"كتابات الآباء "
THE STROMATA, OR
MISCELLANIES: BOOK VIII
CHAP. I.--THE OBJECT OF PHILOSOPHICAL AND THEOLOGICAL
INQUIRY--THE DISCOVERY OF TRUTH.
BUT the most ancient of the philosophers were not carried away to
disputing and doubting, much less are we, who are attached to the
really true philosophy, on whom the Scripture enjoins examination
and investigation. For it is the more recent of the Hellenic
philosophers who, by empty and futile love of fame, are led into
useless babbling in refuting and wrangling. But, on the contrary,
the Barbarian philosophy, expelling all contention, said, "Seek, and
ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; ask, and it
shall be given you."
Accordingly, by investigation, the point proposed for inquiry and
answer knocks at the door of truth, according to what appears. And
on an opening being made through the obstacle in the process of
investigation, there results scientific contemplation. To those who
thus knock, according to my view, the subject under investigation is
And to those who thus ask questions, in the Scriptures, there is
given from God (that at which they aim) the gift of the God-given
knowledge, by way of comprehension, through the true illumination of
logical investigation. For it is impossible to find, without having
sought; or to have sought, without having examined; or to have
examined, without having unfolded and opened up the question by
interrogation, to produce distinctness; or again, to have gone
through the whole investigation, without thereafter receiving as the
prize the knowledge of the point in question.
But it belongs to him who has sought, to find; and to him to seek,
who thinks previously that he does not know. Hence drawn by desire
to the discovery of what is good, he seeks thoughtfully, without
love of strife or glory, asking, answering, and besides considering
the statements made. For it is incumbent, in applying ourselves not
only to the divine Scriptures, but also to common notions, to
institute investigations, the discovery ceasing at some useful end.
For another place and crowd await turbulent people, and forensic
sophistries. But it is suitable for him, who is at once a lover and
disciple of the truth, to be pacific even in investigations,
advancing by scientific demonstration, without love of self, but
with love of truth, to comprehensive knowledge.
CHAP. II.--THE NECESSITY OF PERSPICUOUS DEFINITION.
What better or clearer method, for the commencement of instruction
of this nature, can there be than discussion of the term advanced,
so distinctly, that all who use the same language may follow it? Is
the term for demonstration of such a kind as the word Blityri, which
is a mere sound, signifying nothing? But how is it that neither does
the philosopher, nor the orator,--no more does the judge,--adduce
demonstration as a term that means nothing; nor is any of the
contending parties ignorant of the fact, that the meaning does not
Philosophers, in fact, present demonstration as having a substantial
existence, one in one way, another in another. Therefore, if one
would treat aright of each question, he cannot carry back the
discourse to another more generally admitted fundamental principle
than what is admitted to be signified by the term by all of the same
nation and language.
Then, starting from this point, it is necessary to inquire if the
proposition has this signification or not. And next, if it is
demonstrated to have, it is necessary to investigate its nature
accurately, of what kind it is, and whether it ever passes over the
class assigned. And if it suffices not to say, absolutely, only that
which one thinks (for one's opponent may equally allege, on the
other side, what he likes); then what is stated must be confirmed.
If the decision of it be carried back to what is likewise matter of
dispute, and the decision of that likewise to another disputed
point, it will go on ad infinitum, and will be incapable of
demonstration. But if the belief of a point that is not admitted be
carried back to one admitted by all, that is to be made the
commencement of instruction. Every term, therefore, advanced for
discussion is to be converted into an expression that is admitted by
those that are parties in the discussion, to form the starting point
for instruction, to lead the way to the discovery of the points
under investigation. For example, let it be the term "sun" that is
in question. Now the Stoics say that it is "an intellectual fire
kindled from the waters of the sea." Is not the definition,
consequently, obscurer than the term, requiring another
demonstration to prove if it be true? It is therefore better to say,
in the common and distinct form of speech, "that the brightest of
the heavenly bodies is named the sun." For this expression is more
credible and clearer, and is likewise admitted by all.
CHAP. III.--DEMONSTRATION DEFINED.
Similarly, also, all men will admit that demonstration is
discourse, agreeable to reason, producing belief in points
disputed, from points admitted.
Now, not only demonstration and belief and knowledge, but
foreknowledge also, are used in a twofold manner. There is that
which is scientific and certain, and that which is merely based on
In strict propriety, then, that is called demonstration which
produces in the souls of learners scientific belief. The other kind
is that which merely leads to opinion. As also, both he that is
really a man, possessing common judgment, and he that is savage and
brutal,--each is a man. Thus also the Comic poet said that "man is
graceful, so long as he is man." The same holds with ox, horse, and
dog, according to the goodness or badness of the animal. For by
looking to the perfection of the genus, we come to those meanings
that are strictly proper. For instance, we conceive of a physician
who is deficient in no element of the power of healing, and a
Gnostic who is defective in no element of scientific knowledge.
Now demonstration differs from syllogism; inasmuch as the point
demonstrated is indicative of one thing, being one and identical; as
we say that to be with child is the proof of being no longer a
virgin. But what is apprehended by syllogism, though one thing,
follows from several; as, for example, not one but several proofs
are adduced of Pytho having betrayed the Byzantines, if such was the
fact. And to draw a conclusion from what is admitted is to
syllogize; while to draw a conclusion from what is true is to
So that there is a compound advantage of demonstration: from its
assuming, for the proof of points in question, true premisses, and
from its drawing the conclusion that follows from them. If the first
have no existence, but the second follow from the first, one has not
demonstrated, but syllogized. For, to draw the proper conclusion
from the premisses, is merely to syllogize. But to have also each of
the premisses true, is not merely to have syllogized, but also to
And to conclude, as is evident from the word, is to bring to the
conclusion. And in every train of reasoning, the point sought to be
determined is the end, which is also called the conclusion. But no
simple and primary statement is termed a syllogism, although true;
but it is compounded of three such, at the least,--of two as
premisses, and one as conclusion.
Now, either all things require demonstration, or some of them are
self-evident. But if the first, by demanding the demonstration of
each demonstration we shall go on ad infinitum; and so demonstration
is subverted. But if the second, those things which are self-evident
will become the starting points [and fundamental grounds] of
In point of fact, the philosophers admit that the first principles
of all things are indemonstrable. So that if there is demonstration
at all, there is an absolute necessity that there be something that
is self-evident, which is called primary and indemonstrable.
Consequently all demonstration is traced up to indemonstrable
It will also turn out that there are other starting points for
demonstrations, after the source which takes its rise in faith,--the
things which appear clearly to sensation and understanding. For the
phenomena of sensation are simple, and incapable of being
decompounded; but those of understanding are simple, rational, and
primary. But those produced from them are compound, but no less
clear and reliable, and having more to do with the reasoning faculty
than the first. For therefore the peculiar native power of reason,
which we all have by nature, deals with agreement and disagreement.
If, then, any argument be found to be of such a kind, as from points
already believed to be capable of producing belief in what is not
yet believed, we shall aver that this is the very essence of
Now it is affirmed that the nature of demonstration, as that of
belief, is twofold: that which produces in the souls of the hearers
persuasion merely, and that which produces knowledge.
If, then, one begins with the things which are evident to sensation
and understanding, and then draw the proper conclusion, he truly
demonstrates. But if [he begin] with things which are only probable
and not primary, that is evident neither to sense nor understanding,
and if he draw the right conclusion, he will syllogize indeed, but
not produce a scientific demonstration; but if [he draw] not the
right conclusion, he will not syllogize at all.
Now demonstration differs from analysis. For each one of the points
demonstrated, is demonstrated by means of points that are
demonstrated; those having been previously demonstrated by others;
till we get back to those which are self-evident, or to those
evident to sense and to understanding; which is called Analysis. But
demonstration is, when the point in question reaches us through all
the intermediate steps. The man, then, who practises demonstration,
ought to give great attention to the truth, while he disregards the
terms of the premisses, whether you call them axioms, or premisses,
or assumptions. Similarly, also, special attention must be paid to
what suppositions a conclusion is based on; while he may be quite
careless as to whether one choose to term it a conclusive or
For I assert that these two things must be attended to by the man
who would demonstrate--to assume true premisses, and to draw from
them the legitimate conclusion, which some also call "the
inference," as being what is inferred from the premisses.
Now in each proposition respecting a question there must be
different premisses, related, however, to the proposition laid down;
and what is advanced must be reduced to definition. And this
definition must be admitted by all. But when premisses irrelevant to
the proposition to be established are assumed, it is impossible to
arrive at any right result; the entire proposition--which is also
called the question of its nature--being ignored.
In all questions, then, there is something which is previously
known,--that which being self-evident is believed without
demonstration; which must be made the starting point in their
investigation, and the criterion of apparent results.
CHAP. IV.--TO PREVENT AMBIGUITY, WE MUST BEGIN WITH CLEAR
For every question is solved from pre-existing knowledge. And the
knowledge pre-existing of each object of investigation is sometimes
merely of the essence, while its functions are unknown (as of
stones, and plants, and animals, of whose operations we are
ignorant), or [the knowledge] of the properties, or powers, or (so
to speak) of the qualities inherent in the objects. And sometimes we
may know some one or more of those powers or properties,--as, for
example, the desires and affections of the soul,--and be ignorant of
the essence, and make it the object of investigation. But in many
instances, our understanding having assumed all these, the question
is, in which of the essences do they thus inhere; for it is after
forming conceptions of both--that is, both of essence and
operation--in our mind, that we proceed to the question. And there
are also some objects, whose operations, along with their essences,
we know, but are ignorant of their modifications.
Such, then, is the method of the discovery [of truth]. For we must
begin with the knowledge of the questions to be discussed. For often
the form of the expression deceives and confuses and disturbs the
mind, so that it is not easy to discover to what class the thing is
to be referred; as, for example, whether the foetus be an animal.
For, having a conception of an animal and a foetus, we inquire if it
be the case that the foetus is an animal; that is, if the substance
which is in the foetal state possesses the power of motion, and of
sensation besides. So that the inquiry is regarding functions and
sensations in a substance previously known. Consequently the man who
proposes the question is to be first asked, what he calls an animal.
Especially is this to be done whenever we find the same term applied
to various purposes; and we must examine whether what is signified
by the term is disputed, or admitted by all. For were one to say
that he calls whatever grows and is fed an animal, we shall have
again to ask further, whether he considered plants to be animals;
and then, after declaring himself to this effect, he must show what
it is which is in the foetal state, and is nourished.
For Plato calls plants animals, as partaking of the third species of
life alone, that of appetency. But Aristotle, while he thinks
that plants are possessed of a life of vegetation and nutrition,
does not consider it proper to call them animals; for that alone,
which possesses the other life--that of sensation--he considers
warrantable to be called an animal. The Stoics do not call the power
of vegetation, life.
Now, on the man who proposes the question denying that plants are
animals, we shall show that he affirms what contradicts himself.
For, having defined the animal by the fact of its nourishment and
growth, but having asserted that a plant is not an animal, it
appears that he says nothing else than that what is nourished and
grows is both an animal and not an animal.
Let him, then, say what he wants to learn. Is it whether what is in
the womb grows and is nourished, or is it whether it possesses any
sensation or movement by impulse ? For, according to Plato, the
plant is animate, and an animal; but, according to Aristotle, not an
animal, for it wants sensation, but is animate. Therefore, according
to him, an animal is an animate sentient being. But according to the
Stoics, a plant is neither animate nor an animal; for an animal is
an animate being. If, then, an animal is animate, and life is
sentient nature, it is plain that what is animate is sentient. If,
then, he who has put the question, being again interrogated if he
still calls the animal in the foetal state an animal on account of
its being nourished and growing, he has got his answer.
But were he to say that the question he asks is, whether the foetus
is already sentient, or capable of moving itself in consequence of
any impulse, the investigation of the matter becomes clear, the
fallacy in the name no longer remaining. But if he do not reply to
the interrogation, and will not say what he means, or in respect of
what consideration it is that he applies the term "animal" in
propounding the question, but bids us define it ourselves, let him
be noted as disputatious.
But as there are two methods, one by question and answer, and the
other the method of exposition, if he decline the former, let him
listen to us, while we expound all that bears on the problem. Then
when we have done, he may treat of each point in turn. But if he
attempt to interrupt the investigation by putting questions, he
plainly does not want to hear.
But if he choose to reply, let him first be asked, To what thing he
applies the name, animal. And when he has answered this, let him be
again asked, what, in his view, the foetus means, whether that which
is in the womb, or things already formed and living; and again, if
the foetus means the seed deposited, or if it is only when members
and a shape are formed that the name of embryos is to be applied.
And on his replying to this, it is proper that the point in hand be
reasoned out to a conclusion, in due order, and taught.
But if he wishes us to speak without him answering, let him hear.
Since you will not say in what sense you allege what you have
propounded (for I would not have thus engaged in a discussion about
meanings, but I would now have looked at the things themselves),
know that you have done just as if you had propounded the question,
Whether a dog were an animal? For I might have rightly said, Of what
dog do you speak ? For I shall speak of the land dog and the sea
dog, and the constellation in heaven, and of Diogenes too, and all
the other dogs in order. For I could not divine whether you inquire
about all or about some one. What you shall do subsequently is to
learn now, and say distinctly what it is that your question is
about. Now if you are shuffling about names, it is plain to
everybody that the name foetus is neither an animal nor a plant, but
a name, and a sound, and a body, and a being, and anything and
everything rather than an animal. And if it is this that you have
propounded, you are answered.
But neither is that which is denoted by the name foetus an animal.
But that is incorporeal, and may be called a thing and a notion, and
everything rather than an animal. The nature of an animal is
different. For it was clearly shown respecting the very point in
question, I mean the nature of the embryo, of what sort it is. The
question respecting the meanings expressed by the name animal is
I say, then, if you affirm that an animal is what has the power of
sensation and of moving itself from appetency, that an animal is not
simply what moves through appetency and is possessed of sensation.
For it is also capable of sleeping, or, when the objects of
sensation are not present, of not exercising the power of sensation.
But the natural power of appetency or of sensation is the mark of an
animal. For something of this nature is indicated by these things.
First, if the foetus is not capable of sensation or motion from
appetency; which is the point proposed for consideration. Another
point is; if the foetus is capable of ever exercising the power of
sensation or moving through appetency. In which sense no one makes
it a question, since it is evident.
But the question was, whether the embryo is already an animal, or
still a plant. And then the name animal was reduced to definition,
for the sake of perspicuity. But having discovered that it is
distinguished from what is not an animal by sensation and motion
from appetency; we again separated this from its adjuncts; asserting
that it was one thing for that to be such potentially, which is not
yet possessed of the power of sensation and motion, but will some
time be so, and another thing to be already so actually; and in the
case of such, it is one thing to exert its powers, another to be
able to exert them, but to be at rest or asleep. And this is the
For the embryo is not to be called an animal from the fact that it
is nourished; which is the allegation of those who turn aside from
the essence of the question, and apply their minds to what happens
otherwise. But in the case of all conclusions alleged to be found
out, demonstration is applied in common, which is discourse
(<greek>logos</greek>), establishing one thing from others. But the
grounds from which the point in question is to be established, must
be admitted and known by the learner. And the foundation of all
these is what is evident to sense and to intellect.
Accordingly the primary demonstration is composed of all these. But
the demonstration which, from points already demonstrated thereby,
concludes some other point, is no less reliable than the former. It
cannot be termed primary, because the conclusion is not drawn from
primary principles as premisses.
The first species, then, of the different kinds of questions, which
are three, has been exhibited--I mean that, in which the essence
being known, some one of its powers or properties is unknown. The
second variety of propositions was that in which we all know the
powers and properties, but do not know the essence; as, for example,
in what part of the body is the principal faculty of the soul.
CHAP.V.--APPLICATION OF DEMONSTRATION TO SCEPTICAL SUSPENSE OF
Now the same treatment which applies to demonstration applies also
to the following question. Some, for instance, say that there cannot
be several originating causes for one animal. It is impossible that
there can be several homogeneous originating causes of an animal;
but that there should be several heterogeneous, is not absurd.
Suppose the Pyrrhonian suspense of judgment, as they say, [the idea]
that nothing is certain: it is plain that, beginning with itself, it
first invalidates itself. It either grants that something is true,
that you are not to suspend your judgment on all things; or it
persists in saying that there is nothing true. And it is evident,
that first it will not be true. For it either affirms what is true
or it does not affirm what is true. But if it affirms what is true,
it concedes, though unwillingly, that something is true. And if it
does not affirm what is true, it leaves true what it wished to do
away with. For, in so far as the scepticism which demolishes is
proved false, in so far the positions which are being demolished,
are proved true; like the dream which says that all dreams are
false. For in confuting itself, it is confirmatory of the others.
And, in fine, if it is true, it will make a beginning with itself,
and not be scepticism of anything else but of itself first. Then if
[such a man] apprehends that he is a man, or that he is sceptical,
it is evident that he is not sceptical. And how shall he reply to
the interrogation? For he is evidently no sceptic in respect to
this. Nay, he affirms even that he does doubt.
And if we must be persuaded to suspend our judgment in regard to
everything, we shall first suspend our judgment in regard to our
suspense of judgment itself, whether we are to credit it or not.
And if this position is true, that we do not know what is true, then
absolutely nothing is allowed to be true by it. But if he will say
that even this is questionable, whether we know what is true; by
this very statement he grants that truth is knowable, in the very
act of appearing to establish the doubt respecting it.
But if a philosophical sect is a leaning toward dogmas, or,
according to some, a leaning to a number of dogmas which have
consistency with one another and with phenomena, tending to a right
life; and dogma is a logical conception, and conception is a state
and assent of the mind: not merely sceptics, but every one who
dogmatizes is accustomed in certain things to suspend his judgment,
either through want of strength of mind, or want of clearness in the
things, or equal force in the reasons.
CHAP. VI.--DEFINITIONS, GENERA, AND SPECIES.
The introductions and sources of questions are about these points
and in them.
But before definitions, and demonstrations, and divisions, it must
be propounded in what ways the question is stated; and equivocal
terms are to be treated; and synomyms stated accurately according to
Then it is to be inquired whether the proposition belongs to those
points, which are considered in relation to others, or is taken by
itself. Further, If it is, what it is, what happens to it; or thus,
also, if it is, what it is, why it is. And to the consideration of
these points, the knowledge of Particulars and Universals, and the
Antecedents and the Differences, and their divisions, contribute.
Now, Induction aims at generalization and definition; and the
divisions are the species, and what a thing is, and the individual.
The contemplation of the How adduces the assumption of what is
peculiar; and doubts bring the particular differences and the
demonstrations, and otherwise augment the speculation and its
consequences; and the result of the whole is scientific knowledge
Again, the summation resulting from Division becomes Definition. For
Definition is adopted before division and after: before, when it is
admitted or stated; after, when it is demonstrated. And by Sensation
the Universal is summed up from the Particular. For the starting
point of Induction is Sensation; and the end is the Universal.
Induction, accordingly, shows not what a thing is, but that it is,
or is not. Division shows what it is; and Definition similarly with
Division teaches the essence and what a thing is, but not if it is;
while Demonstration explains the three points, if it is, what it is,
and why it is.
There are also Definitions which contain the Cause. And since it may
be known when we see, when we see the Cause ; and Causes are
four--the matter, the moving power, the species, the end; Definition
will be fourfold.
Accordingly we must first take the genus, in which are the points
that are nearest those above; and after this the next difference.
And the succession of differences, when cut and divided, completes
the "What it is." There is no necessity for expressing all the
differences of each thing, but those which form the species.
Geometrical analysis and synthesis are similar to logical division
and definition; and by division we get back to what is simple and
more elementary. We divide, therefore, the genus of what is proposed
for consideration into the species contained in it; as, in the case
of man, we divide animal, which is the genus, into the species that
appear in it, the mortal, and the immortal. And thus, by continually
dividing those genera that seem to be compound into the simpler
species, we arrive at the point which is the subject of
investigation, and which is incapable of further division.
For, after dividing "the animal" into mortal and immortal, then into
terrestrial and aquatic; and the terrestrial again into those who
fly and those who walk; and so dividing the species which is nearest
to what is sought, which also contains what is sought, we arrive by
division at the simplest species, which contains nothing else, but
what is sought alone.
For again we divide that which walks into rational and irrational;
and then selecting from the species, apprehended by division, those
next to man, and combining them into one formula, we state the
definition of a man, who is an animal, mortal, terrestrial, walking,
Whence Division furnishes the class of matter, seeking for the
definition the simplicity of the name; and the definition of the
artisan and maker, by composition and construction, presents the
knowledge of the thing as it is; not of those things of which we
have general notions.
To these notions we say that explanatory expressions belong. For to
these notions, also, divisions are applicable.
Now one Division divides that which is divided into species, as a
genus; and another into parts, as a whole; and another into
The division, then, of a whole into the parts, is, for the most
part, conceived with reference to magnitude; that into the accidents
can never be entirely explicated, if, necessarily, essence is
inherent in each of the existences.
Whence both these divisions are to be rejected, and only the
division of the genus into species is approved, by which both the
identity that is in the genus is characterized, and the diversity
which subsists in the specific differences.
The species is always contemplated in a part. On the other hand,
however, if a thing is part of another, it will not be also a
species. For the hand is a part of a man, but it is not a species.
And the genus exists in the species. For [the genus] is both in man
and the ox. But the whole is not in the parts. For the man is not in
his feet. Wherefore also the species is more important than the
part; and whatever things are predicated of the genus will be all
predicated of the species.
It is best, then, to divide the genus into two, if not into three
species. The species then being divided more generically, are
characterized by sameness and difference. And then being divided,
they are chacterized by the points generically indicated.
For each of the species is either an essence; as when we say, Some
substances are corporeal and some incorporeal; or how much, or what
relation, or where, or when, or doing, or suffering.
One, therefore, will give the definition of whatever he possesses
the knowledge of; as one can by no means be acquainted with that
which he cannot embrace and define in speech. And in consequence of
ignorance of the definition, the result is, that many disputes and
deceptions arise. For if he that knows the thing has the knowledge
of it in his mind, and can explain by words what he conceives; and
if the explanation of the thought is definition; then he that knows
the thing must of necessity be able also to give the definition.
Now in definitions, difference is assumed, which, in the definition,
occupies the place of sign. The faculty of laughing, accordingly,
being added to the definition of man, makes the whole--a rational,
mortal, terrestrial, walking, laughing animal. For the things added
by way of difference to the definition are the signs of the
properties of things; but do not show the nature of the things
themselves. Now they say that the difference is the assigning of
what is peculiar; and as that which has the difference differs from
all the rest, that which belongs to it alone, and is predicated
conversely of the thing, must in definitions be assumed by the first
genus as principal and fundamental.
Accordingly, in the larger definitions the number of the species
that are discovered are in the ten Categories; and in the least, the
principal points of the nearest species being taken, mark the
essence and nature of the thing. But the least consists of three,
the genus and two essentially necessary species. And this is done
for the sake of brevity.
We say, then, Man is the laughing animal. And we must assume that
which pre-eminently happens to what is defined, or its peculiar
virtue, or its peculiar function, and the like.
Accordingly, while the definition is explanatory of the essence of
the thing, it is incapable of accurately comprehending its nature.
By means of the principal species, the definition makes an
exposition of the essence, and almost has the essence in the
CHAP. VII.--ON THE CAUSES OF DOUBT OR ASSENT.
The causes productive of scepticism are two things principally. One
is the changefulness and instability of the human mind, whose nature
it is to generate dissent, either that of one with another, or that
of people with themselves. And the second is the discrepancy which
is in things; which, as to be expected, is calculated to be
productive of scepticism.
For, being unable either to believe in all views, on account of
their conflicting nature; or to disbelieve all, because that which
says that all are untrustworthy is included in the number of those
that are so; or to believe some and disbelieve others on account of
the equipoise, we are led to scepticism.
But among the principal causes of scepticism is the instability of
the mind, which is productive of dissent. And dissent is the
proximate cause of doubt. Whence life is full of tribunals and
councils; and, in fine, of selection in what is said to be good and
bad; which are the signs of a mind in doubt, and halting through
feebleness on account of conflicting matters. And there are
libraries full of books,' and compilations and treatises of those
who differ in dogmas, and are confident that they themselves know
the truth that there is in things.
CHAP. VIII.--THE METHOD OF CLASSIFYING THINGS AND NAMES.
In language there are three things :--Names, which are primarily the
symbols of conceptions, and by consequence also of subjects. Second,
there are Conceptions, which are the likenesses and impressions of
the subjects. Whence in all, the conceptions are the same; in
consequence of the same impression being produced by the subjects in
all. But the names are not so, on account of the difference of
languages. And thirdly, the Subject-matters by which the Conceptions
are impressed in us.
The names are reduced by grammar into the twenty-four general
elements; for the elements must be determined. For of Particulars
there is no scientific knowledge, seeing they are infinite. But it
is the property of science to rest on general and defined
principles. Whence also Particulars are resolved into Universals.
And philosophic research is occupied with Conceptions and Real
subjects. But since of these the Particulars are infinite, some
elements have been found, under which every subject of investigation
is brought; and if it be shown to enter into any one or more of the
elements, we prove it to exist; but if it escape them all, that it
does not exist.
Of things stated, some are stated without connection; as, for
example, "man" and "runs," and whatever does not complete a
sentence, which is either true or false. And of things stated in
connection, some point out "essence," some "quality," some
"quantity," some "relation,'' some "where," some "when," some
"position," some "possession," some "action," some "suffering,"
which we call the elements of material things after the first
principles. For these are capable of being contemplated by reason.
But immaterial things are capable of being apprehended by the mind
alone, by primary application.
And of those things that are classed under the ten Categories, some
are predicated by themselves (as the nine Categories), and others in
relation to something.
And, again, of the things contained under these ten Categories, some
are Univocal, as ox and man, as far as each is an animal. For those
are Univocal terms, to both of which belongs the common name,
animal; and the same principle, that is definition, that is animate
essence. And Heteronyms are those which relate to the same subject
under different names, as ascent or descent; for the way is the same
whether upwards or downwards. And the other species of Heteronyms,
as horse and black, are those which have a different name and
definition from each other, and do not possess the same subject. But
they are to be called different, not Heteronyms. And Polyonyms are
those which have the same definition, but a different name, as,
hanger, sword, scimitar. And Paronyms are those which are named from
something different, as "manly" from "manliness."
Equivocal terms have the same name, but not the same definition, as
man--both the animal and the picture. Of Equivocal terms, some
receive their Equivocal name fortuitously, as Ajax, the Locrian, and
the Salaminian; and some from intention; and of these, some from
resemblance, as man both the living and the painted; and some from
analogy, as the foot of Mount Ida, and our foot, because they are
beneath; some from action, as the foot of a vessel, by which the
vessel soils, and our foot, by which we move. Equivocal terms are
designated from the same and to the same; as the book and scalpel
are called surgical, both from the surgeon who uses them and with
reference to the surgical matter itself.
CHAP. IX.--ON THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CAUSE.
Of Causes, some are Procatarctic and some Synectic, some
Co-operating, some Causes sine qua non.
Those that afford the occasion of the origin of anything first, are
Procatarctic; as beauty is the cause of love to the licentious; for
when seen by them, it alone produces the amorous inclinanation, but
Causes are Synectic (which are also univocally perfect of
themselves) whenever a cause is capable of producing the effect of
Now all the causes may be shown in order in the case of the learner.
The father is the Pro-catarctic cause of learning, the teacher the.
Synectic, and the nature of the learner the cooperating cause, and
time holds the relation of the Cause sine qua non.
Now that is properly called a cause which is capable of effecting
anything actively; since we say that steel is capable of cutting,
not merely while cutting, but also while not cutting. Thus, then,
the capability of causing (<greek>to</greek>
<greek>parektikon</greek>) signifies both; both that which is now
acting, and that which is not yet acting, but which possesses the
power of acting.
Some, then, say that causes are properties of bodies; and others of
incorporeal substances; others say that the body is properly
speaking cause, and that what is incorporeal is so only
catachrestically, and a quasi-cause. Others, again, reverse matters,
saying that corporeal substances are properly causes, and bodies are
so improperly; as, for example, that cutting, which is an action, is
incorporeal, and is the cause of cutting which is an action and
incorporeal, and, in the case of bodies, of being cut,--as in the
case of the sword and what is cut [by it].
The cause of things is predicated in a threefold manner. One, What
the cause is, as the statuary; a second, Of what it is the cause of
becoming, a statue; and a third, To what it is the cause, as, for
example, the material: for he is the cause to the brass of becoming
a statue. The being produced, and the being cut, which are causes to
what they belong, being actions, are incorporeal.
According to which principle, causes belong to the class of
predicates (<greek>kathgorhmatwn</greek>), or, as others say, of
dicta (<greek>lektwn</greek>) (for Cleanthes and Archedemus call
predicates dicta); or rather, some causes will be assigned to the
class of predicates, as that which is cut, whose case is to be cut;
and some to that of axioms,--as, for example, that of a ship being
made, whose case again is, that a ship is constructing. Now
Aristotle denominates the name of such things as a house, a ship,
burning, cutting, an appellative. But the case is allowed to be
incorporeal. Therefore that sophism is solved thus: What you say
passes through your mouth. Which is true. You name a house.
Therefore a house passes through your mouth. Which is false. For we
do not speak the house, which is a body, but the case, in which the
house is, which is incorporeal.
And we say that the house-builder builds the house, in reference to
that which is to be produced. So we say that the cloak is woven; for
that which makes is the indication of the operation. That which
makes is not the attribute of one, and the cause that of another,
but of the same, both in the case of the cloak and of the house.
For, in as far as one is the cause of anything being produced, in so
far is he also the maker of it. Consequently, the cause, and that
which makes, and that through which (<greek>di</greek>
<greek>o</greek>), are the same. Now, if anything is "a cause" and
"that which effects," it is certainly also "that through which." But
if a thing is "that through which," it does not by any means follow
that it is also "the cause." Many things, for instance, concur in
one result, through which the end is reached; but all are not
causes. For Medea would not have killed her children, had she not
been enraged. Nor would she have been enraged, had she not been
jealous. Nor would she have been this, if she had not loved. Nor
would she have loved, had not Jason sailed to Colchi. Nor would this
have taken place, had the Argo not been built. Nor would this have
taken place, had not the timbers been cut from Pelion. For though in
all these things there is the case of "that through which," they are
not all "causes" of the murder of the children, but only Medea was
the cause. Wherefore, that which does not hinder does not act.
Wherefore, that which does not hinder is not a cause, but that which
hinders is. For it is in acting and doing something that the cause
Besides, what does not hinder is separated from what takes place;
but the cause is related to the event. That, therefore, which does
not hinder cannot be a cause. Wherefore, then, it is accomplished,
because that which can hinder is not present. Causation is then
predicated in four ways: The efficient cause, as the statuary; and
the material, as the brass; and the form, as the character; and the
end, as the honour of the Gymnasiarch.
The relation of the cause sine qua non is held by the brass in
reference to the production of the statue; and likewise it is a
[true] cause. For everything without which the effect is incapable
of being produced, is of necessity a cause; but a cause not
absolutely. For the cause sine qua non is not Synectic, but
Co-operative. And everything that acts produces the effect, in
conjunction with the aptitude of that which is acted on. For the
cause disposes. But each thing is affected according to its natural
constitution; the aptitude being causative, and occupying the place
of causes sine qua non. Accordingly, the cause is inefficacious
without the aptitude; and is not a cause, but a co-efficient. For
all causation is conceived in action. Now the earth could not make
itself, so that it could not be the cause of itself. And it were
ridiculous to say that the fire was not the cause of the burning,
but the logs,--or the sword of the cutting, but the flesh,--or the
strength of the antagonist the cause of the athlete being
vanquished, but his own weakness.
The Synectic cause does not require time. For the cautery produces
pain at the instant of its application to the flesh. Of Procatarctic
causes, some require time till the effect be produced, and others do
not require it, as the case of fracture.
Are not these called independent of time, not by way of privation,
but of diminution, as that which is sudden, not that which has taken
place without time?
Every cause, apprehended by the mind as a cause, is occupied with
something, and is conceived in relation to something; that is, some
effect, as the sword for cutting; and to some object, as possessing
an aptitude, as the fire to the wood. For it will not burn steel.
The cause belongs to the things which have relation to something.
For it is conceived in its relation to another thing. So that we
apply our minds to the two, that we may conceive the cause as a
The same relation holds with the creator, and maker, and father. A
thing is not the cause of itself. Nor is one his own father. For so
the first would become the second. Now the cause acts and affects.
That which is produced by the cause is acted on and is affected. But
the same thing taken by itself cannot both act and be affected, nor
can one be son and father. And otherwise the cause precedes in being
what is done by it, as the sword, the cutting. And the same thing
cannot precede at the same instant as to matter, as it is a cause,
and at the same time, also, be after and posterior as the effect of
Now being differs from becoming, as the cause from the effect, the
father from the son. For the same thing cannot both be and become at
the same instant; and consequently it is not the cause of itself.
Things are not causes of one another, but causes to each other. For
the splenetic affection preceding is not the cause of fever, but of
the occurrence of fever; and the fever which precedes is not the
cause of spleen, but of the affection increasing.
Thus also the virtues are causes to each other, because on account
of their mutual correspondence they cannot be separated. And the
stones in the arch are causes of its continuing in this category,
but are not the causes of one another. And the teacher and the
learner are to one another causes of progressing as respects the
And mutual and reciprocal causes are predicated, some of the same
things, as the merchant and the retailer are causes of gain; and
sometimes one of one thing and others of another, as the sword and
the flesh; for the one is the cause to the flesh of being cut, and
the flesh to the sword of cutting. [It is well said,] "An eye for an
eye, life for life." For he who has wounded another mortally, is the
cause to him of death, or of the occurrence of death. But on being
mortally wounded by him in turn, he has had him as a cause in turn,
not in respect of being a cause to him, but in another respect. For
he becomes the cause of death to him, not that it was death returned
the mortal stroke, but the wounded man himself. So that he was the
cause of one thing, and had another cause. And he who has done wrong
becomes the cause to another, to him who has been wronged. But the
law which enjoins punishment to be inflicted is the cause not of
injury, but to the one of retribution, to the other of discipline.
So that the things which are causes, are not causes to each other as
It is still asked, if many things in conjunction become many causes
of one thing. For the men who pull together are the causes of the
ship being drawn down; but along with others, unless what is a joint
cause be a cause.
Others say, if there are many causes, each by itself becomes the
cause of one thing. For instance, the virtues, which are many, are
causes of happiness, which is one; and of warmth and pain,
similarly, the causes are many. Are not, then, the many virtues one
in power, and the sources of warmth and of pain so, also? and does
not the multitude of the virtues, being one in kind, become the
cause of the one result, happiness ?
But, in truth, Procatarctic causes are more than one both
generically and specifically; as, for example, cold, weakness,
fatigue, dyspepsia, drunkenness, generically, of any disease; and
specifically, of fever. But Synectic causes are so, generically
alone, and not also specifically.
For of pleasant odour, which is one thing genetically, there are
many specific causes, as frankincense, rose, crocus, styrax, myrrh,
ointment. For the rose has not the same kind of sweet fragrance as
And the same thing becomes the cause of contrary effects; sometimes
through the magnitude of the cause and its power, and sometimes in
consequence of the susceptibility of that on which it acts.
According to the nature of the force, the same string, according to
its tension or relaxation, gives a shrill or deep sound. And honey
is sweet to those who are well, and bitter to those who are in
fever, according to the state of susceptibility of those who are
affected. And one and the same wine inclines some to rage, and
others to merriment. And the same sun melts wax and hardens clay.
Further, of causes, some are apparent; others are grasped by a
process of reasoning; others are occult; others are inferred
And of causes that are occult, some are occult temporarily, being
hidden at one time, and at another again seen clearly; and some are
occult by nature, and capable of becoming at no time visible. And of
those who are so by nature, some are capable of being apprehended;
and these some would not call occult, being apprehended by analogy,
through the medium of signs, as, for example, the symmetry of the
passages of the senses, which are contemplated by reason. And some
are not capable of being apprehended; which cannot in any mode fall
under apprehension; which are by their very definition occult.
Now some are Procatarctic, some Synectic, some Joint-causes, some
Co-operating causes. And there are some according to nature, some
beyond nature. And there are some of disease and by accident, some
of sensations, some of the greatness of these, some of times and of
Procatarctic causes being removed, the effect remains. But a
Synectic cause is that, which being present, the effect remains, and
being removed, the effect is removed.
The Synectic is also called by the synonymous expression "perfect in
itself." Since it is of itself sufficient to produce the effect.
And if the cause manifests an operation sufficient in itself, the
co-operating cause indicates assistance and service along with the
other. If, accordingly, it effects nothing, it will not be called
even a co-operating cause; and if it does effect something, it is
wholly the cause of this, that is, of what is produced by it. That
is, then, a co-operating cause, which being present, the effect was
produced--the visible visibly, and the occult invisibly.
The Joint-cause belongs also to the genus of causes, as a
fellow-soldier is a soldier, and as a fellow-youth is a youth.
The Co-operating cause further aids the Synectic, in the way of
intensifying what is produced by it. But the Joint-cause does not
fall under the same notion. For a thing may be a Joint-cause, though
it be not a Synectic cause. For the Joint-cause is conceived in
conjunction with another, which is not capable of producing the
effect by itself, being a cause along with a cause. And the
Co-operating cause differs from the Joint-cause in this particular,
that the Joint-cause produces the effect in that which by itself
does not act. But the Co-operating cause, while effecting nothing by
itself, yet by its accession to that which acts by itself,
co-operates with it, in order to the production of the effect in the
intensest degree. But especially is that which becomes co-operating
from being Procatarctic, effective in intensifying the force of the
I. (Scripture, cap. i. p. 558.)
On the 18th of July, 1870, Plus the Ninth, by the bull Pastor
Aeternus proclaiming himself infallible, and defining that every
Roman bishop from the times of the apostles were equally so, placed
himself in conflict, not merely with Holy Scripture(which repeatedly
proves the fallibility of St. Peter himself, when speaking apart
from his fellow-apostles), but with the torrent of all antiquity.
Yes, and with the great divines of his own communion, such as
Bossuet; including divers pontiffs, and the Gallicans generally. But
note, here, what St. Clement says of the Holy Scripture, and of the
search after truth. Is it conceivable, that he knew of any living
infallible oracle, when he wrote this book, never once hinting the
existence of any such source of absolute gnostic perfection? A like
ignorance of such an oracle characterizes Vincent of Lerins, the
great expounder of the rule of faith as understood by the four great
councils of antiquity.
Clearly, Clement had never seen in Irenaeus the meaning read into
his words by the modern flatterers of the Roman See. The
discovery of 1870 comes just eighteen centuries too late for
II. (Of Book the Eighth, note 1, p. 567.)
In the place of this book, according to some MSS., Photius found the
tract <greek>tis</greek> <greek>o?wzomenos</greek>
<greek>plousios</greek>; in other MSS., a book beginning as this
does. He accused the Stromata of unsound opinions; but, this censure
not being supported by anything we possess, some imagine that the
eighth book is lost, and that it is no great loss after all, A rash
judgment as to its value; but possibly this, which is called the
eighth book, is from the lost Hypotyposes. Kaye's suggestion is,
that, as the seventh book closed with a promise of something quite
fresh, we may discover it in this contribution towards forming his
Gnostic, to further knowledge.
It should be regarded as of great importance, that Christianity
appears as the friend of all knowledge, and of human culture, from
the very start. To our author's versatile genius, much credit is due
for the elements out of which Christian universities took their