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Pages of Metaphysics

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The same thing may have all the kinds of causes, e.g. the moving cause
of a house is the art or the builder, the final cause is the
function it fulfils, the matter is earth and stones, and the form is
the definition. To judge from our previous discussion of the
question which of the sciences should be called Wisdom, there is
reason for applying the name to each of them. For inasmuch as it is
most architectonic and authoritative and the other sciences, like
slavewomen, may not even contradict it, the science of the end and
of the good is of the nature of Wisdom (for the other things are for
the sake of the end). But inasmuch as it was described' as dealing
with the first causes and that which is in the highest sense object of
knowledge, the science of substance must be of the nature of Wisdom.
For since men may know the same thing in many ways, we say that he who
recognizes what a thing is by its being so and so knows more fully
than he who recognizes it by its not being so and so, and in the
former class itself one knows more fully than another, and he knows
most fully who knows what a thing is, not he who knows its quantity or
quality or what it can by nature do or have done to it. And further in
all cases also we think that the knowledge of each even of the
things of which demonstration is possible is present only when we know
what the thing is, e.g. what squaring a rectangle is, viz. that it
is the finding of a mean; and similarly in all other cases. And we
know about becomings and actions and about every change when we know
the source of the movement; and this is other than and opposed to
the end. Therefore it would seem to belong to different sciences to
investigate these causes severally.
But (2), taking the starting-points of demonstration as well as
the causes, it is a disputable question whether they are the object of
one science or of more (by the starting-points of demonstration I mean
the common beliefs, on which all men base their proofs); e.g. that
everything must be either affirmed or denied, and that a thing
cannot at the same time be and not be, and all other such
premisses:-the question is whether the same science deals with them as
with substance, or a different science, and if it is not one
science, which of the two must be identified with that which we now
seek.-It is not reasonable that these topics should be the object of
one science; for why should it be peculiarly appropriate to geometry
or to any other science to understand these matters? If then it
belongs to every science alike, and cannot belong to all, it is not
peculiar to the science which investigates substances, any more than
to any other science, to know about these topics.-And, at the same
time, in what way can there be a science of the first principles?
For we are aware even now what each of them in fact is (at least
even other sciences use them as familiar); but if there is a
demonstrative science which deals with them, there will have to be
an underlying kind, and some of them must be demonstrable attributes
and others must be axioms (for it is impossible that there should be
demonstration about all of them); for the demonstration must start
from certain premisses and be about a certain subject and prove
certain attributes. Therefore it follows that all attributes that
are proved must belong to a single class; for all demonstrative
sciences use the axioms.
But if the science of substance and the science which deals with
the axioms are different, which of them is by nature more
authoritative and prior? The axioms are most universal and are
principles of all things. And if it is not the business of the
philosopher, to whom else will it belong to inquire what is true and
what is untrue about them?
(3) In general, do all substances fall under one science or
under more than one? If the latter, to what sort of substance is the
present science to be assigned?-On the other hand, it is not
reasonable that one science should deal with all. For then there would
be one demonstrative science dealing with all attributes. For ever
demonstrative science investigates with regard to some subject its

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