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[1059a] [18]

That wisdom is a science of first principles is clear from our Introductory remarks,1 in which we of raised objections to the statements of other thinkers about the first principles. [20] It might be asked, however, whether we should regard Wisdom as one science or as more than one.2 If as one, it may be objected that the objects of one science are always contraries; but the first principles are not contraries. And if it is not one, what sort of sciences are we to suppose them to be?

Again, is it the province of one science, or of more than one, to study the principles of demonstration?3 If of one, why of it rather than of any other? And if of more than one, of what sort are we to suppose them to be?

Again, are we to suppose that Wisdom deals with all substances or not?4 If not with all, it is hard to lay down with what kind it does deal; while if there is one science of them all, it is not clear how the same science can deal with more than one subject.

Again, is this science concerned only with substances, or with attributes as well?5 For if it is a demonstration of attributes, it is not concerned with substances; and if there is a separate science of each, what is each of these sciences, and which of them is Wisdom? qua demonstrative, the science of attributes appears to be Wisdom; but qua concerned with that which is primary, the science of substances.

Nor must we suppose that the science which we are seeking is concerned with the causes described in the Physics.6 It is not concerned with the final cause; for this is the Good, and this belongs to the sphere of action and to things which are in motion; and it is this which first causes motion (for the end is of this nature); but there is no Prime Mover in the sphere of immovable things.And in general it is a difficult question whether the science which we are now seeking is concerned with sensible substances,

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  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (5):
    • Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1.983a
    • Aristotle, Metaphysics, 3.995b
    • Aristotle, Metaphysics, 3.996a
    • Aristotle, Metaphysics, 3.996b
    • Aristotle, Metaphysics, 3.997a
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