or Exhortation to Philosophy

or Exhortation to Philosophy
(citations, fragments, paraphrases, and other evidence)

edited and translated by D. S. Hutchinson and Monte Ransome Johnson

2013 February San Diego

Cover design by D. was originally published soon after 353 BCE. S. Ontario. M5S2V6 Canada. visit our web site: www. Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (Indianapolis (Hackett). Copying this document for commercial purposes is forbidden without express prior permission of the copyright holders. Hutchinson. finalized 2013-ii-22. and other resources. . 1992). based on the design by Listenberger Design Associates of: Jean-Jacques Rousseau. news. Interior design by D. or Exhortation to Philosophy. a later date of publication for Protrepticus is also possible. S. in response to the Antidosis (353/352 BCE) of Isocrates. blogs. 1992). Cover font: Marker Felt / Verdana Front matter font: Times New Roman Main matter font: Palatino This is the version of 2013 February. but less likely. full and current bibliography. Print Printed with the kind co-operation of Saroj Jain.  D. Protrepticus.Aristotle of Stagira: 387 – 322 BCE. Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (Indianapolis (Hackett). Hutchinson.protrepticus. 180 Bloor Street West. For further information. Hutchinson and Monte Ransome Johnson. including updates to this document. probably. based on the design by Dan Kirklin of: Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Toronto. S.

72-74 pp. 1 Sequence of speeches of the dialogue A speech against philosophy 1st speech of ‘Isocrates’ 1st speech of ‘Heraclides’ 1st speech of ‘Aristotle’ 2nd speech of ‘Isocrates’ 2nd speech of ‘Aristotle’ 2nd speech of ‘Heraclides’ 3rd speech of ‘Aristotle’ p. 3-4 pp. 79 pp. 5-8 pp. 51-55 pp. 56-71 Evidence of the dialogue. 27-50 pp. 79-80 . 75-77 p. 2 pp.CONTENTS Note to the Reader vii Introduction to Aristotle’s Protrepticus ix Conventions and References xii PROTREPTICUS Dedication of the dialogue p. 24-27 pp. 78 p. 9-23 pp. not in sequence A self-refutation argument by ‘Aristotle’ Further evidence not in sequence Possible further evidence in later authors Proverbs: possible evidence in collections Doubtfully or falsely ascribed evidence pp.


365 years ago. and in Zeitz.” . Rome. incorporating recent developments that build on the last 13 years of research undertaken by D. Vienna. wherever in the inhabited world the mind runs.335 and 2. Venice. and this booklet is being printed in Toronto. as Aristotle said. because this research project is ongoing and we expect to add further evidence to our reconstruction of Aristotle’s lost dialogue (see Introduction). and now our research is now mostly conducted at our research archive in San Diego. Ravenna. Paris. keep in mind. It has been a lost text for at least a millennium. and this booklet presents a new stage of experimentation for us in what we hope is effective layout and accurate presentation of the relevant evidence. and it must have played a role in inspiring many thousands of young students to embrace a life of philosophy in the ancient world. This research was begun in evening seminars that took place in Toronto. Hutchinson and Monte Ransome Johnson. it latches onto the truth equally everywhere as if it were present there. S. There are special difficulties in presenting a greatly fragmented text such as this to students. This booklet was finalized in February of 2013. in Toronto and San Diego and elsewhere. This very recent document is also provisional. these would be gratefully received by us. at www. rather. before Aristotle’s text succumbed in the general collapse of the affluent and literate civilizations of Greece and Rome. If students or their professors or any other readers wish to send us their queries and doubts and suggestions for improvement. Aristotle’s original masterpiece was released in Athens between 2. The main readership we have in mind for this reconstruction of Aristotle’s work is undergraduate students at the University of Toronto.protrepticus. and elsewhere who would enjoy a lively introduction to philosophy or to Aristotle’s ideas.Note to the Reader What you are holding in your hands between the covers of this booklet is at the same time a very old text and a very new one. We have worked on this text in manuscript libraries in Florence. Munich. the University of California. “philosophers need neither tools nor special places for their job. But wherever we have been with this text. and wherever this text has gone to reach

Introduction to Aristotle’s Protrepticus
We believe that Aristotle’s Protrepticus was a dialogue in which at least three characters debated with each other in front of an audience of youngsters about the true nature and worth of philosophy. It was inspired in part by earlier works by teachers of philosophy which had the same ‘protreptic’ function, to inform youngsters about the nature and value of philosophy, including lost works by the Socratic philosophers Antisthenes and Aristippus, as well as the dialogue Euthydemus by Plato. Aristotle’s work was quickly recognized as a masterpiece and became one of the most influential works of philosophy in antiquity, inspiring in its turn many important later imitations, both in Greek and in Latin of which the most influential one was probably the lost Hortensius of Cicero. In this dialogue, Cicero presented speeches against abstract philosophy for the character ‘Hortensius’, as well as speeches for his own character ‘Cicero’, arguing against ‘Hortensius’ in favour of Academic philosophy. Aristotle’s Protrepticus apparently provided the literary model for Cicero’s dialogue, in which the author himself appears as a character who offers the decisive arguments that bring the work to a successful conclusion, accepting some and opposing other arguments presented by the other characters. One of these characters was ‘Isocrates’, who stands for Isocrates of Athens, a teacher of what he called ‘philosophy’, but of which he arguably had a more limited conception than did Plato and his student Aristotle. Another character was ‘Heraclides’, who stands for Heraclides of Pontus, a student of Plato and a contemporary member, with Aristotle, of Plato’s Academy. ‘Heraclides’ expressed enthusiasm for Pythagorean philosophy, which Aristotle shared only in part. And the third main character is, we think, ‘Aristotle’, who articulates the particular views of Aristotle himself, views clearly reflected in his surviving treatises. There may have been a fourth main speaker, as well as minor characters. Aristotle’s Protrepticus is a text with very many gaps, even in this relatively advanced state of reconstruction. We have no sure way of knowing how large these gaps are, or how extensive the work originally was, nor can we be sure what the dialogue did not contain. The beginning is particularly damaged, and we have no

evidence of how the work gets going, except that it was dedicated to a certain Themison, who apparently enjoyed a good reputation, not only for his wealth. The dialogue may well have been set in a Athenian gymnasium with young men in attendance, as in the related Platonic dialogues Lysis, Euthydemus, and Philebus. Our conception of Aristotle’s Protrepticus as a dialogue with contrasting speakers is fully consistent with all the relevant ancient evidence, beginning with its position on the ancient book lists among dialogues of Aristotle. Yet this suggestion is a neglected one in the tormented history of the reconstruction of the work. The most influential attempt was by the Swedish scholar Ingemar Düring in Aristotle’s Protrepticus: an attempt at reconstruction (Göteborg, 1961), but he started from the assumption that Aristotle wrote a continuous speech of exhortation, comparable to the protreptic speeches of his rival Isocrates. Düring’s attempted reconstruction was proven to be untenable by our recent study of the evidence preserved in the Protrepticus of Iamblichus: “Authenticating Aristotle’s Protrepticus,” in Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 29 (2005), pp. 193-294. In this article, we showed that when Iamblichus cited or paraphrased from the works of Plato and Aristotle, he worked in the natural order, presenting later selections later in his work than selections that had come earlier in Plato’s or Aristotle’s work; he did not scramble or rearrange the order of fragments, which scholars are now obliged to preserve, as we demonstrated. When we preserve the order of evidence, we see that there is a clear concluding climax at the end of chapter VIII of the Protrepticus of Iamblichus (at p.56 below), which had always been taken to be the end of the work, whereas it now seems clear to us that it is the end of the concluding speech of one of the characters (‘Heraclides’), not the end of the work, which concludes with a speech of ‘Aristotle’. Another technical shortcoming in the work of Düring was his not understanding the significance of the textual overlaps between passages in the middle of ch. VI of the Protrepticus (Protr.) of Iamblichus and passages in the middle of ch. xxvi of the next work by Iamblichus in his Pythagorean sequence, his De Communi Mathematica Scientia (DCM). Since DCM xxvi-B overlaps with Protr. VI-B, and since Iamblichus assembled citations and paraphrases in a sequence that mirrors that of the original work,

VI-C and VII). this adds DCM xxvi-A and DCM xxvi-C (p. in that work. The two chapters that intervene (xxiv-xxv) were ascribed to Aristotle by Walter Burkert in his study Lore and Science in ancient Pythagoreanism. DCM xxvi-B = Protr. VI-B. which forms the hard skeleton. The argument of DCM xxvi-A (pp. Further. 24-26) is in the voice of ‘Isocrates’. (Harvard. 1972). Düring deleted all of DCM xxvi from the evidence base of the lost text. DCM xxvi-A. whereas we are now sure that its origin was Protrepticus. To accept this forces us to accept that the intervening chapters have the same source. 2nd ed. Edwin Minar. and established that the whole section from chapters xxi-xxvii was derived from our lost text. we indicate what its position in the sequence of evidence must or might well be. Protr. VI-B. VI-A must come before Protr. prior to the location of the material cited in Protr. an incorrect deletion. and that Protr. and since this argument cannot be part of a continuous speech of Aristotle. . 1960. we scanned backward and forward in the DCM. VII-XII.36 and p. VI-C. In our headnotes to each fragment of evidence. but Burkert had surmised that the Aristotle work in question was his On the Pythagoreans. The combination of two long and overlapping stretches of dependable Iamblichean citation provides a new basis for a fairly full reconstruction. VI-B (though we don’t know how it relates to DCM xxvi-A). We also need to recognize that DCM xxvi-C and xxvii must come after DCM xxvi-B (though we don’t know how these bits relate to Protr. in his From Platonism to Neoplatonism (The Hague.38) to the evidence base. that our discovery of the citation technique of Iamblichus positively confirms this chapter to be evidence of Aristotle’s Protrepticus. We place all other evidence in its sequential position by noticing overlaps of language or themes with the Iamblichus evidence. Protr. arguing against Aristotle’s conception of philosophy.xi then the material cited in DCM xxvi-A (the first part of that chapter) must also have been part of Aristotle’s Protrepticus. and must have been located. Aristotle’s Protrepticus. We took the contrary view. correctly. tr.). The required ordered sequence of fragments is therefore this: DCM xxi-xxv. Jr. as if two partial but extended fossil skeletons had been found that overlap at the hip of the animal. by Philip Merlan in ‘A new fragment of Aristotle’. We also accept the attribution to the lost text of Aristotle of DCM xxiii.

these may be found by using the paragraph reference together with the internal references which divide sentences from each other (‘[5|6]’ indicates that the previous sentence ended on line 5.). Iamblichus. of which this passage may have been a more or less faithful paraphrase. reference is given in the headnotes to the current Greek edition of the text on the basis of which we made our translation: Stobaeus. H. as detailed below. Pistelli (Leipzig. In primum Euclidis Elementorum Librum Commentarii. not indented. 2-4. 1891. U. References to primary evidence For each paragraph or similar division of text. ed. to the line numbers of standard Greek editions. 32 and 64. Festa (Leipzig. In many cases. Asclepius and Philoponus. where we use this text once only. rev. 1. N. this means that we do not know exactly which words stood in Aristotle’s text. Words translated from ancient texts are set in boldface if we believe them to be the very words that were once in Aristotle’s text. which provide not only the bulk of the evidence but also its sequence: Iamblichus. In the headnotes. for readers who need to give exact line references to an individual sentence. when they are normal. references to each block of text are given. 1888). Our editorial headnotes are set in italics. not set in italics. Proclus. De Communi Mathematica Scientia (DCM). 1873) . ed. 72-74. pp. p. Alexander and two other Aristotle commentators pp. Klein 1975). ed. the evidence of which we provide the translation comes from one or more of these Greek texts. G. pp. Protrepticus (Protr. pp. preceded by editorial comments by DSH and MRJ. 9-11. two Vienna papyrus fragments. In all other cases. whereas the ancient texts are indented. Friedlein (Leipzig.xii Conventions used in this booklet This document consists of an ordered sequence of translations from ancient Greek texts that transmit evidence of Aristotle’s lost work Protrepticus. and the next one begins on line 6). not a citation. not boldface. two Oxyrhynchus papyrus fragments. a reference is given to the primary evidence.

and the list of titles in Arabic in Ptolemy al-Garib (title #1). in one book” is the same on the two Greek lists. although the Arabic list conflates Aristotle’s Protrepticus with his On Philosophy and erroneously reports the number of books of the latter work. the work is listed among the dialogues of Aristotle.The title Protrepticus occurs on all three of the surviving ancient lists of Aristotle’s writings: the list of titles in Greek by Diogenes Laertius (title #12). the list of titles in Greek appended to the Vita Hesychii (title #14). The title Protreptiko_ j a/. In all three sources. meaning “Protrepticus. Protrepticus .

285 BC). C. In this work. There is no other known record of a king of Cyprus called ‘Themison’. 262 BC). This dedication was probably in direct speech to the addressee. and we have no evidence of how the work begins. an earlier Cynic philosopher who is said to have offered a characteristically Cynic comment after having read Aristotle’s Protrepticus in a shoemaker’s workshop. The information is preserved in a passage collected in the Anthology of Stobaeus. except that it was dedicated to a certain Themison. Evidence: citation “from the Epitome of Teles. c. burdened by wealth and responsibility.c. since.21. ed. after which followed the dialogue. encouraging him to do philosophy because his humble station and relative poverty put him in a freer position to do philosophy than the social position occupied by Themison.32. he can spend it on these things. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) The beginning of the Protrepticus is lost. saying that no one has more good things going for him to help him do philosophy.2 Aristotle. .” in Stobaeus. Anthology IV. Wachsmuth and O. Teles recounted a story told by Zeno of Citium (c. about Crates of Thebes (c. who apparently enjoyed a good reputation. 235 BC). since the comment he offered after reading it was directed to the shoemaker. and his historical identity remains indistinct. He must have read it aloud in this shoemaker’s workshop. a literary structure which Cicero adapted from models provided by Aristotle. which cites a fragment of a work entitled Epitome by the Cynic philosopher Teles of Megara (fl. Zeno said that Crates. Hense. which he wrote to Themison (a king of Cyprus). as he has great wealth. read the Protrepticus of Aristotle. 365-c. not only for his wealth. and he has a reputation as well. 334 . while sitting in a shoemaker’s workshop. the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy.

H. 1984). We think its most likely context would be near the beginning of Aristotle’s Protrepticus. uttered by a critic almost spluttering with indignation. much. Thrasyalkes says it’s black. ed. column I. this one. conceivably his lost Protrepticus. It may be that he is responding to a book by Antisthenes of Athens (a student of Socrates). Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 3 We have no firm information about how the narrative of the dialogue began. says he would rather feel madness than pleasure. what … is mad … and what about Plato … and what … [I. Sequence: uncertain. even silver – and yet what could be whiter than silver?! – no. ‘Heraclides’ and ‘Aristotle’ go on to reply. pp. Evidence: P. greater howls from the philosophers than from the madmen!! [25] In fact.2-32] . this Antisthenes here. 59-62. why be amazed if people who are deliberating have their disagreements over war and peace.Oxy.Aristotle. no.3659. and Aristippus. preserved in an Oxyrhynchus papyrus. Cockle. when even the whiteness of silver is on the doubtful side. [8|9] So then. published in Oxyrhynchus Papyri LII (London. you would get much. but it is an attractive possibility that at an early point there was this hostile challenge to philosophy. lines 2-32. where it articulates a challenge to which the thinkers ‘Isocrates’. despite this. over alliances and revenues and disbursements and the like? [16|17] And what about the philosophers themselves? If you confined them together in the same house and an equal number of madmen in another house next door. … but they don’t agree at all on that.

such a soul and such a man must be hailed as being successful. who liberally sprinkles his speech with sayings and slogans to argue that wisdom is worth far more than external goods.666. To us. ed. 269-279.25.) … since … ‘dog in the manger’ … whenever … prevent <them> from <both saying> and doing something they decide they need to do. and in the same way.1 (Firenze. which is rich with allusions to classic Socratic and Platonic protreptic argumentation.1-57 + III. not if he is splendidly furnished with the externals but is himself worth nothing. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Our main source of evidence for the next passage is another papyrus from Oxyrhynchus. it seems credible to see this as one of the earlier responses to the challenge issued against philosophy (above).5. rather. the words it conveys begin at line II. but it’s any one that’s in a good .1-4] This is why those who observe their misfortune should avoid it.51-55 + II. It’s pretty much just like ‘a knife to a child’ how any of such things turns out for an uneducated human.3. Evidence: P. if it has been educated. even if none of the things just mentioned is present in it. Corpus dei Papyri Filosofici I.52-III. F. but rather by being healthy and in a good condition. with the omission of II. leading to self-indulgence and even gambling and women and other … “ Sequence: uncertain. if it has a golden bit and an expensive harness but is itself bad.Oxy. P. for where he owns the possessions he has the initial impulse for weak self-control. the sort of horse that we consider to be worth something.41. [39] For nor is a horse. beauty … are unprofitable to such a person. strength.4 Aristotle. 1989).Oxy. column I lines 51-55 + II. a soul. especially at Fragment D. column I lines 2-14: “reputation. [15] For one would not say that even a body is happy by being adorned with splendid clothing. later responses become progressively more sophisticated and controversial. is a fragment (possibly of Antisthenes’ Protrepticus).1-56. Vendruscolo. The version in Stobaeus' Anthology is slightly abridged. the same passage is also quoted in the Anthology of Stobaeus at III.4 of the papyrus and end at III. where Stobaeus refers to it as coming from 'Aristotle'. too. He seems to be making reference to the text from which a different papyrus. The speaker seems to be ‘Isocrates’. (This papyrus fragment is not the only source.3699. [I. and consider success in life as in fact not consisting in the possession of lots of things as much as in the condition of the soul.

’ [46|47] But everyone would agree that intelligence comes from learning or from searching. the more these bad conditions obtain to an excessive degree. and ignorance with power beget madness. which is the most disgraceful thing of all. is that their possessions are worth more than they are. ‘satisfaction begets insolence. and . [III. [II. as the proverb says.Aristotle.5|6] For just as anybody who is inferior to his own servants would turn into a laughing-stock. but rather. neither wealth nor strength nor beauty is anything good.18-56] . [41] For the saying ‘no knife for a child’ means ‘don’t put power into the hands of the bad.’ since for those whose condition is bad in those respects that concern the soul. [53] Hence surely we have to do philosophy unreservedly.4-III.17] And this is truly how it is: for. in the same way it turns out that those for whom their possessions are more important than their own nature should be considered pathetic. the capacities for which are comprehended within philosophy. the more greatly and the more often those things harm the man who possesses them. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 5 condition that we praise instead. when they do happen across wealth and the goods that come by fortune. [III.. if he comes by them without intelligence. what happens to those who are worth nothing. [51|52] Apart from what’s been said..

Evidence: Iamblichus. he was with Egyptians for a long time. even the ones handed down to him by others. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) The next fragment of evidence comes from Iamblichus of Chalcis. for the pursuit of mathematics.6 Aristotle.2] But since when Pythagoras acquired mathematics from foreigners he added much of his own. they say that Thales.2 + xxii. 66.17-67. Now then. and produced the same agreement always in all respects. DCM.17-67. and with those among them called ‘Chaldeans’ (for this is what the mathematicians among them are called). handed them down to Pythagoras [18 … 21] Moreover. 67. 66. in the third part. the first to discover quite a few of the truths of geometry. too. these views about philosophy are dramatically opposed to those of ‘Isocrates’.3-13. 67. entitled De Communi Mathematici Scientia. we need to take account of these sorts of starting points as well and to include the distinctive stamp he placed on mathematics. he conducted the appropriate investigations about them. [DCM xxii. [24] And since he was with Assyrians later as well. [7] He took a philosophical view of many of the truths of mathematics. [DCM xxi. It would seem that the character ‘Heraclides’ is providing an account of the development of Pythagorean philosophy up from its roots in geometry. and made them part and parcel of his own projects. after Thales. and made them fit in a suitable arrangement.3-13] . it is necessary for us to accept many of these ones. and from them he discovered quite a few good things for mathematical science. for this reason we would not be acting out of place to enlist together many of the ones that came from Egyptians as well. ‘Heraclides’ regarded Pythagoras as being the first philosopher and his abstract and formal mode of doing philosophy as being the only correct one. of his multi-part volume of Pythagorean philosophy. so that it never violates its logical consequence. Sequence: must precede the fragments on the next page. chapter xxi.

which both fashions its teachings for the sake of practical affairs and also lays hold of the things in a pure way. in fact.4.19-68. in the purity. and precision of his demonstrations. chapter xxii. if any of them.Aristotle. which was capable of guiding his listeners. DCM. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. he both employs great clarity and sets out from evident facts.4] .19-68. subtlety. Evidence: Iamblichus. 67. [22] Indeed. could understand the terms sufficiently. surpassing every similar type of theoretical observation of other things. and the finest thing found there is. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 7 After a gap. by sufficient experience. especially its ‘purity’ and ‘high-mindedness’. And he fashioned them into a starting point for his instruction. must precede the next one. the high-mindedness and the aspiration to the primary causes. [67. at times even making the mathematical speculations touch on the theological ones. [68. ‘Heraclides’ sings enthusiastic praises of the Pythagorean approach to mathematics.2] For these are the ones that are common peculiarities of such a science that someone in the present would propose as elements.

what they would say.8-24. and it was preserved unwritten in memories which now no longer remain at all. either from writings or from a hearsay witness. must precede the next one. about which no evidence is easy to find or discover. if it were permitted for one of them to teach us. is in agreement with this one. even from the consequences of the indisputable teachings transmitted to us. [22] And I believe that this mathematical procedure. chapter xxii. 68. Evidence: Iamblichus.8 Aristotle. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. it’s necessary to do something of this sort: setting out from small glimmers we should always build such things into a corpus and help make it grow. to the highest degree which is possible. or make a very close approximation to it. ‘Heraclides’ comments that although some of the Pythagorean framework is lost to history. But since the greater part was worked out by these men. it is necessary and possible to reconstruct the missing elements of it by intelligent speculation. we are able to make appropriate discoveries of the ones that follow. the one diligently practiced by its own originator. we should lead these things back to principles which are appropriate and fill in what was left out. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) After a gap.8-24] . [68. and we should conjecture as far as possible their own opinion. [19] For such habits of investigation will allow us either to hit upon the real mathematical science of Pythagoras. [16] In fact. DCM.

as well as to accuracy in its reasoning and contact with their own incorporeal substances. weaving the profit from it into their actions and their habits of mind. and generally they applied mathematical science in all departments of life. [13] And they turned it to account in the entirety of their private lives. [69. in DCM ch. xxiii (p. which is perhaps also the conclusion to this particular speech of his. beneficially for those who use it. as well as into the construction of their cities and into the management of their private homes. appropriately in business affairs. as well as respite from the passions and beauty in character traits. as well as skilled manufacturing and preparations for war or peace. DCM. Evidence: Iamblichus. [6] And in the soul it contributes to purity in cognition and subtlety in thoughts. since the mathematical discipline is of this sort. that Pythagorean philosophy advances the intellectual and moral virtues of those who take it up. as well as discoveries of the other things that are beneficial to human life. it earnestly and keenly and unremittingly sought out its own theoretical observations.4-22] . Sequence: must follow the previous passage.4-22. and in all other respects proportionately. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 9 After a gap. 69.Aristotle. and provides many practical benefits as well. must precede the next fragment quoted by Iamblichus. and in the human person it provides order in his life. harmoniously in both these respects. ‘Heraclides’ reaches the conclusion. chapter xxii. 11). Now then. as well as to symmetry and good temper and conversion to reality.

in the version of Asclepius of Tralles. testimonium 3. Chiesara (Oxford 2001). Homer> . 35-38). And since we also use the terms ‘wisdom’ and ‘wise’ generally. 12. about the development of wisdom in the wake of one of the disasters that periodically destroy advanced societies. in fact.13-42. M. rather. To us. [23] And since some remained unflooded around the mountains. it has been taken by the ancients in the five ways about which I am going to speak. perhaps for the first time. Other scholars have attributed this evidence to Aristotle’s lost work On Philosophy. as Aristocles says in his ten books On Philosophy. [21] But it did not overwhelm everything. the plains were flooded and obliterated. Evidence: Aristocles of Messene. and this intermediate work is the named source of the late ancient summary that follows.3-4. you should know that the term ‘wise’ is used homonymously. These general comments were paraphrased by the Peripatetic scholar Aristocles of Messene at the beginning of his 10-book volume On Philosophy. This history of mathematics was apparently preceded and set in context by a set of general comments spoken by the character ‘Aristotle’. On the Introduction to Arithmetic by Nicomachus of Gerasa. by Asclepius and by Philoponus. I. but most of all in floods. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) After this point it seems that ‘Aristotle’ spoke. such as the one in the days of Deucalion. among other causes. ed. while those in the mountains survived. On Philosophy. and this passage was known to Ammonius who used Aristocles’ book as a source when giving a lecture course commenting on the Introduction to Arithmetic by Nicomachus of Gerasa. but not for compelling reasons. ed. it seems to fit in well with Aristotle’s historical sketch of the arts and sciences of wisdom. enlarging on and correcting the history of Pythagorean mathematical philosophy that ‘Heraclides’ had provided in too dogmatic a fashion. both of which we present below. as well as the fragments on pp. Tarán (Philadelphia 1969). they die from plagues and all sorts of diseases. The information was preserved to us in an indirect way: apparently in his On Philosophy Aristocles paraphrased or cited comments in the Protrepticus of Aristotle. Sequence: uncertain. And those who were left behind were workers. what is it to be wise? Now then. [17] One needs to know that humans perish in different ways.10 Aristotle. a theme he presented in his Protrepticus (see the Proclus evidence on p. [25] as the poet <sc. The lecture course of Ammonius was preserved in two slightly different versions. for this reason their settlements and houses were there. cited by Ammonius. L.

33-43] Evidence: Aristocles of Messene. for the shepherds and those who have their occupations in the mountains or in the foothills survived.412 and 23. and this is called ‘skilled wisdom’.14-49. and this conceptual discovery is called ‘political wisdom’. to the very things that are always the same and in the same condition. and this kind of conception acquired by necessity is called ‘wisdom’. On Philosophy. in fact. Giardina (Catania. not having a source of subsistence. or something like that. they soared aloft to the very things that are divine and eternal. Chiesara (Oxford 2001). they have been taken by the ancients in the five ways about which I am going to speak. R. On the Introduction to Arithmetic by Nicomachus of Gerasa. [17|18] For one needs to know that humans perish in different ways: by plagues and earthquakes and wars and various diseases. [1. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 11 shows when he says: “And he founded Dardania. but most of all by rather cataclysmic floods. to be sure. [28|29] So then. conceiving of either carpentry or housebuilding or some other skill. testimonium 5.3-4. ed. they conceive of skills. 1999). either for hulling grain in mills. [1. [42] Fifthly. but it did not overwhelm everything. M. I. or for sowing seeds. those ones who were left. the flood of Deucalion was said to be great. [40] After this. [20] For example. [37] Again. in the version of John Philoponus of Alexandria.” <Iliad 20. you should know that the term ‘wisdom’ and the term ‘wise’ are used homonymously. among other causes.13-33] Again. but the plains and those who dwell in them were flooded. Now since we use the terms ‘wisdom’ and ‘wise’ generally.Aristotle.216-217>. since Ilium was not yet built on the plain as a city for mortal men. as Aristocles says in his ten books On Philosophy. and created laws and all the things that make cities survive. conceive the things they need. they advanced to the bodies themselves and discovered their nature by practicing the discipline of ‘natural theory’. [23] Thus indeed they say that Dardanus . “suggestions of Athena” and again “since the wise carpenter fashioned it” <Iliad 15. G. cited by Ammonius. ed. they focused on political matters.712>.

[32] So then.12 Aristotle. not having a source of subsistence. since the discoveries were so exceedingly great. but no longer stopping at what was necessary in life. but also going so far as to produce things that are beautiful and refined. “knowing well the suggestions of wise Athena” <Iliad 23. and again this sort of conception they called ‘wisdom’. they focused on political matters. they attributed the conception of these things to a god. and he founded Dardania. hyper-cosmic. but still they lived in the foothills of many-fountained Ida” <Iliad 20. [41] Again.712 and 15. and this they called by the more specific name ‘natural theory’.36-49] . for the Seven Wise men were people like this. who discovered certain political virtues. [44] Next. [1. and they called the one who conceived of these things ‘wise’. they came at last to the very things that are divine. [47] Fifthly. or some other thing like that.412> for. and completely unchanging. since “the wise carpenter fashioned it”. and they called that kind of conception ‘wisdom’. they reached the bodies themselves and the nature that manufactures them. the wisdom that discovers the solutions in the face of the necessities of life. [25] It was in fear that those who survived the waters lived in the foothills. [30|31] The word “still” indicates that they were not yet fully confident to have their occupations on the plains. and they named the cognition of these things ‘wisdom’ in the most authoritative sense. and we say that these kind of people who are concerned with nature are ‘wise’.215-218>. those ones who were left. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) was saved from the flood by swimming across from Samothrace to what was later called Troy. they conceived of skills. and discovered laws and all the things that make cities keep going. Homer> shows when he says: “Zeus the cloud-gatherer first begat Dardanus. since Ilium was not yet built on the plain as a city for mortal men. “suggestions of Athena” as the poet says. proceeding in order. either hulling grain in mills. sowing seeds. conceived out of necessity the things they needed. [38] And this again they called ‘wisdom’ and their discoverers ‘wise’. as the poet <sc. [1.14-36] Again.

[3] Just as among the Phoenicians the precise cognition of the numbers got its origin from trade and commerce. that have come to pass and will in turn exist. and that it was not among us. was the first to bring this theoretical subject over into Greece. they appear and again disappear during other cycles. too numerous to tell.7] Thales. 64. Now then.1] So the transition from sense-perception to thinking and from thinking to insight would be likely to happen.4 (Friedlein). 14. see headnote on p. having traveled to Egypt. as well as that of the other sciences.8-65. . For further comment. on p. for the reason mentioned. 68. in which he reports part of a speech from the Protrepticus by ‘Aristotle. that the sciences took shape for the first time. Commentary on Euclid’s Elements Book I. [15|16] But since we need to investigate the origin of the arts and sciences in the present period. attacking some problems in a more general way and others in a more sense-perceptual way. he made many discoveries himself. [64. and taught the principles of many others to those who came after him. and owed its development to the re-measuring of their lands. Evidence: Proclus. had its origin in utility. we say that geometry was first discovered by Egyptians.Aristotle. according to most of those who research the question. 14. the inspired Aristotle said that the same beliefs have often recurred to humans at certain regular periods of the world. [23] And it is not at all surprising that the discovery of this.’ who sketches the early history of geometry. or among any of those of whom we have any cognizance. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 13 Our next fragment of evidence from the commentary by Proclus on the first book of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry. [20] This was necessary for them because the Nile overflows and obliterates the appropriate property boundaries between them. it was also in this way that geometry was discovered by Egyptians. [11] Next after him.8 – p. chapter 4. Sequence: the verbal overlap marked in bold ties this evidence to the next fragment. p. on the contrary. [65. Prologue II. since everything that is carried on by coming into being proceeds from the imperfect to the perfect form.

Hippocrates of Chios. Anaxagoras of Clazomenae applied himself to many questions in geometry.7-66. [7] In fact. Hippocrates was also the first in recorded memory to assemble a written book of elements. he was also the one who discovered the business of the irrationals and the arrangement of the cosmic figures.4] Following them. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Mamertius. Pythagoras transformed the philosophy of geometry into a scheme of liberal education. is remembered for the effort with which he applied himself to the study of geometry. brother of Stesichorus the poet.8] .3 … 66. and Hippias of Elis did research showing that he acquired a reputation in geometry. who discovered the squaring of the meniscus. surveying its principles from above and tracking down its theorems in an immaterial and intellectual way. and so did Oenopides of Chios.14 Aristotle. [65. [15] After them. who was a little younger than Anaxagoras [66. [21] After him. and Theodorus of Cyrene became eminent in geometry.

as well as in the first sciences.16-26] And if it is necessary to attribute to this person too the name that is proper to his passion (as with the desires proper to other people. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 15 The next fragment of evidence comes from Iamblichus’ De Communi Mathematica Scientia (see headnote on p. this came to us from nothing other than them. In his introductory remarks to this chapter at 70. 5). we participate for the first time in a vision that is both liberated and fitting for philosophers when we are in their community. which are named for . whatever it is. and it apparently shows a continuation of this speech of ‘Aristotle’.16-17 of his commentary: “Pythagoras transformed the philosophy of mathematics into a scheme of liberal education. must precede the next citation. what is similar in nature to each thing is what is proper to it. [70. except to highlight the one comment that most suits his Pythagorean purposes.1-3. [21] And this exists in the sciences previously mentioned. DCM. ch.Aristotle. Evidence: Iamblichus. 6). Sequence: must follow the last citation by Iamblichus.24. at a young age. xxii (p. [11] But also the power of the science established it more clearly by the proper arguments in the demonstrations about them. without further need of the kind of induction that naturally arises through a habit formed out of the particulars. in DCM ch. because learning them occurs first in order. [70. Iamblichus picked up a comment that was independently quoted by Proclus at 65. clearly establishing the truth about them.” This indicates that for his book Iamblichus chose to skip over most of the material that was quoted or paraphrased by Proclus. and to the man of liberated status the dominant end of the activity in accordance with his proper way of life has its reference to himself and to nothing else external. 70. [13] Moreover it is the understanding of these things that has corrected us from being led astray when we were persuaded by many of the appearances. before citing the material that follows. If we have gathered any seed or principle of this kind of cognition by which we passed from a previous verbal acceptance of what kind of science it is to precisely observing what sort of thing its nature is. xxiii.7-71.7-16] But most of all. being theoretical.

we would see that it makes use of many of the things that we have seen in the proper demonstrations. [18] For even among the industrial arts we would discover that no small assistance has come about from them. [70. which we have established throughout what has been said.4] For some of those who wish to advance them would not seem to assign to them the appropriate rank.26-71.16 Aristotle. but in the others we would discover extremely few demonstrations that are at all like that.15] Now then. [71. when they assert that we need to create understanding of them because the training in them is useful for other theoretical fields. even for those who are accustomed to speaking speeches about them. both for many of the necessities for life. [8|9] For those things for the sake of which they encourage us to this are by their nature less akin to the truth. [12] And here’s a sufficient indication of this: we see them enduring and being trustworthy. [71. and not on account of anything else resulting from it. as soon as we are affluent. the ‘philosopher’ seems to have a drive for a certain science that is prized for itself. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) their fondness for one kind of thing).16-24]   . and also for those things that are worthwhile in themselves. even if some other one were to have a more exalted rank. practiced continually in the same way by those who take up those fields. nor are they champion competitors in respect of the precision of their demonstrations. mathematical philosophy has helped us. [20] And as for natural philosophy.

the objects that are observed in the heavens have the most honorable and most divine rank of the things perceptible to us and are naturally cognized by the science of astronomy. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 17 After a gap. [6] But we use the same thing to posit one science as being more valuable than another as we use to judge each one to be valuable. but they suppose the nature of the principle is proper to numbers and lines and their qualities.26-73. but it would seem to be absurd and entirely unacceptable to assert that the philosopher is related to the truth while thinking it necessary for him to seek some other fruit from these kinds of theorems (which have shared in the highest truth). but this is possible either only or especially for sciences that are theoretical.5. concluding that “it would seem to be absurd and entirely unacceptable” to maintain the position that ‘Isocrates’ must have been propounding previously. He had apparently viewed these sciences as defective in that they don’t yield results that are applicable in practice. or is in love with spectacular sights while .2] For it is agreed that there are certain sciences that are valued for themselves and not only for what results from them. who offers reasons why theoretical sciences have a higher status than other sciences. must precede the next one.16] Again. Evidence: Iamblichus. DCM ch. 24-26). [8] And we value one science over another either because of its precision or because what it observes is better and more honorable. Iamblichus carries on quoting from the speech of ‘Aristotle’. pp. 71. [71. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. [72. which is one of the mathematical sciences. of these sciences. while everyone would agree with us that it belongs especially to the mathematical sciences among them.26-72.     But not only because of this kind of assistance should anyone appreciate their power.Aristotle. and he returns to this sort of criticism later (see below. xxiii. there are on the other hand those who assign the seat of honor mentioned to the principles that are first. because of the simplicity of its substance. because their end is nothing else than the theory. but rather still more for themselves and because of their proper nature.

we will find that mathematical sciences share in all of them. have a precision not molded from empty arguments. sciences which.3] In general.1673. [73. but are proper and secure from their underlying nature.18 Aristotle. whatever someone would seek to require to belong to those of the sciences which are valuable in themselves. [72. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) thinking it right to acquire such sciences as these for something else. sciences which are about the most common things in nature as well as about the most divine of the things perceptible to us.5] . being full of the most numerous as well as the most amazing observations.

and putting the mathematical objects before the other observable objects in the cosmos.1] . Moreover.Aristotle. which is why it would seem to be fitting for those who think that the profession of doing philosophy is in itself valuable.9-74. they use them to create the syllogisms about them.1. Evidence: Iamblichus. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 19 After a short gap. DCM xxiii. as well as putting together the natural science which is predictive on the basis of mathematics.9-17] So it is probably for all these reasons that the Pythagoreans honored the effort put into mathematics. Iamblichus carries on quoting from the speech of ‘Aristotle’. as their principles. [73. by conceiving the heavenly cycles according to commensurate numbers with a cause. and by determining measures of the heaven according to certain mathematical ratios. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. and that mathematical theory is proper and akin to philosophy.17-74. who explains how the formal procedure of ‘the Pythagoreans’ is a paradigm of rigorous thinking. must precede the next one. [73. by theorizing what is possible and impossible in the organization of the cosmos from what is mathematically possible and impossible. and also how they apply their rigorous procedures to the mathematical science of astronomy. taking the principles of the demonstrations to be cognizable and in themselves trustworthy. for example: by including number in their reasoning from the revolutions and their difference between them. so as to be a paradigm for those who wish to infer the demonstrations in any precise way. 73. and coordinated it with the observation of the cosmos in various ways.

and turned their transmission by the same token into a sworn secret. they abominated this as a sacrilege.6. We should also note the contrast with the stance of ‘Heraclides’. [75. [19] And they communicated the awareness of them to very few. which is why they rejected those who were outside their society as being unworthy to partake of them. and one would discover that the starting points of almost all later further advances have come to us from him. 5-8. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Iamblichus carries on quoting from the Protrepticus. must precede the next one. This stance is to be complemented with the more critical comments Aristotle makes about Pythagorean philosophy in his Metaphysics.2] And to those outside the society he did not make public the advances he himself made.10] What he appreciated in mathematics was the . where ‘Aristotle’ is now explaining why geometrical knowledge was held in secret by the early Pythagoreans. whose Pythagoreanism seems to be uncritically positive. [26] And into the membership of this group he didn’t just admit people randomly or unselectively. pp. and if anything anywhere got published to the masses.23-75. but only with those with whom someone would share his entire life. but kept the arguments about them secret from the others. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. while he contributed to great advances among those called ‘Pythagoreans’. because of their camaraderie with him. 51-55). a credit both to Pythagoras himself and to his early followers. Now then. they applied this procedure to the theorems they observed. and at a certain time they removed the knowledge of them from the common and popular awareness. pp. not the entire science. DCM. but he tested for a long time the ones who were taken and rejected the unworthy. chapter xxiv. At this point in his speech. [74. ‘Aristotle’ is at pains to point out and agree with some key points and areas of validity and value in the Pythagorean intellectual traditions.15-76. 74.15-23] For Pythagoras took the position that mathematical philosophy should not be shared with everybody. and below. Evidence: Iamblichus. even adulatory or religious (see above. and why they focused uniquely on the basic principles of geometry. both in mathematical philosophy and in geometrical theory. [74.20 Aristotle.

and this is why they did not touch on the problematical areas (except the elementary ones) such as the application <of an area>. their power to discover further solutions to problems.4] And they created a ranking among them. [15|16] They felt this because they thought that the first principles of all nature exist in mathematics. because they concern a nature that persists and is stripped of motion and is also simple. and of these theorems he appreciated not the ones that were most difficult to discover. they made few commitments at first and then worked them out. not.10-25] And they turned a training in these sciences and a logical workout that was theoretically precise into a proper science. while the ones that apply to a complex are secondary. they set up a suitable ranking of the sciences. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 21 observed theorems themselves. unlike certain of his successors. but rather those among them by which to discern to the highest degree an ordered rank or some natural joint feature.25-76. as did most of his successors. [75. [76.Aristotle. nor did they make it their business to go through everything in detail. nor the squaring <of a circle>. such that the ones that are simpler are given the primary rank. [75. and it is especially easy to observe what they are and how many there are. and otherwise they practiced the discipline of bringing the theorems around to apply to other things. they set out to see in each case only the principles themselves. leaving aside none of the possibilities.6] . they brought to completion mostly the most honorable and most exalted of the theorems they observed.

but all the younger ones he encountered who were able both to work and to learn. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) After a gap of unknown length. 'Aristotle'. and what they claim is true. even without knowing the explanations.24-77. [77. 76. he encountered such people with demonstration and the mathematical studies. to know what to do. [76. even when paying no attention to the reason why they need to do each of those things.24-77.3-17] . while Italy was flourishing. And those concerned with the mathematical studies of the Pythagoreans <sc. the acusmatici> are Pythagoreans.2] They say that the cause of this dissimilarity was as follows. he conversed in a simple way. must precede the next.17. DCM chapter xxv. Pythagoras came from Ionia and Samos during the tyranny of Polycrates. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. and the pre-eminent men in those cities became intimate with him. Evidence: Iamblichus. Iamblichus turns to a different speaker. just as those who undergo therapy recover health no less. considering it no less beneficial. and say that they themselves are even more so. the mathematici> both agree that the others <sc.22 Aristotle. who gives another account of the early history of the Pythagorean engagement with geometry and other mathematical sciences. [18] And with the older ones who had no free time because they were occupied with political business. since it was hard to encounter them with mathematical studies and demonstrations.

but because he published and drew for the first time the sphere out of the twelve pentagons. Theodorus of Cyrene and Hippocrates of Chios.17-78. not calling him by name. they say that he was a Pythagorean. Evidence: Iamblichus. 77. and. must precede the next. he was allowed to make money out of geometry. [77. [78. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 23 Iamblichus carries on paraphrasing from the speech of 'Aristotle' with a brief report on his understanding of the role of Hippasus in Pythagorean geometry.5. [21] He would have been famous as its discoverer. [24] Mathematics was advanced by being developed greatly by two pre-eminent men. since this happened.5] . Now then.17-78. [4|5] Geometry was called by Pythagoras ‘research’. but all the discoveries came from That Man. DCM chapter xxv. they <are said> to be from those. [18] About Hippasus. for that is how they refer to Pythagoras.1] The Pythagoreans say that geometry was revealed this way: some Pythagorean lost his property. and these from the other ones.Aristotle. he was killed at sea for his impiety. and how this subject became opened up to the public.

they thought that these things are causes of what exists and are their first principles.24 Aristotle. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Iamblichus continues to quote from the speech of ‘Aristotle’. This may have been near the end of this particular speech of Aristotle. [78. for all these reasons.8-21] . Evidence: Iamblichus. because everything is clarified by using them. which apparently stimulated the response of the next speaker. Because the Pythagoreans occupied themselves with mathematics and appreciated the precision of its accounts. has to look at these things. chapter xxv.8-21. in pretty much the same way. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. must precede the next. they defined the other ones as well in these terms. 78. see next page. [14] Hence someone who wishes to observe the things that exist as they are. because it is the only thing that humans deal with that has demonstrations. the numbers and the geometrical forms and ratios of what exists. who continues his history of Pythagorean mathematical philosophy by stating what he takes to be the reason for the primacy of mathematics in Pythagorean thought. Isocrates. and because equal agreement is reached by using numbers in harmonics and by using diagrams in the mathematics that concern vision. [18] Now since they didn’t think it either more opportune or more respectable to attach themselves to the capacities of each of them than to a cause of everything that is also first. DCM.

1] . nor are we wealthy by knowing about wealth. for this is truly what it is to be successful. [8] And on what the end is. but rather by applying it to our bodies. but by acting well. if indeed it is beneficial. 79. must precede the next one. [24] Hence it is appropriate for philosophy as well. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. and not in the mere knowledge. the sort of intelligence that those around Anaxagoras and Parmenides proposed. the point for which the philosophers say they should be learned. Evidence: Iamblichus. but by possessing a very substantial amount. do we live well by knowing certain beings. as worse than useless. nor. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 25 After ‘Aristotle’ had given the above sketch of the development and value of Pythagorean formal philosophy. ‘Isocrates’ apparently attacked the Academic conception of philosophy. [79. a knowledge similar to geometry and the other sciences of that sort.1. If their end result is useless. with its heavy emphasis on formal logic and mathematics.5-15] So it should not be overlooked by someone who is going to scrutinize these subjects that everything that is good and beneficial for the life of humans consists in being used and put into action.5-80. it will necessarily be much more pointless to invest effort in them.15-80. there is pretty much agreement among those who have been most precise about it. [18] For we are not healthy by being acquainted with what produces health. DCM. [79. to be either a practice of good things or else useful for those sorts of practices. chapter xxvi. [10] For some of them say that it is knowledge of what is unjust and just and bad and good.Aristotle. while others say it is intelligence about nature as well as that sort of truth. most important of all.

and someone could realize that it is not useful for actions either. and astronomy – were rapidly developing sciences in the 4th century. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. they automatically do it worse. are altogether superior for all practical purposes. DCM. if they are trained and have correct opinions. just like those who do philosophy. The examples discussed .26 Aristotle. and Aristotle.1-13] The case is similar with music and the other sciences in which the cognitive aspect is divided off from the empirical. whereas those who have no knowledge of the arguments. Isocrates. that it is neither itself a sort of production of things. must precede the next passage quoted in DCM chapter xxvi (p. whereas those who have what are called . specifically on its focus on mathematical theory. [15] For those who determine the proofs and the arguments about harmony and other things like that are accustomed to enquiring. is clear to all. but take part in none of their practical functions. nor is any other of the sciences previously mentioned. Iamblichus carries on quoting from Isocrates’ attack on Academic philosophy. music. for we see the geometers being able to do none of those things that they observe by demonstration.geometry. and were discussed in conjunction with each other. when they learn the proofs. 30). from this: [5] we have the greatest example of this in the sciences that are similar to it and the opinions that underlie them. even if they happen to be capable of handling something in them. whereas those who know about the mathematical subjects and the arguments about them know how they should act. Now then. [80. but are not able to act. as if on purpose. xxvi 80. [19] In fact. is something that the land-surveyors can do on the basis of experience.4. [23] So too with the subject matter of astronomy such as sun and moon and the other stars. Evidence: Iamblichus.1-81. those whose training has been in the causes and the arguments have no knowledge of what is useful for humans. and yet to divide an estate. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) After a gap. and all the other properties of quantities as well as locations. in works of Plato.

1] Hence for practical activities sciences like this will be entirely useless.Aristotle. the love of learning misses out on the greatest of goods.4] . [80. and if among activities they miss out on the correct ones. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 27 navigational sciences about them are capable of predicting for us storms and winds and many of these events. [81.13-81.

some of them taking what is beautiful and what is good away from it because its arguments are not about those things. [13] He said these three things are what especially bring about beauty both in bodies and in souls: order. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) The above passage that Iamblichus had quoted was evidently under the eyes of Proclus as well. and popular arithmetic than the one that subsists in theorems. . compared with those who have devoted their leisure to theory alone. that there is no beauty or goodness in mathematics. we will agree that it is not the cognitive but the empirical mathematics that brings this about. Now then. for example. but also Aristotle’s response to a different argument that had come earlier. 25. with respect to the human way of life as well as our actions. [26. and nautical astrology than the one that indicates universally.28 Aristotle.) Sequence: we place this passage here because part of it paraphrases the same line of criticism as was quoted in the previous passage. we will oppose them by pointing out the beauty in mathematics by the ways in which Aristotle attempted to persuade us. ch. Evidence: Proclus. hence.6] For those who have no knowledge of the arguments but are trained by experience in the particulars are on the whole and in general outstanding for the needs of humans. nor are we successful by knowing about success but by living successfully.9] Now against those who say these things. 9.27. who. that land surveying is more useful than geometry. the benefit of mathematical science generally for philosophy itself as well as to the other sciences and skills will become more familiar to the listeners by means of these remarks. paraphrased not only the above criticism that mathematical theory is useless for practical purposes. (For Aristotle’s response to the ‘uselessness’ criticism. see below. Prologue I. whereas others declare to be more useful the experiences of sensible things than the things that are universally observed in it.16. [25.12-26. in his Euclid commentary. Commentary on Euclid’s Elements I.12 . but there are actually certain controversial people who attempt to demolish the value of this science. [23] For we are not wealthy by knowing about wealth but by using it.

Aristotle, Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ)


symmetry, and definiteness, since what is ugly also arises in the body as a consequence of the material disorder and shapelessness and asymmetry and indefiniteness getting the upper hand in the composite, whereas in the soul it arises from unreason being in discordant and disorderly motion and being out of harmony with reason, and not accepting the limit from there; hence beauty too would have its existence in the opposite things, namely order, symmetry, and in being defined. [23] And these things we observe most of all in mathematical science; we observe order in the secondary and more varied things always emerging from the primary and simpler things (for what follows is always conjoined with what went before, and same have an account of a principle, while others <have an account> of the things that follow from the primary hypotheses), we observe symmetry in the consonance with each other of the proven results, and in the reference of all things to the intellect (for the intellect is the measure that is common to the whole science, with which one also grasps the principles and towards which one converts the students), and we observe definiteness in their arguments always standing without changing, for the objects of its cognition are not sometimes one way and sometimes otherwise, as with the objects of opinion and of perception, whereas the same things always present themselves and are defined by the intelligible forms. [10] Further, if the things that are productive of beauty are these things especially, and mathematics is characterized by them, then it is quite clear that in mathematics too there is beauty. [13] And how could it not be so, when intellect illuminates from above the science, which urges us to intellect and strives to lead us from perception to yonder? [26.10-27.16]


Aristotle, Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts)

Iamblichus begins chapter VI of his Protrepticus by excerpting the conclusions of a stretch of argument from Aristotle’s Protrepticus. These conclusions in favour of philosophy as the executive ability to live a life seem to be spoken by the character ‘Aristotle’, who takes up and agrees, in part, with the Isocratean argument developed in P.Oxy.666 (pp. 3-4). Sequence: must precede the next citation; but it is uncertain whether it precedes or responds to the challenge issued by ‘Isocrates’, on pp. 24-27. Evidence: Iamblichus, Protrepticus, chapter VI, 37.3-26.

The things that underlie our way of life, e.g. a body and what’s around it, underlie it in the manner of certain tools, the use of which is dangerous, and rather the contrary is accomplished by those who use them in ways they shouldn’t. [7] Well then, one should desire both to acquire this knowledge and to use it appropriately, this knowledge through which we will put all these things to good use. [9] Hence we should do philosophy, if we are going to engage in politics correctly and conduct our own life in a beneficial way. [37.3-11] Furthermore, there is a difference between the kinds of knowledge that produce each of the things of which we want to have more and more in our way of life, and the kinds of knowledge that make use of these kinds of knowledge, and the ones that serve are different from the others that issue orders; and in these as it were more commanding kinds of knowledge exists what is good in the strict sense. [16] If, then, only that kind of knowledge which does have correctness of judgment, and does use reason, and observes the good as a whole -- that is to say, philosophy -- is capable of using everything and issuing orders in accordance with nature, by all means one ought to do philosophy, since only philosophy includes within itself this correct judgment and this intelligence to issue orders without errors. [22] Furthermore, since everyone chooses what is possible and what is beneficial, it must be pointed out that both these things belong to philosophy, and also that the difficulty of acquiring it is more than outweighed by the magnitude of its benefit; for we all work at the easier tasks with greater pleasure. [37.11-26]

Aristotle, Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ)


When Iamblichus carries on citing from Aristotle in DCM xxvi and Protrepticus VI, the speaker is ‘Aristotle’. In this general context he is replying to the challenges made by ‘Isocrates’ to the Academic conception of philosophy, as being hopelessly difficult, all hard work, and no real progress. At this point in his speech ‘Aristotle’ is discussing Academic theory of virtue and ethics. Of the four sentences marked in bold as exact citations, the first and third (p. 38 lines 3-7 and 10-14) are repeated verbatim in a passage also cited in Iamblichus, DCM, xxvi, page 81, lines 9-11 and 12-16. Sequence: must follow the previous passage; must precede the next one. Evidence: Iamblichus, Protrepticus, chapter VI, 37.26-38.22.

Now then, that we are capable of acquiring the kinds of knowledge about the just and the expedient and also the ones about nature and the rest of truth, it is easy to demonstrate. [38.3] For prior things are always more cognizable than posterior things, and what is better in nature than what is worse, for there is knowledge of what is determinate and orderly more than of their opposites, and again of the causes more than of the effects. [7] And good things are determinate and organized more than bad things, just as a beautiful person is, more than an ugly person, for they necessarily have the same mutual difference. [10] And prior things are causes more than posterior things (for if they are eliminated, then the things that have their substance <made> out of them are eliminated: if numbers then lines, if lines then surfaces, and if surfaces then solids), and letters <are causes more> than what are named ‘syllables’. [37.26-38.14] Hence since soul is better than body (being more of a ruler in its nature), and the skills and intelligence concerned with the body are medical science and athletic training (for we regard these as sciences and say that some people possess them), clearly for the soul too and the psychic virtues there is a certain discipline and skill, and we are capable of acquiring it, if it is the case, as surely it is, that we are also capable of acquiring knowledge of things of which our ignorance is greater and cognition is harder to come by. [38.14-22]

headnote to p.4] For whether it is fire or air or number or any other natures that are causes of and primary to other things. Sequence: must follow the previous passage.22-39. Protrepticus VI. nor are the primary things naturally <made> out of them.22-39. Iamblichus continues in his Protrepticus to cite from this speech of ‘Aristotle’. it would be impossible to be ignorant of these things and recognize any of the other things.8. for how could anyone either cognize speech while being ignorant of syllables. must precede the next one. Similarly for the natural sciences as well. see above.8] .20-24 (on overlaps. Evidence: Iamblichus. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) After a short gap. who is here elaborating the idea that there are fundamental principles and elements of nature. rather. or have knowledge of these while understanding nothing about the letters? [38. 81. 30). overlapping with DCM ch. [39. it is out of those <elements> and because of those <causes> that the other things come into being and are manifestly constituted. 38. for it is a much greater pre-requisite to be intelligent about the causes and the elements than about the posterior things.32 Aristotle. xxvi. for these are not among the highest things.

but the one says one. Sequence: The subject matter of this fragment ties it to the preceding. to Protrepticus. and another one (p. It seems that ‘Aristotle’ is making the point that the procedure of the philosophers of nature is a scientific and numerate one. lines 1-30. … for such a <science> … differs not at all in this regard from … . 189-216.Vindob. they declare the substances with regard to these … [B. in Studi su Codici e Papiri Filosofici (Firenze.G26008. This passage was placed here by Glenn Most in his article attributing this fragment. pp. [4|5] And so about beings and the nature of the universe they show that what things are composed of is not infinite. and from numberless things to number [19 … <five lines are too damaged to be legible> … 25] investigating nature. against criticisms leveled against it by Isocrates (above). another three. Evidence: P. another two. 1992). now conserved in Vienna. column B. ‘Some new fragments of Aristotle’s Protrepticus?’.1-30] . on the grounds that this is the only work of Aristotle that could well be imagined as treating of the themes in both fragments. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 33 The gap in our evidence of the text at this point is partly filled by a few sentences from an Egyptian papyrus. out of what things everything else is derived. another four. and from infinite things to arrive at limited ones. cutting off for themselves some one part from beings. [13] Hence they all try to declare this. 64) from the same papyrus roll. as edited by Glenn Most. but is a science in just the same way.Aristotle.

1 overlaps with DCM xxvi 82. are good things and their contraries are bad. using terms and motifs borrowed from the works of Isocrates. for this is the function of that capacity.34 Aristotle. intelligence is supreme among goods.16-40.22).e. 31). the strongest by nature. Evidence: Iamblichus. this is what we have said about those topics. a discourse based on intelligence. if the choice is based on his knowledge.e. must precede the next one. since philosophy is. what standard do we have.1] So one ought not to flee from philosophy. as we think. and that it is the greatest of goods and the most beneficial of all will be clear from what follows. [39. Protrepticus VI 39. i. both a possession and a use of wisdom. on overlaps see p. especially in the rhetorically charged conclusion at 40. but the law is a kind of intelligence. Iamblichus continues to paraphrase and cite from the speech of ‘Aristotle’. [16] And again. [13] For we all agree that the most excellent man should rule. and wisdom is among the greatest goods. and that the law rules and should have sole authority. He is now starting to argue that abstract natural and moral philosophy is highly beneficial for someone with political leadership hopes..26-38. . [25] Hence it’s clear that. Sequence: must follow the previous citation of Iamblichus (p. Now then. i. that is more precise than the intelligent man? [18] For all that this man will choose. [20] And since everybody chooses most of all what conforms to their own proper dispositions (a just man choosing to live justly.30 above.11 (39.1-11.9-40. what criterion of good things. that there is a kind of knowledge of the truth and of the virtue of the soul. directing himself against the view of ‘Isocrates’. it is clear that the intelligent man will choose most of all to be intelligent.9-40. and how we are capable of acquiring them. who has finished defending the feasibility of Academic philosophy. likewise a self-controlled man to live with self-control). on VI 37. a man with bravery to live bravely. according to the most authoritative judgment. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) After skipping over a stretch of text in Aristotle’s dialogue. a conclusion that intelligent people will predictably reach.1-11.

[6] It would surely be slave-like to strive for living rather than living well. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 35 nor should one sail to the Pillars of Heracles and run many risks for the sake of possessions. and to seek out possessions but for what is noble to take no trouble whatsoever.1-11] . while for the sake of intelligence devoting neither effort nor expense. and for him to follow the opinions of the majority rather than evaluating the majority by his own opinions. [40.Aristotle.

[24] In addition to these. it latches onto the truth equally as if it were present everywhere.22). on VI 37. must precede the next one.12-41. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. its practice greatly differs from all others: philosophers need neither tools nor special places for their job.5] . who moves forward to argue that philosophy is actually much easier to acquire than other good things.12-41. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) After a gap. wherever in the inhabited world the mind runs. is no slight evidence that the close attention comes with pleasure. [40. one might be convinced by the following.26-38. And as to the benefit and the greatness of the thing.2] Thus it has been demonstrated that philosophy is possible.5 (on overlaps. I consider this to have been sufficiently demonstrated.5.14-83.36 Aristotle. renouncing everything else. rather. despite no payment coming from the people to those who do philosophy which would make them keen to exert considerable effort in this way. [15] For. the fact that everybody feels at home with this and wishes to occupy their leisure with it. [20] And again. Evidence: Iamblichus. hence on all counts it is worthwhile that we should embrace it eagerly. see above. for no one is willing to labor for a long time. and despite having given to the other skills a big lead. overlapping with DCM xxvi 82. [41. Protrepticus VI 40. but as to the reason why it is much easier to acquire it than other goods. and why it is the greatest of goods and easy to acquire. nevertheless the fact that in running a short time they have surpassed them in precision seems to me to be a sign of the easiness of philosophy. Iamblichus continues to quote from the speech of ‘Aristotle’.

Sequence: must follow the previous passage. and it was when they had more than the necessities that they undertook to do philosophy. who recalls his earlier sketch (see above) of the history of the various forms of practical and theoretical intelligence. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 37 The next excerpt of Aristotle’s Protrepticus that Iamblichus provides in his DCM is a paragraph of quotation from the speech of ‘Aristotle’. must precede the next passage quoted by Iamblichus (p. but often actually get prevented by us.6-22.69). [12] And the progress that has now been made from small impulses in a short time by those whose research is about geometry and arguments and the other educational subjects is so great that no other race has made such progress in any of the skills. but when they became more prosperous they worked out the skills that are for pleasure. [7] For their first necessity. philosophy will in a short time be brought to completion” (Tusculan Disputations III. [16] And yet. that “since great progress has been made in a short time. Cicero later cited Aristotle as having had a view that is represented here. they have advanced the most.28. nevertheless. was to think about their food and staying alive.5-22] . Now admittedly minute precision about the truth is the most recent of the occupations. [83. Evidence: Iamblichus. 38). whereas everyone helps to urge the other skills onward by publicly honoring them and giving payment to those who have them.Aristotle. DCM xxvi 83. for what is later in coming to be takes the lead in substance and in perfection. those whose business is with these things not only get no exhortation from us. because in their nature they have seniority. after the destruction and the inundation. such as music and so on. [20] still.

The intrinsic value for those who take part in it would be clarified also by what Aristotle somewhere says. it is generally when they stopped being concerned about the necessities that humans turned towards research into mathematics. 28. in the same way. Comm.1728. rather. that it makes no contribution to our human needs. mathematical science is not to be dishonored for this reason. on Euclid’s Elements I. [12] Let these things too be said against those who dishonor mathematical science. neglecting other matters. [29. and the second ones are those that release the soul from generation and give it reminders of reality. especially those that are active together with matter. and in those that are of the same breed as perception before the ones that are recognized in accordance with intellect.13-29. and moreover that everybody feels at home with it and wishes to spend their leisure on it. Book I Sequence: verbal overlaps place this with the previous two passages. [20] Hence those who are disposed to despise cognition of mathematical objects do not actually have any taste for the pleasures in them. on the contrary. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) The above two passages that Iamblichus had quoted were evidently also under the eyes of Proclus. we also have a share in the necessities before the things that are valuable for themselves. they nevertheless in a short time have made such progress in mathematical theory. one should admire its immateriality and its having the good in itself alone. the whole of generation and the life of the soul that turns around in it naturally advances from the imperfect to the perfect. who paraphrased this part of Aristotle’s dialogue in his Commentary on Euclid’s Elements of Geometry.23-29. Evidence: Proclus. [3] And this is likely: for the things that help nourish and are of the same nature in coming to be are the first ones to be taken seriously by humans. [27.22] Now then. that despite there being no reward offered to those researchers. [7] So.13.9. [9|10] Indeed.13] .1] Indeed. even those who attain little of the benefit that comes from it. for the ultimate echoes of it do aim at this kind of utility. I. [28.38 Aristotle.

1-5] For the things that are chosen out of necessity are presupposed. The first phrases marked in bold were also part of the paraphrase by Proclus (see previous) page) of this part of Aristotle’s dialogue. so that they possess as much as possible. where the speaker is likely still ‘Aristotle’. [83.7. xxvi 83.Aristotle. having an advantage over all the occupations in beauty and precision. a paragraph of paraphrase from the dialogue.23-84. 42). [84. And so the knowledge of mathematics is far superior to all these other kinds of knowledge. 37).7] .1] For the things that are of the same nature in coming to be are the first ones to be taken seriously by humans. Sequence: must follow the previous passage cited by Iamblichus in his DCM (p.23-84. in his DCM. Evidence: Iamblichus. must precede the next citation from this work (p. [25} But this is true according to the following argument as well. DCM. but the things that are released from our bodily nature are much more honorable than the first. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 39 Iamblichus next provides. [84. but those that are valuable for themselves and serious are worthy of dignities and honour.

21-33. Prologue I. for example. Moreover. and how someone might be able to judge him correctly. i. [23] For he who has been educated absolutely is able to judge about everything. he needs to have acquired criteria of judgment and to recognize in the first place when it is necessary to produce the demonstrations in common terms. [33. [13] So just as having four external right angles does not exist in triangles alone. in which everything participates that has that definition. for the same things are not principles of shapes and of numbers. for example the definition of ‘triangle’. [4] And many things have the same predicate. insofar as it is rectilinear. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) The next piece of evidence shows ‘Aristotle’ now establishing the claim that a generally educated person would need to understand the principles of mathematics. the definition of triangle. Commentary on Euclid’s Elements I. in all triangles there are two right angles. but the common term differs in form in each case. each definition contributes some universal characteristic or affection. [7] So one should not demand of the mathematician a single demonstration of these. After these things we should discuss what someone should demand of the mathematician.2] For often the same things exist in things that differ in form. [26]. for example. [17] Indeed. Sequence: we place this passage here because of its overlaps in content with the passage that is cited next by Iamblichus in his DCM (p. for having two right angles is the same thing in all triangles. the triangle.19.e. says Aristotle. [10] But if the intrinsic attribute is unique. but also in all rectilinear <shapes>. in order to be able to judge arguments in that field. or of ‘rectilinear’. and when one needs to look at the particularities of each one. 40). the demonstration also fits every case. then the demonstration is also unique. 32. chapter 11. and that in virtue of which it is an attribute is the same in all. rather they differ according to the underlying kind.21-35. ‘similarity’ differs in shapes and numbers. or in general of the shape it is. Evidence: Proclus.20] . [32. and he who has been educated about mathematics will be able to judge the correctness of the arguments in it.40 Aristotle.

but not persuasive arguments or arguments filled up with plausibility. and to accept persuasive arguments from a mathematician.19] We say. [24] For pretty much all mistakes happen in this way. they would not be similarly precise.1] Everyone who has knowledge or is skilled should provide the arguments appropriate to the affairs about which he is treating.g. [15] That is why we say that arithmetic is more precise than harmonics. [33. and some are simpler and others more complex. or the different as the same. but are not actually giving a proof. e. that the . or the intrinsic for the coincidental. says Aristotle. and about the intrinsic and the incidental. but of the teacher of higher things concerning intelligible objects and the stable reality. to demand proofs of an orator. [16] Nor in general would we think it right that mathematics use the same demonstrations as the other sciences. because the treatment concerns those kind of things.Aristotle. when they make demonstrations of the same thing as different according to each form. but the latter would be more. [3|4] Similarly. when people think they have given a mathematical demonstration.21-34. that someone who is going to judge correctly the arguments in mathematics needs to have made investigations about sameness and difference. Plato in Timaeus also demands from the natural scientist plausible arguments. and another were to be a cognition of underlying intelligibles. and about all these kinds of things. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 41 In the second place: if he makes the demonstrations in accordance with the underlying material. [7|8] For right away those things that underlie the sciences and the skills make for differences. and about proportion. [24] For it is similar. [11] Nor should we demand from every mathematical science the same precision—for if one science were somehow to touch upon perceptibles. for example if some are immovable and others movable. or when they mistake the coincidental for the intrinsic. irrefutable and immovable ones. if he offers necessary and irrefutable arguments. and some are intelligible and others are perceptible. for the underlying things make for a difference that is not slight. thirdly. for example. [34.

Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) curved line is more beautiful than the straight. those that are more intellectual. for these things are not the job of the mathematician to define.42 Aristotle. and adapts its own arguments to every case. since mathematics has a middle rank between the intelligibles and the perceptibles. [34. [35. and those that actually touch on opinion.6] Now the fourth is that. those that are more discursive. [13] For it is necessary for its demonstrations to differ according to the problems.7-16] . or the equilateral than the isosceles. and many examples of natural arguments. and to divide the realities into kinds appropriately. since it is actually woven together of all these things.20-35. he needs to observe the threefold demonstrations in it. and proves many images of divine things in itself.

21-85. for example. demand from the mathematician correctness and his proper function. whether he rightly or wrongly makes the observation about them. [85. with reference to which the educated man will accept the manner of the proofs. The speaker is still ‘Aristotle’. similarly too about some delimited science there would be someone else who has the disposition mentioned about a portion.7] Hence it is clear that there must be certain such criteria in the study of mathematics too.23-86.16. 38). [19] For if in a way the same things belong to things different in form. below.3] For just as we consider the universally educated man to be able to judge in a way about everything. and being educated is being able to do the aforementioned. [84. or whether those who suppose the common theorems must also investigate the attributes of everything according to something common. chapter xxvii. though being one in number. we believe the generally educated man is someone like that. must precede the next passage. in the case of mathematics too. the demonstration of them would in no way be bound to be any different. whether those who take up each individual theorem of the mathematicians must make determinations about it in accordance with itself. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 43 It seems that the above paragraph is a paraphrase on the part of Proclus of the same passage in Aristotle’s Protrepticus with which Iamblichus opens the next chapter of his DCM.Aristotle. independently of how the truth is. so to speak. DCM. for example if someone were to make the demonstration insofar as it is a triangle or insofar as it is a rectilinear figure in common. [11] I mean. [16] For many of these things come about in many kinds that are different from each other. Sequence: must follow the previous passage cited by Iamblichus in his DCM (p. 83.7-21] . [84. for example about these here triangles. Evidence: Iamblichus. But since it is the function of the educated man to be able to judge to a good approximation what is right or wrong in the contributions of the speaker. that the correctly educated man must. whether thus or otherwise. [25] So this is clear.

[4] Thus just as we are contented with plausible reasoning from an orator. [12] For the underlying things will make an immediate difference when some are simpler and others more of a composite. and when individually according to each one. nor. for in each of them the manner is akin. and it is necessary to make particular demonstrations according to each one.21-86. similarly. to that degree as well the demonstrations differ. rather to the degree that the starting points differ. for to make determinations about these matters contributes a great part to mathematical education. and the starting point of some is intellect and of others is thought. or those in geometry and astronomy.44 Aristotle. [85. just as with the heavenly bodies. it is necessary to demand that the mathematician make his accounts in accordance with the underlying substance. [6] And one must not seek the same necessity everywhere. so one must demand from the mathematician demonstrations that are necessary. for example the things in numbers and in harmony. [25] thus one should investigate when one should study what is in common according to a kind. the same precision in everything. nor in cork and box and lotus. and to make the manner of his demonstrations cognate. [19] For it is not possible to bring to bear the same or similar causes about such things. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) But perhaps the ones in which the predicate is the same are different from the ones in which it differs by differing in form. so that here too one should not accept either similar causes nor similar arguments. [26] And for these reasons one must recognize what is the same and . but in numbers is something else.2-22] But a still greater difference than these is whether those who are researching have or do not have principles. [86.2] Again. not seeking similar precision in gold and tin and bronze. but just as we distinguish the technical fields by their underlying materials. or some are generally immovable and others movable. but of other things there are also small impulses coming from the sense. similarity in triangles is one thing. for example. in the same way this is so in the observational sciences.

for it is pretty much in these and such ways that there are variations in the demonstrations and arguments in each case.5] This kind of observation could contribute not only to judging but also to how research should be done. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 45 different. which. it will make the proper arguments. we should ascertain whether the causes about which the mathematician needs to speak are numerous.23-87.Aristotle.16] . [87. is not easy to do. [14] For the mathematically educated man can both scrutinize the causes that have been supplied and observe their order. [9] For nature itself by itself is able to guide us to the principles. for having determined the causes of each thing. [11] Again. and what is the same by analogy. [86. without being used to it. but is not able to judge autonomously each thing without taking up a different understanding. and which of them are naturally first and second. and which sciences are in greater need and in which the perplexities are greater.

that mathematical discipline is a central element in philosophy. and that those are more senior and more honorable than these. and these in fact are more senior and more powerful than those. and that these are not the principles of all the things that exist but only of some. and hypothesized only these principles. and it makes this discrimination as it should. [22] But since both in the speeches preceding this point and in the later remarks we will demonstrate that there are many and different substances that are unchangeable and exist in the same state. and from what kinds of principles it reasons. against ‘Isocrates’. [87. and it includes the way one should conduct research enterprises well.17-88. [88.10] . including natural philosophy. Many of the more recent Pythagoreans assumed that mathematics has as its subject matter only the things that are the same and in the same way.6] For the education which discriminates in these matters determines both the correctness and the end of mathematics. and about what kinds of problems it produces the demonstrations. DCM xxvii 87.17-88. so in the same way they define as different both the sciences and the demonstrations about such things. so it is for these reasons that the mathematical demonstration now demands a determination of which of the qualities it can demonstrate remain the same and in the same way. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) After a gap. and we will also demonstrate that these mathematical principles are not the only ones. not only the ones in mathematics. ‘Aristotle’ relies on the Pythagorean tradition to argue.23-24 to ‘previous speeches’ and ‘later remarks’ in which Aristotle will indicate that there are also non-mathematical fundamental principles. Iamblichus reports what seems to be the conclusion of this phase of argument: in common with Plato and other Academics such as ‘Heraclides’. Note the reference at 87.46 Aristotle. but there are also others.10. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. Evidence: Iamblichus.

for this kind of thing is what prescribes and . and in a pure way. [11] Moreover. the other part is a follower and is naturally ruled. [41. in chapter VII of his other work Protrepticus. Protrepticus. part of us is soul. [20] And of the soul one part is reason (which by nature rules and judges our affairs). which supports it as a tool. 41. 38).25. chapter VII. After a gap of unknown length in the dialogue. Iamblichus stops using Aristotle’s Protrepticus as a source.7-22] And everything is well disposed when it is in accordance with its own proper virtue.7-43. thus soul is better than body (for it is more of a ruler). as is the part of the soul which has reason and thought. When. for it is not possible to live as a human without these. [15] Furthermore. i.e. and the one rules. and it also provides something useful for our way of life. the speaker is still (or is again) ‘Aristotle’. according to all these we should do philosophy. the other is ruled. To be intelligent and cognizant is in itself valuable for humans. therefore the natural virtue of that which is better is naturally better. Evidence: Iamblichus. [27] And that which is by nature more of a ruler and more commanding is better. must precede the next passage quoted in chapter VII of his Protrepticus by Iamblichus (p. for nothing good happens to us unless it is reasoned and conducted intelligently. as a human is than the other animals. it is always with reference to that which is ruling and using that the use of that which is ruled. part body. being the function of their highest virtue. for these things come to us most of all. and the one uses the other. that being intelligent observers is the most valuable thing for humans. he elaborates a new phase of his argument. is co-ordinated. through doing philosophy. Iamblichus resumes his citations from Aristotle’s dialogue. 49). p.Aristotle. it’s when a thing’s most authoritative and most honourable parts have their virtue that it is well disposed. the tool. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 47 At the end of chapter 27 of his DCM. [18] Further. Sequence: must follow the previous passage quoted in his Protrepticus by Iamblichus (end of chapter VI. for to obtain this is good. [24] Moreover. whether living successfully consists in enjoyment or in having virtue or in intelligence.

[41. but if it is naturally composed of several capacities.22-42.1] Whatever. in fact. [42. there is no other function for it than only the most precise truth.13-23] And it performs this simply with knowledge. [20] And we can name no function of thought. it is clear that.4] Furthermore. [25] For when of two things one is valuable because of the other.g. I think one might actually take the position that we are this part. then. e. [42. [22] Truth therefore is the most authoritative function of this part of the soul. pleasure is better than pleasant things. that it is called finest. not by coincidence but in itself. and it performs this more with more knowledge.1] Thus nothing is more valuable than intelligence. which is better than truth. [42. i. or of the thinking part of our soul. the one on account of which the other is valuable is better and more valuable. and then it should also be called good. when disposition is judged against disposition. is the virtue of this part is necessarily the most valuable virtue of all. and the most authoritative end for this is observation. having the truth about existing things. it’s when the natural function of each thing is achieved.e. [9] So that which is composite and divisible into parts has many different activities. and of the pilot safety. but that which is by nature simple and whose being is not relative to anything else necessarily has a single virtue in itself in the strict sense. [42. either alone or especially. for the cognitive part.5-13] So if a human is some simple animal whose being is ordered according to reason and intellect. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) proscribes and says how we ought or ought not to act. both apart and in combination. is better than all the .29|43. of the several things it can naturally achieve. which we say is a capacity of the most authoritative thing in us. the best of them is always their function. both for everything in general and for us. for the latter are said to be productive of the former. and one should take the most authoritative virtue to be the one by which each thing naturally accomplishes this very thing. of the doctor health. and health than healthy things. for example.48 Aristotle.

which one would choose to have even if there wasn’t anything different that was going to result from it beyond the vision itself. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 49 rest of the soul. and nothing is better than intelligence. different ones will produce different things. for the end must be better than the thing which comes to be. nor is success. comparable. I think. since it is surely impossible for production to be its end. unless it is one of the things that have been mentioned and none of those is a function distinct from it. [42. for it is better than all of them and the end produced is always better than the knowledge that produces it. for if it is to be productive. [8] Nor is every virtue of the soul in that way a function. to seeing for the eyes.Aristotle. [43. intelligence is a part of virtue and of success.2343. [18] Therefore a certain observational knowledge is what one should name this kind. and its knowledge is a virtue. [14] Thus according to this argument too. for we say that success either comes from it or is it. it is impossible for this to be productive knowledge. [20] Hence being intelligent and observant is a function of the virtue. and this of all things is the most valuable for humans. as the skill of building (which is not part of any house) produces a house. [12] however.5-25] .5] Therefore its function is none of what are called ‘parts of virtue’.

25-44. [13] But among the senses the capacity of sight is distinguished by being the most distinct. if this exists more in intelligence. living is distinguished from not living by sense perception. it is clear that he will wish more for that which has more of it: for example.9-17] Therefore.9] But yet.25-45.4] Further. but every sense perception is a capacity for becoming familiar with things through a body. [44. and knowledge. just as of two things the more valuable one is always the one which has more of that same thing. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. and living is defined by its presence and power. if true opinion is similar to intelligence. if someone happened to choose walking because it’s healthy. and we choose it because the soul is able to have familiarity by means of it. and possible. if living is valuable because of the perception. Evidence: Iamblichus. and of the senses vision is necessarily the most valuable and honourable. opinion. apparently briefly. and if this is removed life is not worth living. and intelligence is more .3. Protrepticus VII. and we’ve been saying for a long time. and for this reason as well we value it most. as soon as he recognized it. perception. as though life itself were removed along with sense perception. [27] Again. the speaker is still ‘Aristotle’. this gives sufficient witness that everybody ultimately appreciates being intelligent and cognizant. he will choose this even more. just as hearing perceives the sound through the ears. who focuses his comments on the comparative value of sight. since having true opinions is valuable in that and insofar as it is similar to intelligence on account of its truth. Again. then being intelligent will be more valuable than having true opinions.50 Aristotle. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) At the above point Iamblichus interrupts his citation. if someone appreciates a particular thing because something else coincides with it. when he resumes citing Aristotle’s text. and it occurred to him that running is more healthy for him. [44. if we appreciate sight for its own sake. must precede the next one. and the perception is a kind of cognition. 43. [43.

for people seem to love this capacity exceedingly. [44. for they value it for no other reason than for the sake of perception.17-45.Aristotle. and above all for the sake of vision. and more valuable than living. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 51 valuable than it and all the others.3] . hence the main pursuit of all humans is to be intelligent. for it is. [26] For because people appreciate living they appreciate being intelligent and recognizing. virtually a kind of knowledge. then intelligence is more authoritative than true opinion. compared with the other senses.

Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Here Iamblichus stops citing Aristotle’s text. the speaker is now ‘Heraclides’. is quite clear to everyone.52 Aristotle. that nobody would choose a life of possessing the greatest property and power over people if they were nevertheless deprived of their intelligence and were raving mad. [12] Now intelligence is the opposite of being unintelligent. it seems. Protrepticus. when he resumes in chapter VIII. [45. this. So then. at least. just as being sick is to be avoided. Evidence: Iamblichus. in the way that some people who are out of their minds carry on. must precede the next one. [11] Thus everybody. chapter VIII. who articulates a Pythagorean set of arguments (from opposites) for the intrinsic value of intelligence. page 45 line 6 to 15.6-15] . the other is valuable. and of these opposites the one is to be avoided. so is being healthy valuable for us. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. [13|14] So. avoids being unwise most of all. not even if they were going to live enjoying the wildest pleasures.

Aristotle. he evidently resumes directly quoting from the speech of ‘Heraclides’ on the same topic. [20|21] Hence everybody. [45. while those of the waking are true. Evidence: Iamblichus. insofar as they have some perception of being intelligent and are capable of having a taste of this thing. for the phantasm in dreams is actually entirely false. and this is the cause on account of which not a single one of us would put up with being either drunk or infantile up to the ends of our lives. because the images during sleep are false. it is not valuable. must precede the next one. [45. [46. and call ‘friends’ those with whom we are familiar. it seems. chapter VIII.8-18] . for it avoids what it does not recognize. He argues from negative considerations for the intrinsic value of intelligence. even if we were to suppose that all of the pleasures were present to the sleeper. and naturally seeks what is evident and recognizable.18. [11] This is why we say we should honour exceedingly those who cause us to see the sun and the light. of our having any intelligence and seeing anything. that way of life would not be valuable. on account of this.7] And the fact that most people avoid death also shows the soul’s love of learning.25-46. but when sleeping is always thoroughly deceived. but has some affliction affecting his intelligence. and causes they are. and revere our fathers and mothers as causes of the greatest goods. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 53 After a zone of uncertainty. though sleep is extremely pleasant. For even if someone had everything. 45. think the other ones to be nothing. where Iamblichus seems to be paraphrasing. for none of his other goods would be of any benefit. making use of careful schemes of oppositions. too. [15] It is for the same reason that we also enjoy what we are acquainted with.18-25] So. what is dark and not clear.18-46. both things and people.4] For sleep and waking are no different from each other except that the waking soul often has the truth. Protrepticus. [46. Sequence: must follow the previous passage.

[46. just as with property. similarly. Protrepticus. for humans. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Iamblichus again returns to paraphrasing.4] . it is clear that recognizing is likable. much allowance is made for the many who do this (they pray to be successful. so too.18-21] In addition to these.4. but appreciate it if they can just stay alive).22-47. These things. [46.54 Aristotle. might show distinctly that what’s recognizable and evident and clear is appreciated. chapter VIII. [26] Now then. I think. but anyone who thinks that there is no need to endure living in every way already thinks it’s ridiculous not to bear every burden and exert every effort so as to possess this intelligence that will have a cognition of the truth. 46. and so is being intelligent. then.18-47. and if what’s recognizable and what’s distinct is likable. with intelligence: we do not. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. need the same intelligence for merely living and for living nobly. Evidence: Iamblichus. and of living well. the following is probably a paraphrase that omits parts of a larger argument in the source text. must precede the next one. it is not the same possession that is for the sake of living.

For one will discover that all the things that seem great to people are an optical illusion. [47. bound together with our bodies. certain ancient prophets or interpreters who “said that we are born to absolve sins committed in a former life seem to have had something of the truth.8): “if. were bound as precisely as possible one to another. it is owing to our weakness. and the shortness of our life. when he resumes the speaker is still ‘Heraclides’. that even this appears anything great.6-48. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 55 Here Iamblichus stops excerpting Aristotle’s text. so extremely beautiful on the surface. Evidence: Iamblichus. must precede the next one. when they had fallen into the hands of Etruscan pirates. According to a speaker in Cicero’s dialogue. as Aristotle says. The later ancient philosopher Boethius was evidently recalling the following passage when posing this rhetorical question (Consolation of Philosophy III.and beauty seems to be the sort of thing it is by our seeing nothing accurately. who saw through walls and trees. [12] For if someone were able to see as keenly as they say Lynceus did. [18] What is great or what is long-lasting in human affairs? [19] No. and in the same way our minds. for to those who behold anything eternal it is silly to take those things seriously. were killed with elaborate cruelty: their bodies. who had been converted to philosophy by reading it. so that their sight could penetrate obstacles. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. humans possessed the eyes of Lynceus. if Aristotle was right to say that we are punished in much the same way as those who. 4. would not the body of Alcibiades. [10] For strength. are full of indescribable nonsense. in the olden days. size. Protrepticus VIII 47. how could such a sight seem bearable.6-21] .15.21. I think. are like the living conjoined with the dead” (Augustine. [8] This makes it also right to say that the human creature is nothing and that nothing is secure in human affairs.78). whose speech reaches a rousing conclusion. reports Augustine.Aristotle. the living with the dead. and beauty are laughable and of no worth -. seeing what bad things he is composed of? [15|16] And honours and reputations. Against Julian. seem extremely ugly when its viscera are examined?” And the next paragraph contains an unforgettable metaphor that was recalled in Cicero’s lost dialogue Hortensius. objects of more striving than the rest.

similarly the soul seems to be extended through and stuck onto all the sensitive members of the body. and we live for the atonement of certain great failings.24] For the ancients have an inspired saying that says that the soul ‘pays penalties’. as if for punishment . since all of the other things anyway seem to be a lot of nonsense and foolishness. for.9-21] . Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) So who could consider himself successful and happy. [47. [16] For ‘insight is the god in us’ – whether it was Hermotimus or Anaxagoras who said so – and ‘the mortal phase has a portion of some god. looking at these things for which we have been composed by nature right from the beginning. our way of life.all of us .9] So nothing divine or happy belongs to humans apart from just that one thing worth taking seriously. a human seems to be a god.2] For the conjunction of the soul with the body looks very much like a thing of this sort.’ [18] One ought. [13] And by being able to share in such a capacity. this alone seems to be immortal. [48. in comparison with other things. for as the Tyrrhenians are said to torture their captives often by chaining corpses right onto the living. as much insight and intelligence as is in us. of what’s ours. [48.56 Aristotle. is yet so cleverly managed that. although naturally miserable and they say the Mysteries relate? [47. either to do philosophy or say goodbye to life and depart hither.21-48. and this alone divine. fitting limb to limb. therefore.

11-25] . Protrepticus.e. we say that most of these come into being through luck. [49. when he resumes in chapter IX. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. for something good might happen from luck indeed. In this phase of his argument. Some of the things that come to be come to be from a certain kind of thought and skill. for strictly speaking we should assume medicine to be the cause of health rather than of disease. for the sake of what). and that which comes to be by luck is always indeterminate. and this is something better than what comes to be on account of it. none comes to be for the sake of anything. however that which is by luck does not come to be for the sake of anything. a house or a ship (for a certain skill and thought is a cause of both of these).Aristotle. e.g. [8] But then some other things come to be by luck as well. but yet it is not insofar as it is from luck and in accordance with luck that it is good. while others come to be not by means of any skill but through nature. and all such things come to be by nature.) [20] Therefore everything done with skill comes to be for the sake of something.6.3-11] Now then. [16|17] (I mean all such things as skill is naturally a cause of. and this its end is the best thing. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 57 Here Iamblichus stops citing Aristotle’s text. but the things that come into being by skill have present in them both the end and what they are for the sake of (for the man who has the skill will always provide you with a reason on account of which he wrote.3-51. and architecture to be the cause of houses. must precede the next one. nor do they have any end. the speaker is no longer ‘Heraclides’ but ‘Aristotle’. chapter IX. of the things that come to be from luck. 49. in virtue of itself and not coincidentally. not of their demolition. ‘Aristotle’ elaborates two ideas that are extremely prominent in his surviving works: skill and nature. Evidence: Iamblichus. i. for of all the things that come to be neither through skill nor through nature nor by necessity. The conclusion is that nature has skillfully designed humans to be intelligent. [49. for nature is a cause of animals and plants.

[23|24] Thus it is the same thing.12-19] And someone could see this also from each of our parts.2] For some things nature itself seems capable of completing by itself without actually needing any help. and everything that comes to be (or has come to be) in accordance with nature at any rate comes to be (or has come to be) beautifully. [49. you were to inspect the eyelid. since what is unnatural is ugly. in respect of their nurturing. whatever kind of land they may fall onto. but humans need many skills for their security. then correctly. in a similar way. [50. even with reproduction. to begin with. but it imitates nature. for nature does not imitate the skill. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) But yet what is in accordance with nature does come to be for the sake of something. if a ship needed to come to be to provide transport by sea. from this it follows for the skills as well that everything that comes to be comes to be for the sake of something. and in what is in accordance with nature a coming into being comes to be for the sake of something. both that for the sake of which something has come to be and that for the sake of which it needs to have come to be. for example. and is always constructed for the sake of something better than what comes to be through skill. [26|27] Moreover. you would see that it has come to be not in vain but in order to help the eyes. [5] For example. [50. both at first in respect of their birth. [14] For we should take the position that everything that comes into being correctly comes into being for the sake of something. the animals are surely things that have come to be by nature. if. and it exists to help nature and to fill in what nature leaves out. if skill imitates nature. some animals also attain their full nature by themselves.58 Aristotle. [15] And surely if beautifully. but others also need the skill of farming.12] Further. either absolutely all of them or the best and . so as to provide them with rest and prevent things from falling into the eye.26-50. some seeds presumably germinate without protection. and again later. and. but others it completes with difficulty or is completely incapable. for example. that’s why it actually has come to be.

19-51. hence it’s clear that we have come to be both by nature and according to nature.Aristotle. [50.4] But certainly a human is the most honourable of the animals down here. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 59 most honourable of them. [51. for it makes no difference if someone thinks that most of them have come into being unnaturally because of some corruption or wickedness.6] .

surely the first parts of a human being to reach their end are the bodily ones. indeed the best of all). [51. and that for the sake of which is better. and an end in accordance with this nature is that which is in the order of generation naturally last when the generation is completed without interruption. “Therefore Pythagoras was right” to say that god constructed us for intellectual work. and it was for the sake of this that he had been released into this way of life. if for everything the end is always better (for everything that comes to be comes to be for the sake of the end.7-15] Further. he replied to the question by saying. [52. [23|24] Surely the soul is posterior to the body.60 Aristotle. for we see that it is the last thing to come to be by nature in humans.6-52. The speaker is ‘Aristotle’.8. therefore. [5|6] Therefore Pythagoras .’ because everything else at any rate is worth nothing. This is the thing for the sake of which nature and the god have brought us into being.’ and he used to claim that he himself was an observer of nature. and that is why old age lays claim to this alone of good things. [10|11] And they say that when somebody asked Anaxagoras for what reason anyone might choose to come to be and be alive. [7] So what is this thing? [8] When Pythagoras was asked. and later on the parts of the soul. some form of intelligence is by nature our end. he said. it’s also clear that we exist for the sake of some kind of intelligence and learning. ‘to observe the heavens.4] Now surely if we have come to be. who concludes. Evidence: Iamblichus. ‘To observe the heavens and the stars in it. IX 51. and being intelligent is the ultimate thing for the sake of which we have come to be. as well as moon and sun. and intelligence is the final stage of the soul. must precede the next one. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Here Iamblichus seems to have skipped over a portion of Aristotle’s text (the bit containing the reference to Phlius) and resumed with the reason that Pythagoras gave for humans to be alive. and somehow the end of the better part always comes later than its coming to be. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. Protrepticus.

Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 61 was right.16-52. [51.Aristotle. according to this argument anyway. in saying it’s for the sake of cognition and observation that every human person has been constructed by the god.8] .

then to be intelligent would be best of all. must precede the next one. But whether the object of this cognition is the cosmos or some other nature is a question for us perhaps to consider later. and. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. [11] For if intelligence is an end in accordance with nature. what we have said is enough for us for now as a preliminary.8-16. and virtue for the sake of intelligence.8-16] . one should do the other things for the sake of the goods that come about in oneself.62 Aristotle. [12] Hence. [52. for this is the highest of all. Protrepticus IX 52. of these goods. one should have the ones in the body for the sake of those in the soul. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Here Iamblichus finishes this part of the speech of ‘Aristotle’ by citing or paraphrasing his conclusion. Evidence: Iamblichus.

the ones which are appreciated on account of something else should be called necessities and joint causes. To seek from every kind of knowledge something other than itself and to require that it must be useful is the demand of someone utterly ignorant of how far apart in principle good things are from the necessities. would not any of us be rightly ashamed if when the right was granted us to settle in the Isles of the Blessed. and only thinking and observation remains. while all those that are appreciated for themselves. what’s the benefit for us?’ and ‘What’s the use?’ [28] For it’s true what we say: such a fellow doesn’t seem like someone who knows noble goodness. [52. as it were. in the same way. Evidence: Iamblichus. they are totally different. nor would anything benefit anything else. to seek from everything a benefit beyond from the thing itself. for this is not valuable because of that. should be called goods in the strict sense. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 63 Iamblichus resumes. [7|8] If what we say is true. nor is the good that comes from it a slight good. after a gap. we were by our own fault unable to do so? [10] Thus the payment that knowledge brings is not to be despised by humans. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. [12] For just as the poets who are wise say that we reap the rewards of justice in Hades. which we say even now is an independent way of life.16-54. and to ask ‘So. or who distinguishes between a cause and a joint cause. . by citing the rhetorically climactic conclusion of the speech of ‘Aristotle’ counterattacking against ‘Isocrates’. must precede the next one. for in that place there would come to be no use for anything. [20] For among the things without which living is impossible. even if nothing else results from them. then. and that for the sake of something else. [25] So it is absolutely ridiculous.16-53.5. this comes to a stop somewhere.2] One might see that what we say is all the more true if someone conveyed us in thought. Protrepticus IX 52. to the Isles of the Blessed. and this goes on proceeding to infinity – rather.Aristotle. it seems.

the truth. and yet not think we should observe the nature of things. if it does not seem to be useful or beneficial.5] . without payment. we actually spend on them). then. or fighting and running.64 Aristotle.e. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) we reap the rewards of wisdom in the Isles of the Blessed. and as there are many other spectacles we would choose instead of lots of money. even if nothing more is going to accrue from it (for the observing itself is better than lots of money).15-54. and it makes sense to choose it not for the sake of something else but for itself. [53. [53. i. [18|19] For just as we travel to Olympia for the sake of the spectacle itself.2-15] It is not weird at all. so the observation of the universe.1] For surely we should not travel with great eagerness to see people imitating women and slaves. too.26|54. is to be honoured above all things that are thought to be useful. and as we observe the Dionysia not in order to take something away from the actors (rather. [53. for we don’t claim it is beneficial but that it is itself good.

It seems that ‘Aristotle’ is making the point that those who produce their products by imitating those of others (as Isocrates was urging statesmen should do) are limited by the caliber of the examples they choose. ‘Some new fragments of Aristotle’s Protrepticus?’. if indeed he does imitate someone and knows what is similar to someone. and this one excellently. and in thought.Vindob. and for this reason Homer is good. someone of whom we happen to have an idea and an example among ourselves. Protrepticus X. [26] And so Timotheus in the “Lament of Odysseus”. This passage was placed here by Glenn Most in his article who attributed this fragment. he is capable of discovering. [18] There are some who do not imitate that person whom they propose to themselves.Aristotle. nevertheless what to Odysseus … [A. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 65 The gap in our evidence of the text at this point is partly filled by a few sentences from an Egyptian papyrus. 1992). and how. pp. lines 5-32. from Iamblichus. but instead someone else. Sequence: the subject matter (imitation of reality by the intellectuals who produce things. column A. on the grounds that this is the only work of Aristotle that could well be imagined as treating of the themes in both fragments. such as poets and constitutional thinkers) connects it with the topic of the next passage. in language. as edited by Glenn Most. Evidence: P.G26008. when she sees her husband being dragged along. in Studi su Codici e Papiri Filosofici (Firenze.5-32] . and Sophocles . in character. 189-216. 32) from the same papyrus roll. to Protrepticus. … he who is most fully capable of rendering it accurately is most fully a good poet.for what kinds of things Andromache would say. and another one (p. now conserved in Vienna.

2255. Sequence: must follow the previous passage quoted by Iamblichus. must precede the next passage quoted by Iamblichus in chapter X of his Protrepticus (p. 50.7] And in the other skills people do not generally know their tools and their most accurate reasonings by taking them from the primary things. Evidence: Iamblichus. need philosophy much more. i. below).in the same way. it does need theoretical philosophy. 54. from the truth. [54. and it is by reference to these that we judge what to our senses is sufficiently straight and smooth . 67. [6] But this is not something which can be done by someone who hadn’t done philosophy and become familiar with the truth.12-22] For just as in the other skills the best of their tools were discovered by their producers from nature (for example. [18] For some are producers of virtue only in the body. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Iamblichus finished chapter IX of his Protrepticus by quoting an antiIsocratean climax of the speech of ‘Aristotle’.3] For just as in building these tools surpass all.12-56. the carpenter’s line. Protrepticus. so too the finest law is the one that has been laid down most in accordance with nature. and string compass) < … a line of text is missing … > for some are grasped with water.e. above). others with light and the rays of the sun. [55.66 Aristotle. in the builder’s skill. at the end of Protrepticus IX (p. and ruler. by reference to which to judge what is just and what is good and what is advantageous. they take them . [54. When he resumes quoting in chapter X. so good lawmakers too must be experienced about nature .2. the statesman must have certain norms taken from nature itself.and indeed much more than the former. while others. being concerned with the virtues of the soul and pretending to be experts in the success and failure of the state. chapter X. For just as all the sophisticated doctors and most sophisticated athletic trainers pretty much agree that those who are to be good doctors or trainers must be experienced about nature. ‘Aristotle’ is still arguing against ‘Isocrates’: contrary to what Isocrates had said. political science cannot be done by imitation alone.

he moors his ship and lives life on his own terms. not of imitations. and get their reasonings from experience.7-56. [14] So just as no one is a good builder who does not use a ruler or any other such tool. but approximates them to other buildings. [55. whereas the imitation is of the precise things themselves only for the philosopher. for the philosopher’s vision is of these things themselves. nor can an imitation of what is not divine and secure in nature be immortal and secure. for an imitation of what is not noble cannot be noble. he is neither a good lawmaker nor is he an excellent statesman. [23|24] But it is clear that the philosopher is the only producer to have both laws that are secure and actions that are right and noble.Aristotle. just as if he were some good helmsman who hitches the first principles of life onto things which are eternal and steadfast. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 67 from what is second or third hand or at a distant remove.2] . whether of Sparta or Crete or of any other such state. so too presumably if someone either lays down laws for cities or performs actions by looking at and imitating other human actions or political systems. [25|26] For he is the only one who lives looking at nature and at the divine and.

Sequence: must follow the previous passage. Now then. this knowledge is theoretical. so it’s clear that. must precede the next one.68 Aristotle. [4] For just as sight is a maker and producer of nothing (for its only function is to judge and to make clear each visible thing). Evidence: Iamblichus. but it provides us with the ability to produce.2-12] . Iamblichus reports or quotes a new phase of argument. and generally gain through it everything good. everything. though the knowledge is theoretical. that theoretical knowledge is useful for guidance. Protrepticus X 56.2-12. we nevertheless do thousands of things in accordance with it. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) After finishing the above part of the speech of ‘Aristotle’. accept some things and avoid others. in accordance with it. like vision. but provides us with the ability to do an action in accordance with it and gives us the greatest help towards our actions (for we should be almost entirely motionless if deprived of it). [56.

Protrepticus. The speaker is still ‘Aristotle’. he turns in chapter XI to a new idea. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 69 Iamblichus has finished with the argument that philosophy is necessary for political science. [12] (For we use ‘more’ not only in respect of excess in things for which there is a single definition. for example. we mean. for we call all those animals ‘seeing’ who have vision and are naturally capable of seeing (even if they happen to have their eyes shut). having acquired the capacity and having the knowledge. 56.15-58. [56. using and observing. if we distinguish living from not living by perceiving. we attribute ‘knowing’ to the one who makes use of knowledge more than the one who has it. but sleeping people must be said to live because they are capable of making the transition into the process in virtue of which we say of someone that he is both waking and perceiving things.14. one with reference to a capacity and the other with reference to an activity. we say that health is more a good than the things that conduce to health. and one of the two is so called either by acting or being acted on. it’s clear it will follow that ‘living’ also has two senses: a waking person should be said to live in the true and strict sense. after a gap. that philosophers enjoy enhanced vitality as humans. even of people who are sleeping that they are perceivers). as well as those who are using the capacity and are applying their vision. and ‘seeing’ to the one who is applying his vision more than the one who has the capacity. [22] Further. [19] And similarly with knowing and having cognition. it seems. Sequence: must follow the previous passage.15-57. when some one word means each of two things. Evidence: Iamblichus. but in the other sense as being able to use them (that’s why we say. must precede the next one. and ‘perceiving’ has two senses. chapter XI. The word ‘living’ seems to mean two things. in one case. . but also in respect of what is prior and posterior. we shall attribute the term as applying more to this one: for example.6] Because of this and with a view to this. and in the other case. in the strict sense as using the senses.Aristotle.

to those who are using their intelligence. [16|17] And yet we see. the one who exercises his soul than the one who merely has it.e. for presumably it is for this use that the other ones have their uses. or else the greatest one of all.e. for the natural objective and mode of use belong to someone who uses a thing nobly and accurately.1] Thus one should say that someone who uses a thing correctly is using it more.70 Aristotle. [57. that he is the sort who is such as to act or be acted upon in this way. when someone is doing this very thing. to the intelligent. that it is not by the definition of ‘good’ being predicable of both that it applies to each of them. surely.58.27|58.10] . for it is on account of this that we say that he is alive. to beneficial things as well as to virtue. too. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) and that what is valuable by its own nature is more a good than what produces it. should be attributed. i. with flutes. one uses them either only when playing the flute.) [19] Therefore the waking person should be called more ‘alive’ than the sleeping one. and this is the one who is intelligent and observant according to the most precise knowledge. when he is doing the best of them. [5] Therefore it is now simple and easy for anyone to reach the conclusion that he who thinks correctly is more alive. for example. and he who most attains truth lives most. surely. and if the capacity is for a number of things. is thinking and reasoning. [57.6-23] Thus this is what it is to use anything: if the capacity is for a single thing. or especially then. and it is then and to those that living perfectly. [57.23. [3] Now the only function of the soul. i.

Aristotle. nor has been brought the drink he enjoys. [9] Further. and we say the pleasure that comes from life is the one that comes from the uses of the soul.17-59.3] Thus we attribute living more to the one who is awake rather than to the one who is asleep. must precede the next one. certainly. for nothing prevents someone who is not thirsty. [21] Thus we will say that this fellow enjoys himself. from enjoying himself while drinking. either alone or most of all. [7] Further. Furthermore. for this is being truly alive. [11] Therefore living pleasantly and feeling true enjoyment belong only to philosophers. [58. but insofar as we all feel pain or pleasure by their presence. who proceeds to demonstrate that philosophers enjoy the highest pleasure. we will also call a life pleasant if its presence is pleasant to those who have it. not insofar as we happen to feel pain or pleasure in their presence.17. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 71 Iamblichus continues to cite from the speech of ‘Aristotle’. and enjoys himself while drinking. [27] So. still the most authoritative one of all.15-59.3-13] . [23] Thus in the same way we will also say that walking and sitting and learning and every process is pleasant or painful. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. and not because he enjoys drinking. or to them most of all. even if there are many uses of the soul. Protrepticus XI 58. not because he is drinking but because he happens at the same time to be seeing or being seen as he sits there. and that not all to whom it happens that they enjoy themselves while living are living pleasantly. it is clear that the pleasure that arises from being intelligent and observant must be the pleasure that comes from living. there is a difference between enjoying oneself while drinking and enjoying drinking. is the use of intelligence to the highest degree. but not because he’s drinking. [59. similarly. Evidence: Iamblichus. only those to whom living itself is pleasant and who enjoy the pleasure that comes from life. and to the one who is being intelligent more than to the one who is unintelligent.

Evidence: Iamblichus. chapter XII. who braids together strands of previous arguments to reach a conclusion that is apparently his ultimate conclusion: philosophy is the indispensable key element in a successful human life. anyway. even if someone were to say that all these same things together are success. for a virtue is the most authoritative thing in us. [60.2460. most of all.1] Thus if it is intelligence. and similarly. or great enjoyment. for surely this either is living perfectly well.26] Thus we take the position that success is either intelligence and a certain wisdom. or all these. .10. clearly only philosophers will have a successful life. is intelligence. For everything. [60. on a one to one basis. speaking on a one to one basis. both those things we do as necessary and the pleasant things that make us feel successful.24-60. both those that are for this and those that are on account of this <are valuable … a line of text is missing … > to be valuable for everyone. Sequence: must follow the previous passage. [59.7] Hence everyone who is capable of it should do philosophy.72 Aristotle. or virtue. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) After a gap. or is. that is to be defined as being intelligent. which is lost. Protrepticus.10] We have no evidence about the work’s conclusion. [59. in chapter XII Iamblichus continues quoting ‘Aristotle’. and if it is virtue of the soul or enjoyment. and the most pleasant of all things. even so it will belong to them either alone or most of all. responsible for it in their souls. 59.

p. was in a pragmatically self-refuting position: in arguing this point he is already using the tools of philosophy and is automatically committed to it. ‘Aristotle’ made the clever point that his opponent. when disputing against philosophy. who was trying to prove that philosophy should not be studied. 27-50). 149. in life. Miscellanies 6. was modeled on ‘Isocrates’ in Aristotle’s dialogue. of which many excerpts are preserved (pp. Sequence: quite uncertain. So one should do philosophy. since ‘to do . pp. if someone should say that one should not do philosophy. in Cicero’s dialogue Hortensius. since it is up to philosophers to discuss what should be done.9-15 (Wallies) It is possible to deconstruct a position by taking all the significations of all of them. and that after he offered this self-refutation repudiation. 24-27). Commentary on Aristotle’s Topics (on II.18.Aristotle. for this follows from the thing itself. Our best guess about its position in the sequence of evidence is that it was the first riposte made by Aristotle to the intellectually sophisticated challenge of Isocrates (pp. for one does not condemn something without first knowing about it. in one of his speeches. Divine Institutes 3. which we present here in roughly chronological order.5: For this argument does indeed seem to me to be a good one: if one should do philosophy. but likewise even if one should not do philosophy. was trapped by a brilliant conclusion. then one should do philosophy. ‘Hortensius’ in Cicero’s dialogue Hortensius>. he seemed nevertheless to be doing philosophy. Evidence: We have numerous somewhat differing accounts of this line of thought. c) Alexander of Aphrodisias. b) Clement of Alexandria.16. Who was this opponent? ‘Isocrates’ had argued in this vein against Academic philosophy (see above. a) Lactantius. or not done. when he said that one should not do philosophy. and he ends up being trapped by this “brilliant conclusion” as well. he offered his detailed positive argument in favour of philosophy. then.3 110a2). ‘Hortensius’. and it would seem that it was Isocrates whom ‘Aristotle’ entrapped with this dialectical gambit. 24-27). for instance. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 73 A self-refutation argument by ‘Aristotle’ At some point in the dialogue.396b: Hortensius in Cicero <sc.

it follows that demonstration exists. p. you should do philosophy. Aristotle> says in the Protrepticus). for from demonstration not existing. whether one should do philosophy or not (as he <sc. VIII). For if philosophy exists. even so we are obliged to investigate how it is that philosophy does not truly exist. demonstration exists. then positively we are obliged to do philosophy. you should do philosophy. demonstration exists. you should do philosophy. must be understood through a dialectical undertaking. Against the Logicians II (Adv. Therefore in every case you should do philosophy. M. we will entirely eliminate the proposal. and if you should not do philosophy. d) Sextus Empiricus. for even this. the leading premise. But if it does not truly exist. But by investigating we would be doing philosophy. as Aristotle says in his writing entitled Protrepticus. 3. Anthology II. g) Elias. for the very argument that shows that demonstration does not exist. since to investigate is the cause of philosophy. f) Olympiodorus. and in every case you should do philosophy. then you should do philosophy.’ … The second conditional is also sound.74 Aristotle.17-23 (Busse) Indeed.6 The all-encompassing discipline is dialectical logic. Commentary on Plato’s Alcibiades 119a-120d And Aristotle said in his Protrepticus that if you should do philosophy. since it truly exists. since it is demonstrative. so demonstration exists. Letter to Sopater on Dialectic. confirms that demonstration does exist.he says this: if you should do philosophy. by showing each of these to be appropriate for a human. e) Iamblichus. and in general it is possible neither to speak nor to hear when this method is removed. if demonstration does not exist. . Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) philosophy’ means to investigate this very thing. in which he exhorts the youth men to do philosophy . but demonstration either does or does not exist. and it also means to pursue philosophical study. but if you should not do philosophy. cited in Stobaeus.2. 466-467 And some also have this line of inquiry: ‘if demonstration exists. that it is not necessary to pursue dialectic. Prolegomena to Philosophy.

i) Anonymous.2064. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 75 h) David. But if one has used demonstrations. the paraconditional> is also Aristotle’s agument in the Protrepticus: whether you should do philosophy or you should not do philosophy. Byzantine encyclopedia. then it is clear that one does This form <sc. For they have used a demonstration. On the General Forms of the Syllogism. f. And if someone says that you should be a philosopher. if someone says that you should not be a philosopher. by means of which they refute philosophy. they have used a demonstration. But if they have used a demonstration. the only difference is the omission in the Suda of the provenance of the argument (“as he says in the Protrepticus”). ix-xii of CIAG 5. xi. j) Suda. you should do philosophy.263a (pp.2-12 (Busse) And Aristotle. says this: if you should not do philosophy. 9. in which he exhorts the young men to do philosophy. For example. in Cod. and is certainly derived from it. For philosophy is the mother of demonstrations. ed. by means of which the arguments are proven. there is a note under the lemma Filosofei= n . so in every case you should do philosophy. For philosophy is the mother of demonstrations. in a certain written speech in his Protrepticus. by means of which they demonstrate that philosophy truly exists.Aristotle.Par. then you should do philosophy. both the one who refutes philosophy and the one who does not. So in any case one does philosophy. information provided by Alexander. And indeed either you should do philosophy or you should not do philosophy.6. p. and if you should do philosophy. Wallies). again they do philosophy. So in any case you should do philosophy. which is literally identical to the report in Alexander of Aphrodisias (above). then it is clear that they do philosophy. then you should do philosophy. F 414 (Adler) In this 10th c. . For each of them has used a demonstration. Prolegomena to Philosophy.

whether or not we agree that they derive from the lost text.’ for example” (II. Aristotle appears to make reference to his earlier Protrepticus while providing an example of a certain type of rhetorical argument. Philodemus returned repeatedly to attack Aristotle on this point. as detailed below. b) When Philodemus attacked Aristotle in On Rhetoric Book VI (col. . much of his attack was against the ‘Aristotle’ of the Protrepticus. Its abrupt introduction suggests that the audience of the Rhetoric was expected to be familiar with the Protrepticus. to whom he attributes this aggressive comment: “’Tis a shame to be silent and let Isocrates speak” (col.76 Aristotle. 197-198). which is “to take the result of each to be always the same: ‘You are going to give your verdict not about Isocrates. of various sorts. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Further unsequenced evidence In our forthcoming edition.” The Antidosis of Isocrates was alluded to on numerous occasions in Aristotle’s Protrepticus. it is one of the greatest things. Evidence in rhetorical works concerning the polemic between Isocrates and Aristotle: a) In his work On Rhetoric. we propose to include an account of all fragments that have been attributed by scholars to Aristotle’s Protrepticus. 192-203). 192). The most important evidence—and all the evidence that can be securely placed in sequence—has been included in this reconstruction. whether you should do philosophy. during his exhortation of the young men towards the worse. did he also hazard terrible revenge and hostility on the part of the students of Isocrates. but there is further evidence. but about an occupation. in the presence of Isocrates who was arguing otherwise. This parody of a line from a lost tragedy of Euripides seems to have been put in the mouth of ‘Aristotle’.23 1399b10-11). Isocrates had rather pompously said this in his Antidosis (173): “It is not a small matter about which we are engaged. to which many of the younger ones are applying their minds. when starting off his reply to one of Isocrates’ speeches. For you are going to cast your vote not only about me but about an occupation. Aristotle seems to have adapted this line from one of the works of Isocrates to use against him in the dialogue. wondering “why. This seems to refer to the situation of ‘Aristotle’ attempting to persuade the young men in the internal audience of the dialogue to do philosophy. both the speech and the verdict. as well as the other sophists?” (col.

Aristotle regarded Sardanapallus as remarkably silly.13.5. (However.Aristotle. when the irrational element is removed but he retains the intellect. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 77 Further evidence in Iamblichus’ Protrepticus: In chapter V of his Protrepticus. De Finibus II. This latter point has a good chance of being derived from the lost dialogue. he turns into a wild animal. Cicero tells us that he lacked intelligence and selfrestraint. it is unlikely to be derived from the same part of the dialogue as the closing paragraph of Heraclides’ speech. and this is present among the gods alone. the ox to plough. 672c). but have absolutely no allotment of theoretical wisdom. the dog to follow a scent.9. was notorious for extreme hedonism. when intellect alone is removed.9-13). ‘would you have inscribed on the sepulchre of an ox. who also “have some small glimmers of reason and intelligence. “When perception and intellect are removed. so man (as Aristotle says) is born as a sort of mortal god for two things: for understanding and for action” (De Finibus II. and could be compared with the comment above comparing humans with beasts and gods. and it is this Greek version that we have translated in the above excerpt from Cicero.” The lively way that Aristotle . Cicero approves by contrast the idea “that as the horse is born to run. he bears a resemblance to a god” (35. Iamblichus includes at least two citations. a human becomes pretty much like a plant. the other citation in this zone of Iamblichus’ text compares humans with gods and animals. and that he “ordered these words to be inscribed on his tomb: ‘What I have is what I ate and raped and felt with erotic delight. rather than a king? He says he has in death the things which even in life he had no longer than while he enjoyed them’“ (Tusculan Disputations V.’ says Aristotle. so it was a mistake for the editors of Aristotle’s dialogues to catalogue it as among the evidence in ‘fragment 10’.35.) Fragment 16 (Walzer/Ross) Sardanapallus.’ ‘What else. cf. probably from Aristotle’s Protrepticus.39-40). what I left behind is all that great prosperity. Similarly. Fragment 10c (Walzer/Ross) In the course of disapproving of an opinion of the Cyrenaic philosophers. (This outrageous epitaph is recorded also by Strabo (14.32. “even sillier than the name of his father would suggest.) According to Athenaeus (VIII 335f). probably from an early speech of ‘Aristotle’. since humans actually fall short of many animals in the precision and strength of their perceptions as well as their impulses” (36.101.14-18).106). a king of Syria.

1-2.5-7. Chalcidius transmits a report about Aristotle which has a fairly good chance of being drawn ultimately from the lost dialogue Protrepticus. forthcoming in The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (ed. and great lack of wisdom or childishness being a form of madness. being deceived by images.1-3. if so. Metaphysics I. passim. R. because their mind differs very little from that of a child. Polansky). Nicomachean Ethics. in contexts where material has also been derived or adapted from his earlier Protrepticus. Apart from the many parallel ideas and turns of phrase found in the Corpus. such as Protrepticus. “Aristotle uses an example of crystal clarity: the height of madness is reached when a man not only is ignorant. found in the reconstructed Protrepticus. passim. several passages therein are indispensible to the reconstruction of the work. etc.). but also does not know what he is ignorant of. We regard it is a quite likely that there was such a mention of Sardanapallus in the lost work.” A remark such as this could have found a natural place towards the beginning of the Protrepticus. and therefore gives his assent to false images and takes things that are true to be false. and numerous themes in the surviving fragments seem to connect to this report. The situation with respect to the Nicomachean Ethics is treated in our article. as when men think that vice profits them and that virtue acts to their prejudice and ruin … Aristotle calls such people ‘old children’. and Politics VII. in which Aristotle describes the genre of protreptic discourse and its relation to other kinds of rhetoric. Eudemian Ethics. Fragment 17 (Walzer/Ross) Chalcidius. On Plato’s Timaeus 3d+ (CCVIII) In his commentary on Plato’s Timaeus. including: immaturity and lack of wisdom. it was probably in an early speech of ‘Aristotle’. and provides extended examples of protreptic tropes.78 Aristotle. there are several important instances where Aristotle has demonstrably reworked material from his earlier Protrepticus and incorporated it into a later work (occasionally indicating this expressly by referring to “our popular works”. not surprisingly. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) attacks Sardanapallus suggests a popular dialogue. Also important is Aristotle’s Rhetoric I. many of which are. II. and this suggestion is supported by the presence of Sardanapallus stories in the opening pages of the Eudemian Ethics and Nicomachean Ethics. “Protreptic Aspects of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics”. . These include: Parts of Animals I.1-3.1-5. Evidence of comparable ideas in other works of Aristotle: Although we do not integrate passages from the Aristotle Corpus into our reconstruction of the Protrepticus.

” Synesius also reports Aristotle as claiming that “those who are initiated into the Mysteries are not expected to learn anything but to be changed.13-20). Top. and he feels that his Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics would reveal more about Protrepticus if carefully scrutinized. Commentary on Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics (p.Aristotle. and with the beginning of Galen’s Protrepticus (1-4). Diff. the initiate was being moulded. Hippasus.” ~ Alexander of Aphrodisias. On Philosophy. Themistius certainly appreciated the dialogues of Aristotle. there are comments on the etymology of ‘philosophia’. 1. for in these. in the fourth title of his Pythagorean sequence. 5. but Protrepticus is also a plausible candidate. in terms of light and clarity. ~ Themistius. Of special interest are 316-317 and 321. and Philolaos preserves suggestive information about them. R. Is it right to say ‘Live inconspicuously’? 5-7.8-24. Rashed has recently suggested that this section contains allusions to the comparisons between animals and humans in Protrepticus. at the beginning of his Nicomachus commentary. this would be appropriate to Protrepticus as well. did an argument like this take place also in Aristotle’s dialogue? ~ Fragment 8 (Walzer/Ross) of Aristotle. . They are useful without being boring or unpleasant at all. ~ Fragment 15 (Walzer/Ross) of Aristotle’s On Philosophy.1-14. and the Graces make an appearance in them so that they will have an enticing quality” (319. M. in Nic. on the basis of parallels with Protr. J. We agree that it seems to give parallel information that is relevant to Protrepticus. there are suggestive comments on illumination which have been ascribed to On Philosophy. as he says. The evidence is in Asclepius of Tralles and Philoponus. this was attributed to Protrepticus by Bignone. some details of which suggest a work of Aristotle of coming from Aristotle. Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 79 Possible further evidence in the works of other authors: ~ Iamblichus. 2. his book on the Introduction to Arithmetic by Nicomachus of Gerasa. Rashed finds that the Protrepticus was also exploited in his (lost) commentary on Aristotle’s Physics (evidence in Simplicius and in a later Arabo-Hebrew text). on the strength of parallels with Iamblichus evidence (on p. Eudoxus. Aphrodite has been showered upon them. which Aristotle described as mysterious and akin to the Eleusinian mysteries. and perhaps others. Hortensius. A brief review of the views of Pythagoras. Ammonius referred to an etymology of the word ‘sophia’. VIII. For example. trans. “these writings of Aristotle that are of general utility and were designed for a broad audience are truly full of light and radiance. not taught. views which are alluded to and/or expressed by ‘Heraclides’ in Aristotle’s dialogue. 26). Penella). The Byzantine author Michael Psellus says that mystical experience comes about “when reason itself has experienced illumination. ~ Plutarch. but all the remains should be searched again. but we suspect that it primarily gives witness to the views of Heraclides. especially his doctrine of the light-like soul. 77 above). ~ Cicero. Iamblichus mentions some early history of number theory at 10. On How the Philosopher Should Speak (Or. though Themistius reworks his sources almost beyond recognition. some of the evidence for Cicero’s lost dialogue has been incorporated above. in Boethius. this speech contains numerous protreptic motifs that may indicate provenance in Protrepticus.

even in adverse circumstances. even in adversity? In Book V of his Tusculan Disputations. 54). it is owing to our weakness.80 Aristotle. and ignorance and power beget madness. who are “born to so many and such great achievements” (On the Shortness of Life 1. saved by their conciseness and cleverness when ancient philosophy perished in the widespread destruction of mankind. 3-4). a plaything of Fortune.94) that “there are little creatures by the river Hypanis (which flows in the Black Sea from the direction of Europe) that are born and live for just one day. Protrepticus or Exhortation to Philosophy (excerpts) Proverbs: possible evidence in collections: The topic of proverbs appears to have played a prominent role in the early part of the work. ‘Heraclides’ had asked the rhetorical question. In his peroration (p.” but also “satisfaction begets insolence. an icon of deterioration. nor is there any reason to rule it out. According to Synesius. as there would be no rhetorical point here in parading his knowledge of an obscure short-lived species. In later wisdom collections. contrasting it with that .” both of which feature in the early speech of ‘Isocrates’ (pp. Seneca reproves Aristotle for complaining that some lower animals have longer lifespans than humans. a protreptic life-affirming metaphor is appropriate to the voice of Aristotle (#58): “those who are uneducated walk around among the living like corpses. and the shortness of our life. Searby. numerous proverbs ascribed to Aristotle hold out the possibility of having been drawn from the lost work. and one of them certainly was.” This misanthropic sentiment. is appropriate to the voice of ‘Heraclides’ (#52): “What is a human being? A paradigm of weakness. a captive of opportunity.3. Cicero explores the question of whether virtue is sufficient for happiness. that even this appears anything great. the proverb “satisfaction begets insolence” (#85 Searby). but dubiously or falsely. * Fragment 18 (Walzer/Ross) Is virtue sufficient for happiness. Aristotle described proverbs as “relics. Aristotle in the Greek Gnomological Tradition (Uppsala 1998). But we should rule out the idea that Aristotle’s report (reported in Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations I. by contrast. In one of them. and the rest is phlegm and bile. a balance-beam between resentment and misfortune. scholars have attributed two further reports about Aristotle to this work.” is derived from the lost dialogue. Of the many candidates. what is long-lasting in human affairs? No. yet there is little reason to believe that Protrepticus was the source of this comment. according to Aristotle. in our view: * Fragment 10a (Walzer/Ross) Human life is unfortunately too short. Evidence that has been attributed to Aristotle’s Protrepticus.” a description that may have occurred in the lost work.” On the strength of this passage.” The standard collection of the proverbs of Aristotle is now D.2). “what is great. M. I think. and he disapproves of the unmanly negative opinion of Theophrastus on this point. not only “no knife for a child.

where it is catalogued as fragment 14 (Walzer/Ross). Protrepticus (reconstructed and translated by DSH & MRJ) 81 of Aristotle and others. the proper excerpt to consider is the whole chapter. let alone attribute it as a fragment.12). But we have no reason to believe that the ‘Great Year’ was a topic in Aristotle’s lost dialogue Protrepticus. In our view. and for this reason was cross-attributed to Aristotle’s Protrepticus by Bignone. chapter 20. but we have now given it up. . and it was somewhat attractive for a while. * Fragment 19 (Walzer/Ross) Fragment 19 collects evidence about the astronomical ‘Great Year’. For the myth that Kronos dreams the pre-meditated thoughts of Zeus in a golden cave in some happy island west of Britain. in Aristotle’s view this is better called the ‘Greatest Year’ rather than the ‘Great Year’.10 1100b22-1101a13. The central portion of this closing chapter of Plutarch’s book has been attributed to Aristotle’s dialogue On Philosophy. as well as in his lost dialogue Hortensius (ap. But other interpretations of the use of the name ‘Aristotle’ here are possible (e.7). The mention of the Isles of the Blessed in ch. H. But since this topic does not appear to have been a prominent one in Aristotle’s lost work Protrepticus. Tacitus. * Fragment 20 (Ross) Tertullian. it has clear thematic connections with the theatre metaphor that is prominent in the Protrepticus. On Philosophy Plutarch. this is evidently a reference to Nicomachean Ethics I. this version of the myth in Plutarch has been seen by some scholars as an excerpt from a work by Posidonius. 9 of Iamblichus’ Protrepticus is not sufficient reason to connect this comment to this work.39.30. that what is ridiculous is the idea of a first living being). In Tusculan Disputations V.g. its bare presence in Hortensius does not even suggest this. Tertullian finds particularly ridiculous the idea that Saturn could have been the first to dream. Dialogue on Orators 16. without further indication. Without mentioning the name of Aristotle. 13. which is likelier to be an excerpt from the Protrepticus of Posidonius of Apamea. Aristotle. he lists Aristotle three times with Xenocrates. Speusippus. and 30. We tested this idea in our reconstruction. According to Censorinus (De die natali 18. see chapters 26-30 of Plutarch’s essay The Face of the Man in the Moon.51-52).11).5.Aristotle. While attacking the idea of divination by dreams. there is little reason to attribute any content from these reports to it. On Tranquillity. Waszink suggested in 1947 that this information should be added to Walzer’s collection as a fragment of the Protrepticus. and sarcasm is a treacherous basis for textual attribution. De Anima 46. “he could be this only if he was the first to live. J. pardon my laughter!” Interpreting this as presupposing that Aristotle had said that Saturn (Kronos) was the first being ever to sleep and dream. Cicero alluded to the Great Year in De Natura Deorum (II. and once elsewhere he mentions “Aristotle together with his son Nicomachus” as having this view (De Finibus V. However. * Fragment 14 (Walzer/Ross) of Aristotle.20. and it was duly added in Ross’s collection.87). and Polemon as having had the preferred view (10. the period that the sun and moon and the five planets take to come back together to the same position.

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