The Transition from Plato to Aristotle
THE saying that every one is born a Platonist or an Aristotelian can be taken as true, if at all, only in a very general sense. It can only mean that men are roughly divided into two classes, those whose prevailing tendency is toward synthesis and those whose prevailing tendency is toward analysis; those who seek to discover unity among things that present themselves as diverse and unconnected, and those who seek rather to detect differences in things that present themselves as similar or even identical. But it is obvious that these two characteristics can never be entirely isolated from each other. Distinction implies relation, and relation distinction; and he who sees clearly the one cannot be altogether blind to the other. Least of all can we admit such blindness in the case of two great systematic writers, like Plato and Aristotle, who may be admitted to have a certain bias of mind, but who cannot be conceived as one-sided dogmatists or men of one idea. Aristotle's philosophy, indeed, is not the contradictory, but rather the opposite counterpart, of that of Plato; and though the former may be disposed to dwell with greater emphasis on the points that separate him from his master than on those which they hold in common, yet it may safely be asserted that there are no two philosophers who are so closely akin in the general scheme of their thought. Thusto name only the points that are of greatest importancethey are in thorough agreement in maintaining an idealistic or spiritualistic view of the ultimate principle of thought and reality; and they agree also in holding that, in the world of our immediate experience, this principle realises itself under conditions which are not in harmony with it, and which in some degree disguise and obstruct the manifestation of its true nature. But, while they thus coincide in the ultimate results of their philosophy, they start from opposite points of view, and their general agreement is apt to be hidden from us by continual collisions on almost every secondary question.
We may, then, describe Aristotle's general relation to Plato in the following way: He is the most faithful of Plato's disciples, a disciple who developed his master's doctrine to a more distinct and definite result, and who gave it a more systematic form; and he is, at the same time, the severest of Plato's critics, one who saw into all the weak places of his teaching, and pressed home every objection against it with unsparing logic. Sometimes he is carried so far in his polemic that he becomes as one-sided as the philosopher he attacks, only in an opposite direction. At other times the antagonism between them is rather one of words than of essential meaning, and we seem to find the true interpretation of Plato rather in Aristotle's own view than in that which he attributes to his master. And not seldom he lays himself open to the same objections which he urges against Plato.
The precise nature of this agreement and difference may be made clearer by a few words of explanation. As I have shown in previous lectures, the general tendency of Plato is to generalise and to unify, to refer each sphere of phenomenal existence to some idea which he regards as the source of all its reality, and the principle through which alone it can be understood; and, ultimately, to carry back all these ideas to the Good or the divine reason, as the principle of all being and of all thought. His fundamental doctrine is that the universal is the real; and in his earlier dialogues he emphasises this aspect of things so strongly as to give colour to the idea that he seeks truth not in, but beyond, the many. Hence the Platonic idea has been supposed to be the abstract universal, i.e. a common element found in the particulars as these are given in ordinary experience, and not a principle which explains these particulars, and in doing so transforms our first conception of them. It has, however, been pointed out in the preceding lectures that there is much even in the earlier, and still more in the later dialogues of Plato, to prove that he is no mystic who loses the many in the one, and that, if he regards his ideal principles as transcending the particular phenomena of experience, yet this meansmainly and primarilythat he sets aside all that is irrelevant and accidental in the objects or aspects of objects investigated, in order that he may confine his view to their characteristic and inseparable properties. It has also been pointed out that philosophy, as Plato finally describes it, is as much concerned to resolve the unity of the idea into the multiplicity of its different elements or specific manifestations, as to bring back all its differences to unity. His ultimate aim, therefore is not simply to attain to unity, still less to do so by the omission of difference, but to produce a comprehensive system of thought, in which all the elements are clearly distinguished, yet all are organically connected with each other as members of one whole.
On the other hand, it is obvious that Aristotle's primary tendency is to analyse and distinguish, to resolve his data into their separate elements, and to fix each element by clear definition in its opposition to all the others; and, generally, to account for the whole, as far as possible, by the parts. He first drew sharp lines of division between the different sciences, insisting that each subject-matter should be dealt with according to its own principle and method. For him, the individual is the real, and general ideas have value only as the explanation of particulars. He seeks the one not beyond, but in the many, not by abstracting from experience, but by the analysis of it. So far, therefore, his language seems to be in direct contradiction to that of Plato, and, indeed, he means us to understand that it is so. But when we look closer, we find that he too is obliged to find room for the Platonic point of view, and to confess that the one is not only in but also beyond the many;1
in other words, that there are irrelevances and inconsistencies in the immediate judgments of experience, from which we must abstract in order to reach the real nature of its objects; and that science, therefore, cannot explain the many changing particulars without rejecting our first conceptions of them. For science, as Aristotle conceives it, has to become demonstrative; it has to deduce the properties of things from their essential definitions; and this implies that there is much that is irrelevant and accidental in particular substances, as immediately presented in experience, which must be set aside as incapable of being explained by the specific principles realised in them. Finally, if Aristotle seeks to explain things by resolving then into their elements, yet he knows that any real whole is more than the sum of its parts. And, though he seems at first to take the separate sciences and their objects as independent of each other, yet in the end he represents the universe as a teleological whole which finds its principle in the pure nature of mind or self-consciousness, a principle which is realising itself in every rational being and is eternally realised in God.
The truth is that both the principles, expressed in the propositions, the universal is the real and the individual is the real, are ambiguous. Each of them may be taken in a higher and in a lower sense; and while, in the lower sense, they are diametrically opposed to each other, in the higher sense they are only distinguished as complementary aspects of the same truth. That the universal is the real may, as we have seen, be taken to mean that any common quality, in the immediate conception of it, is an independent reality, centred in itself and without relation to any other qualities or to any subject in which they inhere; and this is what is commonly understood by the term realism. Or, on the other hand, it may mean that anything that deserves to be called a substance, or independent reality, must have in it a principle of unity, which may at first be hidden from us, but which, when we discover it, can be seen to manifest itself in all the different aspects it presents to us. Thus each kind of existence has its specific form which makes it a relatively independent whole, and, again, all these specific forms are finally subordinated to one general form, which gives unity and individuality to the universe. In like manner, the principle that the individual is the real, taken in its lowest sense, will mean that the real lies in the particular thing as the immediate object of sense perception, of which we can say only that it is unique, or that it is a this, which here and now we see and handle, and to which universals must be attached as qualifying predicates. But, on the other hand, it may mean that reality is to be found only in that which has organic or, at least, systematic completeness, in that which is one with itself through all the difference of the elements that enter into its constitution, and which remains one with itself through all the phases of its history. In other words, it may mean that that alone is substantially real which has a self, or something analogous to a self, and which, therefore, in all its various modifications may be said to be at least relatively self-determined.
Now, in the former of these two senses individuality and universality are direct opposites of each other, and to say that the real is both individual and universal, both a this and an abstract quality, would be absurdthough dialectically it might be shown that abstract universality and abstract individuality easily pass iuto each other. But, in the latter sense, individuality and universality are different aspects of the same thing; for a universal only means a general principle, viewed as expressing itself in different forms or phases, each of which implies all the others and the whole; and an individual is just such a whole or totality, viewed as determined in all its forms or phases by one principle. To put it otherwise, we know any thing or being, only when we discern all the elements that are necessary to it in their distinction and in their relation; and we can recognise it as a real whole or individual substance, only in so far as these distinctions and relations are determined by one idea or principle. In short, it is just the determination of all its properties by one universal principle that makes us separate it from other things and beings as a true individual; and on the other hand, if, and so far as, its character be determined by external or accidental relations to other things, it is imperfectly individualised. This, of course, implies that ultimately there is no existence which is universal and none which is individual in the highest sense of these words, except the universe as a whole, or the divine Being who is its principle. But it also implies that no existence can have individuality even in a relative sense, except in so far as it has universality, that is, in so far as all its aspects are determined by one idea; and that no existence can have universality, unless it is self-determined and individual.2
Now, just in so far as the doctrines of Plato and Aristotle can be taken in this latter sense, there is no real opposition between them; while, if they can only be taken in the former sense, they must be regarded as wholly irreconcileable. The truth may perhaps best be expressed by saying that, to one who takes their first words in their most obvious sense, Plato and Aristotle seem respectively to begin with the abstract universal and the abstract individual, but that in their most developed doctrine they substitute for these what we may call the concrete universal and the concrete individual. This is partly hidden from us by the fact that Aristotle seems often to take Plato in his lowest sense, as many later writers have taken Aristotle in his lowest sense. In his criticisms upon the ideal theory Aristotle very distinctly points out the error of taking the abstract universal as complete in itself, and, therefore, as an independent or individual substance. He shows with convincing logic that the separate sciences of arithmetic, geometry, etc., in dealing with number, extension, quantity, motion, and the like, are concerned with aspects of things whichmay be isolated by abstraction, but which have no independent reality apart from each other, or from the concrete existence in which they are elements.3
In this he undoubtedly makes a valid criticism upon Plato, in so far as the latter, especially in his earlier works, is apt to speak of particular ideas or universals, as if each of them were complete in itself apart from the rest, and even to take the special sciences built upon such principles as if they dealt with quite independent realities or provinces of reality. But Aristotle himself falls into the same error, though in a less obvious way, when he treats inorganic elements and organic beingsplants, animals and menas, each and all of them, individual substances in the same sense, without any admission of the partial character of their individuality, or of the fact that there are what Mr. Bradley calls degrees of reality among them. Each of them may be characterised as this particular thing; and, therefore, as Aristotle seems to think, each of them may be taken as an independent substance which is only accidentally related to other substances. It is true that he treats each of these substances as having a specific principle realised in it, but he draws a broad line of separation between the properties which belong to it in virtue of this specific principle, and the accidents which come to it from the peculiar character of its matter or from its external relations to other things. Nor does he seem to admit that there is any point of view from which these accidents shall be conceived as themselves the manifestation of a higher necessity. In other words, he does not realise that what, in view of the principle realised in a particular substance, might be regarded as accidental, may be necessary from the point of view of some larger whole, in which it is contained. Yet such isolation of the individual involves exactly the same error as the Platonic isolation of the universal.
And this leads me to point out what may be regarded as the common source of the errors of the Platonic and the Aristotelian philosophies. This is that both Plato and Aristotle start with presuppositions, which they are unable either to explain or to explain away: Plato, with the presupposition of a given multiplicity which he seeks to reduce to unity; Aristotle, with the presupposition of a confused unity or continuity4
which he is never able distinctly to resolve into its elements or to show to be individually determined in all its parts. The result is that, in both cases, that which is regarded as the ideal of knowledge, and, therefore, as the supreme reality, cannot be recognised as the truth or reality of the world of our immediate experience. In that world, according to Plato, we fail to find the pure manifestation of the universal truth, which yet everything seems to suggest; and when, in our practical endeavours, we seek to realise that universal Good, which is ultimately the object of all our desires, what we attain must always fall short of what we think. In like manner, according to Aristotle, what we require for our intellectual satisfaction is demonstrative system; it is to resolve the world into a multitude of individual substances, each of which is determined in all its properties by one principle; but what we find is a multitude of imperfect specimens of each specific kind, none of which is free from accidental modifications. And, again, in the sphere of practical reason we are met by the same contradiction of the ideal and the actual; for, while it is the chief end of man to realise himself as a rational being, to turn his life into a perfectly ordered whole in which every activity plays its proper part, he has to work out this ideal in the contingent matter of an individual human existence, and under the influence of passions which can never be entirely subjected to reason. Yet on the other hand, that which in this world appears as the ideal which man must seek to find or to produce is, for both Plato and Aristotle, the supreme reality. For Plato, the Idea of Good is the unity of being and knowing, it is the idea which sums up all other ideas in itself, or it is the intelligence in which all other intelligences are embraced: but, as such, it is essentially separated from the finite world, and from the psychical as well as the corporeal existence of men. In like manner, the divine or absolute Being is for Aristotle a pure self-determined, self-contemplating reason, which can be grasped only by the pure intelligence of man, and can hardly be distinguished therefrom. As such, God is the first mover and the final end of the universe; yet, as we shall see, Aristotle has great difficulty in connecting him with the finite at all, and only succeeds in doing so by a metaphysical tour de force
. And, as his conception of matter, as the necessary basis of existence in this world of finitude and change, is more positive than Plato's, the ultimate result of his system is even more decidedly dualistic than that of his master.
This last point, however, is a subject of much controversy, and in order to deal with it fairly, it will be necessary to consider Aristotle's main lines of thought in two opposite aspects. I shall endeavour, therefore, to show that Aristotle goes much beyond Plato in the fulness and definiteness with which he works out his idealistic system; and yet that, in doing so, he makes concessions to a dualistic mode of thinking which are greater than anything admitted by Plato.
The advance which Aristotle makes upon Plato lies mainly in two directions. In the first place, his individualistic tendency brings with it a greater respect for immediate experience: it saves him to a great extent from the dangers of a too rapid synthesis, and it keeps alive his curiosity for all the details of existence where no synthesis is yet possible. Aristotle is no mere empiricist; he is well aware that we must go beyond immediate experience to know things as they really are; but he has nothing of that impatience with particular phenomena, and that desire at once to get away from them to general principles, which was the main weakness of Plato. Plato had, indeed, to a certain extent, maintained the rights of opinion, that is, of our immediate empirical consciousness, but Aristotle does much more. He is infinitely patient in exhibiting all the aspects of things as they present themselves to the ordinary consciousness, and all the judgments which they have suggested to the plain man, as well as to the philosopher. His collections of empirical data, especially in biology, ethics, and politics, greatly widen the area of scientific enquiry; and his constant effort to mark out the different spheres of knowledge and to find the principles appropriate to each sphere, exhibits a great advance upon a method of philosophising which brought all things at once within the scope of its grand generalisations. The difficulty with Aristotle is rather that each science or department of philosophy is treated so independently, and with so little reference to the others, that it is often hard to see how the various researches can be combined into one whole. But the dangers of excessive specialism were yet in the future; and, in the meantime, Aristotle's example gave a great encouragement to thoroughness and completeness of enquiry into different departments of knowledgean encouragement which was much needed, but which was little appreciated till a later period.
To this formal improvement in the method of science, another of even more importance has to be added. Aristotle's deep interest in the phenomena of lifean interest which was probably awakened in him prior to his entrance into the Platonic school, and which in any case was quite independent of the Platonic philosophynot only introduced science into a new field, but also suggested a new way of looking at things in general. The ideas of organism and development, indeed, were not quite alien to Plato: they were partly involved in his scheme of education based as it is on the idea of the latent rationality of opinion which it is the object of all philosophical teaching to bring to self-consciousness. He saw clearly that the highest ideal for man is to become what potentially he is, to develop the capacities which are inherent in his nature. But Plato's almost exclusive occupation with the theoretical and practical interests of men caused him to neglect the relations between humanity and the lower forms of life, or, so far as he paid regard to them, to interpret the animal as a degraded and degenerated form of man. His sharp distinction of soul, as that which is moved by itself, from body, as that which is moved by anotherand which indeed he sometimes treats as if it were a corpsetended to obscure the unity of the system of things, and the continuity of gradation by which one stage of existence is linked on to another. Hence all appearances of design in the products of nature were apt to be attributed to conscious purpose rather than to the working of an immanent teleological principle. On the other hand, Aristotle recognises a purposive activity in all organised beings, an activity which is independent of consciousness, but which, in becoming conscious, does not essentially change its character. There is thus a correspondence or analogy running through all the steps of the scala naturae, connecting the unconscious life of plants with the relatively conscious life of animals, and the self-conscious life of man. For, in each case, there is an organising principle, which Aristotle calls the soul. The Aristotelian idea of the soul is, indeed, a new and original conception: for in Plato the soul is not generally distinguished from the intelligence; and, though, in the Timaeus, it appears as the principle that combines the intelligence with the body, this mediation is little more than a word, and shows only that Plato felt the need of some connecting link, which he was unable from the resources of his philosophy to supply. Aristotle, on the other hand, grasps the idea of organism, and declares the soul to be the form which realises, or brings into activity and actuality, the capacities of an organic body. Hence in his view the soul cannot exist without the body, nor the body without the soul. In short, on the first aspect of Aristotle's philosophy, and subject to a reservation in favour of the reason, soul and body seem to be taken by him as different but essentially correlated aspects of the life of one individual substance. Thus he rejects the Platonic idea that all souls are simply minds in various degrees of obscuration, owing to the nature of the bodies in which they are incorporated; and with it he repudiates the doctrine of transmigration, and, especially the transmigration of the soul of a man into the body of an animal. In place of this doctrine, he substitutes the conception of a hierarchical order of psychical existence, in which the higher soul includes the lower, and reduces it into the basis or material of its own new principle of life. But just because of thisbecause, in Aristotle's conception of it, the higher life presupposes the lower and makes it the means of its own realisationAristotle is able to regard the whole process as one, to personify nature as a power that does nothing in vain, and even to look upon the whole ascending movement of organic being as an effort after the complete and self-determined existence which is found only in God. Each of the finite creatures is thus regarded as seeking for the divine, but able to realise it only within the limits of its own form. Aiming at eternity, it is confined within the conditions of an individual existence which is finite and perishable, though it attains to a kind of image of eternity in the continuity of the species. It attains it, however, in a still higher way, in so far as its own limited life is made the basis of a higher life; till in the ascending scale we reach at last the rational life of man, who, at least in the pure activity of contemplation, can directly participate in the eternal and the divine.
So far the evolutionary conceptions of Aristotle seem to carry us beyond many of the difficulties of the Platonic theory, and to point towards a more complete idealism than Plato had ever imagined. For, if a philosopher be able to regard all nature as the realisation of an immanent design, which becomes more and more completely manifested the higher we rise in the scale of being; if, further, he be able to view the imperfect life of the lower orders of creatures as subordinated to the fuller existence of those which stand higher in that scale, it is natural to expect that in the last resort he will be able to regard all being as the manifestation or realisation of the perfectly self-determined life of God. On this view accident could exist only from the point of view of the part, as separated from, and opposed to the whole; it would be eliminated more and more as we advance to the point of view of existences which are relatively more complete, and it would disappear altogether from the point of view of the divine centre of the whole system. Matter, as opposed to form, would become a relative conception, and the phenomenal world would simply be the real world imperfectly understood. The organic view of the universe world thus subordinate, and take up into itself the mechanical; and in place of the Platonic conception that reason persuades necessity to work out that which is best in most things, we should be able to substitute the doctrine that all things must, ultimately at least, be regarded as the manifestations of a divine reason.
Such a view, however, we cannot attribute to Aristotle. The organic idea, which he seems to accept, especially in his conception of life in all its forms, is continually traversed by another idea which is essentially alien to itthe idea that all finite existence is a combination of elements which are not essentially related. Aristotle, in fact, while accepting the Platonic opposition of form to matter, gives to the latter a definite name, and a more distinct position than Plato had assigned to it. For in the Republic Plato had spoken of it only as Not-Being, and had referred the defects of finite existence to the fact that such existence stands midway between Not-Being and the substantial reality of the ideas. And in the Timaeus he seemed still farther to lower the character of phenomena by treating them as mere images or reflexions of true Being, explaining the appearance of substantial reality which they present by the spatial conditions which attach to such images. He seemed, therefore, to be endeavouring to escape the admission of a genuine dualism, to which nevertheless he was driven by what he calls a spurious reasoning. Aristotle, on the other hand, looks for a substratum for all change in something which remains while its qualities are in process of being altered. The change of properties is, he argues, impossible, unless there be a substance which undergoes this change; and the genesis and decay of substances is impossible, unless there is something which passes from the one form of existence to the other. Hence, as all forms of being are changeable, we are ultimately driven by a necessary argument from analogy, to conceive pure matter as the ultimate substratum of all that movement or transitionary process to which finite things as such are subjected. Matter is, therefore, the possibility of all things and the actuality of nothing; an idea which is made to seem less irrational by the doctrine that it never exists except under some elementary form. Perhaps we may better bring out the effect of Aristotle's view by sayingwhat Aristotle himself does not saythat matter is that in the nature of finite things and beings which causes their existence to be a continual process of change, that is, causes it to be not a pure activity which begins and ends in itself like that of God, the unmoved mover, but a continual movement from possibility to actuality, which comes to an end in one subject only to begin in another in endless succession. Aristotle, indeed, avoids verbally the contradiction of making matter, which in itself is absolutely passive, the cause of the transitory character of the existence that is realised in it; but he does so, as we shall see hereafter, only by taking for granted the transition from the eternal to the temporal, from the pure activity of the divine intelligence to the movement and change of the phenomenal world. Yet this is the very thing which needs to be explained.
This general antagonism or imperfect union of matter and form shows itself even in Aristotle's conception of the organic process. At times, as we have seen, he emphasises the unity of form and matter, and therefore of soul and body, so strongly as to make them essentially correlative with each other opposite but complementary aspects of the same being, which are only separated by abstraction. Thus when he declares that the ultimate matter of a substance is one and the same with its form, though the one is to be taken as expressing the potentiality of which the other is the actuality,5
he suggests the conception of a unity which is beyond the difference of the two elements, and in which, therefore, they entirely lose their independent character. So far as this is the case, it would be true to say, as Aristotle does say in the immediate context, that no reason can be given for the unity of form and matter, except that they are reciprocally form and matter to each other. From such a point of view we could not speak of form acting upon matter, or matter reacting upon form, but only of the whole substance as manifesting itself in these two aspects. But Aristotle does not consistently think of it in this way. For the most part he seems rather to regard the form as giving to the matter a unity which does not belong to it, and to which it is never completely subordinated. Thus he declares that the soul neither grows nor decays, though all the activities usually ascribed to it are conditioned by the growth and decay of the body. The soul, in fact, is taken as an identity which abides in unity with itself above all change; and which, though it gives rise to manifold activities and changes in the individual subject, never itself enters into the process. While, therefore, we can see that Aristotle is striving against the tendency to separate soul and body, yet his way of expressing the difference between them inevitably leads him back to the Platonic conception of a spiritual being which is dragged down into a lower region, and reduced to an imperfect kind of activity by the vehicle which it has to use. This tendency to fall from the conception of an organism to that of a σύνθϵτον
a complex existence compounded of a mortal body and a spiritual principle which finds an inadequate expression thereinis shown even in his account of the animal life; as when he tells us that the decay of age does not affect the soul, but only the organs through which it acts, and that, therefore, if the old man had the young man's eyes, he would see as well as the young man. Here the soul is manifestly taken as an abstract form which is not relative to the body; not as a unity which maintains itself in change, but as one which is entirely lifted above change and unaffected by it.
The difficulty, however, takes a more definite form in relation to the reason of man, which, in Aristotle's own words, seems to be born in us as an independent substance, which is beyond decay and death.6
In this case the question is not merely of the presence or absence of a special bodily organ; for reason, according to Aristotle, has no such organ. Yet its existence in the body and its connexion with the animal nature, subjects it to conditions which alter its pure activity, and bring it down from the intuitive contemplation of truth to the sphere of imagination and of discursive thought. Hence Aristotle says that the discursive reason and the feelings of love and hate are not modes or affections of reason, but of the subject in which it is realised, though they are due to that realisation. Hence, when this subject is destroyed, reason ceases to remember and to love; for such states belong not to it, but to the being in whom soul and body are combined (τοȗ кοινοȗ
), and this, of course, perishes. But reason in itself is something more divine and cannot be the subject of any such modes as these.7
It would appear, then, that Aristotle holds that the individual mind, as such, i.e.the individual's consciousness of his own past and of all the particulars of his individual life, with all the desires and feelings which accompany such a consciousness, is changeable and mortal. In this region of the finite, reason sinks from intuition and contemplation into discourse of reason; in other words, it no longer sees all things in their transparent unity, but, aided by sensuous images, its thought moves from one object to another, distinguishing and connecting the different elements by definite acts of analysis and synthesis, of judgment and inference. Thus a deep line of division is drawn between the intuitive and the discursive intelligence, between the pure reason and the passions and interests of mortal life. And the organic idea, which is already strained to the utmost by Aristotle in his conception of the relations between the form and the matter, and, therefore, between the soul and body of plants and animals, is once for all set aside as regards the rational life of man.
The result, then, is that, though at first Aristotle seems to free himself from the dualism of Plato, and to rise to an organic point of view, he is unable in the long run to maintain this advantage. It was a distinct advance upon Plato to repudiate the mystic tendency shown in some parts of the Platonic writings, the tendency to regard the connexion of soul and body as accidental or external. It was a still farther advance to maintain that matter was not merely the Not-Being of the Republic, or the spatial conditions which, according to the Timaeus, distinguish images or appearances from reality, but the necessary correlate of form. But Aristotle was not able to maintain himself at this point of view, or to work it out to all its consequences. Hence the very fact that he gave a distinctly positive character to matter as the substratum of motion and change, while yet he was unable to conceive it as simply the manifestation or necessary complement of the ideal principle, drives him in the end to a more definitely dualistic result than had been reached by Plato. It also causes him to neglect or reject those speculations in which Plato comes nearest to a concrete, as opposed to an abstract idealism. Thus, in the end, as we shall see more fully hereafter, Aristotle comes to a view of reason, and of God as the unmoved mover, which carries us far in the direction of the mysticism of Plotinus.