to be yet another change in the patient. VIII 5. At least. he takes the regress to show that the agent’s action cannot be in the agent. This seems to imply that there would have to be infinitely many changes in the patient. 257b7-14). Hence. Aristotle does not think it necessary to mention this possible regress. There are various possible ways to escape this regress. Any changeable agent will be acted upon reciprocally by its patient. then this part would have both to possess the property in question and to lack it (Phys. then this change must. on his account of agency. he thinks that there must be a part of the self-changer that acts and another part that is acted upon. When the sculptor acts on the bronze to produce a change. but a different change that is brought about in the sculptor by the bronze.11 To suppose otherwise would. (assuming still that all changes are brought about by the action of an agent) the agent would have to act. then this change would itself need to be brought about by the action of some further agent. is that if the action is not a change that is in the agent. Presumably. the claim that an agent’s action must be a change undergone by that agent entails that there is an infinite regress of agents. not only to bring about the patient’s change. But this change that the sculptor undergoes when he acts is not the sculptor’s action. For. In this sense. this follows if we assume (as Aristotle does here) that every change must be brought about by the action of one thing (an agent) on something else (a patient). if the agent’s change and the patient’s change were distinct. it follows that any agent that produces change must itself undergo change. Another strategy would be to deny that the agent’s action is. 12 As I have already mentioned. If the agent’s action were a change undergone by the agent. in its turn. presumably. the agent must always possess the property that it is bringing about in the patient. though Aristotle does not mention this. and so on. But. For instance. This. If the agent and patient were the same part of one thing. in addition to becoming a statue. and yet another change acting to act to produce a statue. in every case. The agent’s action cannot itself be a change that the agent undergoes. . he thinks. be brought about by the action of yet another agent. Instead. a change. even self-change involves one thing acting on another. 202a3-7). III 2. imply a regress of agents. One strategy would be to deny that every change is brought about by the action of an agent. but also it would undergo the distinct change acting to produce a statue. Aristotle does allow that a thing can act on itself. But even in a case of self-change.

at the same time.’ His point is that one thing cannot undergo two distinct changes to one and the same form. they must be two distinct changes in the patient. be in the patient. This is an objection to which Aristotle will later reply. other reasons for rejecting the view that the agent’s action and the patient’s change are two distinct changes in the patient. Aristotle claims that one thing cannot. It can be getting hotter at the same time as it is getting dryer. Like any other change. But it cannot be undergoing two different changes. If the agent’s action and the patient’s change are two distinct changes in the patient. is completed just when the new state is brought about in the patient. Aristotle is not. it implies that the operation of the sculptor’s potential to sculpt is not in the sculptor but. Aristotle goes on to present objections to this view too. be undergoing two different changes at once. In these chapters of the Physics. The agent’s action. For example. both of which have as their end being a statue. 14 If I am right about the difference between ‘change in X’ and ‘change of X’.208 URSULA COOPE him with a question. it is absurd that something should change with two changes at the same time: what two qualitative changes will there be of one thing to one form?14 This is impossible. then in the first place the operation of each will not be present in each. undergo two distinct qualitative changes to one and the same end. like the change becoming a statue. the action of making a statue. then Aristotle should really have said: ‘in one thing and to one form. It would be an objection to any view on which the agent’s action was a change in the patient.15 For example. and second. The objection depends on the fact that the agent’s action and the change brought about in the patient are directed at the same end. What is it that undergoes the change that is the agent’s action? If this change is not in the agent. The second objection is directed specifically at the claim that the action and the change brought about are two distinct changes in the patient. . At any one time. in the bronze. the agent’s action is directed at some goal that is achieved when and only when the action is completed. of course. This is shown by his willingness to switch from using the word Ԛȟijıȝջȥıțį to using the word ԚȟջȢȗıțį in his definition of change (201b7-13). is successfully completed just when there is a statue. (202a33-36) The first objection is that this view implies that the operation of some thing’s potential need not be in that thing. he thinks. making any important distinction between ԚȟջȢȗıțį and Ԛȟijıȝջȥıțį (actuality). 15 The word ‘operation’ here translates the Greek ԚȟջȢȗıțį. anything going on in the bronze that is directed towards there being a statue will be part of one and the same change: the bronze becom- _________ since he has. like the patient’s change. It follows that if the agent’s action and the patient’s change are two distinct changes. it must. The bronze can. The ԚȟջȢȗıțį of a potential is the exercise of that potential. I think. in any case. instead.

Aristotle goes on to present objections to the remaining possibility: that the agent’s action and the patient’s change are one and the same. they cannot be two distinct changes in the patient. His solution is to defend the view that the agent’s action is the same as the patient’s change. Similarly. since the agent’s action and the patient’s change must both be directed at the same end. The first half of the puzzle is now complete. The bronze cannot. whatever is true of the agent’s action must also be true of the patient’s change. The conclusion of the arguments presented so far is that the agent’s action and the change in the patient cannot be two distinct changes. it seems. then either they would both be in the patient. or one of them would be in the agent and the other in the patient. . then. be undergoing two distinct changes one of which is making a statue and the other of which is becoming a statue. then it would seem to follow that someone who builds a house must also himself get built into a house. (2) that the operation of two things can _________ 16 I discuss the translation of these articular infinitives below. to reply to the arguments that suggested this was impossible. if the action of the agent is the same as the change undergone by the patient. then. could not engage in one and the same activity: ‘it is unreasonable that there should be one and the same operation (ԚȟջȢȗıțį) of two things different in form’ (202b1-2). The second is that. He claims (1) that the operation of one thing can be in another. for instance. This one change in the patient is both a change of the agent and of the patient. If. The Solution The puzzle Aristotle has presented seems to show that the agent’s action and the patient’s change can neither be two distinct changes nor be one and the same. if building a house is the same change as getting built into a house. In the second half of the puzzle. More generally. He needs. and vice versa. If they were two distinct changes. the teacher’s teaching the pupil is the same as the change which is the pupil’s learning. The first is that two things different in form (namely. Aristotle presents two objections to this remaining possibility.ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 209 ing a statue. But we have seen arguments against each of these alternatives. IV. then. then ‘being a teacher (ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ) will be the same thing as being a learner (ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ)’16 and it will be necessary that ‘every teacher learns’ (202b3-5). the agent and the patient).

be absurd to suppose that the teacher’s capacity could be fulfilled by a change in just any other thing. On his view. 1. It is the actuality of one of the teacher’s capacities. even a self-change involves one thing acting on another. What does it mean to claim that the agent’s action and the patient’s change are the same in this way? _________ 17 Or possibly. then this one change is the incomplete actuality of two different potentials: a potential of the agent and a potential of the patient. but it is ‘not cut off’ from the teacher. The reason he gives is that ‘teaching is the operation of the teacher. admittedly. the same ‘in the way that what potentially is is related to what is operating’. This claim that the actuality is one and the same change but not the same in being will be explained more fully later. It is not absurd that the actuality of one thing should be in another. is a capacity to act in something else. Aristotle claims that it is possible for the actuality of these two different potentials to be one and the same change. one of the reasons for denying that the agent’s action could be in the patient was that this would imply that one thing’s actuality could be in something else. I think. 2. so long as it is not the same in being.17 In other words. Aristotle thinks that in such cases of self-change. though it is a capacity of the teacher. The agent’s action and the patient’s change are the same in the way that ‘what potentially is is related to what is operating’ (ijր İȤȟչμıț Րȟ ʍȢրȣ ijր ԚȟıȢȗȡ‫ף‬ȟ) (202b9-10). Aristotle now claims that this consequence is not. after all. .210 URSULA COOPE be one and the same. but instead. (202b9-10) If the agent’s action and the patient’s change are one and the same. the pupil). Aristotle contrasts sameness in being with another kind of sameness: the sameness that holds between what potentially is and what is operating. so long as it is not the same ‘in being’. it is a capacity that is fulfilled by something else’s being in a new state. This is somewhat puzzling. It would. His point. absurd. is that a capacity like the capacity to teach. in the agent itself qua other. Here. so long as it is not the same in being. and (3) that his account of agency does not imply that the agent undergoes the very change that it produces. then. (202b5-6) In the puzzle. but it is in something and not cut off. one part of the agent acts on another part of the agent. The teaching is a change in the pupil. The agent (in this case the teacher) can only act on something that stands in a special relationship to it (in this case. The operation (ΤȟϿȢȗıțį) of two things can be one and the same. It is of this in that’ (202b6-8). As I explained in footnote 12 above.

by the Eng- _________ 18 Of course. ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ). but what is true of this change insofar as it is of the agent is different from what is true of it insofar as it is of the patient. I want to suggest that the relation between the bronze qua potentially being a statue and the bronze qua actually being bronze is. but we can distinguish between what is true of it insofar as it is bronze and what is true of it insofar as it is potentially a statue. There is one lump of bronze. In many contexts both ԭ İտİįȠțȣ and ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ would be translated by the English ‘teaching’. but being bronze and being potentially a statue are not ‘without qualification and by definition’ the same. A sign of this is that the actuality of the bronze. When Aristotle says that the agent’s action and the patient’s change are the same in the way that what potentially is is the same as what is operating.g. is different from the actuality of the bronze qua potentially being a statue (201a35-b3). it is actually operating (it is ԚȟıȢȗȡ‫ף‬ȟ). his point is that they are the same in the way that the bronze qua potentially a statue is the same as the bronze qua bronze. the action of the agent and the change of the patient are one and the same change. In explaining his definition of change. Similarly. earlier in Physics III (III 1. ԭ μչȚșIJțȣ) and of the corresponding articular infinitives (e. qua bronze. ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ. on Aristotle’s view.g. he distinguishes between being bronze and being potentially something (for instance. But the comparison serves to make Aristotle’s point here that what is true of a certain thing qua F need not be true of that same thing qua G.ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 211 A remark in Aristotle’s account of change. The view that the agent’s action and the patient’s change are one and the same does not imply that a thing must undergo the very change that it produces. being potentially a statue). and both ԭ μչȚșIJțȣ and ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ . ԭ İտİįȠțȣ. Our interpretation depends partly on how we understand Aristotle’s use here of the noun forms (e. provides a clue to what he might mean by the distinction between what potentially is and what is operating (ԚȟıȢȗȡ‫ף‬ȟ).18 This prepares us for his third point. Qua potentially a statue. It can be true of one and the same thing both that it is bronze and that it is potentially a statue. qua bronze. 3. 201a31-b3). The structure of Aristotle’s argument here is complicated and its translation is controversial. the bronze is potentially something (it is İȤȟչμıț Րȟ). . an example of the relation between what potentially is and what is operating. the relation between some bronze qua bronze and that bronze qua potentially a statue is not exactly like the relation between a certain change qua of the patient and that change qua of the agent.

leave these terms untranslated. One might be tempted to translate the articular infinitives as ‘to teach’ and ‘to learn’. The claim ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ and ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ are the same cannot. amount to the claim that what it is to teach is the same as what it is to learn. ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ and ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ. The first stage of Aristotle’s argument (202b10-16) implies that it makes sense to suppose that ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ and ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ are the same though they are not the same in being.22 With this understanding of the terms involved. 5. 14. (Note that the fact that Aristotle introduces this second claim with the connective ‘not but what’ (ȡ՘ μռȟ Ԑȝȝį) (202b16) suggests that the point he is making here is meant to stand in contrast to what he has said immediately before. In this passage. 69). the articular infinitives (ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ and ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ) cannot mean the same as the corresponding nouns (ԭ İտİįȠțȣ and ԭ μįȚșIJțȣ).212 URSULA COOPE lish ‘learning’. initially. ‘acting and being acted upon’ (202b11). but that would be misleading. I shall. Aristotle claims that even if ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ and ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ are the same. more generally. the action and the being-acted-upon)21 are not the same in being. we can make sense of the structure of Aristotle’s argument. I want to suggest that Aristotle is using the articular infinitives. then. . 21 ԭ ʍȡտșIJțȣ and ԭ ʍչȚșIJțȣ. it does not follow that the teacher learns (that would only follow if ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ and ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ were the same in being) (202b10-16). ft. Aristotle makes this quite clear in lines 202b16-17. where he says that the sameness of ԭ İտİįȠțȣ and ԭ μįȚșIJțȣ does not imply the sameness of ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ and ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ. in contrast. In the first part. he adds that ԭ İտİįȠțȣ and ԭ μչȚșIJțȣ (and. In this argument. The nouns. refer to the process of teaching and the process of learning. 20 This point is made by Charles 1984. ԭ İտİįȠțȣ and ԭ μչȚșIJțȣ. 22 I am indebted here to a suggestion in Hussey’s commentary (1993. Aristotle is responding to two possible objections to (what will turn out to be) his own view that _________ 19 He uses here the more general verbs. though they are the same process (202b19-21). to refer respectively to the state of being a teacher on some occasion and the state of being a learner on some occasion. but I shall argue that in this passage Aristotle is deliberately distinguishing between the noun forms and the corresponding articular infinitives.20) Finally.19 He then goes on to say (202b16-19) that in any case (ȡ՘ μռȟ Ԑȝȝį) the claim that ԭ İտİįȠțȣ is the same as ԭ μչȚșIJțȣ does not imply that ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ and ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ are the same. Because this is controversial. He is in this state in virtue of standing in a particular relation to the process of teaching (ԭ İտİįȠțȣ). Being a teacher (ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ) is the state a teacher is in when he teaches. The passage falls into three parts.

but the definition of what it is to be the road from Athens to Thebes is not the same as the definition of what it is to be the road from Thebes to Athens. His first response (202b10-16) is that even if his own view did imply that being a teacher on some occasion was the same as being a learner on that occasion. Aristotle provides a fuller explanation of what it is to be the same in being. if the state of being a teacher on some occasion and the state of being a learner on that occasion were the same in being. One and the same road is the road from Athens to Thebes and the road from Thebes to Athens. It would only follow. His example of things that are the same in this way is: clothing and raiment. The reference (202b14) to what he has said earlier is to two other examples of this kind of sameness that he gave at the beginning of the chapter.ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 213 the processes of teaching and of learning are one and the same change. this would not in itself warrant drawing the further conclusion that the teacher. According to both objections. In defending this claim. His claim is that when . the road uphill is the same as the road downhill. The first objection (to which Aristotle responds in the first two parts of the passage. Aristotle is committed to saying that the teacher. He contrasts this with a way of being the same that he says he has described earlier: being the same ‘in the way that the road from Thebes to Athens is the same as the road from Athens to Thebes’ (202b13-14). Aristotle’s view commits him to the conclusion that a teacher. also learns. when he teaches. but what it is to be the road uphill is not the same as what it is to be the road downhill (202a18-20). If x and y are the same in being. and who thinks that. when he teaches. The second objection (to which Aristotle responds in lines 202b19-22) is that Aristotle’s view itself directly implies this conclusion. The interval between 1 and 2 is the same as the interval between 2 and 1. because of this. The first objection comes from someone who takes Aristotle’s view to imply that being a teacher on some occasion is the same as being a learner on that occasion. lines 202b10-19) is that Aristotle’s view has a consequence that implies this conclusion that the teacher learns. but the definition of what it is to be these intervals is not the same. when he teaches. also learns. then whatever is present in x is present in y. that is. Aristotle has two responses to this. This conclusion would only follow if the definition of what it was to teach were the same as the definition of what it was to learn. also learns. Similarly.

Charles claims that this is quite different from the analogy to the relation between the interval between 2 and 1 and that between 1 and 2. even if teaching and learning are one and the same process. so too does the road uphill and the road downhill. in any case. Aristotle goes on (in lines 202b1619) to explain that his own view does not. implies a contrast between this second point and the point he has just made in lines 202b10-16.23 After making this first point about the consequences of holding that being a teacher on some occasion (ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ) and being a learner on that occasion (ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ) are the same. what is true of one need not be true of the other. This second point does not depend upon his distinction between two different kinds of sameness. (ii) It is hard to see how Charles can make sense of the words ‘as was said earlier’ (202b14). to be here at a distance from there is not the same as to be there at a distance from here’ (202b17-19). Aristotle. the state of being a learner on some occasion (if there is such a _________ 23 David Charles interprets this passage differently (1984. The state of being a teacher on some occasion (if there is such a state) is the state something is in just in case it is related to this process as its agent. but the point about the road uphill and the road downhill is clearly meant to be the same as that about the interval between 1 and 2 and the interval between 2 and 1. . This suggests that in neither case is the difference in endpoint relevant to the analogy. 13-14). The sameness of the process of learning and the process of teaching does not imply the sameness of being a teacher on some occasion and being a learner on that occasion. he defends this claim by appealing to an example. Against Charles: (i) just as the road from Athens to Thebes has a different endpoint from the road from Thebes to Athens. Again. 24 This explains why he introduces this second point (202b16) with the connective ‘not but what’ (ȡ՘ μռȟ Ԑȝȝչ). According to Charles. which. if they are not meant to refer back to the point about the road uphill and the road downhill. upon the idea that the sameness of one thing need not imply the sameness of another.24 We cannot draw conclusions about the relation between the state of being a teacher and that of being a learner from facts about the sameness of the processes of teaching and learning. imply that they are the same.214 URSULA COOPE things are the same in this way. when Aristotle says that the action of the agent and the change in the patient are related in the way in which the road from Athens to Thebes and the road from Thebes to Athens are related. the teacher and the learner are related to this one process in different ways. whereas to be there at a distance from here is to be related to this interval in a different way. It rests. he is claiming that the end point of the agent’s action is different from the end point of the patient’s change (as the end point of the road from Athens to Thebes differs from the end point of the road from Thebes to Athens). instead. He says that ‘even if two things separated by an interval have one interval between them. as I have already said. he thinks. To be here at a distance from there is to be related to the interval between here and there in one way. Similarly. rejects these earlier analogies.

In modern discussions of causation. On this account of agency. on his view. he returns to his distinction between two different kinds of sameness. a cause and its effect are usually as- _________ 25 Note that my interpretation does not require that Aristotle in fact believes that there is a state a teacher is in just when he teaches (or that there is a state a learner is in just when he learns). moreover. Aristotle responds to the other objection to his view that the processes of teaching and of learning are one and the same: the objection that this view. In solving the puzzle. He only discusses the relation between ijր İțİչIJȜıțȟ and ijր μįȟȚչȟıțȟ because he is anticipating an objection from someone who supposes that there are such states. that is. are not the same in the primary sense of ‘same’. the same in being (i. then their sameness does not imply that the teacher. The operation of A in B and the operation of B by the agency of A are different in definition (202b212). the processes of teaching and of learning are the same. He has argued. how exactly does the action of the agent help to explain the change that comes about in the patient? It should already be evident that the agent’s action is not something that any modern philosopher would count as a cause of the patient’s change. The role of the agent’s action in explaining change Having examined this complicated argument. They are not. more generally. just as the road uphill is different in definition from the road downhill. . he has defended a view of agency on which the agent’s action is a change that is in the patient rather than the agent. we are now in a position to return to our original question. To do this. implies that the teacher. in the way that cloak and raimant are the same). also learns. also learns. though they are one and the same process. simply taken by itself. His response to this objection is to provide a fuller explanation of the sense in which. If the process of teaching and the process of learning are not the same in being. The teaching and the learning (and. that this action is the same change as the change that is brought about in the patient (though the definition of what it is to be the action differs from the definition of what it is to be the patient’s change). the acting and the being acted upon). V. when he teaches. when he teaches. This completes Aristotle’s response to the objection that the agent’s action and the patient’s change cannot be one and the same.ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 215 state) is the state something is in just in case it is the thing that is undergoing this process.25 In the final part of our passage (202b19-22).e.

the agent chooses to bring about the change). after all. A kettle will get hot if it stands in the appropriate relation to some fire (which is itself hot). have the form that the patient is acquiring).) 27 See Metaph. 79-81 and by Heinaman 1985. the sculptor must have the form of the sculpture he is making in his soul. fire.g. a lump of bronze will become a sculpture if it stands in the appropriate relation to a sculptor who intends to make a sculpture and has the form of the sculpture in his soul. (This is pointed out by Charles 1984. in an explanation of the patient’s change? It might seem. if the agent does stand in an appropriate relation to the patient (and if. ĭ 5. Why is the fact that the agent possesses this form and stands in the appropriate relation to the patient not by itself enough to explain the patient’s change? This question becomes particularly pressing when we reflect that. They are two different aspects of one and the same change. on Aristotle’s view. but also the agent’s action on a patient. III 2.27 What. then on this view. is that the agent’s action cannot precede the effect it brings about.g. Similarly. for those cases in which this is relevant.216 URSULA COOPE sumed to be two distinct events and debates focus on the question of what relation must hold between these two events if one is to be the cause of the other. does _________ 26 One surprising consequence. For the change to take place. on Aristotle’s account. X kills Y after X himself is dead. Aristotle’s claim that the action of the agent is the same as the change undergone by the patient can seem very odd indeed. Aristotle calls this form in the agent the ‘source of and thing responsible for’ the change (the change’s ԐȢȥռ Ȝįվ įՀijțȡȟ) (Phys. in some sense. If we insist that a cause must be distinct from its effect. If X puts a slow acting poison in Y’s drink and then X dies before Y does. Against this background. which has the power to heat) comes into contact with the appropriate patient. an agent must stand in an appropriate relation to the patient and this agent must (in some sense) have the form that the patient is acquiring: the fire must be hot if it is to heat the kettle. ‘causally connected’. which I do not discuss here. When an agent that has a rational potency (e. a sculptor. then the agent necessarily acts on the patient and the patient necessarily is acted upon (1048a5-7). is the agent (or perhaps. that Aristotle can explain this change perfectly well without invoking the agent’s action.26 For on his view. then we are forced to conclude that the cause. the change in question will necessarily occur. This makes it hard to understand Aristotle’s insistence that this kind of causation must involve not only an agent (which must. 202a9-12). What is the point of referring to the agent’s action. then. When an agent that has an irrational potency (e. who has the art of sculpture) stands in the appro- . the agent’s action and the change that is brought about in the patient are not two distinct events that are. the form in the agent that enables it to act on the patient) rather than the agent’s action. in some sense to be explained.

in explanations. _________ priate relation to a patient and chooses to produce a certain result. It allows us to give a particular account of what goes on when several agents jointly contribute to bringing about a single effect. by saying that though the heater is heating it. First. for two main reasons.29 Second. he must surely recognise that the sculptor’s hand movements have some role to play in the sculpting. in fact. Or we might want to say that a piece of iron is moving in a certain trajectory because it is being acted upon both by a magnet. . 3 says nothing about the causal role of such changes in the agent. 29 It is. We sometimes want to say that a certain effect is coming about because of the interaction of several different causes. Aristotle’s account rules out a certain way of appealing. rather strange that his account in Physics III. but this is because the agent’s and patient’s being in the appropriate relation to one another explains both the agent’s action and the patient’s change. the sculptor’s hand movements and the fire’s flickering are changes that occur in the respective agents: in the sculptor or the fire. we see the fire flickering as it heats the kettle. and by the earth. to the notion that causes are things that act. they cannot be identified with the agent’s actions. which exerts a magnetic force pulling it in one direction.ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 217 it add to these explanations to insist that these changes come about because the fire is acting on the kettle and because the sculptor is acting on the bronze?28 Insofar as we moderns have a tendency to think that something that produces a change must do so by acting. Because of this. we might explain the fact that a room is slowly getting cooler. 28 The claim that the agent is acting to bring about the change does tell us that the agent is. Our difficulty in understanding Aristotle stems from the fact that neither of these can be what lies behind his view that an agent must act on something to produce a change. which exerts a gravitational force pulling it in another. I want to suggest. The second reason is more theoretical. For instance. on Aristotle’s view the agent’s action cannot be a change that is in the agent. A central use that we make of the notion that causes act to bring about their effects is in what Mill called explanations by ‘composition of causes’ (Mill. The first is that this view accords with certain empirical observations: we see the sculptor moving his hands in order to produce the sculpture. then necessarily the agent will act to produce that result and the patient will be acted upon (1048a10-16). in fact. 1872). a cold wind is blowing through the window. in the appropriate relation to the patient. As we have already seen. this is. Regarding agents as things that act makes possible a certain type of explanation.

I want to focus on what this view implies about the claim that agents must produce their effects by acting on things. VIII 8. 440. If the agent’s action is the same change as the change that is brought about in the patient.g. For instance. then what the teacher is doing should not be described as teaching. If the earth were exerting the same force on the iron but something else were exerting an equal and opposite force. We have already noted that Aristotle does not identify the agent’s action with any of the changes that might be going on in the agent. We now see. If the sculpture is not coming to be.218 URSULA COOPE What is important about this type of explanation is that it enables us to distinguish the contributions that are made to the effect by each of several different causes. ‘it is impossible for a thing to undergo two contrary changes at the same time. Essay 3). The heater cannot be heating the room. if the earth were exerting the same force on the iron but the magnet was not present. if he were prepared to say that two conflicting effects were both coming about in the patient.30 Whether or not this should be regarded as an objection to Aristotle’s account is an interesting question that I cannot go into here. the sculptor is not doing any sculpting. if the effect that is coming about in the patient is different. we are not simply saying that several causes are jointly responsible for the effect. If the pupil is not learning. and to say that that agent is acting on the patient in the same way. This is.’ 31 Nancy Cartwright has argued that it is a mistake to believe in the reality of component forces (1983. but are compounded with one another. e. But Aristotle would reject the consequence that one thing can be changing in two opposite ways at the same time.31 Instead. unless the room is getting hotter. we are making a claim about the role that each of these causes plays in the production of the effect. what Mill thinks we should say about the joint operation of mechanical causes: ‘the separate effects of all the causes continue to be produced. that the explanatory role of the agent’s action cannot be that it distinguishes the contribution made by _________ 30 Aristotle could still allow for explanations by composition of causes. 264a28-9. unless that change is in fact coming about. the agent cannot be acting on the patient in the same way on each of two different occasions. in fact. We are saying how each cause acts in bringing about the effect. One consequence of Aristotle’s account of agency is that he cannot make this appeal to the agent’s action on the patient in explanations of this sort. if he were prepared to say that the room was simultaneously becoming colder and becoming hotter. then the iron would be at rest. As he says at Phys. though different effects come about. then the iron would move differently. The notion that a cause is something that acts enables us to isolate the contribution made by one agent to an effect. When we give explanations of this kind. In sum. in addition. then the agent cannot be acting on the patient to bring about a certain change. and disappear in one total’ 1872. .

what does it add to this to say that the agent is acting on the patient? Does this talk of the agent’s acting amount to anything more than a figure of speech? My main purpose in this paper has been to raise these questions. he could say that the hot agent is responsible for the hotness of the patient (insofar as it is hot) and the cold agent is responsible for the coldness of the patient (insofar as it is cold). For an agent to act on a patient is for it to have a potential that is (incompletely) fulfilled in the patient.ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 219 one agent from that made by others. A child has the potential to be an adult. Aristotle’s insistence that an agent must act on something if it is to bring about a change suggests that he thinks the agent’s action does have an important part to play in explaining the change that comes about in the patient. For example. A sculptor. has a certain special kind of potential: a potential that can be fulfilled in something else.33 It is helpful to compare this special kind of potential to the type of potential with which we are already familiar from the discussion of change. How can this be? The answer is that Aristotle thinks that we can only understand why the change occurs in the patient. for Aristotle. The incomplete actuality of this potential is the bronze’s becoming a statue. in jointly bringing about a certain effect. My point is merely that. in the case of a patient that is acted on simultaneously by a heater and a cooler. Any changeable thing has the potential to be other than it is. the agents’ actions cannot play this role of distinguishing between the contributions that are made by different agents. . on this view. 33 Or. In claiming that an agent must act on the patient in order to produce a change. That this is Aristotle’s view is brought out by a remark he makes at the end of his chapter on agency. for instance. he is saying that the production of a change must be the incomplete fulfilment of one of the agent’s potentials. has the potential for the bronze to be a statue. This raises once again the question with which we began: on this account. What can make agency seem puzzling is that an agent has the potential for something else to be other than it is. in the case of a self-change. At the end of his account. what is the role of the agent’s action? Granted that the patient undergoes a change towards being F because of the proximity of an agent that (in some sense) has the form F. But I shall end by suggesting a tentative answer to them. An agent. he returns to his _________ 32 There may be other ways in which Aristotle could distinguish between the contributions made by different agents. in the agent itself.32 The agent’s action simply is the change that is occurring in the patient. but in the agent qua other. The incomplete actuality of this potentiality is the child’s growing up: a change that occurs in the child. if we understand that this change is the actuality of a certain particular potential of the agent.

_________ to be an agent. Similarly. I think. in which they are present. 6 and 208).is an actuality of an agent’s potential. His initial definition of change appealed to this kind of potential. These lines could be understood either as (i) ‘the acting and the being-actedupon are not the same in the primary sense. One kind of potential for being F is the potential in the patient. To understand why the bronze becomes a statue. i. namely the change’ or as (ii) ‘the acting is not the same in the primary sense as the being acted upon.an action . It must. A full explanation must also invoke the fact that the change in question is the incomplete actuality of the agent’s potential for the patient to be F. In his account of agency. But it now turns out that there is also another kind of potential for being F: the agent’s potential that has as its goal the patient’s being F.220 URSULA COOPE earlier definition of change and suggests a modification to it. A change is the incomplete actuality of the potential patient and the potential agent. qua such. then. 35 By ‘potential agent’ here. but the agent. In Aristotle’s final ‘more intelligible’ definition of change. A change is the incomplete actuality of a potential for being F. e.34 According to the earlier definition. wrong to excise lines 202b26-28 (1993. ‘more intelligible’ (ȗȟȧȢțμօijıȢȡȟ) definition of change: ‘more intelligibly. but that in which they belong is the same. is the same as the being acted upon’. he now lays down a new. namely. that is. the patient. becoming F. but the patient. refer to the agent’s action. must mention both potentials. qua admitting of qualitative change’ (202b25-6). The fact that Aristotle gives this revised definition of change enables us to decide between two alternative interpretations of lines 202b20-21. In general. qua having the potential in virtue of which it is an agent. Accordingly. the agent. that (i) is the right interpretation. What ‘admits of qualitative change’ is the thing that undergoes the change.35 We can now see why it is essential to mention the agent’s action in an explanation of the patient’s change. But to know this just is to know that this change is the sculptor’s action on the bronze. came about in a patient because of the proximity of a certain agent that (in some sense) had the form F is only to provide a partial explanation of the change. to say that the change. insofar as it contains the potential for a patient of a certain kind to be different. This suggests. 34 Hussey is. he defines the change as the actuality both of the potential in the agent and of that in the patient. I think.e.g. change was the ‘actuality of that which admits of qualitative change. he must mean not the thing that has the potential . both in general and again also in each particular case. though it is not a change that the agent undergoes. we need to know that this change is the incomplete actuality of one of the sculptor’s potentials: the sculptor’s potential for the bronze to be a statue. he has shown that a certain kind of change . it is the actuality of the potential agent and the potential patient as such. building or healing’ (202b26-8). A full definition of change. insofar as it has a potential to be other than it is. but the change. the potential patient is not the thing that has the potential to be a patient.

. but have looked instead at a claim he makes about agency. Thanks also to Daryl Tress (my commentator).ARISTOTLE’S ACCOUNT OF AGENCY IN PHYSICS III 3 221 The view I have attributed to Aristotle is very different from anything we might find in modern philosophy. on his account. I have benefited from discussing the views in this paper with Sarah Broadie and from presenting earlier versions of the paper to audiences at the universities of Princeton. This is particularly striking. I have not discussed his views about final causes. the claim that one thing produces a change in another by acting on it. To understand why the change in the patient occurs is just to understand that this change is also the action of the agent. the action does have an important role to play in explaining the change.36 BIRKBECK COLLEGE. the agent’s action is not something distinct from the patient’s change that can be said to bring this change about. Nevertheless. Michael Pakaluk (my host at Clark University) and the audience at my talk at Clark. since I have hardly mentioned those aspects of his views on causation that are more obviously strange to us. LONDON _________ 36 I would like to thank an anonymous referee for helpful comments. Lampeter and Sussex. I have argued that.

or perhaps very bold. The bold thesis replaces this now common picture with one of reciprocating potencies and acts that actualize immediately.” (219-220) I see two different ways to construe this suggested resolution and I am not sure which Prof. 1. It may be disconcerting to have to renounce this mechanistic picture of agency and efficient causality. “The answer is that we can only understand why the change occurs in the patient. No other explanatory factor is involved or needed to account for motion. 1998. I shall state each and briefly summarize the discussion that leads to her suggested resolution. I then shall indicate which of the two theses I take to be more tenable and raise some questions about the other one. TRESS I thank Prof. has a certain special kind of potential: a potential that can only be fulfilled in something else…. it may have been the only one of Aristotle’s four causes that we moderns thought we easily recognized. .1 This thesis is bold because it denies the common interpretation of the agent’s act as an efficient cause which initiates change by an impelling action with a subsequent effect produced in the patient.3. When the agent’s potential to move encounters the patient’s potential to be moved. Coope intends. Lang. The Bold Thesis: The reciprocality of agent and patient is such that the motion or change is their mutual contact or encounter. An agent. NY: Cambridge University Press. a dense and difficult chapter in which Aristotle presents this concept as part of his larger account of nature. Chap. _________ 1 See Helen S. especially in light of Aristotle’s remarks that the agent’s action and the patient’s change are one single change? Prof. III. An agent has the potential for something else to be other than it is.COMMENTARY ON COOPE DARYL M. How are we to understand the agent’s role in change. the potentials of agent (to move something – transitive) and patient (to be moved) actualize together and that is what change is. Let me call these two construals the bold thesis and the very bold thesis. Viewed this way. We are in her debt for her cogent examination of agency of Phys. Coope’s closing suggestion for resolving the difficulties about the agent’s act is bold. if we understand that this change is the actuality of a potential of the agent…. The Order of Nature in Aristotle’s Physics. Coope for this very fine paper. on this view. 2.

The Very Bold Thesis: Change is the actualization of the agent’s potential that a patient be otherwise. then. is promising but the very bold thesis appears to be untenable. among other things. Coope cites Aristotle’s declaration (Metaph. Prof. and to be. the first.” “the changer’) must act on the patient to produce change and asks why Aristotle says that. Coope points out. the thing’s nature. Why. That is.” or “not being. Coope at the close whether it is the bold or the very bold thesis she proposes. apart from acting. it sounds sensible that an agent should act in order to induce a subsequent change. To a modern ear. a thing does and what it undergoes.” “the mover. every thing has its characteristic set of potentials to do. In my view. An intrinsic factor. The very bold thesis departs from this principle in attributing to the (extrinsic) agent a potential for the patient to be otherwise than it is. Aristotle must indicate something about the character of acting that differs from being and is necessary for causing motion or change. That principle holds that actualization occurs according to the definitional limits of the patient whose potential is actualized. 1071b17) that the agent (or “the doer. Prof. determines what a thing is and its capacities for doing and undergoing.COMMENTARY ON COOPE 223 2. for Aristotle the agent’s action and the patient’s change are one single change. does he insist that the agent act? What is this act and just what does it do? Aristotle’s declaration that the agent must act is key in his objection to Plato for whom – it seems to Aristotle – a thing can function as a cause simply by being.” “unequal.” His declaration that the agent of motion must act denies their theories by maintaining that motion is real and that it is not a comparative relation. an agent and patient. the bold thesis. To succeed in countering Plato’s thesis that being initiates motion or change. and the actualization of the agent’s potential takes place in the patient. I will ask Prof. Once he establishes two partners. The very bold thesis denies both the common picture of the agent’s efficient causal action and challenges a basic principle about potentiality and its actualization. why the things that are do not continuously and everywhere bring about causal effects. in fact. then the question arises: in which of the two partners does the motion or change occur? Prof. Aristotle’s declaration that an agent must act would explain. i. Aristotle wants to refute other philosophers as well. to undergo. To succeed in countering the “odd categorizers” and deniers of motion. Yet. he will show that two real partners are involved in motion. Coope gives a lucid presentation of how Aristotle works through . Extrinsic factors importantly influence what.e. of course. those who deny motion or put motion in odd categories such as “different.

the agent is extrinsic but the agent’s act is not a prior. an act. Once Aristotle has cleared up the puzzle by means of distinctions like “change of” and “change in” and answered the likely objections. Coope’s central inquiry into the character of and locus of the agent’s act. the motion. the agent’s potential to move something is actualized in encountering the patient with the appropriate potential to be moved. Given that motion is determinate and directed. But some of Prof. nor can the agent and patient be said simply to be one and the same. In chapter two. Coope shows. Why is this thesis very bold? Not simply because it thwarts our modern expectations about causality. play distinct and necessary roles in the one instance of change. on the bold reading of Prof. to do. and (b) the cause of motion stands in relation to that which is moved. no motion in itself over and above things that move. agent and patient. The question at issue at the start of chapter three. builds on these ideas. i. Rather. Here. what determines the motion. his own positive account of change can move ahead. In chapter one. It is very bold because it transgresses the limits marking the integrity of Aristotle’s substances. Ordinarily. in order to see his larger project. and to undergo.e.224 DARYL M. Coope’s suggested resolution. as Prof. On the very bold thesis. occurring when the potentials of agent (to do) and patient (to undergo) meet and actualize. The components of his account are an agent and a patient. both of whom have potentials. What is the role of the agent’s act? It is helpful to put the question in the context. It appears that the motion can be neither in the agent alone nor in the patient alone. but of chapters one through three of Book III. an extrinsic or an intrinsic cause? Thus the pertinence of Prof. This bold thesis is consistent with Aristotle’s remarks that there is one change and that two real partners. I am inclined to believe that she intends the bold thesis. Aristotle establishes two central ideas: (a) There is no motion without things. immediately. not only of chapter three. the bold thesis does that. we take an Aristotelian substance to possess a constitutive set of potentials to be. Coope’s comments point instead towards the very bold thesis that change is the actualization of the agent’s potential that a patient be otherwise. an agent possesses potentials for a something other than itself to be somehow otherwise. he establishes that motion in things is determinate and directed to an end. namely. what is this act and what does it do? Why must the agent’s act be part of the account of change? Her suggested resolution might be construed either boldly or very boldly. too. and a single change. . I believe. the agent or the patient. as I have said. namely. the agent’s act is. however. separate “doing” that brings about a subsequent effect in the patient. TRESS the puzzles generated by this question.

the very bold thesis potencies would no longer be discrete but only accompaniments of an act. “the sculptor has the potential to sculpt the bronze into a statue”).COMMENTARY ON COOPE 225 The very bold thesis generates several critical questions. Why at one . The very bold thesis might be defended by positing the agent’s potency for something else to be X as second-order. however. The example. that the agent’s potential replaces the agent’s obscure act as the cause of the patient’s change. too.e. the very bold thesis forfeits its core claim. for example. namely. (5) Would the very bold thesis accomplish the philosophical tasks Aristotle expects from his scheme of agency. This position would curb the undesirable extravagance of potencies. Such a modification. “The sculptor has the potential for the bronze to be a statue by means of sculpting the bronze”? Again. where is the active aspect of the agent’s potential for the patient to be X? How does a “potency to be” fit in the scheme of actualization? (4) What consequences would follow if agents were to possess potentials for something else to be X? The number and kinds of potentials belonging to any given agent would multiply ad infinitum in encompassing those of innumerable other substances. With this defense. to correct his predecessors’ ideas about causes? Recall Aristotle’s objection to Plato: Plato makes being a sufficient cause of natural change and hence cannot explain why changes are not always and everywhere initiated. Limitless expansion would trivialize the concept of potency and is inimical to Aristotle’s economical causal reasoning. however. (2) In Aristotle’s physics. whereby its effect derives from a primary act (along the lines. its nature. i. Is the very bold thesis elliptical for. In the very bold thesis. But the very bold thesis that change occurs because the agent has the potential for something else to be X hardly improves on Plato’s alleged shortcomings. The agent substance’s range of potencies thus would be utterly indeterminate and so.g. vitiates the very bold thesis by reintroducing the transitive action. of Cambridge-type causes). “The sculptor has the potential for the bronze to be a statue” is oddly ungrammatical in English and needs a transitive verb to set it right (e. (1) What does it mean? I do not know how to understand a sentence stating that the agent has the potential for something else to be otherwise. the transitive action is reintroduced that was to be avoided. could a natural substance have a potential for something else to be X? Isn’t it rather that each substance has and retains its own and only its own specific potencies? (3) Actualization occurs in the encounter of appropriate potencies to act and to undergo.

while distinct. Coope favors the first. It is appropriately non-modern with its reciprocality of potencies and acts and the explanatory sufficiency Aristotle accords them. final and material causes. (6) Perhaps most importantly. Aristotle would fail to overcome the deficiencies of his predecessors who regarded motion and change as merely relational. seems not to address the act and so its nature and necessity remain obscure. the very bold thesis may implicitly acknowledge this in its turn away from an isolated analysis of the act and towards the potentials constituting the agent’s larger nature as a way to clarify the issue. however. my hope is that in reality Prof. one that sharpens our perception of the ideas at work in Physics III. the very bold thesis would make the agent’s potential a second-order cause. Further. Prof.3. TRESS moment would Aristotle’s agent have latent potential that at another moment acts? What factor would be responsible? If Aristotle holds the very bold thesis. but his handling of the four causes and the overarching link in the Physics between nature and form would indicate that the agent’s act.226 DARYL M. the simply bold thesis is consistent with Aristotle’s statements in Phys. naturally. In short. is neither separate from the other natural causes that nor can it be grasped separately. Because these critical questions loom over the very bold thesis. Coope has presented a superb analysis. a point about the initial framing of the questions of agency and act: can we fruitfully inquire into the agent’s act in isolation from the natures of the agent and patient? According to Aristotle. surely.3. III. Whether it be the bold or the very bold thesis. my so-called bold thesis. .2 FORDHAM UNIVERSITY _________ 2 I thank the anonymous reviewer for the Proceedings for helpful comments. If. it is quite bold enough – and is not without its own obscurities that need examination. the agent’s acts depend on the agent’s and the patient’s natures. formal. his account is vulnerable to the same sorts of critical questions that he says Plato does not and cannot answer. There is a good deal to be said here. however. does the very bold thesis explain the agent’s act? Prof. Coope sets out to understand why the agent must act on the patient to produce change. The very bold thesis. Does the very bold thesis hold that Aristotle decides to bypass or supercede the agent’s act with the agent’s potential for the patient to be X? (7) Finally. And indeed. however.

How the Laws of Physics Lie. (ed. I. Oxford Classical Texts. 1980. London. Gill.3.” History of Philosophy Quarterly. Frede. Nature. Oxford Classical Texts. 1984. 1987. W. Charles. D. S. . A System of Logic. 1985. Toronto. Aristotelis. L. J. M. 1983. Aristotelis Ethica Nicomachea. 1967. “The Original Notion of Cause. Aristotle’s Physics Books III and IV. Oxford.) 1936. 4: 307-27. vii. Oxford. E. Minnesota 125-50. Physics. Cartwright. D.” History of Philosophy Quarterly. Jaeger. Heinaman. R.” Phronesis 25: 129-47. Hussey. Change and Agency in Aristotle’s Physics.COOPE/TRESS BIBLIOGRAPHY Bywater. Waterlow. 2: 145-62. M. Metaphysica. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Aristotle’s Philosophy of Action. N. “Aristotle and the Identity of Actions. “Aristotle on Housebuilding. Oxford. 1982. “Aristotle’s Theory of Causal Action in Physics III. (tr. translated with introduction and notes. 1987 Essays in Ancient Philosophy. (ed.) 1993. In Collected Works. 1890. _______ 1987. M. Oxford.) 1957. Mill. Aristotle.” In Frede. 1872. S. Oxford. Ross.

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courageous. however. Gorgias 513e-515d. Republic 395c. Socrates insists. Gorgias 511a-512a.3 These virtues are the proper qualifications of the citizen (ʍȡȝտijșȣ). temperate and just. Instead. cf. 405a-b. These institutions aim to make the “young people” of the city pious. that a person (or a city) is truly benefited. and this is to educate them in virtue (Euthd. Plato’s Socrates insists.5 This is how the statesman benefits the citizen. security. take politics to be the practice of ruling others for one’s own benefit. 402b-c. 503-506. 292a-e). cf. see Laws 807c-d. It is thus a striking anomaly that in the Republic the artisans. but by using them well. 308e-310a. is to make the citizens good.2 This is why Socrates in the Republic claims that the most important set of institutions in the ideal city are those of education (ʍįțİıտį) (Republic 424a). 2 3 4 . Charmides 173a- 175a. as Plato’s Protagoras makes clear in his “Great Speech”. Laches 194c-195d. 4 Plato’s privileged speakers in the Statesman and the Laws concur that producing citizens with these virtues is the premier function of the statesman or lawgiver. This is because it is not through having such things. 517b-c. is not to be measured by the extent to which he supplies the citizens with wealth. Protagoras 320d-322d. 345d-346e). the job description of the true ʍȡȝțijțȜցȣ (“politician” or statesman) is to benefit the citizens (Rep. who compose the largest class of citizens and indeed are the original citizens. 5 Statesman 306a. material goods and other things they might desire. like Thrasymachus and Callicles. cf. Hence the job description of the true statesman.1 Thus the way to benefit the citizens is to teach them how to use these “good” things well. Gorgias 4630465. Laws 631a-631e. Republic 500d. The success of a true statesman. 399a-c. On the virtues as the qualifications for citizenship. fail to _________ 1 Euthydemus 278e-282d. 653a-b. 410a.COLLOQUIUM 6 CLASS ASSIGNMENT AND THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALIZATION IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC SUSAN SAUVÉ MEYER A recurrent theme in Plato’s moral and political writings is a response to the cynicism of those who.

230 SUSAN SAUVÉ MEYER receive this education. who claims that the Laws advocates broader political participation than the Republic. 807c-d . 397e). The paideia in question. 8 The principle is first articulated in the Republic at 369e-370c and is regularly invoked or referred to thereafter: 374a-e. 456d8-10). 394d-e. In superficial contrast. extensively detailed in Books II and III. Since Socrates claims that adherence to this principle is the very thing that makes the city just (433a). 400e. 406c. 421c. 846d-e. Laws 846d-e). for us to raise the question because Plato’s reasons for assigning people to the artisan class are relevant to a full understanding of his notorious preference for non-democratic institutions. are the vast majority of them excluded from this ultimate benefit? Even though none of Socrates’ interlocutors in the Republic voices such a concern. It is the job-specific training of the guardian class (here not further distinguished into rulers and auxiliaries). Laws. Thus in being assigned to the artisan class. if the goal of the polis is to benefit its citizens. 415a-d. It is not just in the ideal city of the Republic that the largest class of citizens has no share in ruling the city. cf.8 This Principle of Specialization. 441d. the artisans are excluded from political participation by the famous principle that: “Each person must practice a single occupation in the city. guardians in virtue (405a-b. for which his nature is best suited” (Republic 433a4-6. coordinate with the vocational training of the artisans. 444b. 421a. 423d. the constitution outlined in the Laws distributes political power much more broadly among the citizens. the members of the artisan class are incapable of acquiring the political excellence that is the job description of the rulers and auxiliaries. a person is cut off from receiving the greatest benefit that a city can provide for its citizens.6 it is worthwhile. _________ 6 No doubt this is because they identify with the guardian class: they are quick enough to voice concerns about the justice of the constitutional demands placed upon the guardians—their inability to acquire wealth (419a). 423c. Cobblers are trained in cobblery. nonetheless. 435b. and the requirement that they come back down into the cave to rule (519d-520d)—concerns to which Socrates responds with assurances that the guardians are not being unjustly treated. is a variation of the traditional cultural education (μȡȤIJțȜս) and physical training (ȗȤμȟįIJijțȜս) of an Athenian “gentleman” (Ȝįȝրȣ Ȝ‫ ׶‬įȗįȚցȣ). is commonly understood to imply that the artisans are so relegated because of a natural inability to perform the function of the ruling classes. But this difference is achieved by the simple expedient of denying citizen status to the artisans—so the restriction on political participation among the city's population is effectively the same. Why. (cf. 434a-b. That is. on which Socrates explicitly relies in relegating citizens to the artisan class in the Republic.7 In both cases. 433a. 7 Here I disagree with Bobonich 2002.

a cobbler. Only those who are naturally incapable of performing either of the guardian functions (including that of the auxiliaries) are relegated to the class that has no share in ruling the city. and so on. The Principle of Specialization introduced here motivates this first step in civic construction: we satisfy our needs better and more easily in a case of specialization and exchange than if we each tried to minister ourselves to all of our own needs (369d-370a). clothing. it has an intelligible structure and organization in the service of a clearly articulated goal: meeting human needs in a way that makes life better for its participants than it would be outside the structure of a state (369b-c).10 Upon careful examination of the Principle of Specialization.9 According to this interpretation. and of the institutions of the ideal city. and a doctor. Since it is unrealistic to expect that all _________ 9 On the just city as one in which distributive justice is observed. first of all. Second. I will argue that. The basic human needs are for food. shelter. Successive applications of the principle to the same set of basic needs warrants the introduction of further specialists. Plato gives us no good reason to suppose that the artisans are excluded from political participation because of any natural incapacity. the first articulation of the most basic city would be a collective of specialists in servicing these needs: a farmer. So. it is not simply a collection of artisans. smiths. weavers and cobblers cannot concentrate on their own specialties if they have to raise sheep and cattle for fleece and hides (370c-e). shoes and medical care. see 433e. naturally occurring differences in people’s abilities to acquire excellence justify their assignment to their respective political classes. a weaver. Rather. I will argue that the institutions of the ideal city show no evidence of having been designed with a concern to make sure that all those with the natural capacity to be guardians are given the opportunity to develop it. since you cannot properly specialize in farming if you need to make your own tools and raise oxen for ploughing. So the next stage of specialists are those who produce the tools and materials used by the original specialists: herdsmen. Let us begin where Socrates first introduces the Principle of Specialization in the Republic: the model of the “original city” constructed in Book II (369a-372e).THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALIZATION 231 it is tempting to conclude that it functions in this case as a principle for the just distribution of the most important good in the city. My task in this essay is to contest this reading of the Republic. a builder. 10 I deal with the corresponding issue in the Laws in Meyer 2003. Although this original city is populated solely by artisans. and carpenters. .

This necessitates the introduction of yet another set of specialties (importers. These good features of the city are reliably transmitted from one generation to the next (372d).232 SUSAN SAUVÉ MEYER the necessary materials will be available in the city’s location. but also a surplus of goods available for export (371a-b). is it clear that this knowledge is in fact absent from the original city? To be sure. who claims that (at least as contrasted with the feverish city that he goes on to describe) it is a true and healthy city (372e). The final specialty added to the city is that of the μțIJȚȧijցȣ. what is responsible for these good features? This too is a competence that must be present in a properly functioning city. so that there will be. and navigators). there will be further market specialists who exchange goods for currency and currency for goods (371c-d). without impeding the specialization on which the city rests. Of course the suggestion that the range of goods that make life good for the citizens is restricted to the satisfaction of bodily needs should fly a red flag to anyone familiar with other dialogues of Plato—where Socrates (or another privileged voice) consistently claims or argues that living well consists not simply in having these so-called goods. The city avoids both poverty and war (372b-c). see also Laws 631b-e and Statesman 306e-310a. but in knowing how to use them well. Socrates is deliberately provoking his audience (and Plato his readers) to ask. along with an increase in the number of the people engaged in the previously enumerated specialties. At each successive stage of articulation. _________ 11 In addition to the references in note 2 above. shelter. not only enough goods for the increased domestic population. by pursuing a restricted range of goods and by living within its means. both the range of occupations in the city and the number of citizens engaged in each is adjusted with a view to the original goal: the service of the basic human needs for food.11 However. at least by Socrates. For example. in order to facilitate the exchange of goods between the artisans who populate the city. But it (or something like it) seems to be deployed in the construction of that city. merchants. who provides unskilled bodily labour to assist the other specialists as needed. provision will need to be made to import the missing items. Finally. . clothing and health. Thus the city has an intelligible structure and a conception of good that it realizes. it is not identified as a specialty in the city and no one is assigned to it. the cobbler who has to devote part of his time to hauling and unloading supplies is less able to devote his time to cobbling per se. something Socrates will stress later as the goal of the guardian (IV 421d423c).

417a) or freedom (395c. The job description gradually expands to the point that the soldiers become “guardians” of the city in the broadest sense. It avoids both poverty and wealth (421d). which coincides with the function of the true statesman. that the range of goods produced by the city falls below civilized standards (372c). This motivates the introduction of a new specialty. to focus on inculcating proper fellow-feeling (Ĵțȝտį) among the guardians themselves. Instead. physical ĮȞį military training is dealt with very sparingly (403d-405a. The military specialty is initially given the function of defending the city against external aggression (presumably from other feverish cities). 414b) and the well-being of its citizens.THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALIZATION 233 Plato addresses this issue obliquely. it is training in the ethical virtues. No longer are the increased population or additional specialties justified in terms of the basic needs of the citizens. “what people nowadays have” is the standard (372d) and the city surrenders itself to the “limitless accumulation of property (or money)” (373d). They aim at the city’s preservation (IJȧijșȢտį. 410c). As a result.13 At the end of this gradual transformation of the guardians’ job description. Indeed. This part of the Republic bears the marks of having originated as a self-standing treatise on the education of citizens in virtue—independent of any specifically military function—since at one point Socrates contrasts the lives of the educated youth from those of the craft workers by referring to them as the leisured rich (406-408)—whose specific civic function is to cultivate virtue (407a). the goal of the training shifts away from the initial concern of making sure that they will not be savage to the other citizens (375b-c). The discussion of the program of cultural education outlined in II-III clearly serves as the model for Plato’s later development of models for inculcating the virtues in citizens. Aristotle’s account of habituation in the Nicomachean Ethics clearly builds on it.12 Indeed. It turns out not to be simple military education. Thus the original “healthy” city is transformed into the “feverish” city (372e). the military (374a). The program of education aimed at inculcating in the guardians (here not further distinguished into rulers and auxiliaries) the requisite qualities to carry out this function takes up the rest of book II and all of Book III. the population increases along with its territorial and material demands to the point that conflict with other cities is now inevitable (373e). by first of all raising the challenge. Rather. 12 13 . Socrates responds by increasing without limit the range of goods and services available in the city (372e-373d). the feverish city has been reduced in size again to something like the original city. and the range of _________ See references in note 4. in Glaucon’s famous objection.

p. it is not the simple military competence with reference to which Socrates introduced this additional group of citizens. For these. Identifying this feature is what will illuminate the justice or injustice of a city. The main difference is that Socrates has introduced into the city something that explains why the city observes and maintains these good limits. as explained by Socrates in Book VIII. The guardians receive a great benefit from their education. Socrates’ own point of view is quite the opposite.15 While Socrates’ interlocutors in the Republic are inclined to think that the guardians do not have an advantageous position in the city (419a). and Bobonich 2002. 420b).) The salient point is that the auxiliaries are benefited by their education. temperance. (See Irwin 1977. include desires for delicacies (559a-b). and as a result achieve a lower degree of the other virtues than the philosopher rulers. 226. . piety and justice. Thus to be relegated to the artisan class is to be denied one of the greatest benefits that a state can confer upon its citizens. is that the job description of the true political ruler is to make excellent citizens. the city’s failure to provide this benefit to those so relegated is justified by the fact that these citizens are naturally incapable of functioning as guardians or auxiliaries.234 SUSAN SAUVÉ MEYER goods once again approaches that of the original city—except that delicacies (ՐȦȡȟ) are also to be included. as is often supposed. But does the Principle of Specialization provide such a justification? Are the institutions of the ideal city in fact designed with the goal of ensuring that all those with the natural aptitude to perform the guardian or auxiliary function are given the opportunity to develop it? I submit that a _________ 14 Necessary desires. we have seen.14 Thus we are returned to a version of the original city that satisfies both Socrates’ and Glaucon’s constraints. Reeve 1995. This is so not only for those who receive the further intellectual education of the philosopher rulers and thus can engage in the highest activity of which a human being is capable (519c-520d. 15 Whether. are educated in the excellences of citizenship. but ethical virtue: courage. and thereby made “better” than the artisans are by theirs. Socrates indicates (372e). On the interpretation of the Principle of Specialization that we are considering. What is that competence? Resulting from the program of education outlined in detail in Books II-III. cf. is not relevant here. and an enduring theme in Plato’s dialogues. What is this feature? It is the competence of the guardians (here not further distinguished into rulers and auxiliaries). the auxiliaries fail to achieve wisdom. It is also true for the auxiliaries. we have seen.

Would strict adherence to it entail that only those who lack the natural aptitude to be guardians are excluded from that class? Not at all. natural aptitude for a practice involves facility at learning the rudiments. yields a negative answer. which requires a person to specialize in a single craft. This is because of a set of considerations we might label “the requirements of expertise”. however. pp. are insufficient to support the second clause.16 Let us begin by examining the Principle more closely. I agree with Pappas 1995. on closer scrutiny the Principle does not even yield a unique class assignment for each person. Accordingly. specializing enables the practitioner of an occupa- _________ 16 On the latter question. and of the institutions of the city built in accordance with it. As elaborated in Book V. the principle has two clauses: THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALIZATION: Each occupation in the city should be practiced by a person who has a natural aptitude for it. If I am naturally suited to both carpentry and farming. These facts about natural aptitude. and ease in having one’s body carry out what one has learnt (455b-c). Thus I will be better able to learn and carry out a practice for which I have a natural aptitude than one for which I am naturally ill-suited. . and specializes in it. Precisely stated. While the performance of the crafts will be improved if people restrict themselves to practicing crafts for which they have a natural aptitude. 72-3.” The first cites differing natural aptitudes: each of us is naturally suited to different endeavours (370a). These fall into two main types. For it is perfectly consistent with the possibility that a single person might have a natural aptitude for more than one craft. Each clause of the principle specifies one factor relevant to the quality of the “results. The basic rationale Socrates offers for the Principle of Specialization in the context of the original city of artisans is that it yields “better and finer results” (370c). why should I not engage in both? The benefits of adhering to the second clause of the Principle are additional to those of the first. they will be even better if each person further restricts himself to a single such craft. Hence the first clause of the Principle. First of all. an occupation will be performed better if it is practiced only by those who have a natural aptitude for it.THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALIZATION 235 careful examination of the Principle of Specialization. to the exclusion of competing occupations. the ability to carry on by oneself after initial instruction. In fact.

the demands of some will likely interfere with your ability to meet the requirements of the others. so as not to miss the right moment to practice his own work well. the Principle presupposes. Thus the expert practice of an occupation requires focus and lack of impeding distractions: More plentiful and better quality goods are produced if each person does one thing for which he is naturally suited (eis hen kata phusin). that natural suitability is the _________ 17 Plato makes it quite clear in both the Republic (395b-c. If you are trying to juggle many different projects. surely Socrates make it clear. There just isn’t enough time in one life.17 Our concern is with the principle itself. Somebody. it does not entail that I lack a natural aptitude for an occupation to which I am not assigned. when he applies the Principle. cobbling. with leisure from all other pursuits. 846d-e) that cultivating virtue is as time-consuming an activity and demanding an expertise as the most strenuous of the manual crafts. While the principle does require that any occupation to which I am assigned be one for which I have a natural aptitude. at which he should work throughout his life. you will not be able to keep up your skills. (374b-c) Second. a proponent of the reading I am contesting might insist: even if the Principle of Specialization as it is originally formulated in Book III does not entail that those relegated to the artisan class are so relegated because they fail the requirement of natural aptitude. to acquire and maintain proficiency in two different disciplines. 407a-c) and the Laws (807cd. Unless you regularly engage in.236 SUSAN SAUVÉ MEYER tion to properly attend to the demands of his craft in a timely manner: for example. A person who is naturally capable of both carpentry and justice might still be relegated to the artisan class by political authorities because of the second clause of the principle. after all. acquiring expertise in a discipline requires that one devote sufficient time to acquiring the relevant knowledge and practicing the relevant skills (375b-d). in general. which we are now in a position to see is perfectly consistent with the possibility that a person might not be assigned to an occupation for which he is naturally suited. I discuss the evidence for this in Meyer 2003. has to build houses. seizing the right moment (370b). . to which his nature is suited (pros ho epephuke hekastos). and is released from having to do any of the others (370c) Each person is assigned one thing. Plato’s reasons for thinking that cultivating virtue falls within the scope of the Principle of Specialization—that attempting to cultivate justice and carpentry is like trying to be a ballerina and a sumo wrestler—need not concern us here. does it at the right time. striking when the iron is hot and. for example. Nonetheless.

For instance in Book IV. . So too in Book IV. voice. which we have already considered. technical versions of the Principle. ĴփIJțȟ). is it not evident that he understands a person’s nature to be the determining factor in assignment to an occupation? Here it is important to distinguish between two different ways in which Socrates employs the term ‘nature’ (ĴփIJțȣ) in the Republic. when he warns of the importance of properly training the young guardians. See also the recommendations for medical coverage in the ideal city in Book III. In both cases ‘nature’ (ĴփIJțȣ) refers to developed nature. This is explicit in Book III. But this is not the only way that Socrates uses ‘nature’ (ĴփIJțȣ and its cognates) in connection with the Principle of Specialization. when arguing that the Principle is the very thing that makes the city just (433c-435b). He sometimes uses ‘nature’ to refer to a person’s developed capacity: the results of antecedent nature combined with nurture and training. Just as specializing in what you have a natural aptitude for yields better results than simply doing what you have a natural aptitude for. Clearly developed nature is what he has in mind. he concludes. according to which treatment will not be wasted on those who are “by nature sickly” (408b2) but will be reserved for those “naturally well endowed in body and soul” (410a1). there is the natural aptitude for learning and practicing an occupation. who must be forbidden to engage in “imitation” of inferior people because “imitations practiced from youth become part of nature (ıԼȣ.THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALIZATION 237 relevant factor.18 While nature in the sense of natural aptitude is clearly invoked in the earlier. rather than antecedent nature include Socrates claim that the young guardians must be surrounded by beautiful art and architecture (401a-d). On the one hand. nature in the sense of the developed capacity is equally important for achieving the goal of the Principle of Specialization. and settle into habits of gesture. he warns against the danger of someone who is “by nature an artisan” attempting to enter the guardian class (434a). he claims that “good education and upbringing produce good natures” (424a5-6). you get even better results if you specialize in what you have _________ 18 Other contexts in the Republic where ‘ĴփIJțȣ’ (or its cognates) refers to developed. Nature in this sense is to be contrasted with nurture and training. Let us call this a person’s “antecedent nature”. the artisans who make these must be “by nature able to pursue what is fine and graceful in their work” 401c4-5. and insists that “someone who is by nature a cobbler should practice cobblery and nothing else” (443c). when Socrates stresses that the institutions for education (ʍįțİıտį) and upbringing (ijȢȡĴս) are the most important ones for ensuring the success of the polis. and thought” (395d1-3). Thus. In these cases.

or a cobbler that of a carpenter”. For example. the violation of the Principle of Specialization described at 434a-b (“a carpenter attempts to do the work of a cobbler. and this makes it reasonable to interpret the “natural artisan” invoked a few lines later (434a9-b1) in the same way. But if the Principle of Specialization assigns people to the artisan class on the basis of their developed nature rather than their antecedent nature then it does not provide the sort of justification that it is commonly thought to provide. In addition to giving the young guardians the proper cultural and physical education. the citizens occupying those positions will be “household managers (ȡԼȜȡȟցμȡț) and farmers rather than guardians” (417a5-7). when the best part is naturally weak in someone. it is important to note that he does not say the same thing when identifying the antecedent nature appropriate for those who will later be called auxiliaries (375b-376d). if we examine the contexts in which Socrates invokes a person’s nature as the decisive factor in his proper class assignment. Is there other evidence that Socrates understands the artisans to be naturally unsuited for the guardian functions? To be sure. Socrates says. These restrictions are necessary if the guardians are to develop and maintain the level of concern for the ruled population that has been part of their job description from the beginning (375b-c. it is far from clear that it is antecedent nature rather than developed nature that is invoked. after likening the spirited and appetitive parts of the soul to a lion and a multi-headed monster inside a person: Why do you think the condition of a manual worker is despised? Or is it for any other reason than that. it can’t rule the beasts within him but can only serve them and learn to flatter them? Probably so. the city must place severe restrictions on their material possessions and living arrangements (416d-417b). That is. there is the notorious passage in Book IX in which Socrates says. 416d-417b). 434a3-4) presumably invokes developed rather than antecedent nature. because of his or her developed nature. . An especially clear example of developed nature being the relevant factor in one’s appropriate class assignment occurs at the end of the account of the guardians’ education. their developed capacity will be that characteristic of the artisan class (to whom alone ȡԼȜȡȟȡμտį is permitted. Otherwise. Indeed. So someone with the antecedent nature suitable for the guardian class may properly belong to the artisan class.238 SUSAN SAUVÉ MEYER a natural aptitude for and also receive proper training. Is there any evidence in the Republic that Socrates thinks the artisans lack the antecedent nature appropriate for functioning as good guardians? Although Socrates does say more than once that the requisite nature for the philosopher rulers is very rare (491a. 495a).

2) A mechanical occupation. . VI. cf. (2) the leisure requisite for leading a publicly active life. (Republic IX 590c) Plato here has Socrates appeal to a familiar and enduring social prejudice—that "tradesmen" or "base mechanicals" are morally inferior and incapable of the virtue of a "gentleman" (Ȝįȝրȣ Ȝ‫ ׶‬įȗįȚցȣ). These explanations make it quite clear that it is not lack of antecedent natural aptitude. another unapologetic advocate of the prejudice. VII. that _________ 19 Laws V. since they compel them to remain seated—sometimes even at the fire—and to be shut away inside away from daylight. robs one of three things that are part of virtue as he conceives it: (1) bodily and mental vigour. Xenophon explains.9).. Theaetetus 176c-d. cf. cf.2-4. Symposium 203a. Relevant evidence is provided by Plato’s contemporary Xenophon. IV. cf. Epinomis VII 334b5. 406c. There is no doubt that Plato subscribes to the prejudice. 495d4-496a1. the pseudoPlatonic Amatores 137b5. VI. when he says that those who engage in the manual crafts (by implication. but rather the effects of living a “mechanical” life. Republic 405a9.7. 741d4. 407a. such people are no good to their friends and no good at defending their fatherland. That is why in some cities—especially those that seem to be best at conducting war—no citizen is allowed to practice a mechanical craft. 1278a20). summarizes Xenophon's explanation succinctly: "No one can carry on the activities of virtue while living the life of a mechanical or hired laborer" (Pol. Also.THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALIZATION 239 Therefore to insure that someone like that is ruled by something similar to what rules the best person we say he ought to be the slave of that best person who has a divine ruler within himself. Laws I: the “mechanical” trades are slavish (644a4). this is all of the artisan class) have “defective natures” because “their souls are cramped and spoiled by the mechanical nature of their work” (Republic 495d). Oeconomicus. Epinomis 976d3. who articulates and explains the prejudice with admirable candour in his Economics.19 But the crucial question for us is whether the relevant incapacity is due to antecedent nature or to developed nature. when he has Socrates say to Critoboulus: The crafts that are called mechanical are disparaged and quite rightly carry a bad reputation in the cities.5. (3) the resources to benefit friends and city (cf. (Xenophon. As a result. [3] the so-called mechanical crafts leave one no leisure for friends or for sharing in the oversight of the city. and [2] consequently undermines the strength of the soul too. For [1] they ruin the bodies both of those who practice them and of their overseers. Plato’s Socrates too concurs in this picture. it seems. This weakens the body. Alcibiades I 131a-b. Aristotle. XI.

But even if this is correct. which I doubt. where Socrates distinguishes between three types of people: dominated by the reasoning.or silver-natured child.240 SUSAN SAUVÉ MEYER keep an artisan from being able to successfully cultivate virtue. and gold natures invoked by the myth are to be understood as antecedent natures. So too is the promise that the “metal” of all offspring will be tested. and Klosko 1986). Socrates tells his own audience that the myth is a falsehood (415b-c). the artisans being populated by the last group. silver. The myth’s further claim that the citizens’ “natures” suit them to their assigned classes in the city (415a) is clearly intended to mitigate resentment on the part of those excluded from the guardian ranks. aimed at fostering unanimity among the citizens whose lot in life is so unequal? That is. Indeed. and appetitive parts of the soul respectively. But is there any evidence that this part of the myth is any less an expedient falsehood than the first. Many readers suppose that these correspond to the denizens of the three political classes. . so that if an artisan family produces a gold. we must consider the “Myth of the Metals” in Book III. do the institutions of the just city outlined in the Republic actually make good on the myth’s promise? Only if they do will the assignment of people to the artisan class be justified by their antecedent nature. spirited. it is highly dubious that these are three types of antecedent nature. 21 The myth is explicitly connected to the Principle of Specialization at 423c-d. he will be elevated to the rank of guardian (415b-d). Thus these texts do not support the interpretation of the Principle of Specialization that we are considering. And there is no doubt that the myth is supposed to supply to the population of the city exactly the kind of justification for their class assignment that the Principle of Specialization is thought to supply. and gold natures to the class of philosopher rulers (415a-c). _________ 20 Another text thought to be evidence that the artisans have defective antecedent natures is Book IX 581c. bronze.20 These effects of being in the artisan class surely are irrelevant to the justification for assigning someone to that class in the first place. For one thing. as opposed to developed nature. silver natures to the auxiliary class.21 However. the one feature of the story that is explicitly identified as a falsehood (rather than an allegory) is the fact that it represents the developed capacities of the members of the three classes (which are in fact a result of their training and nurture) as the simple deliverance of nature (414d-e). Finally. according to the interpretation that I am contesting. It is clear that the iron. Reeve 1995. (See Bobonich 2002. it does not follow from this that Plato understands and intends the Principle in this way. which says that each citizen is assigned to his or her political class on the basis of natural aptitude: bronze and iron natures to the artisan class.

while it is clear enough that the offspring of the auxiliaries and guardians receive this education and have their mettle tested in this way. 429c-430b). in the face of various stresses (412d-414a. they will be disqualified from entry into the higher of the two guardian classes. Entry into the program of education for the rulers (outlined in Book VII) is based on proficiency in the activities of the earlier guardian education outlined in Books II-III (412e-414b). . Those who fail these performance tests may. in extreme cases. In less extreme cases.THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALIZATION 241 To be sure. and that any superior offspring of the artisans is to be promoted to the guardian class (423c-d). we will find plenty designed to filter out from the guardian classes those with unsuitable natures. However. Socrates does once say. The context is the program of education (paideia) for the guardians outlined in Books II-III. Socrates devotes considerable time to describing a set of institutional practices intended to sort people by their natural aptitude for the political classes. and must pass further tests if they are to make the higher grade of ruler. but none designed to make sure that every person with a silver or golden nature is assigned to a guardian class. be demoted to the artisan class (V 468a). I submit that if we scrutinize the institutions of the city. Those admitted to guardian school must pass the tests to continue in that school. However. the tests are administered to those receiving the training appropriate to the guardian class. unless the entire population of the city receives this training—the children of artisans and guardians alike—these testing institutions are insufficient to make good on the promise made to the artisans in the Myth of the Metals. however. what we are looking for is some indication that the institutions of the city are designed with a view to making good on this promise. Differences in natural aptitude presumably explain why some trainees pass these tests and others fail. In all these cases.22 Socrates gives no indication that any off- _________ 22 Those at any rate who survive the rigorous eugenic breeding program that works in tandem with the controlled “marriages” between the guardians outlined in Book V (459a461b). However. the main lessons of this education: that they must always do what is best for the city (413c). that the guardians must see to it that any inferior offspring of the guardians is to be demoted to the artisan class. Trainees are subjected to various tests to determine how well they retain. outside of the context of the Myth.

It is no doubt possible. and have their mettle . this filtering function requires no institutions other than the testing institutions we have already examined. It does not indicate that there are “outreach” programs to test the nature of all citizens. producing inferiorly developed natures down the road (546d). bronze. 456d) Thus. how the true city might begin to decline (546a-547a). They do not provide the promised outreach to the children of the artisans. silver. so that even when the best of these are given the program of guardian education outlined in Books II-III and V-VII. that the children of the guardians and the artisans alike are enrolled in guardian school. This is not to say. that the promise of equal opportunity for all made in the Myth of the Metals functions as a constraint on the construction of the institutions of the ideal city. if anywhere else. the city’s fallible rulers will inevitably make a miscalculation in the eugenic breeding program outlined in Book V (450-465). therefore. As a result. who will in turn fail to properly distinguish between iron. and as much as says that they do not receive it (405 a-b. It is here. Are there any other institutions that perform this outreach function? Socrates invokes the Myth of the Metals one last time when he explains in Book VIII. Offspring with inferior natures will be produced. But the other half of the myth’s promise remains unfulfilled: the promise that everyone with a “silver” or “golden” nature will be assigned to one of the two guardian classes. and gold natures when selecting the next generation of leaders (546d-e). which they oversee. cf. the institutions for testing the “mettle” of the population serve only as a filter to make sure that the unqualified do not stay in the ranks of the guardians. of course. for all Socrates says.242 SUSAN SAUVÉ MEYER spring of the artisans will receive it. that the ideal city described in the Republic is inconsistent with the existence of such an outreach program. One might reasonably doubt. The testing programs we have surveyed make good on one half of the myth’s promise that everyone’s mettle will be tested. the results will be sub-optimal (546c-d). to identify any “gold” or “silver” natures that arise among them. that we might expect to find evidence of a concern to make sure that all (not just only) those with silver and gold natures are assigned to the guardian classes. No one in the city will be allowed to perform the functions of the ruling or auxiliary class unless he has passed the test that weeds out the naturally unqualified. the institutions of education. will deteriorate. so that “no natural guardian is left behind”. While this “application” of the myth of the metals does imply that the rulers are supposed to test the “mettle” of prospective guardians to make sure that no iron or bronze natures get into the guardian classes. According to the myth of decline.

However. it is quite blind to questions of distributive justice. The constitutional arrangements outlined for the ideal city give no support to the thesis that the institutions of the ideal city distribute fairly the opportunities to receive the greatest benefit that a state can confer upon its members. since we are concerned with whether the Principle of Specialization is understood by Plato’s Socrates to show that the members of the artisan class are not unjustly treated in being relegated to this status. We may conclude that even though the Principle of Specialization is identified by Socrates as the very thing that makes the city just. We have seen no such evidence. or ruling—will be “better and finer” (370c) if these functions are performed by those who are (a) naturally suited to it. quantifies over occupations in the city. The Principle is justified by the fact that adhering to it will yield better results for the city. Performance of the various functions of the city—whether carpentry. It does not have built into it any constraints on how the benefits produced by the city may be distributed among its members. defined in terms of adherence to the Principle of Specialization. Indeed the principle. not persons.THE PRINCIPLE OF SPECIALIZATION 243 tested there—or that some other testing program. properly understood. UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA . The beneficial effects for the city of adhering to the principle will obtain even if someone who is naturally capable of performing the guardian function (but who is also good at carpentry) is relegated to the artisan class. has any significant overlap with modern notions of political justice. is administered to the artisans’ children so as to identify those with the suitable natural ability for guardianship. This result should not surprise us. and (b) specialize in it. not mentioned in the text. farming. We would therefore do well to be wary of supposing that Plato’s notion of a “just society”. given that the rationale offered for the Principle of Specialization is forward-looking. it is reasonable to require some evidence of a positive concern on his part to design institutions that aim at warding off this potential injustice to its citizens.

or in his general political program as it is expressed through that construction. And as always. and forces the reader to reconsider central topics in the Republic. . so that a reader of her paper can see the options they face. and certainly seemed to impress some of her BACAP audience.” _________ 1 I want to thank Susan Sauvé Meyer for her paper and for our discussions. I think it still animates much of the paper and can help us to think our way through it. my deepest thanks go to Liz Karns. before moving. 2 Principle F appeared in an earlier draft of Professor Meyer’s paper in exactly the formulation I quote.2 It seems to me that most of Professor Meyer’s paper is devoted to arguing for two related points: first that the Kallipolis outlined in Plato’s Republic does not in fact satisfy Principle F. and Michael Pakaluk for inviting me to participate. in the second part. and though it was revised out of the final version. to considering the evidence for her claims.1 In the third part I will address a worry that may be motivating Professor Meyer. Distinguishing Two Claims I think that the issues raised by this paper can be situated most perspicuously by reference to the principle of fairness that I will refer to as “Principle F”: A just society is one in which all and only those who are naturally incapable of the excellence required for political participation are excluded from the political class(es). as Plato conceives it. and second that Plato does not make the satisfaction of Principle F a goal in the construction of the Kallipolis. This second point is expressed succinctly in the final sentence of Professor Meyer’s paper: “The fairness of the distribution of political power in a city is not a goal of politics. In the first part of my comments I will try to distinguish some of these issues. and so is not a just society by that principle. Finally I will sum up how I think the dialectic stands.COMMENTARY ON SAUVÉ MEYER TAD BRENNAN Professor Meyer has written a fascinating paper that raises many interesting issues. I. Rafe Woolf and Gisela Striker for their hospitality at Harvard. I enjoyed discussing these issues with Stephen Menn and Richard Kraut.

So if we saw that some social arrangement sacrifices fairness for the sake of some other social value. for several reasons. the fairness of the distribution of political power) a goal of politics. and so he did not make it a goal. but draws.COMMENTS ON SAUVÉ MEYER 245 Now there is. the wrong lesson from it. At times. and yet have allowed that concern to be trumped in certain cases by some more central concern. Secondly. this is the view that I find most natural and plausible: it seems to me that the distribution of political power in the Kallipolis is fair by the standard of Principle F. We might find evidence that the Kallipolis was unfair in effect. The claims are distinct. is rather difficult to do. for instance a concern with the welfare of the city as a whole.e. and at the same time find evidence that Plato had made the satisfaction of Principle F a central goal. parallel to the difference between claiming that a bureaucratic system or governmental program is discriminatory in intent. Plato could have made fairness (i. even if they are not discriminatory in intent. I think. He might have been deeply concerned to foster this sort of fairness. without making it an over-riding goal. Systems can be discriminatory in effect. but conclude for other reasons that Plato did not take the satisfaction of Principle F as a goal. such as the well-being of the whole city and all of its parts. indeed. She suggests that as a matter of mere . and claiming that it is discriminatory in effect. Or conversely we might find evidence that the Kallipolis satisfies Principle F. On the fairness of distribution per se Plato did not place the same weight that we now do. or that he was indifferent to considerations of fairness. Professor Meyer offers a case like this. but not that he did not make it a goal at all. then I think we could conclude that Plato did not make fairness a universally overriding goal—perhaps that he did not make it the “first virtue of social institutions” in Rawls’ phrase—. but fairness results nonetheless from his pursuit of other goals. I think. First of all. the pursuit of fairness may be constrained by economic realities of various sorts—realities that would constrain even the most ardent champion of fairness. an obvious gap between claims of these two kinds. and neither one entails or presupposes the other. I will say more about this when considering the evidence. but this property of fairness arises as a collateral consequence of other principles of construction that Plato made explicit goals. In fact. of course. even if the eradication of discrimination was the principal goal of the system’s designer—even Plato can suffer unintended consequences. This. Professor Meyer seems to want to infer from some unfair effect to a lack of interest in fairness on Plato’s part.

But in the context of the Republic. on this view. and there is a greater number of qualified applicants than there are places. then we have a situation that is discriminatory in effect. 3 4 . I introduce the notion of Pareto-equitability by an obvious extension of the first notion. but it may be as fair as the economic constraints will allow. many of these preceding considerations are drawn from recent discussions of fairness. familiar to economists and game-theorists. Plato might have wanted to ensure that “all who have the natural capacity are given a fair chance to develop it”. would result in an injustice being visited on the individual who was consequently sent down to the artisan class. These prizes. A distribution of some resource is said to be Pareto-optimal if and only if any redistribution that improves one person’s welfare inevitably reduces another person’s welfare. it may be that the best anyone could have produced is not a city that was fair in the Principle F sense. and imposed _________ This last aphorism received enthusiastic applause from the audience at Harvard. It is something that the best-informed citizens see as an undesirable necessity that is imposed on them. it is vital to remember that Plato simply does not see political participation as a good at all. From this she concludes that Plato had no interest in ensuring that “all those who have such a natural capacity are given a fair chance to develop it. and so on. many must labor if a few are to philosophize. Now. Or. If all that were true (though I will argue later that it is not). i. or give a smaller share to others. even though there are more tickets than prizes.4 A Pareto-equitable system may not preclude all unfairness. by their promotion to the philosopher-class.” Supposing she is right about the facts here. and we have a failure to satisfy Principle F—some are excluded even though they are naturally capable. are simply a scarce resource. in the sense that each of them has a lottery ticket with an equal probability of winning. in the sense that any attempt to redress the injustice done to one of the excluded individuals. equality. but rather a city that is Pareto-equitable with respect to Principle F. then the very existence of the economic constraints would prevent us from concluding that the unfair distribution resulted from indifference to fairness on Plato’s part. slots in the philosopher class.e. But the existence of such a state of affairs cannot show that Plato was indifferent to fairness. So perhaps this is a good place to note a certain dissonance or inconcinnity that results from applying these considerations to the distribution of political power in the Republic. We typically think that a political elite or its theoretical apologists are being culpably unfair when they refuse to share certain goods with the rest of the citizenry. In light of the economic realities.3 And she argues that some portion of that laboring multitude will have natures that make them capable of philosophizing.246 TAD BRENNAN economic necessity.

I think one is right to endorse it) without making the anachronistic projection that Professor Meyer decries (as indeed I think she is right to decry it). since they are compelled to take on a greater share of a bad thing. In fact. and the distribution of political power in the Kallipolis is less like a jealously hoarded privilege than like a steeply progressive tax on the intellectually wealthy. in Plato’s view. courageous. has the right to complain about any failure to attain an ideal distribution. On the view outlined by Richard Kraut. in the rest of my comments. and so _________ 5 In conversation. Richard Kraut has suggested to me one sort of argument to which Professor Meyer might be responding. Plato. but he would never have thought of political power as one of those goods. not merely a collateral consequence. This is one of the reasons why I will not try to argue.COMMENTS ON SAUVÉ MEYER 247 on them (rather than others) because they are best able to bear the burden. does have some concerns about the fair distribution of goods across the citizenry. temperate.5 Plato wants to make the Kallipolis a good city. If anyone has grounds for complaints about unfairness. it is the rulers rather than the ruled. that I wondered who exactly it is who has claimed that Plato made the fairness of the distribution of political power a goal of any central importance. the conclusion about goals strikes me as so obviously right. . rather than to the conclusion. this argument concludes. I do not know whether he wished to endorse the argument or not. I have raised several objections to parts of Professor Meyer’s paper in which she argued that it was not a goal. That goal is salient and urgent in our view primarily because we think of political participation as a good. but that means that in particular he wants to make it a just city (as well as making it wise. and this in turn will require a correct correspondence between natures and jobs at the level of individuals. Perhaps it is something like this argument which Professor Meyer wishes to oppose. for Plato. the correct distribution of natures to jobs really is a goal for Plato. with outright tax credits for the intellectually impoverished. not a good thing. I think. and so on). but a cost. but those were objections to the cogency of the arguments. The Kallipolis will be just only if all of its parts do their own jobs. is not a benefit. But it is important to see that one can endorse this argument (indeed. the Kallipolis itself would be less just. Political power. inasmuch as the city’s justice is a goal for Plato. that Plato really did make the fairness of the distribution of political power a goal of politics. and think that goods should be distributed fairly. Perhaps it is easiest to see the distance between the two understandings of Plato’s goals by asking who. this argument goes. on each view. So.

i. . which I discuss below. who were born with a philosophic nature and received the proper nurture for it. Plato’s goal on this view is still not fairness to individuals in the Rawlsian sense. and justice as one aspect of the city’s overall goodness. On the Rawlsian reading. _________ 6 Note the connection between this worry and the worry about a surplus of guardiannatures. And the city cannot be as good as possible unless all of those with that nature are members of that class. Indeed. they could presumably complain that they had been treated unfairly even if the city as a whole was improved by their unfair treatment. And here. as I have said. regardless of whether or not this was one of Plato’s goals. it seems natural and plausible to me to think that Principle F will be satisfied as a collateral consequence of Plato’s goal of making the city as good as it can be. a conflict is supposed to come about between fairness to the individual and the city’s overall good.e. only by philosophers. I am willing to advocate that reading if no one else will—but then the charge of anachronistic projection is no longer apposite.6 I gladly agree with Professor Meyer that this sort of Rawlsian concern to respect the individual’s demand for fair treatment is not central to Plato’s concerns (the closest echo of such a thought might be heard at 501e.e. if for no other reason than because the aggrieved parties are not citizens of the Kallipolis). satisfies it in effect. But I am not familiar with anyone who has attributed this view to Plato. I think we can reject the Rawlsian reading for lots of other reasons. II. The city cannot be good unless it is ruled only by people who can see the Form of the Good and pattern both themselves and the other citizens and the city after its pattern. I can more easily imagine attributing to Plato the sort of interest in the city’s justice that Richard Kraut’s argument envisions—indeed. i. and from this we are supposed to conclude that Plato is not a Rawlsian. and the locus standi for complaints would rest with the city: it would have the right to protest the diminution of its overall goodness. quite apart from any damage to the city as a whole.248 TAD BRENNAN less good. than it could have been. but we gain no advantage from basing our rejection on a scenario that Plato would find unworthy of consideration for a variety of reasons. but justice in the Platonic sense. any mis-assigned individual would have the locus standi for complaining about their treatment. they could complain that the assignment was unfair to them in particular. On that scenario. with the attempt to placate the many’s anger at the installation of philosopher-rulers. Is the Kallipolis Fair in Effect? Arguments Pro and Con Here I turn to the question of whether the Kallipolis in fact satisfies Principle F. but the thought is still different.

Arguments from Direct Evidence Pro There are two kinds of mechanisms for ensuring that all and only those who are naturally capable of doing philosophy will wind up as rulers. if the others have an able offspring.” On the other hand. they [sc. Professor Meyer would like to discredit this evidence.7 _________ 7 It is also worth remembering that if Plato did not want to build such mechanisms into the Republic. There are the ones that Professor Meyer calls. Plato’s Complete Works). usefully. “weeding out” mechanisms. to ensure that all of the children who have the natural ability will have a chance at the training. which take care of the “only” part—these are the tests and challenges for candidate guardians. he must be sent off to join the other citizens and that. She dismisses the first text because it appears as part of the Myth of the Metals. but the result will be fairness all the same. But she herself points out that only one part of the Myth is branded as a lie. but I do not find the attempt convincing. And then there are what she calls “outreach programs”. craftsmen and farmers] is found to have a mixture of gold or silver. there are texts that show that Plato must have envisioned such outreach being done.1.” 423d: “…[W]e said that if an offspring of the guardians is inferior. at least fairness as characterized by Principle F. should we also dismiss the evidence that the offspring of guardians can be demoted? I am uncomfortable with this treatment of the evidence.COMMENTS ON SAUVÉ MEYER 249 Plato’s goal here is not fairness. II. the guardians] will honor him and take him up to join the guardians or auxiliaries. but I agree with Professor Meyer that “no institutions for doing this sort of population-wide testing are described anywhere in the text of the Republic. he must join the guardians. even among the children of the artisans: 415c: “But if an offspring of these people [sc. namely the Phoenician parts about things popping out of the earth. This was meant to make clear that each of the other citizens is to be directed to what he is naturally suited for.” (translations here and below by Grube/Reeve from Cooper & Hutchinson eds. and that the offspring of these types can move both up and down in social ranking? If we casually dismiss the evidence that the offspring of artisans can be elevated. he could simply have omitted any mention of the possibility that the Metals . What reason is there then for casting doubt on the other parts of the myth which claim that there are different natural types. I assume that this takes the form of universal primary education organized with an eye to testing for talent.

2.8 _________ would not breed true. 455e). This fits well with what was said in the Republic. Arguments from Indirect Evidence Pro We can find supporting lines of argument for the existence of outreach programs from several other quarters. and which one is a carpenter. then mentioned a way of responding to it. Zeyl). in his résumé of the Republic: And do we also remember saying that the children of the good parents were to be brought up. and so outstanding. to see which one is a doctor by nature. but it seems to me that we needed to assume exactly this activity in any case. 8 Michael Pakaluk. These people never give signs of being potential philosophers even though “their sight isn’t inferior”. We are not all born alike. The city will be better run if the jobs in the artisan class are given to those who are naturally suited for them. I think a closer discrimination would be needed to detect the early traces of genius. there is the question how the ordinary artisans are assigned to their jobs to begin with. wonders whether Plato might think children of this sort will be so rare. so that the ones that turned out deserving might be taken back again and the ones they kept who did not turn out that way should change places with them? (translation by Donald J. . it seems to me evident that the rulers of the Kallipolis will already have to be testing the natures of the artisan children. but each of us is naturally suited to one task rather than another—one of us is a doctor by nature. and it will suffer some harm—no great harm. Note the reference to the constant supervision (skopountas aei) of both groups of children as they grow up. and be impossible to miss. as I argue in the next section.250 TAD BRENNAN That Plato is serious about promoting and demoting children who turn out to have natures different from those of their parents seems to me to be settled beyond sensible controversy by the fact that he has Socrates repeat the prescription in Timaeus 19a. 434ab). II. but some harm—if artisans switch jobs (370c. and this was an inexplicable blunder on his part if he raised the possibility. It is he who raises the possibility that offspring will diverge from their parental type. I think this underplays the fact that Plato also thought philosophical natures could be easily perverted by the wrong upbringing—the “so-called wise and wicked” at 519a. First. in correspondence. and all the time did not mean a word of it. another is not (370a. while those of the bad ones were to be secretly handed on to another city? And that these children should be constantly watched as they grew up. From these considerations alone. it is slightly more explicit about the active supervision of the Rulers. It will not be hard for them to keep an eye out for future philosophers at the same time. who can only be kept from corruption if their souls are “hammered at from childhood”. that they will as it were leap to the community’s attention even without formal programs in place—they will tower over their artisanal contemporaries like physical giants.

Consider also the passage at the end of Book III in which Socrates says that if the guardians acquire personal property then they will become “household managers and farmers instead of guardians. “I think. it will develop in quite the opposite way…. than an ordinary one. more afraid of internal than of external enemies.” Professor Meyer. when unsuitably nurtured. because these jobs are being filled only by people with artisan-natures instead of guardian natures. attempting to downplay the importance of natures. “that the philosophic nature as we defined it will inevitably grow to possess every virtue if it happens to receive appropriate instruction. exactly because he is so emphatic about the disastrous consequences of allowing golden children to grow up without proper training in philosophy and virtue. That is how dangerous it would be to allow a golden child to grow up among the iron masses. this picture at the end of Book III is a forecast of how the Kallipolis decays into a Timocracy when the guardians come to acquire private property (more fully spelled out at 547b).COMMENTS ON SAUVÉ MEYER 251 Second. But this passage emphatically does not show that someone with a guardian nature may “properly” belong to the artisan class.” says Socrates. plotting and being plotted against. concludes from this passage that “someone with the antecedent nature suitable for the guardian class may properly belong to the artisan class”. and they’ll hasten both themselves and the whole city to almost immediate ruin. The Kallipolis in its stable form. So . to continue this very quotation.It is reasonable to say that the best nature fares worse. has household managers and farmers aplenty.” “It is among these men that we find the ones who do the greatest evils to cities and individuals. but if it is sown. “They’ll spend their whole lives hating and being hated. Quite the opposite.” In fact. Socrates’ whole point is that a disastrously improper mess will result if a guardian nature lives like an artisan: if they become household managers then. The question of what happens to a child with superior natural endowments if it does not receive the right training is explored in detail in Bk V 491 and following. planted. And here is the crucial bit—such civic catastrophes do not occur when people who are artisans by nature own private property. All of this is what results when someone with a guardian nature is put into the role of an artisan.” Socrates concludes at 495b. eons prior to any incipient decay. and grown in an inappropriate environment. Passages of these sort give us further reason to believe that Plato is in earnest when he refers to the outreach programs. there is an important line of argument to be derived from considering the danger of allowing a golden child to grow up without the proper philosophical training. and their presence does not lead to plotting and ruin.

i. and must not miss the right moment.3. She wants to argue that people are assigned to their social class for a variety of other reasons. i. “And doesn’t it also require a person whose nature is suited to that way of life?” This leads to the long search for people who will have the right kind of nature.e. II. and we are simply trying to find people to wage war on behalf of the citizenry. . Here I think we can better understand the interplay between the two kinds of factors that Professor Meyer identifies in her analysis of the principle of specialization. to us nature theorists. which culminates in the pun about the puppies—these pages (374e376c) are saturated with instances of the word phusis. by proposing that it is the principle of specialization which is the basis for the allocation of individuals to classes. and only a specialist can be sufficiently devoted to the time-consuming-task of mastering a specialty.e. contingencies of parental origin. and so on.A Professor Meyer’s Argument Con from the Principle of Specialization When the guardians are originally introduced in book II. on the basis of their innate capacities for excellence. by appeal to the requirements of expertise: competent soldiers need sufficient practice. that only a specialist can always strike while the iron is hot. she then argues that the principle of specialization is not in fact a principle that assigns individuals to classes on the basis of nature alone. the consideration of the individual’s nature. i.3. So now I want to consider her discussion of the principle of specialization.252 TAD BRENNAN that is how important it is to make sure that children are assigned to their social class on the basis of their natures. Arguments Con Now Professor Meyer denies that there were any such outreach programs. When Socrates first proposes that the nascent city should have an army. both gentle and fierce. After she has hooked the nature-theorist with this bait. as she thinks it. And her strategy for doing this is to make a concession. Part II. the full class structure of the Kallipolis has not emerged yet. he argues that it should not be a citizen army. and what she calls the “requirements of expertise”. economic constraints. on the one hand. and that nature plays a much smaller role in the principle of specialization than has been thought—the principle of specialization can also assign people to roles on the basis of the requirements of expertise. and denies that innate capacities for excellence play the sort of role in the assignment to social class that I have just suggested. He then asks.e.

within the frame-work of these single-purpose worker-types. The enquiry into natures comes in the next step. the question of suitable natures could not be asked before there was a definite job-description in place. it is because they are excluded from ruling that they wind up being artisans. we respect the organic unity of certain job-descriptions and respect the requirements of expertise. when we have accepted the necessity of creating these new jobs. there is no role for them in the selection of candidates. The principle of specialization.COMMENTS ON SAUVÉ MEYER 253 But notice that the requirements of expertise and the search for the suitable nature come into the discussion at distinct stages. and turn to the task of selecting individuals to do them. when we are trying to fill slots with individuals and assign individuals to slots. or cobbler-dentist. First it says that “better and finer results” will emerge if. or assigning worker-tokens to worker-types—nor. in general.e. these individuals do not rule because they do not have the correct . But. when Professor Meyer asks “Why are the artisans excluded from political participation?” and answers: “No doubt it is because of the famous principle of specialization on which Socrates relies in constructing the ideal city. better and finer results will emerge if we choose for each worker-type the worker-tokens who have the best natural qualifications for that job description. operates at two levels. It is not because they are already artisans that they are excluded from ruling. The phases are distinct and non-overlapping. then. that allows us to ask “suitable for what?”. i. rejecting such hyphenated job-types as citizen-soldier. as though they might have been eligible had they not been previously engaged. once again. The requirements of expertise are invoked in creating the job category. and in demonstrating that there is a need for this new job category which cannot be satisfied by any current profession. does the principle of specialization ever say that individuals are assigned to job-types on the basis of any considerations other than their natural qualifications.” this seems to me to put the cart before the horse. farmer-accountant. and admit only such monolithic worker-types as carpenter. Accordingly. and philosopher. When we are at that second stage. Rather. And conversely. once the requirements of expertise have played their role in showing the need for a distinct job-type. defined partly by the requirements of expertise. I do not think that the requirements of expertise play any role in this second stage of assigning individuals to jobs. at the level of worker-types. the question becomes solely one of finding the right nature. Plato does not argue that the artisans cannot rule because they have already been assigned the distinct job of being artisans. Second it says that. roughly corresponding to a type-token distinction. cobbler.

they are not capable of organizing their own lives or the lives of others in imitation of the Form of the Good.254 TAD BRENNAN nature for ruling. in no need of the rest of the principle of specialization. i.e. the emphasis on natures. or sight-lover.e. explains why there is no such job-type as artisan-ruler. a principle that is internal to the Kallipolis.3. and neither are they capable of the kind of courageous tenacity to conviction that the auxiliary soldiers manifest. . we certainly cannot reply “no doubt because of the principle of specialization”: that principle is only in operation within the Kallipolis. artisan-soldier. the inability to accept and understand the existence of the forms. and the sight-lovers are found outside of the Kallipolis. The scrutiny of natures is equally used to judge people’s suitability for rule even when the discussion is not taking place within the framework of those job-types sanctioned within the Kallipolis—I have in mind the sight-lovers again—and thus it seems to me that the most accurate way to answer the question why certain people are excluded from power is by pointing to their natures. Two More Arguments Con There were two other points at which Professor Meyer suggested that there was explicit evidence against the existence of outreach programs or other mechanisms for ensuring the fair distribution of natures to jobs.B. without taking the detour through the principle of specialization.e. we know that there are no such workers in the Kallipolis—and this shows that Plato’s thoughts about the exclusion of the artisans do not need to run through the principle of specialization. i. and why there is such a job type as carpenter. Their eligibility for political power is assessed without any reference to any antecedent jobs they may have in the city—indeed. II. i. the requirements of expertise. and excluded from political rule. One way to see that the scrutinizing of natures is theoretically independent of the principle of specialization is by considering the fate of the sightlovers in book V. they are excluded from power because of a philosophical inability. which prevents them from taking on two jobs. It is not as though the Kallipolis has already assigned them the important civic function of being sight-lovers. But that exclusionary appeal to natures stands on its own feet. One part of that principle. They have failed those tests before they have received any job at all. A different part of that principle. explains why this particular individual is suited only to being a carpenter. This is a further reason why I think it is a mistake to approach the question “why are the artisans excluded from political participation?” by saying that it is “no doubt because of the principle of specialization”. If we ask why they are excluded from rule. No.

e. So.” Having mentioned a few of the provisions that are made for eugenic breeding among the guardians. I grant that these pas- . and then most people branch off in other directions. so as to be assayed for any traces of gold. after few and rudimentary trials. consider a cobbler and a guardian who both began in the common primary educational system. either in the quotation she gives us or in the paraphrases that follow. it follows that the whole education that the guardians receive. How long this takes will presumably vary from case to case—some people with artisanal natures may reveal this fact early on. that “the musical education of the guardians that is necessary for their training in virtue distinguishes their nurture from that received by the artisans. Everyone starts down a common path.” Nothing about this quotation tells against the hypothesis of a common primary education. say the age of seven. she then concludes “And the offspring of all but the elite of the ruling classes are not even tested at all. They each received the early education of the guardians. taken as a whole. It says that the guardians who have received the guardian education will be better men than the cobblers who were educated in cobblery. Professor Meyer claims that “the eugenic breeding program invoked in this context explicitly violates the promise given to the artisans in the myth…. his education diverged at some point. That set of facts allows Socrates to say “the guardians are made better by the education we have described than [are] the cobblers educated in cobblery. receive some common primary education. up to some point. And it follows from this.COMMENTS ON SAUVÉ MEYER 255 On p. whereas others may make it further along in the common curriculum before being directed into such specialist training as carpentry and cobblery. in every class. 241 the claim is made that 456d8 shows that “the early education of the guardians” is not given to “the whole population”. But that is not the hypothesis that needs to be ruled out here in order to support Professor Meyer’s position. which is the same as (at least part of) the “early education of the guardians”. They must come under the direct or indirect scrutiny of the rulers. At another point. from the whole education that the cobblers receive. such utter inadequacy as a guardian) that there was no longer any question of there being any gold in his soul. I do not see how this passage shows that.” Or at any rate. at which point the cobbler-to-be had shown such stellar promise as a cobbler (i.” I do not see any evidence for this claim. as Professor Meyer notes. Although he started out in the common primary education. This quotation does nothing to rule out that hypothesis. with predictable effects on his overall goodness as an adult. “distinguishes their nurture”. Those who think (as I do) that Plato is in earnest about his “outreach program” must think that all children.

here instead of being demoted they are killed. and thus we may suspect he would be just as likely to violate his promise to promote the golden children of iron parents. Then there are the guardians who have sex before or after the age of reproduction and are insufficiently careful in their family planning methods—their children. The offspring of superior guardians in their prime are all reared. but if infanticide is not intended. will also be killed (461c—the language is somewhat coy. The passage that she cites. only the offspring of the best natures will be reared (459d). we are told of two groups of guardian-offspring who will be killed (or at least not reared among the guardians): the children of the inferior guardians (459d) and the children of the superannuated (or immature) guardians (461c). As Professor Meyer notes. never says that any of the offspring of the legitimate unions of superior guardians will be killed. Perhaps her line of thought is as follows: the Myth of the Metals promised that the inferior children of the guardians would be demoted. the children of the less excellent guardians will be killed. . but they certainly make no explicit or implicit claim that such testing will not occur. I assume. That is one group of infanticide victims.e.” where by “this set” she means the offspring of the legitimate unions of the best natures. in which case there will be de facto demotion to the artisan class). and note that the restriction to the guardians and auxiliaries governs the quantifications in the rest of the discussion). She does say that “the inferior natures [among certain guardian offspring] are not even demoted to the artisan class. to begin with. it seems most likely. or of unions made illegitimate through age or youth. Notice that Professor Meyer’s account here is simply in error when she says that “[t]he inferior natures among this set of offspring… are simply killed. will be killed. and it is from among this group that some are to be demoted to the lower classes if they are found to have base metal in their soul. begin at 458c when women with guardian natures are assigned to the men with guardian natures. thus Plato violates his promise to demote the iron children of golden parents. which is what Professor Meyer needs to show. then it is worth taking a minute to sort out the details of who gets killed and why. that the eugenics program is instituted only among guardians (to see this. then exposure-for-adoption is. much less that it “explicitly violates the promise” to promote the gold offspring of the artisans. So these passages do not even show that the eugenics program “explicitly violates the promise” to demote the iron offspring of the guardians. So. 460b-461c.256 TAD BRENNAN sages are silent about the testing of the children of non-guardians (reproduction among the guardians is the topic at hand). If this is the line of thought. It only says that the offspring of inferior guardians. i. they are simply killed”.

1.7. concurring with me. The only argument against them is the argument from silence. I do not think Plato thought this was a genuine concern—so long as we are dealing with the human race. the weakest and most impotent part of our soul. and worried about what Plato could do if there were. both by bringing the hulking _________ 9 During the discussion. Two Reasons Not to Worry about a Surplus of Guardian Natures III. I know of no passages inconsistent with such mechanisms. EN X. must achieve the delicate trick of making the naturally weaker into the effectively stronger. for depicting the class of philosopher-rulers as a small minority of the city: it corresponds to the fact that he thinks that the rational part of our soul is the smallest. and are likely to win any time that reason opposes them. like the education of the virtuous individual. 10 And see 494a “the majority cannot be philosophic”. They are mandated by passages that explicitly promise such promotion. 11 Michael Pakaluk reminds me that Aristotle too says that our contemplative reason is “small in bulk”. Gisela Striker.COMMENTS ON SAUVÉ MEYER 257 Neither of these passages is the least bit inconsistent with the supposition that the Kallipolis will have mechanisms for promoting qualified children of the artisan class. 1178a1 .9 “I suppose that everyone would agree that only a few natures possess all the qualities that we just now said were essential to becoming a complete philosopher. said very aptly that Plato relied on a “pre-established harmony” between jobs and natures.10 Plato also has structural reasons.11 Just as the naturally philosophical are likely to be politically side-lined and ignored in any city other than the Kallipolis. and that they seldom occur naturally among human beings” (491b). The structure of the Kallipolis. within the Republic. and. rather than a race of semi-divine creatures. The Republic Clearly Makes Philosophers Rare In the question period after Professor Meyer’s talk. and 495-496 where the many craftsmen with imperfect natures try to wed philosophy. many members of the audience seemed fascinated by the possibility that there would be a surplus of guardians. he thinks the proportion of wise to unwise will always be very low. like the tinker wedding the boss’s daughter. except in the fully virtuous person. and their general advisability is clear from other indirect considerations. so too in the majority of human psyches the appetitive and spirited parts have a vastly greater motivational ‘umph’. III.

if he includes both timai and ponoi. Socrates does not tell us what he has in mind here. . to act as its enforcer. thus creating the very civic chaos I warned against above.” We must not let them. and may still wonder how Plato could respond if it were put to him.258 TAD BRENNAN appetites to heel through physical training. whether they are of less worth or of greater (eite phauloterai eite spoudaioterai). so that they won’t be inferior to the others in experience. All those with golden souls can. although he must mean substantially more than “command in matters of war”. Even a Hypothetical Surplus Leads to No Problems Still. per impossibile.” Thus it is already part of the picture. even though it is by nature more authoritative. some may not be satisfied with this sort of assurance.” III. and more suited to command. I now address two objections. Thus it seems to me that the answer is clear: in a city with a surplus of guardians and a deficit of farmers. Socrates tells us in 539e. But this does not follow. They will “share the labors of the city. and feels the need to insist that their baseness cannot provide an excuse for the guardians’ not doing them. First of all. some may worry that this will turn the guardians into “household managers and farmers”. each in turn”. that the guardians might be so numerous that there would not be enough artisans to feed their idle mouths. All this is summed up by Socrates’ comment in 442c. that they will go down into the city and perform some of the rather base and tawdry (phaulon) jobs that are to be done there. must. “you must make them go down into the cave again. I do not think there is much difficulty for Plato. and will be educated as guardians. and the problem of politics). the guardians will include stints at farming among their rotations down in the cave. and by enlisting the spirit firmly on the side of reason. (I say that reason is naturally weaker.12 Even here.2. it may be significant that it was a Harvard audience that found this possibility especially alarming. and compel them to take command in matters of war and occupy the other offices suitable for young people. “And we’ll call him wise because of that small part of himself that rules in him and makes those declarations…. he says in 519d. as 520d says. When they have reached the age of 35. even when the guardians are few and scarce. not less—this again is exactly the problem of habituation. What would make the guardians into “farmers” in the worrisome sense _________ 12 Again. “refuse to go down again to the prisoners in the cave and share their labors and honors (ponoi kai timai). The answer is straightforward.

but that is a very small determinant of the overall good of the city. Second. we also learn that the harm is not very great. one who lives communally with the other guardians. On the other hand. preferring contemplation but sharing in the labors of the city—such a guardian may indeed produce shoes that are not as good as those produced by someone who stuck with cobbling from first to last.COMMENTS ON SAUVÉ MEYER 259 would be their owning the land and its produce.e. then we should expect some non-idealities to appear in the Kallipolis. acquiring nothing and owning nothing. but that they would continue to live the communal life of the guardians. Socrates does tell us that some harm is done when the carpenter takes the cobbler’s job (434ab). and I do not see why a guardian should not be able to make as good a shoe. that is not what I am proposing. then the structure of the Kallipolis as a whole has proven impressively robust and resistant to perturbation: a large change to one of its vital inputs has yielded a trivial decrease in the goodness of its consumer goods. Socrates simply denies that any group of people could be so lucky as to have this sort of surplus of philosophical types (any more than any individual could have a rational soul that was larger than their spirited and appetitive parts). I am proposing that they would dig and harvest. . as the carpenter could. owning no property. more happy. it might be objected that a guardian who has not been trained as a cobbler from youth up should not be allowed to take turns at the cobbler’s bench because he will make shoddy work—is that not just what the principle of specialization tells us? I think the answer here is that a guardian who continues living a guardian’s form of life rather than a cobbler’s—i. it may well be that this city is better. undertaking this rather base labor in turn. i.e. Counteracting this is the fact that this entire surplus population of guardians will also be engaged in contemplation and philosophical rule—there will be far more people contemplating in this city than in the Kallipolis that Socrates thinks is consistent with a more realistic distribution of human natures. if the worst of them are a matter of ill-fitting shoes. than the Kallipolis. The quality of material goods in this city may not be as high as it is in the Kallipolis. Far from leading to a worse city. their becoming large land-owners who can amass wealth (see 417a ktêsontai). I concede that the overall level of goodness in this city might not be as high with respect to consumer goods as it would be in a city with ideal ratio of guardians to artisans—but that is just to say that this whole line of speculation started with the question: what if there was a non-ideal number of guardians? If the number of guardians is far in excess of the ideal. in a pinch. Clearly.

It is already specified that the guardians. the ex- . I have argued that these attempts to find contrary evidence fail. as well as working to find other texts that would show that “outreach programs” would be inconsistent with other parts of the Republic. and Describing the Lay of the Land The difference between Professor Meyer’s interpretation and the one that I have advanced comes to this. There are two passages that directly say that the Kallipolis will contain promotion schemes that mandate an “outreach program”. as she thinks. though of no decisive strength. after age 35. to the idea that such a program will be needed. I have argued that several other passages lend support. and I see no reason why they could not do any jobs that need to be done. I have argued that this is not so.260 TAD BRENNAN What I am arguing here is that no stark theoretical collapse occurs. the other parts of the principle of specialization are directed to creating and justifying the right sorts of job-categories to begin with. then Plato has already violated it when he says the guardians will “share in the labors of the city”—which means that people who think they have an objection here should probably rethink their understanding of that principle. will take jobs in the city. and takes this to show that the Kallipolis will sometimes over-rule the individual’s nature and assign them to a job or class that is contrary to their nature. Summation. even before the question of the assignment of individuals arises. if we imagine a city with a surplus of guardians. Professor Meyer lays great stress on the silence about the details. no fundamental flaw or incoherence is revealed. There are no passages that explicitly give details about its operations. She also argues that the Principle of Specialization involves more than mere considerations of natural ability. and works to discount the two passages that directly mandate them. e. The shoes are not as good as they would be in a better-proportioned city—that is all. IV. Those who wanted to press this line seemed to think that some terrible injustice would occur in the city if there were a surplus of guardian natures. If my proposal that the guardians could farm and cobble strikes some people as a violation of the principle of specialization.g. But the other parts of the principle of specialization do not operate by invoking some other basis for assigning people to jobs. Instead. or that reflection on this case will bring to light some deep injustice already latent in the Republic’s structure. I agree that the principle of specialization involves more than a principle for assigning people to jobs on the basis of their natural ability. Accordingly. the requirements of expertise. as far as I can tell.

do I think that we need to worry that people who are capable of being philosophers will be forced into the artisan class rather than the ruling class because of the economic necessity that makes each philosopher rely on many artisans. . The scenario in which an over-population of philosophical natures forces some of them down into the artisan class is clearly not one which worries Plato—there will be an open job for every nature suited to it because the distribution of natural abilities keeps pace with the distribution of the corresponding jobs in the Kallipolis. by distinguishing goals from collateral consequences.” If she simply wants to reject as anachronistic those views that claim that Plato constructed his Kallipolis with the fairness of the distribution of political power as a central goal.13 Even had _________ 13 She claims that the “natural moral frailty” which makes Plato “very pessimistic about the prospects of achieving excellence” does not “distinguish the members of the artisan class” from the “guardians in the Republic”. Nor. and the like are concerned.e. it is equivalent to the claim that. philosophy. What I continue to find missing is any adequate motivation for this sort of strong-arm interpretation. again. I could imagine taking a stance comparable to Professor Meyer’s—directly squelching or rejecting what the text does say. The reasons why Plato wants each person to have the job for which they are most naturally suited are completely distinct from the considerations of fairness in the distribution of societal goods that Professor Meyer mentioned at the outset of the paper.COMMENTS ON SAUVÉ MEYER 261 ploration of the principle of specialization does nothing to show that people are assigned to jobs in the Kallipolis on any ground other than their natural abilities. so far as their natural aptitude for virtue. If I understand this. there is no difference between a typical artisan and a typical guardian. and laying great weight upon its silence elsewhere. i. Thus I do agree with the final conclusion that “The fairness of the distribution of political power in a city is not a goal of politics. but it is surely far too ambitious. But what is the interpretive need here? What is the larger point that demands this treatment of the Republic? It cannot be Professor Meyer’s very largest point. as Plato conceives it. Is it instead that she wants to deny that natures play any role in the assignment of individuals to classes in the Republic? That extreme view is hinted at in her conclusion. for on that point I have been happy to agree with her. that Plato was not a Rawlsian. and seems to claim that there simply are no natural differences to base an assignment on. This goes beyond alleging that Plato may tolerate some mismatching of natures to jobs. so far as their natural propensities towards achieving excellence go. she can do that without undue damage to the text. In cases of dire interpretive need.

I am always ready to be an empiric in these affairs. That would require squelching and rejecting a vast swath of the Republic itself. and that these natures played no role in the Republic.262 TAD BRENNAN Professor Meyer shown that there were no “outreach programs”. and a holistic one. If the overall gain in interpretive clarity merits it. This is why I look forward to hearing more in the future about Professor Meyer’s views on the Republic. there would still be a lot of work left to show that Plato thought there were no differences between individuals’ natures. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY . then I am willing to contemplate sporadic acts of interpretive desperation. Still. and shown that Plato does not think it is imperative to create a complete correspondence between natures and class-structures in the Kallipolis.

New York: Cornell University Press. An Introduction to Plato’s Republic. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. Craftsmen in Greek and Roman Society. New York: Oxford University Press. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ithaca.SAUVÉ MEYER/BRENNAN BIBLIOGRAPHY Adam. Terence. 1981. Ernest. Annas. 1979. Bobonich. . Plato’s Utopia Recast: His Later Ethics and Politics. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 2002. Julia. New York: Cornell University Press. Aristotelis Ethica Nicomachea. Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World from the Archaic Age to the Arab Conquests. Plato’s Ethics. E. Burford. James. Reprinted 1960. De Ste Croix. Plato’s Moral Theory. 1981. Ithaca. _______ 1995. Aristotle. M. Edited by Ingram Bywater. Christopher. The Republic of Plato. Alison. 1918. Greek Political Theory: Plato and his Predecessors. 1977. Irwin. Oxford: Clarendon Press. G. 1984. Barker. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972. London: Methuen.

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or (c2) is there a two-part argument. scholars seem to be no closer to agreement on answers to the questions. . and Foster (1938).COLLOQUIUM 7 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC DANIEL DEVEREUX Some 70 years ago. or (a2) does he see a closer relationship between the two. that the two are related in such a way that showing that justice contributes to happiness is a way of showing that it is desirable for its own sake? A second.B.1 These questions set the framework for much of the subsequent scholarly debate concerning the argument of the Republic. namely. related. and while there has been a sharpening of the issues involved. Scholars in recent years have staked out three main interpretations of Plato’s position on the value of justice based on their answers to the three questions. and it is easy to lose one’s way. I. Happiness as consequence of justice (a1) Plato views happiness as a consequence of justice. Finding the right answers is no easy task because of the mutual entanglement of the questions: attempting to answer one inevitably leads to the others. (b1) By “justice is valuable for its own sake” Plato means _________ 1 See Foster (1937). Foster and J.D. or (b2) that it is valuable insofar as it directly produces certain desirable effects or consequences? A third question has to do with the structure of the argument in Books II-IX: (c1) is there one continuous argument designed to show that justice is valuable for itself by showing that it yields happiness. an exchange between M. Mabbott brought into focus a set of intriguing and important questions about Socrates’ defense of justice in the Republic. question is about Plato’s understanding of the claim that justice is valuable “for its own sake”: (b1) does he mean that it is valuable apart from any desirable consequences it might have. Mabbott (1937). One of the questions concerns the relationship between justice and happiness: (a1) does Plato view happiness as a consequence of justice. the first part aimed at showing how justice is valuable for itself and the second at showing that it yields happiness (as a consequence)? How we answer these questions is of crucial importance for our understanding of why Plato thinks justice is worth pursuing and what sort of value he thinks it has.

e. Mabbott (1937) clearly sides with the first interpretation at certain points (e. White (1984). Aristotle’s use of “choiceworthy” [įԽȢıijȪȣ]in.. it is intrinsically valuable. e.6. 1096b8-13. Kirwan (1965). 252-61. (b1) By “justice is valuable for its own sake” Plato means that it is intrinsically valuable. 62). i. there is no harm in using the term “valuable” in describing his classification. Glaucon does not use a term like “valuable”—he speaks of “things we welcome” or “things we are glad to have” for their own sake or for their consequences (357b4-d2. 8. 216-7. Nicomachean Ethics I 6. 3 See. c8). 168-9. “Intrinsic value” might also be contrasted with “extrinsic value”: something might have value apart from any benefits it produces.e. Annas (1981). but he also seems to approve of (a2). Irwin (1977). e. happiness is a direct effect of _________ 2 By “intrinsically valuable” I simply mean non-instrumentally valuable.g. for example. though. Irwin (1995). justice is a constituent of happiness) such that showing that justice contributes to happiness is a way of showing that it is valuable for its own sake.e. Justice as constituent of happiness (a2) Plato sees a particularly close relationship between justice and happiness (i. (c1) There is one continuous argument in Books II-IX designed to show that justice is valuable for itself by showing that it yields happiness. Another point about terminology: in his tripartite classification of goods. 396.4 III. Reeve (1988). 318 for some second thoughts). for helpful discussion of different kinds of value. .g. X is “intrinsically valuable” if it has value that is not derived from beneficial effects it may produce. but since he clearly assumes that these things have genuine value. see Korsgaard (1983)). 22-42. but derive this value from the Form of the Good (see Aristotle. justice might be non-instrumentally valuable. e. Happiness as direct effect of justice (a2) Plato sees a particularly close relationship between justice and happiness (i. 188-9. Nicomachean Ethics I 7. that all three types of goods are regarded as things that we can “choose” or “have” (357b5.. If there are goods that we cannot be said to choose or have. e. cf. 295-6.. It is worth keeping in mind.3 II.g.e. n.2 (c2) The Republic offers a two-part argument for the value of justice. i. cf. 294 (cf. they will fall outside of Glaucon’s classification. 4 See. 246-7. the first part aimed a showing how it is valuable for itself and the second at showing that it yields happiness (as a consequence). but it might derive this value not from itself but from something else. which is incompatible with the first interpretation (63). 189-93. 1097b30-1098a21).g. Forms.266 DANIEL DEVEREUX that it is valuable apart from any desirable consequences it might have.g.

7 It is clear. I will conclude by pointing out an interesting and important implication of Plato’s argument as I have interpreted it.e. Defenders of the third interpretation have charged that it is “anachronistic” to attribute to Plato. I would like to take a brief look at Aristotle’s conception of what it is for something to be “valuable for its own sake. 229.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 267 justice) such that showing that justice contributes to happiness is a way of showing that it is valuable for its own sake. i. in other words. 230. also Foster (1938).14. and it also seems that he understood Plato’s claim that justice is “valuable for its own sake” in the ‘modern’ way—as the claim that justice is valuable apart from any consequences it might have. 6 Sachs (1963) and White (1984) are the chief proponents of this interpretation. 7 See White (1984). . I will argue that Plato regards happiness as a consequence of justice. apart from any consequences or effects that might result from it. Sachs (1963). and Cross and Woozley (1964). 148. After making my case for the first interpretation. (b2) By “justice is valuable for its own sake” Plato means that it is valuable insofar as it directly produces certain desirable effects. 421. the notion of something’s being valuable in itself. cf. Aristotle’s Understanding of the Relationship between Virtue and Happiness Aristotle begins his Nicomachean Ethics with the suggestion that if there _________ 5 According to this interpretation. the modern notion of intrinsic value.6 In this essay I will defend a version of the first interpretation. 410. and that the argument he sets forth in Books II-IX has two main parts—the first showing how justice is valuable for itself. Sachs (1963).5 (c1) There is one continuous argument in Books II-IX designed to show that justice is valuable for itself by showing that it yields happiness. that he means by “justice is valuable for its own sake” that it is intrinsically valuable. by “justice is valuable for its consequences” Plato means that it is valuable insofar as it indirectly produces certain desirable effects. 394-5. and the second showing that the life of the just person is happier than that of the unjust person. that Aristotle has the modern notion. 66-8. however. Before turning to the argument of the Republic. cf.” and his understanding of the relationship between virtue and happiness. Foster (1938). as the first and second interpretations do. however. see White (1984). I. n. 418-21.

we must therefore cultivate and acquire the virtues. above all else. and virtue are chosen “for themselves. he then points out that there is general agreement that this highest good is happiness (I 4. In his celebrated “Function Argument. 1094a2224). we are choosing it for something “that results from” it. So if virtue is choiceworthy for itself. Unless otherwise noted. all translations are mine. Aristotle clearly believes that the virtues are valuable insofar as they contribute to our happiness.268 DANIEL DEVEREUX is some final end of action. In order to achieve this end. Now such a thing [an unqualified end] happiness. adapted from W. and that in choosing it for the sake of happiness we are choosing it for something other than itself. In claiming that virtue is choicworthy just for itself. 9 To choose X for its own sake is to choose it without regard to any of the things that might “result from” it. is held to be. If happiness is our final end. some beneficial consequence.” Aristotle’s contrast between choosing virtue for itself and choosing it for the sake of happiness seems to indicate that in choosing virtue for itself we are not choosing it for the sake of happiness. Aristotle is in effect claiming that it is intrinsically valuable. pleasure. 1097a34-b5. then it behooves us to gain a clear understanding of what it is so that we will have a better chance of attaining it (I 1. as the following passage indicates. i. 1095a14-20). IX (Oxford. pleasure. Furthermore. we will be able to—and we should—choose the most effective means to attain this end. vol. But he also believes. for this we choose always for itself and never for the sake of something else.8 Honor. 1097b22-1098a18). this will be the supreme or highest good for a human being (I 1. understanding and every virtue we choose indeed for themselves—for even if nothing resulted from them [μșȚıȟրȣ ȗոȢ ԐʍȡȖįȔȟȡȟijȡȣ] we would still choose each of them—but we also choose them for the sake of happiness. Aristotle implies that once we have a clear view of our final end.e. but honor. “But we also choose [virtue] for the sake of happiness.” for we would choose them even if they had no consequences. apart from their contribution to happiness. thus choosing it not for its own sake but for the sake of something else would be to choose it for one of the things that “result from” it.D. judging that through them we shall be happy. the passage implies that when we choose virtue for something other than itself. It is worth noting that the Greek word Aristotle uses for “result from” (ԐʍȡȖįȔȟȧ) is the same word that is used by . 1094a18-22). To choose virtue for itself. The Works of Aristotle Translated into English. Ross. happiness. it must have value independent of its contribution to happiness.” he seeks to establish that our final end is to live a certain kind of life. then. The translation is mine.9 hence when we choose _________ 8 I 7. 1915). that they are valuable in themselves. is to choose it regardless of any beneficial consequences it might have (cf. a life of virtuous activity (I 7. 1176a35-b9).

. Now let us first say that they [practical and philosophical wisdom] are necessarily choiceworthy for themselves even if neither of them produces anything. And the use of the verb “produce” (ʍȡțȡ‫ף‬IJț) seems to indicate. as an inner state. that happiness is viewed as a consequence of these virtues. Ackrill (1980). and also his description of happiness as _________ Glaucon in speaking of goods that are or are not desired for their “consequences” (ij‫׭‬ȟ ԐʍȡȖįțȟȪijȧȟ). 367c5-d1. This passage thus seems to imply not only that Aristotle views virtue as intrinsically valuable. 407. contemplation. they are worthy of choice even if they do not produce any valuable consequences. Irwin (1988). produces the activities which are constitutive of being in good health. in other words.g. Being “choiceworthy for themselves” is again contrasted with being “choiceworthy for the sake of happiness. see Republic 357b4-8. e.. they must have value independent of their contribution to happiness. is constitutive of (one form of) happiness.health and the doctor are not in the same way the cause of being healthy” [1174b25-26]..JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 269 virtue for the sake of happiness.11 As evidence for this inclusive conception. if not all. of the goods that are choiceworthy or valuable for their own sake. Many recent scholars would argue that this cannot be the correct way of understanding Aristotle’s view of the relationship between virtue and happiness.) The activity ‘produced’ by philosophical wisdom would be contemplation. 11 Cf. they cite Aristotle’s remarks concerning the “self-sufficiency” of happiness. however. they do produce something.e. They would point out that Aristotle has an inclusive conception of happiness according to which it includes several. again. not as the art of medicine produces health. 360-3. they are. since each is the virtue of one of the two [rational] parts of the soul. X 7. 12-14. Ross suggests in a footnote that what Aristotle means by “health produces health” is that health.. 10 Aristotle’s words are: “Secondly. so does philosophical wisdom produce happiness” (1144a3-5). But they do produce valuable consequences insofar as they contribute to happiness. 1177a12-22).g. philosophical wisdom produces happiness insofar as its consequent activity. Aristotle goes on to point out that they do produce goods: e. we are choosing it for the sake of a beneficial consequence. but also that he views happiness as a beneficial consequence of virtue. We find a similar view in Aristotle’s discussion of the intellectual virtues of practical and philosophical wisdom (ĴȢȪȟșIJțȣ and IJȡĴȔį) in Book VI. Irwin (1985). (The following passage in X 4 seems to support Ross’s suggestion: . which is constitutive of the highest form of happiness (cf. .. but as health [produces health]. Urmson (1988). intrinsically valuable. i.ȡ՘İ’ ԭ ՙȗȔıțį Ȝįվ Ս ԼįijȢȪȣ ՍμȡȔȧȣ įԼijȔį ԚIJijվ ijȡ‫ ף‬ՙȗțįȔȟıțȟ— “.” if these virtues are choiceworthy for themselves. (1144a1-3) In the following lines.10 So these virtues are choiceworthy for themselves.

[we think of it] as the most choiceworthy of all goods. these goods. but it does not include virtue because virtue is a state (and not an activity) while happiness is an activity (and not a state). as the ‘inclusivists’ do. that happiness itself must include these goods? This does not strictly follow from what Aristotle says. 1097a25-b1). 402 (“happiness” #2).” But as we have seen above (n. it cannot be a consequence of virtue. His statement is clearly compatible with the claim that happiness presupposes. the relation between happiness and virtue is constitutive rather than ‘consequential’. The self-sufficient we set down as that which by itself makes life choiceworthy and lacking in nothing.9). and we think of happiness as this sort of thing.” The clear implication is that someone who has a happy life does not lack any (important) goods. and his classification of (i) happiness as an activity and (ii) virtue as a state. honor and friendship. are “goods in themselves. Irwin argues that since virtue. and further. Irwin (1985). according to the inclusive conception. etc. 304 (on 1097b3). but also for their own sakes. Aristotle implies in 1097a34-b5 that to choose virtue for the sake of happiness is to choose it for something that results from it. that since happiness consists in virtuous activity it presupposes the possession of virtue. The “self-sufficiency” of happiness is explained in the following passage in I 7. cf.12 However. But what should we say about the passages cited which seem to treat happiness as a consequence of virtue? It seems that the advocates of the inclusive conception must either regard them as unfortunate anomalies. not being countable as one good alongside others—if it were countable in this way it would clearly be more choiceworthy by the addition of the least of goods. Let us first consider the “selfsufficiency” passage. and if happiness cannot be made more choiceworthy by the addition of other goods. Aristotle states that “happiness by itself makes life choiceworthy and lacking in nothing. but does not include.270 DANIEL DEVEREUX the “most complete” good (I 7.” it seems clear that it must include various goods such as pleasure. If happiness includes virtue as a constituent. or argue that the passages can somehow be understood consistently with the inclusive conception. (1097b14-18) If happiness “makes life lacking in nothing. _________ 12 Cf. The following passages seem to support this supposition. Should we infer. . this must be because it already includes these goods. it must include more than they do. friendship. the texts cited in favor of the inclusive conception can also be understood differently. We might suppose. Aristotle’s characterization of happiness as the “most complete” good clearly has the same implication: if it is more complete than other goods. Aristotle’s distinction between states and activities. for instance. these components of happiness are not chosen only for their contribution to happiness. seem to rule out virtue being a component of happiness. as well as virtue. And as we shall see in a moment.

the possession of virtue is presupposed since activity “in accordance with virtue” can only be performed by someone with virtue. 20-23. then we must rather class happiness as an activity (ԚȟȒȢȗıțį).13 In the self-sufficiency passage Aristotle also makes the claim that happiness cannot be made more choiceworthy by the addition of other goods. there is room for doubt about that interpretation. as I have argued. which seems to imply that happiness includes these other goods. If these consequences are unsatisfactory. and “most complete” as translations of ijȒȝıțȡȟ. Kraut (1989). the usual rendering was “most final”. ijıȝıțȪijıȢȡȟ. In fact. is consistent with the supposition that happiness presupposes but does not include other goods such as pleasure. (I 8. We said that happiness is not a state (ԥȠțȣ) for if it were it could belong to someone who was asleep throughout life. since happiness includes virtue and virtue is a state. living the life of a plant. since this is what we have posited as the end of human endeavors. 1098b30-1099a3) . 235-6. Of course. as in the case of someone who is asleep or otherwise inactive.. and ijıȝıțȪijįijȡȟ in 1097a25-b6 unfortunately gives the reader the 13 14 15 . for activity in accordance with virtue belongs to this [viz. for this entails acting and acting well (ʍȢȑȠıț ȗոȢ ԚȠ ԐȟȑȗȜșȣ. i. But presumably it makes a great difference whether we take the highest good to be a ‘possession’ or a ‘use’. too. The recent shift to “most complete” seems to have been based on the view that Aristotle’s remarks about self-sufficiency commit him to an inclusive conception of happiness. Instead.14 If. Ȝįվ ı՞ ʍȢȑȠıț). this is not the only possible translation of Aristotle’s words. the traditional. but this is not possible for the [corresponding] activity.e. as we said before.what remains is to discuss in outline the nature of happiness. Our discussion will be more concise if we give a resumé of what was said before.15 To say that happiness is the “most final” of goods is to _________ Cf.. and given that virtue is a state. we should not say that happiness is virtue but rather that it is activity in accordance with virtue. 1097a15-b6. in earlier translations. and especially Ackrill (1980). he says that happiness is an activity and not a state. and virtue. For a [good] state may exist without achieving any good. See Hardie (1965). translation seems preferable. And finally we should note that while the statement that happiness is the “most complete” good does imply that happiness is more inclusive than other goods. (X 6. a state (ԥȠțȣ) or an activity (ԚȟȒȢȗıțį). it is only in the last 30 years or so that this has become the preferred translation of the Greek term ijıȝıțȪijįijȡȟ in the important passage at I 7. friendship. “more complete”.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 271 Our account is in harmony with those who say that happiness is virtue or a certain virtue. or to someone who suffered the greatest misfortunes. we would expect Aristotle to say that happiness is both a state and an activity—it includes both. more neutral. But this claim. The adoption of “complete”. 1176a31-b2) According to the inclusive conception. virtue].

1097a28-b6). It is also important to note that Aristotle. that is. including happiness. it is a good thing for it to be in the best possible condition. and that the goods that are pursued and _________ impression that this passage provides unambiguous evidence in favor of an inclusive conception of happiness—an impression which is not conveyed by the Greek. it is clear that he regards virtue as having value in itself. . 16 Cf. An objection to what we have said. that it might have. b33-34. may be discerned in the fact that their claim is not about all goods. Thus the notion of something’s having intrinsic value is not peculiar to the modern period. 197-311. they are of worthy of choice (įԽȢıijȑȣ) insofar as they are the excellences of the two parts of the rational element. it does not commit Aristotle to it.16 we can better understand what he is getting at when he contrasts virtue’s being choiceworthy for itself with its being choiceworthy for the sake of happiness. For discussion of Aristotle’s rationale for identifying happiness with virtuous activity. cf. and Devereux (1981). and while this claim may be compatible with an inclusive conception of happiness. In the light of Aristotle’s emphatic distinction between states and activities and his contention that virtue is a state and happiness an activity. Aristotle’s short answer is that it is valuable because it is the virtue or excellence of the soul. clearly implies that Plato held that certain things are intrinsically valuable. see Kraut (1989). I 10. as he says in the passage from Book VI quoted above. Since virtue is a state while happiness is an activity (i. Perhaps the thought lying behind this claim is that since the faculty of reason is our most valuable possession (cf. It is also worth noting that what Aristotle means when he says that virtue has value “in itself” or “for its own sake” is that it has value independent of any beneficial effects or consequences that it might have. even if circumstances prevent it from achieving anything good. he holds that virtue is intrinsically valuable. 1177a12-21). however.272 DANIEL DEVEREUX say that it is the only good that is always pursued as an end and never as a means to an end (I 7. in his critique of the Form of the Good in I 6. to say (i) that virtue is valuable for itself is to say that it is a state that has value apart from any consequences.e. even if practical wisdom (ĴȢȪȟșIJțȣ) and philosophical wisdom (IJȡĴȔį) produce no beneficial consequences at all. X 7. independent of its contribution to happiness. the activity which is the exercise of virtue). If we ask what it is about virtue as a state of the soul that makes it valuable in itself. But however we understand the basis for Aristotle’s claim. 1100b8-11: the determining factor for happiness is virtuous activity (ȜȫȢțįț İ’ ıԼIJվȟ įԽ Ȝįij’ ԐȢıijռȟ ԚȟȒȢȗıțįț ı՘İįțμȡȟȔįȣ). and to say (ii) that it is valuable for the sake of happiness is to say that this state is valuable insofar as it enables its possessor to engage in the sort of activity that is constitutive of happiness.

17 It seems clear that Aristotle understood Plato’s conception of something that is valuable for itself (or “for its own sake”) to be a good that is valuable just for itself.. Separating the things good in themselves from the useful. 43-44. let us consider whether the former are called good by reference to a single Idea.ȡՃȡȟ į՞ ijր ĴȢȡȟı‫ה‬ȟ Ȝįվ ijր ՍȢֻȟ). at the end of Book I. (1096b8-19) According to Aristotle. Plato and his followers distinguish a class of things “good in themselves” (ȜįȚ’ įՙijį) which may or may not be pursued for the sake of other things. 18 See. see White (1984). such as understanding. What goods would one call good in themselves? Wouldn’t they be those that are pursued even when isolated [μȡȟȡȫμıȟį] from others. ..” i. Socrates attempts to show that possession of justice guarantees a happy life. and certain pleasures and honors? For even if we pursue these also for the sake of other things. Aristotle’s choice of examples— “understanding. then. c2: . n. 393. apart from the various other things for the sake of which they might be pursued.e. and certain pleasures” (ijր ĴȢȡȟı‫ה‬ȟ Ȝįվ ՍȢֻȟ Ȝįվ ԭİȡȟįȔ ijțȟıȣ)—is pretty clearly a reference to the tripartite classification of goods at the beginning of Book II of the Republic. some good in themselves and others because of these. Clearly. e. In the final argument of Book I of the Republic. sight. and in a secondary sense.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 273 loved for themselves are called good by reference to a single Form. As we shall see.g. II. goods would be spoken of in two ways. Several premises of the argument are controversial and are only conceded by Thrasymachus because he is eager to be done with the discussion. but he does not mention that Aristotle is here reporting what he takes to be a Platonic distinction.18 Nevertheless.1. when considered just by themselves. These things are “good in themselves” in that they are desired and pursued “even when isolated from others. White acknowledges that the distinction made by Aristotle in this passage is similar to the ‘modern’ distinction between intrinsic and instrumental goods. apart from any beneficial consequences it might have. one would still place them among things good in themselves. Socrates points to this weakness when he criticizes himself for not taking the time to develop his arguments more carefully (354a12b3). Evidence for ‘Happiness as Consequence of Justice’ in Republic I We have seen that Aristotle views happiness as a consequence of virtue: virtue is understood as a state of the soul and happiness as an activity that flows from this state. sight. Gauthier et Jolif (1970) II.350d9-e4. Socrates views happiness as a consequence of jus_________ 17 See 357b4-c3 (esp. cf.. the argument is worth examining because it reveals the way in which Socrates understands the relationship between justice and happiness. while those which tend to produce or to preserve these somehow or to prevent their contraries are called so by reference to these.

And since being miserable is not ‘profitable’ while being happy is. The virtue of the eye is not its seeing well. but it enables something to bring about Y (e.274 DANIEL DEVEREUX tice in the same way that Aristotle views happiness as a consequence of virtue. the just person will be happy while the unjust person will live badly and be miserable (353e10-354a5). Hence it is justice that enables the soul to perform its functions well: to supervise and govern well. and lack of this virtue will cause it to perform its function badly (353b2-c7). b6). Analogously. We might call X in the latter case an “enabling condition” of Y. Therefore the soul must have a virtue which enables it to perform its functions well. There are four key elements or concepts involved in Socrates’ argument: (i) the thing that has a function—e. health enables one to perform vigorous physical activity: 357c1-3). deliberating. but we should bear in .” which is constitutive of happiness. “living well. 357b5-6. in fact. cf.19 Thus _________ 19 What exactly is meant by “consequence” in saying that happiness is a consequence of justice? For now. d1-2. to deliberate well. but also if X is not by itself a cause of Y. which is a certain characteristic or state of the soul. The eye’s seeing well is thus a consequence of its possessing its proper virtue. and if its virtue is lacking—or if the corresponding vice is present—it will perform its functions badly (353e1-5). (iii) the excellent performance of the function—seeing well. or what it can do better than anything else (352e2-3). For example. Since one who “lives well” is blessed and happy. (ii) the function itself— seeing. and the function of a pruning knife is to prune trees and bushes (it can prune trees and bushes better than anything else). the function of an eye is to see (nothing else can see). 335c1-4). justice. a certain state or condition of the eye. Socrates concludes that justice is more profitable than injustice (354a6-9).g. i. and to live well. and (iv) the virtue of the thing—that which enables the eye to see well. and living (353d3-9). let us say that Y is a consequence of X if it follows from or results from (ԐʍȡȖįȔȟıț) or comes to be from (ȗȔȗȟıijįț ԐʍȪ) X (cf. The argument begins with an account of the “function” (ԤȢȗȡȟ) of a thing: a thing’s “function” is what it alone can do. 358a2. he attributes several functions to the soul: supervising and governing.e. but that which enables it to see well.g. the eye. 350d4-5. c1-2. the soul’s activity of living well—its being happy—is a consequence of its virtue. physical fitness is a consequence of exercise: 357c5-d2). Y will be a consequence of X if X causes Y (e. Socrates notes that it was agreed earlier that justice is the virtue of the soul (353e7-9. The relation between justice and happiness in the argument at the end of Book I seems to exemplify the second way of Y being a consequence of X: justice is an enabling condition of the activity. For anything that has a function there is a particular virtue or excellence (ԐȢıijȓ) that enables it to perform its function well. Socrates then suggests that the soul is one of the things that has a function. This way of understanding “consequence” is admittedly somewhat vague.g. thus health is an enabling condition of vigorous physical activity.

i. and happiness is understood as an activity that results from that characteristic or state. a consequence of justice. he does not claim that justice. where Socrates suggests that Charmides look within his soul to see whether or not he possesses temperance. For instance.e. Cf. 20 Socrates argues that justice. Since Socrates views happiness as something that results from justice. Moreover. is a familiar theme in the Socratic dialogues. In an interesting reversal. However. . that just action is “more profitable” than unjust action because of the state of the soul. it seems clear that happiness is viewed as something that results from justice. and then asks what is the “power” (İȫȟįμțȣ) or capacity that is manifested in all these actions (192bc). it is clear that he does not regard justice as a constituent of happiness: he sees happiness as a consequence of justice. that it produces and preserves. Glaucon emphasizes that he wants Socrates to “leave aside the wages and conse_________ mind that Plato’s terminology is similarly vague. is obviously very similar to Aristotle’s.21 III. he contends in Books IV and IX. also Charmides 158e-159a. as Socrates claims at the beginning of Book II.20 This view of the kind of things that justice and happiness are. when we turn to Book II we immediately see problems for the ‘happiness as consequence of justice’ view. In the first place. justice.) For the identification of happiness with “doing well” or “acting well”—i. a state of the soul. and if. Gorgias 507c3-5. we get the interesting conclusion that justice has value independent of its contribution to happiness—the same view that we found in Aristotle. as we shall see. the psychic state. 174bc. is “more profitable” (ȝȤIJțijıȝȒIJijıȢȡȟ) than injustice because of the activity (the “living well”) that it enables one to enjoy. While he also argues in the later books that the just person has a happier life than the unjust person. and how they are related to each other. Socrates first points out that courage is manifested in many circumstances and types of action. 21 The idea that justice—or any virtue—should be understood as a state or condition of the soul. Crito 48b.e. our best guide is his terminology (Y “comes from” or “results from” X) and his examples (fitness is a consequence of exercise). is therefore “more profitable. 410-16. cf.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 275 justice (or virtue) is understood as an internal characteristic or state of the soul. if happiness is a consequence of justice. viz. in response to Laches’ suggestion that courage is standing firm in battle. cf. 173d. there seems to be no hint of this idea in Book I. 160de. the helpful discussion in White (1984). justice is valuable for its own sake. Problems for the First Interpretation (‘Happiness as Consequence of Justice’) The function argument at the end of Book I seems to give us a quick answer to the first question: since justice is a state of the soul that enables its possessor to perform the activities that are constitutive of happiness. with activity—see Charmides 171e-172a. Euthydemus 280b.” Perhaps the change is due to the introduction of the idea that justice is intrinsically valuable.

he must believe that by showing how justice yields happiness he is showing that it is valuable for itself.23 And thus we get the second interpretation: ‘justice as constituent of happiness’. He claims that his entire argument has focused exclusively on “justice itself. 63.e. For the view that they are identical. that the just person has a happier life than the unjust person). Socrates’ statement that one who is to be happy must love justice for itself as well as for its consequences seems to indicate that he does not regard happiness as a consequence of justice.e. of course. Glaucon’s assumption that showing that justice yields happiness is a way of showing that justice is valuable for its own sake makes perfectly good sense. again. But this seems to imply that loving justice for itself is at the same time loving it for the sake of happiness. when Glaucon asks Socrates in which class of goods he would put justice. he must be assuming that happiness is not a consequence of justice.22 Second. Reeve (1988). see Irwin (1995). but he also asks Socrates to show that the just person is happier than the unjust person. If he wants Socrates to show that justice is valuable for itself and to “leave aside” its consequences. This interpretation also. in loving justice for the sake of happiness one would not be loving it for itself but rather for one of its consequences. for justice as a constituent of happiness. and also that the just person is guaranteed a happier life than the unjust person. then he must regard justice as somehow identical with happiness. the consequences of justice (612a8-e1). But there is another way of dealing with the problems for the first inter_________ Cf. and also wants him to show that justice yields happiness. Now if Socrates holds that happiness is not a consequence of justice. On this view. i. Irwin (1977). 22 23 .” and has avoided any appeal to “the rewards and reputations” of justice. But since he has clearly argued that justice yields a happier life than injustice. makes good sense of the fact that Socrates claims in Book X that he has restricted himself to showing that justice is valuable for itself even though he has argued that justice yields happiness (i. 190-3. Socrates replies that it belongs in the second class and that it is a thing “that must be loved for itself as well as for its consequences by the one who is going to be happy” (358a13).276 DANIEL DEVEREUX quences” of justice. for if happiness were regarded as a consequence of justice. see Mabbott (1971). it seems that Socrates must not regard happiness as a consequence of justice. and so. 188. 24-33. Thus. or—more plausibly—as a constituent of it. A third problem is posed by a passage in Book X in which Socrates retrospectively describes his argument up to that point. and that showing the just person is happier is a way of showing that justice is valuable for itself. and show how it is valuable in itself (358b4-7).

JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 277 pretation. and thereby show that justice is valuable for itself. and that to show that justice yields happiness is to show that it is valuable for itself. and those it produces. and he links this to showing how justice is valuable for itself (358b4-7. and links this to showing how justice is valuable for itself. then it turns out. not just by itself. continuous argument designed to show that the just person is happier that the unjust. and of what is meant by the claim that justice is valuable for its own sake. This is the third interpretation listed at the beginning: the ‘happiness as direct effect of justice’ view. poses a further problem for the first interpretation. The two views are also in agreement about the overall structure of Socrates’ argument: in Books IIIX there is a single. According to this view. At the beginning of his speech.” what he must mean by “consequences” is the effects that justice produces in conjunction with other things such as reputation. Since Glaucon insists that Socrates “leave aside the consequences. the second interpretation takes the claim to be that justice is valuable apart from any and all consequences. If he also thinks that showing the greater happiness of the just life is a way of showing that justice is valuable for itself.” whereas the “consequences” of justice are the effects it produces in conjunction with other things. then he must be thinking of happiness as an effect that justice might produce in the soul just by itself. again. cf. there is no appeal to what are called “consequences” of justice. but neither is happiness a consequence of justice—at least as the term “consequence” is understood by Glaucon and Socrates. a way which does not involve the idea that justice is a constituent of happiness. but in conjunction with other things. In regard to the latter. If this is a correct account of how Socrates understands justice being valuable for its own sake. 366d5-e9. 367b2-6). The two interpretations differ in two main respects: in their understanding of the relationship between justice and happiness. justice is not a part or constituent of happiness. This suggests that there are two sorts of ‘effects’ that justice produces: those it produces “just by itself” within the soul. while the third takes it to be that justice is valuable for its direct effects on the soul. For the first interpretation understands “justice is valuable for itself” as the claim the . Happiness is an effect of justice “just by itself. Both the second and third interpretations hold that happiness is not regarded as a “consequence” of justice. Glaucon asks Socrates to show what sort of “power” justice has “just by itself” within the soul of its possessor. The fact that Glaucon asks Socrates to show what sort of “power” justice has within the soul. From beginning to end. and in particular the argument for the superior happiness of the just person is not an appeal to a “consequence” of justice. that he does not regard happiness as a consequence of justice.

i. and (ii) that he views happiness as a consequence of justice. (2) Socrates says that in loving justice for itself one is at the same time loving it for the sake of happiness. I will argue that there are other plausible ways of understanding the passages that give rise to these problems—ways which are not only compatible with. IV. (3) Socrates claims that his entire argument up to Book X has been focused on “justice itself.278 DANIEL DEVEREUX claim that justice is intrinsically valuable. apart from any effects it might have.” and has avoided any appeal to consequences of justice. Thus Books II-X pose at least four problems for the ‘happiness as consequence’ interpretation: (1) Glaucon asks Socrates to show that justice is valuable for itself and leave its consequences aside. and he also asks him to show that the just person has a happy life. but he has argued that the just person has a happier life.e. After dealing with the four problems for the ‘happiness as consequence of justice’ interpretation. this seems to indicate that he does not mean by “justice is valuable for its own sake” that it is intrinsically valuable. which implies that happiness is not a consequence of justice. I will briefly try to show that Socrates’ argument has two main parts: the first devoted to showing that justice is valuable for itself. so he cannot hold that happiness is a consequence of justice. so he must not regard happiness as a consequence of justice. but which support the claims (i) that Socrates regards justice as intrinsically valuable. . Glaucon’s Request: “Leave Aside the Wages and Consequences of Justice” Immediately after Socrates states his belief that justice is valuable for itself as well as for its consequences. Glaucon explains what he wants Socrates to show. (4) Glaucon asks Socrates to show the “power” that justice has within the soul. In the following sections. and links this to showing that justice is valuable for its own sake. and the second to showing the superior happiness of the just life.

And if the third interpretation is right. or just those consequences that depend on having a reputation for justice. And if he is asking him to leave aside only these consequences. set forth at the end of Book I. For in the lines immediately preceding his demand to leave aside the consequences. and (iii) those valued simply for their consequences (357b4-d2). Glaucon mentions “exercise” and “undergoing medical treatment” as examples of goods that are valued simply for their consequences (357c5-7). and if so. it may well be that the consequences he wants Socrates to leave aside are those cited by the many. it is possible that he thinks there are other consequences of justice that do not depend on reputation. Presumably the expressions “valued for themselves” and “valued for their consequences” have the same meaning as applied to the different types of goods.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 279 I want to hear what each of them [justice and injustice] is and the power each has just by itself within the soul. (358b47) Glaucon gives the impression that he wants Socrates to ignore the consequences of justice and concentrate on showing how it is valuable for itself. Glaucon simply means by “consequences” the benefits that come as a result of reputation. In his classification of goods he distinguishes between (i) those valued simply for themselves.e. But there is room for doubt as to whether Glaucon wants Socrates to leave aside all consequences of justice. It is clear that exercise and medical treatment . not just consequences that depend on reputation. This suggests that he is thinking of consequences that depend on reputation. he mentions that “the many” do not regard justice as valuable for itself. but only for the “rewards and good repute that come from opinion” (358a4-6). the ones that depend on reputation. If we consider Glaucon’s examples of goods that are valued for their consequences. Let us first examine the third interpretation’s view that what Glaucon means by the “consequences of justice” is simply the benefits that depend on reputation. and leave aside their wages and the things that come from them (ijȡւȣ İպ μțIJȚȡւȣ Ȝįվ ijո ȗțȗȟȪμıȟį Ԑʍ’ į՘ij‫׭‬ȟ). (ii) those valued both for themselves and for their consequences. that happiness is a consequence of justice. So it seems clear that he does not regard happiness as a consequence of justice. the wording of Glaucon’s demand—”leave aside their wages and the things that come from them”—certainly gives the impression that he is asking Socrates to leave aside consequences of whatever sort. On the other hand. But he also indicates later in his speech that he wants Socrates to show that the just person is happier than the unjust (360e1-362c8). and happiness may be one of these. it becomes clear that this cannot be all that he means. i. We therefore need to look carefully at both Glaucon’s demand and Adeimantus’ clarification of it in order to see whether they leave room for the view.

Foster (1937). 190-1. not Its Appearance” Interestingly enough. (362e1-4) Adeimantus goes on to point out that the poets and other authors. or does he mean any and all consequences? V. that Glaucon does not assume that the only valuable consequences of justice are those that depend on reputation—he does not rule out the possibility that there are other consequences directly produced by justice in the way that certain benefits are directly produced by exercise or medical treatment. depending on whether or not it has indirect beneficial effects. Kirwan (1965). Adeimantus’ Request: “Praise Justice Itself. we should also examine the arguments opposed to his. he contends. 387.24 If so. Listen further to what I shall say. 165-6. But these goods all depend on appearance in the sense that they will only come to the just person if he or she appears just to others. i. then the poets who sing the _________ 24 Cf. have commended justice by citing goods that come to the just person from human beings and from the gods (362e4363e4). then. then these too must count as “consequences of justice. the arguments that praise justice and condemn injustice. But it is still unclear what he means when he asks Socrates to leave aside the rewards and consequences of justice: does he mean just the consequences that depend on reputation. If there are consequences that are directly produced by justice. For in order to clarify what I think Glaucon was getting at. It is surely these direct consequences that Glaucon has in mind when he says that exercise and medical treatment are valued simply for their consequences. and not through something else like reputation. Adeimantus endorses Glaucon’s claim that it is possible for someone to be just but appear unjust. Glaucon thus leaves open the possibility that there are two sorts of consequences of justice: those that depend on reputation and those that are directly produced by justice itself. (We could turn the objection around by saying that since physical fitness is a direct effect of exercise.” It is clear. If this is true.e. as there are in the case of exercise and medical treatment. then the claim that justice is valued for its consequences cannot mean that it is valued simply for benefits that it produces through reputation.) . beginning with Homer and Hesiod.280 DANIEL DEVEREUX produce certain beneficial consequences simply through themselves. and if the expression “valued for its consequences” has the same meaning as applied to the different types of goods. and also for someone to be unjust and yet appear just (365a4-366b2). Glaucon has made a mistake in placing exercise in the third class of goods—it belongs in the first or second class. Irwin (1995). Adeimantus begins his speech by referring to an unclarity in Glaucon’s speech.

e. praising its appearance and not justice itself (363a1-2. Glaucon’s demand to “leave aside the rewards and consequences of justice” left it unclear whether he was urging Socrates to leave aside all consequences or only those that depend on reputation. benefits its possessors. as Glaucon urged” (367b5-6). hearing.” sums up his interpretation of Glaucon’s request. through itself. about justice: show that it. In asking Socrates to “praise justice itself” is Adeimantus asking him to show that it is valuable for itself? Or does he want him to show not only that it is valuable for itself but also for consequences that it produces “just by itself”? We have seen that Glaucon’s classification of goods indicates that he is open to the possibility that there are consequences produced by justice through itself in the way that certain benefits are directly produced by exercise or medical treatment.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 281 praises of justice are actually. he must leave aside all the goods cited by the poets. But the positive part is less clear. whether knowingly or not. The negative part of the injunction is clear enough: do not appeal to consequences that depend on reputation. and that injustice harms them. being healthy. Adeimantus claims that what Glaucon intended was the latter. Adeimantus’ injunction. . The goods cited by the poets are not consequences of justice itself. the effect of their praise on those who are perceptive and clever is to suggest that the appearance is more important than the reality (365a4-c2). (367c5-d5) Here again Adeimantus stresses the demand to leave aside the rewards that depend on reputation and show how justice “through itself” benefits its possessors. the consequences that depend on reputation (367b6-c5). You have agreed that justice is one of the greatest goods. understanding.g. leave it to others to praise the wages and reputations. understanding) are worth acquiring not only for _________ 25 Recall that just a few pages earlier in the ‘function argument’ Socrates claimed that happiness is just such a consequence of justice. and since there is only a contingent relation between having the reputation and actually being just. not its appearance. and other goods that are productive through their own nature (ȗȪȟțμį ij‫ ׇ‬įՙij‫׭‬ȟ ĴȫIJıț) and not through reputation. those worth acquiring for the sake of their consequences—and even more for themselves—such as seeing. that no appeal should be made to consequences that depend on reputation—”Set aside the reputations (ijոȣ İպ İȪȠįȣ). “praise justice itself. He points out that the other goods belonging to the second class (e. then. seeing. 367b2-c5). but of its reputation. Praise this. health. and that he wants Socrates to show how justice is valuable both for itself and for its direct consequences.25 In an important passage towards the end of Adeimantus’ speech it becomes clear that he also recognizes this possibility. i. If Socrates wants to praise justice itself and not its appearance.

while “being valuable for consequences” is understood as being productive of benefits through reputation. he cannot.” and these benefits are obtained whether or not one appears healthy or wise. The passage therefore seems to support the view that “being valuable for itself” is understood as being productive of benefits through its own nature.26 The consequences for which these goods are con_________ 26 Aren’t there certain benefits derived from appearing to be healthy or wise—benefits that could not be obtained without appearing healthy or wise? Perhaps Adeimantus means that there are certain generally recognized benefits which health and understanding produce “through their own nature. However. hold that their being valuable for their consequences consists in their being productive of benefits through reputation. it might be valuable because of beneficial consequences that it produces through its own nature. it might be valuable for consequences that depend on reputation. Further. It might be objected that this passage actually implies that something’s being “valuable for itself” is equivalent to its being productive of benefits through its own nature.” He wants Socrates to show that justice is similar to these other goods in being valuable in both of these ways. this way of understanding Adeimantus’ request is not free of difficulties. then how does he understand their being valuable for their consequences? He claims that they produce benefits through themselves and not through reputation. Adeimantus points out that they are productive through their own nature and not through reputation—as if to explain how they are valuable for their own sake. However. What Socrates . in other words. and third. it might be valuable for itself. then. In the case of justice. apart from any consequences. it seems that the generally recognized benefits cited by its advocates cannot be obtained without appearing just.282 DANIEL DEVEREUX their own sake but also for the sake of consequences which they produce “through their own nature and not through reputation. If he holds that these goods are valuable for their own sake as well as for their consequences. it becomes unclear what Adeimantus could mean by saying that goods like health and understanding are worth acquiring for their consequences. he seems to leave no room for the notion that justice is valuable apart from all consequences. by contrast. and if he identifies their being valuable for their own sake with their being productive of benefits through their own nature. one might point to the fact that Adeimantus sums up his request by asking Socrates to show that justice through itself benefits its possessors. second. which seems to indicate that showing how justice is valuable for itself is a matter of showing what it produces. For immediately after mentioning that health and understanding are even more valuable for their own sake than for their consequences. Adeimantus thus envisions three ways in which justice might be valuable: first. if this is so.

Adeimantus recalls Socrates’ classification of justice as a good that is valuable for its own sake as well as for its consequences. In the passage we have been discussing. it seems clear that we are benefited through its possession. either through itself or through reputation. then. not through reputation. and it is better for us to have them insofar as we are better through having them—they are perfections of our nature. This passage thus implies a distinction between (i) something’s being valuable for itself. A good that is “worth acquiring” for its own sake is presumably a good we are better off having than not having. If they are worthy of choice. whether or not one appears just. and for the benefits it produces through itself. is that there are other benefits one obtains from being just. or (ii) for what they produce. Kirwan.” even if they “produce nothing” (ıԼ μռ ʍȡțȡ‫ף‬IJț μșİպȟ). it is true that Adeimantus’ request to be shown how justice through itself “benefits” (ՌȟȔȟșIJțȟ) its possessor suggests that his focus is exclusively on the beneficial consequences produced by justice. So even if these virtues “produce nothing. and (ii) its being valuable for benefits which it produces through itself. In regard to the second point. Aristotle’s claim in Nicomachean Ethics VI 12 that practical and philosophical wisdom are worthy of choice “just by themselves. since they are the virtues of the two rational parts of the soul (1144a1-3).28 So Adeimantus’ request that Socrates show how justice through itself benefits its possessor is compatible with the view that he wants him to show that justice is valuable both for itself. apart from any consequences. they are valuable for their own sake but also for consequences which they produce directly through their _________ needs to show. Any good that is worth acquiring for its own sake can thus be described as “beneficial” insofar as one is better off as a result of possessing it. apart from any consequences. (1965). it may still be worth acquiring because of the kind of thing that it is.27 And if possessing such a good makes us better off. even if such a good produces nothing of value. then it is better to have them than not to have them. Goods may be “beneficial” by being worthy of choice (i) just for themselves (even if they produce nothing). And Adeimantus must hold that something’s being valuable for its own sake is its being valuable apart from any benefits that it produces.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 283 sidered to be worth acquiring can only be the benefits that they produce through their own nature: goods such as health and understanding are valuable for their consequences insofar as they produce certain benefits through their own nature. 28 Cf.” they may benefit us since it is better for us to have them than not have them. . He points out that the other goods belonging to this class have valuable consequences which they produce through their own nature and not through reputation. But there is an alternative way of understanding the request which leaves open the possibility that he also wants Socrates to show that justice is valuable for itself even if it produces nothing. 27 Cf. 169-70. or (iii) both for themselves and for what they produce.

To praise “justice itself” would involve showing that it is valuable (i) for its own sake.284 DANIEL DEVEREUX own nature.” but he also asks him to show that the just person has a happy life. apart from any consequences. show that the just person has a happier life than the unjust person. if any. and (iii) it might be valuable for consequences which it produces through reputation. apart from any benefits that it produces.” To praise the appearance of justice is to commend it for the consequences which it produces through reputation. or (ii) for consequences which it produces through itself. that justice produces through its own nature and not through reputation. there is no implication that showing that justice yields happiness is a way of showing that it is valuable for it- . Adeimantus’ speech. He also makes it clear that they want Socrates to show two things: (1) what justice is and how it is valuable for itself. and second. Understood in this way. Recall that the first problem for the ‘happiness as consequence’ view is that Glaucon asks Socrates to show that justice is valuable for itself and to “leave its consequences aside. Since Socrates placed justice among goods that are valuable in both of these ways. or (iii) for both. is intended to clarify Glaucon’s demand. But we noted that it was unclear whether Glaucon wanted Socrates to leave aside any and all consequences. show what justice is and that it is valuable for itself. not its appearance.” Praising the appearance of justice would be to show the benefits one gets from having a reputation for justice. We also saw that what Adeimantus means by “praising justice itself” is twofold: it means showing that it is valuable for itself. it thus seems that he cannot regard happiness as a consequence of justice. it is these benefits that Glaucon and Adeimantus want Socrates to leave aside. and he emphasizes that what they want Socrates to do is “to praise justice itself. (ii) it might be valuable for consequences which it produces through itself. but do not appeal to any desirable consequences that depend on reputation. (2) what are the beneficial consequences. as he indicates. As we noted before. Adeimantus wants him to show that it is similar to these goods in being valuable for its own sake as well as for consequences that it produces through its own nature. Adeimantus asks Socrates to “praise justice itself. So Glaucon’s request should be understood as having two parts: first. or just the consequences that depend on having a reputation for justice. My response to the first problem is now complete. and not through reputation—or showing that it is valuable in both of these ways. he recognizes three ways in which justice might be valuable to its possessor: (i) it might be valuable for its own sake. or showing that it is valuable for benefits that it produces through its own nature. Adeimantus removes the unclarity in Glaucon’s request by indicating that what they want Socrates to “leave aside” are the rewards and benefits that come from having a reputation for justice. and not its appearance.

. rather. 498c2-4. he says that one who is going to be happy (ij‫ ׮‬μȒȝȝȡȟijț μįȜįȢȔ‫ ׫‬ԤIJıIJȚįț) must love justice for itself as well as for its consequences. for showing that justice yields happiness may be understood as showing that it has valuable consequences that do not depend on reputation. Irwin claims that this statement implies that “in choosing justice for the sake of happiness we also choose it for itself” (190).JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 285 self.30 This statement is not inconsistent with the view that happiness is a consequence of justice. that justice is now viewed as a part or constituent of happiness. not happiness (506c7-d4). 190-1. Now if happiness were regarded as a consequence of justice.” see. Let us consider more carefully Socrates’ actual statement: “. Socrates’ Statement: “Justice Must be Loved for Itself by One Who is Going to be Happy” The second problem for the view that happiness is a consequence of justice is that when Socrates assigns justice to the second class of goods. For other occurrences of the expression “one who is going to be happy. For we can understand Socrates to be claiming that happiness is a consequence of justice which can only be obtained if one loves justice for itself. 427d5-6. and not simply for its consequences. in loving justice for the sake of happiness one would not be loving it for itself but rather for one of its consequences.. first. that Socrates does not say that we choose or love justice for the sake of happiness. it seems that he cannot regard happiness as a consequence of justice. 29 30 .g.one who is going to be happy must love [justice] both for itself as well as for its consequences” (358a1-3). Thus. VI. Gorgias 507d5-6. Socrates does not seem to speak (as Aristotle does) of pursuing justice or virtue for the sake of happiness. he says that “the good is the end of all actions. This argument is put forward by Terence Irwin in Plato’s Ethics. however.” and that everything should be done for its sake (499e7-500a1). 419a9-10.” he seems to be saying that if one loves justice for itself one is at the same time loving it for the sake of happiness.29 Irwin recognizes that in the ‘function argument’ at the end of Book I happiness is viewed as a consequence of justice. cf. given Socrates’ statement that one who is to be happy must love justice for itself as well as for its consequences. but he thinks that there is an important shift in Book II: he argues. In the Gorgias. Euthydemus 280d4-6. and says that it “must be loved for itself as well as for its consequences by one who is going to be happy. It is important to note. The rationale for such a claim would be. that in order to be happy one _________ See Irwin (1995). on the basis of Socrates’ statement about loving justice for itself as well as for its consequences. e.. but his later specification of the good identifies it with virtue.

Cross and Woozley (1964). 66: White (1984).33 It is worth taking a careful look at this passage: Haven’t we answered the other charges [against justice] in our argument. . 614a1-2]. seems to say that he has limited himself to showing how justice is valuable for itself. 62. for he certainly has argued (in Books VIII-IX) that the just person has a happier life than the unjust person. Thus there is a perfectly plausible way of understanding Socrates’ statement that is consistent with happiness being a consequence of justice: we do not need to suppose that Socrates significantly revises his understanding of the relationship between happiness and justice without giving us any indication that he is doing so.g. cf. nor does he speak of happiness as a whole made up of parts.. 401. e. we restore the various sorts of wages which justice and the rest of virtue provide for the soul from human beings and gods. looking back on his entire argument. n. Reeve (1988). as you said Homer and Hesiod did? And haven’t we found that justice itself is the best thing for the soul itself. White (1984). 25. Since Socrates believes that justice is valuable for itself. both while a person is alive and after death? None whatever. in order to be just one must love justice for itself and not simply for its consequences.32 If this is right.20. Socrates’ Retrospective Comments on his Argument The third problem for the ‘happiness as consequence of justice’ view is the passage in Book X in which Socrates. 361b8-c3). See. 400. thus implying that he has not appealed to any beneficial consequences of justice. he presumably also believes that a just person will love justice for itself (cf.286 DANIEL DEVEREUX must be just. That’s absolutely true.31 VII. it would indicate that he does not regard happiness as a consequence of justice. and second. if in addition to those [goods provided by justice itself. and haven’t we refrained from invoking the ‘wages’ and reputations of justice. Then can there now be any objection. even if it should have the ring of Gyges or the cap of Hades too? We have. 33 This passage would also seem to support the view that justice is a constituent of happiness. if we assume that something’s being “valuable for itself” is its being valuable apart from any consequences. Then will you give me back what you borrowed during the argument? _________ 31 32 Cf. and that the soul should do what is just. Glaucon. It is also noteworthy that nowhere in the Republic does Socrates speak of justice as a constituent of happiness.

which they [gods and humans] give to those who possess it. Don’t you remember that? It would be unjust not to. Socrates’ contrast here in Book X is parallel to Adeimantus’ contrast between “praising justice itself” and “praising its appearance. through being just. and also that it is no deceiver of those who truly possess it. and the contrast between justice itself and its “wages” and “rewards” is repeated in the passage and in its sequel (see 613e6-614a3).” Praising the appearance of justice is done by appealing to the goods that come to a just person only if that person appears just to others.34 First of all. The connection of course is that the just person will receive rewards from others for being just only if he seems just to them. Socrates’ claim is that his argument focused only on goods that come from justice itself.” and has not appealed to any of the “wages and reputations” (ȡ՘ ijȡւȣ μțIJȚȡւȣ ȡ՘İպ ijոȣ İȪȠįȣ) of justice. However. I demand back on behalf of justice the reputation it has among gods and humans (and we agree about its appearing such). or goods “provided by justice itself” (614a2-3). even if it’s impossible for these things to escape the notice of gods and men. and (ii) as goods that are acquired through “seeming to be just” (612d6-9). 348-9. These goods that come “from gods and men” are contrasted with goods that come from being. Annas (1981). Well. it becomes clear in the course of the passage that the “wages and rewards” which he refers to are those that depend on reputation or seeming to be just. for you demanded that. and this is how most interpreters have understood the passage. 613e6614a3a). (612a8-e1) Socrates begins with the claim that up to this point his argument has focused on “justice itself. obtained through appearing just. Your demand is just. so that it may also recover the prizes. since they’ve now been judged. . So it looks as if Socrates is saying that his argument to this point has been limited to showing how justice is valuable for itself. this should still be granted for the sake of the argument. the contrast Socrates is invoking is not between showing how justice is valuable for itself and showing how it is valuable for its consequences. in order that justice itself could be judged in relation to injustice itself. are already clear. cf.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 287 What do you mean? I granted to you that the just man should appear unjust and the unjust just. just (612d8-9). these are goods that come _________ 34 Cf. He speaks of them both (i) as goods which justice “procures for the soul from gods and men” (612b7-c3. as opposed to appearing. goods that come from being just rather than from seeming to be just. for the goods which it gives. then.

apart from any consequences it might yield. and avoided any appeal to consequences of justice. consequences that are produced directly by justice itself. This would be one way of showing how justice itself is valuable. (358b4-7) Glaucon’s reference to the “power” that justice has “just by itself within the soul” seems to indicate that he wants Socrates to show what justice does to the soul. Adeimantus also asks Socrates to show what “justice does” within the soul of its possessor at one point in his speech. it is not clear that this is how he understands something’s being valuable for itself. . and leave aside their wages and consequences (ijȡւȣ İպ μțIJȚȡւȣ Ȝįվ ijո ȗțȗȟȪμıȟį Ԑʍ’ į՘ij‫׭‬ȟ). the argument for the just person having a happier life is meant to satisfy the demand to show how justice is valuable for itself. And he contrasts showing this with appealing to the “wages and consequences” of justice. Another way would be to show that justice is valuable for itself.e. i. if we look again at Glaucon’s original request.e. And it has been suggested that Socrates satisfies this demand by showing how justice “just by itself” yields happiness. is a matter of showing that it is valuable for itself or that there are valuable consequences produced by justice itself—not dependent on reputation. Socrates does not claim that he has restricted himself to showing that justice is valuable for itself. Thus it seems that Glaucon wants Socrates to show how justice is valuable for itself by demonstrating the effects which it causes within the soul of the just person. i.” on the other hand. I want to hear what each of them [justice and injustice] is and the power each has just by itself within the soul. i. Glaucon’s Request: “Show What Justice Does to the Soul of its Possessor” The final problem that we need to address is: what exactly do the interlocutors mean when they speak of justice as something valuable for its own sake? I argued earlier that Adeimantus understands something’s being valuable for itself as its being valuable apart from any consequences it might have. He claims that he has focused on showing how justice itself is valuable and has avoided any appeal to reputation-dependent consequences. However. VIII.e. And therefore his argument that the just person has a happier (and more pleasant) life may be understood as showing how justice is valuable for its consequences.. what effects it causes or brings about within the soul. “Praising justice itself.288 DANIEL DEVEREUX either from other people or from the gods.

In this passage at least. Irwin (1995). the first part of the claim is implied by Socrates’ assumption that a soul that possesses its particular virtue will be a good soul (353d11-e5). not one has yet praised justice or blamed injustice except by appeal to the good repute.” 35 36 .36 Aristotle claims that it is a general property of the virtue of a thing that it makes that thing good. Kirwan (1965). the honors. 131a37-b4.37 In claiming that the virtue of X makes X a good specimen of its kind.g. cf. Topics V 3.. e. from the heroes of old whose speeches survive.. Nicomachean Ethics II 6. i. 1106a15-24. 367b2-6) Here again what justice does within the soul is contrasted with its rewards and consequences. Aristotle does not _________ See Mabbott (1971). These passages appear to indicate that both Glaucon and Adeimantus understand something’s being valuable for itself as its being productive through itself of certain consequences or effects. then the virtue of a human being will be the state (ԣȠțȣ) which makes a human being good and insures that the work of a human being is done well. It should be said then that every virtue ‘accomplishes’ (Ԑʍȡijıȝı‫ )ה‬the good condition of that of which it is the virtue and makes the work (ԤȢȗȡȟ) of that thing be done well. Adeimantus also seems to imply that showing how justice is valuable for itself is a matter of showing the power that it has to produce certain effects within the soul of its possessor. as. 172-3. (366d7-e9. a good specimen of its kind.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 289 Socrates. and the rewards that come from them. Gorgias 506d1-4: “[Our] good is that through the possession of which we are good.e. and also makes its work be done well. the virtue of the eye makes (ʍȡțı‫ )ה‬both the eye and its work good.35 For we can speak of X “making” something F where the relationship between X and F is not causal but rather formal or logical.. where it is suggested that “that which makes (ʍȡțı‫ )ה‬its possessor good” is a proprium (Հİțȡȟ) of virtue. If this holds true in every case. 191..whereby the one [injustice] is the greatest evil that the soul can have in it.g. The second part of this claim is familiar from Socrates’ argument at the end of Republic I: he says that for anything that has a work or function (ԤȢȗȡȟ) there is a particular virtue or excellence (ԐȢıijȓ) that enables it to perform its work well (353b14-c7). to the men of the present day. either in poetry or prose. But we—and everything that can be said to be good—are good through the possession of a particular excellence or virtue (ԐȢıijȓ). No one has yet adequately explained. of all of you who have claimed to praise justice. and justice the greatest good. 60. exercise produces increased strength and endurance in the body.. cf. for it is through the virtue of the eye that we see well. For example. 37 Cf. . what each does of its own power within the soul of its possessor. consider the following remark by Aristotle in his discussion of virtue. e. Some interpreters have pointed out that the language used by Glaucon and Adeimantus does not necessarily imply that they are thinking of justice as producing certain effects that we would call causal. Moreover.

In order to determine how Socrates understands Glaucon’s request. Glaucon says that he wants Socrates to show both what justice is. 191. And surely if we had to decide which of the four is chiefly responsible for making the city good by its presence. Shall we claim it. we should look to see where. 171-2. (443b4-6) What Socrates has in mind is more fully spelled out in his earlier discussion of justice in the city..g. it would be difficult to decide whether it was the agreement in belief between rulers and ruled. .290 DANIEL DEVEREUX mean that there is (what we would consider) a causal relation between X’s virtue and its being good. In making his request. Well. Glaucon agrees that Socrates has satisfied the first part of his request. The relation he seems to have in mind is explanatory but not causal: we explain X’s being good by pointing to its possession of a particular virtue and specifying what that virtue is. we might understand the relationship between justice and “what it does” in the soul (its “effect”) as constitutive rather than causal. I do not think that happiness is the constitutive effect of justice that Socrates eventually argues for.38 I agree that we should understand Glaucon’s reference to “what justice does” constitutively. In the concluding section of Book IV. and what justice is in each. Irwin (1995). in the passage leading up to this conclusion. Socrates refers to the “power” of justice. (444a3-7) Interestingly enough. They argue that Socrates views happiness as a constitutive effect of justice since he believes that part of what it is to be happy is to be just. if we should claim to have discovered the just man and the just city. e. We might say that X’s being good is a constitutive effect of its possessing its proper virtue: its being good consists in its possessing its proper virtue. then. however. Those who advocate this way of understanding “what justice does” in the soul see a connection between this part of Glaucon’s request and Socrates’ later argument that justice makes the soul happy. Kirwan (1965). he attempts to show the effect that justice has on the soul of its possessor. I take it that we would not seem to be saying something untrue. In a similar way. or the preservation _________ 38 See. I am not. and what power it has by itself within the soul. then? We shall. if at all. Certainly not. Are you still looking for justice to be something different from this power which produces such men and such cities? No.

ruler. temperate. he is using “makes” in a constitutive rather than causal sense. 353e7-9). Since the city’s being good amounts to its being just. How could it not be difficult? In its contribution to the excellence (ԐȢıijȓ) of the city. effect of justice. then. ruled) does his or her own work and not someone else’s. It does indeed. woman. 427e6-12).. One might see this and the other passages quoted from Book IV as tying up a loose end from Book I: viz.41 _________ 39 Notice that at 444c5-e2 Socrates first suggests that what health is in the body justice is in the soul. he clearly does not mean that the goodness of an individual or city is a causal effect of justice (as. and what power it has. not a causal. or the guardians’ wisdom inherent in the rulers. in the soul. and then says that virtue is a kind of health and good condition of the soul. and its courage. just by itself.39 Socrates is making the same sort of point that Aristotle makes when he says that virtue “makes” its possessor good.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 291 among the warriors of the belief. 41 Even though Socrates’ conclusion that it is justice (more than anything else) that makes an individual good is not to be understood causally. Socrates speaks of the power of just and unjust action. The argument is that the goodness or excellence of an individual consists chiefly in each of the three parts of the soul doing its own work.” there are no other passages in the Republic that speak of the “power” of justice. and courageous (cf. for the goodness of an individual or city consists in its possession of justice and the other virtues. It seems clear that these passages in Book IV are meant to address Glaucon’s demand to show “what justice is. e. but not of the power of justice as a state of the soul.. and this state of the soul is justice. slave. wise.g. that each person (child. it is still a claim with some bite. the unsupported claim that justice is not only a virtue (cf. about what is and is not to be feared. and thereby the individual human being good. And wouldn’t you call that which rivals these in its contribution to the city’s excellence justice? Certainly. (433c4-e2) Socrates speaks of justice in the city as having a certain power. justice in the individual is chiefly responsible for making the soul good. or this which most of all makes it [the city] good. it seems that this power of each doing his own work rivals the city’s wisdom. 354c1-2) but the virtue of the soul (335c1-5. and characterizes it as that which chiefly makes it good.40 When Socrates says that the power of justice is to make its possessor good. its temperance. viz. 40 At 588b6-8. increased strength is a causal effect of exercise). When Socrates says that justice makes its possessor good. freeman.. he is rejecting Thrasymachus’ claim that it is “complete” injustice rather than justice that . craftsman. In a similar way. its goodness must be a constitutive.

IX.e.” and asks Socrates to forgo the latter and concentrate on the former. i. he is here providing some support for the claim in Book II that health and justice are valuable for their own sake. After the long discussion of justice and the other virtues in the city and the soul. As we have seen. We might express more clearly what Glaucon is after with the question: What happens to the soul when one acquires justice.292 DANIEL DEVEREUX We began this section by noting that Glaucon distinguishes between showing the power that justice has in the soul and showing how it is valuable for “its wages and consequences. I will now try to show that Socrates regards this part of his argument as a demonstration of how justice is valuable for itself. justice is “a certain health of the soul”). Glaucon’s agreement indicates that he is satisfied that his original demand to be shown _________ makes men good (and wise. 348d1-e4. And if it is agreed that the virtue of a thing is that which makes it good. In order to see this. he claims that justice is a condition of the soul analogous to health in the body (in fact. But there are two reasons for thinking that Socrates takes himself to have shown this at the end of Book IV. since at that point we have a fuller understanding of what is involved in the rational part of the soul “doing its own work. 349d3-4). the effects in question are constitutive rather than causal. and how does this make it clear that justice is valuable simply for itself? We’ve noticed that at the end of Book IV Socrates takes himself to have given a satisfactory account of what justice is. in other words. he says at 444d13-e1 that. 42 We have a more complete account by the end of Book VII. cf. qua virtue. First. let us look briefly at the relevant parts of the passage. 350c4-d8). This will support our claim that what is meant by justice’s being valuable for its own sake is its being intrinsically valuable. a good specimen of its kind (cf. and since it was agreed that health is valuable for itself it would follow that justice is valuable in the same way. Socrates asks Glaucon if it is fair to say that they have discovered the nature of justice and injustice (444a4-6 and b1-c3). Socrates’ Analogy between Justice and Health (444a4-445a4) Socrates does not of course say at the end of Book IV that he has shown that justice is valuable for itself. he does not say this at any point in his argument in the Republic. He evidently wants Socrates to show how justice is valuable for itself by showing what effects it has on the soul of the just person. Socrates points to intrinsic features of justice and health which are plausibly viewed as reasons for taking them to have value in themselves.” . in fact. then Socrates is also rejecting Thrasymachus’ claim that justice is not a virtue. Second.42 and what it “does” to the soul of the just person.

].443e2-444a2). and the nature of these states of the soul. He evidently believes that they have reached a point at which they can conclude that acting justly and being just is more profitable than acting _________ 43 Cf. it is obvious that it is more profitable to act justly and be just. 44 A ԥȠțȣ: 443e6. 358b4-5). cf. must then be a kind of health and beauty and good condition of the soul. 592a3. and that just and unjust action are productive of the corresponding states. it is also clear what it is to act justly and unjustly: just and unjust actions are to the soul what healthful and diseaseful things are to the body—just as healthful things produce health and diseaseful things disease. in the light of their findings the “question is ridiculous” (445a5-6).44 and it is defined by its relationship to that state: just actions are those that “produce” or “preserve” the state of the soul that has been identified as justice (444c8-d11. cf. Republic 444c8). the similar point made in Crito 47c8-48a4 (at 47d8-9. and beautiful or noble pursuits (Ȝįȝո Ԛʍțijșİıȫμįijį) lead to virtue. Socrates then points out that since it is now clear what justice and injustice are. etc. . ugly or base pursuits to vice (444d13-e5)." Socrates infers that justice. it seems. Socrates seems to imply that they are now in a position to answer it. ijȡ‫ ף‬ՙȗțıțȟȡ‫ ף‬and ijȡ‫ף‬ ȟȡIJ‫׭‬İȡȤȣ—should be translated as “the healthful” and “the diseaseful” rather than as “health” and “disease” [Grube. And disease and injustice will be conditions in which the parts are related "contrary to nature.” so just actions establish the parts of the soul in a relationship of ruling and being ruled that is in accordance with nature (444d3-11). 443e4-6). to inquire whether it is more profitable to act justly and engage in noble pursuits (Ȝįȝո Ԛʍțijșİıȫμįijį) and to be just whether one is known to be so or not. cf. And just as healthful actions produce health by establishing the body’s parts in a relationship of “ruling and being ruled in accordance with nature. given that justice and injustice are states of the sort described. Socrates agrees that it is ridiculous (445b5). 618d1. Glaucon’s response is that. Fowler. and virtue in general. if only provisionally. Socrates poses the following question: It now remains for us. while vice will be disease and ugliness and weakness.43 Just action is thus distinguished from justice understood as a state or condition of the soul. or to act unjustly and be unjust provided one doesn’t pay the penalty and become better as a result of punishment. After making these points about the nature of just and unjust action. their relationship to justice and injustice. (444e7-445a4) By raising this question at this point. but says that they must go further in order to see “as clearly as possible that these things are true” (445b5-7). so just actions produce justice and unjust actions injustice (444c1-d1. as he puts it.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 293 what justice and injustice are has been met (cf. 591b4. etc.

n. 168-70. about the relative value of the states produced by these actions. he is asking about their causal consequences. But what is it about justice that makes it good and desirable? It seems clear that the features mentioned in the preceding lines (444d3-e5) are intended to provide an answer. for at the beginning of Book II Glaucon _________ 45 White argues that Socrates does not reach even a provisional conclusion at the end of Book IV. as we have seen. he is in effect asking whether the just person is happier”.294 DANIEL DEVEREUX unjustly and being unjust. but this does not seem to be what Socrates is asking Glaucon to consider in giving his answer. 34-41. given what has been said about these states. and he has just characterized such actions as those that produce the states of justice and injustice in the soul. 294. that Socrates’ focus is on just and unjust actions. as Kraut points out ([1992]. but he also believes that they can and should provide a stronger basis for this conclusion. see White (1986). Glaucon and Socrates clearly agree that justice is more profitable than injustice (i. is it more profitable to act unjustly and be unjust or to act justly and be just?’ (445a1-3) The answer to this question might depend on whether the just person is happier. so justice is good and desirable and injustice the opposite. i.45 In saying that just actions are those that produce the state or condition of justice in the soul. see Annas (1981). it should be clear which sort of action is more ‘profitable’. The argument in Book IV is adequate to support its conclusion. cf. Thus.46 He believes that. n.7. and they must believe that they have some basis for this conclusion—which indeed they do. Justice is (i) a state of the soul in which its parts are related in accordance with nature (with regard to ruling and being ruled).9]). . 46 Kraut claims that when “Plato asks at 444e7-445a4 whether justice is more profitable (lusitelei) than injustice. As we shall see. one way in which Books VIII-IX provide a stronger basis is by giving a clearer.47 The claim that justice is a kind of health of the soul is particularly important. However. Socrates is clearly viewing justice as a causal consequence of just action (just as health is a causal consequence of healthful things). but it is strengthened and deepened by parts of the arguments in Books VIII-IX. ‘good-making’. see Bobonich (2002). 332. And when he asks whether just actions are more profitable than unjust actions. and therefore acting justly is more ‘profitable’ than acting unjustly. including happiness. Just as health is a good and desirable state and disease the opposite. 161-2. i. desirable state. which state is preferable or more desirable. see Kraut (1992).e.e.e. 315. (iii) it is also a kind of beauty and good condition of the soul. 47 I thus agree with Annas that the argument in Books II-IV is aimed at showing how justice is “valuable for its own sake” in the sense that it has value which is not derived from any beneficial consequences. and that just and unjust actions are actions that produce these states. just action is more profitable than unjust). more detailed description of what injustice is like and what it “does” to the soul of its possessor. Notice. Simply by virtue of having these characteristics—leaving aside any beneficial consequences it might have—justice is seen to be a valuable. in the context. features in Plato. 314. For a discussion of intrinsic. however. (ii) it is a kind of health of the soul. Socrates’ question is naturally understood as: ‘Given that justice and injustice are psychic states of the sort we have just described.

for as we shall see. If it is now agreed that justice is a kind of health. 367c1-5. understood as just action. cf. engage in noble pursuits. 49 Socrates makes a similar point in the Gorgias when he explains why it is worse to commit than to suffer injustice it by pointing to the effects of unjust action on the soul of the agent (474c4-479e9. considering the state just by itself. the same pattern of argument—showing the greater ‘profitability’ of just action by focusing on the effects of just and unjust action on the soul—reappears in the final section of Book IX. and be just. is valuable for its own sake.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 295 mentioned health as a good that is valuable for itself as well as for its consequences.” or it might refer to the possession of justice in the soul. pp. But Socrates might also be asking whether. they take up Thrasymachus’ claim that injustice is “more profitable” than justice. In other words. then it too must be a good that is valuable for itself. but Socrates does not cite any beneficial consequences of possessing this state. Crito 47c5-48a4). 50 See above. the final section of Book IX (588b-592b) is a reprise and elaboration of the argument at the end of Book IV. apart from any beneficial consequences that it may produce. one is better off possessing it than not possessing it (see above. justice must have value in itself. The argument at the end of Book IV actually meets two challenges posed by Glaucon and Adeimantus. the question would be puzzling in that nothing has been said so far about goods produced by this state. If it is understood in the second way. just action is more profitable. 364a5-6. and the question there is clearly about action: whether acting justly is more profitable than acting unjustly (see especially 588b1-589b7). .” “Being just” might be understood as a variant for “acting justly. And since nothing has been said about valuable effects produced by this state. and at the same time demonstrates that justice. As we will see. But it seems more likely that Socrates is using “being just” (ıՂȟįț İȔȜįțȡȟ. cf.20. it might seem that Socrates is asking whether justice.50 _________ 48 At 444e7-445a4. n.1415). in this case. and it is clear that they mean that unjust action is more profitable (360c8-d2. There is no mention in this passage of any goods produced by justice: just action is good insofar as it produces the state of the soul which is identified as justice.49 Thus the argument meets the challenge to show that justice. as a state of the soul. 348b9-c1). the value in question must reside in the nature of justice itself. is more profitable than injustice. 445a2) as a variant for acting justly. The argument at the end of Book IV counters this claim by drawing a connection between just and unjust action and the effects of such action on the soul of the agent: since just action produces a condition or state analogous to health while unjust action produces the opposite effect. understood as a state of the soul. In their speeches. 344c6-8. 48 Justice must have value since it is agreed that the actions that produce it are ‘profitable’. is productive of goods. Socrates asks “whether it is profitable to act justly.

Socrates makes no explicit appeal to happiness or to any valuable consequences of justice in his concluding arguments in Book IV. and in doing so “I will show you the way in which I want to hear you praise justice and denounce injustice” (358d3-6). then we would naturally expect his argument for the superior happiness of the just life to be distinct from his account of how justice is valuable for itself. He then argues. and this argument shows that justice is valuable for certain consequences that do not depend on reputation. it will be helpful to consider Glaucon’s defense of injustice in Book II. then in VIII-IX he argues for the superior happiness and pleasantness of the just life. that it is valuable apart from any consequences. the parts are not so neatly separated from each other. but not to any valuable consequences of justice understood as a state of the soul. as we shall see. but. cf. Protagoras 345d8-e4. are clearly aimed at showing that the just person has a happier and more pleasant life than the unjust person. His speech consists of three parts. it should involve no appeal to happiness.e. 52 It’s interesting to note that this is the antithesis of Socrates’ claim that all unjust action is involuntary: see Gorgias 509e2-7. that Socrates’ argument has two parts: in Books II-IV he gives an account of the origin and nature of justice and injustice. He first gives an account of the origin and nature of justice. and that all who act justly do so “unwillingly” (359b6-360d7). as we noticed.52 And finally he contrasts the lives of the just and the unjust. on the other hand. If it is true that Socrates views happiness as a consequence of justice. It seems reasonable to suppose. Glaucon’s praise of injustice is thus supposed to provide a pattern for how he wants Socrates to praise justice. For a better understanding of how Socrates’ argument is structured. As we have seen.296 DANIEL DEVEREUX X. Glaucon’s contention that those who act justly do so “unwillingly” seems designed to support _________ 51 He does appeal. . So if the argument at the end of Book IV is designed to show that justice is valuable for itself. i. The Structure of Socrates’ argument in Books II-IX I have tried to show how Socrates’ argument at the end of Book IV is designed to satisfy Glaucon’s demand to show what justice and injustice are and that justice is valuable for itself. which shows that it is not pursued as something desirable in itself (358e1-359b5). and argues that a “perfectly unjust person” has a better and happier life than a “perfectly just person” (360e1-362c8).51 The arguments in VIII-IX. and shows that justice is valuable for itself and that just action is more profitable than unjust action. to justice as a valuable consequence of just action. that injustice is desirable and is avoided only because of our lack of power to get away with it. then. He tells Socrates he is going to make as strong a case as he can for the unjust life. I believe that Socrates’ argument does have two main parts. using the tale of the ring of Gyges.

Later. argues that justice is valuable for itself (and that it is more ‘profitable’ to act justly than unjustly). and their happiness. attempt to show that the Guardians will in fact have a happy life. as we have seen. In presenting the case against justice being valuable for itself. in Book V (465d-466c).e. he says that “by continuing along the same path. Sachs (1963). we would expect him to begin with an account of the origin and nature of justice and injustice and show that justice is valuable for itself while injustice is the opposite. But when he initially asks Socrates to show “the power that justice has within the soul. 359b1-4 with b6-c6. 54 In the opening pages of Book IV. and show that the life of the former is better and happier. 366d5-e9. in Books VIII-IX.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 297 the claim of the first argument that justice is not something desired for itself: he argues that no one would pursue justice if one had the power to get away with injustice—i. Throughout the discussion of justice and injustice in Book IV there is no mention of a perfectly just or unjust person. also 359a7-b11 with 360c5-8. If Socrates’ defense of justice follows the pattern of Glaucon’s defense of injustice. we will discover what should be said” about their happiness (420b3-4)—i. Adeimantus’ reference to “what justice does within the soul of its possessor” (366e5-6)—justice which is possessed and found within one’s soul is clearly something different from the just actions which one performs. he would then go on to consider the lives of the “perfectly just” and the “perfectly unjust” person. the focus eventually shifts to the comparison of _________ 53 Cf. they envision justice as something within the soul. Adeimantus accuses Socrates of having deprived the Guardians of all the goods that make for a happy life (419a1-420b7). and. Socrates first returns to the kind of life enjoyed by the Guardians. an examination of the lives of a “perfectly unjust” and a “perfectly just” person which reveals that the life of the former is “better and happier” than that of the latter (358c4-6. the brothers understand “justice” as just action (as Thrasymachus does). and that justice and injustice should be understood as naturally correct and incorrect relationships among those parts. and second. a discussion of the kind of life the Guardians will lead and the nature of their happiness will come in due course. Socrates does not. 362c6-8). nothing more is said about their life or happiness in the remainder of IV. justice is pursued as the lesser of two evils.” he seems to be thinking of it as something found within the soul. 367b2-6). but when they ask Socrates to show how justice is valuable for itself (358b4-7. and no discussion of what the life of a just person is like. Socrates’ argument to the end of Book IV seems to correspond to the first part of Glaucon’s defense: he gives an account of the origin and nature of justice and injustice. .54 Socrates’ focus in this first stage of his argument is on showing how the soul is made up of three parts.e. at this point. cf. cf. an account of the origin and nature of justice and injustice which is supposed to show that justice is not desirable for itself.53 So there are actually two main parts of Glaucon’s praise of injustice: first. It is worth noting that throughout these arguments Glaucon understands justice in terms of certain patterns of behavior—what is sometimes called “conventional” or “vulgar” justice. 361d2-3.

But how. at 465d-466c. but four forms of badness that are worthy of consideration. 518b1-2. in his answer to Socrates’ question at the end of IV—whether just or unjust action is more profitable—says that life is not worth living for the unjust.) After describing the kind of life that Auxiliaries and Guardians (in the strict sense) will lead. cf. he describes the supremely happy life of study and contemplation led by the philosopher-kings—who. as the discussion turns to the tyrant. he mentions the lives of the just and unjust.298 DANIEL DEVEREUX the lives of the just and the unjust. 520e4-521b2. (Glaucon. However Socrates. 578b11-c7. as we shall see. as we noticed earlier. and judges the one to be happiest and the other to be most miserable (580a9-c8). Socrates first broaches the subject of the kind of life. At the beginning of Book VI. and this is perhaps why he replies that more needs to be said in order to establish that this is the case. However. 519d8-9. in Book IX.56 the next task is to examine the four defective constitutions and souls (445d3-449a5). 572c6-d3. 573c11-12. nothing has yet been said about the sort of life led by the philosopher-kings. enjoyed by the Guardians in Book V. exactly. at the end of Book IV Socrates urges his interlocutors to forge ahead in their discussion in order “to see as clearly as possible” that what they have agreed to is in fact true (445b5-7). Given the sort of psychic state that justice is. in Book VII. The good and just constitution and soul have already been described. and the happiness. and there are five corresponding types of constitution and soul (445c1-d1).g. he claims that it will be a happier life than that of Olympic victors (465d2-e3). the account of the vicious and unjust soul needs further elaboration. So their position at the end of Book IV is that. which is interrupted at the beginning of Book V and then resumed at the beginning of VIII. see. are his exemplars of perfect justice.. does the later discussion provide support for the conclusion that it is more ‘profitable’ to act justly than unjustly because of the effects of each on the soul? Socrates mentions at the end of IV that there appears to be just one form of goodness. there are frequent references to the kind of life he leads: 571a1-3. has said nothing about the life of the unjust. 540b5-c2. 583a1-5. although they have an adequate account of the good and just soul. He then turns to an examination of the four defective constitutions (and types of soul). who is the embodiment of perfect injustice. 587b8-11. Finally. Then. Socrates makes it clear that he is here thinking of the kind of life and happiness that is characteristic of the Auxiliaries (466a8-b2). up to this point. . and in the two ‘pleasure’ arguments. and the fact that this state is fostered by _________ 55 As we mentioned in the preceding note. 579c4-d2. the issue is the ranking of lives in terms of their pleasantness: 581c8-582a2. and says that much more needs to be said in order to see how they differ from each other (484a5-b1). e. 519c5-6. 445a5-b4. the perfectly unjust man. The clear implication is that the discussion of the defective constitutions and souls in VIII-IX will provide further support for the conclusion reached at the end of IV. 574e2-575a7. 56 Though an even better constitution and soul will come to light in V-VII: see 543c4544a1. 587d12-588a10.55 Socrates compares the life of his philosopher-rulers with that of the tyrant.

and this account is apparently adequate for the purpose of showing that justice is valuable for its own sake. 42-5. Bobonich (2002).57 The main additional element. extends beyond Book IV. cf. And one of the main tasks of VIII-IX is of course to provide such an account. Cross and Woozley (1964). The second part of the argument. This is pretty clearly implied by a passage at the beginning of Book VIII. 580b8-c3) seem to imply the possibility of a person who is just but falls short of “perfect” justice. When we reach the end of IV we have an account of justice and of a just man (444a4-6. . but it’s worth noting that Socrates’ references to a “perfectly” just man (472c4-8. see also 619c6-d1. The first part of Socrates’ argument. Socrates asks Glaucon to remind him of where they were at the point at which they “turned aside from their path” (in Book V) and took on the discussion of philosophy and the education of the philosopher-kings. as it seems. e. you were talking as if you had completed the description of the city. cf. it is clear that just action is profitable. Cooper (1977). and to do this properly it must possess knowledge of the Form of the Good. and since they are better. cf.g. but the proof that just action is more profitable than unjust action is not complete until the four forms of injustice have been described in VIII-IX. much the same as now. 449a1-2) Glaucon’s response implies that Books V-VII give a description of an even better man and city than we had before us at the end of IV.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 299 just action. which is aimed at showing the superior happiness and pleasantness of the life of the perfectly just man (or woman. even though. (543c4-544a1. for. For a recent defense of the view that non-philosophers can partake of genuine virtue. the rational part of one’s soul must perform its function of ruling. so that we can continue from where we left off. but in order to be sure that it is more profitable than unjust action. of _________ 57 Some might argue that Plato does not allow for degrees of justice. This is an issue I cannot discuss here.. let us recall the point at which we turned aside from our original path and ended up here. For in order to be just. 540c5-7) actually begins in Books V-VII. 126. But since we have completed this discussion. see. You said that you would class both the city you described and the man who is like it as good. The argument at the end of IV establishes that justice is valuable for itself and that just action is therefore profitable. then. But we do not yet have a basis for forming a conception of a perfectly just person. Socrates needs to provide a fuller account of injustice by describing the four types of unjust soul. they must be more just. see Kamtekar (1998). That isn’t difficult. 449a1-2). Socrates for the first time refers back to Glaucon’s comparison of the lives of the perfectly just and unjust in regard to happiness and misery (472b3-d2). In Book V. So only philosophers who have achieved this knowledge will count as just for Plato. you had a still finer city and man to tell us about.

I am attracted 58 59 .58 Books VIII-IX (to 580d) give us the second half: an account of the perfectly unjust tyrant and the sort of life he leads. 61 The relationship between the two ‘pleasure’ arguments and the preceding argument for the superior happiness of the just life is puzzling: should they be seen as additional arguments for the conclusion of the first argument (cf. does not seem to have as one of its meanings to “digress” in the sense of “to turn aside from the main subject. Socrates considers primarily the kind of life that each leads.59 In the first part of his argument—which spills over into Books VIII and IX (to 580d)—Socrates focuses on the souls of the just and the unjust.” rather than as “the point on which we entered on the digression” (Shorey). 367b2-5). and Kraut [1992]. where Socrates implies that his original intention was to leave out an important part of the argument by turning to the defective constitutions immediately after the argument at the end of Book IV. the verb which Socrates uses at 543c5. That ı՘İįțμȡȟȔį refers to a kind of life or activity is familiar from Book I (353e10-354a2) and the Socratic dialogues: see above.61 Socrates seems to indicate that these _________ See the passages cited above. these books together with VIII-IX make up a single. good and bad in themselves (358b4-6. cf.300 DANIEL DEVEREUX course. 589c1-4. Cf. n. The second part of the argument focuses on the lives of the just and the unjust—or rather.” It therefore seems better to translate ʍȪȚıȟ İı‫ף‬Ȣȡ ԚȠıijȢįʍȪμıȚį in 543c5 as “the point at which we turned aside.21. on the lives of the perfectly just and the perfectly unjust. also 484a4). or “the point at which we began the digression” (Grube/Reeve). he tries to meet Glaucon’s demand to show what justice and injustice do to the souls of their possessors such that they are. see also 449c2-5. respectively. 366e5-9. 580c9-d1) or as independent arguments (cf. 60 The account of the origin and nature of tyrannical soul is given in 571a1-573c12. In determining which person is happier. and the description of the tyrant’s life is in 573d1-580a7. where Adeimantus claims that Socrates is attempting to skip over an important section of the argument (cf. And in any case.60 He first argues that the life of the perfectly just person is happiest and the life of the perfectly unjust is most miserable. If it is true that perfect justice requires philosophy. then Socrates is justified in appealing to the superior pleasures of philosophy in arguing that the life of the perfectly just person is happier and more pleasant than the life of the perfectly unjust person (580c4588a10). in accordance with Glaucon’s request. ԚȜijȢȒʍȧ. and then adds two arguments for the superior pleasantness of the perfectly just person’s life. n. However. 313-4)? While I cannot pursue the issue here. is the account of philosophy and of the sort of knowledge that the philosopher-kings must possess. Books V-VII are often said to be a digression from the argument for justice in II-IV and VIII-IX.55. unified response to Glaucon’s challenge to show that the life of the perfectly just person is better and happier than the life of the perfectly unjust person. 502d4-e2. Books V-VII provide half of what is needed for the comparison of lives: they give us an account of the perfectly just person and some idea of what his or her life is like.

in connection with profitability (he uses İțȜįțȡIJȫȟș at 591b5 to designate the state of the soul that results from just action). e3-4.g. At no point in the passage does Socrates use the nouns. in respect to pleasure. and more importantly.63 Now if we were to view this argument as a continuation of the preceding arguments in VIII-IX. which render ԐİțȜı‫ה‬ȟ and ijր İȔȜįțį ʍȢȑijijıțȟ more often as “injustice” and “justice” (instead of “acting unjustly” and “acting justly”): see. he wants to take up once again the claim that “acting unjustly is profitable to the man who is consummately unjust but is thought to be just. see. and virtue must be beyond measure. and virtue—the philosopher-king’s life far outstrips the life of the tyrant. b7-c3. beauty. as we’ve seen. 63 Cf. Socrates says that they have gained two victories for the just man over the unjust. Unfortunately. elegance. the just man’s life defeats the tyrant’s by so great a margin (“729 times more pleasant”). or as an argument to be added to the preceding three. and a manyheaded beast. at 583b1-7. b7. 416. 444e7-445a4 (see Irwin [1977]. common usage made no distinction between justice as a state of the soul and just action.. see White (1984). and thus it seems that he has completed his case for the superiority of the perfectly just person’s life. pleasure. he says that if. 589a5-7. e. at the end of this argument (588a7-10). İțȜįțȡIJȫȟș or ԐİțȜȔį. The relation of this argument to the preceding arguments has been a puzzle for commentators. e. a lion. But it is clear that in this passage Socrates carefully restricts himself to words designating just and unjust actions. These translations might be appropriate in many contexts. Socrates is thus claiming that in all the different respects in which one might compare and rank lives—happiness. second. a10-b1. 591a5-6. the passage does not contain a comparison of lives. beauty. and announces that he will now present a third argument which will be the crowning blow. we would expect Socrates to ex_________ to White’s suggestion that Book IX is deliberately ambivalent on the relationship between happiness and pleasure. An important clue for understanding how this final section of Book IX relates to the overall argument is the way in which it begins: Socrates tells Glaucon that now that they have reached this point in the argument. Is it a fourth argument for the superiority of the just person’s life? This doesn’t seem plausible for a couple of reasons: first. he does not describe this one as a fourth. The question to be discussed is thus whether just or unjust action is more profitable—the same question that was raised in the final section of Book IV.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 301 three arguments complete his case for the superiority of the life of the just person. since. the fact that Socrates’ question specifically concerns just and unjust action is hidden from readers of standard English translations of this passage (588b1-592b6).62 And yet there is one more argument in the final pages of Book IX (588b1-592b6)—the argument in which Socrates offers the striking comparison of the parts of the soul to a human being. . 62 At the end of the first ‘pleasure’ argument.g. the translations by Shorey and Grube/Reeve (Bloom’s translation is more accurate). then its victory in respect to elegance.” He proposes that they engage in dialogue with the claim’s proponent since they have come to agreement on the “power” of acting justly and unjustly (588b1-8). 245-6).. although Socrates designates the preceding argument as “the third” (583b1-7). 588b3. Then.

the eventual result of such action is the enslavement of the best and “most divine” part of our nature to the lower.e. inferior parts (588e3-589a5.g. How can we affirm or argue that it is more profitable to do something unjust or intemperate or base. he proceeds to explain their power in the way that he does at the end of Book IV—by appealing to the states or conditions of the soul that result from each kind of action. And how can we say that it is more profitable for the one who has acted unjustly to escape detection and not pay the penalty? Doesn’t the one who escapes detection become even more vicious. even if one thereby gains greater wealth or power. and the whole soul. given that it makes one more vicious? There is no way. it is more profitable to submit to punishment than to get off scot-free because of the beneficial effects of punishment on the soul. He first sketches his comparison of the three parts of the soul to the human being. However. to the extent that the soul is more precious than the body. That is certainly true. . The passage is clearly a reprise and elaboration of the argument at the end of Book IV.. The champion of just action. 589d5-590a2). recommends doing that which liberates and empowers the human being within us. on the other hand. that our humanity is tied to our possession of reason. justice and virtue in general in the one case. Just as in that argument. acquires a more precious state (ijμțȧijȒȢįȟ ԥȠțȟ) by acquiring temperance and justice with sound judgment than the body does by acquiring strength and beauty with health. Socrates here makes no mention of happiness. while the one who does not escape and is punished has the bestial part [of his soul] soothed and tamed and the tame part liberated.302 DANIEL DEVEREUX plain the “power” of just and unjust action by showing how the one enhances the quality of one’s life while the other has the opposite effect. and then argues that one who claims that it is profitable to act unjustly is asserting that it profits a man to weaken the human being within. and to make the lion and the beast the masters of his soul. being restored to its best nature. enabling it to take proper care of the lower parts and ensure harmony and mutual friendship among the three parts (589a6-b6). injustice and vice in the other. (591a5-b8) Thus just (and temperate) action is more profitable because of the state of the soul that it produces and preserves. i.64 And if one has acted unjustly. and the many-headed beast. and that we are free agents only when reason is in control of the other parts of the soul. instead of urging that we should acquire justice and _________ 64 These passages introduce some important ideas not found in the parallel argument at the end of Book IV: e. the lion. The emphasis throughout 588b592b is on showing that just and virtuous action is beneficial and unjust and vicious action the opposite because of the psychic states produced by each.

II. III.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 303 virtue because of the kind of life they enable us to lead. and does not depend on how the just person appears to others. The argument presupposes that this state is valuable or “precious” just for its own sake. (ii) the comparison of the lives of the philosopherking and the tyrant (exemplars of perfect justice and injustice respectively). One can distinguish three main stages in the overall argument. And if Socrates has met Adeimantus’ demand to “praise justice itself and not its appearance. cf. While Socrates’ defense of justice consists of two main arguments. Just action is profitable simply insofar as it produces justice—a psychic state in which the naturally best part rules over the naturally inferior parts. then it must be one of its valuable consequences. (ii) the demonstration of the intrinsic value of justice and of the superior ‘profitability’ of just action. Book IX (588b-592b): reprise and completion of the argument at the end of Book IV for the intrinsic value of justice and the superior profitability of just action. I. he says that we should structure our life so as to acquire and maintain these states of the soul (591c1-592a4. Books V-IX (to 588b): (i) additional support for the superior profitability of just action is provided through a description of the forms of injustice as states of the soul. The arguments overlap to some extent. showing that justice is intrinsically valuable must be different from showing that the just person has a happier life. 618d5-e4).” he has shown that happiness is a consequence of justice itself. his presentation of the arguments is not neatly separated into two sections of the dialogue. Since the intrinsic value of justice pertains to a certain state within the soul. while happiness consists in the kind of life and activities that naturally flow from that state. and arguments for the superior happiness and pleasantness of the former. We have seen that there are two distinct themes in Socrates’ defense of justice: the intrinsic value of justice and the superior happiness of the just life. If happiness is not part of the intrinsic value of justice. By returning to the theme of the intrinsic value of justice at the end of his . Books II-IV: (i) the account of the origin and nature of justice and injustice. and the argument for the intrinsic value of justice is presented at the beginning and end of the overall argument.

65 XI. cf. 612b2-3.304 DANIEL DEVEREUX overall argument. even if it is not the final ‘satisfier’ of our desires. but it is evidently not a good that we can possess in any straightforward sense. a final ‘satisfier’ of desire. towards the end of _________ Cf. then. and that the chief reason for pursuing the virtues is their contribution to this good.) 65 66 . above). even though he does not hold that the virtues derive their value exclusively from their contribution to eudaimonia. of happiness as the greatest good achievable by human beings. he states in several places in the Republic that justice is the greatest good that we can possess.20. as Aristotle does. (The “greatest good” without qualification would be the Form of the Good. but it need not be: one might hold that virtue is the highest good and that it ought to be the ultimate end of our actions (cf. subscribe to eudaimonism. but with a view to the virtuous state of our soul. In the case of Aristotle. whether Plato would agree with Aristotle in calling eudaimonia the highest or supreme good—he never speaks. also the point mentioned in n. A number of scholars have claimed that. 591a10-592a4. and there is no further need to ask a man who wishes to be happy why he wishes this—the answer seems to have reached an end” (204e1-205a3). not with a view to happiness.66 In fact. however. Was Plato a Eudaimonist? I will conclude by pointing out an interesting implication of Socrates’ view of the value of justice as I have presented it. for Plato and Aristotle in particular. The following passage in the Symposium is sometimes cited as evidence that Plato agrees with Aristotle in holding that happiness is the ultimate end of action and highest good: “For it is through the possession of good things that the happy are happy. Socrates seems to emphasize the primacy of this value of justice. from Socrates down through the Stoics and Epicureans.e. above. It is a commonplace among students of ancient moral theory that all of the important ancient theorists. It is not clear. they treat happiness or eudaimonia as the end or supreme good and argue that we should pursue the virtues because of their contribution to this end. i. things that have value for human beings derive their value from their contribution to happiness. It may also be a final end of action. The point that Diotima is making is that if you continue asking someone why they want such and such. when they reach the answer “happiness” they have reached a stopping point—we cannot then ask “Why do you want to be happy?” Happiness is. However. both Plato and Aristotle hold that justice and virtue have value in themselves.67 It is also interesting to note that Adeimantus. independent of their contribution to happiness.30. where Socrates says that all of our choices should be made. I believe it is still appropriate to describe him as a eudaimonist because he holds that happiness is the supreme good. if what I have argued is right. n. 67 See 366e7-9. it is of course a greater good than justice (504d3-8).

and especially to my commentator. I also wish to thank Tom Brickhouse. Randy Jensen. 2004. and James Wiberding. then the implication is that the intrinsic value of justice is greater than its value as contributor to happiness.JUSTICE AND HAPPINESS IN PLATO’S REPUBLIC 305 his speech. 357a4-b3)—may help to clarify the role of happiness in the argument. attributes to Socrates the view that justice is valuable for its consequences. and Charles Young for very helpful written comments on an earlier version of the paper. Michael Pakaluk. . and the anonymous referee for the Proceedings. but much more for its own sake (367c5-7). Mark Gifford.68 Perhaps there is room for doubt as to whether Plato was after all a eudaimonist. Christie Thomas. I am grateful to Margaret Graver. the fact that a just person is happier than an unjust person is a secondary consideration—at least for the just person. an attempt to persuade those who are not yet firmly convinced of the value of justice and virtue (cf.69 UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA _________ 68 Bearing in mind the fact that Socrates’ argument in Books II-IX is one long ‘protreptic’ discourse—i. Euthydemus 278c5-283b3. It would seem to follow that the primary reason for being a just person is the value of justice in and of itself. Lee Franklin. If happiness is a consequence of justice. cf. Jim Murphy.e. for their stimulating comments and questions. 69 The penultimate version of this paper was given at Dartmouth College in May.

there are as many different kinds of consequence as there are kinds of cause.COMMENTARY ON DEVEREUX LEE FRANKLIN Professor Devereux’s paper challenges entrenched ways of reading the Republic. From the function argument of bk. This view. Starting from the final argument of bk. II. IV. Devereux presents a new reading of the argument of the Republic as a whole. and praise Justice for itself.1 Adeimantus then interprets Glaucon to have prohibited Socrates from praising Justice for the benefits it brings through reputation. has a surprising consequence. In light of this diversity. we cannot take for granted that an entity’s intrinsic value will differ from the value it holds in virtue of its consequences. I. and a close examination of the challenges presented in bk. On this reading. . but to allow a defense of Justice based in its intrinsic value and the _________ 1 280-285. I. This inference rests on the assumption that the intrinsic value of an entity is distinct from the value it has in virtue of any of its consequences. developed through meticulous attention to numerous controversial passages. and deserving of further consideration. then its intrinsic value must be distinct from the value it has in virtue of the happiness it produces. 352d8-354a11) From this he concludes that if Justice is valuable for itself. II. Devereux derives the claim that happiness is an activity which is a consequence of Justice. a state. and that Plato presents Justice as precisely such an entity in the Republic. IX. I hope to show that there is at least one kind of entity whose intrinsic value is identical with the value it has in virtue of its consequences. I. (Rep. In these remarks. the value it has as a source of happiness. and thinking about Plato’s moral theory. (Rep. Glaucon asks Socrates to put aside the consequences of Justice. Plato is not a eudaimonist after all. I will focus on an issue that is central to Devereux’s argument. and the latter in bk. 358b4-7) According to Devereux. and greater than. presenting the former in the arguments of bk. Because the intrinsic value of justice is distinct from. It will help to situate my discussion in the context of Socrates’ response to Glaucon and Adeimantus. But the range of things we speak of as consequences is broad and diverse. Plato distinguishes the intrinsic value of Justice from the value it has as a source of happiness.

are controversial. (Cooper 1984. that Glaucon and Adeimantus—following Thrasymachus—conceive of Justice primarily as a set or pattern of actions. 443e4-444a2) In so doing. In order to see how Justice is related to these actions as its consequences. 363e5-b2) 4 See. however. and action. esp. 191-195).3 the only benefits Glaucon and Adeimantus imagine just actions to have for the agent are those brought about indirectly. This may explain. In particular. (Irwin 1977. i.COMMENTARY ON DEVEREUX 307 value it has through its direct consequences. 157-159). Lacking such clarity.e. It has been argued. Socrates introduces new possibilities for what may count as a consequence of Justice. including. After completing his _________ 2 See (Sachs 1963. through reputation. (Rep. broadly speaking.4 This is confirmed by the way psychic parts are first introduced in the Republic as a subject for investigation. (Annas 1982. but a new way of understanding Justice altogether. but points out that when Glaucon and Adeimantus present their challenge directly to Socrates. 21-23. is related to just activity and a just life. sources of motivation. 36-38). 443c9 ff. 296 n. IV.2 If this is right. we should be wary of taking Glaucon and Adeimantus’ challenge to establish the framework for Socrates’ evaluation of Justice. (Bobonich 2002. Nevertheless. 436a8441c7) The strategy of this partitioning. Devereux acknowledges this. e. Given that just actions generally seem to benefit others directly. there is consensus that the parts of the soul are. .g. IV. then the kind of consequences Glaucon and Adeimantus imagine Justice to have is limited to the kind of consequences actions have. desire. II.. 358e3-359b5) and in Adeimantus’ survey of common notions concerning the difficulty of just actions. why Glaucon and Adeimantus equate praising Justice without regard to its consequences with praising Justice without regard to the consequences that come through reputation. 144-148). Since their conception of Justice incorrectly restricts what may be considered a consequence of Justice. 3 This view is expressed in Glaucon’s account of the nature and origins of Justice. II. (Rep. this shows that Glaucon and Adeimantus are confused about Justice. the very actions previously thought to constitute Justice. and the character of the psychic parts that result. (Rep. as a state. In his defense of Justice. 120-121). Socrates introduces not merely a new conception of just actions. we must look first to Socrates’ account of Justice. For a contrasting reading. see (Shields 2001. (Rep. At best. as a state of the soul rather than a pattern of actions. in part. Glaucon and Adeimantus cannot envision the specific way in which Justice. 219-220).51. Socrates’ account of Justice comes after the dense and intricate argument by which the soul is shown to have three parts. it does not show that they conceive of Justice clearly as a state of the soul which is related to the actions they typically call just. and how it is valued as a result. most notably. they speak of it as something in the soul.

Socrates argues that since the characteristics of the city can have no source other than its individual citizens. the individual soul must have within it the same forms and characteristics (ıՀİș ijı Ȝįվ ԰Țș) as were found in the city. or with different parts (ij‫׮‬ į՘ij‫ ׮‬ijȡփij‫ ׫‬ԥȜįIJijį ʍȢչijijȡμıȟ ԰ ijȢțIJվȟ ȡ՞IJțȟ Ԕȝȝȡ Ԕȝȝ‫)׫‬: “do we learn with one part. Socrates moves from the concurrence of conflicting desires. They are of course distinguished by their orientations—by the kinds of desires and actions they tend to produce—but this is merely a specification of their generic description as the sources of desires and actions. which initiates the partitioning argument. the role of psychic parts as sources of desires is much more heavily emphasized in bk. This does not mean. introduces parts of the soul as dynamic elements. Socrates’ next question is whether we do each of these things with the same part of ourselves. 439d2). See especially 602c4-603b2.. 435e1-436a3) That is.6 _________ Republic. the parts of the soul are understood dynamically. and with some third part desire the pleasures of food.. In the argument that follows. and thus most pertinent to the account of Justice that follows. 6 This is not the only aspect of Plato’s tripartite psychology in the .. which leads Socrates to designate reason as the part by which we calculate.. one that is spirited. then the soul must be shown to contain the same forms or parts (ijո į՘ijո ijį‫ף‬ijį ıՀİș) as were found in the city. 5 Unless otherwise noted. 439c5. hunger and thirst. spirit is introduced as the part by which we get angry. and one that loves money and physical pleasures. 1997). elements by which we do (ʍȢչijijȡμıȟ) certain things. (֧ ȝȡȗտȘıijįț. to distinct psychic parts as the sources of those desires. At this point in the Republic.. drink. ‫ ׮‬ȚȤμȡփμıȚį. e3) In fact. there might be one element in us which is responsible for all of these inclinations and activities.. we are told little else about the parts of the soul in this discussion. Rep. Finally. IV. IV. translations are from (Cooper. 436a8-b3) This question. strictly in terms of what they do. get angry with another. 435b1-c2) To that end. (Rep. IV. however. A desire for drink arises through sufferings and sicknesses (İțո ʍįȚșμչijȧȟ ijı Ȝįվ ȟȡIJșμչijȧȟ. that these are distinct elements in the soul. 439d1). Rep. Socrates’ introduces appetite as the part by which we lust. and the others that are closely akin to them?”5 (Rep. the individual soul must have an element that loves learning. However. sex. Rep. ֧ ԚȢּ ijı Ȝįվ ʍıțȟ‫ ׇ‬Ȝįվ İțȦ‫ׇ‬.. the psychic part is introduced as the element by which we do something or other. If Justice is to be the same in the individual as in the city. that is. (Rep. In each case. Socrates returns to the individual.. A desire to avoid drink is said to arise from calculation (ԚȜ ȝȡȗțIJμȡ‫ף‬. c6-7. for there are also epistemological differences between the three parts.308 LEE FRANKLIN account of the city and its virtues.. IV. IV. IV. IV.

443c9-e2) Here. Only then. This may be so. (443e6) But the two are compatible. An oligarchic psyche. Rep. A greedy appetite.8 In addition. It is significant. Socrates says that the just individual. a specific manner of action is presented as the direct product of the harmonious state of Justice. One might object that the emphasis of Socrates’ description here is that the Just person conceives of Just actions as those that preserve the harmonious state of the soul.” (ȡ՝ijȧ İռ ʍȢչijijıțȟ ԰İș. combines a powerful disposition towards frugal desires and actions. 443b4-5) This praise comes immediately after a brief description of the actions we can expect from those whose souls are ordered by Justice. is one which tends to generate frequent and powerful desires for money. finally. If Justice is a state of such parts. (442d10-443b2) The reference of ijȡțȡփijȡȤȣ is to individuals who act in the way Socrates has just described. The state of a single psychic part is a stable disposition to generate desires according to a certain pattern. the consequences of Justice are built into the conception of psychic parts as sources of desire and action. Socrates earlier praised Justice as the power that produces men and cities of a certain kinds. even just actions are treated not as the products of Justice. Devereux stresses that Socrates makes reference to no consequences of Justice. but as its producers. the relationship between the state of Justice and the actions it produces is noted in the account of Justice. The state of the tripartite soul altogether is its overall desiderative and motivational dispositions. self-disciplined and in harmony with himself. This conception of a psychic state is confirmed in Socrates’ survey of unjust constitutions. does he act. even a state of the soul is dynamic in nature since it is a dispositional state. along with a certain conception of that action. but it does not remove the fact that Socrates’ account describes a certain kind of action. “[puts] his own house in order…and emerges as a perfect unity of diverse elements. In the crowning statement. by ordering the three parts of the soul. (ijռȟ İփȟįμțȟ Ա ijȡւȣ ijȡțȡփijȡȤȣ ԔȟİȢįȣ ijı ʍįȢջȥıijįț Ȝįվ ʍցȝıțȣ. VIII. In fact.COMMENTARY ON DEVEREUX 309 It may seem that a dynamic account of psychic parts conflicts with the description of Justice as a state (ԥȠțȣ) of the soul. 7 This feature of Socrates’ account supports Devereux’s claim that in bk. IV. As we’ve seen. for instance. with a weaker one for certain indulgences. (Rep. In his account of the intrinsic value of Justice. a state which by definition generates a complex pattern of desires and actions. say. that Socrates describes Justice as a du- _________ 283-296. then Justice is by definition the source of a certain pattern of desire and action. and not at all for its consequences. 7 8 . IV Socrates is praising Justice in its own right. as resulting from a state of the soul. 553a3-555b1) Thus.

beautiful. saying. a good rational agent. or any other of those many things which I look to when distinguishing (İțȡȢտȘȡμįț) one thing from another for myself. ruling.g. we cannot separate the intrinsic _________ 9 This does not mean that there is nothing more to say about the state which embodies these dispositions. c5-7) For example.10 with one important qualification. 519b7-c4) Furthermore. In bk. For Plato. that it is a capacity for right action.e. IV bears out the intuitions of the function argument. (Rep.310 LEE FRANKLIN namis or power. In this way. that it involves knowledge. 443e6-7. Socrates outlines the way one must define such an entity. 353b2-4. and lives well. 477d1) If Justice is a dunamis. If the intrinsic value of Justice is the value it has just because of what it is by itself. then our account must make reference only to what it is set over and what it does. I. since knowledge is taken to be both valuable and pleasurable. “In a capacity. It is the state in which we act well. 11 Socrates’ remarks suggest that there is an excellence for all and only those items which have functions: “So then. I. with the right motivations and for the right reasons. According to that argument. and healthy state of the soul is to say that it is the good..e. VII. To say that Justice is the good. The excellence of an item is nothing other than the state in which it performs its function well. There is nothing more to being a good axe.9 For this reason. does it seem to you that there is also an excellence for pre- . 519c4-6. 353d3-7) What makes Justice the good and healthy state of the soul is that the motivational dispositions embodied in it generate good deliberation. Rather it makes it a good instance of a kind. my translation) Instead. i. that it is the best state of the soul—then perhaps Justice can be intrinsically valuable in many ways. VII. the excellence (ԐȢıijս) of anything that has a function is precisely the state in which it performs its function well. 477c6-9. IV. does not make its possessor good period. and healthy arrangement of motivational dispositions. and more than one thing may be said in articulation of what Justice is by itself—e.” (Rep. I am happy to follow Devereux in talking about Justice as a constitutive good. deliberates. 517c7-d2. Similarly. or shape. i. the role of knowledge in the state of Justice may complicate the intrinsic value of Justice. V. IV. the excellence of an axe just is the state in which it chops well. V.11 For this reason. Socrates’ praise of Justice in bk. In bk. (Rep. beautiful. IX 585a8-e5) But it is not obvious that this conflicts with Justice’s intrinsic value as the dunamis for proper rational action. a stable disposition to act in the best way must be grounded by knowledge. (See Rep.” (Rep. There is nothing more to being a good human soul. Justice. 10 289-291. this is exactly how Socrates’ account frames Justice: in terms of the desires and actions it produces Socrates’ praise of Justice should be read in this light. V. (See Rep. and living. the excellence of a soul is precisely the state in which it rules. I see no color. like any other excellence. the account of a dunamis must consider only “what it is set over and what it does.

In the case of an axe. Nor. and the value of its capacity for good chopping.12 (Rep. there is no distinction between the value of its excellence as an axe. If Justice is a dunamis. it seems that good deliberating. THE UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY. I. there is precedent for taking happiness to be identical with doing well. The intrinsic value of Justice as the excellent state of the soul is identical with its value as the source or capacity for deliberating. then the intrinsic value of Justice must be independent of its contribution to happiness. If the soul has a function. then the same should be true of it. the excellence and the capacity are one and the same thing. from the value of Justice for doing what it does. for the same reason. (Rep.COMMENTARY ON DEVEREUX 311 value of that state from its value as the source of good performance. and Justice is intrinsically valuable. the intrinsic value of Justice is identical with its value as the source happiness. Rep. we cannot separate what the state is from what it does. 353e2-354a2) Consequently. Devereux’s reading rests on the following claim: the intrinsic value of an entity cannot coincide with the value it has through its consequences.19 .e. 353b2-4. See 273. can we separate the value of Justice for being what it is. happiness. ruling. my translation) 12 We needn’t read Socrates’ inference in this way. I. Thus. He says only that one who lives well will be blessed and happy. As Devereux points out. According to Socrates’ remarks in the function argument. ruling and living simply are doing well. I. n. 354a1-2). SUNY _________ cisely those things to which a function has been given?” (ȡ՘Ȝȡ‫ף‬ȟ Ȝįվ ԐȢıijռ İȡȜı‫ ה‬IJȡț ıՂȟįț ԛȜչIJij‫֧ ׫‬ʍıȢ Ȝįվ ԤȢȗȡȟ ijț ʍȢȡIJijջijįȜijįț. and living well. Justice is valuable for itself because it makes us happy. if happiness is a consequence of Justice. i. But at least one kind of entity—a dunamis—is defined in terms of what its consequences.

T. Cooper. C. “Imperfect Virtue.D. Cooper. 1937. 15-33. Plato II. Plato’s Moral Theory. Plato’s Republic: A Philosophical Commentary. C. 1970.A. ed.D. Oxford. _______ 1992. (ed. White. 386-93. C. Gauthier. ed. Rorty (Berkeley. Indianapolis. Cambridge. J. Princeton. 468-74. Korsgaard. Vlastos (Notre Dame. Devereux. Plato’s Utopia Recast.” In Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics.M. 47. Mabbott. Cross. Bobonich. J. Reason and Emotion. _______ 1995. N. W.D. T. Aristotle on the Human Good. 315-39. D.” In The Cambridge Companion to Plato. Lexington. 1966. Louvain/Paris. & Jolif.L. Princteon. 1965. Kraut.” In Studies in Aristotle. ed. D.) 1971. J. R. J. 1980).” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 68. _______ 1971. Kirwan.C. New York. E.” Mind. London. R Kraut (Cambridge. J. Oxford. Plato’s Theory of Human Motivation. Sachs. D. Oxford.J. 1981). Wagner. Aristotle’s First Principles. “A Mistake of Plato’s in the Republic. An Introduction to Plato’s Republic. 1989. 2002. 1984. 311-37. Cooper.” American Philosophical Quarterly 14. 151-7. 1998. 1999. 393-421. translated by Terence Irwin. Philosopher-Kings: The Argument of Plato’s Republic. R. G. “A Fallacy in Plato’s Republic.” Journal of the History of Philosophy 22. 226-32. “Aristotle on the Essence of Happiness. 1981. D. A. “A Mistake of Plato’s in the Republic: A Rejoinder to Mr. R. J. ed.) 1997. 1963. “The Final Good in Aristotle’s Ethics. L’Éthique à Nicomaque. (ed. In Wagner (ed. Kamtekar. “Aristotle on Eudaimonia. Hardie. Indianapolis.O. G. Reeve. . Urmson. J.” Philosophy 40. “The Psychology of Justice in Plato. Simple Souls. (ed. 1963. “Glaucon’s Challenge.. C.A. _______ 1938. 1981.Y.O. Annas.DEVEREUX/FRANKLIN BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackrill.M. 1984. Irwin. Mabbott. 247-60. J. 5765. _______ 1988.): 137-56.P. 1977. In Cooper (2001): 118-137. & Woozley. R. “Is Plato’s Republic Utilitarian?” (a revised version of [1937]) In Plato II: A Collection of Critical Essays. 14158. Essays on Plato’s Psychology. “The Defense of Justice in Plato’s Republic. Vlastos.F. _______ 1985. Complete Works. Shields.” The Philosophical Review 92.B. “Is Plato’s Republic Utilitarian?” Mind 46. Plato’s Ethics. J. M. 1988. Oxford.” The Philosophical Review 72. 277-95. 162-73. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Princeton. Oxford.” Phronesis 10. Aristotle’s Ethics. “The Classification of Goods in Plato’s Republic. _______ 1986. Foster.M. 169-97. O’Meara (Washington. 1977.C.” Ancient Philosophy 18. Plato. 1992). “Kinds of Goodness. C. 2246. A.C. 1971). 1937. 1983. 1965.R. “The Ruler’s Choice.M.” Mind 46. Cooper.) 2001.

John J. He was director of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy from 1984 to 1988. and his Ph. Willamette University. He has been visiting researcher at Georgetown University and Junior Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies. Currently he is studying the role of paideia in ancient political thought. Tad Brennan is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. He was educated at Reed College and Princeton. Aristotle. His next book. and the Stoics. Dublin. He received his B.A. and Yale. Maynooth (Ireland). Sobre la virtud y la felicidad (Santiago 2003). in philosophy at University of El Salvador (Buenos Aires. and Fate. from University College. He has taught at King’s College. including a monograph on Aristotle and Mathematics (Leiden. . He is currently working on an introduction to Plato’s Republic for Cambridge. for Cambridge. London. and is the founding general editor of this series of proceedings. He has published articles (in Spanish. and English) on Aristotle and Stoicism. He then produced a two-volume translation of Simplicius’ Commentary on Epictetus’ Encheiridion with Charles Brittain of Cornell. His books include a Spanish translation and commentary on Aristotle's Physics books I-II and VII-VIII (Buenos Aires 1993 and 2003.A. Epicuro. and M. will be published by Oxford in 2005. Sobre el placer y la felicidad (Santiago 1997). 1995). German. Boeri is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at Universidad de los Andes (Chile).D. and senior lecturer in Philosophy at NUI. Duties. respectively). Cleary is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He did his graduate work at University of Buenos Aires and got a Ph. He is currently working on topics of moral psychology and epistemology in Plato.ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS Marcelo D. and Los estoicos antiguos. again with Charles Brittain. He has published extensively on ancient philosophy. Argentina). and a complete translation of Epictetus. His first book was Ethics and Epistemology in Sextus Empiricus. from Boston University in 1982.D. The Stoic Life: Emotions.

London. forthcoming). 1994). 1997). including the Theory of Recollection.. he is continuing research on alienation and otherness in the psychology of Plotinus. Lee Franklin is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University at Albany (SUNY). He writes mainly about Plato’s theory of knowledge and learning. and “The Unity of Virtues” (in The Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Plato. at Fordham University. Gary M. UC Berkeley and Princeton. She studied at Oxford.D. Currently. He was educated at St. He was educated at Yale University and the Ohio State University. “Plato’s Metaphysics” (in The Blackwell Guide to Ancient Philosophy. She is the author of a number of essays in ancient philosophy. He was also the associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy (Greenwood. 2003). Her book. is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. The Development of Plato’s Ethics. John Fisher College. which is on Aristotle’s account of time in the Physics. His major publications include “Separation and Immanence in Plato’s Theory of Forms” (Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy.314 ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS Ursula Coope is Lecturer in Philosophy at Birkbeck College. Mary-Hannah Jones is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan University. He received his Ph. Most recently.J. Time for Aristotle. from the University of Pennsylvania. Gurtler. He is currently working on a book. Daniel Devereux is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Honors Program at the University of Virginia.” . S. and at the Weston School of Theology. 2003). with special attention to Neoplatonism.D. is forthcoming from OUP. from the University of Chicago. including a book Plotinus: The Experience of Unity (1988). and a variety of topics in Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics. She was received her Ph. and is currently working on the relationship between dialectic and the method of hypothesis in Plato’s middle period. his article “The Activity of Happiness in Aristotle’s Ethics” appeared in The Review of Metaphysics (June. including “Moral Education and Moral Degeneration in Plato’s Republic. He has published on ancient philosophy.

received a Ph. Aristotle.ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS 315 Aryeh Kosman was educated at The University of California at Berkeley.D. and at Harvard University. He has published articles on Plato. Alfred Miller currently teaches ancient and modern philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He has taught health policy and sociology at the Mt. At present they are working collaboratively on a book relating Aristotle’s Metaphysics and biological works to contemporary biological problems and have articles in preparation as the basis for the larger work.D.S. He has taught at various institutions in the United States and has been at Haverford College since 1962. Columbia University. His major works published together with his wife are mentioned below. His Ph. He is the author of a number of essays in the history of philosophy. and also the Routledge Guidebook to Plato and the Republic . She also has worked and published together with her husband on the philosophical and political issues concerning the health care system (Options for Health and Health Care. was Research Biologist in Neuropsychology at the US Food and Drug Administration. Nickolas Pappas is Associate Professor of Philosophy at City College and the Graduate Center of CUNY. in philosophy is from the University of Hamburg on the Aristotelian foundations of natural science. She was educated in Munich. at Hebrew University. and has pursued philosophical studies throughout her career as a scientist. Currently she is writing together with her husband on Aristotle and Heidegger. He received an M. He has published widely in those fields. in the history of science. 1981) and written an analytic commentary to Kant’s Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science in connection with their translation of an investigation of the Preface to this work (Kant’s Theory of Natural Science. Maria Miller taught Biology at Barnard College. Nietzsche. and has published extensively in this field. Sinai School of Medicine and CUNY as well as the Uniformed Services Medical School while serving in the US Public Health Service. from CUNY.D. and topics in aesthetics. 1994). where he is John Whitehead Professor of Philosophy. primarily on Plato and Aristotle. He studied at Harvard University. at Harvard as well as an M.

where she is now Associate Professor of Philosophy.D. is due out in 2005 (Rowman & Littlefield). in Philosophy at Cornell University in 1987 and taught at Harvard University from 1987-1994 before joining the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. Ancient Ethics (Routledge). He is currently completing a book.A. The Nietzsche Disapppointment. from the University of Pittsburgh. Iakovos Vasiliou is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center/Brooklyn College.D. Teleology. Chorology: On Beginning in Plato’s “Timaeus” (1999). as well as on other topics. Aiming at Virtue: Moral Knowledge in Plato. He is the author of numerous books. Susan Sauvé Meyer received the Ph. 1996). (1992). 1993). and Platonic Legacies (2004).316 ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS (1995. and Reduction” (The Philosophical Review 101. He has published articles on Plato’s and Aristotle’s ethics and epistemology. Her major publications include “Aristotle. His new book. from Cornell University and his Ph. . and she is the author of the forthcoming book. including the following. 791-825) and Aristotle on Moral Responsibility (Oxford: Basil Blackwell. second edition 2003). Her current work focuses on Greek and Roman ethics. John Sallis is currently Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy at The Pennsylvania State University. City University of New York. devoted entirely to ancient philosophy: Being and Logos: Reading the Platonic Dialogues (third edition. He received his B.

136 Irwin... 111.T. 273 Joyce. 266-275. 285. R. 283. 307-308 Cross. 294. E. 3 Brennan. 269-270.M. 121.. 135 Gosling. M.. 280 Gadamer. R.. 110-114... 267. J.L. 307 Jolif. 206 Görler.. 307 Bonitz.R.. 121 Clement. 280. 22. 114 Apostle. 76-96. 301. W.B. 129.. M. 233. 15. 25-28. 88 Aristotle. 155. W.. 97 Devereux. 234. 307 Anscombe.C. 104 Hamlyn. L.. 130. 112.J. 3236. 38-39. 55. D. C. 110 Code. E.B. G. 140 Gill. A. W. 88 Chrysippus. 146 Gould.J. 266. 74 Bobonich.. J. P. H-G. 265. H. 64 Homer.. 196 Empedocles. 129.W. T. 97104. 286 Hussey. 130 Campbell. 139141. 271 Heidegger. 112. 102 Beyarin. 110 Balme. 2 Annas. 289-290. 198. 299. 114 Gauthier.. N. M.. 212.... 273 Gerson. 299. 141 Ferber.. D.A. K.. 271 Alesse... 130.. 136-137. 287.. 191. 46-47. 146-150... R. J. 239. W. 5 Cannon.. 126. 137139.B. 201-219.F. 127 Foster. G. 133 Andersen. S. W. T.. 126. 206. J. 134.M.. 153 Blair. 113. 74. 30.L. 129 Gill. M.. 49-50. 136. 212. 134. 133 Brickhouse. 1-18. 198 Hesiod. R. J. 276.. H.D. 20-22. J. 69. 196. 1... 112. D. S. C.W. 121-125. 159 Diogenes Laertius.. 76.. 272 Diels. 112 Frede. 118 Brinkmann. 294. 133.. 216 Charlton. 103 Epictetus. 220-221... 267.. 79 Heinaman. 54-57. 129 . 132. 5 Andronicus.. 36. 269. H. 133-134 Inwood. D. 64 Hankinson. 240. F. 72-74. 194. 126.. 126-127. 218 Charles. 30. 280. 285. 26 Cooper. 112 Cartwright. 222-226. 186-187. 41-43. 165.... 112. 289. 65-67. 130.. 103. R. 220 Ioppolo. 200. 127-132. 13 Broadie. 286 Hicks. M. B.. D.C.INDEX Ackrill. 129. 55. 214. 24. 230. 204. 55. 115. 202 Fortenbaugh. 216 Heraclitus. 141 Cleary. H. R-A. 291.R. 101. 114.. 266.Y. 299 Delbrück... A.M. 280.. 304 Arnim von. 257. D. 134 Hardie.. 88 Carone. 186-187. 286. R. 234. 142-144. 60-63. T.G..

275. C.H.. N. 306-311 Sokolowski. 266. 140. 183-186. 110. 112. 142-149. T.C.. 217-218 Miller. 273. 167 Smith.X.. 244. 299 Kant. 247-248.. 131133. 307 Sacks. 196197. 121 Ross. T. 123. R. C..D. 97 Labarrière. 244. 118 Socrates.. 112-113. 110-111. 117 White. 297. 193. 286. 171. 257 Pappas. 190-191. 127.. 234. 265-267. C. 133134. 195.. G. 250-253. 3 Tieleman. 133-136 Protagoras. 112. 178-180. 126 Lang. R. 111 Santas. W. 55.. 159 Kraut. T. 271-272. 201. J.. C. 109-125. 266 Kosman. N. L. 266.. 2 Pakaluk. 140.. 300-301 Robinson. R.. 103. 194-197. G. 173-174. 286.. C. 94. 306.. 78 Moravcsik. 110-111.. D. 126. 265.A. J. 244. 169. 276. 275... 294. J.. 17. 260-262. 177. 103. 223.O. 225-226.G.. 37 Kullmann... H. 146 Sachs. 243..D. 112 Sauvé Meyer. 159-162. 276.. 112. 129-130. 199-200 Rawls. 255. 156. 244 Mill. 116 Kamtekar. 159.. 30. 138 Mabbott.. 280. 154. 133 Stobaeus. 196-199. R.G. 146 Thales. J. W. J... 37. 153-154.E.. 266-267. 253-258.. 9. 76 Plaass. 300. 285.D.A. A. S. and Miller. 273-305. 240 Korsgaard.. 3 Sedley. 133-136. 248. 141 Striker. J. 36 Plato. 128-130. 3. 135 Urmson. 22. G. 49. 236 Schwegler A. 265-266. 188. N. M. J. 88 Rudebusch. L.S. 236. 269 Vigo.G..P.318 INDEX OF NAMES Kahn. A. W. F. 125-126. 153 Sandbach.. 2-3. 200 Thomas Aquinas. 283.. S. D. 307 Simplicius. D. 245. 26 Murdoch. 114. 222 Lennox. 240. 155-158.. 126. 235 Penner.D.H. 169-173. 304-305... 200. N. 294.. A. 109-121. 294.. R.J. 129.. 36.. 102 Long. 177-193. 16 Nüsslein-Volhard. 83 Owens. P. 244 Kirwan.. 25-27. 164-168.. 64. G. 244-251. J. 17. 289 Menn.. 132 Shields.. 125. 289-290 Klosko. 127. I..... W. 229-243.. 229-234. 250. 36 Karns. M.. 125-126. 301 Wians. 115. 101. 142.. 160163. 144. 308. 96 Sorabji. 257 Taylor. 13 . 258-259. G. 310 Plutarch. J. 140 Vlastos. 272-273. 118. C. 300 Kuhn. 110 Sherman.. 239-240. 261 Reeve. 267. 55 Kranz. C.

H. E.. R. 3 Zekl. 81 ...INDEX OF NAMES 319 Woolf. 244 Zeller.G.