opposition or negation can exist It has no connexion with matter, and, therefore, no alternative potentiaK-ties. In its pure intuitive energy it is simply positive or affirinative of itself, and has not to deal with the i negative, even as a possibility
Now I will not say that such language is quite conclusive as to Aristotle's views. It is possible to take it as meaning simply that all oppositions and differences of thought are relative, and imply a unity which transcends them; and that a perfect intelligence must contemplate all things in relation to this unity.
If we adopted this view, we might say that Aristotle does not dismiss negation and opposition as unreal or as not entering into the objects of reason, but simply
contends that they are never to be taken as absolute negation or opposition; in other words, that they are
only to be regarded as expressing the negative relation to each other of the indivisible factors of one whole.
But when we consider Aristotle's general treatment of
the idea of negation, and how he frequently attacks
, ' » > , * » *, »» i • ■ • * i ■ ■. <
Ha. to for
• ■ i> i each other, it is difficult to attribute to him any such
, ■ íñ his whole discussioá of the law of con-
the reciprocal exclusiveness of the affirmative and the negative; nor does he ever seem to realise the k if thinss have no
â46 ARISTOTLE'S VIÈW OF REASON
cannot even exclude each other ; for, even in order to exclusion, they must be conceived as included in some larger unity. Finally, this view of Aristotle's meaning is confirmed by the comparison which he draws1 between the intuition by which reason apprehends the pure forms of things and the apprehension by sense of the ' special sensibles,' which also he regards as simple and indivisible, independent of all judgment or inference, and therefore exempt from the possibility of error. Aristotle fails to see that even the special sensibles cannot be apprehended without discrimination, nor, therefore, without mental process. On the other hand, even if we could conceive of something—say, a sensation of sound or colour—as given to the mind through sense, in an immediate intuition which implied no activity of thought, it would not supply any fit illustration of the intuitions of reason« For, though an intuition of reason may be called simple and indivisible, it is not in the sense of a bare unit which has no mediation, but in the sense of an organic unity, whose manifold elements are so perfectly mediated with each other that we can no longer think of any one of them except as involving, and involved in, the whole.
To sum up the result of this lecture. Our examination of the Aristotelian conception of science has shown that his separation of the theoretical from the
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