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Headword: *dio/ti
Adler number: delta,1214
Translated headword: because
Vetting Status: high
There are occasions when [this word] stands for o(/ti ["since"]. Amongst the many who [treat it] so is Hierocles.[1]
We consider[2] the word "since" clearer in three ways. According to the first one, we use "since" rather than "because" for it is clearer to us and first in order of knowledge. For since we have a soul and since it is immortal, for many it is more apt for intelligible understanding[3] than to concede and pay attention to the argument trying to prove these things. Secondly, the universal is also something composed of the particular and of what has been distinguished; for example, to know without qualification that this is a body, or that it is a body of such a kind, i.e. a celestial or a terrestrial body, or that it is blended one way or another. Thirdly, what is first to us but posterior by nature. For the more composed things are more knowable than the more simple things, which are first to us by nature.[4]
Greek Original:
*dio/ti: e)/sq' o(/te kai\ a)nti\ tou= o(/ti lamba/netai. ou(/tws ga\r a)/lloi te polloi\ kai\ *(ieroklh=s. o(/ti kata\ trei=s tro/pous to\ safe/steron h(mi=n qewrei=tai: kaq' e(/na me\n to\ o(/ti tou= dio/ti: safe/steron ga\r h(mi=n kai\ prw=ton ei)s gnw=sin: kai\ ga\r o(/ti e)/xomen yuxh\n kai\ o(/ti a)qa/natos, proxeiro/teron ei)s no/hsin toi=s polloi=s ma=llon h)\ to\ paraxwrh=sai kai\ e)piba/llein tw=| lo/gw| tw=| tau=ta kataskeua/zonti. deu/teron to\ kaqo/lou kai\ sugkexume/non tou= merikou= kai\ dih|rhme/nou, oi(=on to\ ei)de/nai a(plw=s o(/ti sw=ma h)\ o(/ti toio/nde sw=ma, toute/stin ou)ra/nion h)\ gh/i+non h)\ toiw=sde h)\ toiw=s kekrame/non. tri/ton to\ w(s pro\s h(ma=s me\n prw=ton, u(/steron de\ th=| fu/sei: tw=n ga\r a(plouste/rwn, a(/per e)sti\ th=| fu/sei prw=ta h(mi=n, ta\ sunqetw/tera gnwrimw/tera.
[1] The second-century-AD Stoic philosopher of that name: fr.4 von Arnim. The most comprehensive study of his work (Elements of Ethics) is that of G. Bastianini and A.A. Long, "Hierocles", in Corpus dei papiri filosofici greci e latini, (Florence 1992), 268-451, vol. 1; Greek text, Italian translation, and a detailed philosophical commentary.
[2] The source now becomes John Philoponus, Commentary on Aristotle's de anima 226.10-19 Hayduck.
[3] The Greek word is noesis.
[4] The second and the third way of considering the word "since" ("Secondly, the universal ... Thirdly, what is first to us ...") misleadingly reproduces the first chapter of Aristotle's Physics. According to Aristotle, the natural procedure is to start from what is more knowable and clear to us (i.e. the sensible things) and go to what is clearer and more knowable by nature (i.e. the principles accounting for the sensible things). This methodological remark is frequently mentioned by Aristotle (see Metaphysics 1029b3-12; Nicomachean Ethics 1095b2-4; de Anima 413a11-12; Posterior Analytics 71b33ff.). But "knowable to us" is different from "knowable in the strict sense or without qualification" (a(plw=s). So the appropriate method is to start from what is less clear by nature but more clear to us, and advance towards what is clearer and knowable by nature (Physics 184a16-21). What is obvious and clear to us at the very beginning, Aristotle goes on to argue, are the compounded things, i.e. the particular things of our sensible experience. Later, from such sensible things, their elements become knowable and the principles distinguish them (184a21-23). The second part of the Suda passage turns out to be especially misleading: "the universal is also something composed of the particular and of what has been distinguished". However, at Physics 1.1 it is quite plain that, in the context of physics, the compounded things (sunkechumena), are "the more knowable and clear things to us at first". These compound things are "confused" inasmuch as they are regarded in terms of the principles, since what we "know" at first is not real knowledge. This is so due to the fact that the principles do not intervene yet. So "the universal" (katholou) Aristotle is talking about in this physical context is not the general notion or concept (see Posterior Analytics, 1.2; 2.19) but the concrete totality of our immediate perception. This helps to clarify the judgment that "the universal is something composed of the particular...".
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; philosophy
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 13 November 1999@17:25:58.
Vetted by:
Scott Carson on 2 January 2000@22:40:49.
Scott Carson on 11 February 2000@15:58:14.
David Whitehead (modified translation; added note and keyword; restorative and other cosmetics) on 24 December 2002@07:25:00.
Catharine Roth (cosmetic) on 15 July 2010@01:10:09.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 13 July 2012@04:44:26.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 21 November 2014@23:11:16.


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