Page images
PDF
EPUB

relation of the Psychology and the Zoology, there can be no doubt but the composition of the former was followed closely by that of the minor psychological writings classed together as the Parva Naturalia : although it would seem that we must draw a distinction among these and allow that while some were composed before, others were composed only after the Biological Treatises, which would seem to occupy the next place in the series of Aristotle's works! These biological treatises are the highly interesting and suggestive chapters on the Parts of Animals, the tractate on Animal Progression, and lastly the work upon the Generation of Animals". The list most probably closed with the Metaphysics—that is to say, it was the last of Aristotle's works to be brought into anything like its present shapealthough we must of course remember it must have been one of the earliest works of which Aristotle sketched the main ideas?!

11. 11, 423629, λέγω δε διαφοράς αι τα στοιχεία διορίζουσι, θερμόν ψυχρόν, ξηρών υγρόν, περί ων ειρήκαμεν πρότερον εν τοις περί στοιχείων, refers to Dr Gen. Βk. 11.

C. 2.

Σ

ΙΙΙ. 9, 432b11, περί δε αναπνοής και εκπνοής και ύπνου και εγρηγόρσεως ύστερον επισκεπτέον.

111. 10, 433918, η δε κινεί οργάνω ή όρεξις ήδη τούτο σωματικόν έστιν· διό εν τοις κοινοίς σώματος και ψυχής έργοις θεωρητέον περί αυτού-about which see the note upon the passage.

1 For the different references in the Parva Naturalia see Bonitz, Index Aris. P.99. For the view that the Parva Naturalia may be in point of composition broken up into two groups in the manner indicated see Brandis, Aristot. 1192. The grorinds of this view are that in De Vita 468631 and De Respir. c. 7, 473*27 the writer refers to the Treatise on Parts of Animals as already written : treats 46766, the Inquiries on Life and Death, as concluding all his works on Animals, and in De Gen. An. IV. το, 777*6 (αίτιον δε του μεν είναι μακρόβιον οτιούν ζώον...περί ών ύστερον έρούμεν). regards the treatise on Longevity as still to be written.

? That the treatise on the Parts of Animals is prior to that on the Generation of Animals is evident from Dr Gen. Am. 1. 15, 72019, η γάρ φύσις παρά το στόμα την τελευτής του περιττώματος συνήγαγε κάμψασα καθάπερ είρηται πρότερον εν τοις περί των μορίων λόγοις-De Part. Αn. ΙΙΙ. 5, 6688, πως μεν ούν τρέφεται τα ζώα...έν τοις περί γενέσεως λόγοις μάλλον αρμόζει σκοπεϊν κ.τ.λ.

The work De Incessu Animalium is referred to in De Part. An. 1v. 11 690015, ; δ' αιτία της αποδίας αυτών είρηται εν τοις περί της πορείας των ζώων διωρισμένοις.

3 That the Metaphysics is among the later works of Aristotle is clear inter alia from the fact that Aristotle in Meta. Α. Ι, 981b25 says είρηται μεν ούν εν τοις Ηθικούς τις διαφορά τέχνης και επιστήμης, and in A. 4, 985*12 he refers to the Physics as 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

CONCEIVED BY ARISTOTLE.

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' (istopia fuxns) 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 (étigtun)'. Afterwards indeed we shall find that Aristotle docs 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 (púois kai ovola) 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: ούτοι μεν ούν ώσπερ λέγομεν και μέχρι τούτου δυοϊν αιτίαιν εφήψαντο ών ημείς διωρίσαμεν εν τοις περί φύσεως. So also Bk. Μ. το768, περί μεν ουν τής των αισθητων ουσίας είρηται τις εστιν εν μέν τη μεθόδω τη των φυσικών περί της ύλης, στερον δε περί της κατ' ενέργειαν.

1 For this conception of loropla, v. Anal. Pr. 1. 31, 46*24, and Hist. An. 1. 6, 491*12.

[ocr errors]

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 (TOTIS) 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. 1. I, 40291–10.

+ +

XX

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 wliat >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 7 various classes of soul distinguished by a generic or specific dif

ference? “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. Ι. 7, το98b5, μετιέναι δε πειρατέον εκάστας (τάς άρχας) ή πεφύκασιν.

2 402D2, νύν μέν γάρ οι λέγοντες και ζητούντες περί ψυχής περί της ανθρωπίνης μόνης είκασιν επισκοπεϊν. .

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 subs 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 (pvolkń)'. 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 (pvolkos) 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 problem? 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 (άνευ της του όλου φύσεως).

Physic then in Aristotle does not, like Metaphysic, deal with

[ocr errors]

1403*16, έoικε δε και τα της ψυχής πάθη πάντα είναι μετά σώματος, θυμός...και το φιλείν τε και μισείν κ.τ.λ. .

2 De Part. Αn. 1. Ι, 64r21, του φυσικού περί ψυχής αν είη λέγειν και ειδέναι. 40327, και διά ταύτα ήδη φυσικού το θεωρήσαι περί ψυχής.

3 For this sense of PVOLKWs cp. Eth. Nic. VII. 3, 1147*24 : Phys. II. 7, 198~23. So it is contrasted with loyikws De Gen. 1. 2, 316*10.

« PreviousContinue »