of reason, which grasps the principle of the subject, and perceives its self-evidencing character.
We might, therefore, say that Aristotle starts •from the a posteriori to find the w priori; in other words, that he begins with a view of truth as a mass of separate phenomena, which seem to be given to the mind from without, and that he regards the intellectual comprehension of these data as attained only when the mind finds itself in its objects, or grasps as their explanation a principle which needs no evidence but itself. The process is otherwise described by
Aristotle as one in which we advance from what is
1 i • i first to us to that which is first in the nature of
This regress from phenomena to their is, however, a preliminary process, and the proper movement of science begins with these
and seeks to show by demonstration all that is involved in them.
Now we might at first be disposed to interpret
this as meaning simply that the scientific man finds
of investigation in the immediate appearances of sense, that he soon discovers that these
appearances, in the first view of them, are inconsistent
I i 1 i to each other, but that, by even
them together and comparing them, he rises
to an explanation, which enables him to remove their apparent inconsistency and bring them all into agreement With each other. But this is not what Aristotle ft
324 ARISTOTLE'S VIEW OF REASON
says. He does not expect that science will ever be able to explain the particulars of sense from which it starts; for, in his view, science, as such, deals with the universal and the necessary, while the particulars of sense have in them an element of contingency which cannot be referred to any such principle. The world, indeed, is conceived by him as consisting in a
multitude of individual things, in each of which some specific principle is manifested; but this specific principle is not supposed to account for all that we find in the individual things, still less for all that happens to them. It cannot in this way explain anything that results from the particular material basis in which the form of the species is realised, or from the external relations into which the particular object is brought, but only the properties that are necessarily involved in the form and can be logically proved to be so involved. And, as logical proof for Aristotle means simple deduction, it would seem to follow that a a science must be made up of universal judgments, which are analytically deducible from each other. It is probable that Aristotle was misled in some degree by the example of mathematics, and that he did not realise,1 what Kant afterwards showed, that there is a synthetical movement of thought in every step of the
1 Professor Cook Wilson has pointed out to me that In one passage of the Metaphysic (1051a, 22 seq.) Aristotle seems to discern the synthetic character of mathematical proof; but this is m isolated statement.
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