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[1025b] [3]

It is the principles and causes of the things which are that we are seeking; and clearly of the things which are qua being. There is a cause of health and physical fitness; and mathematics has principles and elements and causes; and in general every intellectual science or science which involves intellect deals with causes and principles, more or less exactly or simply considered.But all these sciences single out some existent thing or class, and concern themselves with that; not with Being unqualified, nor qua Being, nor do they give any account of the essence; but starting from it, some making it clear to perception, and others assuming it as a hypothesis, they demonstrate, more or less cogently, the essential attributes of the class with which they are dealing.Hence obviously there is no demonstration of substance or essence from this method of approach, but some other means of exhibiting it. And similarly they say nothing as to whether the class of objects with which they are concerned exists or not; because the demonstration of its essence and that of its existence belong to the same intellectual process.And since physical science also happens to deal with a genus of Being [20] (for it deals with the sort of substance which contains in itself the principle of motion and rest), obviously it is neither a practical nor a productive science.For in the case of things produced the principle of motion (either mind or art or some kind of potency) is in the producer; and in the case of things done the will is the agent—for the thing done and the thing willed are the same. Thus if every intellectual activity is either practical or productive or speculative, physics will be a speculative science; but speculative about that kind of Being which can be moved, and about formulated substance for the most part only qua inseparable from matter.But we must not fail to observe how the essence and the formula exist, since without this our inquiry is ineffectual.

Now of things defined, i.e. of essences, some apply in the sense that "snub" does, and some in the sense that "concave" does. The difference is that "snub" is a combination of form with matter; because the "snub" is a concave nose , whereas concavity is independent of sensible matter.

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