What Mister Nietzsche Taught me.
All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight WE take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness, they are loved for themselves; And above all others the sense of sight for not only with a view to action, but even when WE are not going to do anything, WE prefer seeing (one might say) to everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and bring to light many differences between things.
By nature animals are born with the faculty of sensation, and from sensation memory is produced in some of them, though not in others. And therefore the former are more intelligent and apt at learning than those who which cannot remember, those which are incapable of hearing sounds are intelligent though they cannot be taught, e.g. the bee, and any other race of animals that may be like it, and those which besides memory have this sense of hearing can be taught.
The animals other than man live by appearances and memories, and have but little of connected experience; but the human race lives also by art and reasoning. Now from memory experience is produced in men; For the several memories are the same thing produce finally the capacity for a single experience. And experience seems pretty much like science and art, but really science and art come to men through experience; for “experience mode art” as Polus says, “ but inexperience luck”. Now art arises when from many notions gained by experience one universal judgment about a class of objects is produced. For to have a judgment that when Calliat was ill of this disease this did him good, and similarly in the case, is a matter of experience; but to judge that it has done good to all persons of a certain constitution, marked off in one class, when they were ill of this disease, e.g. the phlegmatic or bilious people when burning with fever this is a matter of art.
With a view to action, experience seems in no respect inferior to art, and men of experience succeeded even better than those who have theory without experience. (The reasons is that experience is knowledge to individuals, art of universals, and actions and productions are all concerned with the individual; For the physician does not cure man, except in an incidental way, but Calias or Socrates or some other called by some such individual name, what happens to be a man. If, then, a man has the theory without the experience, and recognizes the universal but does not know the individual included but does not know the individual included in these, he will if then fail to cure; for it is the individual that is to be cured.) But yet WE think that knowledge and understanding belong to art rather than to experience, and WE suppose artists to be wiser than men of experience (which implies that wisdom depends in all cases rather on knowledge) and this because the former know the cause, but the latter do not. For men of experience know that thing is so, but do not know why, while the others know “why” and the cause. Hence WE think also that the master workers in each craft are more honorable and know in a truer sense and are wiser than the manual workers, because they know the causes of the things that are done (WE think the manual workers are like certain lifeless things which act indeed, but act without knowing what they do, as five burns, _ but while the lifeless things perform them through habits); thus WE view them as being wiser in virtue of being able to act, but of having the theory for themselves and knowing the causes. And in general it is a sign of the man who knows and the man who does not know, that the former can teach, and therefore WE think art more truly knowledge than experience is; for artists can teach, and men of more experience cannot.
Again, WE do not regard any of the senses as wisdom, yet surely these give the most authoritative knowledge of particulars. But they do not tell us the “why” of any things — e.g. why fire is hot; they only say it is hot.
At first, he who invented any art whatever that went beyond the common perceptions of man was naturally admired by men, not only because there was something useful in the inventions, but something he was thought wise and superior to the rest. But as more arts were invented, and some were directed to the necessities of life, other to recreation, the inventors of the latter were naturally always regarded as wiser than the inventors of the former, because their branches of knowledge did not aim at utility. Hence when all such inventions were already established, the sciences which do not aim at giving pleasure or at the necessities of life were discovered, and first began to have leisure. This is why the mathematical arts were founded in Egypt; for there the priestly caste was allowed to be at leisure.
WE have said in the ethics what the difference is between art and science, and the other kindred faculties; but the point of our present discussion is this, that all men suppose what is called wisdom to deal with the causes and the principles of things; so that, as has been said before, the man of experience is thought to be wiser the processors of any sense-perception whatever, the artist wiser than the men of experience, the master worker than the mechanic, and the theoretical kinds of knowledge to be more of the nature of wisdom than the productive. Clearly, wisdom is knowledge about certain principles and causes.
Since WE are seeking this knowledge, WE must inquire of what kind are the causes and principles, the knowledge of which is wisdom. If one were to take the notions WE have about the wise man, this might perhaps make the answer more evident. WE suppose first, then, that the wise man knows all things, as far as possible, although he has not knowledge of each then in detail; secondly, that he who can learn things that are difficult and not easy for man to know, is wise (sense-perception is common to all, and therefore easy and not mark of wisdom)
Again, that he who is more exact and more capable of teaching the causes is wiser, in every branch of knowledge; and that of the sciences, also, that which is desirable on its own account of its results, and the superior science is more of the nature of wisdom than the ancillary; for the wise must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him.
Such and so many are the notions, then, which WE have about wisdom and the wise. Now of these characteristics that of knowing all things must belong to him who has in the highest degree universal knowledge; for he knows in a sense all the instances that fall under the universal. And these things, the most universal, are on the whole the hardest for men to know; for they are farthest from the senses. And the most exact of the sciences are those which deal most with first principles; for those which involve fewer principles are more exact than those which involve additional principles, e.g. arithmetic than geometry. But the science which investigates causes is also instructive, in a higher degree, for the people who instructs are those who tell the causes of each thing. And understanding and knowledge pursued for their own sake are found most in the knowledge of that which is most knowable (for he who chooses to know for the sake of knowing will choose most readily that which is most truly knowledge, and such is the knowledge of that which is most knowable). And the first principles and the causes are more knowable; for by reason of these, and from these, all other things come to be known, and not these by means of the things subordinate to them. And the science which knows to what and each thing must be done is the most authoritative of the sciences, and more authoritative than any ancillary science; and this end is good of that thing, and in general the supreme good in the while of nature. Judged by all the tests WE have mentioned, then the name in question falls to the same science; this must be a science that investigates the first principles and causes; for the good, i.e. the end, is one of the causes. That it is not a science of production is clear even from the history of the earliest philosophers. For it is owing to their wonder that men both now begin and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the stars and those of the sun and of the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant (whence even the lover of myth is in a sense a lover of wisdom, for the myth is composed of wonders); therefore since they philosophized order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end. And this is confirmed by the facts; for it was when almost all the necessities of life and the things that make for comfort and recreation had been secured, that such knowledge began to be sought. Evidently then WE do not seek it for the sake of any other advantage; but as the man is free, WE say, who exists for his own sake and for another’s, so WE pursue this as the free science, for it alone exists for it’s own sake.
Evidently WE have to acquire knowledge of the original causes (for WE say WE know each thing only when WE think WE recognize its first cause), and causes are spoken of in our senses. In one of these WE mean the substance, i.e. the essence (for the “why” is reducible to the definition, and the ultimate “why” is a cause and principle); in another the matter or substratum, in a third the source of the change, and in a fourth the cause opposed to this, the purpose and the good (for this is the end of all generation and change). WE have studied these causes sufficiently in our work on nature, but yet let us call to our aid those who have attacked the investigation of being and philosophized about reality before us. For obviously they too speak of certain principles and causes; to go over their views, then, will be of profit to the present inquiry. For WE shall either find another kind of cause, or be more convinced of the correctness of those which WE now maintain.
Of the first philosophers, then, most thought the principles which were of nature of matter were the only principles of all things. That of which all things that are consist, the first from which the cone to be, the last into which they are resolved (the substance remaining, but changing in its modifications), this they say is the element and this the principle of the things, and therefore they think nothing is either generated or destroyed, since this sort of entity is always conserved, as WE say, Socrates, neither comes to be beautiful or musical, nor ceases to be when loses these characteristics, because the substratum, Socrates himself remains just so they say nothing else comes to be or ceases to be; forthere must be some entity — either one or more than one — from all other things come to be, it being conserved.
Yet they do not all agree as to the number and the nature of these principles. Thales, the founder of this type of philosophy, says the principle is water (for which reason he declared that the earth rests on water), getting the notion perhaps from seeing that the nutriment of all things is moist, and heat itself is generated from the moist and kept alive by it (and that from which they come to be is a principle of all things.) He got his notion from this fact that the seeds of all things have a moist nature, and that water is the origin of the nature of moist things.
Some think that even the ancients who lived long before the present generations, and first framed accounts of the gods, had a similar view of the nature; for they made Ocean and Tethys the parents of creation and described the oath of the gods as being by water, to which they give the name of Styx; for what is oldest is most honorable, and the most honorable thing is that by which one swears. It may perhaps be uncertain wether this opinion about nature is primitive and ancient, but Thanks at any rate is said to have declared himself thus about the first cause. Hippo no one would think fit to include among these thinkers, because of the paltriness of his thoughts.
Anaximenes and Diogenes make air prior to water, and the most primary of the simple bodies, while Hippasus of Metapontium and Heractilus of Ephesus say this of fire, and Empedodes says it of the four elements (adding a fourth earth to those which have been named); for these, he says, always remain and do not come to be , except that they come to be more or fewer, being aggregated into one and segregated out of one. Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, who, though older than Empedodes, was later in his philosophical activity , says the principles are infinite in number; for he says almost all the things that are made of parts like themselves, in the manner of water or fire, are generated and destroyed in this way, only by segregation, and are not in any other sense generated or destroyed, but remain eternally. From these facts one might think that the only cause is the so-called material cause; but as men thus advanced, the very facts opened the way for them and joined in forcing them to investigate the subject. However true it may be that all generation and destruction proceed from some (for that matter) from more elements. Wh does this happen and what is the cause?
For at least the substratum itself does not make itself change; e.g. neither the wood or the bronze causes the change of either of them, nor does the wood manufacture a bed and the bronze a statue, but something else is the cause of the change. And to seek this is to seek the second cause, as WE should say, that from which comes the beginning of the movement. Now those who maintain it to be one-as-though defeated by this search for the second cause say the one and nature as a whole is unchangeable not only in respect of generation and destruction (for this is a primitive belief, and all a greed in it) but also of-all other change; and this view is peculiar to them. Of those who said the universe was one, then none succeeded in discovering a cause of this sort, except perhaps Pamenides, and he only in-as-much as he supposes that there is not only one but also 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 more 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 it is not likely either that fire or earth or any such element should be the reasons 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 entrust so great a matter to spontaneity and chance. When one man said, then, that reason was present- as the cause of order and of all arrangement, he seemed like a sober man in contrast with the random talk of his predecessors. WE know that Anaxagoras certainly adopted his views, but Hermotinus 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.
“One might suspect that Hesiod was the first to look for such a thing or someone else put love desire among existing things as a principle, as Parmenide, too, does; fo he; in constructing the genesis of the universe says:-”
“love first of all the Gods she planned.”
“And Hesiod says:-”
“First of all things was chaos made, and then, broad-breasted earth…”
And love, ‘mid of the Gods pre-eminent.’ Which implies that among existing things there must be from the first a cause which will move things and bring them together. How these thinkers should be arranged with regard to priority of discovery let us be allowed to decide later; but since the contraries of the various forms of good were also perceived to be present in nature- not only order of the beautiful, but also disorder and the ugly, and bad things in greater number than good, and ignoble than beautiful- therefore another thinker introduced friendship and strife, each of the two the cause of one of these two sets of qualities, for it WE were to follow out the view of Empedocles, and interpret it according to its meaning and not to its lisping expression, WE should find that friendship is the cause of good things, and strife of bad. Therefore, if WE said that Empedocles is a sense both mentions, and is the first to mention, the bad and the good as principles, WE should perhaps be right, since the cause of all goods is the good itself.
These thinkers, as WE say, evidently grasped and to this existent, two of the causes which WE distinguished in our work on nature — the matter and the source of the movement — vaguely, however, and with no clearness, but as untrained men behave in fights; for they go round their opponents and often strike fine blows, but they do not fight on scientific principles, and so too these thinkers do not seem to know what they say; for it is evident that, as a rule, they make no use of their causes except to a small extent. For Anaxagoras uses reason a deus ex machina for the making of the world, and when he is at a loss to tell from what cause something necessarily is, then he drags reasons in, but in all other cases ascribes events to anything rather than to reason. And Empedocles, though he uses the causes to a greater extent than this, neither does so sufficiently nor attains consistency in their use. At least, in many cases he makes love segregate things, and strife aggregate then. For whenever the universe is dissolved into its elements by strife, fire is aggregated into one, and so is each of the other elements; but whenever again under the influence of love they come together into one, the parts must again be segregated out of each element.
Empedocles, then, in contrast with his processors, was the first to introduce the driving of this cause, not posting one source of movement but different and contrary sources. Again he was the first to speak of four material elements, yet he does not use four, but treats them as two only; he treats fire by itself, and its opposite — earth, air and water — as one kind of thing, WE may learn this by study of his verses. This philosopher then, as WE say, has spoken of the principles in this way, and made them of this number. Leucippus and his associate Democritus say that the full and the empty are the elements, calling the one being and the other non-being- the full and solid “being being”, the empty non-being (whence say being no more is than the empty); and they make these the material causes of things, and as those who make the underlying substance one generate all other things by its modifications, supposed the rave and the dense to be the sources of the modifications, in the same way, these philosophers say the differences in the elements are the causes of all other qualities. These differences, they say, are three — shape and order and position. For they say the real is differentiated only, by ‘rhythm’ and ‘inter-contact’ and turning its position; for A differs from N in shape, AN from NA in order, M from W in position. The question of movement — whence or how it is to belong to things — these thinkers, like the others, lazily neglected.
Regarding the two causes, then as WE say, the inquiry seems to have been pushed thus far by the early philosophers.