Page:Metaphysics by Aristotle Ross 1908 (deannotated).djvu/29

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A. BOOK I

discovering a cause of this sort, except perhaps Parmenides, and he only insomuch that he supposes that there is not only one but in some sense two causes. But for those who make more elements it is more possible to state the second cause, e.g. for those who make hot and cold, or fire and earth, the elements; for they treat fire as having a nature which fits it to move things, and water and earth and such things they treat in the contrary way.

When these men and the principles of this kind had had their day, as the latter were found inadequate to generate the nature of things, men were again forced by the truth itself, as we said, to inquire into the next kind of cause. For surely it is not likely either that fire or earth or any such element should be the reason why things manifest goodness and beauty both in their being and in their coming to be, or that those thinkers should have supposed it was; nor again could it be right to ascribe so great a matter to spontaneity and luck. When one man said, then, that reason was present—as in animals, so throughout nature—as the cause of the world and of all its order, he seemed like a sober man in contrast with the random talk of his predecessors. We know that Anaxagoras certainly adopted these views, but Hermotimus of Clazomenae is credited with expressing them earlier. Those who thought thus stated that there is a principle of things which is at the same time the cause of beauty, and that sort of cause from which things acquire movement.

Chapter 4

One might suspect that Hesiod was the first to look for such a thing—or some one else who put love or desire among existing things as a principle, as Parmenides does; for he, in constructing the genesis of the universe, says[1]:—

Love first of all the Gods she planned.

And Hesiod says[2]:—

First of all things was chaos made, and then
Broad-breasted earth, and love that foremost is
Among all the immortals,
  1. Fr. 13, Diels, Vorsokratiker.
  2. Theog. 116.