Aristotle's Triple Threat Legacy
by Professor Julia Evergreen Keefer
Professor Keefer is a kinesiologist, rhetoric professor, and screenwriter
Aristotle was the world's foremost multidisciplinary professor, an inspiration to those of us in the twenty-first century who seek to cross disciplines to improve cognitive performance and seek greater understanding of the world.
To study Aristotle's three main books in light of twenty-first methodology and pedagogy
To seek disciplinary connections between dramaturgy, kinesiology, and rhetoric/argumentation--or law, medicine, and the theater
To investigate the best way to train physically, cognitively, and psychologically, analyzing the best way to improve the body with fitness, the mind with mental gymnasiums, and the emotions through the character transformation of a dramatic catharsis
Aristotle's Poetics, Physics, Rhetoric, The Motion and Gait of Animals
A Screenwriting Textbook (Syd Field, Linda Aronson, Robert McKee etc.)
An Anatomy/Kinesiology Fitness Book
An Argumentation/Rhetoric Textbook
The Discoveries by Alan Lightman
Aristotle was born in Stageira (Greek: St??e??a) in Chalcidice . His parents were Phaestis and Nicomachus, who became physician to King Amyntas of Macedon . Aristotle was educated as a member of the aristocracy . At about the age of eighteen, he went to Athens to continue his education at Plato's Academy . Aristotle remained at the Academy for nearly twenty years, not leaving until after Plato's death in 347 BC . He then traveled with Xenocrates to the court of Hermias of Atarneus in Asia Minor. While in Asia, Aristotle traveled with Theophrastus to the island of Lesbos, where together they researched the botany and zoology of the island. Aristotle married Hermias' daughter (or niece) Pythias . She bore him a daughter, whom they named Pythias. Soon after Hermias' death, Aristotle was invited by Philip of Macedon to become tutor to Alexander the Great .
After spending several years tutoring the young Alexander, Aristotle returned to Athens. By 335 BC , he established his own school there, the Lyceum . Aristotle directed courses at the Lyceum for the next twelve years. While in Athens, his wife Pythias died. Aristotle soon became involved with Herpyllis of Stagira, who bore him a son whom he named after his father, Nicomachus .
It is during this time in Athens that Aristotle is thought to have composed many of his works. Although Aristotle wrote dialogues, only fragments of these have survived. The works that have survived are in treatise form and, for the most part, were not meant for widespread publication. These are generally thought to be lecture notes or texts used by his students. Among the most important are Physics , Metaphysics (or Ontology ) , Nicomachean Ethics , Politics , De Anima (On the Soul) and Poetics . These works, although connected in many fundamental ways, differ significantly in both style and substance.
Aristotle not only studied almost every subject possible at the time, but made significant contributions to most of them. In science, Aristotle studied anatomy , astronomy , economics , embryology , geography , geology , meteorology , physics , and zoology . In philosophy, Aristotle wrote on aesthetics , ethics , government , metaphysics , politics , psychology , rhetoric and theology . He also dealt with education , foreign customs, literature and poetry . His combined works practically constitute an encyclopedia of Greek knowledge. It has been remarked that Aristotle was likely the last person to know everything there was to be known in his own time. 
Upon Alexander's death in 323 BC , anti-Macedonian feelings in Athens once again flared. Eurymedon the hierophant denounced Aristotle, claiming he did not hold the gods in honor. Aristotle fled the city to his mother's family estate in Chalcis, explaining, "I will not allow the Athenians to sin twice against philosophy ."  However, he died there of natural causes within the year. Aristotle left a will , which has been preserved, in which he asked to be buried next to his wife.
Aristotle defines his philosophy in terms of essence , saying that philosophy is "the science of the universal essence of that which is actual". Plato had defined it as the "science of the idea ", meaning by idea what we should call the unconditional basis of phenomena . Both pupil and master regard philosophy as concerned with the universal ; Aristotle, however, finds the universal in particular things, and called it the essence of things, while Plato finds that the universal exists apart from particular things, and is related to them as their prototype or exemplar . For Aristotle, therefore, philosophic method implies the ascent from the study of particular phenomena to the knowledge of essences, while for Plato philosophic method means the descent from a knowledge of universal ideas to a contemplation of particular imitations of those ideas. In a certain sense, Aristotle's method is both inductive and deductive , while Plato's is essentially deductive from a priori principles (Jori, 2003).
In Aristotle's terminology, "natural philosophy" was a branch of philosophy that studied the phenomena of the natural world, and included matters that today fall under the domain of physics , biology , and other natural sciences . In modern times the scope of philosophy has come to be more narrowly defined as limited to more generic or abstract inquiries such as ethics and metaphysics, in which logic plays a major role, and as excluding the empirical study of the natural world by means of the scientific method . In contrast, in Aristotle's time and use, philosophy was taken to encompass all facets of intellectual inquiry.
In the larger sense of the word, Aristotle makes philosophy coextensive with reasoning , which he also called "science". Note, however, that his use of the term science carries a different meaning than that covered by the term " scientific method ." For Aristotle, "all science ( dianoia ) is either practical, poetical or theoretical". By practical science he means ethics and politics; by poetical science, he means the study of poetry and the other fine arts; while by theoretical science he means physics, mathematics , and metaphysics.
If logic, or, as Aristotle calls it, Analytic , is regarded as a study preliminary to philosophy, the divisions of Aristotelian philosophy are: (1) Logic ; (2) Theoretical Philosophy, including Metaphysics , Physics , Mathematics , (3) Practical Philosophy; and (4) Poetical Philosophy.
Aristotle's conception of logic was the dominant form of logic up until the advances in mathematical logic in the 19th century. Kant stated in the Critique of Pure Reason that Aristotle's theory of logic had arrived at a complete account of the core of deductive inference.
Aristotle "says that 'on the subject of reasoning' he 'had nothing else on an earlier date to speak of'" (Bochenski, 1951). However, Plato reports that syntax was thought of before him, by Prodikos of Keos , who was concerned by the right use of words. Logic seems to have emerged from dialectics ; the earlier philosophers used concepts like reductio ad absurdum as a rule when discussing, but never understood its logical implications. Even Plato had difficulties with logic. Although he had the idea of constructing a system for deduction , he was never able to construct one. Instead, he relied on his dialectic , which was a confusion between different sciences and methods (Bochenski, 1951). Plato thought that deduction would simply follow from premises , so he focused on having good premises so that the conclusion would follow. Later on, Plato realized that a method for obtaining the conclusion would be beneficial. Plato never obtained such a method, but his best attempt was published in his book Sophist , where he introduced his division method (Rose, 1968).
What we today call Aristotelian logic , Aristotle himself would have labeled "analytics". The term "logic" he reserved to mean dialectics . Most of Aristotle's work is probably not in its original form, since it was most likely edited by students and later lecturers. The logical works of Aristotle were compiled into six books in about the early 1st century AD:
The order of the books (or the teachings from which they are composed) is not certain, but this list was derived from analysis of Aristotle's writings. It goes from the basics, the analysis of simple terms in the Categories, to the study of more complex forms, namely, syllogisms (in the Analytics) and dialectics (in the Topics and Sophistical Refutations). There is one volume of Aristotle's concerning logic not found in the Organon , namely the fourth book of Metaphysics. (Bochenski, 1951).
Aristotle is also the creator of syllogisms with modalities (modal logic). The word modal refers to the word 'modes', explaining the fact that modal logic deals with the modes of truth. Aristotle introduced the qualification of 'necessary' and 'possible' premises. He constructed a logic which helped in the evaluation of truth but which was difficult to interpret. (Rose, 1968).
In the period between his two stays in Athens, between his times at the Academy and the Lyceum, Aristotle conducted most of the scientific thinking and research for which he is now most renowned. In fact, most of Aristotle's life was devoted to the study of the objects of natural science. Aristotle's Metaphysics contains observations on the nature of numbers but he made no original contributions to Mathematics. He did, however, perform original research in the natural sciences, including: botany, zoology, physics, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology, geometry and several other sciences.
Aristotle's writings on science are largely qualitative, not quantitative. Beginning in the sixteenth century, scientists began applying mathematics to the physical sciences, and Aristotle's work in this area was found to be hopelessly inadequate. His failings were largely due to lacking concepts like mass, velocity, force, and temperature. He had a notion of what speed and temperature was, but no quantitative understanding of them, which was partly due to not having basic experimental apparatus, like a clock or thermometer.
His writings provide an account of many scientific observations, but there are some curious errors. For example, in his History of Animals he claimed that human males have more teeth than females. In a similar vein, Galileo showed by simple experiments that Aristotle's theory that the heavier object falls faster than a lighter object is incorrect.
In places, Aristotle goes too far in deriving 'laws of the universe' from simple observation and over-stretched reason . Today's scientific method assumes that such thinking without sufficient facts is ineffective, and that discerning the validity of one's hypothesis requires far more rigorous experimentation than that which Aristotle used to support his laws.
Aristotle also had some scientific blind spots, the largest being his inability to see the application of mathematics to physics. Aristotle held that physics was about changing objects with a reality of their own, whereas mathematics was about unchanging objects without a reality of their own. In this philosophy, he could not imagine that there was a relationship between them. He also posited a flawed cosmology that we may discern in selections of the Metaphysics , which was widely accepted up until the 1500s. From the 3rd century to the 1500s, the dominant view held that the Earth was the center of the universe ( geocentrism ). This scientific concept, as proposed by Aristotle and Plato was later adopted as dogma by the Roman Catholic Church because it placed mankind at the center of the universe, and scientists who disagreed, such as Galileo , were considered heretics. This erroneous concept was eventually rejected.
Aristotle's scientific shortcomings should not mislead one into forgetting the immense advances that he made in the many fields of science. For instance, he founded logic as a formal science and created foundations to biology that were not superseded (in the West) for two millennia. Also, he introduced the fundamental notion that nature is composed of things that change and that studying such changes can provide useful knowledge. This made the study of physics, and all other sciences, respectable. This observation, though, goes beyond physics and is really the subject matter of metaphysics.
Aristotle defines metaphysics as "the knowledge of immaterial being", or of "being in the highest degree of abstraction". He calls metaphysics "first philosophy", and also "the theologic science".
The Material Cause is that from which a thing comes into existence as from its parts, constituents, substratum or materials. This reduces the explanation of causes to the parts (factors, elements, constituents, ingredients) forming the whole (system, structure, compound, complex, composite, or combination) (the part-whole causation). An example of a material cause might be the marble in a carved statue.
The Formal Cause tells us what a thing is, that any thing is determined by the definition, form, pattern, essence, whole, synthesis, or archetype. It embraces the account of causes in terms of fundamental principles or general laws, as the whole (macrostructure) is the cause of its parts (the whole-part causation). An example of a formal cause might be the sketches or plans of the carved statue.Aristotle
The Efficient Cause is that from which the change or the ending of the change first starts. It identifies 'what makes of what is made and what causes change of what is changed' and so suggests all sorts of agents, nonliving or living, acting as the sources of change or movement or rest. Representing the current understanding of causality as the relation of cause and effect, this covers the modern definitions of "cause" as either the agent or agency or particular events or states of affairs. An example of an efficient cause might be the artist who carved the statue.
The Final Cause is that for the sake of which a thing exists or is done, including both purposeful and instrumental actions and activities. The final cause or telos is the purpose or end that something is supposed to serve, or it is that from which and that to which the change is. This also covers modern ideas of mental causation involving such psychological causes as volition, need, motivation, or motives, rational, irrational, ethical, all that gives purpose to behavior. The final cause of the artist might be the statue itself. ( teleology )
Additionally, things can be causes of one another, causing each other reciprocally, as hard work causes fitness and vice versa, although not in the same way or function, the one is as the beginning of change, the other as the goal. [Thus Aristotle first suggested a reciprocal or circular causality as a relation of mutual dependence or action or influence of cause and effect.] Also, Aristotle indicated that the same thing can be the cause of contrary effects, its presence and absence may result in different outcomes.
Aristotle marked two modes of causation: proper (prior) causation and accidental (chance) causation. All causes, proper and incidental, can be spoken as potential or as actual, particular or generic. The same language refers to the effects of causes, so that generic effects assigned to generic causes, particular effects to particular causes, operating causes to actual effects. Essentially, causality does not suggest a temporal relation between the cause and the effect.
All further investigations of causality will consist of imposing the favorite hierarchies on the order causes, such as final > efficient> material > formal ( Thomas Aquinas ), or of restricting all causality to the material and efficient causes or to the efficient causality (deterministic or chance) or just to regular sequences and correlations of natural phenomena (the natural sciences describing how things happen instead of explaining the whys and wherefores).
Spontaneity and chance are causes of effects. Chance as an incidental cause lies in the realm of accidental things. It is "from what is spontaneous" (but note that what is spontaneous does not come from chance). For a better understanding of Aristotle's conception of "chance" it might be better to think of "coincidence": Something takes place by chance if a person sets out with the intent of having one thing take place, but with the result of another thing (not intended) taking place. For example: A person seeks donations. That person may find another person willing to donate a substantial sum. However, if the person seeking the donations met the person donating, not for the purpose of collecting donations, but for some other purpose, Aristotle would call the collecting of the donation by that particular donator a result of chance. It must be unusual that something happens by chance. In other words, if something happens all or most of the time, we cannot say that it is by chance.
However, chance can only apply to human beings, it is in the sphere of moral actions. According to Aristotle, chance must involve choice (and thus deliberation), and only humans are capable of deliberation and choice. "What is not capable of action cannot do anything by chance" ( Physics , 2.6).
Aristotle examines the concept of substance ( ousia ) in his Metaphysics , Book VII and he concludes that a particular substance is a combination of both matter and form . As he proceeds to the book VIII, he concludes that the matter of the substance is the substratum or the stuff of which it is composed e.g. the matter of the house are the bricks, stones, timbers etc., or whatever constitutes the potential house. While the form of the substance, is the actual house, namely ‘covering for bodies and chattels' or any other differentia (see also predicables ). The formula that gives the components is the account of the matter, and the formula that gives the differentia is the account of the form (Metaphysics VIII, 1043a 10-30).
With regard to the change ( kinesis ) and its causes now, as he defines in his Physics and On Generation and Corruption 319b-320a, he distinguishes the coming to be from 1. growth and diminution, which is change in quantity 2. locomotion, which is change in space and 3. alteration, which is change in quality. The coming to be is a change where nothing persists of which the resultant is property. In that particular change he introduces the concept of potentiality ( dynamis ) and actuality ( entelecheia ) in association with the matter and the form.
Referring to potentiality, this is what a thing is capable of doing, or being acted upon, if it is not prevented from something else. For example, a seed of a plant in the soil is potentially ( dynamei ) plant, and if is not prevented by something, it will become a plant. Potentially beings can either 'act' ( poiein ) or 'be acted upon' ( paschein ), as well as can be either innate or come by practice or learning. For example, the eyes possess the potentiality of sight (innate - being acted upon), while the capability of playing the flute can be possessed by learning (exercise - acting).
Referring now to actuality, this is the fulfillment of the end of the potentiality. Because the end ( telos ) is the principle of every change, and for the sake of the end exists potentiality, therefore actuality is the end. Referring then to our previous example, we could say that actuality is when the seed of the plant becomes a plant.
“ For that for the sake of which a thing is, is its principle, and the becoming is for the sake of the end; and the actuality is the end, and it is for the sake of this that the potentiality is acquired. For animals do not see in order that they may have sight, but they have sight that they may see.” (Aristotle, Metaphysics IX 1050a 5-10).
In conclusion, the matter of the house is its potentiality and the form is its actuality . The Formal Cause ( aitia ) then of that change from potential to actual house, is the reason ( logos ) of the house builder and the Final Cause is the end, namely the house itself. Then Aristotle proceeds and concludes that the actuality is prior to potentiality in formula, in time and in substantiality.
With this definition of the particular substance ( matter and form ) Aristotle tries to solve the problem of the unity of the beings; e.g. , what is that makes the man one? Since, according to Plato there are two Ideas: animal and biped, how then is man a unity? However, according to Aristotle, the potential being (matter) and the actual one (form) are one and the same thing. (Aristotle, Metaphysics VIII 1045a-b).
The five elementsMain article: Five Elements
Each of the four earthly elements has its natural place; the earth at the centre of the universe, then water, then air, then fire. When they are out of their natural place they have natural motion, requiring no external cause, which is towards that place; so bodies sink in water, air bubbles up, rain falls, flame rises in air. The heavenly element has perpetual circular motion.
Aristotle gestures to the earth, representing his belief in knowledge through empirical observation and experience, while holding a copy of his Nicomachean Ethics in his hand, whilst Plato gestures to the heavens, representing his belief in The Forms .
Aristotle has been criticized on several grounds. Since he was perhaps the philosopher most respected by European thinkers during and after the Renaissance, these thinkers often took Aristotle's erroneous positions as given, which held back science in this epoch.
It is the opinion of many that Aristotle's system of thought remains the most marvellous and influential one ever put together by any single mind. According to historian Will Durant, no other philosopher has contributed so much to the enlightenment of the world.  He single-handedly founded the sciences of Logic , Biology and Psychology .
Aristotle is referred to as "The Philosopher" by Scholastic thinkers like Thomas Aquinas . See Summa Theologica , Part I, Question 3, etc. These thinkers blended Aristotelian philosophy with Christianity, bringing the thought of Ancient Greece into the Middle Ages. It required a repudiation of some Aristotelian principles for the sciences and the arts to free themselves for the discovery of modern scientific laws and empirical methods. The medieval English poet Chaucer describes his student as being happy by having
At his bedded hed
Twenty books clothed in blake or red,
Of Aristotle and his philosophie;
The Italian poet Dante says of Aristotle in the first circles of hell ,
I saw the Master there of those who know,
Amid the philosophic family,
By all admired, and by all reverenced;
There Plato too I saw, and Socrates,
Who stood beside him closer than the rest.
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche has been said to take nearly all of his political philosophy from Aristotle. 
Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues ( Cicero described his literary style as "a river of gold"),  the vast majority of his writings are now lost, while the literary character of those that remain is disputed. Aristotle's works were lost and rediscovered several times, and it is believed that about one fifth of his original works have survived.
One story of the original manuscripts of his treatises is described by Strabo in his Geography and Plutarch in his Parallel Lives .  The manuscripts were left from Aristotle to his successor Theophrastus , who in turn willed them to Neleus of Scepsis . Neleus supposedly took the writings from Athens to Scepsis , where his heirs let them languish in a cellar until the first century BC, when Apellicon of Teos discovered and purchased the manuscripts, bringing them back to Athens. According to the story, Apellicon tried to repair some of the damage that was done during the manuscripts' stay in the basement, introducing a number of errors into the text. When Lucius Cornelius Sulla occupied Athens in 86 BC, he carried off the library of Appellicon to Rome , where they were first published in 60 BC by the grammarian Tyrranion of Amisus and then by philosopher Andronicus of Rhodes .
Carnes Lord attributes the popular belief in this story to the fact that it provides "the most plausible explanation for the rapid eclipse of the Peripatetic school after the middle of the third century, and for the absence of widespread knowledge of the specialized treatises of Aristotle throughout the Hellenistic period, as well as for the sudden reappearance of a flourishing Aristotelianism during the first century B.C."  Lord voices a number of reservations concerning this story, however. First, the condition of the texts is far too good for them to have suffered considerable damage followed by Apellicon's inexpert attempt at repair. Second, there is "incontrovertible evidence," Lord says, that the treatises were in circulation during the time in which Strabo and Plutarch suggest they were confined the cellar in Scepsis. Third, the definitive edition of Aristotle's texts seems to have been made in Athens some fifty years before Andronicus supposedly compiled his. And fourth, ancient library catalogues predating Andronicus' intervention list an Aristotelean corpus quite similar to the one we currently possess. Lord sees a number of post-Aristotelean interpolations in the Politics , for example, but is generally confident that the work has come down to us relatively intact.
After the Roman period, Aristotle's works were by and large lost to the West for a second time. They were, however, preserved in the East by various Muslim scholars and philosophers, many of whom wrote extensive commentaries on his works. Aristotle lay at the foundation of the falsafa movement in Islamic philosophy , stimulating the thought of Al-Farabi , Ibn Sina , Ibn Rushd and others.
As the influence of the falsafa grew in the West, in part due to Gerard of Cremona 's translations and the spread of Averroism , the demand for Aristotle's works grew. William of Moerbeke translated a number of them into Latin. When Thomas Aquinas wrote his theology , working from Moerbeke's translations, the demand for Aristotle's writings grew and the Greek manuscripts returned to the West, stimulating a revival of Aristotelianism in Europe .
The extant works of Aristotle are broken down according to the five categories in the Corpus Aristotelicum . The titles are given in accordance with the standard set by the Revised Oxford Translation.  Not all of these works are considered genuine, but differ with respect to their connection to Aristotle, his associates and his views. Some, such as the Athenaion Politeia or the fragments of other politeia are regarded by most scholars as products of Aristotle's "school" and compiled under his direction or supervision. Other works, such as On Colours may have been products of Aristotle's successors at the Lyceum, e.g., Theophrastus and Straton . Still others acquired Aristotle's name through similarities in doctrine or content, such as the De Plantis, possibly by Nicolaus of Damascus . A final category, omitted here, includes medieval palmistries , astrological and magical texts whose connection to Aristotle is purely fanciful and self-promotional. Those that are seriously disputed are marked with an asterisk.
Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by W. Rhys Roberts
|Table of Contents
Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by W. Rhys Roberts
|Table of Contents
We have now considered the materials to be used in supporting or opposing a political measure, in pronouncing eulogies or censures, and for prosecution and defence in the law courts. We have considered the received opinions on which we may best base our arguments so as to convince our hearers-those opinions with which our enthymemes deal, and out of which they are built, in each of the three kinds of oratory, according to what may be called the special needs of each.
But since rhetoric exists to affect the giving of decisions-the hearers decide between one political speaker and another, and a legal verdict is a decision-the orator must not only try to make the argument of his speech demonstrative and worthy of belief; he must also make his own character look right and put his hearers, who are to decide, into the right frame of mind. Particularly in political oratory, but also in lawsuits, it adds much to an orator's influence that his own character should look right and that he should be thought to entertain the right feelings towards his hearers; and also that his hearers themselves should be in just the right frame of mind. That the orator's own character should look right is particularly important in political speaking: that the audience should be in the right frame of mind, in lawsuits. When people are feeling friendly and placable, they think one sort of thing; when they are feeling angry or hostile, they think either something totally different or the same thing with a different intensity: when they feel friendly to the man who comes before them for judgement, they regard him as having done little wrong, if any; when they feel hostile, they take the opposite view. Again, if they are eager for, and have good hopes of, a thing that will be pleasant if it happens, they think that it certainly will happen and be good for them: whereas if they are indifferent or annoyed, they do not think so.
There are three things which inspire confidence in the orator's own character-the three, namely, that induce us to believe a thing apart from any proof of it: good sense, good moral character, and goodwill. False statements and bad advice are due to one or more of the following three causes. Men either form a false opinion through want of good sense; or they form a true opinion, but because of their moral badness do not say what they really think; or finally, they are both sensible and upright, but not well disposed to their hearers, and may fail in consequence to recommend what they know to be the best course. These are the only possible cases. It follows that any one who is thought to have all three of these good qualities will inspire trust in his audience. The way to make ourselves thought to be sensible and morally good must be gathered from the analysis of goodness already given: the way to establish your own goodness is the same as the way to establish that of others. Good will and friendliness of disposition will form part of our discussion of the emotions, to which we must now turn.
The Emotions are all those feelings that so change men as to affect their judgements, and that are also attended by pain or pleasure. Such are anger, pity, fear and the like, with their opposites. We must arrange what we have to say about each of them under three heads. Take, for instance, the emotion of anger: here we must discover (1) what the state of mind of angry people is, (2) who the people are with whom they usually get angry, and (3) on what grounds they get angry with them. It is not enough to know one or even two of these points; unless we know all three, we shall be unable to arouse anger in any one. The same is true of the other emotions. So just as earlier in this work we drew up a list of useful propositions for the orator, let us now proceed in the same way to analyse the subject before us.
Anger may be defined as an impulse, accompanied by pain, to a conspicuous revenge for a conspicuous slight directed without justification towards what concerns oneself or towards what concerns one's friends. If this is a proper definition of anger, it must always be felt towards some particular individual, e.g. Cleon, and not 'man' in general. It must be felt because the other has done or intended to do something to him or one of his friends. It must always be attended by a certain pleasure-that which arises from the expectation of revenge. For since nobody aims at what he thinks he cannot attain, the angry man is aiming at what he can attain, and the belief that you will attain your aim is pleasant. Hence it has been well said about wrath,
"Sweeter it is by far than the honeycomb
"dripping with sweetness,
"And spreads through the hearts of men. "
It is also attended by a certain pleasure because the thoughts dwell upon the act of vengeance, and the images then called up cause pleasure, like the images called up in dreams.
Now slighting is the actively entertained opinion of something as obviously of no importance. We think bad things, as well as good ones, have serious importance; and we think the same of anything that tends to produce such things, while those which have little or no such tendency we consider unimportant. There are three kinds of slighting-contempt, spite, and insolence. (1) Contempt is one kind of slighting: you feel contempt for what you consider unimportant, and it is just such things that you slight. (2) Spite is another kind; it is a thwarting another man's wishes, not to get something yourself but to prevent his getting it. The slight arises just from the fact that you do not aim at something for yourself: clearly you do not think that he can do you harm, for then you would be afraid of him instead of slighting him, nor yet that he can do you any good worth mentioning, for then you would be anxious to make friends with him. (3) Insolence is also a form of slighting, since it consists in doing and saying things that cause shame to the victim, not in order that anything may happen to yourself, or because anything has happened to yourself, but simply for the pleasure involved. (Retaliation is not 'insolence', but vengeance.) The cause of the pleasure thus enjoyed by the insolent man is that he thinks himself greatly superior to others when ill-treating them. That is why youths and rich men are insolent; they think themselves superior when they show insolence. One sort of insolence is to rob people of the honour due to them; you certainly slight them thus; for it is the unimportant, for good or evil, that has no honour paid to it. So Achilles says in anger:
"He hath taken my prize for himself
"and hath done me dishonour, "
"Like an alien honoured by none, "
meaning that this is why he is angry. A man expects to be specially respected by his inferiors in birth, in capacity, in goodness, and generally in anything in which he is much their superior: as where money is concerned a wealthy man looks for respect from a poor man; where speaking is concerned, the man with a turn for oratory looks for respect from one who cannot speak; the ruler demands the respect of the ruled, and the man who thinks he ought to be a ruler demands the respect of the man whom he thinks he ought to be ruling. Hence it has been said
"Great is the wrath of kings, whose father is Zeus almighty, "
"Yea, but his rancour abideth long afterward also, "
their great resentment being due to their great superiority. Then again a man looks for respect from those who he thinks owe him good treatment, and these are the people whom he has treated or is treating well, or means or has meant to treat well, either himself, or through his friends, or through others at his request.
It will be plain by now, from what has been said, (1) in what frame of mind, (2) with what persons, and (3) on what grounds people grow angry. (1) The frame of mind is that of one in which any pain is being felt. In that condition, a man is always aiming at something. Whether, then, another man opposes him either directly in any way, as by preventing him from drinking when he is thirsty, or indirectly, the act appears to him just the same; whether some one works against him, or fails to work with him, or otherwise vexes him while he is in this mood, he is equally angry in all these cases. Hence people who are afflicted by sickness or poverty or love or thirst or any other unsatisfied desires are prone to anger and easily roused: especially against those who slight their present distress. Thus a sick man is angered by disregard of his illness, a poor man by disregard of his poverty, a man aging war by disregard of the war he is waging, a lover by disregard of his love, and so throughout, any other sort of slight being enough if special slights are wanting. Each man is predisposed, by the emotion now controlling him, to his own particular anger. Further, we are angered if we happen to be expecting a contrary result: for a quite unexpected evil is specially painful, just as the quite unexpected fulfilment of our wishes is specially pleasant. Hence it is plain what seasons, times, conditions, and periods of life tend to stir men easily to anger, and where and when this will happen; and it is plain that the more we are under these conditions the more easily we are stirred.
These, then, are the frames of mind in which men are easily stirred to anger. The persons with whom we get angry are those who laugh, mock, or jeer at us, for such conduct is insolent. Also those who inflict injuries upon us that are marks of insolence. These injuries must be such as are neither retaliatory nor profitable to the doers: for only then will they be felt to be due to insolence. Also those who speak ill of us, and show contempt for us, in connexion with the things we ourselves most care about: thus those who are eager to win fame as philosophers get angry with those who show contempt for their philosophy; those who pride themselves upon their appearance get angry with those who show contempt for their appearance and so on in other cases. We feel particularly angry on this account if we suspect that we are in fact, or that people think we are, lacking completely or to any effective extent in the qualities in question. For when we are convinced that we excel in the qualities for which we are jeered at, we can ignore the jeering. Again, we are angrier with our friends than with other people, since we feel that our friends ought to treat us well and not badly. We are angry with those who have usually treated us with honour or regard, if a change comes and they behave to us otherwise: for we think that they feel contempt for us, or they would still be behaving as they did before. And with those who do not return our kindnesses or fail to return them adequately, and with those who oppose us though they are our inferiors: for all such persons seem to feel contempt for us; those who oppose us seem to think us inferior to themselves, and those who do not return our kindnesses seem to think that those kindnesses were conferred by inferiors. And we feel particularly angry with men of no account at all, if they slight us. For, by our hypothesis, the anger caused by the slight is felt towards people who are not justified in slighting us, and our inferiors are not thus justified. Again, we feel angry with friends if they do not speak well of us or treat us well; and still more, if they do the contrary; or if they do not perceive our needs, which is why Plexippus is angry with Meleager in Antiphon's play; for this want of perception shows that they are slighting us-we do not fail to perceive the needs of those for whom we care. Again we are angry with those who rejoice at our misfortunes or simply keep cheerful in the midst of our misfortunes, since this shows that they either hate us or are slighting us. Also with those who are indifferent to the pain they give us: this is why we get angry with bringers of bad news. And with those who listen to stories about us or keep on looking at our weaknesses; this seems like either slighting us or hating us; for those who love us share in all our distresses and it must distress any one to keep on looking at his own weaknesses. Further, with those who slight us before five classes of people: namely, (1) our rivals, (2) those whom we admire, (3) those whom we wish to admire us, (4) those for whom we feel reverence, (5) those who feel reverence for us: if any one slights us before such persons, we feel particularly angry. Again, we feel angry with those who slight us in connexion with what we are as honourable men bound to champion-our parents, children, wives, or subjects. And with those who do not return a favour, since such a slight is unjustifiable. Also with those who reply with humorous levity when we are speaking seriously, for such behaviour indicates contempt. And with those who treat us less well than they treat everybody else; it is another mark of contempt that they should think we do not deserve what every one else deserves. Forgetfulness, too, causes anger, as when our own names are forgotten, trifling as this may be; since forgetfulness is felt to be another sign that we are being slighted; it is due to negligence, and to neglect us is to slight us.
The persons with whom we feel anger, the frame of mind in which we feel it, and the reasons why we feel it, have now all been set forth. Clearly the orator will have to speak so as to bring his hearers into a frame of mind that will dispose them to anger, and to represent his adversaries as open to such charges and possessed of such qualities as do make people angry.
Since growing calm is the opposite of growing angry, and calmness the opposite of anger, we must ascertain in what frames of mind men are calm, towards whom they feel calm, and by what means they are made so. Growing calm may be defined as a settling down or quieting of anger. Now we get angry with those who slight us; and since slighting is a voluntary act, it is plain that we feel calm towards those who do nothing of the kind, or who do or seem to do it involuntarily. Also towards those who intended to do the opposite of what they did do. Also towards those who treat themselves as they have treated us: since no one can be supposed to slight himself. Also towards those who admit their fault and are sorry: since we accept their grief at what they have done as satisfaction, and cease to be angry. The punishment of servants shows this: those who contradict us and deny their offence we punish all the more, but we cease to be incensed against those who agree that they deserved their punishment. The reason is that it is shameless to deny what is obvious, and those who are shameless towards us slight us and show contempt for us: anyhow, we do not feel shame before those of whom we are thoroughly contemptuous. Also we feel calm towards those who humble themselves before us and do not gainsay us; we feel that they thus admit themselves our inferiors, and inferiors feel fear, and nobody can slight any one so long as he feels afraid of him. That our anger ceases towards those who humble themselves before us is shown even by dogs, who do not bite people when they sit down. We also feel calm towards those who are serious when we are serious, because then we feel that we are treated seriously and not contemptuously. Also towards those who have done us more kindnesses than we have done them. Also towards those who pray to us and beg for mercy, since they humble themselves by doing so. Also towards those who do not insult or mock at or slight any one at all, or not any worthy person or any one like ourselves. In general, the things that make us calm may be inferred by seeing what the opposites are of those that make us angry. We are not angry with people we fear or respect, as long as we fear or respect them; you cannot be afraid of a person and also at the same time angry with him. Again, we feel no anger, or comparatively little, with those who have done what they did through anger: we do not feel that they have done it from a wish to slight us, for no one slights people when angry with them, since slighting is painless, and anger is painful. Nor do we grow angry with those who reverence us.
As to the frame of mind that makes people calm, it is plainly the opposite to that which makes them angry, as when they are amusing themselves or laughing or feasting; when they are feeling prosperous or successful or satisfied; when, in fine, they are enjoying freedom from pain, or inoffensive pleasure, or justifiable hope. Also when time has passed and their anger is no longer fresh, for time puts an end to anger. And vengeance previously taken on one person puts an end to even greater anger felt against another person. Hence Philocrates, being asked by some one, at a time when the public was angry with him, 'Why don't you defend yourself?' did right to reply, 'The time is not yet.' 'Why, when is the time?' 'When I see someone else calumniated.' For men become calm when they have spent their anger on somebody else. This happened in the case of Ergophilus: though the people were more irritated against him than against Callisthenes, they acquitted him because they had condemned Callisthenes to death the day before. Again, men become calm if they have convicted the offender; or if he has already suffered worse things than they in their anger would have themselves inflicted upon him; for they feel as if they were already avenged. Or if they feel that they themselves are in the wrong and are suffering justly (for anger is not excited by what is just), since men no longer think then that they are suffering without justification; and anger, as we have seen, means this. Hence we ought always to inflict a preliminary punishment in words: if that is done, even slaves are less aggrieved by the actual punishment. We also feel calm if we think that the offender will not see that he is punished on our account and because of the way he has treated us. For anger has to do with individuals. This is plain from the definition. Hence the poet has well written:
"Say that it was Odysseus, sacker of cities, "
implying that Odysseus would not have considered himself avenged unless the Cyclops perceived both by whom and for what he had been blinded. Consequently we do not get angry with any one who cannot be aware of our anger, and in particular we cease to be angry with people once they are dead, for we feel that the worst has been done to them, and that they will neither feel pain nor anything else that we in our anger aim at making them feel. And therefore the poet has well made Apollo say, in order to put a stop to the anger of Achilles against the dead Hector,
"For behold in his fury he doeth despite to the senseless clay. "
It is now plain that when you wish to calm others you must draw upon these lines of argument; you must put your hearers into the corresponding frame of mind, and represent those with whom they are angry as formidable, or as worthy of reverence, or as benefactors, or as involuntary agents, or as much distressed at what they have done.
Let us now turn to Friendship and Enmity, and ask towards whom these feelings are entertained, and why. We will begin by defining and friendly feeling. We may describe friendly feeling towards any one as wishing for him what you believe to be good things, not for your own sake but for his, and being inclined, so far as you can, to bring these things about. A friend is one who feels thus and excites these feelings in return: those who think they feel thus towards each other think themselves friends. This being assumed, it follows that your friend is the sort of man who shares your pleasure in what is good and your pain in what is unpleasant, for your sake and for no other reason. This pleasure and pain of his will be the token of his good wishes for you, since we all feel glad at getting what we wish for, and pained at getting what we do not. Those, then, are friends to whom the same things are good and evil; and those who are, moreover, friendly or unfriendly to the same people; for in that case they must have the same wishes, and thus by wishing for each other what they wish for themselves, they show themselves each other's friends. Again, we feel friendly to those who have treated us well, either ourselves or those we care for, whether on a large scale, or readily, or at some particular crisis; provided it was for our own sake. And also to those who we think wish to treat us well. And also to our friends' friends, and to those who like, or are liked by, those whom we like ourselves. And also to those who are enemies to those whose enemies we are, and dislike, or are disliked by, those whom we dislike. For all such persons think the things good which we think good, so that they wish what is good for us; and this, as we saw, is what friends must do. And also to those who are willing to treat us well where money or our personal safety is concerned: and therefore we value those who are liberal, brave, or just. The just we consider to be those who do not live on others; which means those who work for their living, especially farmers and others who work with their own hands. We also like temperate men, because they are not unjust to others; and, for the same reason, those who mind their own business. And also those whose friends we wish to be, if it is plain that they wish to be our friends: such are the morally good, and those well thought of by every one, by the best men, or by those whom we admire or who admire us. And also those with whom it is pleasant to live and spend our days: such are the good-tempered, and those who are not too ready to show us our mistakes, and those who are not cantankerous or quarrelsome-such people are always wanting to fight us, and those who fight us we feel wish for the opposite of what we wish for ourselves-and those who have the tact to make and take a joke; here both parties have the same object in view, when they can stand being made fun of as well as do it prettily themselves. And we also feel friendly towards those who praise such good qualities as we possess, and especially if they praise the good qualities that we are not too sure we do possess. And towards those who are cleanly in their person, their dress, and all their way of life. And towards those who do not reproach us with what we have done amiss to them or they have done to help us, for both actions show a tendency to criticize us. And towards those who do not nurse grudges or store up grievances, but are always ready to make friends again; for we take it that they will behave to us just as we find them behaving to every one else. And towards those who are not evil speakers and who are aware of neither their neighbours' bad points nor our own, but of our good ones only, as a good man always will be. And towards those who do not try to thwart us when we are angry or in earnest, which would mean being ready to fight us. And towards those who have some serious feeling towards us, such as admiration for us, or belief in our goodness, or pleasure in our company; especially if they feel like this about qualities in us for which we especially wish to be admired, esteemed, or liked. And towards those who are like ourselves in character and occupation, provided they do not get in our way or gain their living from the same source as we do-for then it will be a case of 'potter against potter':
"Potter to potter and builder to builder begrudge their reward. "
And those who desire the same things as we desire, if it is possible for us both to share them together; otherwise the same trouble arises here too. And towards those with whom we are on such terms that, while we respect their opinions, we need not blush before them for doing what is conventionally wrong: as well as towards those before whom we should be ashamed to do anything really wrong. Again, our rivals, and those whom we should like to envy us--though without ill-feeling--either we like these people or at least we wish them to like us. And we feel friendly towards those whom we help to secure good for themselves, provided we are not likely to suffer heavily by it ourselves. And those who feel as friendly to us when we are not with them as when we are-which is why all men feel friendly towards those who are faithful to their dead friends. And, speaking generally, towards those who are really fond of their friends and do not desert them in trouble; of all good men, we feel most friendly to those who show their goodness as friends. Also towards those who are honest with us, including those who will tell us of their own weak points: it has just said that with our friends we are not ashamed of what is conventionally wrong, and if we do have this feeling, we do not love them; if therefore we do not have it, it looks as if we did love them. We also like those with whom we do not feel frightened or uncomfortable-nobody can like a man of whom he feels frightened. Friendship has various forms-comradeship, intimacy, kinship, and so on.
Things that cause friendship are: doing kindnesses; doing them unasked; and not proclaiming the fact when they are done, which shows that they were done for our own sake and not for some other reason.
Enmity and Hatred should clearly be studied by reference to their opposites. Enmity may be produced by anger or spite or calumny. Now whereas anger arises from offences against oneself, enmity may arise even without that; we may hate people merely because of what we take to be their character. Anger is always concerned with individuals-a Callias or a Socrates-whereas hatred is directed also against classes: we all hate any thief and any informer. Moreover, anger can be cured by time; but hatred cannot. The one aims at giving pain to its object, the other at doing him harm; the angry man wants his victims to feel; the hater does not mind whether they feel or not. All painful things are felt; but the greatest evils, injustice and folly, are the least felt, since their presence causes no pain. And anger is accompanied by pain, hatred is not; the angry man feels pain, but the hater does not. Much may happen to make the angry man pity those who offend him, but the hater under no circumstances wishes to pity a man whom he has once hated: for the one would have the offenders suffer for what they have done; the other would have them cease to exist.
It is plain from all this that we can prove people to be friends or enemies; if they are not, we can make them out to be so; if they claim to be so, we can refute their claim; and if it is disputed whether an action was due to anger or to hatred, we can attribute it to whichever of these we prefer.
To turn next to Fear, what follows will show things and persons of which, and the states of mind in which, we feel afraid. Fear may be defined as a pain or disturbance due to a mental picture of some destructive or painful evil in the future. Of destructive or painful evils only; for there are some evils, e.g. wickedness or stupidity, the prospect of which does not frighten us: I mean only such as amount to great pains or losses. And even these only if they appear not remote but so near as to be imminent: we do not fear things that are a very long way off: for instance, we all know we shall die, but we are not troubled thereby, because death is not close at hand. From this definition it will follow that fear is caused by whatever we feel has great power of destroying or of harming us in ways that tend to cause us great pain. Hence the very indications of such things are terrible, making us feel that the terrible thing itself is close at hand; the approach of what is terrible is just what we mean by 'danger'. Such indications are the enmity and anger of people who have power to do something to us; for it is plain that they have the will to do it, and so they are on the point of doing it. Also injustice in possession of power; for it is the unjust man's will to do evil that makes him unjust. Also outraged virtue in possession of power; for it is plain that, when outraged, it always has the will to retaliate, and now it has the power to do so. Also fear felt by those who have the power to do something to us, since such persons are sure to be ready to do it. And since most men tend to be bad-slaves to greed, and cowards in danger-it is, as a rule, a terrible thing to be at another man's mercy; and therefore, if we have done anything horrible, those in the secret terrify us with the thought that they may betray or desert us. And those who can do us wrong are terrible to us when we are liable to be wronged; for as a rule men do wrong to others whenever they have the power to do it. And those who have been wronged, or believe themselves to be wronged, are terrible; for they are always looking out for their opportunity. Also those who have done people wrong, if they possess power, since they stand in fear of retaliation: we have already said that wickedness possessing power is terrible. Again, our rivals for a thing cause us fear when we cannot both have it at once; for we are always at war with such men. We also fear those who are to be feared by stronger people than ourselves: if they can hurt those stronger people, still more can they hurt us; and, for the same reason, we fear those whom those stronger people are actually afraid of. Also those who have destroyed people stronger than we are. Also those who are attacking people weaker than we are: either they are already formidable, or they will be so when they have thus grown stronger. Of those we have wronged, and of our enemies or rivals, it is not the passionate and outspoken whom we have to fear, but the quiet, dissembling, unscrupulous; since we never know when they are upon us, we can never be sure they are at a safe distance. All terrible things are more terrible if they give us no chance of retrieving a blunder either no chance at all, or only one that depends on our enemies and not ourselves. Those things are also worse which we cannot, or cannot easily, help. Speaking generally, anything causes us to feel fear that when it happens to, or threatens, others cause us to feel pity.
The above are, roughly, the chief things that are terrible and are feared. Let us now describe the conditions under which we ourselves feel fear. If fear is associated with the expectation that something destructive will happen to us, plainly nobody will be afraid who believes nothing can happen to him; we shall not fear things that we believe cannot happen to us, nor people who we believe cannot inflict them upon us; nor shall we be afraid at times when we think ourselves safe from them. It follows therefore that fear is felt by those who believe something to be likely to happen to them, at the hands of particular persons, in a particular form, and at a particular time. People do not believe this when they are, or think they a are, in the midst of great prosperity, and are in consequence insolent, contemptuous, and reckless-the kind of character produced by wealth, physical strength, abundance of friends, power: nor yet when they feel they have experienced every kind of horror already and have grown callous about the future, like men who are being flogged and are already nearly dead-if they are to feel the anguish of uncertainty, there must be some faint expectation of escape. This appears from the fact that fear sets us thinking what can be done, which of course nobody does when things are hopeless. Consequently, when it is advisable that the audience should be frightened, the orator must make them feel that they really are in danger of something, pointing out that it has happened to others who were stronger than they are, and is happening, or has happened, to people like themselves, at the hands of unexpected people, in an unexpected form, and at an unexpected time.
Having now seen the nature of fear, and of the things that cause it, and the various states of mind in which it is felt, we can also see what Confidence is, about what things we feel it, and under what conditions. It is the opposite of fear, and what causes it is the opposite of what causes fear; it is, therefore, the expectation associated with a mental picture of the nearness of what keeps us safe and the absence or remoteness of what is terrible: it may be due either to the near presence of what inspires confidence or to the absence of what causes alarm. We feel it if we can take steps-many, or important, or both-to cure or prevent trouble; if we have neither wronged others nor been wronged by them; if we have either no rivals at all or no strong ones; if our rivals who are strong are our friends or have treated us well or been treated well by us; or if those whose interest is the same as ours are the more numerous party, or the stronger, or both.
As for our own state of mind, we feel confidence if we believe we have often succeeded and never suffered reverses, or have often met danger and escaped it safely. For there are two reasons why human beings face danger calmly: they may have no experience of it, or they may have means to deal with it: thus when in danger at sea people may feel confident about what will happen either because they have no experience of bad weather, or because their experience gives them the means of dealing with it. We also feel confident whenever there is nothing to terrify other people like ourselves, or people weaker than ourselves, or people than whom we believe ourselves to be stronger-and we believe this if we have conquered them, or conquered others who are as strong as they are, or stronger. Also if we believe ourselves superior to our rivals in the number and importance of the advantages that make men formidable-wealth, physical strength, strong bodies of supporters, extensive territory, and the possession of all, or the most important, appliances of war. Also if we have wronged no one, or not many, or not those of whom we are afraid; and generally, if our relations with the gods are satisfactory, as will be shown especially by signs and oracles. The fact is that anger makes us confident-that anger is excited by our knowledge that we are not the wrongers but the wronged, and that the divine power is always supposed to be on the side of the wronged. Also when, at the outset of an enterprise, we believe that we cannot and shall not fail, or that we shall succeed completely.-So much for the causes of fear and confidence.
We now turn to Shame and Shamelessness; what follows will explain the things that cause these feelings, and the persons before whom, and the states of mind under which, they are felt. Shame may be defined as pain or disturbance in regard to bad things, whether present, past, or future, which seem likely to involve us in discredit; and shamelessness as contempt or indifference in regard to these same bad things. If this definition be granted, it follows that we feel shame at such bad things as we think are disgraceful to ourselves or to those we care for. These evils are, in the first place, those due to moral badness. Such are throwing away one's shield or taking to flight; for these bad things are due to cowardice. Also, withholding a deposit or otherwise wronging people about money; for these acts are due to injustice. Also, having carnal intercourse with forbidden persons, at wrong times, or in wrong places; for these things are due to licentiousness. Also, making profit in petty or disgraceful ways, or out of helpless persons, e.g. the poor, or the dead-whence the proverb 'He would pick a corpse's pocket'; for all this is due to low greed and meanness. Also, in money matters, giving less help than you might, or none at all, or accepting help from those worse off than yourself; so also borrowing when it will seem like begging; begging when it will seem like asking the return of a favour; asking such a return when it will seem like begging; praising a man in order that it may seem like begging; and going on begging in spite of failure: all such actions are tokens of meanness. Also, praising people to their face, and praising extravagantly a man's good points and glozing over his weaknesses, and showing extravagant sympathy with his grief when you are in his presence, and all that sort of thing; all this shows the disposition of a flatterer. Also, refusing to endure hardships that are endured by people who are older, more delicately brought up, of higher rank, or generally less capable of endurance than ourselves: for all this shows effeminacy. Also, accepting benefits, especially accepting them often, from another man, and then abusing him for conferring them: all this shows a mean, ignoble disposition. Also, talking incessantly about yourself, making loud professions, and appropriating the merits of others; for this is due to boastfulness. The same is true of the actions due to any of the other forms of badness of moral character, of the tokens of such badness, &c.: they are all disgraceful and shameless. Another sort of bad thing at which we feel shame is, lacking a share in the honourable things shared by every one else, or by all or nearly all who are like ourselves. By 'those like ourselves' I mean those of our own race or country or age or family, and generally those who are on our own level. Once we are on a level with others, it is a disgrace to be, say, less well educated than they are; and so with other advantages: all the more so, in each case, if it is seen to be our own fault: wherever we are ourselves to blame for our present, past, or future circumstances, it follows at once that this is to a greater extent due to our moral badness. We are moreover ashamed of having done to us, having had done, or being about to have done to us acts that involve us in dishonour and reproach; as when we surrender our persons, or lend ourselves to vile deeds, e.g. when we submit to outrage. And acts of yielding to the lust of others are shameful whether willing or unwilling (yielding to force being an instance of unwillingness), since unresisting submission to them is due to unmanliness or cowardice.
These things, and others like them, are what cause the feeling of shame. Now since shame is a mental picture of disgrace, in which we shrink from the disgrace itself and not from its consequences, and we only care what opinion is held of us because of the people who form that opinion, it follows that the people before whom we feel shame are those whose opinion of us matters to us. Such persons are: those who admire us, those whom we admire, those by whom we wish to be admired, those with whom we are competing, and those whose opinion of us we respect. We admire those, and wish those to admire us, who possess any good thing that is highly esteemed; or from whom we are very anxious to get something that they are able to give us-as a lover feels. We compete with our equals. We respect, as true, the views of sensible people, such as our elders and those who have been well educated. And we feel more shame about a thing if it is done openly, before all men's eyes. Hence the proverb, 'shame dwells in the eyes'. For this reason we feel most shame before those who will always be with us and those who notice what we do, since in both cases eyes are upon us. We also feel it before those not open to the same imputation as ourselves: for it is plain that their opinions about it are the opposite of ours. Also before those who are hard on any one whose conduct they think wrong; for what a man does himself, he is said not to resent when his neighbours do it: so that of course he does resent their doing what he does not do himself. And before those who are likely to tell everybody about you; not telling others is as good as not be lieving you wrong. People are likely to tell others about you if you have wronged them, since they are on the look out to harm you; or if they speak evil of everybody, for those who attack the innocent will be still more ready to attack the guilty. And before those whose main occupation is with their neighbours' failings-people like satirists and writers of comedy; these are really a kind of evil-speakers and tell-tales. And before those who have never yet known us come to grief, since their attitude to us has amounted to admiration so far: that is why we feel ashamed to refuse those a favour who ask one for the first time-we have not as yet lost credit with them. Such are those who are just beginning to wish to be our friends; for they have seen our best side only (hence the appropriateness of Euripides' reply to the Syracusans): and such also are those among our old acquaintances who know nothing to our discredit. And we are ashamed not merely of the actual shameful conduct mentioned, but also of the evidences of it: not merely, for example, of actual sexual intercourse, but also of its evidences; and not merely of disgraceful acts but also of disgraceful talk. Similarly we feel shame not merely in presence of the persons mentioned but also of those who will tell them what we have done, such as their servants or friends. And, generally, we feel no shame before those upon whose opinions we quite look down as untrustworthy (no one feels shame before small children or animals); nor are we ashamed of the same things before intimates as before strangers, but before the former of what seem genuine faults, before the latter of what seem conventional ones.
The conditions under which we shall feel shame are these: first, having people related to us like those before whom, as has been said, we feel shame. These are, as was stated, persons whom we admire, or who admire us, or by whom we wish to be admired, or from whom we desire some service that we shall not obtain if we forfeit their good opinion. These persons may be actually looking on (as Cydias represented them in his speech on land assignments in Samos, when he told the Athenians to imagine the Greeks to be standing all around them, actually seeing the way they voted and not merely going to hear about it afterwards): or again they may be near at hand, or may be likely to find out about what we do. This is why in misfortune we do not wish to be seen by those who once wished themselves like us; for such a feeling implies admiration. And men feel shame when they have acts or exploits to their credit on which they are bringing dishonour, whether these are their own, or those of their ancestors, or those of other persons with whom they have some close connexion. Generally, we feel shame before those for whose own misconduct we should also feel it-those already mentioned; those who take us as their models; those whose teachers or advisers we have been; or other people, it may be, like ourselves, whose rivals we are. For there are many things that shame before such people makes us do or leave undone. And we feel more shame when we are likely to be continually seen by, and go about under the eyes of, those who know of our disgrace. Hence, when Antiphon the poet was to be cudgelled to death by order of Dionysius, and saw those who were to perish with him covering their faces as they went through the gates, he said, 'Why do you cover your faces? Is it lest some of these spectators should see you to-morrow?'
So much for Shame; to understand Shamelessness, we need only consider the converse cases, and plainly we shall have all we need.
To take Kindness next: the definition of it will show us towards whom it is felt, why, and in what frames of mind. Kindness-under the influence of which a man is said to 'be kind' may be defined as helpfulness towards some one in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped. Kindness is great if shown to one who is in great need, or who needs what is important and hard to get, or who needs it at an important and difficult crisis; or if the helper is the only, the first, or the chief person to give the help. Natural cravings constitute such needs; and in particular cravings, accompanied by pain, for what is not being attained. The appetites are cravings for this kind: sexual desire, for instance, and those which arise during bodily injuries and in dangers; for appetite is active both in danger and in pain. Hence those who stand by us in poverty or in banishment, even if they do not help us much, are yet really kind to us, because our need is great and the occasion pressing; for instance, the man who gave the mat in the Lyceum. The helpfulness must therefore meet, preferably, just this kind of need; and failing just this kind, some other kind as great or greater. We now see to whom, why, and under what conditions kindness is shown; and these facts must form the basis of our arguments. We must show that the persons helped are, or have been, in such pain and need as has been described, and that their helpers gave, or are giving, the kind of help described, in the kind of need described. We can also see how to eliminate the idea of kindness and make our opponents appear unkind: we may maintain that they are being or have been helpful simply to promote their own interest-this, as has been stated, is not kindness; or that their action was accidental, or was forced upon them; or that they were not doing a favour, but merely returning one, whether they know this or not-in either case the action is a mere return, and is therefore not a kindness even if the doer does not know how the case stands. In considering this subject we must look at all the categories: an act may be an act of kindness because (1) it is a particular thing, (2) it has a particular magnitude or (3) quality, or (4) is done at a particular time or (5) place. As evidence of the want of kindness, we may point out that a smaller service had been refused to the man in need; or that the same service, or an equal or greater one, has been given to his enemies; these facts show that the service in question was not done for the sake of the person helped. Or we may point out that the thing desired was worthless and that the helper knew it: no one will admit that he is in need of what is worthless.
So much for Kindness and Unkindness. Let us now consider Pity, asking ourselves what things excite pity, and for what persons, and in what states of our mind pity is felt. Pity may be defined as a feeling of pain caused by the sight of some evil, destructive or painful, which befalls one who does not deserve it, and which we might expect to befall ourselves or some friend of ours, and moreover to befall us soon. In order to feel pity, we must obviously be capable of supposing that some evil may happen to us or some friend of ours, and moreover some such evil as is stated in our definition or is more or less of that kind. It is therefore not felt by those completely ruined, who suppose that no further evil can befall them, since the worst has befallen them already; nor by those who imagine themselves immensely fortunate-their feeling is rather presumptuous insolence, for when they think they possess all the good things of life, it is clear that the impossibility of evil befalling them will be included, this being one of the good things in question. Those who think evil may befall them are such as have already had it befall them and have safely escaped from it; elderly men, owing to their good sense and their experience; weak men, especially men inclined to cowardice; and also educated people, since these can take long views. Also those who have parents living, or children, or wives; for these are our own, and the evils mentioned above may easily befall them. And those who neither moved by any courageous emotion such as anger or confidence (these emotions take no account of the future), nor by a disposition to presumptuous insolence (insolent men, too, take no account of the possibility that something evil will happen to them), nor yet by great fear (panic-stricken people do not feel pity, because they are taken up with what is happening to themselves); only those feel pity who are between these two extremes. In order to feel pity we must also believe in the goodness of at least some people; if you think nobody good, you will believe that everybody deserves evil fortune. And, generally, we feel pity whenever we are in the condition of remembering that similar misfortunes have happened to us or ours, or expecting them to happen in the future.
So much for the mental conditions under which we feel pity. What we pity is stated clearly in the definition. All unpleasant and painful things excite pity if they tend to destroy pain and annihilate; and all such evils as are due to chance, if they are serious. The painful and destructive evils are: death in its various forms, bodily injuries and afflictions, old age, diseases, lack of food. The evils due to chance are: friendlessness, scarcity of friends (it is a pitiful thing to be torn away from friends and companions), deformity, weakness, mutilation; evil coming from a source from which good ought to have come; and the frequent repetition of such misfortunes. Also the coming of good when the worst has happened: e.g. the arrival of the Great King's gifts for Diopeithes after his death. Also that either no good should have befallen a man at all, or that he should not be able to enjoy it when it has.
The grounds, then, on which we feel pity are these or like these. The people we pity are: those whom we know, if only they are not very closely related to us-in that case we feel about them as if we were in danger ourselves. For this reason Amasis did not weep, they say, at the sight of his son being led to death, but did weep when he saw his friend begging: the latter sight was pitiful, the former terrible, and the terrible is different from the pitiful; it tends to cast out pity, and often helps to produce the opposite of pity. Again, we feel pity when the danger is near ourselves. Also we pity those who are like us in age, character, disposition, social standing, or birth; for in all these cases it appears more likely that the same misfortune may befall us also. Here too we have to remember the general principle that what we fear for ourselves excites our pity when it happens to others. Further, since it is when the sufferings of others are close to us that they excite our pity (we cannot remember what disasters happened a hundred centuries ago, nor look forward to what will happen a hundred centuries hereafter, and therefore feel little pity, if any, for such things): it follows that those who heighten the effect of their words with suitable gestures, tones, dress, and dramatic action generally, are especially successful in exciting pity: they thus put the disasters before our eyes, and make them seem close to us, just coming or just past. Anything that has just happened, or is going to happen soon, is particularly piteous: so too therefore are the tokens and the actions of sufferers-the garments and the like of those who have already suffered; the words and the like of those actually suffering-of those, for instance, who are on the point of death. Most piteous of all is it when, in such times of trial, the victims are persons of noble character: whenever they are so, our pity is especially excited, because their innocence, as well as the setting of their misfortunes before our eyes, makes their misfortunes seem close to ourselves.
Most directly opposed to pity is the feeling called Indignation. Pain at unmerited good fortune is, in one sense, opposite to pain at unmerited bad fortune, and is due to the same moral qualities. Both feelings are associated with good moral character; it is our duty both to feel sympathy and pity for unmerited distress, and to feel indignation at unmerited prosperity; for whatever is undeserved is unjust, and that is why we ascribe indignation even to the gods. It might indeed be thought that envy is similarly opposed to pity, on the ground that envy it closely akin to indignation, or even the same thing. But it is not the same. It is true that it also is a disturbing pain excited by the prosperity of others. But it is excited not by the prosperity of the undeserving but by that of people who are like us or equal with us. The two feelings have this in common, that they must be due not to some untoward thing being likely to befall ourselves, but only to what is happening to our neighbour. The feeling ceases to be envy in the one case and indignation in the other, and becomes fear, if the pain and disturbance are due to the prospect of something bad for ourselves as the result of the other man's good fortune. The feelings of pity and indignation will obviously be attended by the converse feelings of satisfaction. If you are pained by the unmerited distress of others, you will be pleased, or at least not pained, by their merited distress. Thus no good man can be pained by the punishment of parricides or murderers. These are things we are bound to rejoice at, as we must at the prosperity of the deserving; both these things are just, and both give pleasure to any honest man, since he cannot help expecting that what has happened to a man like him will happen to him too. All these feelings are associated with the same type of moral character. And their contraries are associated with the contrary type; the man who is delighted by others' misfortunes is identical with the man who envies others' prosperity. For any one who is pained by the occurrence or existence of a given thing must be pleased by that thing's non-existence or destruction. We can now see that all these feelings tend to prevent pity (though they differ among themselves, for the reasons given), so that all are equally useful for neutralizing an appeal to pity.
We will first consider Indignation-reserving the other emotions for subsequent discussion-and ask with whom, on what grounds, and in what states of mind we may be indignant. These questions are really answered by what has been said already. Indignation is pain caused by the sight of undeserved good fortune. It is, then, plain to begin with that there are some forms of good the sight of which cannot cause it. Thus a man may be just or brave, or acquire moral goodness: but we shall not be indignant with him for that reason, any more than we shall pity him for the contrary reason. Indignation is roused by the sight of wealth, power, and the like-by all those things, roughly speaking, which are deserved by good men and by those who possess the goods of nature-noble birth, beauty, and so on. Again, what is long established seems akin to what exists by nature; and therefore we feel more indignation at those possessing a given good if they have as a matter of fact only just got it and the prosperity it brings with it. The newly rich give more offence than those whose wealth is of long standing and inherited. The same is true of those who have office or power, plenty of friends, a fine family, &c. We feel the same when these advantages of theirs secure them others. For here again, the newly rich give us more offence by obtaining office through their riches than do those whose wealth is of long standing; and so in all other cases. The reason is that what the latter have is felt to be really their own, but what the others have is not; what appears to have been always what it is is regarded as real, and so the possessions of the newly rich do not seem to be really their own. Further, it is not any and every man that deserves any given kind of good; there is a certain correspondence and appropriateness in such things; thus it is appropriate for brave men, not for just men, to have fine weapons, and for men of family, not for parvenus, to make distinguished marriages. Indignation may therefore properly be felt when any one gets what is not appropriate for him, though he may be a good man enough. It may also be felt when any one sets himself up against his superior, especially against his superior in some particular respect-whence the lines
"Only from battle he shrank with Aias Telamon's son;
"Zeus had been angered with him,
"had he fought with a mightier one; "
but also, even apart from that, when the inferior in any sense contends with his superior; a musician, for instance, with a just man, for justice is a finer thing than music.
Enough has been said to make clear the grounds on which, and the persons against whom, Indignation is felt-they are those mentioned, and others like him. As for the people who feel it; we feel it if we do ourselves deserve the greatest possible goods and moreover have them, for it is an injustice that those who are not our equals should have been held to deserve as much as we have. Or, secondly, we feel it if we are really good and honest people; our judgement is then sound, and we loathe any kind of injustice. Also if we are ambitious and eager to gain particular ends, especially if we are ambitious for what others are getting without deserving to get it. And, generally, if we think that we ourselves deserve a thing and that others do not, we are disposed to be indignant with those others so far as that thing is concerned. Hence servile, worthless, unambitious persons are not inclined to Indignation, since there is nothing they can believe themselves to deserve.
From all this it is plain what sort of men those are at whose misfortunes, distresses, or failures we ought to feel pleased, or at least not pained: by considering the facts described we see at once what their contraries are. If therefore our speech puts the judges in such a frame of mind as that indicated and shows that those who claim pity on certain definite grounds do not deserve to secure pity but do deserve not to secure it, it will be impossible for the judges to feel pity.
To take Envy next: we can see on what grounds, against what persons, and in what states of mind we feel it. Envy is pain at the sight of such good fortune as consists of the good things already mentioned; we feel it towards our equals; not with the idea of getting something for ourselves, but because the other people have it. We shall feel it if we have, or think we have, equals; and by 'equals' I mean equals in birth, relationship, age, disposition, distinction, or wealth. We feel envy also if we fall but a little short of having everything; which is why people in high place and prosperity feel it-they think every one else is taking what belongs to themselves. Also if we are exceptionally distinguished for some particular thing, and especially if that thing is wisdom or good fortune. Ambitious men are more envious than those who are not. So also those who profess wisdom; they are ambitious to be thought wise. Indeed, generally, those who aim at a reputation for anything are envious on this particular point. And small-minded men are envious, for everything seems great to them. The good things which excite envy have already been mentioned. The deeds or possessions which arouse the love of reputation and honour and the desire for fame, and the various gifts of fortune, are almost all subject to envy; and particularly if we desire the thing ourselves, or think we are entitled to it, or if having it puts us a little above others, or not having it a little below them. It is clear also what kind of people we envy; that was included in what has been said already: we envy those who are near us in time, place, age, or reputation. Hence the line:
"Ay, kin can even be jealous of their kin. "
Also our fellow-competitors, who are indeed the people just mentioned-we do not compete with men who lived a hundred centuries ago, or those not yet born, or the dead, or those who dwell near the Pillars of Hercules, or those whom, in our opinion or that of others, we take to be far below us or far above us. So too we compete with those who follow the same ends as ourselves: we compete with our rivals in sport or in love, and generally with those who are after the same things; and it is therefore these whom we are bound to envy beyond all others. Hence the saying:
"Potter against potter. "
We also envy those whose possession of or success in a thing is a reproach to us: these are our neighbours and equals; for it is clear that it is our own fault we have missed the good thing in question; this annoys us, and excites envy in us. We also envy those who have what we ought to have, or have got what we did have once. Hence old men envy younger men, and those who have spent much envy those who have spent little on the same thing. And men who have not got a thing, or not got it yet, envy those who have got it quickly. We can also see what things and what persons give pleasure to envious people, and in what states of mind they feel it: the states of mind in which they feel pain are those under which they will feel pleasure in the contrary things. If therefore we ourselves with whom the decision rests are put into an envious state of mind, and those for whom our pity, or the award of something desirable, is claimed are such as have been described, it is obvious that they will win no pity from us.
We will next consider Emulation, showing in what follows its causes and objects, and the state of mind in which it is felt. Emulation is pain caused by seeing the presence, in persons whose nature is like our own, of good things that are highly valued and are possible for ourselves to acquire; but it is felt not because others have these goods, but because we have not got them ourselves. It is therefore a good feeling felt by good persons, whereas envy is a bad feeling felt by bad persons. Emulation makes us take steps to secure the good things in question, envy makes us take steps to stop our neighbour having them. Emulation must therefore tend to be felt by persons who believe themselves to deserve certain good things that they have not got, it being understood that no one aspires to things which appear impossible. It is accordingly felt by the young and by persons of lofty disposition. Also by those who possess such good things as are deserved by men held in honour-these are wealth, abundance of friends, public office, and the like; on the assumption that they ought to be good men, they are emulous to gain such goods because they ought, in their belief, to belong to men whose state of mind is good. Also by those whom all others think deserving. We also feel it about anything for which our ancestors, relatives, personal friends, race, or country are specially honoured, looking upon that thing as really our own, and therefore feeling that we deserve to have it. Further, since all good things that are highly honoured are objects of emulation, moral goodness in its various forms must be such an object, and also all those good things that are useful and serviceable to others: for men honour those who are morally good, and also those who do them service. So with those good things our possession of which can give enjoyment to our neighbours-wealth and beauty rather than health. We can see, too, what persons are the objects of the feeling. They are those who have these and similar things-those already mentioned, as courage, wisdom, public office. Holders of public office-generals, orators, and all who possess such powers-can do many people a good turn. Also those whom many people wish to be like; those who have many acquaintances or friends; those whom admire, or whom we ourselves admire; and those who have been praised and eulogized by poets or prose-writers. Persons of the contrary sort are objects of contempt: for the feeling and notion of contempt are opposite to those of emulation. Those who are such as to emulate or be emulated by others are inevitably disposed to be contemptuous of all such persons as are subject to those bad things which are contrary to the good things that are the objects of emulation: despising them for just that reason. Hence we often despise the fortunate, when luck comes to them without their having those good things which are held in honour.
This completes our discussion of the means by which the several emotions may be produced or dissipated, and upon which depend the persuasive arguments connected with the emotions.
Let us now consider the various types of human character, in relation to the emotions and moral qualities, showing how they correspond to our various ages and fortunes. By emotions I mean anger, desire, and the like; these we have discussed already. By moral qualities I mean virtues and vices; these also have been discussed already, as well as the various things that various types of men tend to will and to do. By ages I mean youth, the prime of life, and old age. By fortune I mean birth, wealth, power, and their opposites-in fact, good fortune and ill fortune.
To begin with the Youthful type of character. Young men have strong passions, and tend to gratify them indiscriminately. Of the bodily desires, it is the sexual by which they are most swayed and in which they show absence of self-control. They are changeable and fickle in their desires, which are violent while they last, but quickly over: their impulses are keen but not deep-rooted, and are like sick people's attacks of hunger and thirst. They are hot-tempered, and quick-tempered, and apt to give way to their anger; bad temper often gets the better of them, for owing to their love of honour they cannot bear being slighted, and are indignant if they imagine themselves unfairly treated. While they love honour, they love victory still more; for youth is eager for superiority over others, and victory is one form of this. They love both more than they love money, which indeed they love very little, not having yet learnt what it means to be without it-this is the point of Pittacus' remark about Amphiaraus. They look at the good side rather than the bad, not having yet witnessed many instances of wickedness. They trust others readily, because they have not yet often been cheated. They are sanguine; nature warms their blood as though with excess of wine; and besides that, they have as yet met with few disappointments. Their lives are mainly spent not in memory but in expectation; for expectation refers to the future, memory to the past, and youth has a long future before it and a short past behind it: on the first day of one's life one has nothing at all to remember, and can only look forward. They are easily cheated, owing to the sanguine disposition just mentioned. Their hot tempers and hopeful dispositions make them more courageous than older men are; the hot temper prevents fear, and the hopeful disposition creates confidence; we cannot feel fear so long as we are feeling angry, and any expectation of good makes us confident. They are shy, accepting the rules of society in which they have been trained, and not yet believing in any other standard of honour. They have exalted notions, because they have not yet been humbled by life or learnt its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things-and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning; and whereas reasoning leads us to choose what is useful, moral goodness leads us to choose what is noble. They are fonder of their friends, intimates, and companions than older men are, because they like spending their days in the company of others, and have not yet come to value either their friends or anything else by their usefulness to themselves. All their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They disobey Chilon's precept by overdoing everything, they love too much and hate too much, and the same thing with everything else. They think they know everything, and are always quite sure about it; this, in fact, is why they overdo everything. If they do wrong to others, it is because they mean to insult them, not to do them actual harm. They are ready to pity others, because they think every one an honest man, or anyhow better than he is: they judge their neighbour by their own harmless natures, and so cannot think he deserves to be treated in that way. They are fond of fun and therefore witty, wit being well-bred insolence.
Such, then is the character of the Young. The character of Elderly Men-men who are past their prime-may be said to be formed for the most part of elements that are the contrary of all these. They have lived many years; they have often been taken in, and often made mistakes; and life on the whole is a bad business. The result is that they are sure about nothing and under-do everything. They 'think', but they never 'know'; and because of their hesitation they always add a 'possibly'or a 'perhaps', putting everything this way and nothing positively. They are cynical; that is, they tend to put the worse construction on everything. Further, their experience makes them distrustful and therefore suspicious of evil. Consequently they neither love warmly nor hate bitterly, but following the hint of Bias they love as though they will some day hate and hate as though they will some day love. They are small-minded, because they have been humbled by life: their desires are set upon nothing more exalted or unusual than what will help them to keep alive. They are not generous, because money is one of the things they must have, and at the same time their experience has taught them how hard it is to get and how easy to lose. They are cowardly, and are always anticipating danger; unlike that of the young, who are warm-blooded, their temperament is chilly; old age has paved the way for cowardice; fear is, in fact, a form of chill. They love life; and all the more when their last day has come, because the object of all desire is something we have not got, and also because we desire most strongly that which we need most urgently. They are too fond of themselves; this is one form that small-mindedness takes. Because of this, they guide their lives too much by considerations of what is useful and too little by what is noble-for the useful is what is good for oneself, and the noble what is good absolutely. They are not shy, but shameless rather; caring less for what is noble than for what is useful, they feel contempt for what people may think of them. They lack confidence in the future; partly through experience-for most things go wrong, or anyhow turn out worse than one expects; and partly because of their cowardice. They live by memory rather than by hope; for what is left to them of life is but little as compared with the long past; and hope is of the future, memory of the past. This, again, is the cause of their loquacity; they are continually talking of the past, because they enjoy remembering it. Their fits of anger are sudden but feeble. Their sensual passions have either altogether gone or have lost their vigour: consequently they do not feel their passions much, and their actions are inspired less by what they do feel than by the love of gain. Hence men at this time of life are often supposed to have a self-controlled character; the fact is that their passions have slackened, and they are slaves to the love of gain. They guide their lives by reasoning more than by moral feeling; reasoning being directed to utility and moral feeling to moral goodness. If they wrong others, they mean to injure them, not to insult them. Old men may feel pity, as well as young men, but not for the same reason. Young men feel it out of kindness; old men out of weakness, imagining that anything that befalls any one else might easily happen to them, which, as we saw, is a thought that excites pity. Hence they are querulous, and not disposed to jesting or laughter-the love of laughter being the very opposite of querulousness.
Such are the characters of Young Men and Elderly Men. People always think well of speeches adapted to, and reflecting, their own character: and we can now see how to compose our speeches so as to adapt both them and ourselves to our audiences.
As for Men in their Prime, clearly we shall find that they have a character between that of the young and that of the old, free from the extremes of either. They have neither that excess of confidence which amounts to rashness, nor too much timidity, but the right amount of each. They neither trust everybody nor distrust everybody, but judge people correctly. Their lives will be guided not by the sole consideration either of what is noble or of what is useful, but by both; neither by parsimony nor by prodigality, but by what is fit and proper. So, too, in regard to anger and desire; they will be brave as well as temperate, and temperate as well as brave; these virtues are divided between the young and the old; the young are brave but intemperate, the old temperate but cowardly. To put it generally, all the valuable qualities that youth and age divide between them are united in the prime of life, while all their excesses or defects are replaced by moderation and fitness. The body is in its prime from thirty to five-and-thirty; the mind about forty-nine.
So much for the types of character that distinguish youth, old age, and the prime of life. We will now turn to those Gifts of Fortune by which human character is affected. First let us consider Good Birth. Its effect on character is to make those who have it more ambitious; it is the way of all men who have something to start with to add to the pile, and good birth implies ancestral distinction. The well-born man will look down even on those who are as good as his own ancestors, because any far-off distinction is greater than the same thing close to us, and better to boast about. Being well-born, which means coming of a fine stock, must be distinguished from nobility, which means being true to the family nature-a quality not usually found in the well-born, most of whom are poor creatures. In the generations of men as in the fruits of the earth, there is a varying yield; now and then, where the stock is good, exceptional men are produced for a while, and then decadence sets in. A clever stock will degenerate towards the insane type of character, like the descendants of Alcibiades or of the elder Dionysius; a steady stock towards the fatuous and torpid type, like the descendants of Cimon, Pericles, and Socrates.
The type of character produced by Wealth lies on the surface for all to see. Wealthy men are insolent and arrogant; their possession of wealth affects their understanding; they feel as if they had every good thing that exists; wealth becomes a sort of standard of value for everything else.
Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by W. Rhys Roberts
|Table of Contents
On the Gait of Animals
Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by A. S. L. Farquharson
We have now to consider the parts which are useful to animals for movement in place (locomotion); first, why each part is such as it is and to what end they possess them; and second, the differences between these parts both in one and the same creature, and again by comparison of the parts of creatures of different species with one another. First then let us lay down how many questions we have to consider.
The first is what are the fewest points of motion necessary to animal progression, the second why sanguineous animals have four points and not more, but bloodless animals more than four, and generally why some animals are footless, others bipeds, others quadrupeds, others polypods, and why all have an even number of feet, if they have feet at all; why in fine the points on which progression depends are even in number.
Next, why are man and bird bipeds, but fish footless; and why do man and bird, though both bipeds, have an opposite curvature of the legs. For man bends his legs convexly, a bird has his bent concavely; again, man bends his arms and legs in opposite directions, for he has his arms bent convexly, but his legs concavely. And a viviparous quadruped bends his limbs in opposite directions to a man's, and in opposite directions to one another; for he has his forelegs bent convexly, his hind legs concavely. Again, quadrupeds which are not viviparous but oviparous have a peculiar curvature of the limbs laterally away from the body. Again, why do quadrupeds move their legs criss-cross?
We have to examine the reasons for all these facts, and others cognate to them; that the facts are such is clear from our Natural History, we have now to ask reasons for the facts.
At the beginning of the inquiry we must postulate the principles we are accustomed constantly to use for our scientific investigation of nature, that is we must take for granted principles of this universal character which appear in all Nature's work. Of these one is that Nature creates nothing without a purpose, but always the best possible in each kind of living creature by reference to its essential constitution. Accordingly if one way is better than another that is the way of Nature. Next we must take for granted the different species of dimensions which inhere in various things; of these there are three pairs of two each, superior and inferior, before and behind, to the right and to the left. Further we must assume that the originals of movements in place are thrusts and pulls. (These are the essential place-movements, it is only accidentally that what is carried by another is moved; it is not thought to move itself, but to be moved by something else.)
After these preliminaries, we go on to the next questions in order. Now of animals which change their position some move with the whole body at once, for example jumping animals, others move one part first and then the other, for example walking (and running) animals. In both these changes the moving creature always changes its position by pressing against what lies below it. Accordingly if what is below gives way too quickly for that which is moving upon it to lean against it, or if it affords no resistance at all to what is moving, the latter can of itself effect no movement upon it. For an animal which jumps makes its jump both by leaning against its own upper part and also against what is beneath its feet; for at the joints the parts do in a sense lean upon one another, and in general that which pushes down leans upon what is pushed down. That is why athletes jump further with weights in their hands than without, and runners run faster if they swing their arms; there is in extending the arms a kind of leaning against the hands and wrists. In all cases then that which moves makes its change of position by the use of at least two parts of the body;one part so to speak squeezes, the other is squeezed; for the part that is still is squeezed as it has to carry the weight, the part that is lifted strains against that which carries the weight. It follows then that nothing without parts can move itself in this way, for it has not in it the distinction of the part which is passive and that which is active.
Again, the boundaries by which living beings are naturally determined are six in number, superior and inferior, before and behind, right and left. Of these all living beings have a superior and an inferior part; for superior and inferior is in plants too, not only in animals. And this distinction is one of function, not merely of position relatively to our earth and the sky above our heads. The superior is that from which flows in each kind the distribution of nutriment and the process of growth; the inferior is that to which the process flows and in which it ends. One is a starting-point, the other an end, and the starting-point is the superior. And yet it might be thought that in the case of plants at least the inferior is rather the appropriate starting-point, for in them the superior and inferior are in position other than in animals. Still they are similarly situated from the point of view of function, though not in their position relatively to the universe. The roots are the superior part of a plant, for from them the nutriment is distributed to the growing members, and a plant takes it with its roots as an animal does with its mouth.
Things that are not only alive but are animals have both a front and a back, because they all have sense, and front and back are distinguished by reference to sense. The front is the part in which sense is innate, and whence each thing gets its sensations, the opposite parts are the back.
All animals which partake not only in sense, but are able of themselves to make a change of place, have a further distinction of left and right besides those already enumerated; like the former these are distinctions of function and not of position. The right is that from which change of position naturally begins, the opposite which naturally depends upon this is the left.
This distinction (of right and left) is more articulate and detailed in some than in others. For animals which make the aforesaid change (of place) by the help of organized parts (I mean feet for example, or wings or similar organs) have the left and right distinguished in greater detail, while those which are not differentiated into such parts, but make the differentiation in the body itself and so progress, like some footless animals (for example snakes and caterpillars after their kind, and besides what men call earth-worms), all these have the distinction spoken of, although it is not made so manifest to us. That the beginning of movement is on the right is indicated by the fact that all men carry burdens on the left shoulder; in this way they set free the side which initiates movement and enable the side which bears the weight to be moved. And so men hop easier on the left leg; for the nature of the right is to initiate movement, that of the left to be moved. The burden then must rest on the side which is to be moved, not on that which is going to cause movement, and if it be set on the moving side, which is the original of movement, it will either not be moved at all or with more labour. Another indication that the right is the source of movement is the way we put our feet forward; all men lead off with the left, and after standing still prefer to put the left foot forward, unless something happens to prevent it. The reason is that their movement comes from the leg they step off, not from the one put forward. Again, men guard themselves with their right. And this is the reason why the right is the same in all, for that from which motion begins is the same for all, and has its natural position in the same place, and for this reason the spiral-shaped Testaceans have their shells on the right, for they do not move in the direction of the spire, but all go forward in the direction opposite to the spire. Examples are the murex and the ceryx. As all animals then start movement from the right, and the right moves in the same direction as the whole, it is necessary for all to be alike right-handed. And man has the left limbs detached more than any other animal because he is natural in a higher degree than the other animals; now the right is naturally both better than the left and separate from it, and so in man the right is more especially the right, more dextrous that is, than in other animals. The right then being differentiated it is only reasonable that in man the left should be most movable, and most detached. In man, too, the other starting-points are found most naturally and clearly distinct, the superior part that is and the front.
Animals which, like men and birds, have the superior part distinguished from the front are two-footed (biped). In them, of the four points of motion, two are wings in the one, hands and arms in the other. Animals which have the superior and the front parts identically situated are four-footed, many-footed, or footless (quadruped, polypod, limbless). I use the term foot for a member employed for movement in place connected with a point on the ground, for the feet appear to have got their name from the ground under our feet.
Some animals, too, have the front and back parts identically situated, for example, Cephalopods (molluscs) and spiral-shaped Testaceans, and these we have discussed elsewhere in another connexion.
Now there is in place a superior, an intermediate, and an inferior; in respect to place bipeds have their superior part corresponding to the part of the universe; quadrupeds, polypods, and footless animals to the intermediate part, and plants to the inferior. The reason is that these have no power of locomotion, and the superior part is determined relatively to the nutriment, and their nutriment is from the earth. Quadrupeds, polypods, and footless animals again have their superior part corresponding to the intermediate, because they are not erect. Bipeds have theirs corresponding to the superior part of the universe because they are erect, and of bipeds, man par excellence; for man is the most natural of bipeds. And it is reasonable for the starting points to be in these parts; for the starting-point is honourable, and the superior is more honourable than the inferior, the front than the back, and the right than the left. Or we may reverse the argument and say quite well that these parts are more honourable than their opposites just because the starting-points are in them.
The above discussion has made it clear that the original of movement is in the parts on the right. Now every continuous whole, one part of which is moved while the other remains at rest must, in order to be able to move as a whole while one part stands still, have in the place where both parts have opposed movements some common part which connects the moving parts with one another. Further in this common part the original of the motion (and similarly of the absence of motion) of each of the parts must lie.
Clearly then if any of the opposite pairs of parts (right and left, that is, superior and inferior, before and behind) have a movement of their own, each of them has for common original of its movements the juncture of the parts in question.
Now before and behind are not distinctions relatively to that which sets up its own motion, because in nature nothing has a movement backwards, nor has a moving animal any division whereby it may make a change of position towards its front or back; but right and left, superior and inferior are so distinguished. Accordingly, all animals which progress by the use of distinct members have these members distinguished not by the differences of before and behind, but only of the remaining two pairs; the prior difference dividing these members into right and left (a difference which must appear as soon as you have division into two), and the other difference appearing of necessity where there is division into four.
Since then these two pairs, the superior and inferior and the right and left, are linked to one another by the same common original (by which I mean that which controls their movement), and further, everything which is intended to make a movement in each such part properly must have the original cause of all the said movements arranged in a certain definite position relatively to the distances from it of the originals of the movements of the individual members (and these centres of the individual parts are in pairs arranged coordinately or diagonally, and the common centre is the original from which the animal's movements of right and left, and similarly of superior and inferior, start); each animal must have this original at a point where it is equally or nearly equally related to each of the centres in the four parts described.
It is clear then how locomotion belongs to those animals only which make their changes of place by means of two or four points in their structure, or to such animals par excellence. Moreover, since this property belongs almost peculiarly to Sanguineous animals, we see that no Sanguineous animal can progress at more points than four, and that if it is the nature of anything so to progress at four points it must of necessity be Sanguineous.
What we observe in the animal world is in agreement with the above account. For no Sanguineous animal if it be divided into more parts can live for any appreciable length of time, nor can it enjoy the power of locomotion which it possessed while it was a continuous and undivided whole. But some bloodless animals and polypods can live a long time, if divided, in each of the severed parts, and can move in the same way as before they were dismembered. Examples are what is termed the centipede and other insects that are long in shape, for even the hinder portion of all these goes on progressing in the same direction as before when they are cut in two.
The explanation of their living when thus divided is that each of them is constructed like a continuous body of many separate living beings. It is plain, too, from what was said above why they are like this. Animals constructed most naturally are made to move at two or four points, and even limbless Sanguinea are no exception. They too move by dint of four points, whereby they achieve progression. They go forward by means of two flexions. For in each of their flexions there is a right and a left, both before and behind in their flat surface, in the part towards the head a right and a left front point, and in the part towards the tail the two hinder points. They look as if they moved at two points only, where they touch before and behind, but that is only because they are narrow in breadth. Even. in them the right is the sovereign part, and there is an alternate correspondence behind, exactly as in quadrupeds. The reason of their flexions is their great length, for just as tall men walk with their spines bellied (undulated) forward, and when their right shoulder is leading in a forward direction their left hip rather inclined backwards, so that their middle becomes hollow and bellied (undulated), so we ought to conceive snakes as moving in concave curves (undulations) upon the ground. And this is evidence that they move themselves like the quadrupeds, for they make the concave in its turn convex and the convex concave. When in its turn the left of the forward parts is leading, the concavity is in its turn reversed, for the right becomes the inner. (Let the right front point be A, the left B, the right hind C, the left D.)
Among land animals this is the character of the movement of snakes, and among water animals of eels, and conger-eels and also lampreys, in fact of all that have their form snakelike. However, some marine animals of this shape have no fin, lampreys for example, but put the sea to the same use as snakes do both land and water (for snakes swim precisely as they move on the ground). Others have two fins only, for example conger-eels and eels and a kind of cestreus which breeds in the lake of Siphae. On this account too those that are accustomed to live on land, for example all the eels, move with fewer flexions in a fluid than on land, while the kind of cestreus which has two fins, by its flexion in a fluid makes up the remaining points.
The reason why snakes are limbless is first that nature makes nothing without purpose, but always regards what is the best possible for each individual, preserving the peculiar essence of each and its intended character, and secondly the principle we laid down above that no Sanguineous creature can move itself at more than four points. Granting this it is evident that Sanguineous animals like snakes, whose length is out of proportion to the rest of their dimensions, cannot possibly have limbs; for they cannot have more than four (or they would be bloodless), and if they had two or four they would be practically stationary; so slow and unprofitable would their movement necessarily be.
But every limbed animal has necessarily an even number of such limbs. For those which only jump and so move from place to place do not need limbs for this movement at least, but those which not only jump but also need to walk, finding that movement not sufficient for their purposes, evidently either are better able to progress with even limbs or cannot otherwise progress at all every animal which has limbs must have an even us for as this kind of movement is effected by part of the body at a time, and not by the whole at once as in the movement of leaping, some of the limbs must in turn remain at rest, and others be moved, and the animal must act in each of these cases with opposite limbs, shifting the weight from the limbs that are being moved to those at rest. And so nothing can walk on three limbs or on one; in the latter case it has no support at all on which to rest the body's weight, in the former only in respect of one pair of opposites, and so it must necessarily fall in endeavouring so to move.
Polypods however, like the Centipede, can indeed make progress on an odd number of limbs, as may be seen by the experiment of wounding one of their limbs; for then the mutilation of one row of limbs is corrected by the number of limbs which remain on either side. Such mutilated creatures, however, drag the wounded limb after them with the remainder, and do not properly speaking walk. Moreover, it is plain that they, too, would make the change of place better if they had an even number, in fact if none were missing and they had the limbs which correspond to one another. In this way they could equalize their own weight, and not oscillate to one side, if they had corresponding supports instead of one section of the opposite sides being unoccupied by a limb. A walking creature advances from each of its members alternately, for in this way it recovers the same figure that it had at first.
The fact that all animals have an even number of feet, and the reasons for the fact have been set forth. What follows will explain that if there were no point at rest flexion and straightening would be impossible. Flexion is a change from a right line to an arc or an angle, straightening a change from either of these to a right line. Now in all such changes the flexion or the straightening must be relative to one point. Moreover, without flexion there could not be walking or swimming or flying. For since limbed creatures stand and take their weight alternately on one or other of the opposite legs, if one be thrust forward the other of necessity must be bent. For the opposite limbs are naturally of equal length, and the one which is under the weight must be a kind of perpendicular at right angles to the ground.
When then one leg is advanced it becomes the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle. Its square then is equal to the square on the other side together with the square on the base. As the legs then are equal, the one at rest must bend either at the knee or, if there were any kneeless animal which walked, at some other articulation. The following experiment exhibits the fact. If a man were to walk parallel to a wall in sunshine, the line described (by the shadow of his head> would be not straight but zigzag, becoming lower as he bends, and higher when he stands and lifts himself up.
It is, indeed, possible to move oneself even if the leg be not bent, in the way in which children crawl. This was the old though erroneous account of the movement of elephants. But these kinds of movements involve a flexion in the shoulders or in the hips. Nothing at any rate could walk upright continuously and securely without flexions at the knee, but would have to move like men in the wrestling schools who crawl forward through the sand on their knees. For the upper part of the upright creature is long so that its leg has to be correspondingly long; in consequence there must be flexion. For since a stationary position is perpendicular, if that which moves cannot bend it will either fall forward as the right angle becomes acute or will not be able to progress. For if one leg is at right angles to the ground and the other is advanced, the latter will be at once equal and greater. For it will be equal to the stationary leg and also equivalent to the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle. That which goes forward therefore must bend, and while bending one, extend the other leg simultaneously, so as to incline forward and make a stride and still remain above the perpendicular; for the legs form an isosceles triangle, and the head sinks lower when it is perpendicularly above the base on which it stands.
Of limbless animals, some progress by undulations (and this happens in two ways, either they undulate on the ground, like snakes, or up and down, like caterpillars), and undulation is a flexion; others by a telescopic action, like what are called earthworms and leeches. These go forward, first one part leading and then drawing the whole of the rest of the body up to this, and so they change from place to place. It is plain too that if the two curves were not greater than the one line which subtends them undulating animals could not move themselves; when the flexure is extended they would not have moved forward at all if the flexure or arc were equal to the chord subtended; as it is, it reaches further when it is straightened out, and then this part stays still and it draws up what is left behind.
In all the changes described that which moves now extends itself in a straight line to progress, and now is hooped; it straightens itself in its leading part, and is hooped in what follows behind. Even jumping animals all make a flexion in the part of the body which is underneath, and after this fashion make their leaps. So too flying and swimming things progress, the one straightening and bending their wings to fly, the other their fins to swim. Of the latter some have four fins, others which are rather long, for example eels, have only two. These swim by substituting a flexion of the rest of their body for the (missing) pair of fins to complete the movement, as we have said before. Flat fish use two fins, and the flat of their body as a substitute for the absent pair of fins. Quite flat fish, like the Ray, produce their swimming movement with the actual fins and with the two extremes or semicircles of their body, bending and straightening themselves alternately.
A difficulty might perhaps be raised about birds. How, it may be said, can they, either when they fly or when they walk, be said to move at four points? Now we did not say that all Sanguinea move at four points, but merely at not more than four. Moreover, they cannot as a fact fly if their legs be removed, nor walk without their wings. Even a man does not walk without moving his shoulders. Everything indeed, as we have said, makes a change of place by flexion and straightening, for all things progress by pressing upon what being beneath them up to a point gives way as it were gradually; accordingly, even if there be no flexion in another member, there must be at least in the point whence motion begins, is in feathered (flying) insects at the base of the 'scale-wing', in birds at the base of the wing, in others at the base of the corresponding member, the fins, for instance, in fish. In others, for example snakes, the flexion begins in the joints of the body.
In winged creatures the tail serves, like a ship's rudder, to keep the flying thing in its course. The tail then must like other limbs be able to bend at the point of attachment. And so flying insects, and birds (Schizoptera) whose tails are ill-adapted for the use in question, for example peacocks, and domestic cocks, and generally birds that hardly fly, cannot steer a straight course. Flying insects have absolutely no tail, and so drift along like a rudderless vessel, and beat against anything they happen upon; and this applies equally to sharded insects, like the scarab-beetle and the chafer, and to unsharded, like bees and wasps. Further, birds that are not made for flight have a tail that is of no use; for instance the purple coot and the heron and all water-fowl. These fly stretching out their feet as a substitute for a tail, and use their legs instead of a tail to direct their flight. The flight of insects is slow and frail because the character of their feathery wings is not proportionate to the bulk of their body; this is heavy, their wings small and frail, and so the flight they use is like a cargo boat attempting to make its voyage with oars; now the frailty both of the actual wings and of the outgrowths upon them contributes in a measure to the flight described. Among birds, the peacock's tail is at one time useless because of its size, at another because it is shed. But birds are in general at the opposite pole to flying insects as regards their feathers, but especially the swiftest flyers among them. (These are the birds with curved talons, for swiftness of wing is useful to their mode of life.) The rest of their bodily structure is in harmony with their peculiar movement, the small head, the slight neck, the strong and acute breastbone (acute like the prow of a clipper-built vessel, so as to be well-girt, and strong by dint of its mass of flesh), in order to be able to push away the air that beats against it, and that easily and without exhaustion. The hind-quarters, too, are light and taper again, in order to conform to the movement of the front and not by their breadth to suck the air.
So much then for these questions. But why an animal that is to stand erect must necessarily be not only a biped, but must also have the superior parts of the body lighter, and those that lie under these heavier, is plain. Only if situated like this could it possibly carry itself easily. And so man, the only erect animal, has legs longer and stouter relatively to the upper parts of his body than any other animal with legs. What we observe in children also is evidence of this. Children cannot walk erect because they are always dwarf-like, the upper parts of their bodies being longer and stouter than the lower. With advancing years the lower increase disproportionately, until the children get their appropriate size, and then and not till then they succeed in walking erect. Birds are hunchbacked yet stand on two legs because their weight is set back, after the principle of horses fashioned in bronze with their forelegs prancing. But their being bipeds and able to stand is above all due to their having the hip-bone shaped like a thigh, and so large that it looks as if they had two thighs, one in the leg before the knee-joint, the other joining his part to the fundament. Really this is not a thigh but a hip, and if it were not so large the bird could not be a biped. As in a man or a quadruped, the thigh and the rest of the leg would be attached immediately to quite a small hip; consequently the whole body would be tilted forward. As it is, however, the hip is long and extends right along to the middle of the belly, so that the legs are attached at that point and carry as supports the whole frame. It is also evident from these considerations that a bird cannot possibly be erect in the sense in which man is. For as it holds its body now the wings are naturally useful to it, but if it were erect they would be as useless as the wings of Cupids we see in pictures. It must have been clear as soon as we spoke that the form of no human nor any similar being permits of wings; not only because it would, though Sanguineous, be moved at more than four points, but also because to have wings would be useless to it when moving naturally. And Nature makes nothing contrary to her own nature.
We have stated above that without flexion in the legs or shoulders and hips no Sanguineous animal with feet could progress, and that flexion is impossible except some point be at rest, and that men and birds, both bipeds, bend their legs in opposite directions, and further that quadrupeds bend their in opposite directions, and each pair in the opposite way to a man's limbs. For men bend their arms backwards, their legs forwards; quadrupeds their forelegs forwards, their back legs backwards, and in like manner also birds bend theirs. The reason is that Nature's workmanship is never purposeless, as we said above, but everything for the best possible in the circumstances. Inasmuch, therefore, as all creatures which naturally have the power of changing position by the use of limbs, must have one leg stationary with the weight of the body on it, and when they move forward the leg which has the leading position must be unencumbered, and the progression continuing the weight must shift and be taken off on this leading leg, it is evidently necessary for the back leg from being bent to become straight again, while the point of movement of the leg thrust forward and its lower part remain still. And so the legs must be jointed. And it is possible for this to take place and at the same time for the animal to go forward, if the leading leg has its articulation forwards, impossible if it be backwards. For, if it be forwards, the stretching out of the leg will be while the body is going forwards, but, if the other way, while it is going backwards. And again, if the flexion were backwards, the placing of the foot would be made by two movements and those contrary to one another, one, that is, backwards and one forwards; for in the bending together of the limb the lower end of the thigh would go backwards, and the shin would move the foot forwards away from the flexion; whereas, with the flexion forwards, the progression described will be performed not with contrary motions, but with one forward motion.
Now man, being a biped and making his change of position in the natural way with his two legs, bends them forward for the reasons set forth, but his arms bend backwards reasonably enough. If they bent the opposite way they would be useless for the work of the hands, and for taking food. But quadrupeds which are also viviparous necessarily bend their front legs forwards. For these lead off first when they move, and are also in the forepart of their body. The reason that they bend forward is the same as in the case of man, for in this respect they are like mankind. And so quadrupeds as well as men bend these legs forward in the manner described. Moreover, if the flexion is like this, they are enabled to lift their feet high; if they bent them in the opposite way they would only lift them a little way from the ground, because the whole thigh and the joint from which the shin-bone springs would lie under the belly as the beast moved forward. If, however, the flexion of the hind legs were forwards the lifting of these feet would be similar to that of the forefeet (for the hind legs, too, would in this case have only a little room for their lifting inasmuch as both the thigh and the knee-joint would fall under the position of the belly); but the flexion being backwards, as in fact it is, nothing comes in the way of their progression with this mode of moving the feet. Moreover, it is necessary or at least better for their legs to bend thus when they are suckling their young, with a view to such ministrations. If the flexion were inwards it would be difficult to keep their young under them and to shelter them.
Now there are four modes of flexion if we take the combinations in pairs. Fore and hind may bend either both backwards, as the figures marked A, or in the opposite way both forwards, as in B, or in converse ways and not in the same direction, as in C where the fore bend forwards and the hind bend backwards, or as in D, the opposite way to C, where the convexities are turned towards one another and the concavities outwards. Now no biped or quadruped bends his limbs like the figures A or B, but the quadrupeds like C, and like D only the elephant among quadrupeds and man if you consider his arms as well as his legs. For he bends his arms concavely and his legs convexly.
In man, too, the flexions of the limbs are always alternately opposite, for example the elbow bends back, but the wrist of the hand forwards, and again the shoulder forwards. In like fashion, too, in the case of the legs, the hip backwards, the knee forwards, the ankle in the opposite way backwards. And plainly the lower limbs are opposed in this respect to the upper, because the first joints are opposites, the shoulder bending forwards, the hip backwards; wherefore also the ankle bends backwards, and the wrist of the hand forwards.
This is the way then the limbs bend, and for the reasons given. But the hind limbs move criss-cross with the fore limbs; after the off fore they move the near hind, then the near fore, and then the off hind. The reason is that (a) if they moved the forelegs together and first, the animal would be wrenched, and the progression would be a stumbling forwards with the hind parts as it were dragged after. Again, that would not be walking but jumping, and it is hard to make a continuous change of place, jumping all the time. Here is evidence of what I say; even as it is, all horses that move in this way soon begin to refuse, for example the horses in a religious procession. For these reasons the fore limbs and the hind limbs move in this separate way. Again, (b) if they moved both the right legs first the weight would be outside the supporting limbs and they would fall. If then it is necessary to move in one or other of these ways or criss-cross fashion, and neither of these two is satisfactory, they must move criss-cross; for moving in the way we have said they cannot possibly experience either of these untoward results. And this is why horses and such-like animals stand still with their legs put forward criss-cross, not with the right or the left put forward together at once. In the same fashion animals with more than four legs make their movements; if you take two consecutive pairs of legs the hind move criss-cross with the forelegs; you can see this if you watch them moving slowly. Even crabs move in this way, and they are polypods. They, too, always move criss-cross in whichever direction they are making progress. For in direction this animal has a movement all its own; it is the only animal that moves not forwards, but obliquely. Yet since forwards is a distinction relative to the line of vision, Nature has made its eyes able to conform to its limbs, for its eyes can move themselves obliquely, and therefore after a fashion crabs are no exception but in this sense move forwards.
Birds bend their legs in the same way as quadrupeds. For their natural construction is broadly speaking nearly the same. That is, in birds the wings are a substitute for the forelegs; and so they are bent in the same way as the forelegs of a quadruped, since when they move to progress the natural beginning of change is from the wings (as in quadrupeds from the forelegs). Flight in fact is their appropriate movement. And so if the wings be cut off a bird can neither stand still nor go forwards.
Again, the bird though a biped is not erect, and has the forward parts of the body lighter than the hind, and so it is necessary (or at least preferable for the standing posture) to have the thigh so placed below the body as it actually is, I mean growing towards the back. If then it must have this situation the flexion of the leg must be backwards, as in the hind legs of quadrupeds. The reasons are the same as those given in the case of viviparous quadrupeds.
If now we survey generally birds and winged insects, and animals which swim in a watery medium, all I mean that make their progress in water by dint of organs of movement, it is not difficult to see that it is better to have the attachment of the parts in question oblique to the frame, exactly as in fact we see it to be both in birds and insects. And this same arrangement obtains also among fishes. Among birds the wings are attached obliquely; so are the fins in water animals, and the feather-like wings of insects. In this way they divide the air or water most quickly and with most force and so effect their movement. For the hinder parts in this way would follow forwards as they are carried along in the yielding medium, fish in the water, birds in the air.
Of oviparous quadrupeds all those that live in holes, like crocodiles, lizards, spotted lizards, freshwater tortoises, and turtles, have their legs attached obliquely as their whole body sprawls over the ground, and bend them obliquely. The reason is that this is useful for ease in creeping into holes, and for sitting upon their eggs and guarding them. And as they are splayed outwards they must of necessity tuck in their thighs and put them under them in order to achieve the lifting of the whole body. In view of this they cannot bend them otherwise than outwards.
We have already stated the fact that non-sanguineous animals with limbs are polypods and none of them quadrupeds. And the reason why their legs, except the extreme pairs, were necessarily attached obliquely and had their flexions upwards, and the legs themselves were somewhat turned under (bandy-shape) and backwards is plain. In all such creatures the intermediate legs both lead and follow. If then they lay under them, they must have had their flexion both forwards and backwards; on account of leading, forwards; and on account of following, backwards. Now since they have to do both, for this reason their limbs are turned under and bent obliquely, except the two extreme pairs. (These two are more natural in their movement, the front leading and the back following.) Another reason for this kind of flexion is the number of their legs; arranged in this way they would interfere less with one another in progression and not knock together. But the reason that they are bandy is that all of them or most of them live in holes, for creatures living so cannot possibly be high above the ground.
But crabs are in nature the oddest of all polypods; they do not progress forwards except in the sense explained above, they are the only animals which have more than one pair of leading limbs. The explanation of this is the hardness of their limbs, and the fact that they use them not for swimming but for walking; they always keep on the ground. However, the flexion of the limbs of all polypods is oblique, like that of the quadrupeds which live in holes-for example lizards and crocodiles and most of the oviparous quadrupeds. And the explanation is that some of them in their breeding periods, and some all their life, live in holes.
Now the rest have bandy legs because they are soft-skinned, but the crayfish is hard-skinned and its limbs are for swimming and not for walking (and so are not bandy). Crabs, too, have their limbs bent obliquely, but not bandy like oviparous quadrupeds and non-sanguineous polypods, because their limbs have a hard and shell-like skin, although they don't swim but live in holes; they live in fact on the ground. Moreover, their shape is like a disk, as compared with the crayfish which is elongated, and they haven't a tail like the crayfish; a tail is useful to the crayfish for swimming, but the crab is not a swimming creature. Further, it alone has its side equivalent to a hinder part, because it has many leading feet. The explanation of this is that its flexions are not forward nor its legs turned in under (bandy). We have given above the reason why its legs are not turned in under, that is the hardness and shell-like character of its integument.
For these reasons then it must lead off with more than one limb, and move obliquely; obliquely, because the flexion is oblique; and with more than one limb, because otherwise the limbs that were still would have got in the way of those that were moving.
Fishes of the flat kind swim with their heads twisted, as one-eyed men walk; they have their natural shape distorted. Web-footed birds swim with their feet; because they breath the air and have lungs they are bipeds, but because they have their home in the water they are webbed; by this arrangement their feet serve them instead of fins. They have their legs too, not like the rest of birds in the centre of their body, but rather set back. Their legs are short, and being set back are serviceable for swimming. The reason for their having short legs is that nature has added to their feet by subtracting from the length of their limbs; instead of length she gives stoutness to the legs and breadth to the feet. Broad feet are more useful than long for pushing away the water when they are swimming.
There is reason, too, for winged creatures having feet, but fish none. The former have their home in the dry medium, and cannot remain always in mid air; they must therefore have feet. Fish on the contrary live in the wet medium, and take in water, not air. Fins are useful for swimming, but feet not. And if they had both they would be non-sanguineous. There is a broad similarity between birds and fishes in the organs of locomotion. Birds have their wings on the superior part, similarly fish have two pectoral fins; again, birds have legs on their under parts and near the wings; similarly, most fish have two fins on the under parts and near the pectorals. Birds, too, have a tail and fish a tail-fin.
A difficulty may be suggested as to the movements of molluscs, that is, as to where that movement originates; for they have no distinction of left and right. Now observation shows them moving. We must, I think, treat all this class as mutilated, and as moving in the way in which limbed creatures do when one cuts off their legs, or as analogous with the seal and the bat. Both the latter are quadrupeds but misshapen. Now molluscs do move, but move in a manner contrary to nature. They are not moving things, but are moving if as sedentary creatures they are compared with zoophytes, and sedentary if classed with progressing animals.
As to right and left, crabs, too, show the distinction poorly, still they do show it. You can see it in the claw; the right claw is larger and stronger, as though the right and left sides were trying to get distinguished.
The structure of animals, both in their other parts, and especially in those which concern progression and any movement in place, is as we have now described. It remains, after determining these questions, to investigate the problems of Life and Death.
MATH and PHYSICS
The next point to consider is how the mathematician differs from the physicist. Obviously physical bodies contain surfaces and volumes, lines and points, and these are the subject-matter of mathematics.
Further, is astronomy different from physics or a department of it? It seems absurd that the physicist should be supposed to know the nature of sun or moon, but not to know any of their essential attributes, particularly as the writers on physics obviously do discuss their shape also and whether the earth and the world are spherical or not.
Now the mathematician, though he too treats of these things, nevertheless does not treat of them as the limits of a physical body; nor does he consider the attributes indicated as the attributes of such bodies. That is why he separates them; for in thought they are separable from motion, and it makes no difference, nor does any falsity result, if they are separated. The holders of the theory of Forms do the same, though they are not aware of it; for they separate the objects of physics, which are less separable than those of mathematics. This becomes plain if one tries to state in each of the two cases the definitions of the things and of their attributes. "Odd" and "even," "straight" and "curved," and likewise "number," "line," and "figure," do not involve motion; not so "flesh" and "bone" and "man" - these are defined like "snub nose," not like "curved."
Similar evidence is supplied by the more physical of the branches of mathematics, such as optics, harmonics, and astronomy. These are in a way the converse of geometry. While geometry investigates physical lines but not qua physical, optics investigates mathematical lines, but qua physical, not qua mathematical.
On the Motion of Animals
Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by A. S. L. Farquharson
Elsewhere we have investigated in detail the movement of animals after their various kinds, the differences between them, and the reasons for their particular characters (for some animals fly, some swim, some walk, others move in various other ways); there remains an investigation of the common ground of any sort of animal movement whatsoever.
Now we have already determined (when we were discussing whether eternal motion exists or not, and its definition, if it does exist) that the origin of all other motions is that which moves itself, and that the origin of this is the immovable, and that the prime mover must of necessity be immovable. And we must grasp this not only generally in theory, but also by reference to individuals in the world of sense, for with these in view we seek general theories, and with these we believe that general theories ought to harmonize. Now in the world of sense too it is plainly impossible for movement to be initiated if there is nothing at rest, and before all else in our present subject- animal life. For if one of the parts of an animal be moved, another must be at rest, and this is the purpose of their joints; animals use joints like a centre, and the whole member, in which the joint is, becomes both one and two, both straight and bent, changing potentially and actually by reason of the joint. And when it is bending and being moved one of the points in the joint is moved and one is at rest, just as if the points A and D of a diameter were at rest, and B were moved, and DAC were generated. However, in the geometrical illustration, the centre is held to be altogether indivisible (for in mathematics motion is a fiction, as the phrase goes, no mathematical entity being really moved), whereas in the case of joints the centres become now one potentially and divided actually, and now one actually and divided potentially. But still the origin of movement, qua origin, always remains at rest when the lower part of a limb is moved; for example, the elbow joint, when the forearm is moved, and the shoulder, when the whole arm; the knee when the tibia is moved, and the hip when the whole leg. Accordingly it is plain that each animal as a whole must have within itself a point at rest, whence will be the origin of that which is moved, and supporting itself upon which it will be moved both as a complete whole and in its members.
But the point of rest in the animal is still quite ineffectual unless there be something without which is absolutely at rest and immovable. Now it is worth while to pause and consider what has been said, for it involves a speculation which extends beyond animals even to the motion and march of the universe. For just as there must be something immovable within the animal, if it is to be moved, so even more must there be without it something immovable, by supporting itself upon which that which is moved moves. For were that something always to give way (as it does for mice walking in grain or persons walking in sand) advance would be impossible, and neither would there be any walking unless the ground were to remain still, nor any flying or swimming were not the air and the sea to resist. And this which resists must needs be different from what is moved, the whole of it from the whole of that, and what is thus immovable must be no part of what is moved; otherwise there will be no movement. Evidence of this lies in the problem why it is that a man easily moves a boat from outside, if he push with a pole, putting it against the mast or some other part, but if he tried to do this when in the boat itself he would never move it, no not giant Tityus himself nor Boreas blowing from inside the ship, if he really were blowing in the way painters represent him; for they paint him sending the breath out from the boat. For whether one blew gently or so stoutly as to make a very great wind, and whether what were thrown or pushed were wind or something else, it is necessary in the first place to be supported upon one of one's own members which is at rest and so to push, and in the second place for this member, either itself, or that of which it is a part, to remain at rest, fixing itself against something external to itself. Now the man who is himself in the boat, if he pushes, fixing himself against the boat, very naturally does not move the boat, because what he pushes against should properly remain at rest. Now what he is trying to move, and what he is fixing himself against is in his case the same. If, however, he pushes or pulls from outside he does move it, for the ground is no part of the boat.
Here we may ask the difficult question whether if something moves the whole heavens this mover must be immovable, and moreover be no part of the heavens, nor in the heavens. For either it is moved itself and moves the heavens, in which case it must touch something immovable in order to create movement, and then this is no part of that which creates movement; or if the mover is from the first immovable it will equally be no part of that which is moved. In this point at least they argue correctly who say that as the Sphere is carried round in a circle no single part remains still, for then either the whole would necessarily stand still or its continuity be torn asunder; but they argue less well in supposing that the poles have a certain force, though conceived as having no magnitude, but as merely termini or points. For besides the fact that no such things have any substantial existence it is impossible for a single movement to be initiated by what is twofold; and yet they make the poles two. From a review of these difficulties we may conclude that there is something so related to the whole of Nature, as the earth is to animals and things moved by them.
And the mythologists with their fable of Atlas setting his feet upon the earth appear to have based the fable upon intelligent grounds. They make Atlas a kind of diameter twirling the heavens about the poles. Now as the earth remains still this would be reasonable enough, but their theory involves them in the position that the earth is no part of the universe. And further the force of that which initiates movement must be made equal to the force of that which remains at rest. For there is a definite quantity of force or power by dint of which that which remains at rest does so, just as there is of force by dint of which that which initiates movement does so; and as there is a necessary proportion between opposite motions, so there is between absences of motion. Now equal forces are unaffected by one another, but are overcome by a superiority of force. And so in their theory Atlas, or whatever similar power initiates movement from within, must exert no more force than will exactly balance the stability of the earth- otherwise the earth will be moved out of her place in the centre of things. For as the pusher pushes so is the pushed pushed, and with equal force. But the prime mover moves that which is to begin with at rest, so that the power it exerts is greater, rather than equal and like to the power which produces absence of motion in that which is moved. And similarly also the power of what is moved and so moves must be greater than the power of that which is moved but does not initiate movement. Therefore the force of the earth in its immobility will have to be as great as the force of the whole heavens, and of that which moves the heavens. But if that is impossible, it follows that the heavens cannot possibly be moved by any force of this kind inside them.
There is a further difficulty about the motions of the parts of the heavens which, as akin to what has gone before, may be considered next. For if one could overcome by force of motion the immobility of the earth he would clearly move it away from the centre. And it is plain that the power from which this force would originate will not be infinite, for the earth is not infinite and therefore its weight is not. Now there are more senses than one of the word 'impossible'. When we say it is impossible to see a sound, and when we say it is impossible to see the men in the moon, we use two senses of the word; the former is of necessity, the latter, though their nature is to be seen, cannot as a fact be seen by us. Now we suppose that the heavens are of necessity impossible to destroy and to dissolve, whereas the result of the present argument would be to do away with this necessity. For it is natural and possible for a motion to exist greater than the force by dint of which the earth is at rest, or than that by dint of which Fire and Aether are moved. If then there are superior motions, these will be dissolved in succession by one another: and if there actually are not, but might possibly be (for the earth cannot be infinite because no body can possibly be infinite), there is a possibility of the heavens being dissolved. For what is to prevent this coming to pass, unless it be impossible? And it is not impossible unless the opposite is necessary. This difficulty, however, we will discuss elsewhere.
To resume, must there be something immovable and at rest outside of what is moved, and no part of it, or not? And must this necessarily be so also in the case of the universe? Perhaps it would be thought strange were the origin of movement inside. And to those who so conceive it the word of Homer would appear to have been well spoken:
'Nay, ye would not pull Zeus, highest of all from heaven to the plain, no not even if ye toiled right hard; come, all ye gods and goddesses! Set hands to the chain'; for that which is entirely immovable cannot possibly be moved by anything. And herein lies the solution of the difficulty stated some time back, the possibility or impossibility of dissolving the system of the heavens, in that it depends from an original which is immovable.
Now in the animal world there must be not only an immovable without, but also within those things which move in place, and initiate their own movement. For one part of an animal must be moved, and another be at rest, and against this the part which is moved will support itself and be moved; for example, if it move one of its parts; for one part, as it were, supports itself against another part at rest.
But about things without life which are moved one might ask the question whether all contain in themselves both that which is at rest and that which initiates movement, and whether they also, for instance fire, earth, or any other inanimate thing, must support themselves against something outside which is at rest. Or is this impossible and must it not be looked for rather in those primary causes by which they are set in motion? For all things without life are moved by something other, and the origin of all things so moved are things which move themselves. And out of these we have spoken about animals (for they must all have in themselves that which is at rest, and without them that against which they are supported); but whether there is some higher and prime mover is not clear, and an origin of that kind involves a different discussion. Animals at any rate which move themselves are all moved supporting themselves on what is outside them, even when they inspire and expire; for there is no essential difference between casting a great and a small weight, and this is what men do when they spit and cough and when they breathe in and breathe out.
But is it only in that which moves itself in place that there must be a point at rest, or does this hold also of that which causes its own qualitative changes, and its own growth? Now the question of original generation and decay is different; for if there is, as we hold, a primary movement, this would be the cause of generation and decay, and probably of all the secondary movements too. And as in the universe, so in the animal world this is the primary movement, when the creature attains maturity; and therefore it is the cause of growth, when the creature becomes the cause of its own growth, and the cause too of alteration. But if this is not the primary movement then the point at rest is not necessary. However, the earliest growth and alteration in the living creature arise through another and by other channels, nor can anything possibly be the cause of its own generation and decay, for the mover must exist before the moved, the begetter before the begotten, and nothing is prior to itself.
Now whether the soul is moved or not, and how it is moved if it be moved, has been stated before in our treatise concerning it. And since all inorganic things are moved by some other thing- and the manner of the movement of the first and eternally moved, and how the first mover moves it, has been determined before in our Metaphysics, it remains to inquire how the soul moves the body, and what is the origin of movement in a living creature. For, if we except the movement of the universe, things with life are the causes of the movement of all else, that is of all that are not moved by one another by mutual impact. And so all their motions have a term or limit, inasmuch as the movements of things with life have such. For all living things both move and are moved with some object, so that this is the term of all their movement, the end, that is, in view. Now we see that the living creature is moved by intellect, imagination, purpose, wish, and appetite. And all these are reducible to mind and desire. For both imagination and sensation are on common ground with mind, since all three are faculties of judgement though differing according to distinctions stated elsewhere. Will, however, impulse, and appetite, are all three forms of desire, while purpose belongs both to intellect and to desire. Therefore the object of desire or of intellect first initiates movement, not, that is, every object of intellect, only the end in the domain of conduct. Accordingly among goods that which moves is a practical end, not the good in its whole extent. For it initiates movement only so far as something else is for its sake, or so far as it is the object of that which is for the sake of something else. And we must suppose that a seeming good may take the room of actual good, and so may the pleasant, which is itself a seeming good. From these considerations it is clear that in one regard that which is eternally moved by the eternal mover is moved in the same way as every living creature, in another regard differently, and so while it is moved eternally, the movement of living creatures has a term. Now the eternal beautiful, and the truly and primarily good (which is not at one time good, at another time not good), is too divine and precious to be relative to anything else. The prime mover then moves, itself being unmoved, whereas desire and its faculty are moved and so move. But it is not necessary for the last in the chain of things moved to move something else; wherefore it is plainly reasonable that motion in place should be the last of what happens in the region of things happening, since the living creature is moved and goes forward by reason of desire or purpose, when some alteration has been set going on the occasion of sensation or imagination.
But how is it that thought (viz. sense, imagination, and thought proper) is sometimes followed by action, sometimes not; sometimes by movement, sometimes not? What happens seems parallel to the case of thinking and inferring about the immovable objects of science. There the end is the truth seen (for, when one conceives the two premisses, one at once conceives and comprehends the conclusion), but here the two premisses result in a conclusion which is an action- for example, one conceives that every man ought to walk, one is a man oneself: straightway one walks; or that, in this case, no man should walk, one is a man: straightway one remains at rest. And one so acts in the two cases provided that there is nothing in the one case to compel or in the other to prevent. Again, I ought to create a good, a house is good: straightway I make a house. I need a covering, a coat is a covering: I need a coat. What I need I ought to make, I need a coat: I make a coat. And the conclusion I must make a coat is an action. And the action goes back to the beginning or first step. If there is to be a coat, one must first have B, and if B then A, so one gets A to begin with. Now that the action is the conclusion is clear. But the premisses of action are of two kinds, of the good and of the possible.
And as in some cases of speculative inquiry we suppress one premise so here the mind does not stop to consider at all an obvious minor premise; for example if walking is good for man, one does not dwell upon the minor 'I am a man'. And so what we do without reflection, we do quickly. For when a man actualizes himself in relation to his object either by perceiving, or imagining or conceiving it, what he desires he does at once. For the actualizing of desire is a substitute for inquiry or reflection. I want to drink, says appetite; this is drink, says sense or imagination or mind: straightway I drink. In this way living creatures are impelled to move and to act, and desire is the last or immediate cause of movement, and desire arises after perception or after imagination and conception. And things that desire to act now create and now act under the influence of appetite or impulse or of desire or wish.
The movements of animals may be compared with those of automatic puppets, which are set going on the occasion of a tiny movement; the levers are released, and strike the twisted strings against one another; or with the toy wagon. For the child mounts on it and moves it straight forward, and then again it is moved in a circle owing to its wheels being of unequal diameter (the smaller acts like a centre on the same principle as the cylinders). Animals have parts of a similar kind, their organs, the sinewy tendons to wit and the bones; the bones are like the wooden levers in the automaton, and the iron; the tendons are like the strings, for when these are tightened or leased movement begins. However, in the automata and the toy wagon there is no change of quality, though if the inner wheels became smaller and greater by turns there would be the same circular movement set up. In an animal the same part has the power of becoming now larger and now smaller, and changing its form, as the parts increase by warmth and again contract by cold and change their quality. This change of quality is caused by imaginations and sensations and by ideas. Sensations are obviously a form of change of quality, and imagination and conception have the same effect as the objects so imagined and conceived For in a measure the form conceived be it of hot or cold or pleasant or fearful is like what the actual objects would be, and so we shudder and are frightened at a mere idea. Now all these affections involve changes of quality, and with those changes some parts of the body enlarge, others grow smaller. And it is not hard to see that a small change occurring at the centre makes great and numerous changes at the circumference, just as by shifting the rudder a hair's breadth you get a wide deviation at the prow. And further, when by reason of heat or cold or some kindred affection a change is set up in the region of the heart, even in an imperceptibly small part of the heart, it produces a vast difference in the periphery of the body,- blushing, let us say, or turning white, goose-skin and shivers and their opposites.
But to return, the object we pursue or avoid in the field of action is, as has been explained, the original of movement, and upon the conception and imagination of this there necessarily follows a change in the temperature of the body. For what is painful we avoid, what is pleasing we pursue. We are, however, unconscious of what happens in the minute parts; still anything painful or pleasing is generally speaking accompanied by a definite change of temperature in the body. One may see this by considering the affections. Blind courage and panic fears, erotic motions, and the rest of the corporeal affections, pleasant and painful, are all accompanied by a change of temperature, some in a particular member, others in the body generally. So, memories and anticipations, using as it were the reflected images of these pleasures and pains, are now more and now less causes of the same changes of temperature. And so we see the reason of nature's handiwork in the inward parts, and in the centres of movement of the organic members; they change from solid to moist, and from moist to solid, from soft to hard and vice versa. And so when these are affected in this way, and when besides the passive and active have the constitution we have many times described, as often as it comes to pass that one is active and the other passive, and neither of them falls short of the elements of its essence, straightway one acts and the other responds. And on this account thinking that one ought to go and going are virtually simultaneous, unless there be something else to hinder action. The organic parts are suitably prepared by the affections, these again by desire, and desire by imagination. Imagination in its turn depends either upon conception or sense-perception. And the simultaneity and speed are due to the natural correspondence of the active and passive.
However, that which first moves the animal organism must be situate in a definite original. Now we have said that a joint is the beginning of one part of a limb, the end of another. And so nature employs it sometimes as one, sometimes as two. When movement arises from a joint, one of the extreme points must remain at rest, and the other be moved (for as we explained above the mover must support itself against a point at rest); accordingly, in the case of the elbow-joint, the last point of the forearm is moved but does not move anything, while, in the flexion, one point of the elbow, which lies in the whole forearm that is being moved, is moved, but there must also be a point which is unmoved, and this is our meaning when we speak of a point which is in potency one, but which becomes two in actual exercise. Now if the arm were the living animal, somewhere in its elbow-joint would be situate the original seat of the moving soul. Since, however, it is possible for a lifeless thing to be so related to the hand as the forearm is to the upper (for example, when a man moves a stick in his hand), it is evident that the soul, the original of movement, could not lie in either of the two extreme points, neither, that is, in the last point of the stick which is moved, nor in the original point which causes movement. For the stick too has an end point and an originative point by reference to the hand. Accordingly, this example shows that the moving original which derives from the soul is not in the stick and if not, then not in the hand; for a precisely similar relation obtains between the hand and the wrist, as between the wrist and the elbow. In this matter it makes no difference whether the part is a continuous part of the body or not; the stick may be looked at as a detached part of the whole. It follows then of necessity that the original cannot lie in any individual origin which is the end of another member, even though there may lie another part outside the one in question. For example, relatively to the end point of the stick the hand is the original, but the original of the hand's movement is in the wrist. And so if the true original is not in the hand, be-there is still something higher up, neither is the true original in the wrist, for once more if the elbow is at rest the whole part below it can be moved as a continuous whole.
Now since the left and the right sides are symmetrical, and these opposites are moved simultaneously, it cannot be that the left is moved by the right remaining stationary, nor vice versa; the original must always be in what lies above both. Therefore, the original seat of the moving soul must be in that which lies in the middle, for of both extremes the middle is the limiting point; and this is similarly related to the movements from above [and below,] those that is from the head, and to the bones which spring from the spinal column, in creatures that have a spinal column.
And this is a reasonable arrangement. For the sensorium is in our opinion in the centre too; and so, if the region of the original of movement is altered in structure through sense-perception and thus changes, it carries with it the parts that depend upon it and they too are extended or contracted, and in this way the movement of the creature necessarily follows. And the middle of the body must needs be in potency one but in action more than one; for the limbs are moved simultaneously from the original seat of movement, and when one is at rest the other is moved. For example, in the line BAC, B is moved, and A is the mover. There must, however, be a point at rest if one is to move, the other to be moved. A (AE) then being one in potency must be two in action, and so be a definite spatial magnitude not a mathematical point. Again, C may be moved simultaneously with B. Both the originals then in A must move and be, and so there must be something other than them which moves but is not moved. For otherwise, when the movement begins, the extremes, i.e. the originals, in A would rest upon one another, like two men putting themselves back to back and so moving their legs. There must then be some one thing which moves both. This something is the soul, distinct from the spatial magnitude just described and yet located therein.
Although from the point of view of the definition of movement- a definition which gives the cause- desire is the middle term or cause, and desire moves being moved, still in the material animated body there must be some material which itself moves being moved. Now that which is moved, but whose nature is not to initiate movement, is capable of being passive to an external force, while that which initiates movement must needs possess a kind of force and power. Now experience shows us that animals do both possess connatural spirit and derive power from this. (How this connatural spirit is maintained in the body is explained in other passages of our works.) And this spirit appears to stand to the soul-centre or original in a relation analogous to that between the point in a joint which moves being moved and the unmoved. Now since this centre is for some animals in the heart, in the rest in a part analogous with the heart, we further see the reason for the connatural spirit being situate where it actually is found. The question whether the spirit remains always the same or constantly changes and is renewed, like the cognate question about the rest of the parts of the body, is better postponed. At all events we see that it is well disposed to excite movement and to exert power; and the functions of movement are thrusting and pulling. Accordingly, the organ of movement must be capable of expanding and contracting; and this is precisely the characteristic of spirit. It contracts and expands naturally, and so is able to pull and to thrust from one and the same cause, exhibiting gravity compared with the fiery element, and levity by comparison with the opposites of fire. Now that which is to initiate movement without change of structure must be of the kind described, for the elementary bodies prevail over one another in a compound body by dint of disproportion; the light is overcome and kept down by the heavier, and the heavy kept up by the lighter.
We have now explained what the part is which is moved when the soul originates movement in the body, and what is the reason for this. And the animal organism must be conceived after the similitude of a well-governed commonwealth. When order is once established in it there is no more need of a separate monarch to preside over each several task. The individuals each play their assigned part as it is ordered, and one thing follows another in its accustomed order. So in animals there is the same orderliness- nature taking the place of custom- and each part naturally doing his own work as nature has composed them. There is no need then of a soul in each part, but she resides in a kind of central governing place of the body, and the remaining parts live by continuity of natural structure, and play the parts Nature would have them play.
So much then for the voluntary movements of animal bodies, and the reasons for them. These bodies, however, display in certain members involuntary movements too, but most often non-voluntary movements. By involuntary I mean motions of the heart and of the privy member; for often upon an image arising and without express mandate of the reason these parts are moved. By non-voluntary I mean sleep and waking and respiration, and other similar organic movements. For neither imagination nor desire is properly mistress of any of these; but since the animal body must undergo natural changes of quality, and when the parts are so altered some must increase and other decrease, the body must straightway be moved and change with the changes that nature makes dependent upon one another. Now the causes of the movements are natural changes of temperature, both those coming from outside the body, and those taking place within it. So the involuntary movements which occur in spite of reason in the aforesaid parts occur when a change of quality supervenes. For conception and imagination, as we said above, produce the conditions necessary to affections, since they bring to bear the images or forms which tend to create these states. And the two parts aforesaid display this motion more conspicuously than the rest, because each is in a sense a separate vital organism, the reason being that each contains vital moisture. In the case of the heart the cause is plain, for the heart is the seat of the senses, while an indication that the generative organ too is vital is that there flows from it the seminal potency, itself a kind of organism. Again, it is a reasonable arrangement that the movements arise in the centre upon movements in the parts, and in the parts upon movements in the centre, and so reach one another. Conceive A to be the centre or starting point. The movements then arrive at the centre from each letter in the diagram we have drawn, and flow back again from the centre which is moved and changes, (for the centre is potentially multiple) the movement of B goes to B, that of C to C, the movement of both to both; but from B to C the movements flow by dint of going from B to A as to a centre, and then from A to C as from a centre.
Moreover a movement contrary to reason sometimes does and sometimes does not arise in the organs on the occasion of the same thoughts; the reason is that sometimes the matter which is passive to the impressions is there in sufficient quantity and of the right quality and sometimes not.
And so we have finished our account of the reasons for the parts of each kind of animal, of the soul, and furthere of sense-perception, of sleep, of memory, and of movement in general; it remains to speak of animal generation.
Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by S. H. Butcher
I propose to treat of Poetry in itself and of its various kinds, noting the essential quality of each, to inquire into the structure of the plot as requisite to a good poem; into the number and nature of the parts of which a poem is composed; and similarly into whatever else falls within the same inquiry. Following, then, the order of nature, let us begin with the principles which come first.
Epic poetry and Tragedy, Comedy also and Dithyrambic poetry, and the music of the flute and of the lyre in most of their forms, are all in their general conception modes of imitation. They differ, however, from one another in three respects- the medium, the objects, the manner or mode of imitation, being in each case distinct.
For as there are persons who, by conscious art or mere habit, imitate and represent various objects through the medium of color and form, or again by the voice; so in the arts above mentioned, taken as a whole, the imitation is produced by rhythm, language, or 'harmony,' either singly or combined.
Thus in the music of the flute and of the lyre, 'harmony' and rhythm alone are employed; also in other arts, such as that of the shepherd's pipe, which are essentially similar to these. In dancing, rhythm alone is used without 'harmony'; for even dancing imitates character, emotion, and action, by rhythmical movement.
There is another art which imitates by means of language alone, and that either in prose or verse- which verse, again, may either combine different meters or consist of but one kind- but this has hitherto been without a name. For there is no common term we could apply to the mimes of Sophron and Xenarchus and the Socratic dialogues on the one hand; and, on the other, to poetic imitations in iambic, elegiac, or any similar meter. People do, indeed, add the word 'maker' or 'poet' to the name of the meter, and speak of elegiac poets, or epic (that is, hexameter) poets, as if it were not the imitation that makes the poet, but the verse that entitles them all to the name. Even when a treatise on medicine or natural science is brought out in verse, the name of poet is by custom given to the author; and yet Homer and Empedocles have nothing in common but the meter, so that it would be right to call the one poet, the other physicist rather than poet. On the same principle, even if a writer in his poetic imitation were to combine all meters, as Chaeremon did in his Centaur, which is a medley composed of meters of all kinds, we should bring him too under the general term poet.
So much then for these distinctions.
There are, again, some arts which employ all the means above mentioned- namely, rhythm, tune, and meter. Such are Dithyrambic and Nomic poetry, and also Tragedy and Comedy; but between them originally the difference is, that in the first two cases these means are all employed in combination, in the latter, now one means is employed, now another.
Such, then, are the differences of the arts with respect to the medium of imitation
Since the objects of imitation are men in action, and these men must be either of a higher or a lower type (for moral character mainly answers to these divisions, goodness and badness being the distinguishing marks of moral differences), it follows that we must represent men either as better than in real life, or as worse, or as they are. It is the same in painting. Polygnotus depicted men as nobler than they are, Pauson as less noble, Dionysius drew them true to life.
Now it is evident that each of the modes of imitation above mentioned will exhibit these differences, and become a distinct kind in imitating objects that are thus distinct. Such diversities may be found even in dancing, flute-playing, and lyre-playing. So again in language, whether prose or verse unaccompanied by music. Homer, for example, makes men better than they are; Cleophon as they are; Hegemon the Thasian, the inventor of parodies, and Nicochares, the author of the Deiliad, worse than they are. The same thing holds good of Dithyrambs and Nomes; here too one may portray different types, as Timotheus and Philoxenus differed in representing their Cyclopes. The same distinction marks off Tragedy from Comedy; for Comedy aims at representing men as worse, Tragedy as better than in actual life.
There is still a third difference- the manner in which each of these objects may be imitated. For the medium being the same, and the objects the same, the poet may imitate by narration- in which case he can either take another personality as Homer does, or speak in his own person, unchanged- or he may present all his characters as living and moving before us.
These, then, as we said at the beginning, are the three differences which distinguish artistic imitation- the medium, the objects, and the manner. So that from one point of view, Sophocles is an imitator of the same kind as Homer- for both imitate higher types of character; from another point of view, of the same kind as Aristophanes- for both imitate persons acting and doing. Hence, some say, the name of 'drama' is given to such poems, as representing action. For the same reason the Dorians claim the invention both of Tragedy and Comedy. The claim to Comedy is put forward by the Megarians- not only by those of Greece proper, who allege that it originated under their democracy, but also by the Megarians of Sicily, for the poet Epicharmus, who is much earlier than Chionides and Magnes, belonged to that country. Tragedy too is claimed by certain Dorians of the Peloponnese. In each case they appeal to the evidence of language. The outlying villages, they say, are by them called komai, by the Athenians demoi: and they assume that comedians were so named not from komazein, 'to revel,' but because they wandered from village to village (kata komas), being excluded contemptuously from the city. They add also that the Dorian word for 'doing' is dran, and the Athenian, prattein.
This may suffice as to the number and nature of the various modes of imitation.
Poetry in general seems to have sprung from two causes, each of them lying deep in our nature. First, the instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one difference between him and other animals being that he is the most imitative of living creatures, and through imitation learns his earliest lessons; and no less universal is the pleasure felt in things imitated. We have evidence of this in the facts of experience. Objects which in themselves we view with pain, we delight to contemplate when reproduced with minute fidelity: such as the forms of the most ignoble animals and of dead bodies. The cause of this again is, that to learn gives the liveliest pleasure, not only to philosophers but to men in general; whose capacity, however, of learning is more limited. Thus the reason why men enjoy seeing a likeness is, that in contemplating it they find themselves learning or inferring, and saying perhaps, 'Ah, that is he.' For if you happen not to have seen the original, the pleasure will be due not to the imitation as such, but to the execution, the coloring, or some such other cause.
Imitation, then, is one instinct of our nature. Next, there is the instinct for 'harmony' and rhythm, meters being manifestly sections of rhythm. Persons, therefore, starting with this natural gift developed by degrees their special aptitudes, till their rude improvisations gave birth to Poetry.
Poetry now diverged in two directions, according to the individual character of the writers. The graver spirits imitated noble actions, and the actions of good men. The more trivial sort imitated the actions of meaner persons, at first composing satires, as the former did hymns to the gods and the praises of famous men. A poem of the satirical kind cannot indeed be put down to any author earlier than Homer; though many such writers probably there were. But from Homer onward, instances can be cited- his own Margites, for example, and other similar compositions. The appropriate meter was also here introduced; hence the measure is still called the iambic or lampooning measure, being that in which people lampooned one another. Thus the older poets were distinguished as writers of heroic or of lampooning verse.
As, in the serious style, Homer is pre-eminent among poets, for he alone combined dramatic form with excellence of imitation so he too first laid down the main lines of comedy, by dramatizing the ludicrous instead of writing personal satire. His Margites bears the same relation to comedy that the Iliad and Odyssey do to tragedy. But when Tragedy and Comedy came to light, the two classes of poets still followed their natural bent: the lampooners became writers of Comedy, and the Epic poets were succeeded by Tragedians, since the drama was a larger and higher form of art.
Whether Tragedy has as yet perfected its proper types or not; and whether it is to be judged in itself, or in relation also to the audience- this raises another question. Be that as it may, Tragedy- as also Comedy- was at first mere improvisation. The one originated with the authors of the Dithyramb, the other with those of the phallic songs, which are still in use in many of our cities. Tragedy advanced by slow degrees; each new element that showed itself was in turn developed. Having passed through many changes, it found its natural form, and there it stopped.
Aeschylus first introduced a second actor; he diminished the importance of the Chorus, and assigned the leading part to the dialogue. Sophocles raised the number of actors to three, and added scene-painting. Moreover, it was not till late that the short plot was discarded for one of greater compass, and the grotesque diction of the earlier satyric form for the stately manner of Tragedy. The iambic measure then replaced the trochaic tetrameter, which was originally employed when the poetry was of the satyric order, and had greater with dancing. Once dialogue had come in, Nature herself discovered the appropriate measure. For the iambic is, of all measures, the most colloquial we see it in the fact that conversational speech runs into iambic lines more frequently than into any other kind of verse; rarely into hexameters, and only when we drop the colloquial intonation. The additions to the number of 'episodes' or acts, and the other accessories of which tradition tells, must be taken as already described; for to discuss them in detail would, doubtless, be a large undertaking.
Comedy is, as we have said, an imitation of characters of a lower type- not, however, in the full sense of the word bad, the ludicrous being merely a subdivision of the ugly. It consists in some defect or ugliness which is not painful or destructive. To take an obvious example, the comic mask is ugly and distorted, but does not imply pain.
The successive changes through which Tragedy passed, and the authors of these changes, are well known, whereas Comedy has had no history, because it was not at first treated seriously. It was late before the Archon granted a comic chorus to a poet; the performers were till then voluntary. Comedy had already taken definite shape when comic poets, distinctively so called, are heard of. Who furnished it with masks, or prologues, or increased the number of actors- these and other similar details remain unknown. As for the plot, it came originally from Sicily; but of Athenian writers Crates was the first who abandoning the 'iambic' or lampooning form, generalized his themes and plots.
Epic poetry agrees with Tragedy in so far as it is an imitation in verse of characters of a higher type. They differ in that Epic poetry admits but one kind of meter and is narrative in form. They differ, again, in their length: for Tragedy endeavors, as far as possible, to confine itself to a single revolution of the sun, or but slightly to exceed this limit, whereas the Epic action has no limits of time. This, then, is a second point of difference; though at first the same freedom was admitted in Tragedy as in Epic poetry.
Of their constituent parts some are common to both, some peculiar to Tragedy: whoever, therefore knows what is good or bad Tragedy, knows also about Epic poetry. All the elements of an Epic poem are found in Tragedy, but the elements of a Tragedy are not all found in the Epic poem.
Of the poetry which imitates in hexameter verse, and of Comedy, we will speak hereafter. Let us now discuss Tragedy, resuming its formal definition, as resulting from what has been already said.
Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions. By 'language embellished,' I mean language into which rhythm, 'harmony' and song enter. By 'the several kinds in separate parts,' I mean, that some parts are rendered through the medium of verse alone, others again with the aid of song.
Now as tragic imitation implies persons acting, it necessarily follows in the first place, that Spectacular equipment will be a part of Tragedy. Next, Song and Diction, for these are the media of imitation. By 'Diction' I mean the mere metrical arrangement of the words: as for 'Song,' it is a term whose sense every one understands.
Again, Tragedy is the imitation of an action; and an action implies personal agents, who necessarily possess certain distinctive qualities both of character and thought; for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves, and these- thought and character- are the two natural causes from which actions spring, and on actions again all success or failure depends. Hence, the Plot is the imitation of the action- for by plot I here mean the arrangement of the incidents. By Character I mean that in virtue of which we ascribe certain qualities to the agents. Thought is required wherever a statement is proved, or, it may be, a general truth enunciated. Every Tragedy, therefore, must have six parts, which parts determine its quality- namely, Plot, Character, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, Song. Two of the parts constitute the medium of imitation, one the manner, and three the objects of imitation. And these complete the fist. These elements have been employed, we may say, by the poets to a man; in fact, every play contains Spectacular elements as well as Character, Plot, Diction, Song, and Thought.
But most important of all is the structure of the incidents. For Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists in action, and its end is a mode of action, not a quality. Now character determines men's qualities, but it is by their actions that they are happy or the reverse. Dramatic action, therefore, is not with a view to the representation of character: character comes in as subsidiary to the actions. Hence the incidents and the plot are the end of a tragedy; and the end is the chief thing of all. Again, without action there cannot be a tragedy; there may be without character. The tragedies of most of our modern poets fail in the rendering of character; and of poets in general this is often true. It is the same in painting; and here lies the difference between Zeuxis and Polygnotus. Polygnotus delineates character well; the style of Zeuxis is devoid of ethical quality. Again, if you string together a set of speeches expressive of character, and well finished in point of diction and thought, you will not produce the essential tragic effect nearly so well as with a play which, however deficient in these respects, yet has a plot and artistically constructed incidents. Besides which, the most powerful elements of emotional interest in Tragedy- Peripeteia or Reversal of the Situation, and Recognition scenes- are parts of the plot. A further proof is, that novices in the art attain to finish of diction and precision of portraiture before they can construct the plot. It is the same with almost all the early poets.
The plot, then, is the first principle, and, as it were, the soul of a tragedy; Character holds the second place. A similar fact is seen in painting. The most beautiful colors, laid on confusedly, will not give as much pleasure as the chalk outline of a portrait. Thus Tragedy is the imitation of an action, and of the agents mainly with a view to the action.
Third in order is Thought- that is, the faculty of saying what is possible and pertinent in given circumstances. In the case of oratory, this is the function of the political art and of the art of rhetoric: and so indeed the older poets make their characters speak the language of civic life; the poets of our time, the language of the rhetoricians. Character is that which reveals moral purpose, showing what kind of things a man chooses or avoids. Speeches, therefore, which do not make this manifest, or in which the speaker does not choose or avoid anything whatever, are not expressive of character. Thought, on the other hand, is found where something is proved to be or not to be, or a general maxim is enunciated.
Fourth among the elements enumerated comes Diction; by which I mean, as has been already said, the expression of the meaning in words; and its essence is the same both in verse and prose.
Of the remaining elements Song holds the chief place among the embellishments
The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet.
These principles being established, let us now discuss the proper structure of the Plot, since this is the first and most important thing in Tragedy.
Now, according to our definition Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete, and whole, and of a certain magnitude; for there may be a whole that is wanting in magnitude. A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something as some other thing follows it. A well constructed plot, therefore, must neither begin nor end at haphazard, but conform to these principles.
Again, a beautiful object, whether it be a living organism or any whole composed of parts, must not only have an orderly arrangement of parts, but must also be of a certain magnitude; for beauty depends on magnitude and order. Hence a very small animal organism cannot be beautiful; for the view of it is confused, the object being seen in an almost imperceptible moment of time. Nor, again, can one of vast size be beautiful; for as the eye cannot take it all in at once, the unity and sense of the whole is lost for the spectator; as for instance if there were one a thousand miles long. As, therefore, in the case of animate bodies and organisms a certain magnitude is necessary, and a magnitude which may be easily embraced in one view; so in the plot, a certain length is necessary, and a length which can be easily embraced by the memory. The limit of length in relation to dramatic competition and sensuous presentment is no part of artistic theory. For had it been the rule for a hundred tragedies to compete together, the performance would have been regulated by the water-clock- as indeed we are told was formerly done. But the limit as fixed by the nature of the drama itself is this: the greater the length, the more beautiful will the piece be by reason of its size, provided that the whole be perspicuous. And to define the matter roughly, we may say that the proper magnitude is comprised within such limits, that the sequence of events, according to the law of probability or necessity, will admit of a change from bad fortune to good, or from good fortune to bad.
Unity of plot does not, as some persons think, consist in the unity of the hero. For infinitely various are the incidents in one man's life which cannot be reduced to unity; and so, too, there are many actions of one man out of which we cannot make one action. Hence the error, as it appears, of all poets who have composed a Heracleid, a Theseid, or other poems of the kind. They imagine that as Heracles was one man, the story of Heracles must also be a unity. But Homer, as in all else he is of surpassing merit, here too- whether from art or natural genius- seems to have happily discerned the truth. In composing the Odyssey he did not include all the adventures of Odysseus- such as his wound on Parnassus, or his feigned madness at the mustering of the host- incidents between which there was no necessary or probable connection: but he made the Odyssey, and likewise the Iliad, to center round an action that in our sense of the word is one. As therefore, in the other imitative arts, the imitation is one when the object imitated is one, so the plot, being an imitation of an action, must imitate one action and that a whole, the structural union of the parts being such that, if any one of them is displaced or removed, the whole will be disjointed and disturbed. For a thing whose presence or absence makes no visible difference, is not an organic part of the whole.
It is, moreover, evident from what has been said, that it is not the function of the poet to relate what has happened, but what may happen- what is possible according to the law of probability or necessity. The poet and the historian differ not by writing in verse or in prose. The work of Herodotus might be put into verse, and it would still be a species of history, with meter no less than without it. The true difference is that one relates what has happened, the other what may happen. Poetry, therefore, is a more philosophical and a higher thing than history: for poetry tends to express the universal, history the particular. By the universal I mean how a person of a certain type on occasion speak or act, according to the law of probability or necessity; and it is this universality at which poetry aims in the names she attaches to the personages. The particular is- for example- what Alcibiades did or suffered. In Comedy this is already apparent: for here the poet first constructs the plot on the lines of probability, and then inserts characteristic names- unlike the lampooners who write about particular individuals. But tragedians still keep to real names, the reason being that what is possible is credible: what has not happened we do not at once feel sure to be possible; but what has happened is manifestly possible: otherwise it would not have happened. Still there are even some tragedies in which there are only one or two well-known names, the rest being fictitious. In others, none are well known- as in Agathon's Antheus, where incidents and names alike are fictitious, and yet they give none the less pleasure. We must not, therefore, at all costs keep to the received legends, which are the usual subjects of Tragedy. Indeed, it would be absurd to attempt it; for even subjects that are known are known only to a few, and yet give pleasure to all. It clearly follows that the poet or 'maker' should be the maker of plots rather than of verses; since he is a poet because he imitates, and what he imitates are actions. And even if he chances to take a historical subject, he is none the less a poet; for there is no reason why some events that have actually happened should not conform to the law of the probable and possible, and in virtue of that quality in them he is their poet or maker.
Of all plots and actions the episodic are the worst. I call a plot 'episodic' in which the episodes or acts succeed one another without probable or necessary sequence. Bad poets compose such pieces by their own fault, good poets, to please the players; for, as they write show pieces for competition, they stretch the plot beyond its capacity, and are often forced to break the natural continuity.
But again, Tragedy is an imitation not only of a complete action, but of events inspiring fear or pity. Such an effect is best produced when the events come on us by surprise; and the effect is heightened when, at the same time, they follows as cause and effect. The tragic wonder will then be greater than if they happened of themselves or by accident; for even coincidences are most striking when they have an air of design. We may instance the statue of Mitys at Argos, which fell upon his murderer while he was a spectator at a festival, and killed him. Such events seem not to be due to mere chance. Plots, therefore, constructed on these principles are necessarily the best.
Plots are either Simple or Complex, for the actions in real life, of which the plots are an imitation, obviously show a similar distinction. An action which is one and continuous in the sense above defined, I call Simple, when the change of fortune takes place without Reversal of the Situation and without Recognition
A Complex action is one in which the change is accompanied by such Reversal, or by Recognition, or by both. These last should arise from the internal structure of the plot, so that what follows should be the necessary or probable result of the preceding action. It makes all the difference whether any given event is a case of propter hoc or post hoc.
Reversal of the Situation is a change by which the action veers round to its opposite, subject always to our rule of probability or necessity. Thus in the Oedipus, the messenger comes to cheer Oedipus and free him from his alarms about his mother, but by revealing who he is, he produces the opposite effect. Again in the Lynceus, Lynceus is being led away to his death, and Danaus goes with him, meaning to slay him; but the outcome of the preceding incidents is that Danaus is killed and Lynceus saved.
Recognition, as the name indicates, is a change from ignorance to knowledge, producing love or hate between the persons destined by the poet for good or bad fortune. The best form of recognition is coincident with a Reversal of the Situation, as in the Oedipus. There are indeed other forms. Even inanimate things of the most trivial kind may in a sense be objects of recognition. Again, we may recognize or discover whether a person has done a thing or not. But the recognition which is most intimately connected with the plot and action is, as we have said, the recognition of persons. This recognition, combined with Reversal, will produce either pity or fear; and actions producing these effects are those which, by our definition, Tragedy represents. Moreover, it is upon such situations that the issues of good or bad fortune will depend. Recognition, then, being between persons, it may happen that one person only is recognized by the other- when the latter is already known- or it may be necessary that the recognition should be on both sides. Thus Iphigenia is revealed to Orestes by the sending of the letter; but another act of recognition is required to make Orestes known to Iphigenia.
Two parts, then, of the Plot- Reversal of the Situation and Recognition- turn upon surprises. A third part is the Scene of Suffering. The Scene of Suffering is a destructive or painful action, such as death on the stage, bodily agony, wounds, and the like.
Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by S. H. Butcher
The parts of Tragedy which must be treated as elements of the whole have been already mentioned. We now come to the quantitative parts- the separate parts into which Tragedy is divided- namely, Prologue, Episode, Exode, Choric song; this last being divided into Parode and Stasimon. These are common to all plays: peculiar to some are the songs of actors from the stage and the Commoi.
The Prologue is that entire part of a tragedy which precedes the Parode of the Chorus. The Episode is that entire part of a tragedy which is between complete choric songs. The Exode is that entire part of a tragedy which has no choric song after it. Of the Choric part the Parode is the first undivided utterance of the Chorus: the Stasimon is a Choric ode without anapaests or trochaic tetrameters: the Commos is a joint lamentation of Chorus and actors. The parts of Tragedy which must be treated as elements of the whole have been already mentioned. The quantitative parts- the separate parts into which it is divided- are here enumerated.
As the sequel to what has already been said, we must proceed to consider what the poet should aim at, and what he should avoid, in constructing his plots; and by what means the specific effect of Tragedy will be produced.
A perfect tragedy should, as we have seen, be arranged not on the simple but on the complex plan. It should, moreover, imitate actions which excite pity and fear, this being the distinctive mark of tragic imitation. It follows plainly, in the first place, that the change of fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous man brought from prosperity to adversity: for this moves neither pity nor fear; it merely shocks us. Nor, again, that of a bad man passing from adversity to prosperity: for nothing can be more alien to the spirit of Tragedy; it possesses no single tragic quality; it neither satisfies the moral sense nor calls forth pity or fear. Nor, again, should the downfall of the utter villain be exhibited. A plot of this kind would, doubtless, satisfy the moral sense, but it would inspire neither pity nor fear; for pity is aroused by unmerited misfortune, fear by the misfortune of a man like ourselves. Such an event, therefore, will be neither pitiful nor terrible. There remains, then, the character between these two extremes- that of a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous- a personage like Oedipus, Thyestes, or other illustrious men of such families.
A well-constructed plot should, therefore, be single in its issue, rather than double as some maintain. The change of fortune should be not from bad to good, but, reversely, from good to bad. It should come about as the result not of vice, but of some great error or frailty, in a character either such as we have described, or better rather than worse. The practice of the stage bears out our view. At first the poets recounted any legend that came in their way. Now, the best tragedies are founded on the story of a few houses- on the fortunes of Alcmaeon, Oedipus, Orestes, Meleager, Thyestes, Telephus, and those others who have done or suffered something terrible. A tragedy, then, to be perfect according to the rules of art should be of this construction. Hence they are in error who censure Euripides just because he follows this principle in his plays, many of which end unhappily. It is, as we have said, the right ending. The best proof is that on the stage and in dramatic competition, such plays, if well worked out, are the most tragic in effect; and Euripides, faulty though he may be in the general management of his subject, yet is felt to be the most tragic of the poets.
In the second rank comes the kind of tragedy which some place first. Like the Odyssey, it has a double thread of plot, and also an opposite catastrophe for the good and for the bad. It is accounted the best because of the weakness of the spectators; for the poet is guided in what he writes by the wishes of his audience. The pleasure, however, thence derived is not the true tragic pleasure. It is proper rather to Comedy, where those who, in the piece, are the deadliest enemies- like Orestes and Aegisthus- quit the stage as friends at the close, and no one slays or is slain.
Fear and pity may be aroused by spectacular means; but they may also result from the inner structure of the piece, which is the better way, and indicates a superior poet. For the plot ought to be so constructed that, even without the aid of the eye, he who hears the tale told will thrill with horror and melt to pity at what takes Place. This is the impression we should receive from hearing the story of the Oedipus. But to produce this effect by the mere spectacle is a less artistic method, and dependent on extraneous aids. Those who employ spectacular means to create a sense not of the terrible but only of the monstrous, are strangers to the purpose of Tragedy; for we must not demand of Tragedy any and every kind of pleasure, but only that which is proper to it. And since the pleasure which the poet should afford is that which comes from pity and fear through imitation, it is evident that this quality must be impressed upon the incidents.
Let us then determine what are the circumstances which strike us as terrible or pitiful.
Actions capable of this effect must happen between persons who are either friends or enemies or indifferent to one another. If an enemy kills an enemy, there is nothing to excite pity either in the act or the intention- except so far as the suffering in itself is pitiful. So again with indifferent persons. But when the tragic incident occurs between those who are near or dear to one another- if, for example, a brother kills, or intends to kill, a brother, a son his father, a mother her son, a son his mother, or any other deed of the kind is done- these are the situations to be looked for by the poet. He may not indeed destroy the framework of the received legends- the fact, for instance, that Clytemnestra was slain by Orestes and Eriphyle by Alcmaeon- but he ought to show of his own, and skilfully handle the traditional. material. Let us explain more clearly what is meant by skilful handling.
The action may be done consciously and with knowledge of the persons, in the manner of the older poets. It is thus too that Euripides makes Medea slay her children. Or, again, the deed of horror may be done, but done in ignorance, and the tie of kinship or friendship be discovered afterwards. The Oedipus of Sophocles is an example. Here, indeed, the incident is outside the drama proper; but cases occur where it falls within the action of the play: one may cite the Alcmaeon of Astydamas, or Telegonus in the Wounded Odysseus. Again, there is a third case- [to be about to act with knowledge of the persons and then not to act. The fourth case] is when some one is about to do an irreparable deed through ignorance, and makes the discovery before it is done. These are the only possible ways. For the deed must either be done or not done- and that wittingly or unwittingly. But of all these ways, to be about to act knowing the persons, and then not to act, is the worst. It is shocking without being tragic, for no disaster follows It is, therefore, never, or very rarely, found in poetry. One instance, however, is in the Antigone, where Haemon threatens to kill Creon. The next and better way is that the deed should be perpetrated. Still better, that it should be perpetrated in ignorance, and the discovery made afterwards. There is then nothing to shock us, while the discovery produces a startling effect. The last case is the best, as when in the Cresphontes Merope is about to slay her son, but, recognizing who he is, spares his life. So in the Iphigenia, the sister recognizes the brother just in time. Again in the Helle, the son recognizes the mother when on the point of giving her up. This, then, is why a few families only, as has been already observed, furnish the subjects of tragedy. It was not art, but happy chance, that led the poets in search of subjects to impress the tragic quality upon their plots. They are compelled, therefore, to have recourse to those houses whose history contains moving incidents like these.
Enough has now been said concerning the structure of the incidents, and the right kind of plot.
In respect of Character there are four things to be aimed at. First, and most important, it must be good. Now any speech or action that manifests moral purpose of any kind will be expressive of character: the character will be good if the purpose is good. This rule is relative to each class. Even a woman may be good, and also a slave; though the woman may be said to be an inferior being, and the slave quite worthless. The second thing to aim at is propriety. There is a type of manly valor; but valor in a woman, or unscrupulous cleverness is inappropriate. Thirdly, character must be true to life: for this is a distinct thing from goodness and propriety, as here described. The fourth point is consistency: for though the subject of the imitation, who suggested the type, be inconsistent, still he must be consistently inconsistent. As an example of motiveless degradation of character, we have Menelaus in the Orestes; of character indecorous and inappropriate, the lament of Odysseus in the Scylla, and the speech of Melanippe; of inconsistency, the Iphigenia at Aulis- for Iphigenia the suppliant in no way resembles her later self.
As in the structure of the plot, so too in the portraiture of character, the poet should always aim either at the necessary or the probable. Thus a person of a given character should speak or act in a given way, by the rule either of necessity or of probability; just as this event should follow that by necessary or probable sequence. It is therefore evident that the unraveling of the plot, no less than the complication, must arise out of the plot itself, it must not be brought about by the Deus ex Machina- as in the Medea, or in the return of the Greeks in the Iliad. The Deus ex Machina should be employed only for events external to the drama- for antecedent or subsequent events, which lie beyond the range of human knowledge, and which require to be reported or foretold; for to the gods we ascribe the power of seeing all things. Within the action there must be nothing irrational. If the irrational cannot be excluded, it should be outside the scope of the tragedy. Such is the irrational element the Oedipus of Sophocles.
Again, since Tragedy is an imitation of persons who are above the common level, the example of good portrait painters should be followed. They, while reproducing the distinctive form of the original, make a likeness which is true to life and yet more beautiful. So too the poet, in representing men who are irascible or indolent, or have other defects of character, should preserve the type and yet ennoble it. In this way Achilles is portrayed by Agathon and Homer.
These then are rules the poet should observe. Nor should he neglect those appeals to the senses, which, though not among the essentials, are the concomitants of poetry; for here too there is much room for error. But of this enough has been said in our published treatises.
What Recognition is has been already explained. We will now enumerate its kinds.
First, the least artistic form, which, from poverty of wit, is most commonly employed- recognition by signs. Of these some are congenital- such as 'the spear which the earth-born race bear on their bodies,' or the stars introduced by Carcinus in his Thyestes. Others are acquired after birth; and of these some are bodily marks, as scars; some external tokens, as necklaces, or the little ark in the Tyro by which the discovery is effected. Even these admit of more or less skilful treatment. Thus in the recognition of Odysseus by his scar, the discovery is made in one way by the nurse, in another by the swineherds. The use of tokens for the express purpose of proof- and, indeed, any formal proof with or without tokens- is a less artistic mode of recognition. A better kind is that which comes about by a turn of incident, as in the Bath Scene in the Odyssey.
Next come the recognitions invented at will by the poet, and on that account wanting in art. For example, Orestes in the Iphigenia reveals the fact that he is Orestes. She, indeed, makes herself known by the letter; but he, by speaking himself, and saying what the poet, not what the plot requires. This, therefore, is nearly allied to the fault above mentioned- for Orestes might as well have brought tokens with him. Another similar instance is the 'voice of the shuttle' in the Tereus of Sophocles.
The third kind depends on memory when the sight of some object awakens a feeling: as in the Cyprians of Dicaeogenes, where the hero breaks into tears on seeing the picture; or again in the Lay of Alcinous, where Odysseus, hearing the minstrel play the lyre, recalls the past and weeps; and hence the recognition.
The fourth kind is by process of reasoning. Thus in the Choephori: 'Some one resembling me has come: no one resembles me but Orestes: therefore Orestes has come.' Such too is the discovery made by Iphigenia in the play of Polyidus the Sophist. It was a natural reflection for Orestes to make, 'So I too must die at the altar like my sister.' So, again, in the Tydeus of Theodectes, the father says, 'I came to find my son, and I lose my own life.' So too in the Phineidae: the women, on seeing the place, inferred their fate- 'Here we are doomed to die, for here we were cast forth.' Again, there is a composite kind of recognition involving false inference on the part of one of the characters, as in the Odysseus Disguised as a Messenger. A said [that no one else was able to bend the bow; ... hence B (the disguised Odysseus) imagined that A would] recognize the bow which, in fact, he had not seen; and to bring about a recognition by this means- the expectation that A would recognize the bow- is false inference.
But, of all recognitions, the best is that which arises from the incidents themselves, where the startling discovery is made by natural means. Such is that in the Oedipus of Sophocles, and in the Iphigenia; for it was natural that Iphigenia should wish to dispatch a letter. These recognitions alone dispense with the artificial aid of tokens or amulets. Next come the recognitions by process of reasoning.
In constructing the plot and working it out with the proper diction, the poet should place the scene, as far as possible, before his eyes. In this way, seeing everything with the utmost vividness, as if he were a spectator of the action, he will discover what is in keeping with it, and be most unlikely to overlook inconsistencies. The need of such a rule is shown by the fault found in Carcinus. Amphiaraus was on his way from the temple. This fact escaped the observation of one who did not see the situation. On the stage, however, the Piece failed, the audience being offended at the oversight.
Again, the poet should work out his play, to the best of his power, with appropriate gestures; for those who feel emotion are most convincing through natural sympathy with the characters they represent; and one who is agitated storms, one who is angry rages, with the most lifelike reality. Hence poetry implies either a happy gift of nature or a strain of madness. In the one case a man can take the mould of any character; in the other, he is lifted out of his proper self.
As for the story, whether the poet takes it ready made or constructs it for himself, he should first sketch its general outline, and then fill in the episodes and amplify in detail. The general plan may be illustrated by the Iphigenia. A young girl is sacrificed; she disappears mysteriously from the eyes of those who sacrificed her; she is transported to another country, where the custom is to offer up an strangers to the goddess. To this ministry she is appointed. Some time later her own brother chances to arrive. The fact that the oracle for some reason ordered him to go there, is outside the general plan of the play. The purpose, again, of his coming is outside the action proper. However, he comes, he is seized, and, when on the point of being sacrificed, reveals who he is. The mode of recognition may be either that of Euripides or of Polyidus, in whose play he exclaims very naturally: 'So it was not my sister only, but I too, who was doomed to be sacrificed'; and by that remark he is saved.
After this, the names being once given, it remains to fill in the episodes. We must see that they are relevant to the action. In the case of Orestes, for example, there is the madness which led to his capture, and his deliverance by means of the purificatory rite. In the drama, the episodes are short, but it is these that give extension to Epic poetry. Thus the story of the Odyssey can be stated briefly. A certain man is absent from home for many years; he is jealously watched by Poseidon, and left desolate. Meanwhile his home is in a wretched plight- suitors are wasting his substance and plotting against his son. At length, tempest-tost, he himself arrives; he makes certain persons acquainted with him; he attacks the suitors with his own hand, and is himself preserved while he destroys them. This is the essence of the plot; the rest is episode.
Every tragedy falls into two parts- Complication and Unraveling or Denouement. Incidents extraneous to the action are frequently combined with a portion of the action proper, to form the Complication; the rest is the Unraveling. By the Complication I mean all that extends from the beginning of the action to the part which marks the turning-point to good or bad fortune. The Unraveling is that which extends from the beginning of the change to the end. Thus, in the Lynceus of Theodectes, the Complication consists of the incidents presupposed in the drama, the seizure of the child, and then again ... [the Unraveling] extends from the accusation of murder to
There are four kinds of Tragedy: the Complex, depending entirely on Reversal of the Situation and Recognition; the Pathetic (where the motive is passion)- such as the tragedies on Ajax and Ixion; the Ethical (where the motives are ethical)- such as the Phthiotides and the Peleus. The fourth kind is the Simple. [We here exclude the purely spectacular element], exemplified by the Phorcides, the Prometheus, and scenes laid in Hades. The poet should endeavor, if possible, to combine all poetic elements; or failing that, the greatest number and those the most important; the more so, in face of the caviling criticism of the day. For whereas there have hitherto been good poets, each in his own branch, the critics now expect one man to surpass all others in their several lines of excellence.
In speaking of a tragedy as the same or different, the best test to take is the plot. Identity exists where the Complication and Unraveling are the same. Many poets tie the knot well, but unravel it Both arts, however, should always be mastered.
Again, the poet should remember what has been often said, and not make an Epic structure into a tragedy- by an Epic structure I mean one with a multiplicity of plots- as if, for instance, you were to make a tragedy out of the entire story of the Iliad. In the Epic poem, owing to its length, each part assumes its proper magnitude. In the drama the result is far from answering to the poet's expectation. The proof is that the poets who have dramatized the whole story of the Fall of Troy, instead of selecting portions, like Euripides; or who have taken the whole tale of Niobe, and not a part of her story, like Aeschylus, either fail utterly or meet with poor success on the stage. Even Agathon has been known to fail from this one defect. In his Reversals of the Situation, however, he shows a marvelous skill in the effort to hit the popular taste- to produce a tragic effect that satisfies the moral sense. This effect is produced when the clever rogue, like Sisyphus, is outwitted, or the brave villain defeated. Such an event is probable in Agathon's sense of the word: 'is probable,' he says, 'that many things should happen contrary to probability.'
The Chorus too should be regarded as one of the actors; it should be an integral part of the whole, and share in the action, in the manner not of Euripides but of Sophocles. As for the later poets, their choral songs pertain as little to the subject of the piece as to that of any other tragedy. They are, therefore, sung as mere interludes- a practice first begun by Agathon. Yet what difference is there between introducing such choral interludes, and transferring a speech, or even a whole act, from one play to another.
It remains to speak of Diction and Thought, the other parts of Tragedy having been already discussed. concerning Thought, we may assume what is said in the Rhetoric, to which inquiry the subject more strictly belongs. Under Thought is included every effect which has to be produced by speech, the subdivisions being: proof and refutation; the excitation of the feelings, such as pity, fear, anger, and the like; the suggestion of importance or its opposite. Now, it is evident that the dramatic incidents must be treated from the same points of view as the dramatic speeches, when the object is to evoke the sense of pity, fear, importance, or probability. The only difference is that the incidents should speak for themselves without verbal exposition; while effects aimed at in should be produced by the speaker, and as a result of the speech. For what were the business of a speaker, if the Thought were revealed quite apart from what he says?
Next, as regards Diction. One branch of the inquiry treats of the Modes of Utterance. But this province of knowledge belongs to the art of Delivery and to the masters of that science. It includes, for instance- what is a command, a prayer, a statement, a threat, a question, an answer, and so forth. To know or not to know these things involves no serious censure upon the poet's art. For who can admit the fault imputed to Homer by Protagoras- that in the words, 'Sing, goddess, of the wrath, he gives a command under the idea that he utters a prayer? For to tell some one to do a thing or not to do it is, he says, a command. We may, therefore, pass this over as an inquiry that belongs to another art, not to poetry.
Language in general includes the following parts: Letter, Syllable, Connecting Word, Noun, Verb, Inflection or Case, Sentence or Phrase.
A Letter is an indivisible sound, yet not every such sound, but only one which can form part of a group of sounds. For even brutes utter indivisible sounds, none of which I call a letter. The sound I mean may be either a vowel, a semivowel, or a mute. A vowel is that which without impact of tongue or lip has an audible sound. A semivowel that which with such impact has an audible sound, as S and R. A mute, that which with such impact has by itself no sound, but joined to a vowel sound becomes audible, as G and D. These are distinguished according to the form assumed by the mouth and the place where they are produced; according as they are aspirated or smooth, long or short; as they are acute, grave, or of an intermediate tone; which inquiry belongs in detail to the writers on meter.
A Syllable is a nonsignificant sound, composed of a mute and a vowel: for GR without A is a syllable, as also with A- GRA. But the investigation of these differences belongs also to metrical science.
A Connecting Word is a nonsignificant sound, which neither causes nor hinders the union of many sounds into one significant sound; it may be placed at either end or in the middle of a sentence. Or, a nonsignificant sound, which out of several sounds, each of them significant, is capable of forming one significant sound- as amphi, peri, and the like. Or, a nonsignificant sound, which marks the beginning, end, or division of a sentence; such, however, that it cannot correctly stand by itself at the beginning of a sentence- as men, etoi, de.
A Noun is a composite significant sound, not marking time, of which no part is in itself significant: for in double or compound words we do not employ the separate parts as if each were in itself significant. Thus in Theodorus, 'god-given,' the doron or 'gift' is not in itself significant.
A Verb is a composite significant sound, marking time, in which, as in the noun, no part is in itself significant. For 'man' or 'white' does not express the idea of 'when'; but 'he walks' or 'he has walked' does connote time, present or past.
Inflection belongs both to the noun and verb, and expresses either the relation 'of,' 'to,' or the like; or that of number, whether one or many, as 'man' or 'men'; or the modes or tones in actual delivery, e.g., a question or a command. 'Did he go?' and 'go' are verbal inflections of this kind.
A Sentence or Phrase is a composite significant sound, some at least of whose parts are in themselves significant; for not every such group of words consists of verbs and nouns- 'the definition of man,' for example- but it may dispense even with the verb. Still it will always have some significant part, as 'in walking,' or 'Cleon son of Cleon.' A sentence or phrase may form a unity in two ways- either as signifying one thing, or as consisting of several parts linked together. Thus the Iliad is one by the linking together of parts, the definition of man by the unity of the thing signified.
Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by S. H. Butcher
|Table of Contents
Written 350 B.C.E
Translated by R. P. Hardie and R. K. Gaye
|Table of Contents