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is all of this description. In the Physica Auscultatio ii 8 there is a very interesting discussion on the evidences of Design in Nature, in which he gives his reasons against Empedocles' theory of Development. Still on the whole we too often find ourselves balked with phrases and formulas, where we looked for facts and ideas.
In Biology Aristotle was more successful. Cuvier speaks in ecstatic terms of his History of Animals, and though Dr Whewell and G. H. Lewes' have shown that he has greatly exaggerated its merits, and that Aristotle has not attempted anything like a scientific classification of animals, yet all admit that it is a marvellous work considering the period at which it was produced and the multiform productions of its author?.' The spirit in which Aristotle entered on his investigations is shown in a striking passage of the Part. An. I. 5, the substance of which is as follows, 'It remains for us to speak of the nature of animals, omitting nothing as too mean.
For even in those things which are least agreeable to the sense, creative nature affords a wonderful delight to those who are able to understand their causes. Therefore we must not shrink in disgust, like children, from the examination even of the meanest animals, for there is something admirable in all nature's handiwork. As Heraclitus said, when his friends were reluctant to enter a mean apartment (invós), “Enter, for here too there are Gods,” so every work of nature is beautiful as exhibiting evidences of design. There is much that is offensive in the sight of flesh, bones, veins, &c, but we disregard this in our desire to master the principle of construction which they embody.'
See his Aristotle, ch. XV.
2 Lewes, p. 290.
1. We need not dwell upon any of the treatises classed under this head except the De Anima, of which Lewes says 'the extreme interest of its problems and the profundity of its views render it the most valuable of ancient attempts to bring the facts of life and mind into scientific order?' Aristotle here examines the theories of previous philosophers, Democritus, Empedocles, Plato &c., and then proceeds to give his own view as follows. The Soul (yuxń) is the vital principle of all organized bodies, manifesting itself in an ascending scale of functions, nutritive, sentient, locomotive, appetitive, imaginative, rational, throughout the range of animated existence, from plant up to man. Each higher function involves the lower, so that all the functions are found conjoined with rationality in man, while the nutritive function exists separately in vegetables. The soul is the form of which body is the Matter, it brings into actuality the capacities which are body and is itself limited by those capacities. It is also the Final and the Efficient Cause of the body, since this exists for the sake of the soul, and is set in motion by it. The highest function of soul is not inherent in the body and has no special organ with which it is connected, like the other functions; it is an emanation from the celestial sphere, and is the only part of the soul which survives the death of the body; but though it survives, it apparently loses its individuality and becomes merged in the universal reason. There is much that is interesting in the account of the Senses and of the Common Sensibles' (i.e. primary qualities); in the distinction drawn between the Active and Passive Reason, between Memory and Reminiscence and, as connected with this, in the theory of the Association of Ideas '; but the pleasure of reading the book is lessened, as is so often the case in Aristotle, by his over-fondness for logical distinctions, by confused arrangement and extreme conciseness, made up for at times by unnecessary repetitions.
The book is also analysed by Grote, Aristotle vol. 11. ch. 12, and in A. Butler's Lectures.
2 This actualizing power is expressed by the technical term εντελέχεια, whence the definition ψυχή έστιν εντελέχεια η πρώτη σώματος φυσικου δυνάμει ζωήν έχοντος ; which Grote explains as the lowest stage of actuality, the minimum of influence required to transform potentiality into actuality'; “it is not indispensable that all the functions of the living subject should be at all times in complete exercise : it is enough if the functional aptitude exist as a dormant property, ready to rise into activity when the proper occasions present themselves. Aristoile 11. 186.
1 P. 221.
I proceed now to give an analysis of the book in which the true greatness of Aristotle is most conspicuous, the Nicomachean Ethics, commencing with a translation of the first three chapters.
'Every art and every science, and so too every act and purpose, seems to aim at some good. Hence people have well defined the supreme good to be that at which all things aim. Sometimes the end consists in the exercise of a faculty for its own sake, at other times in certain external results beyond this. Where the end consists in such external result, the result is more important than the activity to which it is due. Now as there are many kinds of action and of art and science, there must also be many ends, the end of medicine for instance being health, of ship-building a ship, of strategy victory, of domestic
1 See his short treatise on Memory.
See Grant's 3rd edition and the English translation by Chase or Williams.
economy wealth. But where the arts themselves fall under some higher art, as bridle-making under the general art of riding, and this again and the whole business of war under the master art of strategy,-in all such cases the end of the master art, whether it be a simple activity or some further tangible result, is more important than the ends of the subordinate arts, the latter being pursued for the sake of the former. If then, there is some end for all that has to do with action, and if everything else which we desire is relative and subordinate to this final end, and we do not go on interminably making every choice for the sake of something beyond (in which case our desires would be frustrate and void of effect), then this must be the Summum Bonum or chief good. And, if so, must not the knowledge of this be of great importance for the conduct of life; and shall we not be more likely to know what we ought to do, when we have this before us, as a mark to aim at? Can we form any conception of the science to which this highest end belongs? Plainly it must be the highest and most comprehensive science. And such is to TLKÝ, the science of society, as it ordains what other sciences shall find a home in States, what sciences shall be learnt by different classes, and to what degree of proficiency. Even the most esteemed of the arts and faculties are subordinate to this; for example, strategy, domestic economy, and rhetoric. Seeing then that the science of society makes use of the various sciences concerned with action and production, and lays down the law as to what men should do and should abstain from doing, the end of this will embrace the ends of all other sciences and will consequently be the highest good of man. For even supposing
it to be the case that the end of the individual is identical with that of the State, yet the end of the State is at any rate more comprehensive and complete. Granted that even in the case of the individual the Summum Bonum is an aim to be cherished, yet for a nation and for States it is certainly more noble and divine. Our science therefore is of the nature of πολιτική.
'In regard to method, the subject will be adequately treated if it be elucidated with as much clearness as the subject matter admits. Rigorous exactness must not be looked for, to the same extent, in all subjects of discussion, any more than an equal perfection of finish in all the different products of handicraft. And there is so much controversy and uncertainty in regard to what is honorable and what is just,-questions with which our science is concerned—that they have been thought to depend on custom only and to have no natural foundation. Similarly with regard to good things; for sometimes these are found to be injurious in their results, as men have been ruined owing to their wealth or their courage. Arguing then, as we are, upon such varying phenomena and from such uncertain premisses, we must be satisfied if we can set forth the truth roughly and in outline. Where the premisses, no less than the subject matter, are only probable and contingent, we must be content to draw inferences of a corresponding nature. It is the characteristic of an educated man not to require scientific precision upon any subject under inquiry beyond what the nature of the case admits; e.g. to demand scientific demonstration from an orator would be as improper as to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician. A man judges aright only of what he