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[1069a] [18]

Our inquiry is concerned with substance; for it is the principles and causes of substances that we are investigating. Indeed if the universe is to be regarded as a whole, [20] substance is its first part; and if it is to be regarded as a succession,1 even so substance is first, then quality, then quantity. Moreover, the latter hardly exist at all in the full sense, but are merely qualifications and affections of Being. Otherwise "not-white" and "not-straight" would also exist; at any rate we say that they too "are," e.g., "it is not white."Further, none of the other categories is separately existent. Even the ancients in effect testify to this, for it was of substance that they sought the principles and elements and causes. Present-day thinkers2 tend to regard universals as substance, because genera are universal, and they hold that these are more truly principles and substances because they approach the question theoretically; but the ancients identified substance with particular things, e.g. fire and earth, and not with body in general.

Now there are three kinds of substance. One is sensible (and may be either eternal3 or perishable; the latter, e.g. plants and animals, is universally recognized); of this we must apprehend the elements, whether they are one or many.Another is immutable , which certain thinkers hold to exist separately; some dividing it into two classes, others combining the Forms and the objects of mathematics into a single class, and others recognizing only the objects of mathematics as of this nature.4 The first two kinds of substance come within the scope of physics, since they involve motion; [1069b] [1] the last belongs to some other science, if there is no principle common to all three.

Sensible substance is liable to change. Now if change proceeds from opposites or intermediates—not however from all opposites (for speech is not white), but only from the contrary5—then there must be something underlying which changes into the opposite contrary; for the contraries6 do not change.

Further, something persists, whereas the contrary does not persist. Therefore besides the contraries there is some third thing, the matter . Now if change is of four kinds, in respect either of substance or of quality or of quantity or of place, and if change of substance is generation or destruction in the simple sense, and change of quantity is increase or decrease, and change of affection is alteration, and change of place is locomotion, then changes must be in each case into the corresponding contrary state.It must be the matter, then, which admits of both contraries, that changes. And since "that which is" is twofold, everything changes from that which is potentially to that which is actually; e.g. from potentially white to actually white. The same applies to increase and decrease. Hence not only may there be generation accidentally from that which is not, but also everything is generated from that which is, [20] but is potentially and is not actually.And this is the "one" of Anaxagoras; for his "all things were together,"7 and the "mixture" of Empedocles and Anaximander and the doctrine of Democritus would be better expressed as "all things were together potentially, but not actually."8 Hence these thinkers must have had some conception of matter. All things which change have matter, but different things have different kinds; and of eternal things such as are not generable but are movable by locomotion have matter; matter, however, which admits not of generation, but of motion from one place to another.9

One might raise the question from what sort of "not-being" generation takes place; for not-being has three senses.10 If a thing exists through a potentiality, nevertheless it is not through a potentiality for any chance thing; different things are derived from different things.Nor is it satisfactory to say that "all things were together," for they differ in their matter, since otherwise why did they become an infinity and not one? For Mind is one; so that if matter is also one, only that could have come to be in actuality whose matter existed potentially. The causes and principles, then, are three; two being the pair of contraries, of which one is the formula or form and the other the privation, and the third being the matter.11

We must next observe12 that neither matter nor form (I mean in the proximate sense) is generated. All change is of some subject by some agent into some object. [1070a] [1] The agent is the immediate mover; the subject is the matter; and the object is the form. Thus the process will go on to infinity if not only the bronze comes to be round, but also roundness or bronze comes to be; there must, then, be some stopping-point.

We must next observe that every substance is generated from something which has the same name ("substances" including not only natural but all other products). Things are generated either by art or by nature or by chance or spontaneously. Art is a generative principle in something else; nature is a generative principle in the subject itself13(for man begets man); the other causes are privations of these.14

There are three kinds of substance: (1.) matter, which exists individually in virtue of being apparent15(for everything which is characterized by contact and so not by coalescence is matter and substrate; e.g. fire, flesh and head; [20] these are all matter, and the last is the matter of a substance in the strictest sense); (2.) the "nature"16(existing individually)—i.e. a kind of positive state which is the terminus of motion; and (3.) the particular combination of these, e.g. Socrates or Callias. In some cases the individuality does not exist apart from the composite substance (e.g., the form of a house does not exist separately, except as the art of building;nor are these forms liable to generation and destruction; there is a distinct sense in which "house" and "health" and every artificial product, considered in the abstract, do or do not exist17); if it does so at all, it does so in the case of natural objects. Hence Plato was not far wrong in saying18 that there are as many Forms as there are kinds of natural objects; that is if there are Forms distinct from the things of our world.

Moving causes are causes in the sense of pre-existent things, but formal causes coexist with their effects. For it is when the man becomes healthy that health exists, and the shape of the bronze sphere comes into being simultaneously with the bronze sphere.Whether any form remains also afterwards is another question. In some cases there is nothing to prevent this, e.g. the soul may be of this nature (not all of it, but the intelligent part; for presumably all of it cannot be). Clearly then there is no need on these grounds for the Ideas to exist; for man begets man, the individual begetting the particular person. And the same is true of the arts, for the art of medicine is the formula of health.

In one sense the causes and principles are different for different things; but in another, if one speaks generally and analogically, they are the same for all. For the question might be raised whether the principles and elements of substances and of relations are the same or different; and similarly with respect to each of the other categories. But it is absurd that they should be the same for all; for then relations and substance would have the same constituents. [1070b] [1] What then can their common constituent be? For there is nothing common to and yet distinct from substance and the other predicable categories, yet the element is prior to that of which it is an element. Moreover substance is not an element of relations, nor is any of the latter an element of substance. Further, how can all the categories have the same elements?For no element can be the same as that which is composed of elements; e.g., neither B nor A can be the same as BA (nor indeed can any of the "intelligibles,"19 e.g. Unity or Being, be an element; for these apply in every case, even to composite things); hence no element can be either substance or relation. But it must be one or the other. Therefore the categories have not all the same elements.

The truth is that, as we say, in one sense all things have the same elements and in another they have not. E.g., the elements of sensible bodies are, let us say, (1) as form, the hot, and in another sense the cold, which is the corresponding privation; as matter, that which directly and of its own nature is potentially hot or cold. And not only these are substances, but so are (2) the compounds20 of which they are principles, and (3) any unity which is generated from hot and cold, e.g. flesh or bone; for the product of hot and cold must be distinct from them.These things, then, have the same elements and principles, although specifically different things have specifically different elements; we cannot, however, say that all things have the same elements in this sense, but only by analogy: i.e., one might say that there are three principles, form, privation and matter.But each of these is different in respect of each class of things, [20] e.g., in the case of color they are white, black, surface; or again there is light, darkness and air, of which day and night are composed. And since not only things which are inherent in an object are its causes, but also certain external things, e.g. the moving cause, clearly "principle" and "element" are not the same; but both are causes. Principles are divided into these two kinds, and that which moves a thing or brings it to rest is a kind of principle and substance.Thus analogically there are three elements and four causes or principles; but they are different in different cases, and the proximate moving cause is different in different cases. Health, disease, body; and the moving cause is the art of medicine. Form, a particular kind of disorder, bricks; and the moving cause is the art of building.And since in the sphere of natural objects the moving cause of man is man, while in the sphere of objects of thought the moving cause is the form or its contrary, in one sense there are three causes and in another four. For in a sense the art of medicine is health, and the art of building is the form of a house, and man begets man; but besides these there is that which as first of all things moves all things.21

Now since some things can exist in separation and others cannot, it is the former that are substances. [1071a] [1] And therefore all things have the same causes, because without substance there can be no affections and motions. Next we shall see22 that these causes are probably soul and body, or mind, appetite and body.23 Again, there is another sense in which by analogy the principles are the same viz. actuality and potentiality; but these are different for different things, and apply to them in different ways.For in some cases the same thing exists now actually and now potentially; e.g. wine or flesh or man (actuality and potentiality also fall under the causes as already described; for the form exists actually if it is separable, and so does the compound of form and matter, and the privation, e.g. darkness or disease; and the matter exists potentially, for it is this which has the potentiality of becoming both24;but the distinction in virtue of actuality and potentiality applies in a different sense to cases where the matter of cause and effect is not the same, in some of which the form is not the same but different. E.g., the cause of a man is (i) his elements: fire and earth as matter, and the particular form; (2) some external formal cause, viz. his father; and besides these (3) the sun and the ecliptic,25 which are neither matter nor form nor privation nor identical in form with him, but cause motion.

Further, we must observe that some causes can be stated universally, but others cannot.The proximate principles of all things are the proximate actual individual and another individual which exists potentially.26 [20] Therefore the proximate principles are not universal. For it is the particular that is the principle of particulars; "man" in general is the principle of "man" in general, but there is no such person as "man," whereas Peleus is the principle of Achilles and your father of you, and this particular B of this particular BA; but B in general is the principle of BA regarded absolutely.Again, even if the causes of substances are universal, still, as has been said,27 different things, i.e. things which are not in the same genus, as colors, sounds, substances and quantity, have different causes and elements, except in an analogical sense; and the causes of things which are in the same species are different, not in species, but because the causes of individuals are different: your matter and form and moving cause being different from mine, although in their universal formula they are the same.

As for the question what are the principles or elements of substances and relations and qualities, whether they are the same or different, it is evident that when the terms "principle" and "element" are used with several meanings they are the same for everything; but when the meanings are distinguished, they are not the same but different; except that in a certain sense they are the same for all. In a certain sense they are the same or analogous, because (a) everything has matter, form, privation and a moving cause; (b) the causes of substances may be regarded as the causes of all things, since if substances are destroyed everything is destroyed; and further (c) that which is first in complete reality28 is the cause of all things.In another sense, however, proximate causes are different; there are as many proximate causes as there are contraries which are predicated neither as genera nor with a variety of meanings29; and further the particular material causes are different. [1071b] [1] Thus we have stated what the principles of sensible things are, and how many they are, and in what sense they are the same and in what sense different.

Since we have seen30 that there are three kinds of substance, two of which are natural and one immutable, we must now discuss the last named and show that there must be some substance which is eternal and immutable. Substances are the primary reality, and if they are all perishable, everything is perishable. But motion cannot be either generated or destroyed, for it always existed31; nor can time, because there can be no priority or posteriority if there is no time.32 Hence as time is continuous, so too is motion; for time is either identical with motion or an affection of it.33 But there is no continuous motion except that which is spatial, of spatial motion only that which is circular.34

But even if we are to suppose that there is something which is kinetic and productive although it does not actually move or produce, there will not necessarily be motion; for that which has a potentiality may not actualize it.Thus it will not help matters if we posit eternal substances, as do the exponents of the Forms, unless there is in them some principle which can cause change.35 And even this is not enough, nor is it enough if there is another substance besides the Forms; for unless it actually functions there will not be motion.And it will still not be enough even if it does function, if its essence is potentiality; for there will not be eternal motion, since that which exists potentially may not exist. [20] Therefore there must be a principle of this kind whose essence is actuality. Furthermore these substances36 must be immaterial; for they must be eternal if anything is. Therefore they are actuality.

There is a difficulty, however; for it seems that everything which actually functions has a potentiality, whereas not everything which has a potentiality actually functions; so that potentiality is prior. But if this is so, there need be no reality; for everything may be capable of existing, but not yet existent.Yet if we accept the statements of the cosmologists who generate everything from Night,37 or the doctrine of the physicists that "all things were together,"38 we have the same impossibility; for how can there be motion if there is no actual cause? Wood will not move itself—carpentry must act upon it; nor will the menses or the earth move themselves—the seeds must act upon the earth, and the semen on the menses.Hence some, e.g. Leucippus39 and Plato,40 posit an eternal actuality, for they say that there is always motion; but why there is, and what it is, they do not say; nor, if it moves in this or that particular way, what the cause is. For nothing is moved at haphazard, but in every case there must be some reason present; as in point of fact things are moved in one way by nature, and in another by force or mind or some other agent. And further, what kind of motion is primary? For this is an extremely important point. [1072a] [1] Again, Plato at least cannot even explain what it is that he sometimes thinks to be the source of motion, i.e., that which moves itself; for according to him the soul is posterior to motion and coeval with the sensible universe.41 Now to suppose that potentiality is prior to actuality is in one sense right and in another wrong; we have explained42 the distinction.But that actuality is prior is testified by Anaxagoras (since mind is actuality), and by Empedocles with his theory of Love and Strife, and by those who hold that motion is eternal, e.g. Leucippus.

Therefore Chaos or Night did not endure for an unlimited time, but the same things have always existed, either passing through a cycle or in accordance with some other principle—that is, if actuality is prior to potentiality.Now if there is a regular cycle, there must be something43 which remains always active in the same way; but if there is to be generation and destruction, there must be something else44 which is always active in two different ways. Therefore this must be active in one way independently, and in the other in virtue of something else, i.e. either of some third active principle or of the first.It must, then, be in virtue of the first; for this is in turn the cause both of the third and of the second. Therefore the first is preferable, since it was the cause of perpetual regular motion, and something else was the cause of variety; and obviously both together make up the cause of perpetual variety. Now this is just what actually characterizes motions; therefore why need we seek any further principles?

Since (a) this is a possible explanation, and (b) if it is not true, we shall have to regard everything as coming from "Night"45 and "all things together" and "not-being,"46 [20] these difficulties may be considered to be solved. There is something which is eternally moved with an unceasing motion, and that circular motion. This is evident not merely in theory, but in fact. Therefore the "ultimate heaven" must be eternal. Then there is also something which moves it.And since that which is moved while it moves is intermediate, there is something which moves without being moved; something eternal which is both substance and actuality.

Now it moves in the following manner. The object of desire and the object of thought move without being moved. The primary objects of desire and thought are the same. For it is the apparent good that is the object of appetite, and the real good that is the object of the rational will.47 Desire is the result of opinion rather than opinion that of desire; it is the act of thinking that is the starting-point.Now thought is moved by the intelligible, and one of the series of contraries48 is essentially intelligible. In this series substance stands first, and of substance that which is simple and exists actually. (The one and the simple are not the same; for one signifies a measure,49 whereas "simple" means that the subject itself is in a certain state.)But the Good, and that which is in itself desirable, are also in the same series; [1072b] [1] and that which is first in a class is always best or analogous to the best.

That the final cause may apply to immovable things is shown by the distinction of its meanings. For the final cause is not only "the good for something," but also "the good which is the end of some action." In the latter sense it applies to immovable things, although in the former it does not; and it causes motion as being an object of love, whereas all other things cause motion because they are themselves in motion.Now if a thing is moved, it can be otherwise than it is. Therefore if the actuality of "the heaven" is primary locomotion, then in so far as "the heaven" is moved, in this respect at least it is possible for it to be otherwise; i.e. in respect of place, even if not of substantiality. But since there is something—X—which moves while being itself unmoved, existing actually, X cannot be otherwise in any respect.For the primary kind of change is locomotion,50 and of locomotion circular locomotion51; and this is the motion which X induces. Thus X is necessarily existent; and qua necessary it is good, and is in this sense a first principle.52 For the necessary has all these meanings: that which is by constraint because it is contrary to impulse; and that without which excellence is impossible; and that which cannot be otherwise, but is absolutely necessary.53

Such, then, is the first principle upon which depend the sensible universe and the world of nature.And its life is like the best which we temporarily enjoy. It must be in that state always (which for us is impossible), since its actuality is also pleasure.54(And for this reason waking, sensation and thinking are most pleasant, and hopes and memories are pleasant because of them.) Now thinking in itself is concerned with that which is in itself best, and thinking in the highest sense with that which is in the highest sense best.55 [20] And thought thinks itself through participation in the object of thought; for it becomes an object of thought by the act of apprehension and thinking, so that thought and the object of thought are the same, because that which is receptive of the object of thought, i.e. essence, is thought. And it actually functions when it possesses this object.56 Hence it is actuality rather than potentiality that is held to be the divine possession of rational thought, and its active contemplation is that which is most pleasant and best.If, then, the happiness which God always enjoys is as great as that which we enjoy sometimes, it is marvellous; and if it is greater, this is still more marvellous. Nevertheless it is so. Moreover, life belongs to God. For the actuality of thought is life, and God is that actuality; and the essential actuality of God is life most good and eternal. We hold, then, that God is a living being, eternal, most good; and therefore life and a continuous eternal existence belong to God; for that is what God is.

Those who suppose, as do the Pythagoreans and Speusippus,57 that perfect beauty and goodness do

not exist in the beginning (on the ground that whereas the first beginnings of plants and animals are causes, it is in the products of these that beauty and perfection are found) are mistaken in their views.For seed comes from prior creatures which are perfect, and that which is first is not the seed but the perfect creature. [1073a] [1] E.g., one might say that prior to the seed is the man—not he who is produced from the seed, but another man from whom the seed comes.58

Thus it is evident from the foregoing account that there is some substance which is eternal and immovable and separate from sensible things; and it has also been shown that this substance can have no magnitude, but is impartible and indivisible (for it causes motion for infinite time, and nothing finite has an infinite potentiality59; and therefore since every magnitude is either finite or infinite, it cannot have finite magnitude,and it cannot have infinite magnitude because there is no such thing at all); and moreover that it is impassive and unalterable; for all the other kinds of motion are posterior to spatial motion. Thus it is clear why this substance has these attributes.

We must not disregard the question whether we should hold that there is one substance of this kind or more than one, and if more than one, how many; we must review the pronouncements of other thinkers and show that with regard to the number of the substances they have said nothing that can be clearly stated.The theory of the Ideas contains no peculiar treatment of the question; for the exponents of the theory call the Ideas numbers, and speak of the numbers [20] now as though they were unlimited and now as though they were limited by the number 1060; but as for why there should be just so many numbers, there is no explanation given with demonstrative accuracy.We, however, must discuss the question on the basis of the assumptions and distinctions which we have already made.

The first principle and primary reality is immovable, both essentially and accidentally, but it excites the primary form of motion, which is one and eternal.Now since that which is moved must be moved by something, and the prime mover must be essentially immovable, and eternal motion must be excited by something eternal, and one motion by some one thing; and since we can see that besides the simple spatial motion of the universe61(which we hold to be excited by the primary immovable substance) there are other spatial motions—those of the planets—which are eternal (because a body which moves in a circle is eternal and is never at rest—this has been proved in our physical treatises62); then each of these spatial motions must also be excited by a substance which is essentially immovable and eternal.For the nature of the heavenly bodies is eternal, being a kind of substance; and that which moves is eternal and prior to the moved; and that which is prior to a substance must be a substance. It is therefore clear that there must be an equal number of substances, in nature eternal, essentially immovable, and without magnitude; for the reason already stated.63 [1073b] [1]

Thus it is clear that the movers are substances, and that one of them is first and another second and so on in the same order as the spatial motions of the heavenly bodies.As regards the number of these motions, we have now reached a question which must be investigated by the aid of that branch of mathematical science which is most akin to philosophy, i.e. astronomy; for this has as its object a substance which is sensible but eternal, whereas the other mathematical sciences, e.g. arithmetic and geometry, do not deal with any substance. That there are more spatial motions than there are bodies which move in space is obvious to those who have even a moderate grasp of the subject, since each of the non-fixed stars has more than one spatial motion.As to how many these spatial motions actually are we shall now, to give some idea of the subject, quote what some of the mathematicians say, in order that there may be some definite number for the mind to grasp; but for the rest we must partly investigate for ourselves and partly learn from other investigators, and if those who apply themselves to these matters come to some conclusion which clashes with what we have just stated, we must appreciate both views, but follow the more accurate.

Eudoxus64 held that the motion of the sun and moon involves in either case three spheres,65 of which the outermost is that of the fixed stars,66 the second revolves in the circle which bisects the zodiac,67 [20] and the third revolves in a circle which is inclined across the breadth of the zodiac68; but the circle in which the moon moves is inclined at a greater angle than that in which the sun moves.And he held that the motion of the planets involved in each case four spheres; and that of these the first and second are the same69 as before (for the sphere of the fixed stars is that which carries round all the other spheres, and the sphere next in order, which has its motion in the circle which bisects the zodiac, is common to all the planets); the third sphere of all the planets has its poles in the circle which bisects the zodiac; and the fourth sphere moves in the circle inclined to the equator of the third. In the case of the third sphere, while the other planets have their own peculiar poles, those of Venus and Mercury are the same.

Callippus70 assumed the same arrangement of the spheres as did Eudoxus (that is, with respect to the order of their intervals), but as regards their number, whereas he assigned to Jupiter and Saturn the same number of spheres as Eudoxus, he considered that two further spheres should be added both for the sun and for the moon, if the phenomena are to be accounted for, and one for each of the other planets.

But if all the spheres in combination are to account for the phenomena, [1074a] [1] there must be for each of the other planets other spheres, one less in number than those already mentioned, which counteract these and restore to the same position the first sphere of the star which in each case is next in order below.71 In this way only can the combination of forces produce the motion of the planets.Therefore since the forces by which the planets themselves are moved are 8 for Jupiter and Saturn, and 25 for the others, and since of these the only ones which do not need to be counteracted are those by which the lowest planet72 is moved, the counteracting spheres for the first two planets will be 6, and those of the remaining four will be 16; and the total number of spheres, both those which move the planets and those which counteract these, will be 55.If we do not invest the moon and the sun with the additional motions which we have mentioned,73 there will be 47 (?)74 spheres in all.

This, then, may be taken to be the number of the spheres; and thus it is reasonable to suppose that there are as many immovable substances and principles,75—the statement of logical necessity may be left to more competent thinkers.

If there can be no spatial motion which is not conducive to the motion of a star, [20] and if moreover every entity and every substance which is impassive and has in itself attained to the highest good should be regarded as an end, then there can be no other entity besides these,76 and the number of the substances must be as we have said. For if there are other substances, they must move something, since they are the end of spatial motion.But there can be no other spatial motions besides those already mentioned. This is a reasonable inference from a general consideration of spatial motion. For if everything which moves exists for the sake of that which is moved, and every motion for the sake of something which is moved, no motion can exist for the sake of itself or of some other motion, but all motions must exist for the sake of the stars.For if we are to suppose that one motion is for the sake of another, the latter too must be for the sake of something else; and since the series cannot be infinite, the end of every motion must be one of the divine bodies which are moved through the heavens.

It is evident that there is only one heaven.77 For if there is to be a plurality of heavens (as there is of men), the principle of each must be one in kind but many in number.But all things which are many in number have matter (for one and the same definition applies to many individuals, e.g. that of "man"; but Socrates is one78), but the primary essence has no matter, because it is complete reality. Therefore the prime mover, which is immovable, is one both in formula and in number; and therefore so also is that which is eternally and continuously in motion. Therefore there is only one heaven. [1074b] [1]

A tradition has been handed down by the ancient thinkers of very early times, and bequeathed to posterity in the form of a myth, to the effect that these heavenly bodies are gods,79 and that the Divine pervades the whole of nature.The rest of their tradition has been added later in a mythological form to influence the vulgar and as a constitutional and utilitarian expedient80; they say that these gods are human in shape or are like certain other animals,81 and make other statements consequent upon and similar to those which we have mentioned.Now if we separate these statements and accept only the first, that they supposed the primary substances to be gods, we must regard it as an inspired saying and reflect that whereas every art and philosophy has probably been repeatedly developed to the utmost and has perished again, these beliefs of theirs have been preserved as a relic of former knowledge. To this extent only, then, are the views of our forefathers and of the earliest thinkers intelligible to us.

The subject of Mind involves certain difficulties. Mind is held to be of all phenomena the most supernatural; but the question of how we must regard it if it is to be of this nature involves certain difficulties. If Mind thinks nothing, where is its dignity? It is in just the same state as a man who is asleep. If it thinks, but something else determines its thinking, then since that which is its essence is not thinking but potentiality,82 [20] it cannot be the best reality; because it derives its excellence from the act of thinking.Again, whether its essence is thought or thinking, what does it think? It must think either itself or something else; and if something else, then it must think either the same thing always, or different things at different times. Then does it make any difference, or not, whether it thinks that which is good or thinks at random?Surely it would be absurd for it to think about some subjects. Clearly, then, it thinks that which is most divine and estimable, and does not change; for the change would be for the worse, and anything of this kind would immediately imply some sort of motion. Therefore if Mind is not thinking but a potentiality, (a) it is reasonable to suppose that the continuity of its thinking is laborious83; (b) clearly there must be something else which is more excellent than Mind; i.e. the object of thought;for both thought and the act of thinking will belong even to the thinker of the worst thoughts.84 Therefore if this is to be avoided (as it is, since it is better not to see some things than to see them), thinking cannot be the supreme good. Therefore Mind thinks itself, if it is that which is best; and its thinking is a thinking of thinking.

Yet it seems that knowledge and perception and opinion and understanding are always of something else, and only incidentally of themselves.And further, if to think is not the same as to be thought, in respect of which does goodness belong to thought? for the act of thinking and the object of thought have not the same essence. [1075a] [1] The answer is that in some cases the knowledge is the object. In the productive sciences, if we disregard the matter, the substance, i.e. the essence, is the object; but in the speculative sciences the formula or the act of thinking is the object. Therefore since thought and the object of thought are not different in the case of things which contain no matter, they will be the same, and the act of thinking will be one with the object of thought.

There still remains the question whether the object of thought is composite; for if so, thought would change in passing from one part of the whole to another. The answer is that everything which contains no matter is indivisible. Just as the human mind, or rather the mind of composite beings,85 is in a certain space of time86(for it does not possess the good at this or at that moment, but in the course of a certain whole period it attains to the supreme good, which is other than itself), so is absolute self-thought throughout all eternity.

We must also consider in which sense the nature of the universe contains the good or the supreme good; whether as something separate and independent, or as the orderly arrangement of its parts.Probably in both senses, as an army does; for the efficiency of an army consists partly in the order and partly in the general; but chiefly in the latter, because he does not depend upon the order, but the order depends upon him. All things, both fishes and birds and plants, are ordered together in some way, but not in the same way; and the system is not such that there is no relation between one thing and another; there is a definite connection.Everything is ordered together to one end; but the arrangement is like that in a household, where the free persons have the least liberty to act at random, [20] and have all or most of their actions preordained for them, whereas the slaves and animals have little common responsibility and act for the most part at random; for the nature of each class is a principle such as we have described.87 I mean, for example, that everything must at least come to dissolution; and similarly there are other respects in which everything contributes to the good of the whole.

We must not fail to observe how many impossibilities and absurdities are involved by other theories, and what views the more enlightened thinkers hold, and what views entail the fewest difficulties.All thinkers maintain that all things come from contraries; but they are wrong both in saying "all things"88 and in saying that they come from contraries,89 nor do they explain how things in which the contraries really are present come from the contraries; for the contraries cannot act upon each other. For us, however, this problem is satisfactorily solved by the fact that there is a third factor. Other thinkers make one of the two contraries matter; e.g., this is done by those90 who make the Unequal matter for the Equal, or the Many matter for the One.But this also is disposed of in the same way; for the one matter of two contraries is contrary to nothing. Further, on their view everything except Unity itself will partake of evil; for "the Bad"91 is itself one of the elements. The other school92 does not even regard the Good and the Bad as principles; yet the Good is in the truest sense a principle in all things. The former school is right in holding that the Good is a principle, but they do not explain how it is a principle— [1075b] [1] whether as an end or as a moving cause or as form.

Empedocles theory is also absurd, for he identifies the Good with Love.93 This is a principle both as causing motion (since it combines) and as matter (since it is part of the mixture).94 Now even if it so happens that the same thing is a principle both as matter and as causing motion, still the essence of the two principles is not the same. In which respect, then, is Love a principle? And it is also absurd that Strife should be imperishable; strife is the very essence of evil.95

Anaxagoras makes the Good a principle as causing motion; for Mind moves things, but moves them for some end, and therefore there must be some other Good96—unless it is as we say; for on our view the art of medicine is in a sense health.97 It is absurd also not to provide a contrary for the Good, i.e. for Mind.98 But all those who recognize the contraries fail to make use of the contraries, unless we systematize their theories.And none of them explains why some things are perishable and others imperishable; for they make all existing things come from the same first principles.99 Again, some100 make existing things come from not-being, while others,101 to avoid this necessity, make all things one. Again, no one explains why there must always be generation, and what the cause of generation is.

Moreover, those who posit two principles must admit another superior principle,102 and so must the exponents of the Forms; for what made or makes particulars participate in the Forms? [20] And on all other views it follows necessarily that there must be something which is contrary to Wisdom or supreme knowledge, but on ours it does not. For there is no contrary to that which is primary,since all contraries involve matter, and that which has matter exists potentially; and the ignorance which is contrary to Wisdom would tend towards the contrary of the object of Wisdom; but that which is primary has no contrary.

Further, if there is to be nothing else besides sensible things, there will be no first principle, no order, no generation, and no celestial motions, but every principle will be based upon another,103 as in the accounts of all the cosmologists and physicists.And if the Forms or numbers are to exist, they will be causes of nothing; or if not of nothing, at least not of motion.

Further, how can extension, i.e. a continuum, be produced from that which is unextended? Number cannot, either as a moving or as a formal cause, produce a continuum. Moreover, no contrary can be essentially productive and kinetic, for then it would be possible for it not to exist;and further, the act of production would in any case be posterior to the potentiality. Therefore the world of reality is not eternal. But there are real objects which are eternal. Therefore one of these premisses must be rejected. We have described how this may be done.104

Further, in virtue of what the numbers, or soul and body, or in general the form and the object, are one, no one attempts to explain; nor is it possible to do so except on our theory, that it is the moving cause that makes them one.105 As for those106 who maintain that mathematical number is the primary reality, [1076a] [1] and so go on generating one substance after another and finding different principles for each one, they make the substance of the universe incoherent (for one substance in no way affects another by its existence or non-existence) and give us a great many governing principles. But the world must not be governed badly:

The rule of many is not good; let one be the ruler.107

1 Cf. Aristot. Met. 12.10.14, Aristot. Met. 14.3.9.

2 Platonists.

3 i.e., the celestial bodies.

4 These three views were held respectively by Plato, Xenocrates and Speusippus. Cf. Aristot. Met. 7.2.3, 4; Aristot. Met. 13.1.4, and see Introduction.

5 Cf. Aristot. Met. 10.7.

6 i.e., contrary qualities. Cf. Aristot. Met. 8.5.1.

7 Anaxagoras Fr. 1 (Diels).

8 In this passage I follow Ross's punctuation and interpretation, which seem to me to be certainly right. Anaxagoras's undifferentiated infinity of homoeomerous particles (although contrasted with the unifying principle of Mind, cf. Aristot. Met. 1.8.14) can be regarded as in a sense a unity. Again, μῖγμα(as Ross points out) in its Aristotelian sense of "complete fusion" is a fair description of Anaximander's "indeterminate." The general meaning of the passage is that in each of the systems referred to the material principle in its elemental state should have been described as existing only potentially.

9 Cf. Aristot. Met. 12.1.3, Aristot. Met. 8.1.7, 8.

10 (1) the negation of a category, (2) falsity, (3) unrealized potentiality. Cf. Aristot. Met. 14.2.10.

11 This classification is found in Aristot. Physics 1.6, 7, but is foreign to the main treatise of the Metaphysics. See Introduction.

12 See Introduction.

13 In natural reproduction the generative principle is obviously in the parent. But the offspring is in a sense a part of the parent, and so Aristotle identifies the two.

14 Cf. Aristot. Met. 11.8.12 n.

15 Aristotle is contrasting proximate with primary matter. Fire, the primary matter of a man, is a simple undifferentiated element which cannot be perceived as such, and has no individuality. The head, and the other parts of the body, considered merely as in contact and not as forming an organic unity, are the proximate matter of a man; they are perceptible and individual. Flesh (in general) represents the matter in an intermediate stage.

16 i.e., form.

17 i.e., in the mind of the architect or doctor.

18 See Introduction.

19 Unity and Being are called intelligibles as being the most universal predicates and as contrasted with particulars, which are sensible.

20 This apparently refers to the elements; fire and air are hot matter, water and earth cold matter.

21 For the first time the ultimate efficient cause is distinguished from the proximate. Aristotle is leading up to the description of the Prime Mover which occupies the latter half of the book.

22 See Introduction.

23 Aristotle is thinking of animals and human beings, which are substances in the truest sense.

24 i.e., of acquiring either of the contrary qualities distinguished by the form and the privation

25 The sun, moving in the ecliptic, approaches nearer to the earth in summer, causing generation, and recedes farther from the earth in winter, causing destruction. Cf. Aristot. Met. 12.6.10 n., Aristot. De Gen. et Corr. 336a 32.

26 i.e., the proximate efficient cause and proximate matter.

27 Aristot. Met. 12.4.6.

28 i.e., the prime mover.

29 i.e., individual forms and privations of individual things.

30 Aristot. Met. 12.1.3, 4.

31 Cf. Aristot. Physics 8.1-3

32 The argument seems to be: If we assume that time was generated, it follows that before that there was no time; but the very term "before" implies time. The same applies to the destruction of time.

33 Cf. Aristot. Met. 11.12.1 n.

34 These statements are proved inAristot. Physics 8.8, 9.

35 As there is not, according to Aristotle; cf. Aristot. Met. 1.7.4.

36 Aristotle is now thinking not only of the prime mover (God or Mind) but also of the movers of the celestial spheres. Cf. Aristot. Met. 12.8.14.

37 Cf. Hes. WD 17, Hes. Th. 116ff.

38 Cf. Aristot. Met. 12.2.3.

39 Cf. Aristot. Met. 1.4.12, Aristot. De Caelo 300b 8, and see Burnet, E.G.P. 178.

40 Cf. Plat. Tim. 30a, and sect. 8 below.

41 Aristotle refers to Plato's rather inconsistent account in Plat. Tim. 30-34.

42 The reference is probably to 5 above, but cf. Aristot. Met. 9.8.

43 The sphere of the fixed stars, Aristot. Met. 12.8.9; cf. Aristot. De Gen. et Corr. 336a 23ff.

44 The sun, which has its own yearly orbit in the ecliptic, and a daily rotation round the earth, which is explained most economically with reference to the rotation of the sphere of the fixed stars. Cf. Aristot. Met. 12.5.3 n., Aristot. De Gen. et Corr. 336a 23ff.

45 Aristot. Met. 12.6.6

46 Aristot. Met. 12.2.2, 3.

47 This shows that desire in general (of which appetite and will are the irrational and rational aspects) has as its object the good.

48 Aristotle himself recognizes two series, lists or columns of contraries, similar to those of the Pythagoreans (Aristot. Met. 1.5.6). One, the positive, contains being, unity, substance, etc.; the other is negative and contains not-being, plurality, non-substance, etc. The negative terms are intelligible only in reference to the positive. Cf. Aristot. Met. 4.2.21.

49 Cf Aristot. Met. 5.6.17.

50 Proved in Aristot. Physics 8.7.

51 Aristot. Physics 8.9

52 The argument is: X (the prime mover), since it imparts the primary motion, cannot be liable to motion (or change) of any kind. Therefore it exists of necessity, and must be good (cf. Aristot. Met. 5.5.6); and it is qua good, i.e., the object of desire, that X is a first principle.

53 Cf. Aristot. Met. 5.5

54 For the relation of pleasure to actuality or activity see Aristot. Nic. Eth. 10.4.

55 Since the prime mover is pure actuality, and has or rather is the highest form of life, Aristotle identifies it with the highest activity—pure thinking.

56 In actualization the subject and object of thought (like those of perception, Aristot. De Anima 3.2.) are identical.

57 The view is referred to again in Aristot. Met. 12.10.6, Aristot. Met. 14.4.2, 3, Aristot. Met. 14.5.1.

58 Cf. Aristot. Met. 9.8.4, 5.

59 Cf.Aristot. Physics 266a24-b6.

60 Cf. Aristot. Met. 13.8.17, 20. This was a Pythagorean survival, cf. Vol. I. Introduction. xvi.

61 i.e., the (apparent) diurnal revolution of the heavens.

62 Aristot. Physics 8.8, 9, Aristot. De Caelo 1.2, 2.3-8.

63 Aristot. Met. 12.7.12, 13.

64 Of Cnidus (circa 408 -355 B.C.). He was a pupil of Plato, and a distinguished mathematician.

65 For a full discussion of the theories of Eudoxus and Callipus see Dreyer, Planetary Systems 87-114; Heath,Aristarchus of Samos190-224.

66 Not identical with that of the fixed stars, but having the same motion.

67 i.e., revolves with its equator in the ecliptic.

68 i.e., has the plane of its equator inclined to the plane of the ecliptic. This sphere carries the sun (or moon) fixed to a point in its equator.

69 Not the same, but having the same motion.

70 of Cyzicus (fl. 380 B.C.). Simplicius says (Simplicius 493.5-8) that he corrected and elaborated Eudoxus's theory with Aristotle's help while on a visit to him at Athens.

71 Aristotle is trying to establish a mechanical relation between the spheres, which Eudoxus and Callipus did not attempt to do.

72 The moon.

73 In sect. 11.

74 Either Aristotle has made a slip in his calculations, or we should read ἐννέα(Sosigenes) for ἑπτά; this would give 49, which appears to be the correct total. For alternative explanations of an error in calculation see Ross ad loc.

75 i.e., the movers of the spheres.

76 See previous note.

77 This paragraph seems to belong to an earlier period of Aristotle's thought. At any rate the argument that plurality involves matter is inconsistent with the view that there are 55 immaterial movers.

78 The definition or form is one and universal; it is the combination of form with matter that constitutes an individual. Thus a plurality of individuals is caused by the combination of the same form with different matter.

79 This statement is not literally true. The planets do not seem to have been associated with the gods of popular mythology until the fourth century B.C. (see Burnet, E.G.P. p. 23 n.). But Aristotle's general meaning seems to be that the gods were identified with the primary natural forces; and this is substantially true.

80 Cf. Aristot. Met. 2.3.1.

81 e.g. the Egyptian deities. Zoomorphism in Greek religion is a doubtful quantity.

82 i.e., if its thinking is determined by something else, Mind is only a potentiality, and not (as described in Aristot. Met. 12.7.1-9) the highest actuality.

83 Cf. Aristot. Met. 9.8.18.

84 If Mind is a potentiality, since a potentiality is of contraries, Mind may think that which is worst.

85 i.e., beings composed of matter as well as form. Such beings are contrasted with the divine Mind, which is pure form.

86 The meaning of this sentence is shown by the definition of Happiness in Aristot. Nic. Eth. 1098a 16-20. It takes the human mind a lifetime of the highest intellectual activity of which it is capable to attain to happiness; but the divine Mind is always happy. Cf. Aristot. Met. 12.7.9.

87 The free persons correspond to the heavenly bodies, whose movements are fixed by necessity; the servile class to human beings. Each class acts in accordance with its nature, a principle which "produces obedience to duty in the higher creatures, caprice in the lower" ( Ross).

88 Because there is an eternal substance, which is not derived from contraries (Aristot. Met. 12.6.1).

89 Things are derived from a substrate as well (Aristot. Met. 12.2.1).

90 See on Aristot. Met. 14.1.4.

91 The "Bad" was identified with the unequal; cf. Aristot. Met. 1.6.10.

92 See Aristot. Met. 12.7.10

93 Cf. Aristot. Met. 1.4.3.

94 Empedocles Fr. 17 (Diels), 18-20.

95 Cf. Aristot. Met. 9.9.3.

96 Motion presupposes a final cause, which was not what Anaxagoras meant by "Mind." Cf. Aristot. Met. 1.7.5.

97 Aristotle identifies the efficient cause, in a sense, with the final cause. Cf. Aristot. Met. 7.9.3.

98 In Aristot. Met. 1.6.10 Aristotle describes Anaxagoras as a recognizing contrary principles of good and evil. Moreover, on Aristotle's own showing, evil cannot be a principle (Aristot. Met. 9.9.3).

99 Cf. Aristot. Met. 3.4.11-20.

100 Cf. Aristot. Met. 12.2.2, 3.

101 The Eleatics. Cf. Aristot. Met. 1.5.10-13.

102 i.e., an efficient cause.

103 If there is nothing but what is sensible or potential, there can be no prime mover (which is actuality) to excite motion in the universe, and no teleology in causation. For the cosmologists on causation see Aristot. Met. 3.3.11-13.

104 By assuming an eternal actual mover (Aristot. Met. 12.6.4).

105 Cf.Aristot. Met. 8.6.

106 Speusippus and his followers; cf. Aristot. Met. 7.2.4, Aristot. Met. 14.3.8.

107 Hom. Il.2.204.

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