In Its Theoretical Use 327

formal deduction, but by differentiation and integration; or, in other words, by the evolution of differences and the reconciliation of them or the discovery of their relative character. In fact, there is no other way in which scientific investigation can possibly proceed if it . would lead to any profitable result. For what in all cases investigation must seek after is to exchange the vaguely determined wholes of our immediate empirical consciousness for that clear articulation and necessary connexion of the different elements or aspects of a subject, or, in other words, for that systematic complete-

ness and unity, which we call science. If we would determine the nature of any whole, says Aristotle on one occasion,1 we must divide it into its h t, ' ■ elementary parts and endeavour to define each of them

: but, in practice at least, he is never content to conceive any real whole as the mere sum of the parts or as the resultant of their action and reaction upon each other, but seeks to discover how the relative independence of the parts is consistent with, and subordinated to, the unity of the whole.

Thus in the Politics he regards the separate families as

the elementary parts, or primitive cells, out of which

the State is made up, but he is not content to treat the State as a multitude of families acting externally upon each other; rather he maintains that ' the State is prior to the family,' or in other words, that it is the lPost. An., m, 15.


higher ethical unity of the State, which first enables us to comprehend fully the function of the family as a constituent part of it

But, though the actual science of Aristotle does not agree with his logical ideal, it would be a •mistake to suppose that this ideal is without influence upon his philosophy. On the contrary, his logical ideal is the counterpart of his conception of individuality as involving, so to speak, a nucleus of specific determination in each individual substance, which is embedded in a mass of accidents. In other words, Aristotle sharply divides the individual as an object of sense from the universal principle which is realised in it, and which enables us to make it an object of science. He separates the individual as having a specific character from the individual as this particular being in its particular environment. Nor does it carry us much farther that in one passage in the Metaphysics he speaks as if there were a definite form and a definite matter for every individual,1 so long as the form and the matter are not conceived as essentially and entirely relative to each other, that is, so long as the latter is conceived as in any sense accidental or as the source of accidents. For, so long as the separation of these two factors of reality Is maintained, we are obliged to regard the true nature of the individual as consisting in that which he

1 Met1071a, 28.


a substance made up of qualities or relations. It would appear, therefore, that a substance cannot be resolved into any elements at all, and, therefore, cannot be defined. Yet the substance is just that which we seek to define; indeed, it is on the definition of it that all demonstrative science is based. Aristotle ends with the promise of a further discussion of the subject, a promise which is nowhere adequately fulfilled.1

Tet there are passages in this chapter which seem to suggest that what from one point of view may be regarded as an individual substance or self-determined whole—say, an individual man— may from another point of view be regarded as a res incompleta, an imperfect individuality, when we realise his essential relation to other individuals in society.2 If, however, Aristotle had ever entered

1So far as I am aware, the only attempt which he makes in this direction is in a passage already quoted {Met., 10456, 16) in which he speaks of form and matter as essentially correlative. This, however, could not really solve the difficulty; for, in the first place, this correlativity is not consistently maintained; and, in the second place, even if it were maintained, it would not enable us to distinguish different elements in the form. For Aristotle does not seem here to be speaking of matter in the sense of the logical genus.

8 Met., 1039a, 2. This seems to be involved in what he says of the principle that i) ¿mX^xeta %<apt$et, and that e.g. in the number 2, the two units exist only potentially, while they exist actually only when the units are separated from each other. This would seem to point to the only possible solution of the ivoptm

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