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The Psychology of Aristotle thus stands, when looked at in connection with its probable date of composition, midway between the material renderings of physical science and the more ideal tendencies of metaphysic. And this double aspect which the treatise thus chronologically presents will be found to be entirely in agreement with Aristotle's conception of psychology and the work of the psychologist.
II. THE SCOPE AND METHOD OF PSYCHOLOGY AS
Aristotle's conception of Psychology is already stated for us in the opening words of his main treatise on the subject. It is, he tells us, a 'history of the soul' (ioropía yʊxês) which he proposes to put before us. This word 'history,' it is true, did not convey to Aristotle the same associations as it bears to us. To him it meant simply a description, an account: it was a collection of observations which had scarcely reached the exact deductive character which would constitute them into the form of a science (IOτýμη)1. Afterwards indeed we shall find that Aristotle does determine the object matter of his investigations in such a manner as to raise the results of his observations into real scientific form. But, at starting, Aristotle has to feel his way towards the nature of the problems which will fall within the new field of knowledge which he is elaborating.
The historical development and the essential nature (pois kai ovcía) represent the two aspects of the soul which the psychologist, according to Aristotle, must consider. He must, that is to say, supply on the one hand a genetic history of the soul,
preceding the Metaphysics: οὗτοι μὲν οὖν ὥσπερ λέγομεν καὶ μέχρι τούτου δυοῖν αἰτίαιν ἐφήψαντο ὧν ἡμεῖς διωρίσαμεν ἐν τοῖς περὶ φύσεως. So also Bh. M. 107638, περὶ μὲν οὖν τῆς τῶν αἰσθητῶν οὐσίας εἴρηται τίς ἐστιν ἐν μὲν τῇ μεθόδῳ τῇ τῶν φυσικῶν περὶ τῆς ὕλης, ὕστερον δὲ περὶ τῆς κατ' ἐνέργειαν.
1 For this conception of loropia, v. Anal. Pr. 1. 31, 46*24, and Hist. An. 1. 6,
trace it in its gradual development from simpler to more complex forms; and on the other hand he must add to such an historical and genetic analysis the logical exposition of the constant essential nature which belongs to soul at once in its lower and its higher forms. But the psychologist is to be no abstract student of the soul. He must proceed to note its different properties, and study the phenomena occurring in connection with it whether they be exclusively psychical or shared in common by the animal organization'.
The method of the new science which he is constructing is another preliminary question which Aristotle finds it somewhat difficult to answer. How, he asks, are we to gain a knowledge of this soul? or what is to provide us with a ground of certainty (TiOTIs) for our conclusions? The question which Aristotle thus raises cannot be said to be anywhere answered by him. The unnecessary distinction between observation and consciousness, as it is frequently maintained, fortunately did not present itself to his mind, or at least nothing which he says enables us to class him either with those who regard internal introspection or those who view external observation as the method of psychological inquiry. Nor does Aristotle ever seem to have determined for himself how far the method of psychological investigation was to be regarded as identical with that of other forms of scientific knowledge. The object of inquiry in psychology is indeed, he remarks, identical with that of any other science, and therefore it seems natural to expect that the method of investigation will be also similar but it may also be that the method of inquiry varies with the nature of the object under consideration, and thus it will be necessary to find out what this method is-whether deductive argument' or 'Platonic division' or some other form of investigation, and further what are the principles from which such method will begin its reasonings.
To questions such as these, Aristotle, as has been already implied, returns no immediate answer. Instead, he proceeds to 1 De An. I. 1, 402*1-10.
enumerate the different problems to which the science must some way or other find an answer. Solvitur ambulando would seem. to be briefly the reply he would give to the doubts which the logician might raise about the mode in which the study of psychology should be pursued. And, at any rate, the method of the science, he implies, cannot be ascertained until we have acquired a closer knowledge of the problems which it seeks to solve. To Psychology, in fact, Aristotle would seem to apply the same principle as he applies to Ethics: its principles and results must be discovered and pursued after the manner in which nature evidently shews they should be studied'. And it is therefore necessary to come to an understanding as to what we have to study before we can be sure of how we are to proceed in our investigation.
The problems which Aristotle proposes for the consideration of the psychologist have, in the midst of much that sounds rather antiquated to our ears, many points that are still possessed of real interest. The student of soul, he tells us, must note what is the class or genus under which soul falls, and particularly must discover whether it is some potential form of existence, or, on the other hand, a fully realized form of activity. Again, is soul homogeneous in all its various forms, and, if not so, are the various classes of soul distinguished by a generic or specific difference? "for at present," Aristotle adds, "writers who investigate the soul seem to confine their observations to the soul of man alone." A difficulty not far removed from that just mentioned is concerned with the relation of the definition to the soul, and the degree to which such definition can express the qualities. belonging to soul in its general characteristics. Further, we require, he thinks, to examine the relation of the faculty or organ to the operation of the faculty, and see whether it be reason or thinking, sense or perceiving that first claims analysis.
1 Eth. Nic. I. 7, 1o98b;, μετιέναι δὲ πειρατέον ἑκάστας (τὰς ἄρχας) ᾗ πεφύκασιν. 2 40202, νῦν μὲν γὰρ οἱ λέγοντες καὶ ζητοῦντες περὶ ψυχῆς περὶ τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης μόνης ἐοίκασιν ἐπισκοπεῖν.
The relation of soul and body appears above all to Aristotle a subject which the psychologist cannot afford to leave unnoticed. The greater number of our mental states seem, he insists, to depend upon some conditions of our bodily organs: and even if thought be allowed to be something which is unconnected with the phenomena of body, still, most of our mental manifestations—anger, desire, sense-perception, &c.—would seem to be accompanied by some condition of our corporeal organism, and even thought itself would seem to depend upon the sensuous pictures of imagination, and thus similarly imply a bodily concomitant'. A variety of facts, in short, Aristotle holds, would seem to bear witness to the close connection which subsists between the phenomena of soul and the processes of body, and thus make it necessary that the two orders of facts should be studied in relation to each other.
Psychology, with Aristotle, thus falls to a great extent under the comprehensive science of natural philosophy (þvσiên)2. It must however be remembered that physic or natural science meant to Aristotle something very different from what it commonly means to us. His physic is the science which considers the qualities of body not in their abstract features but rather in their concrete manifestations. When Aristotle sets himself to study a subject physically (pvouws) he investigates it, as we should say, concretely-with no one-sided consideration. of the facts but with an all-embracing comprehension of the different aspects of the problem3. With Plato in the Phædrus (270 C) he believes it is impossible to study properly the nature of the soul apart from any reference to the rest of nature (ἄνευ τῆς τοῦ ὅλου φύσεως).
Physic then in Aristotle does not, like Metaphysic, deal with
1 40316, ἔοικε δὲ καὶ τὰ τῆς ψυχῆς πάθη πάντα εἶναι μετὰ σώματος, θυμός... καὶ τὸ φιλεῖν τε καὶ μισεῖν κ.τ.λ.
2 De Part. An. 1. 1, 641*21, τοῦ φυσικοῦ περὶ ψυχῆς ἂν εἴη λέγειν καὶ εἰδέναι. 403*17, καὶ διὰ ταῦτα ἤδη φυσικοῦ τὸ θεωρῆσαι περὶ ψυχῆς.
* For this sense of puoikŵs cp. Eth. Nic. VII. 3, 1147°24 : Phys. 11. 7, 198*23. So it is contrasted with λoyuws De Gen. 1. 2, 316*10.
those attributes of being which are immutable and separated from any material expression, nor like mathematic with those which while unchangeable are yet to a greater or less degree materially expressed: it investigates, upon the contrary, those which are at once mutable and inseparable from some material embodiment'. It relates particularly to those objects which possess an intrinsic capacity of movement: it is, we may almost say, the science of phenomena of movement. But the Aristotelian physic is not a hasty materialism which states nothing but the fabric out of which the organism has to be constructed. It has to do with all the four principles or 'causes' into which Aristotle supposed the existence of every object could be analyzed the material as supplying the actual elements out of which anything is made, the efficient, or agency by which it is made, the formal as giving the shape or idea which any object expresses, and the final cause or the intrinsic end which any form of existence seeks to realize. "The physicist," says the sixth Book of the Metaphysics, "should possess knowledge not only of the material but also of the matter in relation to the definition which expresses its real notion, and particularly in fact this latter." And to the same effect the Treatise on the Parts of Animals maintains that a true physical philosophy must content itself with no mere abstract statement of the material elements of which a phenomenon is composed or of the stages through which an object must have passed before it reach its final form. Such an analytic and genetic science is, says
1 Metaph. E. I, 1016*13, ἡ μὲν γὰρ φυσικὴ περὶ ἀχώριστα μὲν ἀλλ ̓ οὐκ ἀκίνητα, τῆς δὲ μαθηματικῆς ἔνια περὶ ἀκίνητα μὲν οὐ χωριστὰ δ ̓ ἴσως, ἀλλ' ὡς ἐν ὕλῃ· ἡ δὲ πρώτη καὶ περὶ χωριστὰ καὶ ἀκίνητα. Cp. Metaphys. K. 4, 1061 30; Id. F. 7, 1064*15.
2 Metaphys. Κ. 7, 106430, ἡ μὲν οὖν φυσικὴ περὶ τὰ κινήσεως ἔχοντ ̓ ἀρχὴν ἐν αὑτοῖς ἐστίν.
3 Phys. 11. 7, 198*12, ἐπεὶ δ ̓ αἱ αἰτίαι τέτταρες, περὶ πασῶν τοῦ φυσικοῦ εἰδέναι, καὶ εἰς πάσας ἀνάγων τὸ διὰ τί ἀποδώσει φυσικῶς, τὴν ὕλην, τὸ εἶδος, τὸ κινῆσαν, τὸ où éveka. So also 200'32 and 1946.
• Meta. Z. 11, 103716, οὐ γὰρ μόνον περὶ τῆς ὕλης δεῖ γνωρίζειν τὸν φυσικὸν ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς κατὰ τὸν λόγον καὶ μᾶλλον.