The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

1090

THEOPHRASTUS.

owing to the scantiness of the statements which we have, and what belongs to this subject can be merely indicated in this place. In the first place, Theophrastus seems to have carried out still further the grammatical foundation of logic and rhetoric, since in his book on the elements of speech (zv tq W€pl rov \6yov o"TOi%6i^, 1. zv r$ irepl rwv rov Xoyov frroixeicoj/), respecting which again others had written, he distinguished the main parts of speech from the subordinate parts, and again, direct (Kvpia Ae£is) from metaphorical expressions, and treated of the affections (irdOr}) of speech (Simpl. in Categ. 8, Basil.), and further distinguished a twofold reference of speech (<rx«"s) — to things (Trpay^ara), and to the hearers, and referred poetry and rhetoric to the latter (Ammon. de Interpr. 53; Schol. in Arist. p. 108, 27). In what he taught respecting judgment («/ t<£ irepl Acara^acreeos [«ai aTrocpdcreus] — de affirmatione et negatione) he had treated at length on its oneness (Alex. in Anal. Pr. f. 128, 124 ; Schol. in Arist. p. 184. 24.183, b. 2; Boe'th. de Interpr. pp. 291, 327), on the different kinds of negation (Ammon. in Arist. de Interpr. 128, b. 129, 134; Schol. in Arist. p. 121. 18), and on the difference between unconditioned and con­ditioned necessity (Alex. I. c. f. 12. 6; Schol. in Arist. p. 149. 44). In his doctrine of syllogisms he brought forward the proof for the conversion of universal affirmative judgments, differed from Aristotle here and there in the laying down and arranging the modi of the syllogisms (Alex. L c. 14, 72, 73, 82. 22, b, 35; Boe'th. deSyll. categ. ii. 594. 5, f. 603, 615), partly in the proof of them (Alex. I. c. 39, b), partly in the doctrine of mixture, i. e. of the influence of the modality of the premises upon the modality of the conclusion (Alex. L c. 39, b. &c. 40, 42, 56, b. 82, 64, b. 51; Joh. Ph. xxxii, b. &c.). Then in two separate works he had treated of the reduction of arguments to the syllo­gistic form (aLvny^voov \6yuv els rcb (rx^yuara) and on the resolution of them (jrepl avahvaeas <Tvh\oyi(T[j.tov. Alex. 115); further, of hypothetical conclusions (Alex. in Arist. Anal. Pr. 109, b. &c. 131, b. ; Joh. Phil. Ix. &c. Ixxv. ; Boe'th. de Syll. liypotli. p. 606). For the doctrine of proof, Galenus quotes the second Analytic of Theophrastus, in conjunction with that of Aristotle, as the best treatises on that doctrine (de Hippocr. et Plat.Dogm. ii. 2. p. 213, Lips. 253, Basil.) In different mo-nographies he seems to have endeavoured to expand it into a general theory of science. To this too may have belonged the proposition quoted from his Topics, that the principia of opposites (r£v zvavrloov} are themselves opposed, and cannot be deduced from one and the same higher genus. (Simpl. in Categ. f. 5 ; Schol. p. 89. 15 ; comp. Alex. in Metapli. p. 342. 30, Bonitz.) For the rest, some inconsiderable deviations from the Aristotelic defi­nitions are quoted from the Topica of Theophrastus. (Alex. in Top. 5, 68, 72, 25, 31.) With this treatise, that upon ambiguous words or ideas (jrepl rov TToo-ax<*>s, tt. r. 7roAAax<£s. Alex. ib. 83, 189), which, without doubt, corresponded to the book E of Aristotle's Metaphysics, seems to have been closely connected.

Theophrastus introduced his Physics with the proof that all natural existence, being corporeal, that is composite, presupposes principia (Simpl. in Phys. f. 1, 6, in Schneider v. 7), and before every­thing else, motion, as the basis of the changes common to all (ib. 5, 6; Schneid. ib. 6). Denying

THEOPHRASTUS.

the subsistence of space, he seems to have been disposed, in opposition to the Aristotelic definition, to regard it as the mere arrangement and position (rd£is and beats) of bodies (Simpl. /. c. 149, b. 141; Schneid. p. 213, f. 9, 8). Time he designated as an accident of motion, without, as it seems, con­ceiving it, with Aristotle, as the numerical deter­mination of motion. (Simpl. f. 87, b ; Joh. 21 3. 4.) He departed more widely from his master in his doctrine of motion, since on the one hand he extended it over all categories, and did not limit it to those laid down by Aristotle (Simpl. in Categ. Schneid. p. 212; comp. Simpl. in Phys. 94, 201,202, 1. Schneid. 214. 10); and on the other hand, while he conceived it, with Aristotle, as an activity, not carrying its own end in itself (dreAr/s), of that which only exists potentially (Simpl. I. c. and f. 94, 1. Schneid. 11), and therefore could not allow that the activity expended itself in motion, he also recognised no activity without motion (Simpl. in Categ. Schneid. 212. 2), and so was obliged to refer all activities of the soul to motion, the desires and affections to corporeal motion, judgment (/cpureis) and contemplation to spiritual motion. (Simpl. in Phys. 225 ; Schneid. 215. 13.) The conceivableness of a spirit entirely independent of organic activity, must therefore have appeared to him very doubtful; yet he appears to have con­tented himself with developing his doubts and difficulties on the point, without positively rejecting it (Themist. in Arist. de An. 89, b. 91, b; Schneid. 215. 15). Other Peripatetics, as Dicaearchus, Aristoxenus, and especially Straton, more unre­servedly and unconditionally gave a sensualistic turn to the Aristotelic doctrine. Theophrastus seems, generally speaking, where the investigation overstepped the limits of experience, to have shown more acuteness in the development of difficulties than in the solution of them, as is especially appa­rent in the fragment of his metaphysics. In a penetrating and unbiassed conception of phenomena, in acuteness of reflection and combination respecting them and within their limits, in compass and certainty of experimental knowledge, he may have tood near Aristotle, if he did not come quite up to him: the incessant endeavour of his great master to refer phenomena to their ultimate grounds, his profundity in unfolding the internal connections between the latter, and between them and pheno­mena, were not possessed by Theophrastus. Hence even in antiquity it was a subject of complaint that Theophrastus had not expressed himself with pre­cision and consistency respecting the Deity, and had understood thereby at one time Heaven, at another an (enlivening) breath (Tn/eG/xa, Clem. Alex. Protrept. p. 44. b; Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 13); that he had not been able to comprehend a happi­ness resting merely upon virtue (Cic. Acad. i. 10, Tusc. v. 9), or, consequently, to hold fast by the unconditional value of morality, and, although blameless in his life, had subordinated moral re­quirements to the advantage at least of a friend. (A. Gell. N. A. i. 3. § 23), and had admitted in prosperity the existence of an influence injurious to them. (In particular, fault was found with his expression in the Callisthenes, vitam regit fortuna non sapientia, Cic. Tusc. iii. 10 ; comp. Alex. Aphrod. de Anima, ii. extr.) That in the definition of pleasure, likewise, he did not coincide with Aristotle, seems to be indicated by the titles of two of his writings, one of which treated of pleasure

Pages
About | First

1088

1089

1090
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.