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other. But there are things which, as they possess it blended with characters more eminent, have been formed for that reason into separate arrangements. Such, for example, is the relation between a being and the place which it occupies; that between a being and the time while it exists; the first of which relations gives an answer to the question, where; the latter to the question, when.
There are also relations of position; relations of habit; and, besides these, there are relations of action and passion; all of which are distinguished by peculiar attributes of their own, and have therefore merited distinct examinations from the ancient writers upon logic.
Thus, if we consider the two last, I mean action and passion, we shall find them diffused through every part of the universe; and that, either united in one subject, or else separate, and in different subjects.
By Horace they are united:
Qui studet optatam cursu contingere metam,
Hor. Art. Poet. 412.
So are they by Livy, in that manly speech of Caius Mucius: Et facere et pati fortia, Romanum est.2
So are they by Shakspeare:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
So are they by Milton:
Fall'n cherub, to be weak is miserable,
Par. Lost, i. 157.
In Virgil we see them separated, and passion given to man, action to the Deity:
O! passi graviora, dabit Deus his quoque finem. Æn. i. 203. As, therefore, action and passion are of the most extensive influence; as they partake in some degree the nature of qualities or attributes, by being intimately and essentially connected with substance; while the relatives when, where, and position seem rather connected accidentally: we shall give action and passion their just precedence, and make them the subject of the present chapter.
The species of action are as many as are the different modes of acting in the different species of agents.
γασία παρὰ τοῖς Στωϊκοῖς· ὧν ἐφ ̓ ἡμῶν καὶ ἡ διδασκαλία, καὶ τὰ πλεῖστα τῶν συγYpaμμáτwv émiλéλotev: “There is much elaborate discussion of these matters among the Stoics, of whom both the doctrine and most of the writings are in our times lost, and at an end." Simpl. in Præd. p. 84. B. edit. Basil. 1551.
Mahomet soon followed, whose successor
Omar burnt the Alexandrine library; nof
two centuries after.
The barbarity of Western Europe con-
The first sort of action is that of mere body alone, considered either as void of sensation wholly, like fire, when it burns; or, at least, as void of sensation, at the time when it operates. Such is that great and universal power, the power of attraction, which all body, animal, vegetable, and elementary, is found to possess in proportion to its quantity; that active power, (if it may for the present be so called,) the effects of which modern philosophy has scrutinized with so much penetration. Such, too, are those energies peculiar to different bodies, and arising out of them from their different natures; as when we say, the heavens emit light; the trees produce leaves; the fields give us corn, &c.
Cælum nitescere, arbores frondescere,
Cic. Tusc. Disp. i. 28. Such, too, are those more secret operations of bodies, whether magnetic or electric; to which may be added the virtues and efficacies of bodies medicinal. All these energies in a comprehensive sense may be called the action of body, considered merely as body."
A second sort of action is that which is the result of sensation, instinct, and natural appetite, and which therefore, being complicated, must necessarily be confined to bodies of a higher genus, to bodies sensitive, that is, to animals.
Hor. Sat. ii. 1.
Dente lupus, cornu taurus petit, &c. Nowhere are these actions expressed with more elegance and conciseness, than by our own epic poet, in his Paradise Lost:
Air, water, earth,
By fowl, fish, beast, was flown, was swam, was walked.b Par. Lost, vii. 502. There is a third species of action more complicated even than the preceding, being derived not only from sensation, instinct, and natural appetite, but from reason also, superadded to these. This is a mode of action peculiar to man, because of all the animals we see around us, man alone possesses the reasoning faculty.
a This is that genus of energies which, as Iamblichus describes it, "indicates no action belonging to soul, or to animal nature, or to reasonings, or to life, but which (on the contrary) exhibits the particular energy of bodies, considered as bodies purely inanimate ; and that as well with respect to all the peculiarities which appear to surround body, as to all those various inherent powers of bodies, not only as they are solid and capable of resisting, but as they contain within them a multitude of powers that are efficacious and active." Γένος ἐνεργειῶν, ὅπερ ψυχῆς καὶ φύσεως καὶ λόγων καὶ ζωῆς οὐκέτι ἐπιδείκνυσι ποίησιν, τῶν δὲ σωμάτων, ᾗ σώματά ἐστιν ἄψυχα, φανερὰν καθίστησι τὴν σωματοειδῆ ἐνέργειαν κατὰ πάσας μὲν τὰς περὶ τὸ σῶμα
τὰς φαινομένας ἰδιότητας, κατὰ πάσας δὲ αὐτῶν τὰς δυνάμεις, οὐχ ᾗ μόνον στερεά ἐστι καὶ ἀντίτυπα, ἀλλ ̓ ᾧ καὶ περὶ αὐτῶν exe toλλàs dpaσtnpíovs duváμeis. Simpl. in Prædic. p. 81. edit. Basil. 1551.
b Καὶ δῆλον ὅσα ποτέ ἐστι καὶ ὁποῖα εἴδη τῶν ἀλόγων ζώων, τοσαῦτα καὶ τοιαῦτα καὶ ἐν τῷ ποιεῖν διάφορά ἐστιν εἴδη κατὰ τὴν τοιαύτην ἐνέργειαν, περὶ ὧν ἐν ταῖς περὶ ζώων ἱστορίαις διαριθμεῖσθαι εἰώθαμev: "It is evident, that as are the species of irrational animals in number and in quality, so many and such are the different species in acting agreeably to this [animal] mode of energy ; which several species of acting have been usually enumerated in the histories of animals. Simpl. in Præd. p. 81, ut supra.
Widely diversified is the share assumed by the subordinate faculties of the human soul, in actions of this character. Sometimes they submit to reason, and are (as becomes them) obedient; at other times they reject her, and proceed of themselves. And hence it is, that actions, produced from causes so peculiarly complicated, derive to themselves the colours of good and evil, and are denominated, in distinction to every other deed of man, actions moral.
When Virtue and Pleasure addressed the young Hercules, Virtue supposed him to have a reason that could control his appetites; Pleasure supposed him to have appetites that would bear down his reason. Had he obeyed the last, he had been vicious; as he obeyed the first, he was virtuous. There was a conflict in either case between his better part and his worse; and in that conflict both species of faculties were presumed, his rational faculties, and his irrational.
There is a fourth sort of action, where the intellect, operating without passions or affections, stays not within itself, but passes out (as it were) to some external operation. It is thus that nature, considered as an efficient cause, may be called the energy of God, seen in the various productions that replenish and adorn the world. It is thus that art, considered as an efficient cause, may be called the energy of man, which imitates in its operations the plastic power of nature."
The last and most excellent sort of action is seen in contemplation; in the pure energy of simple intellect, keeping within itself, and making itself its own object. This is the highest action of which we are susceptible; and by it we imitate the Supreme Being, as far as is consistent with our subordinate nature. It is to this that our great poet alludes, when speaking of his employment, during a state of blindness, he says,
Par. Lost, iii. 37.
σew, "to act morally," the better to distinguish it from role, a word of meaning more extensive, signifying simply "to do," or “ to make.”
à Τούτου δὲ πολὺ μέν ἐστι τὸ θεῖον, πολὺ δὲ καὶ ἐν ταῖς τέχναις, μιμουμέναις τὴν φύσιν, καὶ τὸ παραλειπόμενον ὑπ αὐταῖς (lege αὐτῆς) ἀναπληρούσαις. Simplic. ut supra. "Of this species of acting the Divinity has a large share; a large share also falls to arts, that imitate nature, and supply what she has omitted.”
Then feed on thoughts, which voluntary move
e See Xenoph. Mem. 1. ii. c. 1. s. 21. The above species of action is thus described by Simplicius : Τρίτον δὲ τοῦ ποιεῖν γένος, τὸ ἐν τῷ πράσσειν ἀπηρίθμηται ὅπερ τοῦ λόγου τὰς περὶ τὰ αἰσθητὰ καὶ σύνθετα ποιήσεις ἐπιτροπεύει προαίρεσιν καὶ βοῦλην, δόξαν τε καὶ σκέψιν, καὶ τὰς τοιαύτας ποιήσεις παρεχόμενον. Simpl. ut supra. "The genus comprehended under the idea of acting morally, is the third of this order; that genus which presides over the energies of reason with respect to the concrete objects of sense, (that is, which presides in the affairs of common life.) and which furnishes upon occasion deliberate choice, volition, opinion, inquiry, and other energies of the same character” Simpl. in Præd. p. 80. B. edit. Bas. 1551.
We have in this place translated pár
e This highest mode of action (if it may be so called) is thus described by Simplicius in the same comment, p. 80.
Τὸ περὶ τῶν νοητῶν καὶ ἀμερίστων οὐσίων ἐπισκοπούμενον ἁπλαῖς νοήσεσιν: "That which, with simple intellections, inquires concerning substances intelligible
The species of passion may be understood by their reciprocating for the most part with those of action.
Thus though the Divine Mind, by being pure and intellectual energy, can have nothing passive in its transcendent theory; f yet the mind of man, which has intensions and remissions, is for that reason necessarily passive in two important manners: either as truth, real or apparent, demands its assent; or as falsehood, real or apparent, demands its dissent.
It is in consequence of this passivity of the human mind, which I choose to call passivity intellectual, that it becomes susceptible of discipline and institution, and thus finds itself adorned (according as it is cultivated) with the various tribes both of arts and sciences.g
As the reason of man is acted upon by the appearances of truth and falsehood, so are the appetites of man (and not only of man, but of brutes also) acted upon by the approach of pleasure and pain." This therefore may be called sensual passivity, in opposition to the rational above described. It is to this Davus alludes in Horace,
Etenim fateor, me dixerit ille
Hor. Sat. ii. 7. 37.
The moulding this passivity of the human mind into as much of the fair and honest as it is capable of receiving, when it is applied to nations, is called politics; when to families, economics; when to individuals, ethics; and is in general the foundation of moral principles and conduct.
and indivisible; that is, substances, which, having no parts, cannot, like body, be infinitely divided.
Archytas has enumerated these species of energy or action, but in a different manner, beginning with the last of them first, and so proceeding inversely, till he come to the first that is mentioned here, and this he omits. His words are worthy of perusal: Τὰς δὲ ἐνεργείας διαφοραὶ τρεῖς· τὸ μὲν γάρ τί ἐστιν αὐτᾶς ἐν τῷ θεωρὲν, οἷον ἀστρονομέν· τὸ δὲ ἐν τῷ ποιὲν, οἷον ἁγιάζεν, τεκταίνεν· τὸ δὲ ἐν τῷ πράσσεν, οἷον στραταγὲν καὶ πολιτεύεσθαι· γίγνεται δὲ ὁ μὲν ἐνέργεια καὶ ἄνευ διανοίας, οἷον ἐν τοῖς ἀλόγοις ζώοις. Γενικώτατα δὲ αὐτά. Archyt. apud Simpl. in Præd. p. 80. "There are three distinctions of action or energy: one sort of it consists in contemplating, as when we study the stars; another in making, as when we heal a disease, or exercise the art of a carpenter; another [not in making, but] in acting, as when we lead an army, or administer a commonwealth. There is, too, a fourth energy, where there is no use of reasoning, as in animals irrational. These are the forms of action the most general and comprehensive."
See chapter on Qualities, p. 296. Vid. Arrian. Epict. 1. iii. c. 3. 1 Δεῖ δὲ τιθέναι καὶ τὸ φαινόμενον ἀγαθὸν ἀγαθοῦ χώραν ἔχειν, καὶ τὸ ἡδύ· φαινόμενον yap éotiv àyabóv: “We ought to suppose, that both good apparent and pleasure supply the place of good (real); for pleasure is good apparent." Arist. de Animal. Motu, p. 154. edit. Sylb.
1 Nicephorus Blemmides adopts this division from the Peripatetic school: Tò dè πρακτικὸν διαιρεῖται εἰς ἠθικὸν, οἰκονομικὸν,
The passivity peculiar to brutes may be seen in the various purposes to which we direct their several powers: some to plough our lands; others to carry us; a third species to hunt for us, &c.k
The passivity of insensitive bodies, whether vegetable or not, is equally conspicuous in the various ends to which we apply them. The earth we plough; over the sea we sail; out of the forest we build our ships, &c. This insensitive passivity, though it submit to the action of other bodies upon it, yet always follows the peculiar nature of the being to which it belongs; so that the effects often differ, where the active power is the
Limus ut hic durescit, et hæc ut cera liquescit,
Virg. Ecl. viii. 80.
Lastly, all bodies that act by attraction, are themselves reciprocally acted upon, as modern philosophers have clearly demonstrated.
As to action and passion in general, it may be observed, that the great and diversified mixture of them which runs through the world, and is conspicuous in every part of it, has a necessary reference (as all other mixtures have) to principles more simple, out of which it is compounded. Pure activity we may suppose mind; and pure passivity, matter. As mind is capable of acting whatever is possible, so is matter of having, whatever is possible, acted upon it. The former is the source of all forms, distinctions, and beauty; the latter is the receptacle. In the Supreme Mind there is nothing passive; in the lowest matter there is nothing active; while all between is a mixture of both, where in different parts the different principles are prevalent, and from this prevalence give the being its proper character.
If we call man a composite of soul and body, as a rational being, he has a motion of his own; as a sensitive being, he has a motion in common with brutes; as a being merely corporeal,
καὶ πολιτικόν· καὶ ἠθικὸς μέν ἐστι φιλόσοφος, ὁ τὰ ἑαυτοῦ ἤθη καὶ ἄλλου ῥυθμίζειν δυνάμενος ̇ οικονομικὸς δὲ, ὁ καὶ οἶκον ὅλον ἐκπαιδεύειν καλῶς ἐπιστάμενος· δ δέ γε πόλιν ἢ καὶ πόλεις διεξάγων καὶ διακυβερνῶν ἀρίστως, πολιτικός: “The practical part of philosophy is divided into moral, economical, and political. It is the moral philosopher, who is able to adjust his own manners, and those of any other individual: the economical, who knows how to instruct well a whole family; and he who in the best manner conducts and governs a city, or cities, this philosopher is the political one." Blem. Epitom. Logic. p. 37.
As we have been speaking just before of passivity, it is proper to remark, that the same writer, from the same philosophy, takes notice of two species of it, a better species and a worse; passivity corruptive,
and passivity completive: corruptive, as when any being is consumed by fire ; completive, as when a being either learns, or is acted upon, either by its intellect or its senses. Τοῦ πάσχειν δὲ τὸ μέν ἐστι φθαρτικὸν, ὡς τὸ καίεσθαι· τὸ δὲ τελεωτικὸν, ὡς τὸ μανθάνειν, καὶ γινώσκειν, καὶ αἰσθάverbal. Nic. Blem. Ep. Log. 158.
* See page 22. See also, as to the passivity of bodies inanimate, page 21.
1 See pages 280, 281.
Thus Archytas in Simplicius: Τὰ καθαρὰ γένη τοῦ ποιεῖν καὶ πάσχειν ἐν τοῖς ἀρχηγικωτάτοις—τοῦ μὲν ποιεῖν τῷ θεῷ, τοῦ δὲ πάσχειν ἐν τῇ ὕλῃ: “The pure and simple genera of acting, and being acted upon, exist in the primary and most original of beings; acting, in God; the being acted upon, in matter." Simplic. in Præd. p. 84. B. edit. Basil. 1551.