matter, it is a potentiality for all the forms of

; for it has no nature of its own which could come between it and other things or prevent it

from seeing them as they are. Hence it is not in knowing anything else, in all knowledge it is realising, its own nature and

so coming to a consciousness of itself. We may, therefore, say that it is absolutely impassive, in so far as in no exercise of its knowing faculty is it drawn beyond itself or subjected to a infiuence. Bather in apprehending objects it 1 gains

* over them, and uses them to evolve

• • • | '' ■ . 1 1 | 11 1 i its own powers. While, therefore, the data of

sense may supply the first occasion for its action, the principle of its activity is always in itself, and we have to conceive all the process of its develop-

ment 4s one of self-determination; or, as Aristotle it, of the determination of the passive by the active reason. Aristotle's conception of reason,


however, as at once a universal receptivity and a pure activity, has given occasion to so much controversy that it seems desirable to quote his own words.1

"Here," he declares, "we have to bring in a distinction of elements or factors, which prevails throughout all nature. For in every kind of reality we find, on the one hand, a matter as the potentiality out of which it is produced, and, on the other hand, a cause or active principle which realises itself therein: and this distinction necessarily extends to the soul. There is then a reason, the characteristic of which is that it becomes everything, and a reason the characteristic of which is that it produces everything. And the latter exists as a positive source of activity,2 like light which turns potential into actual colour. Now it is this form of reason which exists separately, unmingled and impassive, its very being consisting in its activity; for that which is active is always superior to that which is passive, and the determining principle to the matter it determines. But science, in which active reason realises itself, is one with the reality which is its object; while the potentiality of science, though prior to actual science in time in the individual, iB posterior to it even in time, if we speak generally. Nor must we suppose that the active reason sometimes thinks and sometimes does k

3 (fc ¿(is ns. I think the opposition of fys to fTifyqcit is suggested«

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