Aristotle, Metaphysics

LCL 287: 52-53

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1059 a

I. Ὅτι μὲν ἡ σοφία περὶ ἀρχὰς ἐπιστήμη τίς ἐστι, δῆλον ἐκ τῶν πρώτων ἐν οἷς διηπόρηται πρὸς 20 τὰ ὑπὸ τῶν ἄλλων εἰρημένα περὶ τῶν ἀρχῶν· ἀπορήσειε δ᾿ ἄν τις πότερον μίαν ὑπολαβεῖν εἶναι δεῖ τὴν σοφίαν ἐπιστήμην ἢ πολλάς. εἰ μὲν γὰρ μίαν, μία γ᾿ ἐστὶν ἀεὶ τῶν ἐναντίων· αἱ δ᾿ ἀρχαὶ οὐκ ἐναντίαι. εἰ δὲ μὴ μία, ποίας δεῖ θεῖναι ταύτας; Ἔτι τὰς ἀποδεικτικὰς ἀρχὰς θεωρῆσαι 25 μιᾶς ἢ πλειόνων; εἰ μὲν γὰρ μιᾶς, τί μᾶλλον ταύτης ἢ ὁποιασοῦν; εἰ δὲ πλειόνων, ποίας δεῖ ταύτας θεῖναι; Ἔτι πότερον πασῶν τῶν οὐσιῶν ἢ οὔ; εἰ μὲν γὰρ μὴ πασῶν, ποίων χαλεπὸν ἀποδοῦναι· εἰ δὲ πασῶν μία, ἄδηλον πῶς ἐνδέχεται πλειόνων τὴν αὐτὴν ἐπιστήμην εἶναι. Ἔτι πότερον 30 περὶ τὰς οὐσίας μόνον ἢ καὶ τὰ συμβεβηκότα1; εἰ γὰρ περί γε τὰ συμβεβηκότα ἀπόδειξίς ἐστιν, περὶ τὰς οὐσίας οὐκ ἔστιν· εἰ δὲ ἑτέρα, τίς ἑκατέρα καὶ ποτέρα σοφία; ᾗ2 μὲν γὰρ ἀποδεικτικὴ


Metaphysics, XI. i

Boook XI

I. That Wisdom is a science of first principles is cc. i.–viii. Summary of Books III., IV. and VI. cc. i, ii. The main problems of Metaphysics. clear from our introductory remarks,a in which we raised objections to the statements of other thinkers about the first principles. It might be asked, however, whether we should regard Wisdom as one science or as more than one.b If as one, it may be objected that the objects of one science are always contraries; but the first principles are not contraries. And if it is not one, what sort of sciences are we to suppose them to be?

Again, is it the province of one science, or of more2 than one, to study the principles of demonstration?c If of one, why of it rather than of any other? And if of more than one, of what sort are we to suppose them to be?

Again, are we to suppose that Wisdom deals with all substances or not?d If not with all, it is hard to lay down with what kind it does deal; while if there is one science of them all, it is not clear how the same science can deal with more than one subject.

Again, is this science concerned only with substances,3 or with attributes as well?e For if it is a demonstration of attributes, it is not concerned with substances; and if there is a separate science of each, what is each of these sciences, and which of them is Wisdom? Qua demonstrative, the science of attributes

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-metaphysics.1933