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Illos vero, sicut quedam inanimatorum faciunt quidem, non scientia autem faciunt quae faciunt, ut * ignis exurit — inanimata igitur quidem natura quadam horum unumquodque facere, sed manu artifices propter consuetudinem – "We think the manual workers are like certain lifeless things which act indeed, but act without knowing what they do, as fire burns, - but while the lifeless things perform each of their functions by a natural tendency, the labourers perform them through habit".
Sed tamen scire et intelligere magis arte quam experimento esse arbitramur – "But yet we think that knowledge and understanding belong to art rather than to experience"

Aristotle begins by addressing the question of what philosophy actually is. It is 'the pursuit of wisdom', he says, but what exactly is wisdom? He suggests that it consists in 'knowing causes', which is why we think that an architect (Latin architector, from the Greek arkhitekton, meaning master builder, master worker, director of work) is superior to the ordinary workers (Latin artifices) who live and learn by experience, and who know that something is so without knowing why it is so. The architect knows the cause of what is done, whereas the ordinary workers are like automatons, who act in the way that fire burns, but through habit rather than a natural tendency. Moreover, the pursuit of wisdom does not aim at practical necessities, which is why mathematics began in Egypt, "where the priestly caste was allowed to be at leisure". Wisdom is therefore knowledge of principles and causes.

In chapter two, he asks what causes and the principles the wise man should be looking for. He starts by considering some generally accepted criteria for wisdom, and then shows which objects of knowledge satisfy these criteria. For example, it is generally considered that wisdom consists in general, rather than specific and detailed knowledge; that it should be difficult to acquire; that it should be capable of being taught ("he who is more exact and more capable of teaching the causes is wiser, in every branch of knowledge"). He then shows which kinds of things satisfy the test. For example, they should be universal, for the universal is furthest from sense perception, and thus the most difficult to acquire. Knowledge of the universal is also instructive, since it tells us about the causes or reasons for things being so. He ends the chapter with the famous quote about philosophy beginning from a sense of wonder. "A man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant".

Next, he outlines the four kinds of causes that the philosopher must investigate: (i) the formal cause or substance, which the scholastics called the quod quid erat esse of a substance; (ii) the matter or substratum, the stuff from which a thing is made; (iii) the source or efficient cause, and (iv) the final cause or purpose for which something acts. He supports this with a conspectus of earlier views of thinkers such as Anaximenes and Diogenes who made air the most primary element, or Hippasus and Heraclitus who said the same thing about fire. The problem with these explanations, he says, is that a substratum cannot bring about change. Neither wood nor the bronze causes the change of either of them, "nor does the wood manufacture a bed and the bronze a statue, but something else is the cause of the change". What is sought is the second type of cause, from which originates the beginning of the change. He continues the survey in chapter four, discussing the views of philosophers such as Anaxagoras and Empedocles who sought an explanation in terms of a source of change. Sadly, their work had no clarity or structure: their investigations were like the way untrained men behave in fights, "for they go round their opponents and often strike fine blows, but they do not fight on scientific principles".

He turns (chapter five) to thinkers such as the Pythagoreans who sought explanation in terms of mathematics. They had noticed that modifications and the ratios of the musical scales were expressible in numbers, and so thought that numbers were the first things in the whole of nature, and that the elements of numbers were the elements of everything.

In chapter six, Aristotle moves to Plato, who had been influenced (i) by the Pythagoreans, (ii) by Cratylus and Heraclitus, who said that all perceivable things in a permanent state of flux and so we can have no knowledge about them, but (iii) primarily by Socrates, who was supposedly the first to focus on definitions. Plato argued that definitions cannot apply to perceivable things – since they are always changing. So they must apply to what he called Ideas[1]. Perceivable things participate in these ideas. (For example, all circular things participate in or 'imitate' the Form of the Circular). This did not explain what such participation or imitation could be, notes Aristotle.

He concludes his historical survey with a brief summary of the usefulness of looking at the ideas of previous thinkers, even if they were indistinct or confused. In chapter eight he turns to a more detailed critique of their ideas, attacking monists who thought that the universe is one, pluralists such as Empedocles and Anaxagoras, and the Pythagoreans whose theory of number is incapable of explaining change, as well as being utterly obscure (in his view).

Sed haec alio quidem dicente simul dixit ex necessitate, manifeste vero non dixit –"But while he would necessarily have agreed if another had said this, he has not said it clearly"

Chapter 9 is an extended argument against Plato's theory of Forms. It is important in that it probably reflects contemporary discussions in the Academy, and in that it certainly influenced later scholastic thought in logic and metaphysics. Scholastic thinkers such as Scotus and particularly Ockham generally took the Aristotelian line against Plato (with Scotus holding a subtle and revisionist form of Platonism, Ockham holding for an immoderate and extreme anti-Platonism, which he claimed was grounded in a proper understanding of Aristotle). He starts with five arguments from absurdity. 1. There are Forms for things for which the Platonists did not claim there were Forms 2. There will be Forms even for negations. 3. There will be forms of relations, and there will be the problem of the ‘third man’[2]. 4. Platonists are inconsistent, holding (a) that the Forms are odd in number, and matter is even in number, (b) that the number two is first among number (c) that form is prior to matter. 5. They are equally inconsistent in holding (a) that Forms underlie scientific definitions of things yet (b) there are forms of accidental properties

He argues that the Forms explain nothing, and so are useless for the kind of explanation that, in Aristotle's view, is fundamental to scientific understanding. For example, they are useless in explaining motion; they are useless in explaining our knowledge of perceivable things; they are of no value as patterns of things, for they are patterns not only perceivable things, but of the Forms themselves, i.e. so that "the same thing will be pattern and copy"; it seems impossible that a substance and that of which it is the substance could exist apart; "how, therefore, could the Ideas, being the substances of things, exist apart?"; they do not explain change, for the Forms can exist without the existence of the things that participate in them, and so an explanation of how those things come to exist.

Finally, Aristotle restates his main conclusions, underscoring them with an example of some splendidly confused thinking from Empedocles.

Chapter 1

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[980α] [21] πάντες ἄνθρωποι τοῦ εἰδέναι ὀρέγονται φύσει. σημεῖον δ᾽ ἡ τῶν αἰσθήσεων ἀγάπησις: καὶ γὰρ χωρὶς τῆς χρείας ἀγαπῶνται δι᾽ αὑτάς, καὶ μάλιστα τῶν ἄλλων ἡ διὰ τῶν ὀμμάτων. οὐ γὰρ μόνον ἵνα πράττωμεν ἀλλὰ καὶ μηθὲν [25] μέλλοντες πράττειν τὸ ὁρᾶν αἱρούμεθα ἀντὶ πάντων ὡς εἰπεῖν τῶν ἄλλων. αἴτιον δ᾽ ὅτι μάλιστα ποιεῖ γνωρίζειν ἡμᾶς αὕτη τῶν αἰσθήσεων καὶ πολλὰς δηλοῖ διαφοράς. Omnes homines natura scire desiderant. Signum autem, est sensuum dilectio; praeter enim et utilitatem propter se ipsos diliguntur, et maxime aliorum qui est per oculos. Non enim solum ut agamus sed et nihil agere debentes ipsum videre pre omnibus ut dicam aliis eligimus. Causa autem est quia hic maxime sensuum cognoscere nos facit et multas differentias demonstrat. Chapter 1. [980 a1] ALL men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight. For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer seeing (one might say) to everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and brings to light many differences between things.
φύσει μὲν οὖν αἴσθησιν ἔχοντα γίγνεται τὰ ζῷα, ἐκ δὲ ταύτης αἰσθήσεως τοῖς μὲν αὐτῶν οὐκ ἐγγίγνεται μνήμη, τοῖς δ᾽ ἐγγίγνεται. [980β] [21] καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ταῦτα φρονιμώτερα καὶ μαθητικώτερα τῶν μὴ δυναμένων μνημονεύειν ἐστί, φρόνιμα μὲν ἄνευ τοῦ μανθάνειν ὅσα μὴ δύναται τῶν ψόφων ἀκούειν (οἷον μέλιττα κἂν εἴ τι τοιοῦτον ἄλλο γένος ζῴων ἔστι), μανθάνει [25] δ᾽ ὅσα πρὸς τῇ μνήμῃ καὶ ταύτην ἔχει τὴν αἴσθησιν. Animalia quidem igitur natura sensum habentia fiunt, ex sensu autem quibusdam quidem ipsorum memoria non infit, quibusdam vero fit. Et propter hoc alia quidem prudentia sunt, alia vero disciplinabiliora non potentibus memorari. Prudentia quidem sunt sine addiscere quecumque sonos audire non potentia sunt, ut apis et utique si aliquod aliud genus animalium huiusmodi est; addiscunt autem quaecumque cum memoria et hunc habent sensum. By nature animals are born with the faculty of sensation, and from sensation memory is produced in some of them, though not in others. And therefore the former are more intelligent and apt at learning than those which cannot remember; those which are incapable of hearing sounds are intelligent though they cannot be taught, e.g. the bee, and any other race of animals that may be like it; and those which besides memory have this sense of hearing can be taught.
τὰ μὲν οὖν ἄλλα ταῖς φαντασίαις ζῇ καὶ ταῖς μνήμαις, ἐμπειρίας δὲ μετέχει μικρόν: τὸ δὲ τῶν ἀνθρώπων γένος καὶ τέχνῃ καὶ λογισμοῖς. γίγνεται δ᾽ ἐκ τῆς μνήμης ἐμπειρία τοῖς ἀνθρώποις: αἱ γὰρ πολλαὶ μνῆμαι τοῦ αὐτοῦ πράγματος μιᾶς ἐμπειρίας δύναμιν ἀποτελοῦσιν. [981α] [1] καὶ δοκεῖ σχεδὸν ἐπιστήμῃ καὶ τέχνῃ ὅμοιον εἶναι καὶ ἐμπειρία, ἀποβαίνει δ᾽ ἐπιστήμη καὶ τέχνη διὰ τῆς ἐμπειρίας τοῖς ἀνθρώποις: ἡ μὲν γὰρ ἐμπειρία τέχνην ἐποίησεν, ὡς φησὶ Πῶλος, ἡ [5] δ᾽ ἀπειρία τύχην. γίγνεται δὲ τέχνη ὅταν ἐκ πολλῶν τῆς ἐμπειρίας ἐννοημάτων μία καθόλου γένηται περὶ τῶν ὁμοίων ὑπόληψις. τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἔχειν ὑπόληψιν ὅτι Καλλίᾳ κάμνοντι τηνδὶ τὴν νόσον τοδὶ συνήνεγκε καὶ Σωκράτει καὶ καθ᾽ ἕκαστον οὕτω πολλοῖς, ἐμπειρίας ἐστίν: [10] τὸ δ᾽ ὅτι πᾶσι τοῖς τοιοῖσδε κατ᾽ εἶδος ἓν ἀφορισθεῖσι, κάμνουσι τηνδὶ τὴν νόσον, συνήνεγκεν, οἷον τοῖς φλεγματώδεσιν ἢ χολώδεσι [ἢ] πυρέττουσι καύσῳ, τέχνης. Alia quidem igitur ymaginationibus et memoriis vivunt, experimenti autem parum participant; hominum autem genus arte et rationibus. > Fit autem ex memoria hominibus experimentum; eiusdem namquae rei multe memorie unius experientie potentiam faciunt. Et fere videtur scientie et arti simile experimentum esse, hominibus autem scientia et ars per experientiam evenit; experientia quidem enim artem fecit, sicut ait Polus recte dicens, sed inexperientia casum. Fit autem ars cum ex multis experimentalibus conceptionibus una fit universalis de similibus acceptio. Acceptionem quidem enim habere quod callie et Socrati hac egritudine laborantibus hoc contulit et ita multis singularium, experimenti est; quod autem omnibus huiusmodi secundum autem unam speciem determinatis, hac egritudine laborantibus, contulit, ut flegmaticis aut colericis aut estu febricitantibus *, artis est. The animals other than man live by appearances and memories, and have but little of connected experience; but the human race lives also by art and reasonings. Now from memory experience is produced in men; for the several memories of the same thing produce finally the capacity for a single experience. [81a] And experience seems pretty much like science and art, but really science and art come to men through experience; for ‘experience made art’, as Polus says, ‘but inexperience luck.’ Now art arises when from many notions gained by experience one universal judgement about a class of objects is produced. For to have a judgement that when Callias was ill of this disease this did him good, and similarly in the case of Socrates and in many individual cases, is a matter of experience; but to judge that it has done good to all persons of a certain constitution, marked off in one class, when they were ill of this disease, e.g. to phlegmatic or bilious people when burning with fevers-this is a matter of art.
πρὸς μὲν οὖν τὸ πράττειν ἐμπειρία τέχνης οὐδὲν δοκεῖ διαφέρειν, ἀλλὰ καὶ μᾶλλον ἐπιτυγχάνουσιν οἱ ἔμπειροι τῶν ἄνευ τῆς ἐμπειρίας [15] λόγον ἐχόντων (αἴτιον δ᾽ ὅτι ἡ μὲν ἐμπειρία τῶν καθ᾽ ἕκαστόν ἐστι γνῶσις ἡ δὲ τέχνη τῶν καθόλου, αἱ δὲ πράξεις καὶ αἱ γενέσεις πᾶσαι περὶ τὸ καθ᾽ ἕκαστόν εἰσιν: οὐ γὰρ ἄνθρωπον ὑγιάζει ὁ ἰατρεύων ἀλλ᾽ ἢ κατὰ συμβεβηκός, ἀλλὰ Καλλίαν ἢ Σωκράτην ἢ τῶν ἄλλων τινὰ [20] τῶν οὕτω λεγομένων ᾧ συμβέβηκεν ἀνθρώπῳ εἶναι: ἐὰν οὖν ἄνευ τῆς ἐμπειρίας ἔχῃ τις τὸν λόγον, καὶ τὸ καθόλου μὲν γνωρίζῃ τὸ δ᾽ ἐν τούτῳ καθ᾽ ἕκαστον ἀγνοῇ, πολλάκις διαμαρτήσεται τῆς θεραπείας: θεραπευτὸν γὰρ τὸ καθ᾽ ἕκαστον): Ad agere quidem igitur experientia * nihil ab arte differre videtur, sed et expertos magis proficere videmus sine experientia rationem habentibus. Causa autem est quia experientia quidem singularium est cognitio, ars vero universalium, actus autem et omnes generationes circa singulare sunt. Non enim hominem medicans sanat nisi secundum accidens, sed * Calliam aut Socratem aut aliquem sic dictorum cui esse hominem accidit. Si igitur sine experimento quis rationem habeat et universale quidem cognoscat, in hoc autem singulare ignoret, multotiens quidem curatione peccabit; singulare namque magis curabile est. With a view to action experience seems in no respect inferior to art, and men of experience succeed even better than those who have theory without experience. (The reason is that experience is knowledge of individuals, art of universals, and actions and productions are all concerned with the individual; for the physician does not cure man, except in an incidental way, but Callias or Socrates or some other called by some such individual name, who happens to be a man. If, then, a man has the theory without the experience, and recognizes the universal but does not know the individual included in this, he will often fail to cure; for it is the individual that is to be cured.)
ἀλλ᾽ ὅμως τό γε εἰδέναι καὶ τὸ ἐπαΐειν τῇ [25] τέχνῃ τῆς ἐμπειρίας ὑπάρχειν οἰόμεθα μᾶλλον, καὶ σοφωτέρους τοὺς τεχνίτας τῶν ἐμπείρων ὑπολαμβάνομεν, ὡς κατὰ τὸ εἰδέναι μᾶλλον ἀκολουθοῦσαν τὴν σοφίαν πᾶσι: τοῦτο δ᾽ ὅτι οἱ μὲν τὴν αἰτίαν ἴσασιν οἱ δ᾽ οὔ. οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἔμπειροι τὸ ὅτι μὲν ἴσασι, διότι δ᾽ οὐκ ἴσασιν: οἱ δὲ τὸ διότι [30] καὶ τὴν αἰτίαν γνωρίζουσιν. διὸ καὶ τοὺς ἀρχιτέκτονας περὶ ἕκαστον τιμιωτέρους καὶ μᾶλλον εἰδέναι νομίζομεν τῶν χειροτεχνῶν καὶ σοφωτέρους, [981β] [1] ὅτι τὰς αἰτίας τῶν ποιουμένων ἴσασιν (τοὺς δ᾽, ὥσπερ καὶ τῶν ἀψύχων ἔνια ποιεῖ μέν, οὐκ εἰδότα δὲ ποιεῖ ἃ ποιεῖ, οἷον καίει τὸ πῦρ: τὰ μὲν οὖν ἄψυχα φύσει τινὶ ποιεῖν τούτων ἕκαστον τοὺς δὲ χειροτέχνας [5] δι᾽ ἔθος), ὡς οὐ κατὰ τὸ πρακτικοὺς εἶναι σοφωτέρους ὄντας ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὸ λόγον ἔχειν αὐτοὺς καὶ τὰς αἰτίας γνωρίζειν. Sed tamen scire et intelligere magis arte quam experimento esse arbitramur, et artifices expertis sapientiores esse opinamur, tamquam magis secundum scire sapientia omni>bus sequente. Hoc autem est quia hii quidem causam sciunt, illi vero non. Experti quidem enim ipsum quia sciunt, sed propter quid nesciunt; hii autem et propter quid et causam cognoscunt. Unde et architectores circa quodlibet honorabiliores et magis scire manu artificibus putamus et sapientio res, quia factorum causas sciunt; illos vero, sicut quedam inanimatorum faciunt quidem, non scientia autem faciunt quae faciunt, ut * ignis exurit — inanimata igitur quidem natura quadam horum unumquodque facere, sed manu artifices propter consuetudinem. Tamquam non secundum practicos esse sapientiores sint, sed secundum quod rationem habent ipsi et causas cognoscunt. But yet we think that knowledge and understanding belong to art rather than to experience, and we suppose artists to be wiser than men of experience (which implies that Wisdom depends in all cases rather on knowledge); and this because the former know the cause, but the latter do not. For men of experience know that the thing is so, but do not know why, while the others know the ‘why’ and the cause. Hence we think also that the masterworkers in each craft are more honourable and know in a truer sense and are wiser [81b] than the manual workers, because they know the causes of the things that are done (we think the manual workers are like certain lifeless things which act indeed, but act without knowing what they do, as fire burns, - but while the lifeless things perform each of their functions by a natural tendency, the labourers perform them through habit); thus we view them as being wiser not in virtue of being able to act, but of having the theory for themselves and knowing the causes.
ὅλως τε σημεῖον τοῦ εἰδότος καὶ μὴ εἰδότος τὸ δύνασθαι διδάσκειν ἐστίν, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο τὴν τέχνην τῆς ἐμπειρίας ἡγούμεθα μᾶλλον ἐπιστήμην εἶναι: δύνανται γάρ, οἱ δὲ οὐ δύνανται διδάσκειν. [10] Et omnino scientis signum est * posse docere, et ob hoc artem magis experimento scientiam esse existimamus; possunt enim hii, hii autem docere non possunt. And in general it is a sign of the man who knows and of the man who does not know, that the former can teach, and therefore we think art more truly knowledge than experience is; for artists can teach, and men of mere experience cannot.
ἔτι δὲ τῶν αἰσθήσεων οὐδεμίαν ἡγούμεθα εἶναι σοφίαν: καίτοι κυριώταταί γ᾽ εἰσὶν αὗται τῶν καθ᾽ ἕκαστα γνώσεις: ἀλλ᾽ οὐ λέγουσι τὸ διὰ τί περὶ οὐδενός, οἷον διὰ τί θερμὸν τὸ πῦρ, ἀλλὰ μόνον ὅτι θερμόν. Amplius autem sensuum neque unum sapientiam esse ponimus, cum et hiis singulorum cognitiones maxime proprie sint; sed propter quid de nullo dicunt, ut propter quid ignis calidus, sed quia calidus solum sit. Again, we do not regard any of the senses as Wisdom; yet surely these give the most authoritative knowledge of particulars. But they do not tell us the ‘why’ of anything-e.g. why fire is hot; they only say that it is hot.
τὸ μὲν οὖν πρῶτον εἰκὸς τὸν ὁποιανοῦν εὑρόντα τέχνην παρὰ τὰς κοινὰς αἰσθήσεις θαυμάζεσθαι [15] ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων μὴ μόνον διὰ τὸ χρήσιμον εἶναί τι τῶν εὑρεθέντων ἀλλ᾽ ὡς σοφὸν καὶ διαφέροντα τῶν ἄλλων: πλειόνων δ᾽ εὑρισκομένων τεχνῶν καὶ τῶν μὲν πρὸς τἀναγκαῖα τῶν δὲ πρὸς διαγωγὴν οὐσῶν, ἀεὶ σοφωτέρους τοὺς τοιούτους ἐκείνων ὑπολαμβάνεσθαι διὰ τὸ μὴ πρὸς [20] χρῆσιν εἶναι τὰς ἐπιστήμας αὐτῶν. ὅθεν ἤδη πάντων τῶν τοιούτων κατεσκευασμένων αἱ μὴ πρὸς ἡδονὴν μηδὲ πρὸς τἀναγκαῖα τῶν ἐπιστημῶν εὑρέθησαν, καὶ πρῶτον ἐν τούτοις τοῖς τόποις οὗ πρῶτον ἐσχόλασαν: διὸ περὶ Αἴγυπτον αἱ μαθηματικαὶ πρῶτον τέχναι συνέστησαν, ἐκεῖ γὰρ ἀφείθη σχολάζειν [25] τὸ τῶν ἱερέων ἔθνος. Primum quidem igitur conveniens est quamlibet artem invenientem ultra communes sensus ab hominibus mirari, non 981b15 solum propter aliquam inventorum utilitatem, sed sicut sapientem et ab aliis differentem. Pluribus autem repertis artibus > et aliis quidem ad necessaria * aliis vero ad introductionem existentibus, semper tales sapientiores illis esse arbitrandum est propter id quod illorum scientie ad usum non sunt. Unde iam omnibus talibus institutis, quae non ad voluptatem neque ad necessaria scientiarum reperte sunt, et primum * in hiis locis ubi vacabant. Unde circa Egyptum mathematice artes primum constiterunt; ibi namque gens sacerdotum vacare dimissa est. At first he who invented any art whatever that went beyond the common perceptions of man was naturally admired by men, not only because there was something useful in the inventions, but because he was thought wise and superior to the rest. But as more arts were invented, and some were directed to the necessities of life, others to recreation, the inventors of the latter were naturally always regarded as wiser than the inventors of the former, because their branches of knowledge did not aim at utility. Hence when all such inventions were already established, the sciences which do not aim at giving pleasure or at the necessities of life were discovered, and first in the places where men first began to have leisure. This is why the mathematical arts were founded in Egypt; for there the priestly caste was allowed to be at leisure.
εἴρηται μὲν οὖν ἐν τοῖς ἠθικοῖς τίς διαφορὰ τέχνης καὶ ἐπιστήμης καὶ τῶν ἄλλων τῶν ὁμογενῶν: οὗ δ᾽ ἕνεκα νῦν ποιούμεθα τὸν λόγον τοῦτ᾽ ἐστίν, ὅτι τὴν ὀνομαζομένην σοφίαν περὶ τὰ πρῶτα αἴτια καὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς ὑπολαμβάνουσι πάντες: ὥστε, καθάπερ εἴρηται πρότερον, [30] ὁ μὲν ἔμπειρος τῶν ὁποιανοῦν ἐχόντων αἴσθησιν εἶναι δοκεῖ σοφώτερος, ὁ δὲ τεχνίτης τῶν ἐμπείρων, χειροτέχνου δὲ ἀρχιτέκτων, αἱ δὲ θεωρητικαὶ τῶν ποιητικῶν μᾶλλον. [982α] [1] ὅτι μὲν οὖν ἡ σοφία περί τινας ἀρχὰς καὶ αἰτίας ἐστὶν ἐπιστήμη, δῆλον. In Moralibus quidem igitur quae sit artis et scientie differentia et similium generum dictum est; cuius autem gratia nunc sermonem facimus hoc est, quia nominatam sapientiam circa primas causas et principia existimant omnes. Quare, sicut dictum est prius, expertus quidem quemcumque sensum habentibus sapientior esse videtur, artifex autem expertis, architecton autem manu artifice, speculative autem magis activis. Quod quidem igitur sapientia * circa quasdam causas et principia sit scientia, manifestum est. We have said in the Ethics what the difference is between art and science and the other kindred faculties; but the point of our present discussion is this, that all men suppose what is called Wisdom to deal with the first causes and the principles of things; so that, as has been said before, the man of experience is thought to be wiser than the possessors of any sense-perception whatever, the artist wiser than the men of experience, the masterworker than the mechanic, and the theoretical kinds of knowledge to be more of the nature of Wisdom than the productive. Clearly then Wisdom is knowledge about certain principles [82a] and causes.

Chapter 2

Greek Latin English
ἐπεὶ δὲ ταύτην τὴν ἐπιστήμην ζητοῦμεν, τοῦτ᾽ ἂν εἴη [5] σκεπτέον, ἡ περὶ ποίας αἰτίας καὶ περὶ ποίας ἀρχὰς ἐπιστήμη σοφία ἐστίν. εἰ δὴ λάβοι τις τὰς ὑπολήψεις ἃς ἔχομεν περὶ τοῦ σοφοῦ, τάχ᾽ ἂν ἐκ τούτου φανερὸν γένοιτο μᾶλλον. ὑπολαμβάνομεν δὴ πρῶτον μὲν ἐπίστασθαι πάντα τὸν σοφὸν ὡς ἐνδέχεται, μὴ καθ᾽ ἕκαστον ἔχοντα ἐπιστήμην [10] αὐτῶν: εἶτα τὸν τὰ χαλεπὰ γνῶναι δυνάμενον καὶ μὴ ῥᾴδια ἀνθρώπῳ γιγνώσκειν, τοῦτον σοφόν (τὸ γὰρ αἰσθάνεσθαι πάντων κοινόν, διὸ ῥᾴδιον καὶ οὐδὲν σοφόν): ἔτι τὸν ἀκριβέστερον καὶ τὸν διδασκαλικώτερον τῶν αἰτιῶν σοφώτερον εἶναι περὶ πᾶσαν ἐπιστήμην: καὶ τῶν ἐπιστημῶν δὲ τὴν [15] αὑτῆς ἕνεκεν καὶ τοῦ εἰδέναι χάριν αἱρετὴν οὖσαν μᾶλλον εἶναι σοφίαν ἢ τὴν τῶν ἀποβαινόντων ἕνεκεν, καὶ τὴν ἀρχικωτέραν τῆς ὑπηρετούσης μᾶλλον σοφίαν: οὐ γὰρ δεῖν ἐπιτάττεσθαι τὸν σοφὸν ἀλλ᾽ ἐπιτάττειν, καὶ οὐ τοῦτον ἑτέρῳ πείθεσθαι, ἀλλὰ τούτῳ τὸν ἧττον σοφόν. Quoniam autem scientiam hanc quaerimus, circa quales causas et circa qualia principia scientia sapientia sit, hoc utique erit considerandum. Si itaque accipiat aliquis existimationes quas de sapiente habemus, fortassis ex hiis manifestius fiet. Itaque primum existimamus sapientem omnia maxime scire ut contingit [accipimus], non singularem scientiam eorum habentem. Postea difficilia cognoscere potentem > nec levia homini noscere, hunc dicimus sapientem; sentire enim omnium est commune, quare facile et non sophon. Adhuc certiorem et magis causas docentem sapientiorem circa omnem scientiam esse. Et scientiarum autem eam quae sui ipsius causa * et sciendi gratia eligibilis est: magis est sapientia quam quae * evenientium gratia. Et principaliorem subserviente magis esse * sapientiam; non enim ordinari sed sapientem ordinare oportet, neque hunc ab altero, sed ab hoc minus sapientem suaderi. Chapter 2. Since we are seeking this knowledge, we must inquire of what kind are the causes and the principles, the knowledge of which is Wisdom. If one were to take the notions we have about the wise man, this might perhaps make the answer more evident. We suppose first, then, that the wise man knows all things, as far as possible, although he has not knowledge of each of them in detail; secondly, that he who can learn things that are difficult, and not easy for man to know, is wise (sense-perception is common to all, and therefore easy and no mark of Wisdom); again, that he who is more exact and more capable of teaching the causes is wiser, in every branch of knowledge; and that of the sciences, also, that which is desirable on its own account and for the sake of knowing it is more of the nature of Wisdom than that which is desirable on account of its results, and the superior science is more of the nature of Wisdom than the ancillary; for the wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him.
τὰς μὲν οὖν [20] ὑπολήψεις τοιαύτας καὶ τοσαύτας ἔχομεν περὶ τῆς σοφίας καὶ τῶν σοφῶν: τούτων δὲ τὸ μὲν πάντα ἐπίστασθαι τῷ μάλιστα ἔχοντι τὴν καθόλου ἐπιστήμην ἀναγκαῖον ὑπάρχειν (οὗτος γὰρ οἶδέ πως πάντα τὰ ὑποκείμενα), σχεδὸν δὲ καὶ χαλεπώτατα ταῦτα γνωρίζειν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, τὰ μάλιστα [25] καθόλου (πορρωτάτω γὰρ τῶν αἰσθήσεών ἐστιν), ἀκριβέσταται δὲ τῶν ἐπιστημῶν αἳ μάλιστα τῶν πρώτων εἰσίν (αἱ γὰρ ἐξ ἐλαττόνων ἀκριβέστεραι τῶν ἐκ προσθέσεως λεγομένων, οἷον ἀριθμητικὴ γεωμετρίας): Tales quidem igitur existimationes et tot de sapientia et sapientibus habemus. Istorum autem hoc quidem omnia scire universalem scientiam maxime habenti inesse necesse est; hic enim novit omnia aliqualiter subiecta. Fere autem et difficillima sunt ea hominibus ad cognoscendum quae maxime sunt universalia; nam a sensibus sunt remotissima. Scientiarum vero certissime sunt quae maxime primorum sunt; nam quae sunt ex paucioribus certiores sunt ex additione dictis, ut arismetica geometria. Such and so many are the notions, then, which we have about Wisdom and the wise. Now of these characteristics that of knowing all things must belong to him who has in the highest degree universal knowledge; for he knows in a sense all the instances that fall under the universal. And these things, the most universal, are on the whole the hardest for men to know; for they are farthest from the senses. And the most exact of the sciences are those which deal most with first principles; for those which involve fewer principles are more exact than those which involve additional principles, e.g. arithmetic than geometry.
ἀλλὰ μὴν καὶ διδασκαλική γε ἡ τῶν αἰτιῶν θεωρητικὴ μᾶλλον (οὗτοι γὰρ διδάσκουσιν, οἱ τὰς [30] αἰτίας λέγοντες περὶ ἑκάστου), τὸ δ᾽ εἰδέναι καὶ τὸ ἐπίστασθαι αὐτῶν ἕνεκα μάλισθ᾽ ὑπάρχει τῇ τοῦ μάλιστα ἐπιστητοῦ ἐπιστήμῃ (ὁ γὰρ τὸ ἐπίστασθαι δι᾽ αὑτὸ αἱρούμενος τὴν μάλιστα ἐπιστήμην μάλιστα αἱρήσεται, [982β] [1] τοιαύτη δ᾽ ἐστὶν ἡ τοῦ μάλιστα ἐπιστητοῦ), μάλιστα δ᾽ ἐπιστητὰ τὰ πρῶτα καὶ τὰ αἴτια (διὰ γὰρ ταῦτα καὶ ἐκ τούτων τἆλλα γνωρίζεται ἀλλ᾽ οὐ ταῦτα διὰ τῶν ὑποκειμένων), At vero et doctrinalis quae causarum est speculatrix magis; hii namque docent, qui causas de singulis dicunt. Et noscere et scire sui gratia maxime inest ei quae maxime scibilis scientie; nam qui scire propter se desiderat, ipsam maxime scientiam maxime desiderabit, talis autem est quae maxime * scibilis. * Maxime autem scibilia * prima et cause; nam propter haec et ex hiis alia dinoscuntur, sed non haec per subiecta. But the science which investigates causes is also instructive, in a higher degree, for the people who instruct us are those who tell the causes of each thing. And understanding and knowledge pursued for their own sake are found most in the knowledge of that which is most knowable (for he who chooses to know for the sake of knowing will choose most [82b] readily that which is most truly knowledge, and such is the knowledge of that which is most knowable); and the first principles and the causes are most knowable; for by reason of these, and from these, all other things come to be known, and not these by means of the things subordinate to them.
ἀρχικωτάτη δὲ τῶν ἐπιστημῶν, καὶ [5] μᾶλλον ἀρχικὴ τῆς ὑπηρετούσης, ἡ γνωρίζουσα τίνος ἕνεκέν ἐστι πρακτέον ἕκαστον: τοῦτο δ᾽ ἐστὶ τἀγαθὸν ἑκάστου, ὅλως δὲ τὸ ἄριστον ἐν τῇ φύσει πάσῃ. Maxime vero principalis scientiarum, et magis principalis sub>serviente *, quae cognoscit cuius causa sunt agenda singula; hoc autem est bonum uniuscuiusque, totaliter autem * optimum * in natura omni. And the science which knows to what end each thing must be done is the most authoritative of the sciences, and more authoritative than any ancillary science; and this end is the good of that thing, and in general the supreme good in the whole of nature.
ἐξ ἁπάντων οὖν τῶν εἰρημένων ἐπὶ τὴν αὐτὴν ἐπιστήμην πίπτει τὸ ζητούμενον ὄνομα: δεῖ γὰρ ταύτην τῶν πρώτων ἀρχῶν καὶ αἰτιῶν εἶναι θεωρητικήν: [10] καὶ γὰρ τἀγαθὸν καὶ τὸ οὗ ἕνεκα ἓν τῶν αἰτίων ἐστίν. Ex omnibus ergo quae dicta sunt in eandem cadit scientiam * quesitum * nomen; oportet enim hanc primorum principiorum et causarum esse speculativam; et enim bonum * et quod * cuius gratia una causarum est. Judged by all the tests we have mentioned, then, the name in question falls to the same science; this must be a science that investigates the first principles and causes; for the good, i.e. the end, is one of the causes.
ὅτι δ᾽ οὐ ποιητική, δῆλον καὶ ἐκ τῶν πρώτων φιλοσοφησάντων: διὰ γὰρ τὸ θαυμάζειν οἱ ἄνθρωποι καὶ νῦν καὶ τὸ πρῶτον ἤρξαντο φιλοσοφεῖν, ἐξ ἀρχῆς μὲν τὰ πρόχειρα τῶν ἀτόπων θαυμάσαντες, εἶτα κατὰ μικρὸν οὕτω προϊόντες [15] καὶ περὶ τῶν μειζόνων διαπορήσαντες, οἷον περί τε τῶν τῆς σελήνης παθημάτων καὶ τῶν περὶ τὸν ἥλιον καὶ ἄστρα καὶ περὶ τῆς τοῦ παντὸς γενέσεως. Quia vero non activa, palam ex primis philosophantibus. Nam propter admirari homines et nunc et primum inceperunt philosophari, a principio quidem paratiora dubitabilium mirantes, deinde paulatim sic procedentes et de maioribus dubitantes, ut de lune passionibus et de hiis quae * circa solem et astra et de universi generatione. That it is not a science of production is clear even from the history of the earliest philosophers. For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe.
ὁ δ᾽ ἀπορῶν καὶ θαυμάζων οἴεται ἀγνοεῖν (διὸ καὶ ὁ φιλόμυθος φιλόσοφός πώς ἐστιν: ὁ γὰρ μῦθος σύγκειται ἐκ θαυμασίων): ὥστ᾽ εἴπερ διὰ [20] τὸ φεύγειν τὴν ἄγνοιαν ἐφιλοσόφησαν, φανερὸν ὅτι διὰ τὸ εἰδέναι τὸ ἐπίστασθαι ἐδίωκον καὶ οὐ χρήσεώς τινος ἕνεκεν. Qui vero [Quoniam vero] dubitat et admiratur ignorare videtur. Quare et philomitos * philosophus aliqualiter est; fabula namque ex miris constituitur. Quare si ad ignorantiam fugiendam philosophati sunt, palam quia propter scire studere persecuti sunt et non usus alicuius causa. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant (whence even the lover of myth is in a sense a lover of Wisdom, for the myth is composed of wonders); therefore since they philosophized order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end.
μαρτυρεῖ δὲ αὐτὸ τὸ συμβεβηκός: σχεδὸν γὰρ πάντων ὑπαρχόντων τῶν ἀναγκαίων καὶ πρὸς ῥᾳστώνην καὶ διαγωγὴν ἡ τοιαύτη φρόνησις ἤρξατο ζητεῖσθαι. δῆλον οὖν ὡς δι᾽ [25] οὐδεμίαν αὐτὴν ζητοῦμεν χρείαν ἑτέραν, ἀλλ᾽ ὥσπερ ἄνθρωπος, φαμέν, ἐλεύθερος ὁ αὑτοῦ ἕνεκα καὶ μὴ ἄλλου ὤν, οὕτω καὶ αὐτὴν ὡς μόνην οὖσαν ἐλευθέραν τῶν ἐπιστημῶν: μόνη γὰρ αὕτη αὑτῆς ἕνεκέν ἐστιν. Testatur autem ipsum quod accidit; nam fere cunctis existentibus quae sunt necessariorum et ad valitudinem et ad perductionem, talis prudentia inquiri cepit. Palam igitur quia propter nullam ipsam quaerimus aliam necessitatem, sed, ut dicimus, homo liber qui suimet et non alterius causa est, sic et haec sola libera est scientiarum; sola namque haec suimet causa est. And this is confirmed by the facts; for it was when almost all the necessities of life and the things that make for comfort and recreation had been secured, that such knowledge began to be sought. Evidently then we do not seek it for the sake of any other advantage; but as the man is free, we say, who exists for his own sake and not for another’s, so we pursue this as the only free science, for it alone exists for its own sake.
διὸ καὶ δικαίως ἂν οὐκ ἀνθρωπίνη νομίζοιτο αὐτῆς ἡ κτῆσις: πολλαχῇ γὰρ ἡ φύσις δούλη τῶν [30] ἀνθρώπων ἐστίν, κατὰ Σιμωνίδην "θεὸς ἂν μόνος τοῦτ᾽ ἔχοι γέρας", ἄνδρα δ᾽ οὐκ ἄξιον μὴ οὐ ζητεῖν τὴν καθ᾽ αὑτὸν ἐπιστήμην. εἰ δὴ λέγουσί τι οἱ ποιηταὶ καὶ πέφυκε φθονεῖν τὸ θεῖον, [983α] [1] ἐπὶ τούτου συμβῆναι μάλιστα εἰκὸς καὶ δυστυχεῖς [2] εἶναι πάντας τοὺς περιττούς. ἀλλ᾽ οὔτε τὸ θεῖον φθονερὸν ἐνδέχεται εἶναι, ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὴν παροιμίαν πολλὰ ψεύδονται ἀοιδοί, οὔτε τῆς τοιαύτης ἄλλην χρὴ νομίζειν τιμιωτέραν. [5] ἡ γὰρ θειοτάτη καὶ τιμιωτάτη: τοιαύτη δὲ διχῶς ἂν εἴη μόνη: ἥν τε γὰρ μάλιστ᾽ ἂν ὁ θεὸς ἔχοι, θεία τῶν ἐπιστημῶν ἐστί, κἂν εἴ τις τῶν θείων εἴη. μόνη δ᾽ αὕτη τούτων ἀμφοτέρων τετύχηκεν: ὅ τε γὰρ θεὸς δοκεῖ τῶν αἰτίων πᾶσιν εἶναι καὶ ἀρχή τις, καὶ τὴν τοιαύτην ἢ μόνος ἢ μάλιστ᾽ [10] ἂν ἔχοι ὁ θεός. ἀναγκαιότεραι μὲν οὖν πᾶσαι ταύτης, ἀμείνων δ᾽ οὐδεμία. Propter quod et iuste non humana putetur eius possessio. Multipliciter enim hominum natura serva est, quare secundum Symonida “solus quidem Deus hunc habet honorem”, virum vero non * dignum non quaerere quae secundum se est scientiam. Si autem dicunt aliquid poete, quia divinum natum est inuidere, in > hoc contingere maxime verisimile * et infortunatos omnes superfluos esse. Sed nec divinum inuidum esse convenit, sed secundum proverbium multa mentiuntur poete, nec tali aliam honorabiliorem oportet existimare. Nam maxime divina et maxime honoranda. Talis autem dupliciter utique erit solum; quam enim maxime deus habet, divina scientiarum est, et utique si qua sit divinorum. Sola autem ista ambo haec sortita est; deus enim videtur causarum omnibus esse et principium quoddam, et talem aut solus aut maxime deus habet. Necessariores quidem igitur * omnes ipsa, dignior vero nulla. Hence also the possession of it might be justly regarded as beyond human power; for in many ways human nature is in bondage, so that according to Simonides ‘God alone can have this privilege’, and it is unfitting that man should not be content to seek the knowledge that is suited to him. If, then, there is something in what the poets say, and jealousy is natural to the divine power, it would probably [83a] occur in this case above all, and all who excelled in this knowledge would be unfortunate. But the divine power cannot be jealous (nay, according to the proverb, ‘bards tell a lie’), nor should any other science be thought more honourable than one of this sort. For the most divine science is also most honourable; and this science alone must be, in two ways, most divine. For the science which it would be most meet for God to have is a divine science, and so is any science that deals with divine objects; and this science alone has both these qualities; for (1) God is thought to be among the causes of all things and to be a first principle, and (2) such a science either God alone can have, or God above all others. All the sciences, indeed, are more necessary than this, but none is better.
δεῖ μέντοι πως καταστῆναι τὴν κτῆσιν αὐτῆς εἰς τοὐναντίον ἡμῖν τῶν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ζητήσεων. ἄρχονται μὲν γάρ, ὥσπερ εἴπομεν, ἀπὸ τοῦ θαυμάζειν πάντες εἰ οὕτως ἔχει, καθάπερ <περὶ>τῶν θαυμάτων ταὐτόματα [τοῖς μήπω τεθεωρηκόσι [15] τὴν αἰτίαν] ἢ περὶ τὰς τοῦ ἡλίου τροπὰς ἢ τὴν τῆς διαμέτρου ἀσυμμετρίαν (θαυμαστὸν γὰρ εἶναι δοκεῖ πᾶσι <τοῖς μήπω τεθεωρηκόσι τὴν αἰτίαν>εἴ τι τῷ ἐλαχίστῳ μὴ μετρεῖται): δεῖ δὲ εἰς τοὐναντίον καὶ τὸ ἄμεινον κατὰ τὴν παροιμίαν ἀποτελευτῆσαι, καθάπερ καὶ ἐν τούτοις ὅταν μάθωσιν: οὐθὲν γὰρ [20] ἂν οὕτως θαυμάσειεν ἀνὴρ γεωμετρικὸς ὡς εἰ γένοιτο ἡ διάμετρος μετρητή. Oportet tamen aliqualiter constituere ordinem ipsius ad * contrarium nobis * earum quae a principio questionum. Incipiunt quidem enim, ut diximus, omnes ab admirari si ita habent, quemadmodum mirabilium automata, nondum speculantibus causam, aut circa solis conversiones aut diametri non commensurationem; mirum enim videtur esse omnibus si quid non minimorum non mensuratur. Oportet autem in contrarium et ad dignius iuxta proverbium consummare, quemadmodum et in hiis cum didicerint; nihil enim ita mirabitur vir geometricus quam si * diameter commensurabilis fiat. Yet the acquisition of it must in a sense end in something which is the opposite of our original inquiries. For all men begin, as we said, by wondering that things are as they are, as they do about self-moving marionettes, or about the solstices or the incommensurability of the diagonal of a square with the side; for it seems wonderful to all who have not yet seen the reason, that there is a thing which cannot be measured even by the smallest unit. But we must end in the contrary and, according to the proverb, the better state, as is the case in these instances too when men learn the cause; for there is nothing which would surprise a geometer so much as if the diagonal turned out to be commensurable.
τίς μὲν οὖν ἡ φύσις τῆς ἐπιστήμης τῆς ζητουμένης, εἴρηται, καὶ τίς ὁ σκοπὸς οὗ δεῖ τυγχάνειν τὴν ζήτησιν καὶ τὴν ὅλην μέθοδον. Quae quidem igitur sit natura scientie quesite, dictum est, et quae sit intentio quam oportet adipisci questionem et totam methodum. We have stated, then, what is the nature of the science we are searching for, and what is the mark which our search and our whole investigation must reach.

Chapter 3

Greek Latin English
ἐπεὶ δὲ φανερὸν ὅτι τῶν ἐξ ἀρχῆς αἰτίων δεῖ λαβεῖν [25] ἐπιστήμην (τότε γὰρ εἰδέναι φαμὲν ἕκαστον, ὅταν τὴν πρώτην αἰτίαν οἰώμεθα γνωρίζειν), τὰ δ᾽ αἴτια λέγεται τετραχῶς, ὧν μίαν μὲν αἰτίαν φαμὲν εἶναι τὴν οὐσίαν καὶ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι (ἀνάγεται γὰρ τὸ διὰ τί εἰς τὸν λόγον ἔσχατον, αἴτιον δὲ καὶ ἀρχὴ τὸ διὰ τί πρῶτον), ἑτέραν δὲ τὴν ὕλην [30] καὶ τὸ ὑποκείμενον, τρίτην δὲ ὅθεν ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κινήσεως, τετάρτην δὲ τὴν ἀντικειμένην αἰτίαν ταύτῃ, τὸ οὗ ἕνεκα καὶ τἀγαθόν (τέλος γὰρ γενέσεως καὶ κινήσεως πάσης τοῦτ᾽ ἐστίν), τεθεώρηται μὲν οὖν ἱκανῶς περὶ αὐτῶν ἡμῖν ἐν τοῖς περὶ φύσεως, >Quoniam autem manifestum quod earum quae a principio causarum oportet sumere scientiam; tunc enim scire dicimus unumquodque, quando primam causam cognoscere putamus. Cause vero quadrupliciter dicuntur, quarum unam quidem causam dicimus esse substantiam et quod quid erat esse; reducitur enim ipsum quare primum ad rationem ultimam, causa autem et principium ipsum quare primum. Unam vero materiam et subiectum. Tertiam autem unde principium motus. Quartam vero causam ei oppositam: et quod est cuius causa et bonum; finis enim generationis et motus omnis hoc est. Sufficienter quidem igitur de hiis speculatum est in hiis quae de natura. Chapter 3. Evidently we have to acquire knowledge of the original causes (for we say we know each thing only when we think we recognize its first cause), and causes are spoken of in four senses. In one of these we mean the substance, i.e. the essence (for the ‘why’ is reducible finally to the definition, and the ultimate ‘why’ is a cause and principle); in another the matter or substratum, in a third the source of the change, and in a fourth the cause opposed to this, the purpose and the good (for this is the end of all generation and change). We have studied these causes sufficiently in [83b] our work on nature.
[983β] [1] ὅμως δὲ παραλάβωμεν καὶ τοὺς πρότερον ἡμῶν εἰς ἐπίσκεψιν τῶν ὄντων ἐλθόντας καὶ φιλοσοφήσαντας περὶ τῆς ἀληθείας. δῆλον γὰρ ὅτι κἀκεῖνοι λέγουσιν ἀρχάς τινας καὶ αἰτίας: ἐπελθοῦσιν οὖν ἔσται τι προὔργου τῇ μεθόδῳ τῇ νῦν: [5] ἢ γὰρ ἕτερόν τι γένος εὑρήσομεν αἰτίας ἢ ταῖς νῦν λεγομέναις μᾶλλον πιστεύσομεν. Accipiamus tamen et nobis priores ad entium perscrutationem venientes et de veritate philosophantes. Palam enim quia et rilli dicunt principia quaedam et causas. Supervenientibus igitur erit aliquid pre opere methodo quae nunc *; aut enim aliud aliquod cause genus inveniemus aut modo dictis magis credemus. But yet let us call to our aid those who have attacked the investigation of being [83b 4] and philosophized about reality before us. For obviously they too speak of certain principles and causes; to go over their views, then, will be of profit to the present inquiry, for we shall either find another kind of cause, or be more convinced of the correctness of those which we now maintain.
τῶν δὴ πρώτων φιλοσοφησάντων οἱ πλεῖστοι τὰς ἐν ὕλης εἴδει μόνας ᾠήθησαν ἀρχὰς εἶναι πάντων: ἐξ οὗ γὰρ ἔστιν ἅπαντα τὰ ὄντα καὶ ἐξ οὗ γίγνεται πρώτου καὶ εἰς ὃ φθείρεται τελευταῖον, τῆς μὲν [10] οὐσίας ὑπομενούσης τοῖς δὲ πάθεσι μεταβαλλούσης, τοῦτο στοιχεῖον καὶ ταύτην ἀρχήν φασιν εἶναι τῶν ὄντων, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο οὔτε γίγνεσθαι οὐθὲν οἴονται οὔτε ἀπόλλυσθαι, ὡς τῆς τοιαύτης φύσεως ἀεὶ σωζομένης, ὥσπερ οὐδὲ τὸν Σωκράτην φαμὲν οὔτε γίγνεσθαι ἁπλῶς ὅταν γίγνηται καλὸς ἢ μουσικὸς [15] οὔτε ἀπόλλυσθαι ὅταν ἀποβάλλῃ ταύτας τὰς ἕξεις, διὰ τὸ ὑπομένειν τὸ ὑποκείμενον τὸν Σωκράτην αὐτόν, οὕτως οὐδὲ τῶν ἄλλων οὐδέν: ἀεὶ γὰρ εἶναί τινα φύσιν ἢ μίαν ἢ πλείους μιᾶς ἐξ ὧν γίγνεται τἆλλα σωζομένης ἐκείνης. Primum * igitur philosophantium plurimi solas eas quae * in materie specie putaverunt omnium esse principia. Nam ex quo sunt omnia entia et ex quo fiunt primo et in quod corrumpuntur ultimo, substantia quidem manente in passionibus vero mutata, hoc * elementum et id principium dicunt esse eorum quae sunt. Et propter hoc nec generari nihil putant nec corrumpi, quasi tali natura semper conservata; sicut nec dicimus Socratem neque generari simpliciter quando fit bonus aut musicus neque corrumpi quando deponit habitus istos, propterea quod subiectum maneat Socrates ipse, sic nec aliorum nihil. Oportet enim esse aliquam naturam aut unam aut plures una ex quibus fiunt alia, illa conservata. Of the first philosophers, then, most thought the principles which were of the nature of matter were the only principles of all things. That of which all things that are consist, the first from which they come to be, the last into which they are resolved (the substance remaining, but changing in its modifications), this they say is the element and this the principle of things, and therefore they think nothing is either generated or destroyed, since this sort of entity is always conserved, as we say Socrates neither comes to be absolutely when he comes to be beautiful or musical, nor ceases to be when loses these characteristics, because the substratum, Socrates himself remains. just so they say nothing else comes to be or ceases to be; for there must be some entity-either one or more than one-from which all other things come to be, it being conserved.
τὸ μέντοι πλῆθος καὶ τὸ εἶδος τῆς τοιαύτης ἀρχῆς οὐ τὸ αὐτὸ [20] πάντες λέγουσιν, ἀλλὰ Θαλῆς μὲν ὁ τῆς τοιαύτης ἀρχηγὸς φιλοσοφίας ὕδωρ φησὶν εἶναι (διὸ καὶ τὴν γῆν ἐφ᾽ ὕδατος ἀπεφήνατο εἶναι), Pluralitatem tamen et speciem talis principii non idem omnes > dicunt. Sed thales quidem talis princeps philosophiae aquam ait esse, unde et terram esse super aquam asserebat; Yet they do not all agree as to the number and the nature of these principles. Thales, the founder of this type of philosophy, says the principle is water (for which reason he declared that the earth rests on water),
λαβὼν ἴσως τὴν ὑπόληψιν ταύτην ἐκ τοῦ πάντων ὁρᾶν τὴν τροφὴν ὑγρὰν οὖσαν καὶ αὐτὸ τὸ θερμὸν ἐκ τούτου γιγνόμενον καὶ τούτῳ ζῶν (τὸ δ᾽ ἐξ οὗ γίγνεται, τοῦτ᾽ ἐστὶν [25] ἀρχὴ πάντων)—διά τε δὴ τοῦτο τὴν ὑπόληψιν λαβὼν ταύτην καὶ διὰ τὸ πάντων τὰ σπέρματα τὴν φύσιν ὑγρὰν ἔχειν, τὸ δ᾽ ὕδωρ ἀρχὴν τῆς φύσεως εἶναι τοῖς ὑγροῖς. forsan * [forsan enim] opinionem hanc accipiens quia cunctorum nuthmentum humidum videbat esse et ipsum calidum ex hoc factum * et animal hoc vivere; ex quo vero fit *, hoc est principium omnium. Propter hoc igitur eam est accipiens existimationem et quia cunctorum spermata naturam habent humidam, aqua vero nature principium est humidis. getting the notion perhaps from seeing that the nutriment of all things is moist, and that heat itself is generated from the moist and kept alive by it (and that from which they come to be is a principle of all things). He got his notion from this fact, and from the fact that the seeds of all things have a moist nature, and that water is the origin of the nature of moist things.
εἰσὶ δέ τινες οἳ καὶ τοὺς παμπαλαίους καὶ πολὺ πρὸ τῆς νῦν γενέσεως καὶ πρώτους θεολογήσαντας οὕτως οἴονται περὶ τῆς φύσεως [30] ὑπολαβεῖν: Ὠκεανόν τε γὰρ καὶ Τηθὺν ἐποίησαν τῆς γενέσεως πατέρας, καὶ τὸν ὅρκον τῶν θεῶν ὕδωρ, τὴν καλουμένην ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν Στύγα [τῶν ποιητῶν]: τιμιώτατον μὲν γὰρ τὸ πρεσβύτατον, ὅρκος δὲ τὸ τιμιώτατόν ἐστιν. [984α] εἰ μὲν οὖν ἀρχαία τις αὕτη καὶ παλαιὰ τετύχηκεν οὖσα περὶ τῆς φύσεως [1] ἡ δόξα, τάχ᾽ ἂν ἄδηλον εἴη, Θαλῆς μέντοι λέγεται οὕτως ἀποφήνασθαι περὶ τῆς πρώτης αἰτίας (Ἵππωνα γὰρ οὐκ ἄν τις ἀξιώσειε θεῖναι μετὰ τούτων διὰ τὴν εὐτέλειαν [5] αὐτοῦ τῆς διανοίας): Sunt autem aliqui qui antiquiores et multum ante eam quae nunc est generationem et primos theologizantes sic putant de natura existimandum. Occeanum enim et Thetim generationis parentes fecerunt, sacramentumque deorum aquam, Stigem ab ipsis poetis vocatam; honorabilius enim quod antiquius, sacramentum autem quod honorabilius. Si quidem igitur antiquior aliqua ista et senior fuit de natura opinio, forsan utique incertum erit; Thales quidem secundum hunc modum pronuntiasse dicitur de prima causa. Ypponem quidem enim non utique aliquis dignificabit posuisse cum hiis propter sui intellectus parvitatem. Some think that even the ancients who lived long before the present generation, and first framed accounts of the gods, had a similar view of nature; for they made Ocean and Tethys the parents of creation, and described the oath of the gods as being by water, to which they give the name of Styx; for what is oldest is most honourable, and the most honourable thing is that by which one swears. [84a] It may perhaps be uncertain whether this opinion about nature is primitive and ancient, but Thales at any rate is said to have declared himself thus about the first cause. Hippo no one would think fit to include among these thinkers, because of the paltriness of his thought.
Ἀναξιμένης δὲ ἀέρα καὶ Διογένης πρότερον ὕδατος καὶ μάλιστ᾽ ἀρχὴν τιθέασι τῶν ἁπλῶν σωμάτων, Ἵππασος δὲ πῦρ ὁ Μεταποντῖνος καὶ Ἡράκλειτος ὁ Ἐφέσιος, Ἐμπεδοκλῆς δὲ τὰ τέτταρα, πρὸς τοῖς εἰρημένοις γῆν προστιθεὶς τέταρτον (ταῦτα γὰρ ἀεὶ διαμένειν καὶ οὐ [10] γίγνεσθαι ἀλλ᾽ ἢ πλήθει καὶ ὀλιγότητι, συγκρινόμενα καὶ διακρινόμενα εἰς ἕν τε καὶ ἐξ ἑνός): Anaximenes autem et Diogenes aerem priorem aqua et maxime principium simplicium corporum ponunt. Ypassus autem Methapontinus et Eraclitus Ephesius ignem. Empedocles vero quatuor, cum dictis terram addens quartum; ea namque dixit semper manere et non fieri nisi pluralitate et paucitate, congregata et disgregata in unum et ex uno. Anaximenes and Diogenes make air prior to water, and the most primary of the simple bodies, while Hippasus of Metapontium and Heraclitus of Ephesus say this of fire, and Empedocles says it of the four elements (adding a fourth-earth-to those which have been named); for these, he says, always remain and do not come to be, except that they come to be more or fewer, being aggregated into one and segregated out of one.
Ἀναξαγόρας δὲ ὁ Κλαζομένιος τῇ μὲν ἡλικίᾳ πρότερος ὢν τούτου τοῖς δ᾽ ἔργοις ὕστερος ἀπείρους εἶναί φησι τὰς ἀρχάς: σχεδὸν γὰρ ἅπαντα τὰ ὁμοιομερῆ καθάπερ ὕδωρ ἢ πῦρ οὕτω γίγνεσθαι καὶ [15] ἀπόλλυσθαί φησι, συγκρίσει καὶ διακρίσει μόνον, ἄλλως δ᾽ οὔτε γίγνεσθαι οὔτ᾽ ἀπόλλυσθαι ἀλλὰ διαμένειν ἀΐδια.

Anaxagoras vero Clazomenius isto quidem etate prior factis > vero posterior infinita dixit esse principia; nam fere omnia partium consimilium ut ignem aut aquam ita generari et corrumpi ait, congregatione et disgregatione solum, aliter autem nec generari nec corrumpi sed permanere sempiterna. Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, who, though older than Empedocles, was later in his philosophical activity, says the principles are infinite in number; for he says almost all the things that are made of parts like themselves, in the manner of water or fire, are generated and destroyed in this way, only by aggregation and segregation, and are not in any other sense generated or destroyed, but remain eternally.
ἐκ μὲν οὖν τούτων μόνην τις αἰτίαν νομίσειεν ἂν τὴν ἐν ὕλης εἴδει λεγομένην: προϊόντων δ᾽ οὕτως, αὐτὸ τὸ πρᾶγμα ὡδοποίησεν αὐτοῖς καὶ συνηνάγκασε ζητεῖν: εἰ γὰρ ὅτι μάλιστα [20] πᾶσα γένεσις καὶ φθορὰ ἔκ τινος ἑνὸς ἢ καὶ πλειόνων ἐστίν, διὰ τί τοῦτο συμβαίνει καὶ τί τὸ αἴτιον; οὐ γὰρ δὴ τό γε ὑποκείμενον αὐτὸ ποιεῖ μεταβάλλειν ἑαυτό: λέγω δ᾽ οἷον οὔτε τὸ ξύλον οὔτε ὁ χαλκὸς αἴτιος τοῦ μεταβάλλειν ἑκάτερον αὐτῶν, οὐδὲ ποιεῖ τὸ μὲν ξύλον κλίνην ὁ δὲ χαλκὸς ἀνδριάντα, [25] ἀλλ᾽ ἕτερόν τι τῆς μεταβολῆς αἴτιον. τὸ δὲ τοῦτο ζητεῖν ἐστὶ τὸ τὴν ἑτέραν ἀρχὴν ζητεῖν, ὡς ἂν ἡμεῖς φαίημεν, ὅθεν ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κινήσεως. Ex hiis quidem igitur solam quis causam intelliget utique eam quae in materie specie dicitur. Procedentibus autem sic, res ipsa viam sibi fecit et quaerere coegit. Si enim quam maxime omnis corruptio et generatio ex aliquo uno aut pluribus est, quare hoc accidit et quae causa? Non enim utique facit ipsum subiectum transmutare se ipsum. Dico autem veluti neque lignum neque es utrumlibet ipsorum permutandi est causa; neque enim lignum facit lectum neque es statuam, sed aliud aliquid mutationis est causa. Hoc autem quaerere est aliud principium quaerere, ut si nos dicamus: unde principium motus. From these facts one might think that the only cause is the so-called material cause; but as men thus advanced, the very facts opened the way for them and joined in forcing them to investigate the subject. However true it may be that all generation and destruction proceed from some one or (for that matter) from more elements, why does this happen and what is the cause? For at least the substratum itself does not make itself change; e.g. neither the wood nor the bronze causes the change of either of them, nor does the wood manufacture a bed and the bronze a statue, but something else is the cause of the change. And to seek this is to seek the second cause, as we should say,-that from which comes the beginning of the movement.
οἱ μὲν οὖν πάμπαν ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἁψάμενοι τῆς μεθόδου τῆς τοιαύτης καὶ ἓν φάσκοντες εἶναι τὸ ὑποκείμενον οὐθὲν ἐδυσχέραναν ἑαυτοῖς, ἀλλ᾽ ἔνιοί [30] γε τῶν ἓν λεγόντων, ὥσπερ ἡττηθέντες ὑπὸ ταύτης τῆς ζητήσεως, τὸ ἓν ἀκίνητόν φασιν εἶναι καὶ τὴν φύσιν ὅλην οὐ μόνον κατὰ γένεσιν καὶ φθοράν (τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ ἀρχαῖόν τε καὶ πάντες ὡμολόγησαν) ἀλλὰ καὶ κατὰ τὴν ἄλλην μεταβολὴν πᾶσαν: καὶ τοῦτο αὐτῶν ἴδιόν ἐστιν. [984β] [1] τῶν μὲν οὖν ἓν φασκόντων εἶναι τὸ πᾶν οὐθενὶ συνέβη τὴν τοιαύτην συνιδεῖν αἰτίαν πλὴν εἰ ἄρα Παρμενίδῃ, καὶ τούτῳ κατὰ τοσοῦτον ὅσον οὐ μόνον ἓν ἀλλὰ καὶ δύο πως τίθησιν αἰτίας εἶναι: [5] τοῖς δὲ δὴ πλείω ποιοῦσι μᾶλλον ἐνδέχεται λέγειν, οἷον τοῖς θερμὸν καὶ ψυχρὸν ἢ πῦρ καὶ γῆν: χρῶνται γὰρ ὡς κινητικὴν ἔχοντι τῷ πυρὶ τὴν φύσιν, ὕδατι δὲ καὶ γῇ καὶ τοῖς τοιούτοις τοὐναντίον. Igitur omnino qui talem a principio viam tetigerunt et unum esse subiectum dixerunt nihil difficultatis sibimet fecerunt; verum quidam unum esse dicentium, quasi ab ea questione devicti, ipsum unum immobile dicunt esse et naturam totam non solum secundum generationem et corruptionem (hoc et enim antiquum est et quod omnes esse confessi sunt), verum et secundum aliam mutationem omnem; et hoc eorum est proprium. Unum ergo solum dicentium esse ipsum omne nulli talem intelligere causam convenit nisi forte Parmenidi, et huic in tantum quia non solum unum sed et duas aliqualiter ponit esse causas. Plura vero facientibus magis contingit dicere, ut > ipsum calidum et frigidum aut ignem et terram; utuntur enim quasi motivam habente naturam igne, aqua vero et terra et huiusmodi econtrario. Now those who at the very beginning set themselves to this kind of inquiry, and said the substratum was one, were not at all dissatisfied with themselves; but some at least of those who maintain it to be one-as though defeated by this search for the second cause-say the one and nature as a whole is unchangeable not only in respect of generation and destruction (for this is a primitive belief, and all agreed in it), but also of all [84a 34] other change; and this view is peculiar to them. [84b] Of those who said the universe was one, then none succeeded in discovering a cause of this sort, except perhaps Parmenides, and he only inasmuch as he supposes that there is not only one but also in some sense two causes. But for those who make more elements it is more possible to state the second cause, e.g. for those who make hot and cold, or fire and earth, the elements; for they treat fire as having a nature which fits it to move things, and water and earth and such things they treat in the contrary way.
μετὰ δὲ τούτους καὶ τὰς τοιαύτας ἀρχάς, ὡς οὐχ ἱκανῶν οὐσῶν γεννῆσαι τὴν τῶν ὄντων φύσιν, πάλιν [10] ὑπ᾽ αὐτῆς τῆς ἀληθείας, ὥσπερ εἴπομεν, ἀναγκαζόμενοι τὴν ἐχομένην ἐζήτησαν ἀρχήν. τοῦ γὰρ εὖ καὶ καλῶς τὰ μὲν ἔχειν τὰ δὲ γίγνεσθαι τῶν ὄντων ἴσως οὔτε πῦρ οὔτε γῆν οὔτ᾽ ἄλλο τῶν τοιούτων οὐθὲν οὔτ᾽ εἰκὸς αἴτιον εἶναι οὔτ᾽ ἐκείνους οἰηθῆναι: οὐδ᾽ αὖ τῷ αὐτομάτῳ καὶ τύχῃ τοσοῦτον ἐπιτρέψαι [15] πρᾶγμα καλῶς εἶχεν. Post hos autem et talia principia, tamquam non sufficientibus existentium generare naturam, iterum ab ipsa veritate, velut aiebamus, coacti habitum quesierunt principium. Ipsius enim eu et bene haec quidem eorum quae sunt habere illa vero fieri forsan neque ignem neque terram neque aliud talium nihil nec verisimile causam esse, nec illos conveniens existimare; nec iterum ipsi automato et fortune tantam committere rem bene habere. When these men and the principles of this kind had had their day, as the latter were found inadequate to generate the nature of things men were again forced by the truth itself, as we said, to inquire into the next kind of cause. For it is not likely either that fire or earth or any such element should be the reason why things manifest goodness and, beauty both in their being and in their coming to be, or that those thinkers should have supposed it was; nor again could it be right to entrust so great a matter to spontaneity and chance.
νοῦν δή τις εἰπὼν ἐνεῖναι, καθάπερ ἐν τοῖς ζῴοις, καὶ ἐν τῇ φύσει τὸν αἴτιον τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τῆς τάξεως πάσης οἷον νήφων ἐφάνη παρ᾽ εἰκῇ λέγοντας [18] τοὺς πρότερον. φανερῶς μὲν οὖν Ἀναξαγόραν ἴσμεν ἁψάμενον τούτων τῶν λόγων, αἰτίαν δ᾽ ἔχει πρότερον Ἑρμότιμος [20] ὁ Κλαζομένιος εἰπεῖν. οἱ μὲν οὖν οὕτως ὑπολαμβάνοντες ἅμα τοῦ καλῶς τὴν αἰτίαν ἀρχὴν εἶναι τῶν ὄντων ἔθεσαν, καὶ τὴν τοιαύτην ὅθεν ἡ κίνησις ὑπάρχει τοῖς οὖσιν. Dicens et aliquis intellectum inesse, quemadmodum in animalibus et in natura, causam et mundi et ordinis totius ut excitans apparuit priores praeter convenientia dicentes. Palam quidem igitur Anaxagoram scimus hos sermones tetigisse, at tamen habet prius hermotimus clazomenius causam dicendi. Sic quidem igitur opinantes simul ipsius bene causam principium existentium esse posuerunt, et tale unde motus existentibus inest. When one man said, then, that reason was present-as in animals, so throughout nature-as the cause of order and of all arrangement, he seemed like a sober man in contrast with the random talk of his predecessors. We know that Anaxagoras certainly adopted these views, but Hermotimus of Clazomenae is credited with expressing them earlier. Those who thought thus stated that there is a principle of things which is at the same time the cause of beauty, and that sort of cause from which things acquire movement.

Chapter 4

Greek Latin English
ὑποπτεύσειε δ᾽ ἄν τις Ἡσίοδον πρῶτον ζητῆσαι τὸ τοιοῦτον, κἂν εἴ τις ἄλλος ἔρωτα ἢ ἐπιθυμίαν ἐν τοῖς οὖσιν ἔθηκεν [25] ὡς ἀρχήν, οἷον καὶ Παρμενίδης: καὶ γὰρ οὗτος κατασκευάζων τὴν τοῦ παντὸς γένεσιν Suspicabitur autem utique aliquis Esiodum primum quesivisse huiusmodi, et utique si quis alius amorem aut desiderium in existentibus quasi principium posuisset, ut Parmenides; et enim hic temptans monstrare universi generationem, “primum quidem” ait Chapter 4. One might suspect that Hesiod was the first to look for such a thing-or some one else who put love or desire among existing things as a principle, as Parmenides, too, does; for he, in constructing the genesis of the universe, says:—
πρώτιστον μέν (φησιν) ἔρωτα θεῶν μητίσατο πάντων

Ἡσίοδος δὲ πάντων μὲν πρώτιστα χάος γένετ᾽, αὐτὰρ ἔπειτα γαῖ᾽ εὐρύστερνος... ἠδ᾽ ἔρος, ὃς πάντεσσι μεταπρέπει ἀθανάτοισιν,

“deorum amorem fore providentem omnibus”. Esiodus vero “omnium primum chaos fuisse, deinde terram latam et amorem, qui omnia condecet immortalia”, Love first of all the Gods she planned.And Hesiod says:—
First of all things was chaos made, and then
Broad-breasted earth...
And love, ‘mid all the gods pre-eminent,
ὡς δέον ἐν τοῖς [30] οὖσιν ὑπάρχειν τιν᾽ αἰτίαν ἥτις κινήσει καὶ συνάξει τὰ πράγματα. τούτους μὲν οὖν πῶς χρὴ διανεῖμαι περὶ τοῦ τίς πρῶτος, ἐξέστω κρίνειν ὕστερον: ἐπεὶ δὲ καὶ τἀναντία τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς ἐνόντα ἐφαίνετο ἐν τῇ φύσει, καὶ οὐ μόνον τάξις καὶ τὸ καλὸν ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀταξία καὶ τὸ αἰσχρόν, [985α] [1] καὶ πλείω τὰ κακὰ τῶν ἀγαθῶν καὶ τὰ φαῦλα τῶν καλῶν, οὕτως ἄλλος τις φιλίαν εἰσήνεγκε καὶ νεῖκος, ἑκάτερον ἑκατέρων αἴτιον τούτων. εἰ γάρ τις ἀκολουθοίη καὶ λαμβάνοι πρὸς τὴν διάνοιαν [5] καὶ μὴ πρὸς ἃ ψελλίζεται λέγων Ἐμπεδοκλῆς, εὑρήσει τὴν μὲν φιλίαν αἰτίαν οὖσαν τῶν ἀγαθῶν τὸ δὲ νεῖκος τῶν κακῶν: ὥστ᾽ εἴ τις φαίη τρόπον τινὰ καὶ λέγειν καὶ πρῶτον λέγειν τὸ κακὸν καὶ τὸ ἀγαθὸν ἀρχὰς Ἐμπεδοκλέα, τάχ᾽ ἂν λέγοι καλῶς, εἴπερ τὸ τῶν ἀγαθῶν ἁπάντων αἴτιον [10] αὐτὸ τἀγαθόν ἐστι [καὶ τῶν κακῶν τὸ κακόν]. quasi necessarium sit in existentibus esse causam quae > res ipsas moveat et congreget. Hns quidem igitur quomodo oporteat distribuere de hoc quis * primus, liceat iudicare posterius. Quoniam vero contraria bonis inesse videbantur in natura, et non solum ordinatio et bonum sed inordinatio et turpe, et plura * mala melioribus et praua bonis, sic alius aliquis amorem induxit et litem, singula singulorum causam horum. si quis enim assequatur et accipiat ad intellectum et non ad quae balbutit dicens Empedocles, inveniet amorem quidem causam esse agathorum, litem vero malorum. Quare si quis dixerit quodam modo rdicere et primum dicere Empedoclem bonum et malum principia, forsan bene dicet, si bonorum omnium ei bonum est causa et malorum malum. which implies that among existing things there must be from the first a cause which will move things and bring them together. How these thinkers should be arranged with regard to priority of discovery let us be allowed to decide later; but since the contraries of the various forms of good were also perceived to be present in nature-not only order and the beautiful, but also disorder and the ugly, and [85a] bad things in greater number than good, and ignoble things than beautiful-therefore another thinker introduced friendship and strife, each of the two the cause of one of these two sets of qualities. For if we were to follow out the view of Empedocles, and interpret it according to its meaning and not to its lisping expression, we should find that friendship is the cause of good things, and strife of bad. Therefore, if we said that Empedocles in a sense both mentions, and is the first to mention, the bad and the good as principles, we should perhaps be right, since the cause of all goods is the good itself.
οὗτοι μὲν οὖν, ὥσπερ λέγομεν, καὶ μέχρι τούτου δυοῖν αἰτίαιν ὧν ἡμεῖς διωρίσαμεν ἐν τοῖς περὶ φύσεως ἡμμένοι φαίνονται, τῆς τε ὕλης καὶ τοῦ ὅθεν ἡ κίνησις, ἀμυδρῶς μέντοι καὶ οὐθὲν σαφῶς ἀλλ᾽ οἷον ἐν ταῖς μάχαις οἱ ἀγύμναστοι ποιοῦσιν: καὶ γὰρ ἐκεῖνοι περιφερόμενοι [15] τύπτουσι πολλάκις καλὰς πληγάς, ἀλλ᾽ οὔτε ἐκεῖνοι ἀπὸ ἐπιστήμης οὔτε οὗτοι ἐοίκασιν εἰδέναι ὅ τι λέγουσιν: σχεδὸν γὰρ οὐθὲν χρώμενοι φαίνονται τούτοις ἀλλ᾽ ἢ κατὰ μικρόν. Isti quidem igitur, sicut diximus, et usque ad hoc duas causas tetigerunt quas in phisicis determinavimus, materiamque et id unde motus, obscure quidem et non manifeste sed qualiter in bellis ineruditi faciunt; et enim illi circumducti saepe bonas plagas faciunt, at nec illi ex scientia nec isti sunt assimilati scientibus dicere quod dicunt; hiis etenim fere usi videntur nihil nisi parum. These thinkers, as we say, evidently grasped, and to this extent, two of the causes which we distinguished in our work on nature-the matter and the source of the movement-vaguely, however, and with no clearness, but as untrained men behave in fights; for they go round their opponents and often strike fine blows, but they do not fight on scientific principles, and so too these thinkers do not seem to know what they say; for it is evident that, as a rule, they make no use of their causes except to a small extent.
Ἀναξαγόρας τε γὰρ μηχανῇ χρῆται τῷ νῷ πρὸς τὴν κοσμοποιίαν, καὶ ὅταν ἀπορήσῃ διὰ τίν᾽ αἰτίαν [20] ἐξ ἀνάγκης ἐστί, τότε παρέλκει αὐτόν, ἐν δὲ τοῖς ἄλλοις πάντα μᾶλλον αἰτιᾶται τῶν γιγνομένων ἢ νοῦν, Anaxagoras enim artificialiter ad mundi generationem utitur intellectu. Nam quando dubitat qua causa ex necessitate est, tunc attrahit ipsum, in aliis vero omnia magis causatur eorum quae fiunt quam intellectum. For Anaxagoras uses reason as a deus ex machina for the making of the world, and when he is at a loss to tell from what cause something necessarily is, then he drags reason in, but in all other cases ascribes events to anything rather than to reason.
καὶ Ἐμπεδοκλῆς ἐπὶ πλέον μὲν τούτου χρῆται τοῖς αἰτίοις, οὐ μὴν οὔθ᾽ ἱκανῶς, οὔτ᾽ ἐν τούτοις εὑρίσκει τὸ ὁμολογούμενον. πολλαχοῦ γοῦν αὐτῷ ἡ μὲν φιλία διακρίνει τὸ δὲ νεῖκος συγκρίνει. [25] ὅταν μὲν γὰρ εἰς τὰ στοιχεῖα διίστηται τὸ πᾶν ὑπὸ τοῦ νείκους, τότε τὸ πῦρ εἰς ἓν συγκρίνεται καὶ τῶν ἄλλων στοιχείων ἕκαστον: ὅταν δὲ πάλιν ὑπὸ τῆς φιλίας συνίωσιν εἰς τὸ ἕν, ἀναγκαῖον ἐξ ἑκάστου τὰ μόρια διακρίνεσθαι πάλιν. Et Empedocles plus quidem hoc utitur causis, sed tamen nec sufficienter, nec in hiis invenit quod confessum est. Multis igitur in locis apud ipsum amor disgregat, lis autem congregat. Nam cum in elementa quidem ipsum omne a lite distrahitur, tunc ignis in unum et aliorum elementorum singula concernuntur; cum > autem iterum in unum ab amore conveniunt, necesse rursum ut ex singulis particule secernantur. And Empedocles, though he uses the causes to a greater extent than this, neither does so sufficiently nor attains consistency in their use. At least, in many cases he makes love segregate things, and strife aggregate them. For whenever the universe is dissolved into its elements by strife, fire is aggregated into one, and so is each of the other elements; but whenever again under the influence of love they come together into one, the parts must again be segregated out of each element.
Ἐμπεδοκλῆς μὲν οὖν παρὰ τοὺς πρότερον πρῶτος [30] τὸ τὴν αἰτίαν διελεῖν εἰσήνεγκεν, οὐ μίαν ποιήσας τὴν τῆς κινήσεως ἀρχὴν ἀλλ᾽ ἑτέρας τε καὶ ἐναντίας, ἔτι δὲ τὰ ὡς ἐν ὕλης εἴδει λεγόμενα στοιχεῖα τέτταρα πρῶτος εἶπεν (οὐ μὴν χρῆταί γε τέτταρσιν ἀλλ᾽ ὡς δυσὶν οὖσι μόνοις, [985β] [1] πυρὶ μὲν καθ᾽ αὑτὸ τοῖς δ᾽ ἀντικειμένοις ὡς μιᾷ φύσει, γῇ τε καὶ ἀέρι καὶ ὕδατι: λάβοι δ᾽ ἄν τις αὐτὸ θεωρῶν ἐκ τῶν ἐπῶν): Empedocles quidem igitur praeter priores primus hanc causam dividens induxit, non unum faciens motus principium sed diversa et contraria. Amplius autem quae in materie specie dicuntur elementa quatuor primus dixit; non tamen utitur quatuor sed ut duobus existentibus solis, igne quidem secundum se, oppositis vero quasi una natura: terra et aere et aqua. Sumet autem utique aliquis id speculans ex versibus. Empedocles, then, in contrast with his precessors, was the first to introduce the dividing of this cause, not positing one source of movement, but different and contrary sources. Again, he was the first to speak of four material elements; yet he does not use four, but treats them as two only; [ 85b] he treats fire by itself, and its opposite-earth, air, and water-as one kind of thing. We may learn this by study of his verses.
οὗτος μὲν οὖν, ὥσπερ λέγομεν, οὕτω τε καὶ τοσαύτας εἴρηκε τὰς ἀρχάς: Hic quidem igitur, sicut diximus, sic * et tot dixit principia. This philosopher then, as we say, has spoken of the principles in this way, and made them of this number.
Λεύκιππος δὲ καὶ ὁ ἑταῖρος [5] αὐτοῦ Δημόκριτος στοιχεῖα μὲν τὸ πλῆρες καὶ τὸ κενὸν εἶναί φασι, λέγοντες τὸ μὲν ὂν τὸ δὲ μὴ ὄν, τούτων δὲ τὸ μὲν πλῆρες καὶ στερεὸν τὸ ὄν, τὸ δὲ κενὸν τὸ μὴ ὄν (διὸ καὶ οὐθὲν μᾶλλον τὸ ὂν τοῦ μὴ ὄντος εἶναί φασιν, ὅτι οὐδὲ τοῦ κενοῦ τὸ σῶμα), αἴτια δὲ τῶν ὄντων ταῦτα ὡς [10] ὕλην. Leucippus vero et collega eius Democritus elementa quidem plenum et inane dicunt esse, dicentes velut hoc quidem ens illud vero non ens, horum autem plenum quidem et solidum ens, inane vero non ens; propter quod et nihil magis ens non ente esse dicunt, quia nec inane corpore. Causas autem entium haec ut materiam. Leucippus and his associate Democritus say that the full and the empty are the elements, calling the one being and the other non-being-the full and solid being being, the empty non-being (whence they say being no more is than non-being, because the solid no more is than the empty); and they make these the material causes of things.
καὶ καθάπερ οἱ ἓν ποιοῦντες τὴν ὑποκειμένην οὐσίαν τἆλλα τοῖς πάθεσιν αὐτῆς γεννῶσι, τὸ μανὸν καὶ τὸ πυκνὸν ἀρχὰς τιθέμενοι τῶν παθημάτων, τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον καὶ οὗτοι τὰς διαφορὰς αἰτίας τῶν ἄλλων εἶναί φασιν. ταύτας μέντοι τρεῖς εἶναι λέγουσι, σχῆμά τε καὶ τάξιν καὶ [15] θέσιν: διαφέρειν γάρ φασι τὸ ὂν ῥυσμῷ καὶ διαθιγῇ καὶ τροπῇ μόνον: τούτων δὲ ὁ μὲν ῥυσμὸς σχῆμά ἐστιν ἡ δὲ διαθιγὴ τάξις ἡ δὲ τροπὴ θέσις: διαφέρει γὰρ τὸ μὲν Α τοῦ Ν σχήματι τὸ δὲ ΑΝ τοῦ ΝΑ τάξει τὸ δὲ Ζ τοῦ Η θέσει. περὶ δὲ κινήσεως, ὅθεν ἢ πῶς ὑπάρξει τοῖς οὖσι, καὶ [20] οὗτοι παραπλησίως τοῖς ἄλλοις ῥᾳθύμως ἀφεῖσαν. Et quemadmodum qui unum faciunt subiectam substantiam alia passionibus eius generant, rarum et spissum principia passionum ponentes, eodem modo et hii differentias causas aliorum esse dicunt. Has vero tres dicunt esse: figuram * et ordinem et positionem. Differre enim aiunt ens rismo et diathigi et tropi solum; horum autem rismos figura est et diathigi ordo et tropi positio. Differt enim a ab n figura, an autem a na ordine, z autem ab n positione. De motu vero, unde aut quomodo inest existentibus, et hii aliis consimiliter negligenter dimiserunt. And as those who make the underlying substance one generate all other things by its modifications, supposing the rare and the dense to be the sources of the modifications, in the same way these philosophers say the differences in the elements are the causes of all other qualities. These differences, they say, are three-shape and order and position. For they say the real is differentiated only by ‘rhythm and ‘inter-contact’ and ‘turning’; and of these rhythm is shape, inter-contact is order, and turning is position; for A differs from N in shape, AN from NA in order, M from W in position. The question of movement-whence or how it is to belong to things – these thinkers, like the others, lazily neglected.
περὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν δύο αἰτιῶν, ὥσπερ λέγομεν, ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον ἔοικεν ἐζητῆσθαι παρὰ τῶν πρότερον. De duabus quidem igitur causis, ut diximus, in tantum videtur quesitum esse prius. Regarding the two causes, then, as we say, the inquiry seems to have been pushed thus far by the early philosophers.

Chapter 5

Greek Latin English
ἐν δὲ τούτοις καὶ πρὸ τούτων οἱ καλούμενοι Πυθαγόρειοι τῶν μαθημάτων ἁψάμενοι πρῶτοι ταῦτά τε προήγαγον, καὶ [25] ἐντραφέντες ἐν αὐτοῖς τὰς τούτων ἀρχὰς τῶν ὄντων ἀρχὰς ᾠήθησαν εἶναι πάντων. ἐπεὶ δὲ τούτων οἱ ἀριθμοὶ φύσει πρῶτοι, ἐν δὲ τούτοις ἐδόκουν θεωρεῖν ὁμοιώματα πολλὰ τοῖς οὖσι καὶ γιγνομένοις, μᾶλλον ἢ ἐν πυρὶ καὶ γῇ καὶ ὕδατι, ὅτι τὸ μὲν τοιονδὶ τῶν ἀριθμῶν πάθος δικαιοσύνη [30] τὸ δὲ τοιονδὶ ψυχή τε καὶ νοῦς ἕτερον δὲ καιρὸς καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ὡς εἰπεῖν ἕκαστον ὁμοίως, In hiis autem et ante hos vocati Pytagorici mathematica tangentes primi ea produxerunt, et in eis nutriti horum principia omnium * esse * putaverunt. Horum autem quoniam numeri > natura sunt primi, et in numeris videbantur multas speculari similitudines existentibus et factis, magis quam in igne et aqua et terra; quia * talis quidem numerorum passio iustitia, * talis autem anima * et intellectus, alia vero tempus, et aliorum ut * est dicere unumquodque similiter. Chapter 5. [85b 22] Contemporaneously with these philosophers and before them, the so-called Pythagoreans, who were the first to take up mathematics, not only advanced this study, but also having been brought up in it they thought its principles were the principles of all things. Since of these principles numbers are by nature the first, and in numbers they seemed to see many resemblances to the things that exist and come into being-more than in fire and earth and water (such and such a modification of numbers being justice, another being soul and reason, another being opportunity-and similarly almost all other things being numerically expressible).
ἔτι δὲ τῶν ἁρμονιῶν ἐν ἀριθμοῖς ὁρῶντες τὰ πάθη καὶ τοὺς λόγους, ἐπεὶ δὴ τὰ μὲν ἄλλα τοῖς ἀριθμοῖς ἐφαίνοντο τὴν φύσιν ἀφωμοιῶσθαι πᾶσαν, οἱ δ᾽ ἀριθμοὶ πάσης τῆς φύσεως πρῶτοι, [986α] [1] τὰ τῶν ἀριθμῶν στοιχεῖα τῶν ὄντων στοιχεῖα πάντων ὑπέλαβον εἶναι, καὶ τὸν ὅλον οὐρανὸν ἁρμονίαν εἶναι καὶ ἀριθμόν: καὶ ὅσα εἶχον ὁμολογούμενα ἔν τε τοῖς ἀριθμοῖς καὶ ταῖς ἁρμονίαις πρὸς [5] τὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πάθη καὶ μέρη καὶ πρὸς τὴν ὅλην διακόσμησιν, ταῦτα συνάγοντες ἐφήρμοττον. κἂν εἴ τί που διέλειπε, προσεγλίχοντο τοῦ συνειρομένην πᾶσαν αὐτοῖς εἶναι τὴν πραγματείαν: λέγω δ᾽ οἷον, ἐπειδὴ τέλειον ἡ δεκὰς εἶναι δοκεῖ καὶ πᾶσαν περιειληφέναι τὴν τῶν ἀριθμῶν φύσιν, [10] καὶ τὰ φερόμενα κατὰ τὸν οὐρανὸν δέκα μὲν εἶναί φασιν, ὄντων δὲ ἐννέα μόνον τῶν φανερῶν διὰ τοῦτο δεκάτην τὴν ἀντίχθονα ποιοῦσιν. διώρισται δὲ περὶ τούτων ἐν ἑτέροις ἡμῖν ἀκριβέστερον. Amplius autem et armoniarum in numeris speculantes passiones et rationes, quoniam et alia quidem numeris secundum naturam omnem videbantur assimilata esse, numeri autem * omnis nature primi, elementa numerorum existentium elementa cunctorum esse existimaverunt, et totum celum armoniam esse et numerum. Et quaecumque habebant confessa monstrare et in numeris et in armoniis ad celi passiones et partes et ad totum ornatum, haec colligentes adaptabant. Et si quid alicubi deficiebat, adnectebant ut ipsis totum negotium esset connexum. Dico autem puta quoniam perfectus denarius esse videtur et omnem comprehendere numerorum naturam, et quae secundum celum feruntur decem quidem esse dicunt. Solum autem novem existentibus manifestis, ideo antixthonam decimam faciunt. De hiis autem certius est in aliis a nobis determinatum. Since, again, they saw that the modifications and the ratios of the musical scales were expressible in numbers; – since, then, all other things seemed in their whole nature to be modelled on numbers, and numbers seemed to be the first things in the whole of [86a] nature, they supposed the elements of numbers to be the elements of all things, and the whole heaven to be a musical scale and a number. And all the properties of numbers and scales which they could show to agree with the attributes and parts and the whole arrangement of the heavens, they collected and fitted into their scheme; and if there was a gap anywhere, they readily made additions so as to make their whole theory coherent. E.g. as the number 10 is thought to be perfect and to comprise the whole nature of numbers, they say that the bodies which move through the heavens are ten, but as the visible bodies are only nine, to meet this they invent a tenth—the ‘counter-earth’. We have discussed these matters more exactly elsewhere[3].
ἀλλ᾽ οὗ δὴ χάριν ἐπερχόμεθα, τοῦτό ἐστιν ὅπως λάβωμεν καὶ παρὰ τούτων τίνας εἶναι τιθέασι τὰς [15] ἀρχὰς καὶ πῶς εἰς τὰς εἰρημένας ἐμπίπτουσιν αἰτίας. Sed cuius quidem gratia supervenimus, hoc est ut accipiamus et de hiis quae ponunt esse principia et quomodo in dictas cadunt causas. But the object of our review is that we may learn from these philosophers also what they suppose to be the principles and how these fall under the causes we have named.
φαίνονται δὴ καὶ οὗτοι τὸν ἀριθμὸν νομίζοντες ἀρχὴν εἶναι καὶ ὡς ὕλην τοῖς οὖσι καὶ ὡς πάθη τε καὶ ἕξεις, τοῦ δὲ ἀριθμοῦ στοιχεῖα τό τε ἄρτιον καὶ τὸ περιττόν, τούτων δὲ τὸ μὲν πεπερασμένον τὸ δὲ ἄπειρον, τὸ δ᾽ ἓν ἐξ ἀμφοτέρων εἶναι τούτων [20] (καὶ γὰρ ἄρτιον εἶναι καὶ περιττόν), τὸν δ᾽ ἀριθμὸν ἐκ τοῦ ἑνός, ἀριθμοὺς δέ, καθάπερ εἴρηται, τὸν ὅλον οὐρανόν. Videntur igitur [Videtur ergo] et hii numerum putare principium esse et quasi materiam existentibus et quasi passiones et habitus; numeri vero elementa par et impar, et horum hoc quidem finitum illud vero infinitum, * unum autem ex > hiis utrisque esse (et enim par esse et impar), numerum vero ex uno, numeros autem, sicut dictum est, totum celum. Evidently, then, these thinkers also consider that number is the principle both as matter for things and as forming both their modifications and their permanent states, and hold that the elements of number are the even and the odd, and that of these the latter is limited, and the former unlimited; and that the One proceeds from both of these (for it is both even and odd), and number from the One; and that the whole heaven, as has been said, is numbers.
ἕτεροι δὲ τῶν αὐτῶν τούτων τὰς ἀρχὰς δέκα λέγουσιν εἶναι τὰς κατὰ συστοιχίαν λεγομένας, πέρας [καὶ] ἄπειρον, περιττὸν [καὶ] ἄρτιον, ἓν [καὶ] πλῆθος, δεξιὸν [καὶ] ἀριστερόν, ἄρρεν [25] [καὶ] θῆλυ, ἠρεμοῦν [καὶ] κινούμενον, εὐθὺ [καὶ] καμπύλον, φῶς [καὶ] σκότος, ἀγαθὸν [καὶ] κακόν, τετράγωνον [καὶ] ἑτερόμηκες: Eorundem autem alii decem dicunt esse principia secundum coelementationem dicta: finitum * infinitum, rimpar * par, unum plurale, dextrum sinistrum, masculinum femininum, quiescens motum, rectum curuum, lucem tenebras, bonum malum, quadrangulare iongius altera parte. Other members of this same school say there are ten principles, which they arrange in two columns of cognates-limit and unlimited, odd and even, one and plurality, right and left, male and female, resting and moving, straight and curved, light and darkness, good and bad, square and oblong.
ὅνπερ τρόπον ἔοικε καὶ Ἀλκμαίων ὁ Κροτωνιάτης ὑπολαβεῖν, καὶ ἤτοι οὗτος παρ᾽ ἐκείνων ἢ ἐκεῖνοι παρὰ τούτου παρέλαβον τὸν λόγον τοῦτον: καὶ γὰρ [ἐγένετο τὴν ἡλικίαν] Ἀλκμαίων [30] [ἐπὶ γέροντι Πυθαγόρᾳ,] ἀπεφήνατο [δὲ] παραπλησίως τούτοις: φησὶ γὰρ εἶναι δύο τὰ πολλὰ τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων, λέγων τὰς ἐναντιότητας οὐχ ὥσπερ οὗτοι διωρισμένας ἀλλὰ τὰς τυχούσας, οἷον λευκὸν μέλαν, γλυκὺ πικρόν, ἀγαθὸν κακόν, μέγα μικρόν. οὗτος μὲν οὖν ἀδιορίστως ἀπέρριψε περὶ τῶν λοιπῶν, [986β] [1] οἱ δὲ Πυθαγόρειοι καὶ πόσαι καὶ τίνες αἱ ἐναντιώσεις [2] ἀπεφήναντο. Quemadmodum videtur Alemeon Crotoniatis suscipere, et aut hic ab illis aut illi ab hoc hunc sermonem acceperunt; et enim fuit etate alemeon sene existente Pytagora, hiis vero consimiliter enuntiavit. Nam ait esse duo * multa * humanorum, dicens contrarietates non sicut hii determinatas sed quascumque, ut album nigrum, dulce amarum, bonum malum, magnum parvum. Hic quidem indeterminate proiecit de ceteris, Pytagorici vero et quot et quae contrarietates enuntiaverunt. In this way Alcmaeon of Croton seems also to have conceived the matter, and either he got this view from them or they got it from him; for he expressed himself similarly to them. For he says most human affairs go in pairs, meaning not definite contrarieties such as the Pythagoreans speak of, but any chance contrarieties, e.g. white and black, sweet and bitter, good and bad, great and small. He threw out indefinite suggestions about the other [86b] contrarieties, but the Pythagoreans declared both how many and which their contrarieties are.
παρὰ μὲν οὖν τούτων ἀμφοῖν τοσοῦτον ἔστι λαβεῖν, ὅτι τἀναντία ἀρχαὶ τῶν ὄντων: τὸ δ᾽ ὅσαι παρὰ τῶν ἑτέρων, καὶ τίνες αὗταί εἰσιν. πῶς μέντοι πρὸς [5] τὰς εἰρημένας αἰτίας ἐνδέχεται συνάγειν, σαφῶς μὲν οὐ διήρθρωται παρ᾽ ἐκείνων, ἐοίκασι δ᾽ ὡς ἐν ὕλης εἴδει τὰ στοιχεῖα τάττειν: ἐκ τούτων γὰρ ὡς ἐνυπαρχόντων συνεστάναι καὶ πεπλάσθαι φασὶ τὴν οὐσίαν. Ab hiis igitur ambobus tantum est accipere, quia contraria sunt existentium principia; quot vero ab aliis, et quae haec sint. Qualiter tamen ad dictas causas contingit adducere, plane quidem non est dearticulatum ab illis, videntur autem ut in materie specie elementa ordinare; ex hiis enim ut ex eis quae insunt constitui et plasmari dicunt substantiam. From both these schools, then, we can learn this much, that the contraries are the principles of things; and how many these principles are and which they are, we can learn from one of the two schools. But how these principles can be brought together under the causes we have named has not been clearly and articulately stated by them; they seem, however, to range the elements under the head of matter; for out of these as immanent parts they say substance is composed and moulded.
τῶν μὲν οὖν παλαιῶν καὶ πλείω λεγόντων τὰ στοιχεῖα τῆς φύσεως ἐκ τούτων ἱκανόν [10] ἐστι θεωρῆσαι τὴν διάνοιαν: εἰσὶ δέ τινες οἳ περὶ τοῦ παντὸς ὡς μιᾶς οὔσης φύσεως ἀπεφήναντο, τρόπον δὲ οὐ τὸν αὐτὸν πάντες οὔτε τοῦ καλῶς οὔτε τοῦ κατὰ τὴν φύσιν. εἰς μὲν οὖν τὴν νῦν σκέψιν τῶν αἰτίων οὐδαμῶς συναρμόττει περὶ αὐτῶν ὁ λόγος (οὐ γὰρ ὥσπερ ἔνιοι τῶν φυσιολόγων ἓν ὑποθέμενοι [15] τὸ ὂν ὅμως γεννῶσιν ὡς ἐξ ὕλης τοῦ ἑνός, ἀλλ᾽ ἕτερον τρόπον οὗτοι λέγουσιν: ἐκεῖνοι μὲν γὰρ προστιθέασι κίνησιν, γεννῶντές γε τὸ πᾶν, οὗτοι δὲ ἀκίνητον εἶναί φασιν): Antiquorum quidem igitur * elementa nature plura dicentium ex hiis sufficiens est intellectum speculari. > Sunt autem aliqui qui de omni quasi una existente natura enuntiaverunt, modo vero non eodem omnes neque ipsius bene neque ipsius secundum naturam. Ad presentem quidem igitur causarum perscrutationem nullatenus congruit de ipsis sermo; non enim ut phisiologorum quidam qui unum posuerunt, ipsum ens tamen generant quasi ex materia ex uno, sed alio dicunt hii modo; illi namque * motum apponunt, ipsum omne generantes, hij vero immobile dicunt esse. From these facts we may sufficiently perceive the meaning of the ancients who said the elements of nature were more than one; but there are some who spoke of the universe as if it were one entity, though they were not all alike either in the excellence of their statement or in its conformity to the facts of nature. The discussion of them is in no way appropriate to our present investigation of causes, for they do not, like some of the natural philosophers, assume being to be one and yet generate it out of the one as out of matter, but they speak in another way; those others add change, since they generate the universe, but these thinkers say the universe is unchangeable.
οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ τοσοῦτόν γε οἰκεῖόν ἐστι τῇ νῦν σκέψει. Παρμενίδης μὲν γὰρ ἔοικε τοῦ κατὰ τὸν λόγον ἑνὸς ἅπτεσθαι, Μέλισσος [20] δὲ τοῦ κατὰ τὴν ὕλην (διὸ καὶ ὁ μὲν πεπερασμένον ὁ δ᾽ ἄπειρόν φησιν εἶναι αὐτό): Ξενοφάνης δὲ πρῶτος τούτων ἑνίσας (ὁ γὰρ Παρμενίδης τούτου λέγεται γενέσθαι μαθητής) οὐθὲν διεσαφήνισεν, οὐδὲ τῆς φύσεως τούτων οὐδετέρας ἔοικε θιγεῖν, ἀλλ᾽ εἰς τὸν ὅλον οὐρανὸν ἀποβλέψας τὸ ἓν εἶναί φησι τὸν [25] θεόν. At tamen tantum conveniens est presenti speculationi. Parmenides quidem enim videtur unum secundum rationem tangere, mellissus vero ipsum secundum materiam; quare et hic quidem finitum, ille vero infinitum id ait esse. Xenophanes vero primus horum unum dixit. Parmenides enim qui huius dicitur * discipulus nihil explanavit, neque de natura horum neutra visus est tangere, sed ad totum celum respiciens ipsum unum dicit esse deum. Yet this much is germane to the present inquiry: Parmenides seems to fasten on that which is one in definition, Melissus on that which is one in matter, for which reason the former says that it is limited, the latter that it is unlimited; while Xenophanes, the first of these partisans of the One (for Parmenides is said to have been his pupil), gave no clear statement, nor does he seem to have grasped the nature of either of these causes, but with reference to the whole material universe he says the One is God.
οὗτοι μὲν οὖν, καθάπερ εἴπομεν, ἀφετέοι πρὸς τὴν νῦν ζήτησιν, οἱ μὲν δύο καὶ πάμπαν ὡς ὄντες μικρὸν ἀγροικότεροι, Ξενοφάνης καὶ Μέλισσος: Παρμενίδης δὲ μᾶλλον βλέπων ἔοικέ που λέγειν: παρὰ γὰρ τὸ ὂν τὸ μὴ ὂν οὐθὲν ἀξιῶν εἶναι, ἐξ ἀνάγκης ἓν οἴεται εἶναι, τὸ ὄν, καὶ [30] ἄλλο οὐθέν (περὶ οὗ σαφέστερον ἐν τοῖς περὶ φύσεως εἰρήκαμεν), ἀναγκαζόμενος δ᾽ ἀκολουθεῖν τοῖς φαινομένοις, καὶ τὸ ἓν μὲν κατὰ τὸν λόγον πλείω δὲ κατὰ τὴν αἴσθησιν ὑπολαμβάνων εἶναι, δύο τὰς αἰτίας καὶ δύο τὰς ἀρχὰς πάλιν τίθησι, θερμὸν καὶ ψυχρόν, οἷον πῦρ καὶ γῆν λέγων: [987α] [1] τούτων δὲ κατὰ μὲν τὸ ὂν τὸ θερμὸν τάττει θάτερον δὲ κατὰ τὸ μὴ ὄν. Hii quidem igitur, sicut diximus, praetermittendi sunt ad presentem inquisitionem, duo quidem et penitus tamquam existentes parum agrestiores: xenophanes et mellissus. Parmenides autem magis videns visus est dicere. Nam praeter ens non ens nichij dignatus esse, ex necessitate ens opinatur unum esse et aliud nihil; de quo manifestius in phisicis diximus. Coactus vero apparentia sequi, et unum quidem secundum rationem pjura vero secundum sensum opinans esse, duas causas et duo principia rursus ponit, calidum et frigidum, ut ignem et terram dicens; horum autem quod quidem * secundum ens calidum ordinat, alterum vero secundum non ens. Now these thinkers, as we said, must be neglected for the purposes of the present inquiry-two of them entirely, as being a little too naive, viz. Xenophanes and Melissus; but Parmenides seems in places to speak with more insight. For, claiming that, besides the existent, nothing non-existent exists, he thinks that of necessity one thing exists, viz. the existent and nothing else (on this we have spoken more clearly in our work on nature), but being forced to follow the observed facts, and supposing the existence of that which is one in definition, but more than one according to our sensations, he now posits two causes and two principles, calling them hot and cold, i.e. fire and earth; and of these he ranges the hot with the existent, and the other with the [87a] non-existent.
ἐκ μὲν οὖν τῶν εἰρημένων καὶ παρὰ τῶν συνηδρευκότων ἤδη τῷ λόγῳ σοφῶν ταῦτα παρειλήφαμεν, παρὰ μὲν τῶν πρώτων σωματικήν τε τὴν ἀρχήν (ὕδωρ γὰρ καὶ [5] πῦρ καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα σώματά ἐστιν), καὶ τῶν μὲν μίαν τῶν δὲ πλείους τὰς ἀρχὰς τὰς σωματικάς, ἀμφοτέρων μέντοι ταύτας ὡς ἐν ὕλης εἴδει τιθέντων, παρὰ δέ τινων ταύτην τε τὴν αἰτίαν τιθέντων καὶ πρὸς ταύτῃ τὴν ὅθεν ἡ κίνησις, καὶ ταύτην παρὰ τῶν μὲν μίαν παρὰ τῶν δὲ δύο. > Ex dictis quidem igitur <et> de rationi consentientibus iam sapientibus haec accepimus. A primis quidem principium esse corporeum (aqua namque et ignis et similia corpora sunt), et ab hiis quidem unum ab illis vero plura principia corporea, utrisque tamen haec ut in materie specie ponentibus; a quibusdam vero hanc * causam ponentibus et cum hac illam unde motus, et hanc ab hiis quidem unam ab illis vero duas. From what has been said, then, and from the wise men who have now sat in council with us, we have got thus much-on the one hand from the earliest philosophers, who regard the first principle as corporeal (for water and fire and such things are bodies), and of whom some suppose that there is one corporeal principle, others that there are more than one, but both put these under the head of matter; and on the other hand from some who posit both this cause and besides this the source of movement, which we have got from some as single and from others as twofold.
μέχρι μὲν [10] οὖν τῶν Ἰταλικῶν καὶ χωρὶς ἐκείνων μορυχώτερον εἰρήκασιν οἱ ἄλλοι περὶ αὐτῶν, πλὴν ὥσπερ εἴπομεν δυοῖν τε αἰτίαιν τυγχάνουσι κεχρημένοι, καὶ τούτων τὴν ἑτέραν οἱ μὲν μίαν οἱ δὲ δύο ποιοῦσι, τὴν ὅθεν ἡ κίνησις: Igitur usque ad Ytalicos et absque illis mediocrius dixerunt alii de ipsis; at tamen, ut diximus, duabus sunt causis usi, et harum alteram hii quidem unam illi vero duas faciunt: illam unde motus. Down to the Italian school, then, and apart from it, philosophers have treated these subjects rather obscurely, except that, as we said, they have in fact used two kinds of cause, and one of these-the source of movement-some treat as one and others as two.
οἱ δὲ Πυθαγόρειοι δύο μὲν τὰς ἀρχὰς κατὰ τὸν αὐτὸν εἰρήκασι τρόπον, τοσοῦτον [15] δὲ προσεπέθεσαν ὃ καὶ ἴδιόν ἐστιν αὐτῶν, ὅτι τὸ πεπερασμένον καὶ τὸ ἄπειρον [καὶ τὸ ἓν] οὐχ ἑτέρας τινὰς ᾠήθησαν εἶναι φύσεις, οἷον πῦρ ἢ γῆν ἤ τι τοιοῦτον ἕτερον, ἀλλ᾽ αὐτὸ τὸ ἄπειρον καὶ αὐτὸ τὸ ἓν οὐσίαν εἶναι τούτων ὧν κατηγοροῦνται, διὸ καὶ ἀριθμὸν εἶναι τὴν οὐσίαν πάντων. περί τε [20] τούτων οὖν τοῦτον ἀπεφήναντο τὸν τρόπον, καὶ περὶ τοῦ τί ἐστιν ἤρξαντο μὲν λέγειν καὶ ὁρίζεσθαι, λίαν δ᾽ ἁπλῶς ἐπραγματεύθησαν. ὡρίζοντό τε γὰρ ἐπιπολαίως, καὶ ᾧ πρώτῳ ὑπάρξειεν ὁ λεχθεὶς ὅρος, τοῦτ᾽ εἶναι τὴν οὐσίαν τοῦ πράγματος ἐνόμιζον, ὥσπερ εἴ τις οἴοιτο ταὐτὸν εἶναι διπλάσιον καὶ τὴν [25] δυάδα διότι πρῶτον ὑπάρχει τοῖς δυσὶ τὸ διπλάσιον. ἀλλ᾽ οὐ ταὐτὸν ἴσως ἐστὶ τὸ εἶναι διπλασίῳ καὶ δυάδι: εἰ δὲ μή, πολλὰ τὸ ἓν ἔσται, ὃ κἀκείνοις συνέβαινεν. παρὰ μὲν οὖν τῶν πρότερον καὶ τῶν ἄλλων τοσαῦτα ἔστι λαβεῖν. Pytagorici vero duo quidem principia dixerunt secundum eundem modum, tantum autem addiderunt quod et proprium eorum est: quia finitum et infinitum * non alias aliquas putaverunt esse naturas, ut ignem aut terram aut aliud aliquid tale, sed infinitum ipsum et unum ipsum horum esse substantiam de quibus predicantur. Quapropter et numerum esse substantiam omnium. De hiis igitur secundum hunc enuntiaverunt modum, et de eo quod quid est dicere et diffinire ceperunt, valde autem simpliciter tractaverunt. Superficialiter enim diffinierunt, et cui primo inerat dictus terminus, hoc esse substantiam rei putaverunt, ut si quis existimet idem esse duplum et dualitatem eo quod primo inest duobus duplum. Sed fortasse duplo et dualitati non idem est esse; si autem non, multa ipsum unum erit, quod et illis accidit. De prioribus quidem igitur et aliis tot est accipere. But the Pythagoreans have said in the same way that there are two principles, but added this much, which is peculiar to them, that they thought that finitude and infinity were not attributes of certain other things, e.g. of fire or earth or anything else of this kind, but that infinity itself and unity itself were the substance of the things of which they are predicated. This is why number was the substance of all things. On this subject, then, they expressed themselves thus; and regarding the question of essence they began to make statements and definitions, but treated the matter too simply. For they both defined superficially and thought that the first subject of which a given definition was predicable was the substance of the thing defined, as if one supposed that ‘double’ and ‘2’ were the same, because 2 is the first thing of which ‘double’ is predicable. But surely to be double and to be 2 are not the same; if they are, one thing will be many-a consequence which they actually drew. From the earlier philosophers, then, and from their successors we can learn thus much.

Chapter 6

Greek Latin English
μετὰ δὲ τὰς εἰρημένας φιλοσοφίας ἡ Πλάτωνος ἐπεγένετο [30] πραγματεία, τὰ μὲν πολλὰ τούτοις ἀκολουθοῦσα, τὰ δὲ καὶ ἴδια παρὰ τὴν τῶν Ἰταλικῶν ἔχουσα φιλοσοφίαν. ἐκ νέου τε γὰρ συνήθης γενόμενος πρῶτον Κρατύλῳ καὶ ταῖς Ἡρακλειτείοις δόξαις, ὡς ἁπάντων τῶν αἰσθητῶν ἀεὶ ῥεόντων καὶ ἐπιστήμης περὶ αὐτῶν οὐκ οὔσης, ταῦτα μὲν καὶ ὕστερον οὕτως ὑπέλαβεν: [987β] [1] Σωκράτους δὲ περὶ μὲν τὰ ἠθικὰ πραγματευομένου περὶ δὲ τῆς ὅλης φύσεως οὐθέν, ἐν μέντοι τούτοις τὸ καθόλου ζητοῦντος καὶ περὶ ὁρισμῶν ἐπιστήσαντος πρώτου τὴν διάνοιαν, ἐκεῖνον ἀποδεξάμενος διὰ τὸ τοιοῦτον [5] ὑπέλαβεν ὡς περὶ ἑτέρων τοῦτο γιγνόμενον καὶ οὐ τῶν αἰσθητῶν: ἀδύνατον γὰρ εἶναι τὸν κοινὸν ὅρον τῶν αἰσθητῶν τινός, ἀεί γε μεταβαλλόντων. οὗτος οὖν τὰ μὲν τοιαῦτα τῶν ὄντων ἰδέας προσηγόρευσε, τὰ δ᾽ αἰσθητὰ παρὰ ταῦτα καὶ κατὰ ταῦτα λέγεσθαι πάντα: κατὰ μέθεξιν γὰρ εἶναι τὰ [10] πολλὰ ὁμώνυμα τοῖς εἴδεσιν. τὴν δὲ μέθεξιν τοὔνομα μόνον μετέβαλεν: οἱ μὲν γὰρ Πυθαγόρειοι μιμήσει τὰ ὄντα φασὶν εἶναι τῶν ἀριθμῶν, Πλάτων δὲ μεθέξει, τοὔνομα μεταβαλών. τὴν μέντοι γε μέθεξιν ἢ τὴν μίμησιν ἥτις ἂν εἴη τῶν εἰδῶν ἀφεῖσαν ἐν κοινῷ ζητεῖν. Post dictas vero philosophias Platonis supervenit negotium, in multis quidem hos sequens, alia vero et propria praeter ytalicorum philosophiam habens. Nam ex nouo * consentiens Cratilo et Eracliti opinionibus, quasi sensibilibus omnibus semper defluentibus et scientia de eis non existente, haec quidem > et posterius ita suscepit. Socrate vero circa moralia negotiante et de tota natura nihil, in hiis tamen universale quaerente et de diffinitionibus primo intellectum firmante, illum suscipiens propter tale putavit quasi de aliis hoc factum et non de sensibilium aliquo; impossibile namque est communem rationem esse alicuius sensibilium, semper transmutantium. Sic itaque talia quidem entium ydeas et species appellavit, sensibilia vero propter haec et secundum haec dici omnia; nam secundum participationem esse multa univocorum speciebus. participationem vero secundum nomen transmutavit. Pytagorici quidem enim existentia dicunt esse numerorum imitatione, Plato vero participatione, nomen transmutans. Participationem tamen aut imitationem quae utique sit specierum dimiserunt in communi quaerere. Chapter 6. After the systems we have named came the philosophy of Plato, which in most respects followed these thinkers, but had peculiarities that distinguished it from the philosophy of the Italians. For, having in his youth first become familiar with Cratylus and with the Heraclitean doctrines (that all sensible things are ever in a state of flux and there is no knowledge about them), these views he held even in [87b] later years. Socrates, however, was busying himself about ethical matters and neglecting the world of nature as a whole but seeking the universal in these ethical matters, and fixed thought for the first time on definitions; Plato accepted his teaching, but held that the problem applied not to sensible things but to entities of another kind-for this reason, that the common definition could not be a definition of any sensible thing, as they were always changing. Things of this other sort, then, he called Ideas, and sensible things, he said, were all named after these, and in virtue of a relation to these; for the many existed by participation in the Ideas that have the same name as they. Only the name ‘participation’ was new; for the Pythagoreans say that things exist by ‘imitation’ of numbers, and Plato says they exist by participation, changing the name. But what the participation or the imitation of the Forms could be they left an open question.
ἔτι δὲ παρὰ τὰ αἰσθητὰ [15] καὶ τὰ εἴδη τὰ μαθηματικὰ τῶν πραγμάτων εἶναί φησι μεταξύ, διαφέροντα τῶν μὲν αἰσθητῶν τῷ ἀΐδια καὶ ἀκίνητα εἶναι, τῶν δ᾽ εἰδῶν τῷ τὰ μὲν πόλλ᾽ ἄττα ὅμοια εἶναι τὸ δὲ εἶδος αὐτὸ ἓν ἕκαστον μόνον. Amplius autem praeter sensibilia et species mathematica rerum dicit esse intermedia, et differentia a sensibilibus quidem, quia sempiterna sunt et immobilia, a speciebus autem eo quod haec quidem multa quaedam similia sint, species autem ipsum unum unumquodque solum. Further, besides sensible things and Forms he says there are the objects of mathematics, which occupy an intermediate position, differing from sensible things in being eternal and unchangeable, from Forms in that there are many alike, while the Form itself is in each case unique.
ἐπεὶ δ᾽ αἴτια τὰ εἴδη τοῖς ἄλλοις, τἀκείνων στοιχεῖα πάντων ᾠήθη τῶν ὄντων εἶναι [20] στοιχεῖα. ὡς μὲν οὖν ὕλην τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρὸν εἶναι ἀρχάς, ὡς δ᾽ οὐσίαν τὸ ἕν: ἐξ ἐκείνων γὰρ κατὰ μέθεξιν τοῦ ἑνὸς [τὰ εἴδη] εἶναι τοὺς ἀριθμούς. Quoniam autem species cause sunt aliis, illarum elementa omnium putaverunt existentium elementa esse. Ut quidem igitur materiam magnum et parvum esse principia, ut autem substantiam unum; ex illis enim secundum participationem unius species esse numeros. Since the Forms were the causes of all other things, he thought their elements were the elements of all things. As matter, the great and the small were principles; as essential reality, the One; for from the great and the small, by participation in the One, come the Numbers.
τὸ μέντοι γε ἓν οὐσίαν εἶναι, καὶ μὴ ἕτερόν γέ τι ὂν λέγεσθαι ἕν, παραπλησίως τοῖς Πυθαγορείοις ἔλεγε, καὶ τὸ τοὺς ἀριθμοὺς αἰτίους εἶναι τοῖς ἄλλοις [25] τῆς οὐσίας ὡσαύτως ἐκείνοις: τὸ δὲ ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀπείρου ὡς ἑνὸς δυάδα ποιῆσαι, τὸ δ᾽ ἄπειρον ἐκ μεγάλου καὶ μικροῦ, τοῦτ᾽ ἴδιον: καὶ ἔτι ὁ μὲν τοὺς ἀριθμοὺς παρὰ τὰ αἰσθητά, οἱ δ᾽ ἀριθμοὺς εἶναί φασιν αὐτὰ τὰ πράγματα, καὶ τὰ μαθηματικὰ μεταξὺ τούτων οὐ τιθέασιν. Unum tamen esse substantiam, et non aliquid aliud ens dici unum, consimiliter Pytagoricis dixit, et numeros esse causas materie substantiae similiter ut illi; pro infinito autem ut uno > dualitatem facere, et infinitum ex magno et parvo, hoc * proprium. Amplius hic quidem numeros praeter sensibilia, illi vero numeros esse dicunt res ipsas, et mathematica intermedia horum non ponunt. But he agreed with the Pythagoreans in saying that the One is substance and not a predicate of something else; and in saying that the Numbers are the causes of the reality of other things he agreed with them; but positing a dyad and constructing the infinite out of great and small, instead of treating the infinite as one, is peculiar to him; and so is his view that the Numbers exist apart from sensible things, while they say that the things themselves are Numbers, and do not place the objects of mathematics between Forms and sensible things.
τὸ μὲν οὖν τὸ ἓν καὶ τοὺς [30] ἀριθμοὺς παρὰ τὰ πράγματα ποιῆσαι, καὶ μὴ ὥσπερ οἱ Πυθαγόρειοι, καὶ ἡ τῶν εἰδῶν εἰσαγωγὴ διὰ τὴν ἐν τοῖς λόγοις ἐγένετο σκέψιν (οἱ γὰρ πρότεροι διαλεκτικῆς οὐ μετεῖχον), τὸ δὲ δυάδα ποιῆσαι τὴν ἑτέραν φύσιν διὰ τὸ τοὺς ἀριθμοὺς ἔξω τῶν πρώτων εὐφυῶς ἐξ αὐτῆς γεννᾶσθαι ὥσπερ ἔκ τινος ἐκμαγείου. Unum quidem igitur et numeros praeter res * facere, et non ut Pytagorici, et specierum introductio propter eam quae in rationibus perscrutationem evenit (priores enim dialetica non participaverunt); dualitatem autem facere alteram naturam, quia numeri extra primos naturaliter ex ea generantur velut ex aliquo ecmagio. His divergence from the Pythagoreans in making the One and the Numbers separate from things, and his introduction of the Forms, were due to his inquiries in the region of definitions (for the earlier thinkers had no tincture of dialectic), and his making the other entity besides the One a dyad was due to the belief that the numbers, except those which were prime, could be neatly produced out of the dyad as out of some plastic material. [88a]
[988α] [1] καίτοι συμβαίνει γ᾽ ἐναντίως: οὐ γὰρ εὔλογον οὕτως. οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς ὕλης πολλὰ ποιοῦσιν, τὸ δ᾽ εἶδος ἅπαξ γεννᾷ μόνον, φαίνεται δ᾽ ἐκ μιᾶς ὕλης μία τράπεζα, ὁ δὲ τὸ εἶδος ἐπιφέρων εἷς ὢν πολλὰς ποιεῖ. [5] ὁμοίως δ᾽ ἔχει καὶ τὸ ἄρρεν πρὸς τὸ θῆλυ: τὸ μὲν γὰρ ὑπὸ μιᾶς πληροῦται ὀχείας, τὸ δ᾽ ἄρρεν πολλὰ πληροῖ: καίτοι ταῦτα μιμήματα τῶν ἀρχῶν ἐκείνων ἐστίν. Equidem econtrario [Attamen e contrario] contingit; non enim rationale ita. Nunc quidem enim ex materia multa faciunt, species vero semel generat solum; videtur autem ex una materia una mensa, speciem autem qui inducit unus existens multas facit. Similiter quoque se habet masculus ad feminam; haec enim ab uno impletur coitu, masculus vero multas implet; quamvis haec imitationes principiorum illorum sunt. Yet what happens is the contrary; the theory is not a reasonable one. For they make many things out of the matter, and the form generates only once, but what we observe is that one table is made from one matter, while the man who applies the form, though he is one, makes many tables. And the relation of the male to the female is similar; for the latter is impregnated by one copulation, but the male impregnates many females; yet these are analogues of those first principles.
Πλάτων μὲν οὖν περὶ τῶν ζητουμένων οὕτω διώρισεν: φανερὸν δ᾽ ἐκ τῶν εἰρημένων ὅτι δυοῖν αἰτίαιν μόνον κέχρηται, τῇ τε [10] τοῦ τί ἐστι καὶ τῇ κατὰ τὴν ὕλην (τὰ γὰρ εἴδη τοῦ τί ἐστιν αἴτια τοῖς ἄλλοις, τοῖς δ᾽ εἴδεσι τὸ ἕν), καὶ τίς ἡ ὕλη ἡ ὑποκειμένη καθ᾽ ἧς τὰ εἴδη μὲν ἐπὶ τῶν αἰσθητῶν τὸ δ᾽ ἓν ἐν τοῖς εἴδεσι λέγεται, ὅτι αὕτη δυάς ἐστι, τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρόν, ἔτι δὲ τὴν τοῦ εὖ καὶ τοῦ κακῶς αἰτίαν τοῖς στοιχείοις [15] ἀπέδωκεν ἑκατέροις ἑκατέραν, ὥσπερ φαμὲν καὶ τῶν προτέρων ἐπιζητῆσαί τινας φιλοσόφων, οἷον Ἐμπεδοκλέα καὶ Ἀναξαγόραν. Plato quidem igitur de quesitis ita diffinivit. Palam autem ex dictis quia duabus causis solum est usus, ipsa quae est eius quod quid est et ipsa materia; species enim eius quod quid est cause sunt aliis, speciebus vero unum. Et quae * materia subiecta de qua species hae quidem in sensibilibus, hae autem in speciebus, unum vero in speciebus dicitur, quia haec dualitas est: magnum et parvum. Amplius bene et male causam dedit elementis singulis singulam, quod magis dici>mus priorum investigare quosdam philosophorum, ut Empedoclem et Anaxagoram. Plato, then, declared himself thus on the points in question; it is evident from what has been said that he has used only two causes, that of the essence and the material cause (for the Forms are the causes of the essence of all other things, and the One is the cause of the essence of the Forms); and it is evident what the underlying matter is, of which the Forms are predicated in the case of sensible things, and the One in the case of Forms, viz. that this is a dyad, the great and the small. Further, he has assigned the cause of good and that of evil to the elements, one to each of the two, as we say some of his predecessors sought to do, e.g. Empedocles and Anaxagoras.

Chapter 7

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συντόμως μὲν οὖν καὶ κεφαλαιωδῶς ἐπεληλύθαμεν τίνες τε καὶ πῶς τυγχάνουσιν εἰρηκότες περί τε τῶν ἀρχῶν [20] καὶ τῆς ἀληθείας: ὅμως δὲ τοσοῦτόν γ᾽ ἔχομεν ἐξ αὐτῶν, ὅτι τῶν λεγόντων περὶ ἀρχῆς καὶ αἰτίας οὐθεὶς ἔξω τῶν ἐν τοῖς περὶ φύσεως ἡμῖν διωρισμένων εἴρηκεν, ἀλλὰ πάντες ἀμυδρῶς μὲν ἐκείνων δέ πως φαίνονται θιγγάνοντες. Breviter igitur et capitaliter qui et quomodo de principiis et veritate dixerunt pertransivimus. At tamen ab eis tantum habemus, quia dicentium de principio et causa nullus praeter ea quae sunt in phisicis a nobis determinata dixit, sed omnes tenuiter quidem, videntur autem illa tangere aliqualiter. Chapter 7. Our review of those who have spoken about first principles and reality and of the way in which they have spoken, has been concise and summary; but yet we have learnt this much from them, that of those who speak about ‘principle’ and ‘cause’ no one has mentioned any principle except those which have been distinguished in our work on nature, but all evidently have some inkling of them, though only vaguely.
οἱ μὲν γὰρ ὡς ὕλην τὴν ἀρχὴν λέγουσιν, ἄν τε μίαν ἄν τε πλείους [25] ὑποθῶσι, καὶ ἐάν τε σῶμα ἐάν τε ἀσώματον τοῦτο τιθῶσιν (οἷον Πλάτων μὲν τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρὸν λέγων, οἱ δ᾽ Ἰταλικοὶ τὸ ἄπειρον, Ἐμπεδοκλῆς δὲ πῦρ καὶ γῆν καὶ ὕδωρ καὶ ἀέρα, Ἀναξαγόρας δὲ τὴν τῶν ὁμοιομερῶν ἀπειρίαν: οὗτοί τε δὴ πάντες τῆς τοιαύτης αἰτίας ἡμμένοι εἰσί, καὶ ἔτι ὅσοι [30] ἀέρα ἢ πῦρ ἢ ὕδωρ ἢ πυρὸς μὲν πυκνότερον ἀέρος δὲ λεπτότερον: καὶ γὰρ τοιοῦτόν τινες εἰρήκασιν εἶναι τὸ πρῶτον στοιχεῖον): Hii quidem ut materiam principium dicunt, sive unam sive plures supponant, et sive corpus sive incorporea * ponant; ut Plato quidem magnum et parvum dicens, Ytalici vero infinitum, et empedocjes ignem et terram et aquam et aerem, Anaxagoras autem similium partium infinitatem. Hii itaque omnes causam talem sunt tangentes, et amplius quicumque aerem aut ignem aut aquam aut igne spissius aere autem subtilius; et enim quidam tale primum elementum dixerunt. For some speak of the first principle as matter, whether they suppose one or more first principles, and whether they suppose this to be a body or to be incorporeal; e.g. Plato spoke of the great and the small, the Italians of the infinite, Empedocles of fire, earth, water, and air, Anaxagoras of the infinity of things composed of similar parts. These, then, have all had a notion of this kind of cause, and so have all who speak of air or fire or water, or something denser than fire and rarer than air; for some have said the prime element is of this kind.
οὗτοι μὲν οὖν ταύτης τῆς αἰτίας ἥψαντο μόνον, ἕτεροι δέ τινες ὅθεν ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κινήσεως (οἷον ὅσοι φιλίαν καὶ νεῖκος ἢ νοῦν ἢ ἔρωτα ποιοῦσιν ἀρχήν): Hii quidem igitur hanc causam solum tetigerunt; alii vero quidam unde principium motus, ut quicumque amicitiam et litem et intellectum aut amorem principium faciunt. These thinkers grasped this cause only; but certain others have mentioned the source of movement, e.g. those who make friendship and strife, or reason, or love, a principle.
τὸ δὲ τί ἦν εἶναι [35] καὶ τὴν οὐσίαν σαφῶς μὲν οὐθεὶς ἀποδέδωκε, [988β] [1] μάλιστα δ᾽ οἱ τὰ εἴδη τιθέντες λέγουσιν (οὔτε γὰρ ὡς ὕλην τοῖς αἰσθητοῖς τὰ εἴδη καὶ τὸ ἓν τοῖς εἴδεσιν οὔθ᾽ ὡς ἐντεῦθεν τὴν ἀρχὴν τῆς κινήσεως γιγνομένην ὑπολαμβάνουσιν—ἀκινησίας γὰρ αἴτια μᾶλλον καὶ τοῦ ἐν ἠρεμίᾳ εἶναι φασιν—ἀλλὰ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι [5] ἑκάστῳ τῶν ἄλλων τὰ εἴδη παρέχονται, τοῖς δ᾽ εἴδεσι τὸ ἕν): Quod autem quid erat esse et substantiam plane nullus dedit. Maxime autem qui species * ponunt dicunt; neque enim ut materiam sensibilibus species et quae * in speciebus neque ut hinc principium motus proveniens existimant (immobilitatis enim causas magis et eius quod est in quiete esse dicunt), sed quod quid erat esse aliorum singulis species prestant, speciebus autem unum. The essence, i.e. the substantial reality, no one has expressed distinctly. It is hinted at chiefly by those who believe [88b] in the Forms; for they do not suppose either that the Forms are the matter of sensible things, and the One the matter of the Forms, or that they are the source of movement (for they say these are causes rather of immobility and of being at rest), but they furnish the Forms as the essence of every other thing, and the One as the essence of the Forms.
τὸ δ᾽ οὗ ἕνεκα αἱ πράξεις καὶ αἱ μεταβολαὶ καὶ αἱ κινήσεις τρόπον μέν τινα λέγουσιν αἴτιον, οὕτω δὲ οὐ λέγουσιν οὐδ᾽ ὅνπερ πέφυκεν. οἱ μὲν γὰρ νοῦν λέγοντες ἢ φιλίαν ὡς ἀγαθὸν μὲν ταύτας τὰς αἰτίας τιθέασιν, οὐ μὴν ὡς [10] ἕνεκά γε τούτων ἢ ὂν ἢ γιγνόμενόν τι τῶν ὄντων ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἀπὸ τούτων τὰς κινήσεις οὔσας λέγουσιν: ὡς δ᾽ αὔτως καὶ οἱ τὸ ἓν ἢ τὸ ὂν φάσκοντες εἶναι τὴν τοιαύτην φύσιν τῆς μὲν οὐσίας αἴτιόν φασιν εἶναι, οὐ μὴν τούτου γε ἕνεκα ἢ εἶναι ἢ γίγνεσθαι, ὥστε λέγειν τε καὶ μὴ λέγειν πως συμβαίνει αὐτοῖς [15] τἀγαθὸν αἴτιον: οὐ γὰρ ἁπλῶς ἀλλὰ κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς λέγουσιν. Cuius vero causa actus et transmutationes et motus modo quodam dicunt causam, ita vero non dicunt neque quod vere natum est. Nam intellectum quidem * dicentes aut amicitiam ut bonum quidem > has ponunt causas; non tamen ut gratia horum aut existens aut factum aliquid entium, sed ut ab hiis horum esse motus dicunt. Similiter autem et unum aut ens dicentes esse talem naturam substantiae quidem causam dicunt esse, non tamen huius causa aut esse aut fieri. Quare dicere et non dicere aliqualiter accidit eis bonum causam; non enim simpliciter sed secundum accidens dicunt. That for whose sake actions and changes and movements take place, they assert to be a cause in a way, but not in this way, i.e. not in the way in which it is its nature to be a cause. For those who speak of reason or friendship class these causes as goods; they do not speak, however, as if anything that exists either existed or came into being for the sake of these, but as if movements started from these. In the same way those who say the One or the existent is the good, say that it is the cause of substance, but not that substance either is or comes to be for the sake of this. Therefore it turns out that in a sense they both say and do not say the good is a cause; for they do not call it a cause qua good but only incidentally.
ὅτι μὲν οὖν ὀρθῶς διώρισται περὶ τῶν αἰτίων καὶ πόσα καὶ ποῖα, μαρτυρεῖν ἐοίκασιν ἡμῖν καὶ οὗτοι πάντες, οὐ δυνάμενοι θιγεῖν ἄλλης αἰτίας, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ὅτι ζητητέαι αἱ ἀρχαὶ ἢ οὕτως ἅπασαι ἢ τινὰ τρόπον τοιοῦτον, δῆλον: [20] πῶς δὲ τούτων ἕκαστος εἴρηκε καὶ πῶς ἔχει περὶ τῶν ἀρχῶν, τὰς ἐνδεχομένας ἀπορίας μετὰ τοῦτο διέλθωμεν περὶ αὐτῶν. Quod quidem igitur recte determinatum est de causis et quot et quae, testimonium prebere nobis videntur et hii omnes, aliam causam tangere non valentes. Ad haec autem quia quaerenda sunt principia aut sic omnia aut horum aliquo modo, palam. Quomodo etiam horum unusquisque dixit et quomodo habent de principiis, contingentes autem dubitationes post hoc pertranseamus de ipsis. All these thinkers then, as they cannot pitch on another cause, seem to testify that we have determined rightly both how many and of what sort the causes are. Besides this it is plain that when the causes are being looked for, either all four must be sought thus or they must be sought in one of these four ways. Let us next discuss the possible difficulties with regard to the way in which each of these thinkers has spoken, and with regard to his situation relatively to the first principles.

Chapter 8

Greek Latin English
ὅσοι μὲν οὖν ἕν τε τὸ πᾶν καὶ μίαν τινὰ φύσιν ὡς ὕλην τιθέασι, καὶ ταύτην σωματικὴν καὶ μέγεθος ἔχουσαν, δῆλον ὅτι πολλαχῶς ἁμαρτάνουσιν. τῶν γὰρ σωμάτων τὰ [25] στοιχεῖα τιθέασι μόνον, τῶν δ᾽ ἀσωμάτων οὔ, ὄντων καὶ ἀσωμάτων. Quicumque quidem igitur unum ipsum omne et unam esse quandam naturam ut materiam ponunt, et eam corpoream et magnitudinem habentem, palam quia multiphciter delinquunt. Corporum enim elementa ponunt solum, incorporeorum vero non, existentibus et incorporeis. Chapter 8. Those, then, who say the universe is one and posit one kind of thing as matter, and as corporeal matter which has spatial magnitude, evidently go astray in many ways. For they posit the elements of bodies only, not of incorporeal things, though there are also incorporeal things.
καὶ περὶ γενέσεως καὶ φθορᾶς ἐπιχειροῦντες τὰς αἰτίας λέγειν, καὶ περὶ πάντων φυσιολογοῦντες, τὸ τῆς κινήσεως αἴτιον ἀναιροῦσιν. ἔτι δὲ τῷ τὴν οὐσίαν μηθενὸς αἰτίαν τιθέναι μηδὲ τὸ τί ἐστι, καὶ πρὸς τούτοις τῷ ῥᾳδίως τῶν [30] ἁπλῶν σωμάτων λέγειν ἀρχὴν ὁτιοῦν πλὴν γῆς, οὐκ ἐπισκεψάμενοι τὴν ἐξ ἀλλήλων γένεσιν πῶς ποιοῦνται, λέγω δὲ πῦρ καὶ ὕδωρ καὶ γῆν καὶ ἀέρα. τὰ μὲν γὰρ συγκρίσει τὰ δὲ διακρίσει ἐξ ἀλλήλων γίγνεται, τοῦτο δὲ πρὸς τὸ πρότερον εἶναι καὶ ὕστερον διαφέρει πλεῖστον. De generatione quoque et corruptione causam dicere conantes, et de omnibus phisice tractantes, motus causam auferunt. Amplius autem * substantiam nullius ponere causam nec * quod quid est, et ad haec facile esse quodcumque simplicium corporum principium excepta terra, non considerantes eam quae ex * invicem generationem aliqualiter faciunt; dico autem ignem et aquam et terram et aerem. Haec quidem enim congregatione illa vero disgregatione ex ad invicem fiunt; hoc autem ad prius esse > et posterius plurimum differt. And in trying to state the causes of generation and destruction, and in giving a physical account of all things, they do away with the cause of movement. Further, they err in not positing the substance, i.e. the essence, as the cause of anything, and besides this in lightly calling any of the simple bodies except earth the first principle, without inquiring how they are produced out of one anothers- I mean fire, water, earth, and air. For some things are produced out of each other by combination, others by separation, and this makes the greatest difference to their priority and posteriority.
τῇ μὲν γὰρ ἂν [35] δόξειε στοιχειωδέστατον εἶναι πάντων ἐξ οὗ γίγνονται συγκρίσει πρώτου, [989α] [1] τοιοῦτον δὲ τὸ μικρομερέστατον καὶ λεπτότατον ἂν εἴη τῶν σωμάτων (διόπερ ὅσοι πῦρ ἀρχὴν τιθέασι, μάλιστα ὁμολογουμένως ἂν τῷ λόγῳ τούτῳ λέγοιεν: τοιοῦτον δὲ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἕκαστος ὁμολογεῖ τὸ στοιχεῖον εἶναι τὸ τῶν σωμάτων: Aliqualiter enim utique videbitur maxime elementale esse omnium ex quo primo fiunt congregatione, tale vero est quod minutissime partis et subtilissimum est corporum. Unde quicumque ponunt ignem principium, maxime confesse rationi huic dicunt. Tale vero et aliorum unusquisque confitetur elementum esse quod corporum. For (1) in a way the property of being most elementary of all would seem to belong to the first thing [89a] from which they are produced by combination, and this property would belong to the most fine-grained and subtle of bodies. For this reason those who make fire the principle would be most in agreement with this argument. But each of the other thinkers agrees that the element of corporeal things is of this sort.
[5] οὐθεὶς γοῦν ἠξίωσε τῶν ἓν λεγόντων γῆν εἶναι στοιχεῖον, δηλονότι διὰ τὴν μεγαλομέρειαν, τῶν δὲ τριῶν ἕκαστον στοιχείων εἴληφέ τινα κριτήν, οἱ μὲν γὰρ πῦρ οἱ δ᾽ ὕδωρ οἱ δ᾽ ἀέρα τοῦτ᾽ εἶναί φασιν: καίτοι διὰ τί ποτ᾽ οὐ καὶ τὴν γῆν λέγουσιν, ὥσπερ οἱ πολλοὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων; πάντα [10] γὰρ εἶναί φασι γῆν, φησὶ δὲ καὶ Ἡσίοδος τὴν γῆν πρώτην γενέσθαι τῶν σωμάτων: οὕτως ἀρχαίαν καὶ δημοτικὴν συμβέβηκεν εἶναι τὴν ὑπόληψιν): κατὰ μὲν οὖν τοῦτον τὸν λόγον οὔτ᾽ εἴ τις τούτων τι λέγει πλὴν πυρός, οὔτ᾽ εἴ τις ἀέρος μὲν πυκνότερον τοῦτο τίθησιν ὕδατος δὲ [15] λεπτότερον, οὐκ ὀρθῶς ἂν λέγοι: Nullus enim posteriorum et unum dicentium terram esse elementum voluit, palam quia propter magnitudinem partialitatis. Quodlibet autem trium elementorum iudicem quendam accepit; hii namque ignem illi vero aquam alii aerem hoc esse dicunt. Sed quare non et terram dicunt, quemadmodum hominum multi? Omnia namque terram esse dicunt. Dicit autem et Esiodus terram primam corporum factam esse; sic enim antiquam et popularem contingit esse existimationem. Secundum hanc igitur rationem nec si quis horum aliquid dicit praeter ignem, nec si quis aere quidem spissius hoc ponit aqua vero subtilius, non recte utique dicet. At least none of those who named one element claimed that earth was the element, evidently because of the coarseness of its grain. (Of the other three elements each has found some judge on its side; for some maintain that fire, others that water, others that air is the element. Yet why, after all, do they not name earth also, as most men do? For people say all things are earth Hesiod says earth was produced first of corporeal things; so primitive and popular has the opinion been.) According to this argument, then, no one would be right who either says the first principle is any of the elements other than fire, or supposes it to be denser than air but rarer than water.
εἰ δ᾽ ἔστι τὸ τῇ γενέσει ὕστερον τῇ φύσει πρότερον, τὸ δὲ πεπεμμένον καὶ συγκεκριμένον ὕστερον τῇ γενέσει, τοὐναντίον ἂν εἴη τούτων, ὕδωρ μὲν ἀέρος πρότερον γῆ δὲ ὕδατος. Si vero est quod generatione posterius * natura prius, et quod est digestum et concretum posterius generatione, horum utique erit contrarium: aqua quidem aere prior et terra aqua. But (2) if that which is later in generation is prior in nature, and that which is concocted and compounded is later in generation, the contrary of what we have been saying must be true,-water must be prior to air, and earth to water.
περὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν μίαν τιθεμένων αἰτίαν οἵαν εἴπομεν, ἔστω ταῦτ᾽ εἰρημένα: τὸ δ᾽ [20] αὐτὸ κἂν εἴ τις ταῦτα πλείω τίθησιν, οἷον Ἐμπεδοκλῆς τέτταρά φησιν εἶναι σώματα τὴν ὕλην. καὶ γὰρ τούτῳ τὰ μὲν ταὐτὰ τὰ δ᾽ ἴδια συμβαίνειν ἀνάγκη. γιγνόμενά τε γὰρ ἐξ ἀλλήλων ὁρῶμεν ὡς οὐκ ἀεὶ διαμένοντος πυρὸς καὶ γῆς τοῦ αὐτοῦ σώματος (εἴρηται δὲ ἐν τοῖς περὶ φύσεως περὶ αὐτῶν), [25] καὶ περὶ τῆς τῶν κινουμένων αἰτίας, πότερον ἓν ἢ δύο θετέον, οὔτ᾽ ὀρθῶς οὔτε εὐλόγως οἰητέον εἰρῆσθαι παντελῶς. De ponentibus quidem igitur unam causam qualem diximus sint haec dicta. Idem autem [Idem quoque] et si quis haec plura ponit, velut Empedocles quatuor dicit esse corpora materiam. Et enim huic haec quidem eadem illa vero propria accidere * necesse. Ex ad invicem enim generata cernimus quasi non semper igne et terra eodem corpore permanente (dictum est autem de eis in phisicis); et de moventium causa, utrum unum aut plura * ponendum, nec recte nec irrationabiliter putandum est > omnino dictum esse. So much, then, for those who posit one cause such as we mentioned; but the same is true if one supposes more of these, as Empedocles says matter of things is four bodies. For he too is confronted by consequences some of which are the same as have been mentioned, while others are peculiar to him. For we see these bodies produced from one another, which implies that the same body does not always remain fire or earth (we have spoken about this in our works on nature); and regarding the cause of movement and the question whether we must posit one or two, he must be thought to have spoken neither correctly nor altogether plausibly.
ὅλως τε ἀλλοίωσιν ἀναιρεῖσθαι ἀνάγκη τοῖς οὕτω λέγουσιν: οὐ γὰρ ἐκ θερμοῦ ψυχρὸν οὐδὲ ἐκ ψυχροῦ θερμὸν ἔσται. τὶ γὰρ αὐτὰ ἂν πάσχοι τἀναντία, καὶ τὶς εἴη ἂν μία φύσις ἡ γιγνομένη [30] πῦρ καὶ ὕδωρ, ὃ ἐκεῖνος οὔ φησιν. Et ex toto alterationem auferri est necesse sic dicentibus; non enim ex calido frigidum nec ex frigido calidum erit. Quid enim haec patietur contraria, et quae est una natura quae fit ignis et aqua: quod ille non ait. And in general, change of quality is necessarily done away with for those who speak thus, for on their view cold will not come from hot nor hot from cold. For if it did there would be something that accepted the contraries themselves, and there would be some one entity that became fire and water, which Empedocles denies.
Ἀναξαγόραν δ᾽ εἴ τις ὑπολάβοι δύο λέγειν στοιχεῖα, μάλιστ᾽ ἂν ὑπολάβοι κατὰ λόγον, ὃν ἐκεῖνος αὐτὸς μὲν οὐ διήρθρωσεν, ἠκολούθησε μέντ᾽ ἂν ἐξ ἀνάγκης τοῖς ἐπάγουσιν αὐτόν. Anaxagoram vero si quis susceperit elementa duo dicere, suscipiat maxime secundum rationem, quam ille quidem non dearticulavit; secutus est enim * ex necessitate dicentes eam. As regards Anaxagoras, if one were to suppose that he said there were two elements, the supposition would accord thoroughly with an argument which Anaxagoras himself did not state articulately, but which he must have accepted if any one had led him on to it.
ἀτόπου γὰρ ὄντος καὶ ἄλλως τοῦ φάσκειν μεμῖχθαι τὴν ἀρχὴν πάντα, [989β] [1] καὶ διὰ τὸ συμβαίνειν ἄμικτα δεῖν προϋπάρχειν καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ πεφυκέναι τῷ τυχόντι μίγνυσθαι τὸ τυχόν, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ὅτι τὰ πάθη καὶ τὰ συμβεβηκότα χωρίζοιτ᾽ ἂν τῶν οὐσιῶν (τῶν γὰρ αὐτῶν μῖξίς ἐστι καὶ χωρισμός), ὅμως εἴ τις ἀκολουθήσειε [5] συνδιαρθρῶν ἃ βούλεται λέγειν, ἴσως ἂν φανείη καινοπρεπεστέρως λέγων. ὅτε γὰρ οὐθὲν ἦν ἀποκεκριμένον, δῆλον ὡς οὐθὲν ἦν ἀληθὲς εἰπεῖν κατὰ τῆς οὐσίας ἐκείνης, λέγω δ᾽ οἷον ὅτι οὔτε λευκὸν οὔτε μέλαν ἢ φαιὸν ἢ ἄλλο χρῶμα, ἀλλ᾽ ἄχρων ἦν ἐξ ἀνάγκης: εἶχε γὰρ ἄν τι τούτων [10] τῶν χρωμάτων: ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἄχυμον τῷ αὐτῷ λόγῳ τούτῳ, οὐδὲ ἄλλο τῶν ὁμοίων οὐθέν: οὔτε γὰρ ποιόν τι οἷόν τε αὐτὸ εἶναι οὔτε ποσὸν οὔτε τί. τῶν γὰρ ἐν μέρει τι λεγομένων εἰδῶν ὑπῆρχεν ἂν αὐτῷ, τοῦτο δὲ ἀδύνατον μεμιγμένων γε πάντων: ἤδη γὰρ ἂν ἀπεκέκριτο, φησὶ δ᾽ [15] εἶναι μεμιγμένα πάντα πλὴν τοῦ νοῦ, τοῦτον δὲ ἀμιγῆ μόνον καὶ καθαρόν. ἐκ δὴ τούτων συμβαίνει λέγειν αὐτῷ τὰς ἀρχὰς τό τε ἕν (τοῦτο γὰρ ἁπλοῦν καὶ ἀμιγές) καὶ θάτερον, οἷον τίθεμεν τὸ ἀόριστον πρὶν ὁρισθῆναι καὶ μετασχεῖν εἴδους τινός, ὥστε λέγει μὲν οὔτ᾽ ὀρθῶς οὔτε σαφῶς, βούλεται μέντοι [20] τι παραπλήσιον τοῖς τε ὕστερον λέγουσι καὶ τοῖς νῦν φαινομένοις μᾶλλον. Nam absurdo existente et aliter dicere permixta esse a principio omnia, et quia oportet accidere quod impermixta preexistant et quia non aptum est cuilibet permisceri quodlibet. Ad haec autem quia passiones et accidentia separantur a substantiis; eorundem enim permixtio et separatio. Tamen si quis prosequitur dearticulans quae vult dicere, forsan apparebit mirabilius dicens. Quando namque nihil erat discretum, palam quia nihil erat verum dicere de substantia illa. Dico autem quia neque album neque nigrum aut fuscum aut alium colorem, sed non colorata erat ex necessitate; horum enim colorum aliquem haberet. Similiter autem et sine sapore eadem * hac ratione, nec aliud similium nihil; nec enim quale aliquid id possibile esse nec quantum nec quid. Aliqua enim dictarum in parte specierum inesset utique ei, sed hoc impossibile permixtis omnibus; iam enim discreta essent, dicit autem permixta esse omnia praeter intellectum, hunc autem impermixtum solum et purum. Ex hiis itaque accidit ei dicere principia ipsum * unum (hoc enim simplex et impermixtum) et alterum, quale ponimus indeterminatum antequam determinetur et quadam specie participet. Quare dicitur quidem nec recte nec plane, vult tamen aliquid simile posterius dicentibus et nunc apparentibus magis. True, to say that in the beginning all things were mixed is absurd both on other grounds and because it follows that they must have existed before [89b] in an unmixed form, and because nature does not allow any chance thing to be mixed with any chance thing, and also because on this view modifications and accidents could be separated from substances (for the same things which are mixed can be separated); yet if one were to follow him up, piecing together what he means, he would perhaps be seen to be somewhat modern in his views. For when nothing was separated out, evidently nothing could be truly asserted of the substance that then existed. I mean, e.g. that it was neither white nor black, nor grey nor any other colour, but of necessity colourless; for if it had been coloured, it would have had one of these colours. And similarly, by this same argument, it was flavourless, nor had it any similar attribute; for it could not be either of any quality or of any size, nor could it be any definite kind of thing. For if it were, one of the particular forms would have belonged to it, and this is impossible, since all were mixed together; for the particular form would necessarily have been already separated out, but he all were mixed except reason, and this alone was unmixed and pure. From this it follows, then, that he must say the principles are the One (for this is simple and unmixed) and the Other, which is of such a nature as we suppose the indefinite to be before it is defined and partakes of some form. Therefore, while expressing himself neither rightly nor clearly, he means something like what the later thinkers say and what is now more clearly seen to be the case.
ἀλλὰ γὰρ οὗτοι μὲν τοῖς περὶ γένεσιν λόγοις καὶ φθορὰν καὶ κίνησιν οἰκεῖοι τυγχάνουσι μόνον (σχεδὸν γὰρ περὶ τῆς τοιαύτης οὐσίας καὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς αἰτίας ζητοῦσι μόνης): Verum hii quidem * hiis qui circa generationem sermonibus et corruptionem et motum proprii sunt solum; fere namque circa talis substantiae principia et causas quaerunt solum. But these thinkers are, after all, at home only in arguments about generation and destruction and movement; for it is practically only of this sort of substance that they seek the principles and the causes.
ὅσοι δὲ περὶ μὲν ἁπάντων τῶν ὄντων ποιοῦνται [25] τὴν θεωρίαν, τῶν δ᾽ ὄντων τὰ μὲν αἰσθητὰ τὰ δ᾽ οὐκ αἰσθητὰ τιθέασι, δῆλον ὡς περὶ ἀμφοτέρων τῶν γενῶν ποιοῦνται τὴν [27] ἐπίσκεψιν: διὸ μᾶλλον ἄν τις ἐνδιατρίψειε περὶ αὐτῶν, τί καλῶς ἢ μὴ καλῶς λέγουσιν εἰς τὴν τῶν νῦν ἡμῖν προκειμένων σκέψιν. > Quicumque vero de omnibus existentibus * faciunt theoriam, existentium autem haec quidem sensibilia illa vero insensibilia ponunt, palam quia de utrisque generibus perscrutationem faciunt. Propter quod magis utique immorabitur aliquis de eis, quid bene aut non bene dicunt ad presentem nobis propositorum perscrutationem. But those who extend their vision to all things that exist, and of existing things suppose some to be perceptible and others not perceptible, evidently study both classes, which is all the more reason why one should devote some time to seeing what is good in their views and what bad from the standpoint of the inquiry we have now before us.
οἱ μὲν οὖν καλούμενοι Πυθαγόρειοι ταῖς μὲν [30] ἀρχαῖς καὶ τοῖς στοιχείοις ἐκτοπωτέροις χρῶνται τῶν φυσιολόγων (τὸ δ᾽ αἴτιον ὅτι παρέλαβον αὐτὰς οὐκ ἐξ αἰσθητῶν: τὰ γὰρ μαθηματικὰ τῶν ὄντων ἄνευ κινήσεώς ἐστιν ἔξω τῶν περὶ τὴν ἀστρολογίαν), διαλέγονται μέντοι καὶ πραγματεύονται περὶ φύσεως πάντα: γεννῶσί τε γὰρ τὸν οὐρανόν, [990α] [1] καὶ περὶ τὰ τούτου μέρη καὶ τὰ πάθη καὶ τὰ ἔργα διατηροῦσι τὸ συμβαῖνον, καὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰ αἴτια εἰς ταῦτα καταναλίσκουσιν, ὡς ὁμολογοῦντες τοῖς ἄλλοις φυσιολόγοις ὅτι τό γε ὂν τοῦτ᾽ ἐστὶν ὅσον αἰσθητόν ἐστι καὶ περιείληφεν ὁ [5] καλούμενος οὐρανός. τὰς δ᾽ αἰτίας καὶ τὰς ἀρχάς, ὥσπερ εἴπομεν, ἱκανὰς λέγουσιν ἐπαναβῆναι καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ ἀνωτέρω τῶν ὄντων, καὶ μᾶλλον ἢ τοῖς περὶ φύσεως λόγοις ἁρμοττούσας. * Pytagorici quidem igitur * vocati principiis et elementis extranee a phisiologis sunt usi. Causa vero quia acceperunt ea ex non sensibilibus; nam mathematica existentium sine motu sunt, extra ea quae sunt circa astrologiam. Disputant tamen et tractant omnia de natura; generant enim celum, et quod circa huius partes et passiones et operationes accidit observant, et principia et causas in haec dispensant, quasi aliis phisiologis consentientes quia ens hoc est quodcumque sensibile est et comprehendit vocatum celum. Causas vero et principia, sicut diximus, dicunt sufficientia pertingere usque ad ea quae sunt entium superiora, et magis quam de natura rationibus convenientia. The ‘Pythagoreans’ treat of principles and elements stranger than those of the physical philosophers (the reason is that they got the principles from non-sensible things, for the objects of mathematics, except those of astronomy, are of the class of things without movement); yet their discussions and investigations are all about nature; for they [90a] generate the heavens, and with regard to their parts and attributes and functions they observe the phenomena, and use up the principles and the causes in explaining these, which implies that they agree with the others, the physical philosophers, that the real is just all that [90a 4] which is perceptible and contained by the so-called ‘heavens’. But the causes and the principles which they mention are, as we said, sufficient to act as steps even up to the higher realms of reality, and are more suited to these than to theories about nature.
ἐκ τίνος μέντοι τρόπου κίνησις ἔσται πέρατος καὶ ἀπείρου μόνων ὑποκειμένων καὶ περιττοῦ καὶ ἀρτίου, οὐθὲν [10] λέγουσιν, ἢ πῶς δυνατὸν ἄνευ κινήσεως καὶ μεταβολῆς γένεσιν εἶναι καὶ φθορὰν ἢ τὰ τῶν φερομένων ἔργα κατὰ τὸν οὐρανόν. Ex quo tamen modo motus inerit fini et infinito solum suppositis et pari et impari, non dicunt, aut quomodo possibile sine motu et transmutatione generationem et corruptionem esse aut eorum quae feruntur opera circa celum. They do not tell us at all, however, how there can be movement if limit and unlimited and odd and even are the only things assumed, or how without movement and change there can be generation and destruction, or the bodies that move through the heavens can do what they do.
ἔτι δὲ εἴτε δοίη τις αὐτοῖς ἐκ τούτων εἶναι μέγεθος εἴτε δειχθείη τοῦτο, ὅμως τίνα τρόπον ἔσται τὰ μὲν κοῦφα τὰ δὲ βάρος ἔχοντα τῶν σωμάτων; ἐξ ὧν γὰρ ὑποτίθενται [15] καὶ λέγουσιν, οὐθὲν μᾶλλον περὶ τῶν μαθηματικῶν λέγουσι σωμάτων ἢ τῶν αἰσθητῶν: διὸ περὶ πυρὸς ἢ γῆς ἢ τῶν ἄλλων τῶν τοιούτων σωμάτων οὐδ᾽ ὁτιοῦν εἰρήκασιν, ἅτε οὐθὲν περὶ τῶν αἰσθητῶν οἶμαι λέγοντες ἴδιον. Amplius autem sive quis det eis ex hiis esse magnitudinem sive hoc ostendatur, tamen quomodo erunt haec corporum levia illa vero gravitatem habentia? Ex quibus enim supponunt et dicunt, nihil magis de mathematicis dicunt corporibus quam de sensibilibus; unde de igne aut terra aut aliis huiusmodi corporibus nihil dixerunt, sicut nihil de sensibilibus existimo dicentes proprium. Further, if one either granted them that spatial magnitude consists of these elements, or this were proved, still how would some bodies be light and others have weight? To judge from what they assume and maintain they are speaking no more of mathematical bodies than of perceptible; hence they have said nothing whatever about fire or earth or the other bodies of this sort, I suppose because they have nothing to say which applies peculiarly to perceptible things.
ἔτι δὲ πῶς δεῖ λαβεῖν αἴτια μὲν εἶναι τὰ τοῦ ἀριθμοῦ πάθη καὶ τὸν ἀριθμὸν [20] τῶν κατὰ τὸν οὐρανὸν ὄντων καὶ γιγνομένων καὶ ἐξ ἀρχῆς καὶ νῦν, ἀριθμὸν δ᾽ ἄλλον μηθένα εἶναι παρὰ τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦτον ἐξ οὗ συνέστηκεν ὁ κόσμος; ὅταν γὰρ ἐν τῳδὶ μὲν τῷ μέρει δόξα καὶ καιρὸς αὐτοῖς ᾖ, μικρὸν δὲ ἄνωθεν ἢ κάτωθεν ἀδικία καὶ κρίσις ἢ μῖξις, ἀπόδειξιν δὲ λέγωσιν ὅτι [25] τούτων μὲν ἕκαστον ἀριθμός ἐστι, συμβαίνει δὲ κατὰ τὸν τόπον τοῦτον ἤδη πλῆθος εἶναι τῶν συνισταμένων μεγεθῶν διὰ τὸ τὰ πάθη ταῦτα ἀκολουθεῖν τοῖς τόποις ἑκάστοις, πότερον οὗτος ὁ αὐτός ἐστιν ἀριθμός, ὁ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, ὃν δεῖ λαβεῖν ὅτι τούτων ἕκαστόν ἐστιν, ἢ παρὰ τοῦτον ἄλλος; ὁ μὲν γὰρ [30] Πλάτων ἕτερον εἶναί φησιν: καίτοι κἀκεῖνος ἀριθμοὺς οἴεται καὶ ταῦτα εἶναι καὶ τὰς τούτων αἰτίας, ἀλλὰ τοὺς μὲν νοητοὺς αἰτίους τούτους δὲ αἰσθητούς. Amplius autem quomodo oportet accipere causas quidem esse numeri passiones et numerum circa celum existentium et factorum et ab initio et nunc, numerum vero alium nullum > esse praeter numerum hunc ex quo constitit mundus? Nam cum in hac parte opinio et tempus sit eis, parum vero desuper aut subtus iniustitia et discretio aut permixtio, * demonstrationem autem dicant quia horum unumquodque numerus est, accidit autem secundum hunc locum iam pluralitatem esse constitutarum magnitudinum, quia passiones hae sequuntur singula loca: utrum idem est hic numerus qui in celo est, quem oportet accipere quia horum unumquodque est, aut praeter hunc alius? Plato namque alium ait esse; existimat etiam quidem et ille numeros * haec esse et horum causas, sed illos quidem intellectuales causas hos vero sensibiles. Further, how are we to combine the beliefs that the attributes of number, and number itself, are causes of what exists and happens in the heavens both from the beginning and now, and that there is no other number than this number out of which the world is composed? When in one particular region they place opinion and opportunity, and, a little above or below, injustice and decision or mixture, and allege, as proof, that each of these is a number, and that there happens to be already in this place a plurality of the extended bodies composed of numbers, because these attributes of number attach to the various places, - this being so, is this number, which we must suppose each of these abstractions to be, the same number which is exhibited in the material universe, or is it another than this? Plato says it is different; yet even he thinks that both these bodies and their causes are numbers, but that the intelligible numbers are causes, while the others are sensible.

Chapter 9

Greek Latin English
περὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν Πυθαγορείων ἀφείσθω τὰ νῦν (ἱκανὸν γὰρ αὐτῶν ἅψασθαι τοσοῦτον): [990β] [1] οἱ δὲ τὰς ἰδέας αἰτίας τιθέμενοι πρῶτον μὲν ζητοῦντες τωνδὶ τῶν ὄντων λαβεῖν τὰς αἰτίας ἕτερα τούτοις ἴσα τὸν ἀριθμὸν ἐκόμισαν, ὥσπερ εἴ τις ἀριθμῆσαι βουλόμενος ἐλαττόνων μὲν ὄντων οἴοιτο μὴ δυνήσεσθαι, πλείω δὲ ποιήσας ἀριθμοίη (σχεδὸν γὰρ ἴσα—ἢ οὐκ [5] ἐλάττω—ἐστὶ τὰ εἴδη τούτοις περὶ ὧν ζητοῦντες τὰς αἰτίας ἐκ τούτων ἐπ᾽ ἐκεῖνα προῆλθον: καθ᾽ ἕκαστον γὰρ ὁμώνυμόν τι ἔστι καὶ παρὰ τὰς οὐσίας, τῶν τε ἄλλων ἔστιν ἓν ἐπὶ πολλῶν, καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖσδε καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἀϊδίοις): De Pytagoricis ergo dimittatur ad presens; sufficit enim ipsa tangere tantum. Qui vero ydeas posuerunt primum quidem horum existentium accipere causas quaerentes alia hiis equalia numero attulerunt, ut si quis numerare volens paucioribus quidem existentibus putet non posse, plura vero faciens numeret. Nam fere equales, aut non pauciores, hiis sunt species de quibus quaerentes * causas ab hiis ad illas provenerunt. Secundum unumquodque enim equivocum (omonimum) aliquid est, et circa substantias aliorum est in multis unum, et in hiis et in sempiternis. Chapter 9. Let us leave the Pythagoreans for the present; for it is enough to have touched on them as much as we have done. But as for those who posit the Ideas as causes, firstly, in seeking [90b] to grasp the causes of the things around us, they introduced others equal in number to these, as if a man who wanted to count things thought he would not be able to do it while they were few, but tried to count them when he had added to their number. For the Forms are practically equal to-or not fewer than-the things, in trying to explain which these thinkers proceeded from them to the Forms. For to each thing there answers an entity which has the same name and exists apart from the substances, and so also in the case of all other groups there is a one over many, whether the many are in this world or are eternal.
ἔτι δὲ καθ᾽ οὓς τρόπους δείκνυμεν ὅτι ἔστι τὰ εἴδη, κατ᾽ οὐθένα φαίνεται τούτων: [10] ἐξ ἐνίων μὲν γὰρ οὐκ ἀνάγκη γίγνεσθαι συλλογισμόν, ἐξ ἐνίων δὲ καὶ οὐχ ὧν οἰόμεθα τούτων εἴδη γίγνεται. κατά τε γὰρ τοὺς λόγους τοὺς ἐκ τῶν ἐπιστημῶν εἴδη ἔσται πάντων ὅσων ἐπιστῆμαι εἰσί, καὶ κατὰ τὸ ἓν ἐπὶ πολλῶν καὶ τῶν ἀποφάσεων, κατὰ δὲ τὸ νοεῖν τι φθαρέντος τῶν φθαρτῶν: φάντασμα [15] γάρ τι τούτων ἔστιν. Amplius autem secundum quos modos ostendimus quia sunt species, secundum nullum videntur horum. Ex quibusdam > enim non est necesse fieri sillogismum, ex quibusdam vero * et non quorum putamus horum species fiunt; quia secundum rationes eas quae ex scientiis species omnium erunt quo rumcumque sunt scientie, et secundum unum in multis et negationibus, et secundum intelligere autem aliquid corrupti corruptibilium; fantasma enim aliquid horum est. Further, of the ways in which we prove that the Forms exist, none is convincing; for from some no inference necessarily follows, and from some arise Forms even of things of which we think there are no Forms. For according to the arguments from the existence of the sciences there will be Forms of all things of which there are sciences and according to the ‘one over many’ argument there will be Forms even of negations, and according to the argument that there is an object for thought even when the thing has perished, there will be Forms of perishable things; for we have an image of these.
ἔτι δὲ οἱ ἀκριβέστεροι τῶν λόγων οἱ μὲν τῶν πρός τι ποιοῦσιν ἰδέας, ὧν οὔ φαμεν εἶναι καθ᾽ αὑτὸ γένος, οἱ δὲ τὸν τρίτον ἄνθρωπον λέγουσιν. Amplius autem rationum certissime aliae quidem eorum quae ad aliquid ydeas faciunu quorum non dicunt esse secundum se genus, aliae vero tertium hominem dicunt. Further, of the more accurate arguments, some lead to Ideas of relations, of which we say there is no independent class, and others introduce the ‘third man’.
ὅλως τε ἀναιροῦσιν οἱ περὶ τῶν εἰδῶν λόγοι ἃ μᾶλλον εἶναι βουλόμεθα [οἱ λέγοντες εἴδη] τοῦ τὰς ἰδέας εἶναι: συμβαίνει γὰρ μὴ [20] εἶναι τὴν δυάδα πρώτην ἀλλὰ τὸν ἀριθμόν, καὶ τὸ πρός τι τοῦ καθ᾽ αὑτό, καὶ πάνθ᾽ ὅσα τινὲς ἀκολουθήσαντες ταῖς περὶ τῶν ἰδεῶν δόξαις ἠναντιώθησαν ταῖς ἀρχαῖς. Et omnino quae sunt de speciebus rationes auferunt quae magis esse volunt dicentes esse species quam ipsas ydeas esse. Accidit enim dualitatem non esse primam sed numerum, et ad aliquid ipso quod secundum se, et omnia quaecumque aliqui de speciebus opiniones sequentes opposuerunt principiis. And in general the arguments for the Forms destroy the things for whose existence we are more zealous than for the existence of the Ideas; for it follows that not the dyad but number is first, i.e. that the relative is prior to the absolute,-besides all the other points on which certain people by following out the opinions held about the Ideas have come into conflict with the principles of the theory.
ἔτι κατὰ μὲν τὴν ὑπόληψιν καθ᾽ ἣν εἶναί φαμεν τὰς ἰδέας οὐ μόνον τῶν οὐσιῶν ἔσται εἴδη ἀλλὰ πολλῶν καὶ ἑτέρων (καὶ γὰρ τὸ [25] νόημα ἓν οὐ μόνον περὶ τὰς οὐσίας ἀλλὰ καὶ κατὰ τῶν ἄλλων ἐστί, καὶ ἐπιστῆμαι οὐ μόνον τῆς οὐσίας εἰσὶν ἀλλὰ καὶ ἑτέρων, καὶ ἄλλα δὲ μυρία συμβαίνει τοιαῦτα): κατὰ δὲ τὸ ἀναγκαῖον καὶ τὰς δόξας τὰς περὶ αὐτῶν, εἰ ἔστι μεθεκτὰ τὰ εἴδη, τῶν οὐσιῶν ἀναγκαῖον ἰδέας εἶναι μόνον. οὐ [30] γὰρ κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς μετέχονται ἀλλὰ δεῖ ταύτῃ ἑκάστου μετέχειν ᾗ μὴ καθ᾽ ὑποκειμένου λέγεται (λέγω δ᾽ οἷον, εἴ τι αὐτοδιπλασίου μετέχει, τοῦτο καὶ ἀϊδίου μετέχει, ἀλλὰ κατὰ συμβεβηκός: συμβέβηκε γὰρ τῷ διπλασίῳ ἀϊδίῳ εἶναι), Amplius autem secundum existimationem quidem secundum quam esse dicimus ydeas, esse non solum substantiarum species sed multorum et aliorum; et enim conceptus unus non solum circa substantias sed et de aliis est, et scientie non solum sunt ipsius substantiae sed et aliorum, accidunt autem et mille talia alia. Secundum vero necessitatem et opiniones de eis, si sunt participabiles species, substantiarum necesse ydeas esse solum. Non enim secundum accidens participantur, sed oportet hac uniuscuiusque participare in quantum non de subiecto > dicitur. Dico autem ut si quid per se duplo participat, hoc et sempiterno participat, sed secundum accidens; accidit enim duplo sempiternum esse. Further, according to the assumption on which our belief in the Ideas rests, there will be Forms not only of substances but also of many other things (for the concept is single not only in the case of substances but also in the other cases, and there are sciences not only of substance but also of other things, and a thousand other such difficulties confront them). But according to the necessities of the case and the opinions held about the Forms, if Forms can be shared in there must be Ideas of substances only. For they are not shared in incidentally, but a thing must share in its Form as in something not predicated of a subject (by ‘being shared in incidentally’ I mean that e.g. if a thing shares in ‘double itself’, it shares also in ‘eternal’, but incidentally; for ‘eternal’ happens to be predicable of the ‘double’).
ὥστ᾽ ἔσται οὐσία τὰ εἴδη: ταὐτὰ δὲ ἐνταῦθα οὐσίαν σημαίνει κἀκεῖ: [991α] [1] ἢ τί ἔσται τὸ εἶναι τι παρὰ ταῦτα, τὸ ἓν ἐπὶ πολλῶν; καὶ εἰ μὲν ταὐτὸ εἶδος τῶν ἰδεῶν καὶ τῶν μετεχόντων, ἔσται τι κοινόν (τί γὰρ μᾶλλον ἐπὶ τῶν φθαρτῶν δυάδων, καὶ τῶν πολλῶν μὲν ἀϊδίων δέ, τὸ [5] δυὰς ἓν καὶ ταὐτόν, ἢ ἐπί τ᾽ αὐτῆς καὶ τῆς τινός;): εἰ δὲ μὴ τὸ αὐτὸ εἶδος, ὁμώνυμα ἂν εἴη, καὶ ὅμοιον ὥσπερ ἂν εἴ τις καλοῖ ἄνθρωπον τόν τε Καλλίαν καὶ τὸ ξύλον, μηδεμίαν κοινωνίαν ἐπιβλέψας αὐτῶν. Quare substantia erunt species; hae vero substantiam hic significant et ibi. Aut quid erit ipsum esse dicere aliquid praeter haec, unum in multis? Et si quidem eadem species ydearum et participantium, aliquid erit commune; quid enim magis in corruptibilibus dualitatibus, et dualitatibus multis quidem sed sempiternis, dualitas unum et idem, quam in hac et aliqua? Si vero non eadem species, equivocatio erit, et simile ut si quis vocat hominem Calliam et lignum, nullam eorum communitatem inspiciens. Therefore the Forms will be substance; but the same terms indicate substance in this and in the ideal world [91a] (or what will be the meaning of saying that there is something apart from the particulars-the one over many?). And if the Ideas and the particulars that share in them have the same form, there will be something common to these; for why should ‘2’ be one and the same in the perishable 2’s or in those which are many but eternal, and not the same in the ‘2’ itself’ as in the particular 2? But if they have not the same form, they must have only the name in common, and it is as if one were to call both Callias and a wooden image a ‘man’, without observing any community between them.
πάντων δὲ μάλιστα διαπορήσειεν ἄν τις τί ποτε συμβάλλεται τὰ εἴδη τοῖς [10] ἀϊδίοις τῶν αἰσθητῶν ἢ τοῖς γιγνομένοις καὶ φθειρομένοις: οὔτε γὰρ κινήσεως οὔτε μεταβολῆς οὐδεμιᾶς ἐστὶν αἴτια αὐτοῖς. Omnium autem dubitabit aliquis maxime quid conferunt species sempiternis sensibilium aut hiis quae fiunt et corrumpuntur; nec enim motus nec transmutationis nullius sunt causa eis. Above all one might discuss the question what on earth the Forms contribute to sensible things, either to those that are eternal or to those that come into being and cease to be. For they cause neither movement nor any change in them.
ἀλλὰ μὴν οὔτε πρὸς τὴν ἐπιστήμην οὐθὲν βοηθεῖ τὴν τῶν ἄλλων (οὐδὲ γὰρ οὐσία ἐκεῖνα τούτων: ἐν τούτοις γὰρ ἂν ἦν), οὔτε εἰς τὸ εἶναι, μὴ ἐνυπάρχοντά γε τοῖς μετέχουσιν: οὕτω μὲν [15] γὰρ ἂν ἴσως αἴτια δόξειεν εἶναι ὡς τὸ λευκὸν μεμιγμένον τῷ λευκῷ, ἀλλ᾽ οὗτος μὲν ὁ λόγος λίαν εὐκίνητος, ὃν Ἀναξαγόρας μὲν πρῶτος Εὔδοξος δ᾽ ὕστερον καὶ ἄλλοι τινὲς ἔλεγον (ῥᾴδιον γὰρ συναγαγεῖν πολλὰ καὶ ἀδύνατα πρὸς τὴν τοιαύτην δόξαν): At vero nec ad scientiam nihil auxiliatur eis quae est aliorum (nec enim ille horum substantia; nam in hiis essent) nec ad esse, cum non insint participantibus; sic enim forsan causa videbitur esse * album permixtum albo. Sed haec quidem ratio valde mobilis est, quam Anaxagoras prius et Eudoxus posterius et alii quidam dixerunt; facile namque colligere multa et impossibilia ad talem opinionem. But again they help in no wise either towards the knowledge of the other things (for they are not even the substance of these, else they would have been in them), or towards their being, if they are not in the particulars which share in them; though if they were, they might be thought to be causes, as white causes whiteness in a white object by entering into its composition. But this argument, which first Anaxagoras and later Eudoxus and certain others used, is very easily upset; for it is not difficult to collect many insuperable objections to such a view.
ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδ᾽ ἐκ τῶν εἰδῶν ἐστὶ τἆλλα [20] κατ᾽ οὐθένα τρόπον τῶν εἰωθότων λέγεσθαι. τὸ δὲ λέγειν παραδείγματα αὐτὰ εἶναι καὶ μετέχειν αὐτῶν τἆλλα κενολογεῖν ἐστὶ καὶ μεταφορὰς λέγειν ποιητικάς. τί γάρ ἐστι τὸ ἐργαζόμενον πρὸς τὰς ἰδέας ἀποβλέπον; ἐνδέχεταί τε καὶ εἶναι καὶ γίγνεσθαι ὅμοιον ὁτιοῦν καὶ μὴ εἰκαζόμενον [25] πρὸς ἐκεῖνο, ὥστε καὶ ὄντος Σωκράτους καὶ μὴ ὄντος γένοιτ᾽ ἂν οἷος Σωκράτης: ὁμοίως δὲ δῆλον ὅτι κἂν εἰ ἦν ὁ Σωκράτης ἀΐδιος. ἔσται τε πλείω παραδείγματα τοῦ αὐτοῦ, ὥστε καὶ εἴδη, οἷον τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τὸ ζῷον καὶ τὸ δίπουν, ἅμα δὲ καὶ τὸ αὐτοάνθρωπος. ἔτι οὐ μόνον τῶν αἰσθητῶν [30] παραδείγματα τὰ εἴδη ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτῶν, οἷον τὸ γένος, ὡς γένος εἰδῶν: ὥστε τὸ αὐτὸ ἔσται παράδειγμα καὶ εἰκών. At vero nec ex speciebus sunt alia secundum nullum modum dici consuetorum. Dicere vero exempla esse et eis alia participare vaniloquium est et metaphoras dicere poeticas. Quid enim est [Nam quid est] quod agitur ad ydeas respiciens? Contingit enim et esse et fieri simile quodcumque et non assimilatum ad illud; quare et existente Socrate et non existente fiet qualis Socrates. Similiter autem palam quia etiam si sit Socrates sempiternus. Erunt eiusdem exemplaria plura, quare et species, ut hominis animal et bipes, simul autem et autoanthropos. Amplius > autem non solum sensibilium species exemplaria sed et ipsarum, ut genus specierum; quare idem erit exemplar et ymago. But, further, all other things cannot come from the Forms in any of the usual senses of ‘from’. And to say that they are patterns and the other things share in them is to use empty words and poetical metaphors. For what is it that works, looking to the Ideas? And anything can either be, or become, like another without being copied from it, so that whether Socrates or not a man Socrates like might come to be; and evidently this might be so even if Socrates were eternal. And there will be several patterns of the same thing, and therefore several Forms; e.g. ‘animal’ and ‘two-footed’ and also ‘man himself’ will be Forms of man. Again, the Forms are patterns not only sensible things, but of Forms themselves also; i.e. the genus, as genus of various species, will be so; therefore the same thing will be pattern and copy.
[991β] [1] ἔτι δόξειεν ἂν ἀδύνατον εἶναι χωρὶς τὴν οὐσίαν καὶ οὗ ἡ οὐσία: ὥστε πῶς ἂν αἱ ἰδέαι οὐσίαι τῶν πραγμάτων οὖσαι χωρὶς εἶεν; Amplius videbitur [Amplius opinabitur] utique impossibile esse separatim substantiam et cuius est substantia. Quare quomodo ydee substantiae rerum existentes separatim erunt? [91b] Again, it would seem impossible that the substance and that of which it is the substance should exist apart; how, therefore, could the Ideas, being the substances of things, exist apart?
ἐν δὲ τῷ Φαίδωνι οὕτω λέγεται, ὡς καὶ τοῦ εἶναι καὶ τοῦ γίγνεσθαι αἴτια τὰ εἴδη ἐστίν: καίτοι τῶν εἰδῶν [5] ὄντων ὅμως οὐ γίγνεται τὰ μετέχοντα ἂν μὴ ᾖ τὸ κινῆσον, καὶ πολλὰ γίγνεται ἕτερα, οἷον οἰκία καὶ δακτύλιος, ὧν οὔ φαμεν εἴδη εἶναι: ὥστε δῆλον ὅτι ἐνδέχεται καὶ τἆλλα καὶ εἶναι καὶ γίγνεσθαι διὰ τοιαύτας αἰτίας οἵας καὶ τὰ ῥηθέντα νῦν. In Fedone vero sic dicitur quasi ipsius esse et fieri cause sint species. Et etiam existentibus speciebus tamen non fiunt participantia, si non sit quod movit, et multa fiunt alia, ut domus et anulus, quorum non dicimus esse species. Quare palam quia contingit et alia et esse et fieri propter tales causas quales et nunc dicte. In the Phaedo the case is stated in this way-that the Forms are causes both of being and of becoming; yet when the Forms exist, still the things that share in them do not come into being, unless there is something to originate movement; and many other things come into being (e.g. a house or a ring) of which we say there are no Forms. Clearly, therefore, even the other things can both be and come into being owing to such causes as produce the things just mentioned.
ἔτι εἴπερ εἰσὶν ἀριθμοὶ τὰ εἴδη, πῶς αἴτιοι ἔσονται; [10] πότερον ὅτι ἕτεροι ἀριθμοί εἰσι τὰ ὄντα, οἷον ὁδὶ μὲν <ὁ>ἀριθμὸς ἄνθρωπος ὁδὶ δὲ Σωκράτης ὁδὶ δὲ Καλλίας; τί οὖν ἐκεῖνοι τούτοις αἴτιοί εἰσιν; οὐδὲ γὰρ εἰ οἱ μὲν ἀΐδιοι οἱ δὲ μή, οὐδὲν διοίσει. εἰ δ᾽ ὅτι λόγοι ἀριθμῶν τἀνταῦθα, οἷον ἡ συμφωνία, δῆλον ὅτι ἐστὶν ἕν γέ τι ὧν εἰσὶ λόγοι. εἰ δή [15] τι τοῦτο, ἡ ὕλη, φανερὸν ὅτι καὶ αὐτοὶ οἱ ἀριθμοὶ λόγοι τινὲς ἔσονται ἑτέρου πρὸς ἕτερον. λέγω δ᾽ οἷον, εἰ ἔστιν ὁ Καλλίας λόγος ἐν ἀριθμοῖς πυρὸς καὶ γῆς καὶ ὕδατος καὶ ἀέρος, καὶ ἄλλων τινῶν ὑποκειμένων ἔσται καὶ ἡ ἰδέα ἀριθμός: καὶ αὐτοάνθρωπος, εἴτ᾽ ἀριθμός τις ὢν εἴτε μή, ὅμως ἔσται λόγος [20] ἐν ἀριθμοῖς τινῶν καὶ οὐκ ἀριθμός, οὐδ᾽ ἔσται τις διὰ ταῦτα ἀριθμός. Amplius si sunt numeri species, quomodo cause erunt? utrum quia alii numeri sunt ipsa existentia, ut hic quidem numerus homo ille vero Socrates et alius Callias? Quid igitur hiis sunt cause illi? Nec enim si hii quidem sempiterni illi vero non, non differunt. Si vero quia rationes numerorum * et hic, ut symphonia, palam quia est unum quid quorum sunt rationes. Si itaque hoc materia, manifestum quia et ipsi numeri alique rationes erunt alius ad aliud. Dico autem ut si est Callias ratio in numeris ignis et terre et aque et aeris, et autoanthropos, sive numerus quis existens sive non, tamen erit ratio in numeris quorundam et non numerus, et non erit quis propter ea numerus. Again, if the Forms are numbers, how can they be causes? Is it because existing things are other numbers, e.g. one number is man, another is Socrates, another Callias? Why then are the one set of numbers causes of the other set? It will not make any difference even if the former are eternal and the latter are not. But if it is because things in this sensible world (e.g. harmony) are ratios of numbers, evidently the things between which they are ratios are some one class of things. If, then, this—the matter—is some definite thing, evidently the numbers themselves too will be ratios of something to something else. E.g. if Callias is a numerical ratio between fire and earth and water and air, his Idea also will be a number of certain other underlying things; and man himself, whether it is a number in a sense or not, will still be a numerical ratio of certain things and not a number proper, nor will it be a of number merely because it is a numerical ratio.
ἔτι ἐκ πολλῶν ἀριθμῶν εἷς ἀριθμὸς γίγνεται, ἐξ εἰδῶν δὲ ἓν εἶδος πῶς; εἰ δὲ μὴ ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀλλ᾽ ἐκ τῶν ἐν τῷ ἀριθμῷ, οἷον ἐν τῇ μυριάδι, πῶς ἔχουσιν αἱ μονάδες; εἴτε γὰρ ὁμοειδεῖς, πολλὰ συμβήσεται ἄτοπα, εἴτε μὴ ὁμοειδεῖς, [25] μήτε αὐταὶ ἀλλήλαις μήτε αἱ ἄλλαι πᾶσαι πάσαις: τίνι γὰρ διοίσουσιν ἀπαθεῖς οὖσαι; οὔτε γὰρ εὔλογα ταῦτα οὔτε ὁμολογούμενα τῇ νοήσει. Amplius ex multis numeris unus fit numerus, ex speciebus autem una species aliqualiter. Sed si nec ex ipsis sed > ex unis *, ut in millenario, quomodo se habent unitates? Sive enim eiusdem speciei, multa inconvenientia accidunt, sive non eiusdem speciei, nec eaedem sibi invicem nec aliae omnes omnibus; * quo namque different * impassibiles existentes? Nec enim rationabilia * haec neque intelligentie confessa. Again, from many numbers one number is produced, but how can one Form come from many Forms? And if the number comes not from the many numbers themselves but from the units in them, e.g. in 10,000, how is it with the units? If they are specifically alike, numerous absurdities will follow, and also if they are not alike (neither the units in one number being themselves like one another nor those in other numbers being all like to all); for in what will they differ, as they are without quality? This is not a plausible view, nor is it consistent with our thought on the matter.
ἔτι δ᾽ ἀναγκαῖον ἕτερον γένος ἀριθμοῦ κατασκευάζειν περὶ ὃ ἡ ἀριθμητική, καὶ πάντα τὰ μεταξὺ λεγόμενα ὑπό τινων, ἃ πῶς ἢ ἐκ τίνων [30] ἐστὶν ἀρχῶν; ἢ διὰ τί μεταξὺ τῶν δεῦρό τ᾽ ἔσται καὶ αὐτῶν; ἔτι αἱ μονάδες αἱ ἐν τῇ δυάδι ἑκατέρα ἔκ τινος προτέρας δυάδος: καίτοι ἀδύνατον. [992α] [1] ἔτι διὰ τί ἓν ὁ ἀριθμὸς συλλαμβανόμενος; Amplius autem aliud aliquod genus numeri facere est necesse circa quod sit arismetica; et omnia intermedia dicta ab aliquibus simpliciter, * ex quibus sunt principiis? Aut quare intermedia eorum quae hic et ipsorum erunt? Amplius unitates quae sunt in dualitate utraque est ex aliqua priore dualitate; quamvis impossibile. Amplius quare unum numerus est collectus? Further, they must set up a second kind of number (with which arithmetic deals), and all the objects which are called ‘intermediate’ by some thinkers; and how do these exist or from what principles do they proceed? Or why must they be intermediate between the things in this sensible world and the things-themselves? Further, the units in must each come from a prior but this is impossible. [92a] Further, why is a number, when taken all together, one?
ἔτι δὲ πρὸς τοῖς εἰρημένοις, εἴπερ εἰσὶν αἱ μονάδες διάφοροι, ἐχρῆν οὕτω λέγειν ὥσπερ καὶ ὅσοι τὰ στοιχεῖα τέτταρα ἢ δύο λέγουσιν: καὶ γὰρ τούτων ἕκαστος οὐ [5] τὸ κοινὸν λέγει στοιχεῖον, οἷον τὸ σῶμα, ἀλλὰ πῦρ καὶ γῆν, εἴτ᾽ ἔστι τι κοινόν, τὸ σῶμα, εἴτε μή. νῦν δὲ λέγεται ὡς ὄντος τοῦ ἑνὸς ὥσπερ πυρὸς ἢ ὕδατος ὁμοιομεροῦς: εἰ δ᾽ οὕτως, οὐκ ἔσονται οὐσίαι οἱ ἀριθμοί, ἀλλὰ δῆλον ὅτι, εἴπερ ἐστί τι ἓν αὐτὸ καὶ τοῦτό ἐστιν ἀρχή, πλεοναχῶς λέγεται τὸ ἕν: ἄλλως [10] γὰρ ἀδύνατον. Amplius cum dictis [Amplius autem], si sunt differentes unitates, oportebit ita dicere quemadmodum et quicumque elementa quatuor aut duo dicunt; et enim horum quilibet non commune dicit elementum, ut corpus, sed ignem et terram, sive sit commune corpus ipsum sive non. Nunc autem dicitur quasi uno existente quemadmodum igne aut aqua similium partium; si vero sic, non erunt substantiae numeri. Sed palam quia, si omne est aliquid unum ipsum et hoc est principium, multipliciter dicitur ipsum unum; aliter enim impossibile. Again, besides what has been said, if the units are diverse the Platonists should have spoken like those who say there are four, or two, elements; for each of these thinkers gives the name of element not to that which is common, e.g. to body, but to fire and earth, whether there is something common to them, viz. body, or not. But in fact the Platonists speak as if the One were homogeneous like fire or water; and if this is so, the numbers will not be substances. Evidently, if there is a One itself and this is a first principle, ‘one’ is being used in more than one sense; for otherwise the theory is impossible.
βουλόμενοι δὲ τὰς οὐσίας ἀνάγειν εἰς τὰς ἀρχὰς μήκη μὲν τίθεμεν ἐκ βραχέος καὶ μακροῦ, ἔκ τινος μικροῦ καὶ μεγάλου, καὶ ἐπίπεδον ἐκ πλατέος καὶ στενοῦ, σῶμα δ᾽ ἐκ βαθέος καὶ ταπεινοῦ. καίτοι πῶς ἕξει ἢ τὸ ἐπίπεδον γραμμὴν ἢ τὸ στερεὸν γραμμὴν καὶ ἐπίπεδον; ἄλλο [15] γὰρ γένος τὸ πλατὺ καὶ στενὸν καὶ βαθὺ καὶ ταπεινόν: ὥσπερ οὖν οὐδ᾽ ἀριθμὸς ὑπάρχει ἐν αὐτοῖς, ὅτι τὸ πολὺ καὶ ὀλίγον ἕτερον τούτων, δῆλον ὅτι οὐδ᾽ ἄλλο οὐθὲν τῶν ἄνω ὑπάρξει τοῖς κάτω. ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδὲ γένος τὸ πλατὺ τοῦ βαθέος: ἦν γὰρ ἂν ἐπίπεδόν τι τὸ σῶμα. ἔτι αἱ στιγμαὶ ἐκ [20] τίνος ἐνυπάρξουσιν; τούτῳ μὲν οὖν τῷ γένει καὶ διεμάχετο Πλάτων ὡς ὄντι γεωμετρικῷ δόγματι, ἀλλ᾽ ἐκάλει ἀρχὴν γραμμῆς—τοῦτο δὲ πολλάκις ἐτίθει—τὰς ἀτόμους γραμμάς. καίτοι ἀνάγκη τούτων εἶναί τι πέρας: ὥστ᾽ ἐξ οὗ λόγου γραμμὴ ἔστι, καὶ στιγμὴ ἔστιν. Volentes autem substantias ad principia reducere longitudines quidem ponimus ex producto et brevi (* ex aliquo paruo et magno) et planum ex lato et arto, corpus vero ex profundo et humili. Quamvis quomodo [attamen quomodo] habebit aut planum lineam aut solidum lineam et planum? Aliud enim genus et latum et artum et profundum et humile. Quemadmodum ergo nec numerus est in eis, quia multum et paucum ab hiis alterum *, palam quia nec aliud nihil superiorum inerit inferioribus. At vero nec > * genus profundi latum; esset enim planum aliquod corpus. Amplius puncta ex quo inexistunt? Huic quidem igitur generi et Plato oppugnabat tamquam existente geometrico dogmati, sed * lineae principium vocabat. Hic autem multotiens * indivisibiles lineas posuit. Quamvis * necesse terminum aliquem harum esse; quare ex qua ratione linea est, et punctum est. When we wish to reduce substances to their principles, we state that lines come from the short and long (i.e. from a kind of small and great), and the plane from the broad and narrow, and body from the deep and shallow. Yet how then can either the plane contain a line, or the solid a line or a plane? For the broad and narrow is a different class from the deep and shallow. Therefore, just as number is not present in these, because the many and few are different from these, evidently no other of the higher classes will be present in the lower. But again the broad is not a genus which includes the deep, for then the solid would have been a species of plane. Further, from what principle will the presence of the points in the line be derived? Plato even used to object to this class of things as being a geometrical fiction. He gave the name of principle of the line-and this he often posited-to the indivisible lines. Yet these must have a limit; therefore the argument from which the existence of the line follows proves also the existence of the point.
ὅλως δὲ ζητούσης τῆς σοφίας περὶ [25] τῶν φανερῶν τὸ αἴτιον, τοῦτο μὲν εἰάκαμεν (οὐθὲν γὰρ λέγομεν περὶ τῆς αἰτίας ὅθεν ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς μεταβολῆς), τὴν δ᾽ οὐσίαν οἰόμενοι λέγειν αὐτῶν ἑτέρας μὲν οὐσίας εἶναί φαμεν, ὅπως δ᾽ ἐκεῖναι τούτων οὐσίαι, διὰ κενῆς λέγομεν: τὸ γὰρ μετέχειν, ὥσπερ καὶ πρότερον εἴπομεν, οὐθέν ἐστιν. Omnino autem sapientia de manifestis causam inquirente, hoc quidem praetermisimus; nihil enim de causa dicimus unde principium est transmutationis. Horum vero substantiam dicere putantes ipsorum alias quidem substantias esse dicimus, quomodo vero ille horum substantiae, uane dicimus; nam et participare, sicut prius diximus, nihil est. In general, though philosophy seeks the cause of perceptible things, we have given this up (for we say nothing of the cause from which change takes its start), but while we fancy we are stating the substance of perceptible things, we assert the existence of a second class of substances, while our account of the way in which they are the substances of perceptible things is empty talk; for ‘sharing’, as we said before, means nothing.
οὐδὲ δὴ ὅπερ ταῖς [30] ἐπιστήμαις ὁρῶμεν ὂν αἴτιον, δι᾽ ὃ καὶ πᾶς νοῦς καὶ πᾶσα φύσις ποιεῖ, οὐδὲ ταύτης τῆς αἰτίας, ἥν φαμεν εἶναι μίαν τῶν ἀρχῶν, οὐθὲν ἅπτεται τὰ εἴδη, ἀλλὰ γέγονε τὰ μαθήματα τοῖς νῦν ἡ φιλοσοφία, φασκόντων ἄλλων χάριν αὐτὰ δεῖν πραγματεύεσθαι. Nec quam in scientiis videmus, existens causa, propter quam et omnis intellectus et omnis natura facit, nec hanc causam quam esse dicimus unum principiorum, nihil tangunt species, sed facta est mathematica presentibus philosophia, dicentium aliorum gratia ea oportere tractari. Nor have the Forms any connexion with what we see to be the cause in the case of the arts, that for whose sake both all mind and the whole of nature are operative,-with this cause which we assert to be one of the first principles; but mathematics has come to be identical with philosophy for modern thinkers, though they say that it should be studied for the sake of other things.
[992β] [1] ἔτι δὲ τὴν ὑποκειμένην οὐσίαν ὡς ὕλην μαθηματικωτέραν ἄν τις ὑπολάβοι, καὶ μᾶλλον κατηγορεῖσθαι καὶ διαφορὰν εἶναι τῆς οὐσίας καὶ τῆς ὕλης ἢ ὕλην, οἷον τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρόν, ὥσπερ καὶ οἱ φυσιολόγοι [5] φασὶ τὸ μανὸν καὶ τὸ πυκνόν, πρώτας τοῦ ὑποκειμένου φάσκοντες εἶναι διαφορὰς ταύτας: ταῦτα γάρ ἐστιν ὑπεροχή τις καὶ ἔλλειψις. περί τε κινήσεως, εἰ μὲν ἔσται ταῦτα κίνησις, δῆλον ὅτι κινήσεται τὰ εἴδη: εἰ δὲ μή, πόθεν ἦλθεν; ὅλη γὰρ ἡ περὶ φύσεως ἀνῄρηται σκέψις. Amplius autem substantiam subiectam ut materiam magis mathematicam aliquis suscipiet, et magis predicari et differentiam esse substantiae et materiei, ut magnum et parvum. Sicut phisiologi aiunt rarum et spissum, primas subiecti dicentes esse differentias has; haec namque sunt superhabundantia quaedam et defectio. Et de motu, si quidem haec erunt motus, palam quia moventur species; sin autem, unde venit? Tota namque de natura auferetur perscrutatio. [92b] Further, one might suppose that the substance which according to them underlies as matter is too mathematical, and is a predicate and differentia of the substance, ie. of the matter, rather than matter itself; i.e. the great and the small are like the rare and the dense which the physical philosophers speak of, calling these the primary differentiae of the substratum; for these are a kind of excess and defect. And regarding movement, if the great and the small are to he movement, evidently the Forms will be moved; but if they are not to be movement, whence did movement come? The whole study of nature has been annihilated.
ὅ τε δοκεῖ ῥᾴδιον [10] εἶναι, τὸ δεῖξαι ὅτι ἓν ἅπαντα, οὐ γίγνεται: τῇ γὰρ ἐκθέσει οὐ γίγνεται πάντα ἓν ἀλλ᾽ αὐτό τι ἕν, ἂν διδῷ τις πάντα: καὶ οὐδὲ τοῦτο, εἰ μὴ γένος δώσει τὸ καθόλου εἶναι: τοῦτο δ᾽ ἐν ἐνίοις ἀδύνατον. Et quod videtur esse facile: > monstrare quod unum omnia non fiunt. Expositione enim non fiunt omnia unum sed id aliquid unum, si quis dat omnia, et nec hoc, si non genus dat universale esse; hoc autem in quibusdam impossibile. And what is thought to be easy-to show that all things are one-is not done; for what is proved by the method of setting out instances is not that all things are one but that there is a One itself,-if we grant all the assumptions. And not even this follows, if we do not grant that the universal is a genus; and this in some cases it cannot be.
οὐθένα δ᾽ ἔχει λόγον οὐδὲ τὰ μετὰ τοὺς ἀριθμοὺς μήκη τε καὶ ἐπίπεδα καὶ στερεά, οὔτε ὅπως ἔστιν ἢ [15] ἔσται οὔτε τίνα ἔχει δύναμιν: ταῦτα γὰρ οὔτε εἴδη οἷόν τε εἶναι (οὐ γάρ εἰσιν ἀριθμοί) οὔτε τὰ μεταξύ (μαθηματικὰ γὰρ ἐκεῖνα) οὔτε τὰ φθαρτά, ἀλλὰ πάλιν τέταρτον ἄλλο φαίνεται τοῦτό τι γένος. Nullam autem [Nullam namque] rationem habent nec quae sunt post numeros longitudines, latitudines et solida, nec quomodo sunt aut futura sint, nec si aliquam habent virtutem; haec enim nec species possibile esse (non enim sunt numeri) nec intermedia (sunt enim illa mathematica) nec corruptibilia. Sed rursum quartum videtur aliud hoc * genus. Nor can it be explained either how the lines and planes and solids that come after the numbers exist or can exist, or what significance they have; for these can neither be Forms (for they are not numbers), nor the intermediates (for those are the objects of mathematics), nor the perishable things. This is evidently a distinct fourth class.
ὅλως τε τὸ τῶν ὄντων ζητεῖν στοιχεῖα μὴ διελόντας, πολλαχῶς λεγομένων, ἀδύνατον εὑρεῖν, ἄλλως [20] τε καὶ τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον ζητοῦντας ἐξ οἵων ἐστὶ στοιχείων. ἐκ τίνων γὰρ τὸ ποιεῖν ἢ πάσχειν ἢ τὸ εὐθύ, οὐκ ἔστι δήπου λαβεῖν, ἀλλ᾽ εἴπερ, τῶν οὐσιῶν μόνον ἐνδέχεται: ὥστε τὸ τῶν ὄντων ἁπάντων τὰ στοιχεῖα ἢ ζητεῖν ἢ οἴεσθαι ἔχειν οὐκ ἀληθές. Et omnino existentium quaerere elementa non dividentem multipliciter dicta invenire impossibile est, et aliter secundum hunc modum quaerentes ex quibus sunt elementis. Ex quibus enim * facere aut pati aut ipsum rectum non est accipere, sed siquidem, substantiarum solum esse contingit; quare existentium omnium elementa aut quaerere aut putare habere non est verum. In general, if we search for the elements of existing things without distinguishing the many senses in which things are said to exist, we cannot find them, especially if the search for the elements of which things are made is conducted in this manner. For it is surely impossible to discover what ‘acting’ or ‘being acted on’, or ‘the straight’, is made of, but if elements can be discovered at all, it is only the elements of substances; therefore either to seek the elements of all existing things or to think one has them is incorrect.
πῶς δ᾽ ἄν τις καὶ μάθοι τὰ τῶν πάντων στοιχεῖα; [25] δῆλον γὰρ ὡς οὐθὲν οἷόν τε προϋπάρχειν γνωρίζοντα πρότερον. ὥσπερ γὰρ τῷ γεωμετρεῖν μανθάνοντι ἄλλα μὲν ἐνδέχεται προειδέναι, ὧν δὲ ἡ ἐπιστήμη καὶ περὶ ὧν μέλλει μανθάνειν οὐθὲν προγιγνώσκει, οὕτω δὴ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων, ὥστ᾽ εἴ τις τῶν πάντων ἔστιν ἐπιστήμη, οἵαν δή τινές φασιν, [30] οὐθὲν ἂν προϋπάρχοι γνωρίζων οὗτος. καίτοι πᾶσα μάθησις διὰ προγιγνωσκομένων ἢ πάντων ἢ τινῶν ἐστί, καὶ ἡ δι᾽ ἀποδείξεως <καὶ>ἡ δι᾽ ὁρισμῶν (δεῖ γὰρ ἐξ ὧν ὁ ὁρισμὸς προειδέναι καὶ εἶναι γνώριμα): ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἡ δι᾽ ἐπαγωγῆς. ἀλλὰ μὴν εἰ καὶ τυγχάνοι σύμφυτος οὖσα, [993α] [1] θαυμαστὸν πῶς λανθάνομεν ἔχοντες τὴν κρατίστην τῶν ἐπιστημῶν. Quomodo autem aliquis discet omnium elementa? Palam enim quia non est possibile preexistere cognoscentem prius. Sicut enim geometrizare discentem alia quidem oportet prescire, quorum autem est scientia et de quibus debet discere non prenoscit, ita et in aliis. Quare si qua est omnium scientia, ut quidam aiunt, nihil utique preexistet hic cognoscens. quamvis sit omnis disciplina per precognita aut omnia aut quaedam, aut per demonstrationem aut per diffinitiones (oportet enim ex quibus est diffinitio prescire et esse nota); similiter autem et quae per inductionem. At vero et si existit connatura>lis, mirum quomodo latemus habentes potissimam scientiarum. And how could we learn the elements of all things? Evidently we cannot start by knowing anything before. For as he who is learning geometry, though he may know other things before, knows none of the things with which the science deals and about which he is to learn, so is it in all other cases. Therefore if there is a science of all things, such as some assert to exist, he who is learning this will know nothing before. Yet all learning is by means of premisses which are (either all or some of them) known before,-whether the learning be [92b 32] by demonstration or by definitions; for the elements of the definition must be known before and be familiar; and learning by induction proceeds [93a] similarly. But again, if the science were actually innate, it were strange that we are unaware of our possession of the greatest of sciences.
ἔτι πῶς τις γνωριεῖ ἐκ τίνων ἐστί, καὶ πῶς ἔσται δῆλον; καὶ γὰρ τοῦτ᾽ ἔχει ἀπορίαν: ἀμφισβητήσειε γὰρ ἄν τις ὥσπερ καὶ περὶ ἐνίας [5] συλλαβάς: οἱ μὲν γὰρ τὸ ζα ἐκ τοῦ ς καὶ δ καὶ α φασὶν εἶναι, οἱ δέ τινες ἕτερον φθόγγον φασὶν εἶναι καὶ οὐθένα τῶν γνωρίμων. Amplius autem quomodo aliquis cognoscit ex quibus est, et quomodo erit manifestum? Et enim hoc habet dubitationem. Ambiget enim aliquis quemadmodum et circa quasdam sillabas; hii namque SMA ex S * et M et A dicunt esse, alii vero quendam alium sonum dicunt esse et cognitorum nullum. Again, how is one to come to know what all things are made of, and how is this to be made evident? This also affords a difficulty; for there might be a conflict of opinion, as there is about certain syllables; some say za is made out of s and d and a, while others say it is a distinct sound and none of those that are familiar.
ἔτι δὲ ὧν ἐστὶν αἴσθησις, ταῦτα πῶς ἄν τις μὴ ἔχων τὴν αἴσθησιν γνοίη; καίτοι ἔδει, εἴγε πάντων ταὐτὰ στοιχεῖά ἐστιν ἐξ ὧν, ὥσπερ αἱ σύνθετοι φωναί εἰσιν ἐκ τῶν [10] οἰκείων στοιχείων. Amplius autem quorum est sensus, haec quomodo aliquis non habens sensum cognoscet? Quamvis oportebat, si omnium haec sunt elementa ex quibus, quemadmodum composite voces sunt ex propriis elementis Further, how could we know the objects of sense without having the sense in question? Yet we ought to, if the elements of which all things consist, as complex sounds consist of the clements proper to sound, are the same.

Chapter 10

Greek Latin English
ὅτι μὲν οὖν τὰς εἰρημένας ἐν τοῖς φυσικοῖς αἰτίας ζητεῖν ἐοίκασι πάντες, καὶ τούτων ἐκτὸς οὐδεμίαν ἔχοιμεν ἂν εἰπεῖν, δῆλον καὶ ἐκ τῶν πρότερον εἰρημένων: ἀλλ᾽ ἀμυδρῶς ταύτας, καὶ τρόπον μέν τινα πᾶσαι πρότερον εἴρηνται τρόπον [15] δέ τινα οὐδαμῶς. ψελλιζομένῃ γὰρ ἔοικεν ἡ πρώτη φιλοσοφία περὶ πάντων, ἅτε νέα τε καὶ κατ᾽ ἀρχὰς οὖσα [καὶ τὸ πρῶτον], ἐπεὶ καὶ Ἐμπεδοκλῆς ὀστοῦν τῷ λόγῳ φησὶν εἶναι, τοῦτο δ᾽ ἐστὶ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι καὶ ἡ οὐσία τοῦ πράγματες. ἀλλὰ μὴν ὁμοίως ἀναγκαῖον καὶ σάρκας καὶ τῶν ἄλλων [20] ἕκαστον εἶναι τὸν λόγον, ἢ μηδὲ ἕν: διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ σὰρξ καὶ ὀστοῦν ἔσται καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἕκαστον καὶ οὐ διὰ τὴν ὕλην, ἣν ἐκεῖνος λέγει, πῦρ καὶ γῆν καὶ ὕδωρ καὶ ἀέρα. ἀλλὰ ταῦτα ἄλλου μὲν λέγοντος συνέφησεν ἂν ἐξ ἀνάγκης, σαφῶς δὲ οὐκ εἴρηκεν. Quod quidem igitur [Quoniam ergo] dictas in phisicis causas quaerere visi sunt omnes, et extra has nullam habemus dicere, palam et ex prius dictis. Sed tenuiter * hae, et modo quodam omnes prius dicte sunt modo vero quodam nullatenus. Balbutiens enim est visa prima philosophia de omnibus, velut noua existens circa principium et primo. Quoniam et Empedocles os dicit esse rationem. Hoc autem est * quod quid erat esse et substantia rei. At vero similiter necessarium et carnis et aliorum singulorum esse rationem aut nihil; propter hoc enim et caro et os est et aliorum unumquodque, et non propter materiam quam ille dicit, ignem et terram et aerem et aquam. Sed haec alio quidem dicente simul dixit ex necessitate, manifeste vero non dixit. Chapter 10. It is evident, then, even from what we have said before, that all men seem to seek the causes named in the Physics, and that we cannot name any beyond these; but they seek these vaguely; and though in a sense they have all been described before, in a sense they have not been described at all. For the earliest philosophy is, on all subjects, like one who lisps, since it is young and in its beginnings. For even Empedocles says bone exists by virtue of the ratio in it. Now this is the essence and the substance of the thing. But it is similarly necessary that flesh and each of the other tissues should be the ratio of its elements, or that not one of them should; for it is on account of this that both flesh and bone and everything else will exist, and not on account of the matter, which he names,-fire and earth and water and air. But while he would necessarily have agreed if another had said this, he has not said it clearly.
περὶ μὲν οὖν τούτων δεδήλωται καὶ [25] πρότερον: ὅσα δὲ περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν τούτων ἀπορήσειεν ἄν τις, [26] ἐπανέλθωμεν πάλιν: τάχα γὰρ ἂν ἐξ αὐτῶν εὐπορήσαιμέν τι πρὸς τὰς ὕστερον ἀπορίας. De talibus quidem igitur ostensum est et prius. Quaecumque vero de ipsis hiis dubitabit aliquis, resumamus iterum; nam forsan ex ipsis habundabimus aliquid ad posteriores dubitationes. On these questions our views have been expressed before; but let us return to enumerate the difficulties that might be raised on these same points; for perhaps we may get from them some help towards our later difficulties.


  1. The term Idea in this sense should not be confused with any psychological or mental item. Precisely the opposite: Platonic Ideas or Forms are unchanging and eternal.
  2. I.e. since Plato's theory requires three kinds of things, namely perceivable substances, mathematical objects and Forms, it will be necessary to suppose posit a 'third man' between a perceivable man and an ideal man.
  3. De Coelo, II, 13
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