UP

Aristotle METAPHYSICA Book 11 Part 4

Aspects of mathematics and physics are parts of wisdom

1. Since even the mathematician uses the common axioms only in a special application, it must be the business of first philosophy to examine the principles of mathematics also. That when equals are taken from equals the remainders are equal, is common to all quantities, but mathematics studies a part of its proper matter which it has detached, e.g. lines or angles or numbers or some other kind of quantity - not, however, qua being but in so far as each of them is continuous in one or two or three dimensions; but philosophy does not inquire about particular subjects in so far as each of them has some attribute or other, but speculates about being, in so far as each particular thing is. - Physics is in the same position as mathematics; for physics studies the attributes and the principles of the things that are, qua moving and not qua being (whereas the primary science, we have said, deals with these, only in so far as the underlying subjects are existent, and not in virtue of any other character); and so both physics and mathematics must be classed as parts of Wisdom.


UPHOME HTML edition © RBJ created 1996/11/25 modified 2009/04/26