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Aristotle, little better than would be the carpenter's explanation of a wooden hand: nay, indeed, Aristotle with quiet naiveté remarks, the carpenter would give the better explanation of the two, because he would not content himself with an enumeration of the hammer strokes which made a hollow here, an elevation there, but would also state the reason why he aimed the blow in such and such a manner, and for what end his movements were directed. And therefore in attempting to explain the facts of animal existence, physic must not fail to take account of mind as the constitutive form (eidos) in all living things'.

Metaphysical and teleological however as is the natural philosophy of Aristotle, it does not itself exhaust the explanation of the soul. Were soul never anything but active, never more than a principle of movement, physic might indeed claim to be competent to discuss it. But so far as soul cannot be so described, so far it ceases to fall within the region of the physicist'. It is in fact only these phenomena of soul 'which are not independent of matter' that physic is competent to investigate. And besides, were physic able to deal with all psychical phenomena, there would be really no philosophy beyond a philosophy of nature3.

The truth is that soul cannot according to Aristotle be adequately discussed by either the metaphysical transcendentalist or the physiologist separately. The psychical side of human nature is of so peculiar a character, so independent on the one

1 De Partibus An. 1. 1, 641*30, λεκτέον εἴη τῷ περὶ φύσεως θεωρητικῷ περὶ ψυχῆς μᾶλλον ἢ περὶ τῆς ὕλης, ὅσῳ μᾶλλον ἡ ὕλη δι' ἐκείνην φύσις ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνάπαλιν. The whole chapter is valuable for the light it throws upon Aristotle's method of studying nature. Cp. De Motu An. 2. 70413, where we have the expression μέθοδος φυσική, of which one principle is ἡ φύσις οὐθὲν ποιεῖ μάτην.

a De Part. An. 1. 1, 6411o, δῆλον οὖν ὡς οὐ περὶ πάσης ψυχῆς λεκτέον· οὐδὲ γὰρ πᾶσα ψυχὴ φύσις.

3 Meta. E. 1, 1026*5, περὶ ψυχῆς ἐνίας θεωρῆσαι τοῦ φυσικοῦ ὅση μὴ ἄνευ τῆς ὕλης ἐστίν.

De Part. 1. i, 64134, εἰ γὰρ περὶ πάσης (τῆς ψυχῆς λέγει ἡ φυσικὴ) οὐδεμία λείπεται παρὰ τὴν φυσικὴν ἐπιστήμην φιλοσοφία. ὁ γὰρ νοῦς τῶν νοητῶν, ὥστε περὶ πάντων ἡ φυσικὴ γνῶσις ἂν εἴη κ.τ.λ.

side of physical surroundings, so connected on the other with physiological processes, that it can only be fully understood through the combined labours of both orders of inquirers. The feelings for example are materialized ideas (Móyoɩ ěvvλoi) and can only be understood when their supersensuous aspects are taken in connection with their bodily antecedents. Metaphysic and Physic must in fact be brought together if we would rightly understand the phenomena of mental action. This two-faced character of psychological inquiry Aristotle illustrates for us by a concrete illustration. "Suppose," he says "the question should be what is anger? The transcendentalist (diaλEKTIKós) would define it as the effort after retaliation; the natural philosopher would describe it as a ferment of the pericardial blood or heat." But, the writer goes on to imply, the true physicist will take account of both these aspects of our mental states. Just, he explains, as it is an insufficient description of a house to enumerate the stone and timber out of which it is constructed, unless we note as well the cause and reason of its existence as a shelter against injury from winds and rains: so also the true psychologist will recognise the fact that the subjective state and its physical counterpart are only different sides or aspects of one and the same phenomenon—a phenomenon therefore which is only rightly comprehended when its two sides are considered in their mutual influence upon each other1.

It is but another phase of this same standpoint when Aristotle insists on the need of uniting two modes of psychological investigation which correspond in part to what have since been known as rational and empirical psychology. To grasp the mind in its full meaning we must not, he holds, know it merely as a substance: we must add on a knowledge of the attributes and actions which belong to it. "The truth," says Aristotle, "seems to be that it is not only a knowledge of the generic character of anything which helps towards detecting the causes

1 403*29, διαφερόντως δ ̓ ἂν ὁρίσαιντο φυσικός τε καὶ διαλεκτικὸς ἕκαστον αὐτῶν, οἷον ὀργὴ τί ἐστίν...τίς οὖν ὁ φυσικὸς τούτων ;...ἢ μᾶλλον ὁ ἐξ ἀμφοῖν.

of the properties of substances-as in mathematics the knowledge of straight and curved or the generic character of what is a line or a superficies assists us in seeing to how many right angles the angles of the triangle are equal-but even conversely the knowledge of the properties contributes in great measure to a knowledge of the 'what' or the generic notion." Without in fact this knowledge of the actual manifestations, the varying phenomena in which the soul displays its action, our psychological studies will leave us with the mere empty phraseology of Transcendentalism (διαλεκτικῶς εἴρηνται καὶ κενῶς ἅπαντες).

Aristotle would seem then to take the same view of the study of mind as Hegel has done in a passage of the Encyclopædia. "If we propose to think the mind," we may suppose Aristotle saying with the latter, "we must not be quite so shy of its special phenomena. Mind is essentially active. But if the mind is active, it must, as it were, utter itself. It is wrong therefore to take the mind for a processless ens as did the old metaphysic which divided the processless inward life of the mind from its outward life. No good will be done unless the ' mind be viewed in its concrete reality, in its action: and in such a way that its manifestations are seen to be determined by its inward force?."

The Method of Psychology, as conceived by Aristotle, is, it will now be evident, not to be summed up in any shibboleth of induction or deduction. Assuredly Aristotle's study of psychology is preeminently inductive. Here, as in Ethics, it is the fact which forms the starting point'. Mind and body are, he reasons, intimately as matter of fact connected, and soul must therefore be explained by such a concrete method as will fully recognise its environment. But, at the same time, the real character of any object of investigation is to be found in the consideration of its end and, so far as this is the case, psychology goes beyond the

1 I. I, 403*2.

2 Logic of Hegel, translated by W. Wallace, § 34.

3 Eth. Nic. I. 4, 109;6, ἀρχὴ γὰρ τὸ ὅτι.


immediate fact, the simple datum. A natural history of the mind, which traces it in its progress from more elementary to more developed forms, is undoubtedly, Aristotle would have us to believe, a valuable contribution to the theory of psychology. But the whole precedes the part', the substance the attributes, and a well-established Science of the Soul must as little fail to account for a something to which these attributes shall be referred as for the attributes themselves which observation registers.


The historical retrospect of previous psychology which occupies the greater portion of the first book of the main treatise illustrates further the comprehensive nature of Aristotle's conception of the science of mind. Here, as in his other compositions, the aim of Aristotle is to shew that the thinkers before him had been too one-sided in their attitude and had thus identified soul with some one characteristic, which was really only a single factor in psychical operations. Just in fact as in the Metaphysics Aristotle shews how his predecessors had identified now the matter now the form with real being or true substance, or in the Ethics how previous moralists had mistaken virtue or prosperity for the happiness of which they were only sides or aspects: so in the Psychology we find him engaged in pointing out the degree to which previous students had confined their attention now to this side, now to that, of psychical phenomena.

Two ways especially of regarding mind are recognised by Aristotle amid the somewhat naive views of previous psychologists. Some of them had emphasized its perceptive and cognitive faculties, others had laid stress on its powers of movement

1 Polit. I. 2, 1253*20, τὸ γὰρ ὅλον πρότερον ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι τοῦ μέρους.

and active exercise'. The mind, in other words, had been, if we may employ modern phraseology, identified now with the intellect, now with the will: and the great object of Aristotle's writings on the subject of psychology is to shew that both these aspects of our psychical operations must be taken into consideration-that the mind must be treated not merely as a perceiving, knowing faculty, or as a desiring active faculty, but as the two in combination as something in fact which is at once cognitive and conative, recipient and active, spiritual and material, intellectual and emotional. Hence it is that he discusses with somewhat wearisome detail the modifications given by Democritus, Pythagoras or Anaxagoras to the view which identified mind with movement and spontaneous action on the one hand and the different explanations of the processes of cognition by Empedocles or Plato on the other. The details of these criticisms must be read in the Psychology itself: here it is only necessary to refer to them so far as they seem to throw light on Aristotle's conception of the scope and problem of psychology as we have previously considered it".

"The great defect which Aristotle finds in the procedure of previous psychologists is the degree to which they ignored the bodily environment of soul and confined their observations to the nature of the mental operations in themselves. "They attach the soul to the body without trying in addition to determine the reason why or the condition of the body under which such attachment is produced:" and while stating the nature of the soul itself, they determine nothing "with regard to the nature of the body which is to receive it." Their procedure is thus, Aristotle holds, as inconsistent as the transmigration theories of

1 De An. I. 2, 40325, τὸ ἔμψυχον δὴ τοῦ ἀψύχου διοῖν μάλιστα διαφέρειν δοκεῖ, κινήσει τε καὶ τῷ αἰσθάνεσθαι· παρειλήφαμεν δὲ καὶ παρὰ τῶν προγενεστέρων σχεδὸν δύο ταῦτα περὶ ψυχῆς.

2 For an exhaustive account of Pre-Aristotelian Psychology see Siebeck's Geschichte der Psychologie; Theil i, Die Psychologie vor Aristoteles (Gotha, 1880).

3 1. 3, 407520, οἱ δὲ μόνον ἐπιχειροῦσι λέγειν ποῖόν τι ἡ ψυχή, περὶ δὲ τοῦ δεξομένου σώματος οὐθὲν ἔτι προσδιορίζουσιν.

W. AR.


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