The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 8
Chapter I.--The Object of Philosophical and Theological Inquiry--The Discovery of Truth. 
But the most ancient of the philosophers were not carried away to
disputing and doubting, much less are we, who are attached to the
really true philosophy, on whom the Scripture enjoins examination and
investigation. For it is the more recent of the Hellenic philosophers
who, by empty and futile love of fame, are led into useless babbling in
refuting and wrangling. But, on the contrary, the Barbarian philosophy,
expelling all contention, said, "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it
shall be opened unto you; ask, and it shall be given you." 
Accordingly, by investigation, the point proposed for inquiry and
answer knocks at the door of truth, according to what appears. And on
an opening being made through the obstacle in the process of
investigation, there results scientific contemplation. To those who
thus knock, according to my view, the subject under investigation is
And to those who thus ask questions, in the Scriptures, there is given
from God (that at which they aim) the gift of the God-given knowledge,
by way of comprehension, through the true illumination of logical
investigation. For it is impossible to find, without having sought; or
to have sought, without having examined; or to have examined, without
having unfolded and opened up the question by interrogation, to produce
distinctness; or again, to have gone through the whole investigation,
without thereafter receiving as the prize the knowledge of the point in
But it belongs to him who has sought, to find; and to him to seek, who
thinks previously that he does not know. Hence drawn by desire to the
discovery of what is good, he seeks thoughtfully, without love of
strife or glory, asking, answering, and besides considering the
statements made. For it is incumbent, in applying ourselves not only to
the divine Scriptures, but also to common notions, to institute
investigations, the discovery ceasing at some useful end.
For another place and crowd await turbulent people, and forensic
sophistries. But it is suitable for him, who is at once a lover and
disciple of the truth, to be pacific even in investigations, advancing
by scientific demonstration, without love of self, but with love of
truth, to comprehensive knowledge.
 [This book is a mere fragment, an imperfect exposition of logic, and not properly part of the Stromata. Kaye, 22.]
 Matt. vii. 7.; Luke xi. 9. [Elucidation I.]
Chapter II.--The Necessity of Perspicuous Definition.
What better or clearer method, for the commencement of instruction of
this nature, can there be than discussion of the term advanced, so
distinctly, that all who use the same language may follow it? Is the
term for demonstration of such a kind as the word Blityri, which is a
mere sound, signifying nothing? But how is it that neither does the
philosopher, nor the orator,--no more does the judge,--adduce
demonstration as a term that means nothing; nor is any of the
contending parties ignorant of the fact, that the meaning does not
Philosophers, in fact, present demonstration as having a substantial
existence, one in one way, another in another. Therefore, if one would
treat aright of each question, he cannot carry back the discourse to
another more generally admitted fundamental principle than what is
admitted to be signified by the term by all of the same nation and
Then, starting from this point, it is necessary to inquire if the
proposition has this signification or not. And next, if it is
demonstrated to have, it is necessary to investigate its nature
accurately, of what kind it is, and whether it ever passes over the
class assigned. And if it suffices not to say, absolutely, only that
which one thinks (for one's opponent may equally allege, on the other
side, what he likes); then what is stated must be confirmed. If the
decision of it be carried back to what is likewise matter of dispute,
and the decision of that likewise to another disputed point, it will go
on ad infinitum, and will be incapable of demonstration. But if the
belief of a point that is not admitted be carried back to one admitted
by all, that is to be made the commencement of instruction. Every term,
therefore, advanced for discussion is to be converted into an
expression that is admitted by those that are parties in the
discussion, to form the starting point for instruction, to lead the way
to the discovery of the points under investigation. For example, let it
be the term "sun" that is in question. Now the Stoics say that it is
"an intellectual fire kindled from the waters of the sea." Is not the
definition, consequently, obscurer than the term, requiring another
demonstration to prove if it be true? It is therefore better to say, in
the common and distinct form of speech, "that the brightest of the
heavenly bodies is named the sun." For this expression is more credible
and clearer, and is likewise admitted by all.
Chapter III.--Demonstration Defined.
Similarly, also, all men will admit that demonstration is discourse,
 agreeable to reason, producing belief in points disputed, from
Now, not only demonstration and belief and knowledge, but foreknowledge
also, are used in a twofold manner. There is that which is scientific
and certain, and that which is merely based on hope.
In strict propriety, then, that is called demonstration which produces
in the souls of learners scientific belief. The other kind is that
which merely leads to opinion. As also, both he that is really a man,
possessing common judgment, and he that is savage and brutal,--each is
a man. Thus also the Comic poet said that "man is graceful, so long as
he is man." The same holds with ox, horse, and dog, according to the
goodness or badness of the animal. For by looking to the perfection of
the genus, we come to those meanings that are strictly proper. For
instance, we conceive of a physician who is deficient in no element of
the power of healing, and a Gnostic who is defective in no element of
Now demonstration differs from syllogism; inasmuch as the point
demonstrated is indicative of one thing, being one and identical; as we
say that to be with child is the proof of being no longer a virgin. But
what is apprehended by syllogism, though one thing, follows from
several; as, for example, not one but several proofs are adduced of
Pytho having betrayed the Byzantines, if such was the fact. And to draw
a conclusion from what is admitted is to syllogize; while to draw a
conclusion from what is true is to demonstrate.
So that there is a compound advantage of demonstration: from its
assuming, for the proof of points in question, true premisses, and from
its drawing the conclusion that follows from them. If the first have no
existence, but the second follow from the first, one has not
demonstrated, but syllogized. For, to draw the proper conclusion from
the premisses, is merely to syllogize. But to have also each of the
premisses true, is not merely to have syllogized, but also to have
And to conclude, as is evident from the word, is to bring to the
conclusion. And in every train of reasoning, the point sought to be
determined is the end, which is also called the conclusion. But no
simple and primary statement is termed a syllogism, although true; but
it is compounded of three such, at the least,--of two as premisses, and
one as conclusion.
Now, either all things require demonstration, or some of them are
self-evident. But if the first, by demanding the demonstration of each
demonstration we shall go on ad infinitum; and so demonstration is
subverted. But if the second, those things which are self-evident will
become the starting points [and fundamental grounds] of demonstration.
In point of fact, the philosophers admit that the first principles of
all things are indemonstrable. So that if there is demonstration at
all, there is an absolute necessity that there be something that is
self-evident, which is called primary and indemonstrable.
Consequently all demonstration is traced up to indemonstrable faith.
It will also turn out that there are other starting points for
demonstrations, after the source which takes its rise in faith,--the
things which appear clearly to sensation and understanding. For the
phenomena of sensation are simple, and incapable of being decompounded;
but those of understanding are simple, rational, and primary. But those
produced from them are compound, but no less clear and reliable, and
having more to do with the reasoning faculty than the first. For
therefore the peculiar native power of reason, which we all have by
nature, deals with agreement and disagreement. If, then, any argument
be found to be of such a kind, as from points already believed to be
capable of producing belief in what is not yet believed, we shall aver
that this is the very essence of demonstration.
Now it is affirmed that the nature of demonstration, as that of belief,
is twofold: that which produces in the souls of the hearers persuasion
merely, and that which produces knowledge.
If, then, one begins with the things which are evident to sensation and
understanding, and then draw the proper conclusion, he truly
demonstrates. But if [he begin] with things which are only probable and
not primary, that is evident neither to sense nor understanding, and if
he draw the right conclusion, he will syllogize indeed, but not produce
a scientific demonstration; but if [he draw] not the right conclusion,
he will not syllogize at all.
Now demonstration differs from analysis. For each one of the points
demonstrated, is demonstrated by means of points that are demonstrated;
those having been previously demonstrated by others; till we get back
to those which are self-evident, or to those evident to sense and to
understanding; which is called Analysis. But demonstration is, when the
point in question reaches us through all the intermediate steps. The
man, then, who practices demonstration, ought to give great attention
to the truth, while he disregards the terms of the premisses, whether
you call them axioms, or premisses, or assumptions. Similarly, also,
special attention must be paid to what suppositions a conclusion is
based on; while he may be quite careless as to whether one choose to
term it a conclusive or syllogistic proposition.
For I assert that these two things must be attended to by the man who
would demonstrate--to assume true premisses, and to draw from them the
legitimate conclusion, which some also call "the inference," as being
what is inferred from the premisses.
Now in each proposition respecting a question there must be different
premisses, related, however, to the proposition laid down; and what is
advanced must be reduced to definition. And this definition must be
admitted by all. But when premisses irrelevant to the proposition to be
established are assumed, it is impossible to arrive at any right
result; the entire proposition--which is also called the question of
its nature--being ignored.
In all questions, then, there is something which is previously
known,--that which being self-evident is believed without
demonstration; which must be made the starting point in their
investigation, and the criterion of apparent results.
 It is necessary to read logon here, though not in the text, on account of ekporizonta which follows; and as eulogon heinai logon occurs afterwards, it seems better to retain dulogon than to substitute logon for it.
 [We begin, that is, with axioms: and he ingeniously identifies faith with axiomatic truth. Hence the faith not esoteric.]
Chapter IV.--To Prevent Ambiguity, We Must Begin with Clear Definition.
For every question is solved from pre-existing knowledge. And the
knowledge pre-existing of each object of investigation is sometimes
merely of the essence, while its functions are unknown (as of stones,
and plants, and animals, of whose operations we are ignorant), or [the
knowledge] of the properties, or powers, or (so to speak) of the
qualities inherent in the objects. And sometimes we may know some one
or more of those powers or properties,--as, for example, the desires
and affections of the soul,--and be ignorant of the essence, and make
it the object of investigation. But in many instances, our
understanding having assumed all these, the question is, in which of
the essences do they thus inhere; for it is after forming conceptions
of both--that is, both of essence and operation--in our mind, that we
proceed to the question. And there are also some objects, whose
operations, along with their essences, we know, but are ignorant of
Such, then, is the method of the discovery [of truth]. For we must
begin with the knowledge of the questions to be discussed. For often
the form of the expression deceives and confuses and disturbs the mind,
so that it is not easy to discover to what class the thing is to be
referred; as, for example, whether the foetus be an animal. For, having
a conception of an animal and a foetus, we inquire if it be the case
that the foetus is an animal; that is, if the substance which is in the
foetal state possesses the power of motion, and of sensation besides.
So that the inquiry is regarding functions and sensations in a
substance previously known. Consequently the man who proposes the
question is to be first asked, what he calls an animal. Especially is
this to be done whenever we find the same term applied to various
purposes; and we must examine whether what is signified by the term is
disputed, or admitted by all. For were one to say that he calls
whatever grows and is fed an animal, we shall have again to ask
further, whether he considered plants to be animals; and then, after
declaring himself to this effect, he must show what it is which is in
the foetal state, and is nourished.
For Plato calls plants animals, as partaking of the third species of
life alone, that of appetency.  But Aristotle, while he thinks
that plants are possessed of a life of vegetation and nutrition, does
not consider it proper to call them animals; for that alone, which
possesses the other life--that of sensation--he considers warrantable
to be called an animal. The Stoics do not call the power of vegetation,
Now, on the man who proposes the question denying that plants are
animals, we shall show that he affirms what contradicts himself. For,
having defined the animal by the fact of its nourishment and growth,
but having asserted that a plant is not an animal, it appears that he
says nothing else than that what is nourished and grows is both an
animal and not an animal.
Let him, then, say what he wants to learn. Is it whether what is in the
womb grows and is nourished, or is it whether it possesses any
sensation or movement by impulse? For, according to Plato, the plant is
animate, and an animal; but, according to Aristotle, not an animal, for
it wants sensation, but is animate. Therefore, according to him, an
animal is an animate sentient being. But according to the Stoics, a
plant is neither animate nor an animal; for an animal is an animate
being. If, then, an animal is animate, and life is sentient nature, it
is plain that what is animate is sentient. If, then, he who has put the
question, being again interrogated if he still calls the animal in the
foetal state an animal on account of its being nourished and growing,
he has got his answer.
But were he to say that the question he asks is, whether the foetus is
already sentient, or capable of moving itself in consequence of any
impulse, the investigation of the matter becomes clear, the fallacy in
the name no longer remaining. But if he do not reply to the
interrogation, and will not say what he means, or in respect of what
consideration it is that he applies the term "animal" in propounding
the question, but bids us define it ourselves, let him be noted as
But as there are two methods, one by question and answer, and the other
the method of exposition, if he decline the former, let him listen to
us, while we expound all that bears on the problem. Then when we have
done, he may treat of each point in turn. But if he attempt to
interrupt the investigation by putting questions, he plainly does not
want to hear.
But if he choose to reply, let him first be asked, To what thing he
applies the name, animal. And when he has answered this, let him be
again asked, what, in his view, the foetus means, whether that which is
in the womb, or things already formed and living; and again, if the
foetus means the seed deposited, or if it is only when members and a
shape are formed that the name of embryos is to be applied. And on his
replying to this, it is proper that the point in hand be reasoned out
to a conclusion, in due order, and taught.
But if he wishes us to speak without him answering, let him hear. Since
you will not say in what sense you allege what you have propounded (for
I would not have thus engaged in a discussion about meanings, but I
would now have looked at the things themselves), know that you have
done just as if you had propounded the question, Whether a dog were an
animal? For I might have rightly said, Of what dog do you speak? For I
shall speak of the land dog and the sea dog, and the constellation in
heaven, and of Diogenes too, and all the other dogs in order. For I
could not divine whether you inquire about all or about some one. What
you shall do subsequently is to learn now, and say distinctly what it
is that your question is about. Now if you are shuffling about names,
it is plain to everybody that the name foetus is neither an animal nor
a plant, but a name, and a sound, and a body, and a being, and anything
and everything rather than an animal. And if it is this that you have
propounded, you are answered.
But neither is that which is denoted by the name foetus an animal. But
that is incorporeal, and may be called a thing and a notion, and
everything rather than an animal. The nature of an animal is different.
For it was clearly shown respecting the very point in question, I mean
the nature of the embryo, of what sort it is. The question respecting
the meanings expressed by the name animal is different.
I say, then, if you affirm that an animal is what has the power of
sensation and of moving itself from appetency, that an animal is not
simply what moves through appetency and is possessed of sensation. For
it is also capable of sleeping, or, when the objects of sensation are
not present, of not exercising the power of sensation. But the natural
power of appetency or of sensation is the mark of an animal. For
something of this nature is indicated by these things. First, if the
foetus is not capable of sensation or motion from appetency; which is
the point proposed for consideration. Another point is; if the foetus
is capable of ever exercising the power of sensation or moving through
appetency. In which sense no one makes it a question, since it is
But the question was, whether the embryo is already an animal, or still
a plant. And then the name animal was reduced to definition, for the
sake of perspicuity. But having discovered that it is distinguished
from what is not an animal by sensation and motion from appetency; we
again separated this from its adjuncts; asserting that it was one thing
for that to be such potentially, which is not yet possessed of the
power of sensation and motion, but will some time be so, and another
thing to be already so actually; and in the case of such, it is one
thing to exert its powers, another to be able to exert them, but to be
at rest or asleep. And this is the question.
For the embryo is not to be called an animal from the fact that it is
nourished; which is the allegation of those who turn aside from the
essence of the question, and apply their minds to what happens
otherwise. But in the case of all conclusions alleged to be found out,
demonstration is applied in common, which is discourse (logos),
establishing one thing from others. But the grounds from which the
point in question is to be established, must be admitted and known by
the learner. And the foundation of all these is what is evident to
sense and to intellect.
Accordingly the primary demonstration is composed of all these. But the
demonstration which, from points already demonstrated thereby,
concludes some other point, is no less reliable than the former. It
cannot be termed primary, because the conclusion is not drawn from
primary principles as premisses.
The first species, then, of the different kinds of questions, which are
three, has been exhibited--I mean that, in which the essence being
known, some one of its powers or properties is unknown. The second
variety of propositions was that in which we all know the powers and
properties, but do not know the essence; as, for example, in what part
of the body is the principal faculty of the soul.
 Epithumetikou, which accords with what Plato says in the Timaeus, p. 1078. Lowth, however, reads phutikou.
Chapter V.--Application of Demonstration to Sceptical Suspense of Judgment.
Now the same treatment which applies to demonstration applies also to
the following question.
Some, for instance, say that there cannot be several originating causes
for one animal. It is impossible that there can be several homogeneous
originating causes of an animal; but that there should be several
heterogeneous, is not absurd.
Suppose the Pyrrhonian suspense of judgment, as they say, [the idea]
that nothing is certain: it is plain that, beginning with itself, it
first invalidates itself. It either grants that something is true, that
you are not to suspend your judgment on all things; or it persists in
saying that there is nothing true. And it is evident, that first it
will not be true. For it either affirms what is true or it does not
affirm what is true. But if it affirms what is true, it concedes,
though unwillingly, that something is true. And if it does not affirm
what is true, it leaves true what it wished to do away with. For, in so
far as the scepticism which demolishes is proved false, in so far the
positions which are being demolished, are proved true; like the dream
which says that all dreams are false. For in confuting itself, it is
confirmatory of the others.
And, in fine, if it is true, it will make a beginning with itself, and
not be scepticism of anything else but of itself first. Then if [such a
man] apprehends that he is a man, or that he is sceptical, it is
evident that he is not sceptical.  And how shall he reply to the
interrogation? For he is evidently no sceptic in respect to this. Nay,
he affirms even that he does doubt.
And if we must be persuaded to suspend our judgment in regard to
everything, we shall first suspend our judgment in regard to our
suspense of judgment itself, whether we are to credit it or not.
And if this position is true, that we do not know what is true, then
absolutely nothing is allowed to be true by it. But if he will say that
even this is questionable, whether we know what is true; by this very
statement he grants that truth is knowable, in the very act of
appearing to establish the doubt respecting it.
But if a philosophical sect is a leaning toward dogmas, or, according
to some, a leaning to a number of dogmas which have consistency with
one another and with phenomena, tending to a right life; and dogma is a
logical conception, and conception is a state and assent of the mind:
not merely sceptics, but every one who dogmatizes is accustomed in
certain things to suspend his judgment, either through want of strength
of mind, or want of clearness in the things, or equal force in the
 [The young student must be on his guard as to the philosophical scepticism here treated, which is not the habit of unbelief commonly so called.]
Chapter VI.--Definitions, Genera, and Species.
The introductions and sources of questions are about these points and
But before definitions, and demonstrations, and divisions, it must be
propounded in what ways the question is stated; and equivocal terms are
to be treated; and synomyms stated accurately according to their
Then it is to be inquired whether the proposition belongs to those
points, which are considered in relation to others, or is taken by
itself. Further, If it is, what it is, what happens to it; or thus,
also, if it is, what it is, why it is. And to the consideration of
these points, the knowledge of Particulars and Universals, and the
Antecedents and the Differences, and their divisions, contribute.
Now, Induction aims at generalization and definition; and the divisions
are the species, and what a thing is, and the individual. The
contemplation of the How adduces the assumption of what is peculiar;
and doubts bring the particular differences and the demonstrations, and
otherwise augment the speculation and its consequences; and the result
of the whole is scientific knowledge and truth.
Again, the summation resulting from Division becomes Definition. For
Definition is adopted before division and after: before, when it is
admitted or stated; after, when it is demonstrated. And by Sensation
the Universal is summed up from the Particular. For the starting point
of Induction is Sensation; and the end is the Universal.
Induction, accordingly, shows not what a thing is, but that it is, or
is not. Division shows what it is; and Definition similarly with
Division teaches the essence and what a thing is, but not if it is;
while Demonstration explains the three points, if it is, what it is,
and why it is.
There are also Definitions which contain the Cause. And since it may be
known when we see, when we see the Cause; and Causes are four--the
matter, the moving power, the species, the end; Definition will be
Accordingly we must first take the genus, in which are the points that
are nearest those above; and after this the next difference. And the
succession of differences, when cut and divided, completes the "What it
is." There is no necessity for expressing all the differences of each
thing, but those which form the species.
Geometrical analysis and synthesis are similar to logical division and
definition; and by division we get back to what is simple and more
elementary. We divide, therefore, the genus of what is proposed for
consideration into the species contained in it; as, in the case of man,
we divide animal, which is the genus, into the species that appear in
it, the mortal, and the immortal. And thus, by continually dividing
those genera that seem to be compound into the simpler species, we
arrive at the point which is the subject of investigation, and which is
incapable of further division.
For, after dividing "the animal" into mortal and immortal, then into
terrestrial and aquatic; and the terrestrial again into those who fly
and those who walk; and so dividing the species which is nearest to
what is sought, which also contains what is sought, we arrive by
division at the simplest species, which contains nothing else, but what
is sought alone.
For again we divide that which walks into rational and irrational; and
then selecting from the species, apprehended by division, those next to
man, and combining them into one formula, we state the definition of a
man, who is an animal, mortal, terrestrial, walking, rational.
Whence Division furnishes the class of matter, seeking for the
definition the simplicity of the name; and the definition of the
artisan and maker, by composition and construction, presents the
knowledge of the thing as it is; not of those things of which we have
general notions. To these notions we say that explanatory expressions
belong. For to these notions, also, divisions are applicable.
Now one Division divides that which is divided into species, as a
genus; and another into parts, as a whole; and another into accidents.
The division, then, of a whole into the parts, is, for the most part,
conceived with reference to magnitude; that into the accidents can
never be entirely explicated, if, necessarily, essence is inherent in
each of the existences.
Whence both these divisions are to be rejected, and only the division
of the genus into species is approved, by which both the identity that
is in the genus is characterized, and the diversity which subsists in
the specific differences.
The species is always contemplated in a part. On the other hand,
however, if a thing is part of another, it will not be also a species.
For the hand is a part of a man, but it is not a species. And the genus
exists in the species. For [the genus] is both in man and the ox. But
the whole is not in the parts. For the man is not in his feet.
Wherefore also the species is more important than the part; and
whatever things are predicated of the genus will be all predicated of
It is best, then, to divide the genus into two, if not into three
species. The species then being divided more generically, are
characterized by sameness and difference. And then being divided, they
are characterized by the points generically indicated.
For each of the species is either an essence; as when we say, Some
substances are corporeal and some incorporeal; or how much, or what
relation, or where, or when, or doing, or suffering.
One, therefore, will give the definition of whatever he possesses the
knowledge of; as one can by no means be acquainted with that which he
cannot embrace and define in speech. And in consequence of ignorance of
the definition, the result is, that many disputes and deceptions arise.
For if he that knows the thing has the knowledge of it in his mind, and
can explain by words what he conceives; and if the explanation of the
thought is definition; then he that knows the thing must of necessity
be able also to give the definition.
Now in definitions, difference is assumed, which, in the definition,
occupies the place of sign. The faculty of laughing, accordingly, being
added to the definition of man, makes the whole--a rational, mortal,
terrestrial, walking, laughing animal. For the things added by way of
difference to the definition are the signs of the properties of things;
but do not show the nature of the things themselves. Now they say that
the difference is the assigning of what is peculiar; and as that which
has the difference differs from all the rest, that which belongs to it
alone, and is predicated conversely of the thing, must in definitions
be assumed by the first genus as principal and fundamental.
Accordingly, in the larger definitions the number of the species that
are discovered are in the ten Categories; and in the least, the
principal points of the nearest species being taken, mark the essence
and nature of the thing. But the least consists of three, the genus and
two essentially necessary species. And this is done for the sake of
We say, then, Man is the laughing animal. And we must assume that which
pre-eminently happens to what is defined, or its peculiar virtue, or
its peculiar function, and the like.
Accordingly, while the definition is explanatory of the essence of the
thing, it is incapable of accurately comprehending its nature. By means
of the principal species, the definition makes an exposition of the
essence, and almost has the essence in the quality.
Chapter VII.--On the Causes of Doubt or Assent.
The causes productive of scepticism are two things principally. One is
the changefulness and instability of the human mind, whose nature it is
to generate dissent, either that of one with another, or that of people
with themselves. And the second is the discrepancy which is in things;
which, as to be expected, is calculated to be productive of scepticism.
For, being unable either to believe in all views, on account of their
conflicting nature; or to disbelieve all, because that which says that
all are untrustworthy is included in the number of those that are so;
or to believe some and disbelieve others on account of the equipoise,
we are led to scepticism.
But among the principal causes of scepticism is the instability of the
mind, which is productive of dissent. And dissent is the proximate
cause of doubt. Whence life is full of tribunals and councils; and, in
fine, of selection in what is said to be good and bad; which are the
signs of a mind in doubt, and halting through feebleness on account of
conflicting matters. And there are libraries full of books,  and
compilations and treatises of those who differ in dogmas, and are
confident that they themselves know the truth that there is in things.
 [The Alexandrians must have recognised this as an ad hominem remark. But see Eccles. xii. 12.]
Chapter VIII.--The Method of Classifying Things and Names.
In language there are three things:--Names, which are primarily the
symbols of conceptions, and by consequence also of subjects. Second,
there are Conceptions, which are the likenesses and impressions of the
subjects. Whence in all, the conceptions are the same; in consequence
of the same impression being produced by the subjects in all. But the
names are not so, on account of the difference of languages. And
thirdly, the Subject-matters by which the Conceptions are impressed in
The names are reduced by grammar into the twenty-four general elements;
for the elements must be determined. For of Particulars there is no
scientific knowledge, seeing they are infinite. But it is the property
of science to rest on general and defined principles. Whence also
Particulars are resolved into Universals. And philosophic research is
occupied with Conceptions and Real subjects. But since of these the
Particulars are infinite, some elements have been found, under which
every subject of investigation is brought; and if it be shown to enter
into any one or more of the elements, we prove it to exist; but if it
escape them all, that it does not exist.
Of things stated, some are stated without connection; as, for example,
"man" and "runs," and whatever does not complete a sentence, which is
either true or false. And of things stated in connection, some point
out "essence," some "quality," some "quantity," some "relation," some
"where," some "when," some "position," some "possession," some
"action," some "suffering," which we call the elements of material
things after the first principles. For these are capable of being
contemplated by reason.
But immaterial things are capable of being apprehended by the mind
alone, by primary application.
And of those things that are classed under the ten Categories, some are
predicated by themselves (as the nine Categories), and others in
relation to something.
And, again, of the things contained under these ten Categories, some
are Univocal, as ox and man, as far as each is an animal. For those are
Univocal terms, to both of which belongs the common name, animal; and
the same principle, that is definition, that is animate essence. And
Heteronyms are those which relate to the same subject under different
names, as ascent or descent; for the way is the same whether upwards or
downwards. And the other species of Heteronyms, as horse and black, are
those which have a different name and definition from each other, and
do not possess the same subject. But they are to be called different,
not Heteronyms. And Polyonyms are those which have the same definition,
but a different name, as, hanger, sword, scimitar. And Paronyms are
those which are named from something different, as "manly" from
Equivocal terms have the same name, but not the same definition, as
man--both the animal and the picture. Of Equivocal terms, some receive
their Equivocal name fortuitously, as Ajax, the Locrian, and the
Salaminian; and some from intention; and of these, some from
resemblance, as man both the living and the painted; and some from
analogy, as the foot of Mount Ida, and our foot, because they are
beneath; some from action, as the foot of a vessel, by which the vessel
sails, and our foot, by which we move. Equivocal terms are designated
from the same and to the same; as the book and scalpel are called
surgical, both from the surgeon who uses them and with reference to the
surgical matter itself.
Chapter IX.--On the Different Kinds of Cause.
Of Causes, some are Procatarctic and some Synectic, some Co-operating,
some Causes sine qua non.
Those that afford the occasion of the origin of anything first, are
Procatarctic; as beauty is the cause of love to the licentious; for
when seen by them, it alone produces the amorous inclination, but not
Causes are Synectic (which are also univocally perfect of themselves)
whenever a cause is capable of producing the effect of itself,
Now all the causes may be shown in order in the case of the learner.
The father is the Procatarctic cause of learning, the teacher the
Synectic, and the nature of the learner the cooperating cause, and time
holds the relation of the Cause sine qua non.
Now that is properly called a cause which is capable of effecting
anything actively; since we say that steel is capable of cutting, not
merely while cutting, but also while not cutting. Thus, then, the
capability of causing (to parektikon) signifies both; both that which
is now acting, and that which is not yet acting, but which possesses
the power of acting.
Some, then, say that causes are properties of bodies; and others of
incorporeal substances; others say that the body is properly speaking
cause, and that what is incorporeal is so only catachrestically, and a
quasi-cause. Others, again, reverse matters, saying that corporeal
substances are properly causes, and bodies are so improperly; as, for
example, that cutting, which is an action, is incorporeal, and is the
cause of cutting which is an action and incorporeal, and, in the case
of bodies, of being cut,--as in the case of the sword and what is cut
The cause of things is predicated in a threefold manner. One, What the
cause is, as the statuary; a second, Of what it is the cause of
becoming, a statue; and a third, To what it is the cause, as, for
example, the material: for he is the cause to the brass of becoming a
statue. The being produced, and the being cut, which are causes to what
they belong, being actions, are incorporeal.
According to which principle, causes belong to the class of predicates
(kategorematon), or, as others say, of dicta (lekton) (for Cleanthes
and Archedemus call predicates dicta); or rather, some causes will be
assigned to the class of predicates, as that which is cut, whose case
is to be cut; and some to that of axioms,--as, for example, that of a
ship being made, whose case again is, that a ship is constructing. Now
Aristotle denominates the name of such things as a house, a ship,
burning, cutting, an appellative. But the case is allowed to be
incorporeal. Therefore that sophism is solved thus: What you say passes
through your mouth. Which is true. You name a house. Therefore a house
passes through your mouth. Which is false. For we do not speak the
house, which is a body, but the case, in which the house is, which is
And we say that the house-builder builds the house, in reference to
that which is to be produced. So we say that the cloak is woven; for
that which makes is the indication of the operation. That which makes
is not the attribute of one, and the cause that of another, but of the
same, both in the case of the cloak and of the house. For, in as far as
one is the cause of anything being produced, in so far is he also the
maker of it. Consequently, the cause, and that which makes, and that
through which (di ho), are the same. Now, if anything is "a cause" and
"that which effects," it is certainly also "that through which." But if
a thing is "that through which," it does not by any means follow that
it is also "the cause." Many things, for instance, concur in one
result, through which the end is reached; but all are not causes. For
Medea would not have killed her children, had she not been enraged. Nor
would she have been enraged, had she not been jealous. Nor would she
have been this, if she had not loved. Nor would she have loved, had not
Jason sailed to Colchi. Nor would this have taken place, had the Argo
not been built. Nor would this have taken place, had not the timbers
been cut from Pelion. For though in all these things there is the case
of "that through which," they are not all "causes" of the murder of the
children, but only Medea was the cause. Wherefore, that which does not
hinder does not act. Wherefore, that which does not hinder is not a
cause, but that which hinders is. For it is in acting and doing
something that the cause is conceived.
Besides, what does not hinder is separated from what takes place; but
the cause is related to the event. That, therefore, which does not
hinder cannot be a cause. Wherefore, then, it is accomplished, because
that which can hinder is not present. Causation is then predicated in
four ways: The efficient cause, as the statuary; and the material, as
the brass; and the form, as the character; and the end, as the honour
of the Gymnasiarch.
The relation of the cause sine qua non is held by the brass in
reference to the production of the statue; and likewise it is a [true]
cause. For everything without which the effect is incapable of being
produced, is of necessity a cause; but a cause not absolutely. For the
cause sine qua non is not Synectic, but Co-operative. And everything
that acts produces the effect, in conjunction with the aptitude of that
which is acted on. For the cause disposes. But each thing is affected
according to its natural constitution; the aptitude being causative,
and occupying the place of causes sine qua non. Accordingly, the cause
is inefficacious without the aptitude; and is not a cause, but a
co-efficient. For all causation is conceived in action. Now the earth
could not make itself, so that it could not be the cause of itself. And
it were ridiculous to say that the fire was not the cause of the
burning, but the logs,--or the sword of the cutting, but the flesh,--or
the strength of the antagonist the cause of the athlete being
vanquished, but his own weakness.
The Synectic cause does not require time. For the cautery produces pain
at the instant of its application to the flesh. Of Procatarctic causes,
some require time till the effect be produced, and others do not
require it, as the case of fracture.
Are not these called independent of time, not by way of privation, but
of diminution, as that which is sudden, not that which has taken place
Every cause, apprehended by the mind as a cause, is occupied with
something, and is conceived in relation to something; that is, some
effect, as the sword for cutting; and to some object, as possessing an
aptitude, as the fire to the wood. For it will not burn steel. The
cause belongs to the things which have relation to something. For it is
conceived in its relation to another thing. So that we apply our minds
to the two, that we may conceive the cause as a cause.
The same relation holds with the creator, and maker, and father. A
thing is not the cause of itself. Nor is one his own father. For so the
first would become the second. Now the cause acts and affects. That
which is produced by the cause is acted on and is affected. But the
same thing taken by itself cannot both act and be affected, nor can one
be son and father. And otherwise the cause precedes in being what is
done by it, as the sword, the cutting. And the same thing cannot
precede at the same instant as to matter, as it is a cause, and at the
same time, also, be after and posterior as the effect of a cause.
Now being differs from becoming, as the cause from the effect, the
father from the son. For the same thing cannot both be and become at
the same instant; and consequently it is not the cause of itself.
Things are not causes of one another, but causes to each other. For the
splenetic affection preceding is not the cause of fever, but of the
occurrence of fever; and the fever which precedes is not the cause of
spleen, but of the affection increasing.
Thus also the virtues are causes to each other, because on account of
their mutual correspondence they cannot be separated. And the stones in
the arch are causes of its continuing in this category, but are not the
causes of one another. And the teacher and the learner are to one
another causes of progressing as respects the predicate.
And mutual and reciprocal causes are predicated, some of the same
things, as the merchant and the retailer are causes of gain; and
sometimes one of one thing and others of another, as the sword and the
flesh; for the one is the cause to the flesh of being cut, and the
flesh to the sword of cutting. [It is well said,] "An eye for an eye,
life for life." For he who has wounded another mortally, is the cause
to him of death, or of the occurrence of death. But on being mortally
wounded by him in turn, he has had him as a cause in turn, not in
respect of being a cause to him, but in another respect. For he becomes
the cause of death to him, not that it was death returned the mortal
stroke, but the wounded man himself. So that he was the cause of one
thing, and had another cause. And he who has done wrong becomes the
cause to another, to him who has been wronged. But the law which
enjoins punishment to be inflicted is the cause not of injury, but to
the one of retribution, to the other of discipline. So that the things
which are causes, are not causes to each other as causes.
It is still asked, if many things in conjunction become many causes of
one thing. For the men who pull together are the causes of the ship
being drawn down; but along with others, unless what is a joint cause
be a cause.
Others say, if there are many causes, each by itself becomes the cause
of one thing. For instance, the virtues, which are many, are causes of
happiness, which is one; and of warmth and pain, similarly, the causes
are many. Are not, then, the many virtues one in power, and the sources
of warmth and of pain so, also? and does not the multitude of the
virtues, being one in kind, become the cause of the one result,
But, in truth, Procatarctic causes are more than one both generically
and specifically; as, for example, cold, weakness, fatigue, dyspepsia,
drunkenness, generically, of any disease; and specifically, of fever.
But Synectic causes are so, generically alone, and not also
For of pleasant odour, which is one thing genetically, there are many
specific causes, as frankincense, rose, crocus, styrax, myrrh,
ointment. For the rose has not the same kind of sweet fragrance as
And the same thing becomes the cause of contrary effects; sometimes
through the magnitude of the cause and its power, and sometimes in
consequence of the susceptibility of that on which it acts. According
to the nature of the force, the same string, according to its tension
or relaxation, gives a shrill or deep sound. And honey is sweet to
those who are well, and bitter to those who are in fever, according to
the state of susceptibility of those who are affected. And one and the
same wine inclines some to rage, and others to merriment. And the same
sun melts wax and hardens clay.
Further, of causes, some are apparent; others are grasped by a process
of reasoning; others are occult; others are inferred analogically.
And of causes that are occult, some are occult temporarily, being
hidden at one time, and at another again seen clearly; and some are
occult by nature, and capable of becoming at no time visible. And of
those who are so by nature, some are capable of being apprehended; and
these some would not call occult, being apprehended by analogy, through
the medium of signs, as, for example, the symmetry of the passages of
the senses, which are contemplated by reason. And some are not capable
of being apprehended; which cannot in any mode fall under apprehension;
which are by their very definition occult.
Now some are Procatarctic, some Synectic, some Joint-causes, some
Co-operating causes. And there are some according to nature, some
beyond nature. And there are some of disease and by accident, some of
sensations, some of the greatness of these, some of times and of
Procatarctic causes being removed, the effect remains. But a Synectic
cause is that, which being present, the effect remains, and being
removed, the effect is removed.
The Synectic is also called by the synonymous expression "perfect in
itself." Since it is of itself sufficient to produce the effect.
And if the cause manifests an operation sufficient in itself, the
co-operating cause indicates assistance and service along with the
other. If, accordingly, it effects nothing, it will not be called even
a co-operating cause; and if it does effect something, it is wholly the
cause of this, that is, of what is produced by it. That is, then, a
co-operating cause, which being present, the effect was produced--the
visible visibly, and the occult invisibly.
The Joint-cause belongs also to the genus of causes, as a
fellow-soldier is a soldier, and as a fellow-youth is a youth.
The Co-operating cause further aids the Synectic, in the way of
intensifying what is produced by it. But the Joint-cause does not fall
under the same notion. For a thing may be a Joint-cause, though it be
not a Synectic cause. For the Joint-cause is conceived in conjunction
with another, which is not capable of producing the effect by itself,
being a cause along with a cause. And the Co-operating cause differs
from the Joint-cause in this particular, that the Joint-cause produces
the effect in that which by itself does not act. But the Co-operating
cause, while effecting nothing by itself, yet by its accession to that
which acts by itself, co-operates with it, in order to the production
of the effect in the intensest degree. But especially is that which
becomes co-operating from being Procatarctic, effective in intensifying
the force of the cause. 
 [The book reaches no conclusion, and is evidently a fragment, merely. See Elucidation II.; also Kaye, p. 224.]
The Pastor of Hermas - Introductions
The Pastor of Hermas: Book 1
The Pastor of Hermas: Book 2
The Pastor of Hermas: Book 3
Tatian the Assyrian's Address to the Greeks
Fragments - Tatian the Assyrian
Theophilus of Antioch - Introduction
Theophilus of Antioch to Autolycus: Book 1
Theophilus of Antioch to Autolycus: Book 2
Theophilus of Antioch to Autolycus: Book 3
A Plea for Christians by Athenagoras the Athenian: Philosopher and Christian
The Treatise of Athenagoras the Athenian, Philosopher and Christian, on the Resurrection of the Dead
Clement of Alexandria - Introductory Note
Exhortation to the Heathen
The Instructor (Paedagogus) - Book 1
The Instructor (Paedagogus) - Book 2
The Instructor (Paedagogus) - Book 3
Elucidations - Clement of Alexandria
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 1
Elucidations - Purpose of the Stromata
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 2
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 2
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 3
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 4
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 4
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 5
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 5
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 6
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 6
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 7
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 7
The Stromata, or Miscellanies - Book 8
Elucidations - The Stromata, Book 8
Fragments of Clemens Alexandrinus
Clemens Alexandrinus on the Salvation of the Rich Man
Elucidations - Clemens Alexandrinus on the Salvation of the Rich Man
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