Welcome
   Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Authors
Works by Aristotle
Pages of Metaphysics



Previous | Next
                  

Metaphysics   


are complete in virtue of having attained their end. Therefore,
since the end is something ultimate, we transfer the word to bad
things and say a thing has been completely spoilt, and completely
destroyed, when it in no wise falls short of destruction and
badness, but is at its last point. This is why death, too, is by a
figure of speech called the end, because both are last things. But the
ultimate purpose is also an end.-Things, then, that are called
complete in virtue of their own nature are so called in all these
senses, some because in respect of goodness they lack nothing and
cannot be excelled and no part proper to them can be found outside
them, others in general because they cannot be exceeded in their
several classes and no part proper to them is outside them; the others
presuppose these first two kinds, and are called complete because they
either make or have something of the sort or are adapted to it or in
some way or other involve a reference to the things that are called
complete in the primary sense.
17

'Limit' means (1) the last point of each thing, i.e. the first
point beyond which it is not possible to find any part, and the
first point within which every part is; (2) the form, whatever it
may be, of a spatial magnitude or of a thing that has magnitude; (3)
the end of each thing (and of this nature is that towards which the
movement and the action are, not that from which they are-though
sometimes it is both, that from which and that to which the movement
is, i.e. the final cause); (4) the substance of each thing, and the
essence of each; for this is the limit of knowledge; and if of
knowledge, of the object also. Evidently, therefore, 'limit' has as
many senses as 'beginning', and yet more; for the beginning is a
limit, but not every limit is a beginning.
18

'That in virtue of which' has several meanings:-(1) the form or
substance of each thing, e.g. that in virtue of which a man is good is
the good itself, (2) the proximate subject in which it is the nature
of an attribute to be found, e.g. colour in a surface. 'That in virtue
of which', then, in the primary sense is the form, and in a
secondary sense the matter of each thing and the proximate
substratum of each.-In general 'that in virtue of which' will found in
the same number of senses as 'cause'; for we say indifferently (3)
in virtue of what has he come?' or 'for what end has he come?'; and
(4) in virtue of what has he inferred wrongly, or inferred?' or
'what is the cause of the inference, or of the wrong
inference?'-Further (5) Kath' d is used in reference to position, e.g.
'at which he stands' or 'along which he walks; for all such phrases
indicate place and position.
Therefore 'in virtue of itself' must likewise have several
meanings. The following belong to a thing in virtue of itself:-(1) the
essence of each thing, e.g. Callias is in virtue of himself Callias
and what it was to be Callias;-(2) whatever is present in the
'what', e.g. Callias is in virtue of himself an animal. For 'animal'
is present in his definition; Callias is a particular animal.-(3)
Whatever attribute a thing receives in itself directly or in one of
its parts; e.g. a surface is white in virtue of itself, and a man is
alive in virtue of himself; for the soul, in which life directly
resides, is a part of the man.-(4) That which has no cause other
than itself; man has more than one cause--animal, two-footed--but
yet man is man in virtue of himself.-(5) Whatever attributes belong to
a thing alone, and in so far as they belong to it merely by virtue
of itself considered apart by itself.
19

'Disposition' means the arrangement of that which has parts, in
respect either of place or of potency or of kind; for there must be

Previous | Next
Site Search