ἀφεῖσαν ἐν κοινῷ ζητεῖν → rem in medio reliquerunt

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ἀφεῖσαν ἐν κοινῷ ζητεῖν rem in medio reliquerunt (Αristotle, Metaphysics 1.987b14)

they left this an open question


[987β]  Σωκράτους δὲ περὶ μὲν τὰ ἠθικὰ πραγματευομένου περὶ δὲ τῆς ὅλης φύσεως οὐθέν, ἐν μέντοι τούτοις τὸ καθόλου ζητοῦντος καὶ περὶ ὁρισμῶν ἐπιστήσαντος πρώτου τὴν διάνοιαν, ἐκεῖνον ἀποδεξάμενος διὰ τὸ τοιοῦτον [5] ὑπέλαβεν ὡς περὶ ἑτέρων τοῦτο γιγνόμενον καὶ οὐ τῶν αἰσθητῶν: ἀδύνατον γὰρ εἶναι τὸν κοινὸν ὅρον τῶν αἰσθητῶν τινός, ἀεί γε μεταβαλλόντων. οὗτος οὖν τὰ μὲν τοιαῦτα τῶν ὄντων ἰδέας προσηγόρευσε, τὰ δ᾽ αἰσθητὰ παρὰ ταῦτα καὶ κατὰ ταῦτα λέγεσθαι πάντα: κατὰ μέθεξιν γὰρ εἶναι τὰ [10] πολλὰ ὁμώνυμα τοῖς εἴδεσιν. τὴν δὲ μέθεξιν τοὔνομα μόνον μετέβαλεν: οἱ μὲν γὰρ Πυθαγόρειοι μιμήσει τὰ ὄντα φασὶν εἶναι τῶν ἀριθμῶν, Πλάτων δὲ μεθέξει, τοὔνομα μεταβαλών. τὴν μέντοι γε μέθεξιν ἢ τὴν μίμησιν ἥτις ἂν εἴη τῶν εἰδῶν ἀφεῖσαν ἐν κοινῷ ζητεῖν. ἔτι δὲ παρὰ τὰ αἰσθητὰ [15] καὶ τὰ εἴδη τὰ μαθηματικὰ τῶν πραγμάτων εἶναί φησι μεταξύ, διαφέροντα τῶν μὲν αἰσθητῶν τῷ ἀΐδια καὶ ἀκίνητα εἶναι, τῶν δ᾽ εἰδῶν τῷ τὰ μὲν πόλλ᾽ ἄττα ὅμοια εἶναι τὸ δὲ εἶδος αὐτὸ ἓν ἕκαστον μόνον. ἐπεὶ δ᾽ αἴτια τὰ εἴδη τοῖς ἄλλοις, τἀκείνων στοιχεῖα πάντων ᾠήθη τῶν ὄντων εἶναι [20] στοιχεῖα. ὡς μὲν οὖν ὕλην τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρὸν εἶναι ἀρχάς, ὡς δ᾽ οὐσίαν τὸ ἕν: ἐξ ἐκείνων γὰρ κατὰ μέθεξιν τοῦ ἑνὸς τὰ εἴδη εἶναι τοὺς ἀριθμούς. τὸ μέντοι γε ἓν οὐσίαν εἶναι, καὶ μὴ ἕτερόν γέ τι ὂν λέγεσθαι ἕν, παραπλησίως τοῖς Πυθαγορείοις ἔλεγε, καὶ τὸ τοὺς ἀριθμοὺς αἰτίους εἶναι τοῖς ἄλλοις [25] τῆς οὐσίας ὡσαύτως ἐκείνοις: τὸ δὲ ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀπείρου ὡς ἑνὸς δυάδα ποιῆσαι, τὸ δ᾽ ἄπειρον ἐκ μεγάλου καὶ μικροῦ, τοῦτ᾽ ἴδιον: καὶ ἔτι ὁ μὲν τοὺς ἀριθμοὺς παρὰ τὰ αἰσθητά, οἱ δ᾽ ἀριθμοὺς εἶναί φασιν αὐτὰ τὰ πράγματα, καὶ τὰ μαθηματικὰ μεταξὺ τούτων οὐ τιθέασιν. τὸ μὲν οὖν τὸ ἓν καὶ τοὺς [30] ἀριθμοὺς παρὰ τὰ πράγματα ποιῆσαι, καὶ μὴ ὥσπερ οἱ Πυθαγόρειοι, καὶ ἡ τῶν εἰδῶν εἰσαγωγὴ διὰ τὴν ἐν τοῖς λόγοις ἐγένετο σκέψιν (οἱ γὰρ πρότεροι διαλεκτικῆς οὐ μετεῖχον), τὸ δὲ δυάδα ποιῆσαι τὴν ἑτέραν φύσιν διὰ τὸ τοὺς ἀριθμοὺς ἔξω τῶν πρώτων εὐφυῶς ἐξ αὐτῆς γεννᾶσθαι ὥσπερ ἔκ τινος ἐκμαγείου.


[987b]  And when Socrates, disregarding the physical universe and confining his study to moral questions, sought in this sphere for the universal and was the first to concentrate upon definition, Plato followed him and assumed that the problem of definition is concerned not with any sensible thing but with entities of another kind; for the reason that there can be no general definition of sensible things which are always changing.These entities he called "Ideas,"1 and held that all sensible things are named after2 them sensible and in virtue of their relation to them; for the plurality of things which bear the same name as the Forms exist by participation in them. (With regard to the "participation," it was only the term that he changed; for whereas the Pythagoreans say that things exist by imitation of numbers, Plato says that they exist by participation—merely a change of term.As to what this "participation" or "imitation" may be, they left this an open question.)
Further, he states that besides sensible things and the Forms there exists an intermediate class, the objects of mathematics,3 which differ from sensible things in being eternal and immutable, and from the Forms in that there are many similar objects of mathematics, whereas each Form is itself unique.

Now since the Forms are the causes of everything else, he supposed that their elements are the elements of all things. [20] Accordingly the material principle is the "Great and Small," and the essence <or formal principle> is the One, since the numbers are derived from the "Great and Small" by participation in the the One.In treating the One as a substance instead of a predicate of some other entity, his teaching resembles that of the Pythagoreans, and also agrees with it in stating that the numbers are the causes of Being in everything else; but it is peculiar to him to posit a duality instead of the single Unlimited, and to make the Unlimited consist of the "Great and Small." He is also peculiar in regarding the numbers as distinct from sensible things, whereas they hold that things themselves are numbers, nor do they posit an intermediate class of mathematical objects.His distinction of the One and the numbers from ordinary things (in which he differed from the Pythagoreans) and his introduction of the Forms were due to his investigation of logic (the earlier thinkers were strangers to Dialectic)4; his conception of the other principle as a duality to the belief that numbers other than primes5 can be readily generated from it, as from a matrix.


Aristotle,  Metaphysics, Book 1, section 987b


 

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