Authors/Aristotle/metaphysics/l2

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Contents

Chapter 1

Sicut enim nicticoracum oculi ad lucem diei se habent, sic et anime nostre intellectus ad ea quae sunt omnium nature manifestissima."For as the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day, so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all"
Greek Latin English
METHAPHISICE ARISTOTILIS LIBER SECUNDUS Aristotle Metaphysics Book 2 (A1)
[993α] [30] ἡ περὶ τῆς ἀληθείας θεωρία τῇ μὲν χαλεπὴ τῇ δὲ ῥᾳδία. > De veritate theoria sic quidem difficilis est, sic vero facilis. Chapter 1. THE investigation of the truth is in one way hard, in another easy.
σημεῖον δὲ τὸ μήτ᾽ ἀξίως μηδένα δύνασθαι θιγεῖν αὐτῆς μήτε πάντας ἀποτυγχάνειν, [993β] [1] ἀλλ᾽ ἕκαστον λέγειν τι περὶ τῆς φύσεως, Signum autem est neque digne nullum adipisci ipsam posse nec omnes exsortes esse, sed unumquemque aliquid de natura dicere, An indication of this is found in the fact that no one is able to attain the truth adequately, while, on the other hand, we do not collectively fail, but every one says something true about the nature of things,
καὶ καθ᾽ ἕνα μὲν ἢ μηθὲν ἢ μικρὸν ἐπιβάλλειν αὐτῇ, ἐκ πάντων δὲ συναθροιζομένων γίγνεσθαί τι μέγεθος: Et secundum unum quidem nihil aut parum ei immittere, ex omnibus autem coarticulatis fieri magnitudinem aliquam. And while individually we contribute little or nothing to the truth, by the union of all a considerable amount is amassed.
ὥστ᾽ εἴπερ ἔοικεν ἔχειν καθάπερ τυγχάνομεν παροιμιαζόμενοι, [5] τίς ἂν θύρας ἁμάρτοι; ταύτῃ μὲν ἂν εἴη ῥᾳδία, τὸ δ᾽ ὅλον τι ἔχειν καὶ μέρος μὴ δύνασθαι δηλοῖ τὸ χαλεπὸν αὐτῆς. Quare si videtur habere ut proverbialiter dicimus fcin foribus quis delinquet?’, sic quidem utique erit facilis; habere autem totum et partem non posse difficultatem eius ostendit. Therefore, since the truth seems to be like the proverbial door, which no one can fail to hit, in this respect it must be easy, but the fact that we can have a whole truth and not the particular part we aim at shows the difficulty of it.
ἴσως δὲ καὶ τῆς χαλεπότητος οὔσης κατὰ δύο τρόπους, οὐκ ἐν τοῖς πράγμασιν ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ἡμῖν τὸ αἴτιον αὐτῆς: ὥσπερ γὰρ τὰ τῶν νυκτερίδων ὄμματα πρὸς τὸ [10] φέγγος ἔχει τὸ μεθ᾽ ἡμέραν, οὕτω καὶ τῆς ἡμετέρας ψυχῆς ὁ νοῦς πρὸς τὰ τῇ φύσει φανερώτατα πάντων. Forsan autem et difficultate secundum duos existente modos, non in rebus sed in nobis est eius causa. Sicut enim nicticoracum oculi ad lucem diei se habent, sic et anime nostre intellectus ad ea quae sunt omnium nature manifestissima. Perhaps, too, as difficulties are of two kinds, the cause of the present difficulty is not in the facts but in us. For as the eyes of bats are to the blaze of day, so is the reason in our soul to the things which are by nature most evident of all.
οὐ μόνον δὲ χάριν ἔχειν δίκαιον τούτοις ὧν ἄν τις κοινώσαιτο ταῖς δόξαις, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς ἐπιπολαιότερον ἀποφηναμένοις: καὶ γὰρ οὗτοι συνεβάλοντό τι: τὴν γὰρ ἕξιν προήσκησαν ἡμῶν: [15] εἰ μὲν γὰρ Τιμόθεος μὴ ἐγένετο, πολλὴν ἂν μελοποιίαν οὐκ εἴχομεν: εἰ δὲ μὴ Φρῦνις, Τιμόθεος οὐκ ἂν ἐγένετο. τὸν αὐτὸν δὲ τρόπον καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν περὶ τῆς ἀληθείας ἀποφηναμένων: παρὰ μὲν γὰρ ἐνίων παρειλήφαμέν τινας δόξας, οἱ δὲ τοῦ γενέσθαι τούτους αἴτιοι γεγόνασιν. Non solum autem hiis dicere gratiam iustum est quorum aliquis opinionibus communicaverit, sed et hiis qui adhuc superficialiter enuntiaverunt; et enim hii conferunt aliquid, nam habitum nostrum preexercitati sunt. Nam si Thimotheus non fuisset, multam melodiam non haberemus; si autem non Phrinis, thimotheus non fuisset. Eodem vero modo et de enun>tiantibus veritatem; a quibusdam enim opiniones quasdam accepimus, sed alii ut hii forent causa fuerunt. It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may agree, but also to those who have expressed more superficial views; for these also contributed something, by developing before us the powers of thought. It is true that if there had been no Timotheus we should have been without much of our lyric poetry; but if there had been no Phrynis there would have been no Timotheus. The same holds good of those who have expressed views about the truth; for from some thinkers we have inherited certain opinions, while the others have been responsible for the appearance of the former.
ὀρθῶς δ᾽ ἔχει καὶ τὸ καλεῖσθαι [20] τὴν φιλοσοφίαν ἐπιστήμην τῆς ἀληθείας. θεωρητικῆς μὲν γὰρ τέλος ἀλήθεια πρακτικῆς δ᾽ ἔργον: καὶ γὰρ ἂν τὸ πῶς ἔχει σκοπῶσιν, οὐ τὸ ἀΐδιον ἀλλ᾽ ὃ πρός τι καὶ νῦν θεωροῦσιν οἱ πρακτικοί. Vocari vero philosophiam veritatis scientiam recte habet. Nam theorice finis est veritas et practice opus; et enim si quomodo se habet intendant, non causam secundum se sed ad aliquid et nunc speculantur practici. It is right also that philosophy should be called knowledge of the truth. For the end of theoretical knowledge is truth, while that of practical knowledge is action (for even if they consider how things are, practical men do not study the eternal, but what is relative and in the present).
οὐκ ἴσμεν δὲ τὸ ἀληθὲς ἄνευ τῆς αἰτίας: ἕκαστον δὲ μάλιστα αὐτὸ τῶν ἄλλων καθ᾽ ὃ καὶ [25] τοῖς ἄλλοις ὑπάρχει τὸ συνώνυμον (οἷον τὸ πῦρ θερμότατον: καὶ γὰρ τοῖς ἄλλοις τὸ αἴτιον τοῦτο τῆς θερμότητος): ὥστε καὶ ἀληθέστατον τὸ τοῖς ὑστέροις αἴτιον τοῦ ἀληθέσιν εἶναι. διὸ τὰς τῶν ἀεὶ ὄντων ἀρχὰς ἀναγκαῖον ἀεὶ εἶναι ἀληθεστάτας (οὐ γάρ ποτε ἀληθεῖς, οὐδ᾽ ἐκείναις αἴτιόν τί ἐστι τοῦ [30] εἶναι, ἀλλ᾽ ἐκεῖναι τοῖς ἄλλοις), ὥσθ᾽ ἕκαστον ὡς ἔχει τοῦ εἶναι, οὕτω καὶ τῆς ἀληθείας. Nescimus autem verum sine causa. Unumquodque vero * rmaxime ipsum aliorum secundum quod et aliis inest univocatio, puta ignis * calidissimus; et enim est causa aliis hic caloris. * quare et verissimum quod posterioribus est causa ut sint vera. Quapropter semper existentium principia semper esse verissima est necesse; non enim quandoque vera nec illis causa aliquid est ut sint, sed illa aliis. Quare unumquodque sicut se habet ut sit, ita et ad veritatem. Now we do not know a truth without its cause; and a thing has a quality in a higher degree than other things if in virtue of it the similar quality belongs to the other things as well (e.g. fire is the hottest of things; for it is the cause of the heat of all other things); so that that causes derivative truths to be true is most true. Hence the principles of eternal things must be always most true (for they are not merely sometimes true, nor is there any cause of their being, but they themselves are the cause of the being of other things), so that as each thing is in respect of being, so is it in respect of truth.

Chapter 2

Greek Latin English
[994α] [1] ἀλλὰ μὴν ὅτι γ᾽ ἔστιν ἀρχή τις καὶ οὐκ ἄπειρα τὰ αἴτια τῶν ὄντων οὔτ᾽ εἰς εὐθυωρίαν οὔτε κατ᾽ εἶδος, δῆλον. οὔτε γὰρ ὡς ἐξ ὕλης τόδ᾽ ἐκ τοῦδε δυνατὸν ἰέναι εἰς ἄπειρον (οἷον σάρκα μὲν ἐκ γῆς, γῆν δ᾽ ἐξ ἀέρος, ἀέρα δ᾽ ἐκ πυρός, [5] καὶ τοῦτο μὴ ἵστασθαι), οὔτε ὅθεν ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κινήσεως (οἷον τὸν μὲν ἄνθρωπον ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀέρος κινηθῆναι, τοῦτον δ᾽ ὑπὸ τοῦ ἡλίου, τὸν δὲ ἥλιον ὑπὸ τοῦ νείκους, καὶ τούτου μηδὲν εἶναι πέρας): ὁμοίως δὲ οὐδὲ τὸ οὗ ἕνεκα εἰς ἄπειρον οἷόν τε ἰέναι, βάδισιν μὲν ὑγιείας ἕνεκα, ταύτην δ᾽ εὐδαιμονίας, τὴν δ᾽ εὐδαιμονίαν [10] ἄλλου, καὶ οὕτως ἀεὶ ἄλλο ἄλλου ἕνεκεν εἶναι: καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ τί ἦν εἶναι δ᾽ ὡσαύτως. At vero quod sit principium quoddam et non infinite cause existentium nec in directum * nec secundum speciem, palam. Nec enim ut ex materia hoc ex hoc in infinitum progredi est possibile, veluti carnem quidem ex terra, terram vero ex aere, aerem autem ex igne, et hoc non stare. Nec unde principium motus, ut hominem ab aere moveri, et hunc a sole, solem vero a lite, et huius nullum esse finem. Similiter autem nec id cuius causa in infinitum ire est possibile; iter quidem sanitatis causa, ijjam vero felicitatis, et felicitatem alius, et ita semper aliud alius causam esse. Et in quid erat esse similiter. Chapter 2. [94a] But evidently there is a first principle, and the causes of things are neither an infinite series nor infinitely various in kind. For neither can one thing proceed from another, as from matter, ad infinitum (e.g. flesh from earth, earth from air, air from fire, and so on without stopping), nor can the sources of movement form an endless series (man for instance being acted on by air, air by the sun, the sun by Strife, and so on without limit). Similarly the final causes cannot go on ad infinitum,-walking being for the sake of health, this for the sake of happiness, happiness for the sake of something else, and so one thing always for the sake of another. And the case of the essence is similar.
τῶν γὰρ μέσων, ὧν ἐστί τι ἔσχατον καὶ πρότερον, ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι τὸ πρότερον αἴτιον τῶν μετ᾽ αὐτό. εἰ γὰρ εἰπεῖν ἡμᾶς δέοι τί τῶν τριῶν αἴτιον, τὸ πρῶτον ἐροῦμεν: οὐ γὰρ δὴ τό γ᾽ ἔσχατον, οὐδενὸς γὰρ τὸ [15] τελευταῖον: ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδὲ τὸ μέσον, ἑνὸς γάρ (οὐθὲν δὲ διαφέρει ἓν ἢ πλείω εἶναι, οὐδ᾽ ἄπειρα ἢ πεπερασμένα). τῶν δ᾽ ἀπείρων τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον καὶ ὅλως τοῦ ἀπείρου πάντα τὰ μόρια μέσα ὁμοίως μέχρι τοῦ νῦν: ὥστ᾽ εἴπερ μηδέν ἐστι πρῶτον, ὅλως αἴτιον οὐδέν ἐστιν. Mediorum enim, extra quae est aliquid ultimum et primum, necesse est esse quod prius est causam ipsorum post se. Nam > si * dicere nos oporteat quid trium causa, quod primum est dicemus; non enim quod est ultimum, nullius enim quod finale est; sed nec medium, nam unius. Nihil enim differt unum aut plura esse, nec infinita aut finita. Infinitorum vero secundum modum istum et omnino infiniti partes omnes medie sunt similiter * usque modo; quare si ex toto nihil est aliquod primum, ex toto causa nulla est. For in the case of intermediates, which have a last term and a term prior to them, the prior must be the cause of the later terms. For if we had to say which of the three is the cause, we should say the first; surely not the last, for the final term is the cause of none; nor even the intermediate, for it is the cause only of one. (It makes no difference whether there is one intermediate or more, nor whether they are infinite or finite in number.) But of series which are infinite in this way, and of the infinite in general, all the parts down to that now present are alike intermediates; so that if there is no first there is no cause at all.
ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδ᾽ ἐπὶ τὸ κάτω [20] οἷόν τε εἰς ἄπειρον ἰέναι, τοῦ ἄνω ἔχοντος ἀρχήν, ὥστ᾽ ἐκ πυρὸς μὲν ὕδωρ, ἐκ δὲ τούτου γῆν, καὶ οὕτως ἀεὶ ἄλλο τι γίγνεσθαι γένος. At vero neque in deorsum est possibile in infinitum ire, ipso sursum habente principium, ut ex igne quidem aquam, ex hoc vero terram, et ita semper aliquid aliud fieri genus. Nor can there be an infinite process downwards, with a beginning in the upward direction, so that water should proceed from fire, earth from water, and so always some other kind should be produced.
διχῶς γὰρ γίγνεται τόδε ἐκ τοῦδε—μὴ ὡς τόδε λέγεται μετὰ τόδε, οἷον ἐξ Ἰσθμίων Ὀλύμπια, ἀλλ᾽ ἢ ὡς ἐκ παιδὸς ἀνὴρ μεταβάλλοντος ἢ ὡς ἐξ ὕδατος ἀήρ. [25] ὡς μὲν οὖν ἐκ παιδὸς ἄνδρα γίγνεσθαί φαμεν, ὡς ἐκ τοῦ γιγνομένου τὸ γεγονὸς ἢ ἐκ τοῦ ἐπιτελουμένου τὸ τετελεσμένον (ἀεὶ γάρ ἐστι μεταξύ, ὥσπερ τοῦ εἶναι καὶ μὴ εἶναι γένεσις, οὕτω καὶ τὸ γιγνόμενον τοῦ ὄντος καὶ μὴ ὄντος: ἔστι γὰρ ὁ μανθάνων γιγνόμενος ἐπιστήμων, καὶ τοῦτ᾽ ἐστὶν ὃ λέγεται, [30] ὅτι γίγνεται ἐκ μανθάνοντος ἐπιστήμων): τὸ δ᾽ ὡς ἐξ ἀέρος ὕδωρ, φθειρομένου θατέρου. Dupliciter enim fit hoc ex hoc, non ut * hoc dicitur post hoc, ut ex isthmiis * olympia, sed ut aut ex puero mutato vir aut ex aqua aer. Ut quidem igitur * ex puero fieri virum dicimus [Ergo sic ex puero], quomodo ex eo quod fit quod factum est aut ex eo quod perficitur perfectum. Semper enim est medium, ut esse et non esse generatio, ita et quod fit existentis et non existentis. Est autem addiscens qui fit sciens, et hoc est quod dicitur quia fit ex discente sciens. Hoc vero ut ex aere aquam: corrupto altero. For one thing comes from another in two ways-not in the sense in which ‘from’ means ‘after’ (as we say ‘from the Isthmian games come the Olympian’ ), but either (i) as the man comes from the boy, by the boys changing, or (ii) as air comes from water. By ‘as the man comes from the boy’ we mean ‘as that which has come to be from that which is coming to be’ or ‘as that which is finished from that which is being achieved’ (for as becoming is between being and not being, so that which is becoming is always between that which is and that which is not; for the learner is a man of science in the making, and this is what is meant when we say that from a learner a man of science is being made); on the other hand, coming from another thing as water comes from air implies the destruction of the other thing.
διὸ ἐκεῖνα μὲν οὐκ ἀνακάμπτει εἰς ἄλληλα, [994β] [1] οὐδὲ γίγνεται ἐξ ἀνδρὸς παῖς (οὐ γὰρ γίγνεται ἐκ τῆς γενέσεως τὸ γιγνόμενον ἀλλ᾽ <ὃ> ἔστι μετὰ τὴν γένεσιν: οὕτω γὰρ καὶ ἡμέρα ἐκ τοῦ πρωΐ, ὅτι μετὰ τοῦτο: διὸ οὐδὲ τὸ πρωῒ ἐξ ἡμέρας): θάτερα δὲ ἀνακάμπτει. Propter quod illa quidem non reflectuntur ad invicem, nec fit ex viro puer; non enim fit ex generatione quod fit, sed est post generationem. Sic enim est dies ex aurora, quia post hanc; propter quod nec aurora ex die. Altera vero reflectuntur. This is why changes of the former kind are not reversible, and the boy does not come from the man (for it is not that which comes to be something that comes to be as a result of [94b] coming to be, but that which exists after the coming to be; for it is thus that the day, too, comes from the morning-in the sense that it comes after the morning; which is the reason why the morning cannot come from the day); but changes of the other kind are reversible.
ἀμφοτέρως δὲ ἀδύνατον εἰς ἄπειρον ἰέναι: τῶν μὲν γὰρ ὄντων μεταξὺ [5] ἀνάγκη τέλος εἶναι, τὰ δ᾽ εἰς ἄλληλα ἀνακάμπτει: ἡ γὰρ θατέρου φθορὰ θατέρου ἐστὶ γένεσις. Utroque autem modo impossibile [est] in infinitum ire. Existentium enim intermediorum necesse est finem esse. quaedam vero ad invicem reflectuntur; alterius enim corruptio alterius est generatio. But in both cases it is impossible that the number of terms should be infinite. For terms of the former kind, being intermediates, must have an end, and terms of the latter kind change back into one another, for the destruction of either is the generation of the other.
ἅμα δὲ καὶ ἀδύνατον τὸ πρῶτον ἀΐδιον ὂν φθαρῆναι: ἐπεὶ γὰρ οὐκ ἄπειρος ἡ γένεσις ἐπὶ τὸ ἄνω, ἀνάγκη ἐξ οὗ φθαρέντος πρώτου τι ἐγένετο μὴ ἀΐδιον εἶναι. > Simul autem impossibile primum sempiternum corrumpi. Quoniam enim non est infinita generatio in sursum, necesse ex quo corrupto primo aliquid factum est non sempiternum esse. At the same time it is impossible that the first cause, being eternal, should be destroyed; for since the process of becoming is not infinite in the upward direction, that which is the first thing by whose destruction something came to be must be non-eternal.
ἔτι δὲ τὸ οὗ ἕνεκα τέλος, τοιοῦτον δὲ ὃ μὴ ἄλλου [10] ἕνεκα ἀλλὰ τἆλλα ἐκείνου, ὥστ᾽ εἰ μὲν ἔσται τοιοῦτόν τι ἔσχατον, οὐκ ἔσται ἄπειρον, εἰ δὲ μηθὲν τοιοῦτον, οὐκ ἔσται τὸ οὗ ἕνεκα, ἀλλ᾽ οἱ τὸ ἄπειρον ποιοῦντες λανθάνουσιν ἐξαιροῦντες τὴν τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ φύσιν (καίτοι οὐθεὶς ἂν ἐγχειρήσειεν οὐδὲν πράττειν μὴ μέλλων ἐπὶ πέρας ἥξειν): οὐδ᾽ ἂν εἴη νοῦς ἐν [15] τοῖς οὖσιν: ἕνεκα γάρ τινος ἀεὶ πράττει ὅ γε νοῦν ἔχων, τοῦτο δέ ἐστι πέρας: τὸ γὰρ τέλος πέρας ἐστίν. [i]Amplius autem quod est cuius causa[/i] finis est, tale vero quod non alius causa, sed alia illius. Quare si quidem fuerit tale ipsum ultimum, non erit infinitum; si vero nihil * tale, non erit quod cuius causa. Sed qui infinitum faciunt, latent auferentes boni naturam (et nullus conabitur aliquid facere ad terminum non futurus venire). Neque utique erit intellectus in talibus; nam causa alicuius semper facit qui intellectum habet; hoc enim est terminus; finis enim terminus est. Further, the final cause is an end, and that sort of end which is not for the sake of something else, but for whose sake everything else is; so that if there is to be a last term of this sort, the process will not be infinite; but if there is no such term, there will be no final cause, but those who maintain the infinite series eliminate the Good without knowing it (yet no one would try to do anything if he were not going to come to a limit); nor would there be reason in the world; the reasonable man, at least, always acts for a purpose, and this is a limit; for the end is a limit.
ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδὲ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι ἐνδέχεται ἀνάγεσθαι εἰς ἄλλον ὁρισμὸν πλεονάζοντα τῷ λόγῳ: ἀεί τε γὰρ ἔστιν ὁ ἔμπροσθεν μᾶλλον, ὁ δ᾽ ὕστερος οὐκ ἔστιν, οὗ δὲ τὸ πρῶτον μὴ ἔστιν, οὐδὲ [20] τὸ ἐχόμενον: Sed nec quod quid erat esse convenit reduci ad aliam diffinitionem multiplicantem rationem. Semper enim quae ante est magis est, et quae posterior est non est; cuius autem primum non est, nec habitum est. But the essence, also, cannot be reduced to another definition which is fuller in expression. For the original definition is always more of a definition, and not the later one; and in a series in which the first term has not the required character, the next has not it either.
ἔτι τὸ ἐπίστασθαι ἀναιροῦσιν οἱ οὕτως λέγοντες, οὐ γὰρ οἷόν τε εἰδέναι πρὶν εἰς τὰ ἄτομα ἐλθεῖν: καὶ τὸ γιγνώσκειν οὐκ ἔστιν, τὰ γὰρ οὕτως ἄπειρα πῶς ἐνδέχεται νοεῖν; Amplius scire destruunt qui ita dicunt; non enim possibile scire priusquam ad individua perueniatur. Et cognoscere non est; nam quae sic sunt infinita, quomodo contingit intelligere? Further, those who speak thus destroy science; for it is not possible to have this till one comes to the unanalysable terms. And knowledge becomes impossible; for how can one apprehend things that are infinite in this way?
οὐ γὰρ ὅμοιον ἐπὶ τῆς γραμμῆς, ἣ κατὰ τὰς διαιρέσεις μὲν οὐχ ἵσταται, νοῆσαι δ᾽ οὐκ ἔστι μὴ στήσαντα (διόπερ [25] οὐκ ἀριθμήσει τὰς τομὰς ὁ τὴν ἄπειρον διεξιών), ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν ὅλην οὐ κινουμένῳ νοεῖν ἀνάγκη. καὶ ἀπείρῳ οὐδενὶ ἔστιν εἶναι: εἰ δὲ μή, οὐκ ἄπειρόν γ᾽ ἐστὶ τὸ ἀπείρῳ εἶναι. Non enim simile in linea *, quae secundum divisiones quidem non stat, intelligere vero non est non statuentem; propter quod non enumerabit sectiones qui per infinitam procedit. Sed materiam in eo quod movetur intelligere * necesse; et infinito nihil est. Esse * autem non. Non infinitumque est infinito esse. For this is not like the case of the line, to whose divisibility there is no stop, but which we cannot think if we do not make a stop (for which reason one who is tracing the infinitely divisible line cannot be counting the possibilities of section), but the whole line also must be apprehended by something in us that does not move from part to part.-Again, nothing infinite can exist; and if it could, at least the notion of infinity is not infinite.
ἀλλὰ μὴν καὶ εἰ ἄπειρά γ᾽ ἦσαν πλήθει τὰ εἴδη τῶν αἰτίων, οὐκ ἂν ἦν οὐδ᾽ οὕτω τὸ γιγνώσκειν: τότε γὰρ εἰδέναι οἰόμεθα [30] ὅταν τὰ αἴτια γνωρίσωμεν: τὸ δ᾽ ἄπειρον κατὰ τὴν πρόσθεσιν οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν πεπερασμένῳ διεξελθεῖν. > Sed si infinitae essent pluralitate species causarum, non esset nec ita cognoscere; tunc enim scire putamus cum causas ipsas noverimus. Infinitum vero secundum adiectionem non est pertransire in finito. But if the kinds of causes had been infinite in number, then also knowledge would have been impossible; for we think we know, only when we have ascertained the causes, that but that which is infinite by addition cannot be gone through in a finite time.

Chapter 3

Greek Latin English
αἱ δ᾽ ἀκροάσεις κατὰ τὰ ἔθη συμβαίνουσιν: ὡς γὰρ εἰώθαμεν οὕτως ἀξιοῦμεν λέγεσθαι, [995α] [1] καὶ τὰ παρὰ ταῦτα οὐχ ὅμοια φαίνεται ἀλλὰ διὰ τὴν ἀσυνήθειαν ἀγνωστότερα καὶ ξενικώτερα: τὸ γὰρ σύνηθες γνώριμον. Contingunt autem auditiones secundum consuetudines entibus; nam ut consuevimus ita dignamur dici. Et quae praeter ea non similia videntur, sed propter inconsuetudinem minus nota et magis extranea; nam consuetum notius. Chapter 3. The effect which lectures produce on a hearer depends on his habits; for we demand the language we are [95a] accustomed to, and that which is different from this seems not in keeping but somewhat unintelligible and foreign because of its unwontedness. For it is the customary that is intelligible.
ἡλίκην δὲ ἰσχὺν ἔχει τὸ σύνηθες οἱ νόμοι δηλοῦσιν, ἐν οἷς τὰ μυθώδη καὶ [5] παιδαριώδη μεῖζον ἰσχύει τοῦ γινώσκειν περὶ αὐτῶν διὰ τὸ ἔθος. Quantam vero vim habeat quod consuetum est leges ostendunt, in quibus fabularia et puerilia magis quidem valent cognitione de eis propter consuetudinem. The force of habit is shown by the laws, in which the legendary and childish elements prevail over our knowledge about them, owing to habit.
οἱ μὲν οὖν ἐὰν μὴ μαθηματικῶς λέγῃ τις οὐκ ἀποδέχονται τῶν λεγόντων, οἱ δ᾽ ἂν μὴ παραδειγματικῶς, οἱ δὲ μάρτυρα ἀξιοῦσιν ἐπάγεσθαι ποιητήν. καὶ οἱ μὲν πάντα ἀκριβῶς, τοὺς δὲ λυπεῖ τὸ ἀκριβὲς ἢ διὰ τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι [10] συνείρειν ἢ διὰ τὴν μικρολογίαν: ἔχει γάρ τι τὸ ἀκριβὲς τοιοῦτον, ὥστε, καθάπερ ἐπὶ τῶν συμβολαίων, καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν λόγων ἀνελεύθερον εἶναί τισι δοκεῖ. Alii ergo [vero], si non mathematicae quis dicit, non recipiunt dicentes. Alii, si non exemplariter. Et hii testem induci dignantur poetam. Et illi quidem omnia certe; hiis vero flebilis est certitudo aut propter impotentiam complectendi aut propter micrologiam. Habet enim aliquid quod certum est tale, ut quemadmodum in symbolis et rationibus non liberum esse quibusdam videtur. Thus some people do not listen to a speaker unless he speaks mathematically, others unless he gives instances, while others expect him to cite a poet as witness. And some want to have everything done accurately, while others are annoyed by accuracy, either because they cannot follow the connexion of thought or because they regard it as pettifoggery. For accuracy has something of this character, so that as in trade so in argument some people think it mean.
διὸ δεῖ πεπαιδεῦσθαι πῶς ἕκαστα ἀποδεκτέον, ὡς ἄτοπον ἅμα ζητεῖν ἐπιστήμην καὶ τρόπον ἐπιστήμης: ἔστι δ᾽ οὐδὲ θάτερον ῥᾴδιον λαβεῖν. Propter quod oportet erudiri quomodo singula sunt recipienda, et absurdum est simul quaerere scientiam et modum scientie; est autem neutrum facile accipere. Hence one must be already trained to know how to take each sort of argument, since it is absurd to seek at the same time knowledge and the way of attaining knowledge; and it is not easy to get even one of the two.
τὴν [15] δ᾽ ἀκριβολογίαν τὴν μαθηματικὴν οὐκ ἐν ἅπασιν ἀπαιτητέον, [16] ἀλλ᾽ ἐν τοῖς μὴ ἔχουσιν ὕλην. διόπερ οὐ φυσικὸς ὁ τρόπος: ἅπασα γὰρ ἴσως ἡ φύσις ἔχει ὕλην. διὸ σκεπτέον πρῶτον τί ἐστιν ἡ φύσις: οὕτω γὰρ καὶ περὶ τίνων ἡ φυσικὴ δῆλον ἔσται [καὶ εἰ μιᾶς ἐπιστήμης ἢ πλειόνων τὰ αἴτια καὶ [20] τὰς ἀρχὰς θεωρῆσαί ἐστιν]. Acribologia vero mathematica non in omnibus est expetenda, sed in non habentibus materiam. Propter quod non naturalis est modus; omnis enim forsan natura materiam habet. Ideoque primum perscrutandum quid est natura. Ita namque et de quibus est phisica, manifestum erit; et si unius scientie aut plurium est causas et principia considerare. The minute accuracy of mathematics is not to be demanded in all cases, but only in the case of things which have no matter. Hence method is not that of natural science; for presumably the whole of nature has matter. Hence we must inquire first what nature is: for thus we shall also see what natural science treats of (and whether it belongs to one science or to more to investigate the causes and the principles of things).


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