His analysis of individuality was the first step in this direction. We have seen that he treats definition as a process of gradual specification, beginning with the most general notions, and working down by successive differentiations to the most particular. Now, the completed conception is itself the integration of all these differences, the bond of union holding them together. Turning to an antithetical order of ideas, to the material substance of which bodies are composed, and its various transformations, we find him working out the same vein of thought. According to the Aristotelian chemistry, an ultimate indeterminate unknowable something clothes itself with one or other of the opposing attributes, dry and moist, hot and cold; and when two of these are combined, manifests itself to our senses as one of the four elements. The elements combine in a particular manner to form homogeneous animal tissues, and these again are united into heterogeneous organs, which together constitute the living body. Here, then, we have two analogous series of specificationsone conceptual and leading down from the abstract to the concrete, the other physical, and leading up from the vague, the simple, and the homogeneous, to the definite, the complex, and the heterogeneous. Aristotle embraces both processes under a single comprehensive generalisation. He describes each of them as the continuous conversion of a346 possibility into an actuality. For the sake of greater clearness, let us take the liberty of substituting modern scientific terms for his cumbrous and obsolete classifications. We shall then say that the general notion, living thing, contains under it the two less general notionsplant and animal. If we only know of any given object that it has life, there is implied the possibility of its being either the one or the other, but not both together. On determining it to be (say) an animal, we actualise one of the possibilities. But the actualisation is only relative, and immediately becomes the possibility of being either a vertebrate or an invertebrate animal. The actuality vertebrate becomes the possibility of viviparous or oviparous, and so on through successive differentiations until we come (say) to a man. Now let us begin at the material end. Here are a mass of molecules, which, in their actual state are only carbon, nitrogen, and so forth. But they are potential starch, gluten, water, or any other article of food that might be named; for under favourable conditions they will combine to form it. Once actualised as such, they are possible blood-cells; these are possible tissues; these, again, possible organs, and lastly we come to the consensus of vital functions, which is a man. What the raw material is to the finished product, that are the parts to the entire organism, the elements to the compound, the genus to the species, and such in its very widest sense is potency to realisation, δ?ναμι? to ?ντελ?χεια, throughout the universe of growth and decay.246"Botheration!" ejaculated Mrs. Masters, in aggrieved tones, "now you've asked me and I've got to tell you. I wanted to keep it back. Oh, I do hope you're not going to be disappointed. I'm sure she didn't really mean it."It is an often-quoted observation of Friedrich Schlegels that every man is born either a Platonist or an Aristotelian. If we narrow the remark to the only class which, perhaps, its author recognised as human beings, namely, all thinking men, it will be found to contain a certain amount of truth, though probably not what Schlegel intended; at any rate something requiring to be supplemented by other truths before its full meaning can be understood. The common opinion seems to be that Plato was a transcendentalist, while Aristotle was an experientialist; and that this constitutes the most typical distinction between them. It would, however, be a mistake to292 suppose that the priori and posteriori methods were marked off with such definiteness in Platos time as to render possible a choice between them. The opposition was not between general propositions and particular facts, but between the most comprehensive and the most limited notions. It was as if the question were now to be raised whether we should begin to teach physiology by at once dividing the organic from the inorganic world, or by directing the learners attention to some one vital act. Now, we are expressly told that Plato hesitated between these two methods; and in his Dialogues, at least, we find the easier and more popular one employed by preference. It is true that he often appeals to wide principles which do not rest on an adequate basis of experimental evidence; but Aristotle does so also, more frequently even, and, as the event proved, with more fatal injury to the advance of knowledge. In his Rhetoric he even goes beyond Plato, constructing the entire art from the general principles of dialectics, psychology, and ethics, without any reference, except for the sake of illustration, to existing models of eloquence.. "What time would that be?" Bruce asked as casually as possible.Please log To be free and to rule over freemen were, with Socrates, as with every Athenian, the goals of ambition, only his freedom meant absolute immunity from the control of passion or habit; government meant superior knowledge, and government of freemen meant the power of producing intellectual conviction. In his eyes, the possessor of any art was, so far, a ruler, and the only true ruler, being obeyed under severe penalties by all who stood in need of his skill. But the royal art which he himself exercised, without expressly laying claim to it, was that which assigns its proper sphere to every other art, and provides each individual with the employment which his peculiar faculties demand. This is Athenian liberty and Athenian imperialism carried into education, but so idealised and purified that they can hardly be recognised at first sight.It may be urged that beauty, however difficult of attainment or severe in form, is, after all, essentially superficial; and that a morality elaborated on the same principles will be equally superficialwill, in fact, be little more than the art of keeping up appearances, of displaying fine sentiments, of avoiding those actions the consequences of which are immediately felt to be disagreeable, and, above all, of not needlessly wounding anyones sensibilities. Such an imitation of moralitywhich it would be a mistake to call hypocrisyhas no doubt been common enough among all civilised nations; but there is no reason to believe that it was in any way favoured by the circumstances of Greek life. There is even evidence of a contrary tendency, as, indeed, might be expected among a people whose most important states were saved from the corrupt60ing influences of a court. Where the sympathetic admiration of shallow and excitable spectators is the effect chiefly sought after, the showy virtues will be preferred to the solid, and the appearance to the reality of all virtue; while brilliant and popular qualities will be allowed to atone for the most atrocious crimes. But, among the Greeks of the best period, courage and generosity rank distinctly lower than temperance and justice; their poets and moralists alike inculcate the preference of substance to show; and in no single instance, so far as we can judge, did they, as modern nations often do, for the sake of great achievements condone great wrongs. It was said of a Greek and by a Greek that he did not wish to seem but to be just.46 We follow the judgment of the Greeks themselves in preferring Leonidas to Pausanias, Aristeides to Themistocles, and Socrates to Alcibiades. And we need only compare Epameinondas with David or Pericles with Solomon as national heroes, to perceive at once how much nearer the two Greeks come to our own standard of perfection, and how futile are the charges sometimes brought against those from whose traditions we have inherited their august and stainless fame..
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