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Metaphysics translated by Joe Sachs

Book A 

1 - Aristotle says that art is about things that are usually the case, produces something, and often involves skill. It seems that art in this sense is any subject that is deeply inductive by virtue of being extremely complex or being heavily context bound. I would say that anything he says about art pertains more to what we think of as induction in the modern world than what he says of what is translated with the word induction (epogee).

Art comes out of many conceptions from experience, in a universal judgment or as from what is similar. This idea is even more like the modern sense of induction.

2 - Aristotle seems to say that people seek knowledge out of the freedom to do so and that knowledge freely gained is the best. This is explained mostly in terms of how scholarly thought is best accomplished when leisure is possible. But leisure seems to also suggest that knowledge can be pursued more deeply when one doesn't need to worry about basic survival or warfare. If knowledge freely gained is the best, then implicitly, I think Aristotle is advocating freedom of thought.

3-8 - A history of analyzing causes.

9 - Forms are shared in so they must be of independent things. They must share in each by virtue of what is not attributed to underlying subject.

If forms were patterns, then there would be forms of forms.

Aristotle says that philosophy has become mathematical for people. He is pointing out that other philosophers of his time were overly focused on the abstract instead of observation. 

Book a (α)

2 - Acting for sake of something requires that the process be finite.

3 - Mathematical precision is best for immaterial things.

Book B

1 - It is easier to know you reach the end if you know all the ways you can get stuck.

3 - There cannot be a genus of thinghood because the differentia needs to be outside the genus.

4 - If the one is not independent, the number of things can’t be either. If the one is independent, then how is any being more than one?

5 - If the forms are things like points more so than the forms own bodies, nothing could be independent.

6 - If the universal were independent then Socrates would be many kinds of animals. I think this means that if a universal is independent, it would have being - in which case Socrates would be an independent individual animal, independent individual human, and so on, all at the same time.

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Book IV (Γ)

2 - What is one is the same as what is.

3 – One cannot be in error about axioms because it is necessary to arrive with this knowledge if one wants to know anything.

4 - If there are infinite definitions, then a being is also defined as its opposite. Therefore, there cannot be infinite definitions of anything.

5 - If someone is more in the right that things are or are not in a certain way, then he is saying how things are. This seems like Aristotle is saying that if anyone says that people can only be more or less right relatively to another person, that person is actually making a definite claim about how things are.

6 – Cratylus thought that you couldn’t even step into a river. This chapter has a lot to do with nothing having any identity, and this is someone more extreme than Heraclitus.

Book V (Δ)

This book is a dictionary of the sort that aims at dispelling ambiguity. It's hard to tell why this book was placed in this position.

4 – Nature is what is present in something all along as a source of notion, potentially or at-work.

12 – The primary kind of potency is a source of change in something else or as something else.

24 - Composite independent things are made of sensible material. The form is made of intelligible material. Intelligible material seems to be that which makes something able to be conceptualized.

27 – Defect is when something loses a part that is not decisive to its form. So, these things would be nonessentials.

Book VI (E)

1 – Nature is concerned with things that are separate and have motion. Math is about things that are motionless and not separate. First philosophy is about things that are separate and motionless.

3 – Against determinism? This chapter has a lot to say about if all things necessarily lead to one result, and in what sense.

4 – True and false are in thinking. I think the idea is things are how they are in reality so there is no sense in saying that things are true if things just are. Likewise, reality can't be false if things just are. 

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Book VII (Z)

1 - Thinghood is primary in every sense of the word.

3 - One’s job is to make what is good, be good, for each person, out of the things that are good for each one. I interpret this as the good only existing at-work when the good of something is brought about by action in relation to what is good for the actor. Perhaps Aristotle thinks that the good exists itself in potency but it isn't anything in actuality until and unless someone acts for their own good.

5- A definition is a statement about what it is for something to be, of independent things primarily.

6 - If the good itself and being good are different, then being good is not actually good. Being good should belong to the good itself.

Form and substance could not be distinguished because you can’t put a name on every kind of thing there is for something to be. It would be like a form of what it is to be what it is to be a horse.

7 - When creating things by art, it begins from thinking from the source and form, and production is the conclusion of thinking. Health is a pattern and knowledge in the soul.

 9 - The primary thing responsible for making something is part of what is made.

10 - Letters of a syllable are parts of the form. Not even all the letters are in the articulation a syllable. This seems to be that we can articulate part of the form, but something is always left out in that articulation. Maybe this includes images in memory?

Parts of a thing's articulations belong to form, the articulation is of the universal. There is no definition of form for composites. Composites are known directly by contemplation or perception. When this is no longer active it is unclear what they are, but they have universal articulation. Certainly this means that the form is itself neither a universal nor a easily defined thing.

11 - Aristotle points put that one should determine if the soul has a different material.

12 – The form and thinghood bring to completion a difference that is brought into being from a difference.

15 - You can't define the form (of a particular) because it will consist of words already known. Particulars are always unique, so you would always end up defining something abstract that isn't concretely singular.

16 - Form is not one applied to many because it can’t point out what is independent and distinct.

17 - There is something that makes a syllable a syllable rather than just letters. That something is the form.

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Book VIII (H)

2 – If thinghood is the cause of being, one must look for what is responsible for being.

3 – Independent things are like numbers because if you add or subtract anything, they are no longer the same. They are complete of a particular nature.

4 – Articulation that includes cause is the formal cause.

Book IX (Θ)

1 – Potency is a source of change in some other thing or in the same thing as other.

2 – Potencies that include reason are capable of contrary effects. That's why people can be bad or good.

4 – I don’t understand this chapter at all.

5 – Whatever something desires, is what it does, whenever what it is capable of is present and that something approaches its object. Psychologically, this would mean everyone does what they desire as long as there are no obstacles and people perceive those desires. I'd say this is why behavior can be predicted, and why people are not totally indeterministic.

6 – Actions without ends are not complete. Being at work is complete.

7 – Being-in-potency is when things are in virtue of themselves and nothing stands in the way.

8 – A thing the same in form and at-work takes precedence in time. I think this means that a mover comes before a potential.

Being-at-work comes before thinghood, like man to boy. A boy (despite being what this thing is right now) grows towards being a man, and the nature of what he is, is determined by the work of being a man.

When material is at-work, it is in the form that it was going toward(when it was just a potency as a material).

9 - In geometrical figures the things inside them are discovered by being drawn, so their being-at-work is in contemplation. 

Book X (I)

1 – To be one is to be the primary measure of each class of things.  Every amount is known by what is one. This one is a standard of measure as an irreducible unit.

A measure is the same kind of thing as what it measures. This suggests that if you form a class of things, they can only be made universal with a measurement. That way, everything being measured is necessarily the same kind of thing. Also, the measurement is standard and consistent because the amount that the measurement even is, is known by what is one.

3 – Things differ in genus that do not have common material and do not turn into one another. 

4 – Contrary things are spoken of with one of the contrary things viewed as a deprivation. Good as the presence of something that is good, bad as the deprivation of good.

6 – The one is what measures multitude. One measures, multitude is measured. They are opposed in this way. 

7 – In-between things are composed of opposites. Something in-between good and bad as characteristics of both.

8 – The genus is the material of the species. Things that differ in species are a contrariness.

9 – The articulation makes a difference in species, but material and articulation does not. There is no contrary in the last one. This idea is confusing to me.

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Book XI (K)

1 – Species might be sources because they are indivisible. General classes might be sources because when they are destroyed, others are destroyed with them. I'm thinking this means that the destruction of something encompasses more when there are broader characteristics involved compared to the narrow characteristics of a species. If

3 – Being is traced back or is led back to one thing common.

6 – Things can’t seem to be opposite to different people unless one of them has a damaged sense organ. What is white to one person would not seem like it is black to another person, unless one person has damaged vision. 

9 – Being-at-work is difficult to define, according to Aristotle.

Book XII (Λ)

1- There are four types of things: perceptible, everlasting, destructible, and motionless.

2 – There are three sources: the articulation of a contrary, its deprivation, and material.

3 – Material is what changes, form is what it changes into.

6 – The motionless, independent everlasting thing cannot be potency. It must be at-work without material. There is no way for it to be otherwise, since it would grow weary and decay if it were material. I wonder though if this could be pure energy, if this would fit the limitations set by Aristotle. 

7 – I think he might be saying that the motionless thing causes things to move by other things being pulled towards it, simply through its presence, and maybe that it is the cause of anything that can be thought about.

Why isn’t work also pleasure?

This motionless thing is a thinking - that thinks by itself - that partakes in the very thing it thinks about. So, it always has the things that the intellect is receptive of. It has to have them because it is always at work. This seems to fit nicely into a modern panpsychist view, where perhaps this motionless thing is the simplest degree of consciousness that is capable of nothing more than recognizing its own existence. 

9 – The motionless thing can’t be a potency of thinking because then sometimes it will not be at work. 

If it thinks things outside itself then those things would be more honorable.

In terms of kinds of knowns that make something, the thing without material is both what the knowledge is concerned with and the activity of thinking it.

10 – The cause of motion makes form and material one.

Book XIII (M)

3 – The greatest forms of the beautiful are order, symmetry, and determinateness. 

9- Number and magnitude are separate.

10 – All knowledge is universal; the sources of being must be universal and not independent. This is potency. But knowledge-at-work is not universal. Sight sees a universal of color simply because what it sees is a color.

If intensity were an independent thing, it would be indivisible therefore not infinite.

Book XIV (N)

1 – One is a measure. Everything has a measure that is standard. Measure is indivisible in its kind of relation to perception. Things that are the same share a common measure. This chapter is perhaps the most direct connection to Objectivist epistemology regarding concept formation in all the works of Aristotle.

4 – Attaching goodness to one would attach badness to multitude, since good is the opposite of bad, and one is the opposite of multitude.

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