A Philosophical History of Psychology, Cognition, and Consciousness: Aristotle.

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Aristotle’s scientific work, according to Brett in his work “The History of Psychology”, is best characterised in terms of a methodology of observation and classification and a search for a definition that expressed the essence of whatever it was that was being studied:

“Explanation of the behaviour of a thing consists in referring to the essential properties of the natural kind or class of things to which it belongs, each class having its characteristic and invariant ways of behaving. Why do bodies fall or smoke rise? Because it is part of their essence to seek their natural places on the earth or in the heavens. Why do men make laws? Because rationality is part of their essence. Things do what they do because they are what they are. This is true but not very illuminating….Aristotle….substituted the logic of classification for Pythagorean mathematics as the key to the ground plan of nature. Qualitative distinctions were for him irreducible. Quality, not quantity was the basic category of reality.”

There is much that is problematic with the above characterization of Aristotle’s scientific work. Firstly, the search for definition referred to above was only a part of a wider search for explanation that for Aristotle was four-fold because he believed there are four kinds of explanation or four ways of explaining the nature of something that together constitute the knowledge we have of any object studied. Three kinds of explanation(final formal and efficient “causes”) all reveal the form of the object and one explanation, (the “material cause”) describes the particular material that is the bearer of “the form”. Material per se is just particular material and only identifiable in terms of the(universal) form it takes. This explanation-system is the epistemological aspect of Aristotle’s wider attempt as a “Scientist” to metaphysically or systematically study the world as a whole. Aristotle’s metaphysical position is embedded in his thesis that Being or Reality has many meanings amongst which one will encounter the category of the Substantial that is, as a matter of fact, as much a basic category of reality as the qualitative. The Substantial, for Aristotle, is of course not a property of a thing but rather something more like the principle of that thing’s existence. A substance is, according to Aristotle not dependent on anything else for its existence. Substantial change, for Aristotle, concerns the generation of substances (the bearer of all properties). The substantial principle of man, for example, is his rationality which manifests itself not just in the act of passing laws(the act of bringing laws into existence) but also in the theoretical activity of understanding the world as a systematic or metaphysical whole. Both of these types of activities are logically related to man’s essence and his form, and these claims are surely both true and illuminating. Furthermore, there is a conflation in much of modern science between the contexts of discovery and the contexts of Explanation/Justification. In the former when we discover qualities or measure quantities or relations, we answer “what” questions but once discovered we can also use qualities, quantities and relations in contexts of justification to answer “why” questions(“Why did the building collapse”, “because it was unstable”). In these kinds of explanations, qualities etc. begin to function like principles, giving reasons for the occurrence of events transcending their use as mere reports of observations or classifications.

Insofar as the claims relating to body’s falling and smoke rising to their so-called “natural places” are concerned these claims may be unhelpful characterizations of the Aristotelian idea of “final cause” or teleological explanations that in fact cannot be arbitrarily isolated from other types of explanations.

Brett continues the above line of inquiry by claiming the following:

“So few deductive consequences follow from saying that man is a rational animal because it is merely classificatory and incorporates no causal assumption.”

This is an unilluminating characterization of Aristotelian reflection on the essence and form of man that will definitively claim it to be substantially true that the formal, efficient and final causes or explanations are involved in any animal being a human form of an animal. There appears to be a fixation in the above quote on a perspectival view of “definition” that regards Aristotelian definitions as analytic truths constructed in an ivory tower far from the fields of observation and classification. Such a view believes there to be a realm of synthetic truths that alone can give us access to the truth about the world we dwell in. Aristotle did not divide truth up in such a radical fashion and like Kant would have insisted in response to such radical divisions that there are intermediate forms of truth(synthetic a priori truths) such as “Every event has a cause” that transcend experience and the context of discovery. Aristotle would have thought of such truth as substantial-truths belonging to the context of explanation/justification. Brett also claims that when we ask why men make laws that we do not want to be told that this is because he is a rational animal capable of discourse (which would be Aristotle’s complete definition of human being). We do not want, that is, to be given a barren analytical definition devoid of causal terms. This is obviously a position that rejects the entire metaphysical and epistemological apparatus of Aristotle’s theory without engaging it directly in the context of counterargument and justification. This is also a position that attempts for no good reason to reduce Aristotle’s fourfold explanatory schema to something simpler. Indirectly we are told that Galileo “consciously discarded” teleological causes” in favour of:

“Explanations in terms of the functional dependence of variables which had far greater deductive possibilities than Aristotelian explanation by recourse to qualitative classifications.”

This type of explanation must have been an exciting prospect for psychologically inclined scientists during the 1920’s when Brett’s work “The History of Psychology” was completed. Today almost one hundred years later this excitement, to say the least, has waned and it is commonplace for philosophers to evoke Aristotelian, Kantian, and Wittgensteinian objections to theories based on variable manipulating and measuring experiments that very often fail to produce evidence of causal relations between the variables. Brett complains that Aristotle in his conceptual reflections tells us what we already know. This complaint, as a matter of fact, is often leveled against the “functional dependence of variable” approach as is another more serious complaint that this kind of experimentally based theorizing often falsely posits causal relations where there none. Obviously, this counter-argument requires a more extensive critical discussion than can be offered here.

Brett, inspired by Galileo, then goes on to claim that Aristotle failed to make any “empirical contribution” to Psychology because of his limited grasp of the modern scientific method. We should remind readers in the context of such claims that Aristotle was one of the first empirical investigators of biological phenomena, using observation, classification, and dissection to build his biological theory. Brett does, however, reluctantly admit that Aristotle’s “conceptual contribution” to Psychology helped to provide arguments against materialistically inclined investigations:

“which included a demonstration of why mechanical types of explanation will never be of much use in Psychology.”

Brett appears to be unaware of the philosophical objection to his position which would claim that Causality is a conceptual category of thought, a cognitive attitude that we must adopt when investigating phenomena(that can be isolated from a whole and divided into causes and effects) in both the contexts of discovery and the contexts of explanation/justification. Causality can also, contra the view of Hume, be observed as is the case when we observe a builder building a house. This division, however, of psychological wholes into cause and effect may actually be a form of mechanization of the field of investigation that Brett complains is useless. After complaining about Hobbes and his mechanical theories Brett goes on to outline 4 of Aristotle’s metaphysical holistically-oriented assumptions presented in books one and two of De Anima:

“a)That soul is co-extensive with “life”

b)That soul is the actuality of a body furnished with organs

c) That the movements of such a body are to be explained in terms of its soul but that the soul itself is not moved.

d)That there are levels of soul which form a kind of hierarchy, the lower being a necessary condition of the higher, but the higher transforming the lower.”

Psuche is the Greek term discussed here and Brett displays in this discussion a lack of awareness of the hermeneutic difficulties in translating a foreign remote language. In 1943 we find, for example, Martin Heidegger in his lectures on Parmenides, claiming that psuche as a term is untranslatable by just any language. Latin translations of key Greek terms, he argues, have been particularly problematic and hindered serious research for centuries. Brett characteristically transforms this issue into an issue about definitions and writes:

“Aristotle insisted on the widest possible definition of “soul” and returns to the old Pre-Platonic pre-rationalistic view that soul is virtually the principle of all life”

The crucial term in the above quote is the term “principle” and this alone should suffice to reject the idea that Aristotle was merely attempting to define the term psuche. Identifying this term as denoting a principle is an important precursor to using the term in explanations that may or may not be encapsulated in definitions. Brett later retreats somewhat from this position when he claims that the soul is a species of “form” but again insists that Aristotle is attempting to classify the soul. In this discussion, however, he acknowledges the difference between the kind of explanation (involving principles and laws) that explains why physical bodies fall, orbit, etc, and the kind of explanation we require in Psychology:

“We can treat a man as a body and explain his movements in terms of physical laws if all we wish to explain is why he falls to the ground at a certain rate: for in this respect he is no different from a stone. But we distinguish jumping off a cliff “on purpose” from descending on top of a landslide. Jumping is something we do, whereas being swept away by a landslide is something that happens to us. The movements involved in jumping and slipping require a different sort of explanation”

In this specific discussion Brett, however, fails to connect the role of teleological explanation in particular and conceptual explanation in general to the specification of what, as he put it, is done “on purpose”

In relation to Aristotle’s claim “that the soul is the actuality of a body furnished with organs” we find Brett surprisingly evoking the category of substance that he had systematically avoided in his earlier discussion of the qualitative being the primary category of reality. In this context there is reference to the relations between matter and form as well as actuality and potentiality:

“The soul, therefore, must be substance in the second sense of form. It is the form of a natural body which has life in it as a capacity. Such a substance is actuality in the first sense. Body is dunamis or potentiality in relation to this capacity.”

The concept of “final cause” is finally acknowledged as important insofar as its relation to rationality is concerned: reason, it is argued, imposes a formula upon the efficient causes of desiring and wishing. This formula imposes the terms of means and ends as well as areté (doing the right thing in the right way at the right time) upon our desires and wishes. Brett then paradoxically, after having questioned the substantial category of reality and teleological explanations, claims:

“Surely Aristotle here indicated the sorts of concepts which are absolutely indispensable for accounting for anything which we call human action.”

Human action is obviously a rational power or potentiality connected conceptually with many other powers such as perception, memory, imagination, language as well as desire, wish, and reason. Given the interconnection of this schema of “powers”, the futility of a materialistically inclined behavioural account of action can immediately be appreciated. Psuche is a principle that moves the body,  and thought and consciousness is the medium in which such movement is initiated. Psuche also possesses powers or potentialities which are capacities to do certain things and it is absolutely absurd to postulate that capacity is something that can be moved or move. Brett has no difficulty in pointing out this logical objection in relation to capacity but not in relation to Psuche- the principle. Thought is in no sense a spatial entity. It has an essential relation to temporality and insofar as thought can then be said to possess parts, they would have the serial unity similar to that of a number. A thought occurs in a time and comes to rest in that time in accordance with its category and telos. If the thought is a belief it will aim at the truth and if it is an intention it will aim at the good action. The point of origin of such thoughts is in the soul. In a certain sense, the concept of action appears to be logically connected to the reason that regulates the action in relation to the rules of successful performance leading to an end. In other words, action is a value-laden concept in the way in which the concept of behaviour is not. This might account for the fact that it is behaviour and not action the contemporary Psychologist prefers to study: behaviour is easier to isolate as a variable and thus easier to manipulate and measure. The conceptual framework of action and its connection to a matrix of powers or capacities makes this task of observation, isolation, manipulation, and measurement much more difficult, if not impossible.

The conceptual framework of action forces us also to recognize the hylomorphic aspect of Aristotle´s theorising in which both plant-like and animal-like functions contribute to the constitution of the human psuche. These functions will take different forms in different forms of life. The human psuche differentiates itself from other life forms through its possession of the powers or capacities of thought, discourse and reason. The form of life of a human being, therefore, will be very different to that of a higher ape. As we are no doubt aware, modern biology beginning with Darwin refused to acknowledge this significant difference between the higher apes and man that both Aristotle and Christianity insisted upon. In the Aristotelian account, powers build upon powers but the power of discourse accounts for much of the significant difference. This together with the way in which all powers are integrated into the life of man accounts for the superior form of life man leads in comparison with the life of higher apes. These powers, in turn are situated in a wider framework of relations necessary for man to lead the good life. This framework begins with the cosmos and the constitution and connections of the divine heavenly bodies. The cosmos provides the conditions necessary for life of various forms and in particular for its highest human form that constructs city-states in order to lead the good life. The city-state, according to Aristotle organically evolved from the village and the family and the form of its existence is the final litmus test for the good of the individual:

“the life of the individual is the proximate universal by which we judge the standard of conduct or practice in the case of the individual, so the individual’s life is a universal that comprehends many species. The psychological functions embracing as they do the whole individual life are valued according as they further its excellence more or less.”

It is not certain that this paraphrasing of the power of the individual in terms of psychological functions is not essentially going to confuse the issue of what the good life or good city-state are in their essential constitutions. One of these so-called psychological functions is, according to Brett, sensation, which he claims is a discriminative faculty that perceives differences. and there follows a discussion of the subjective/objective distinction that is used throughout this work: a distinction Aristotle would have rejected as theoretically otiose. Aristotle’s account of the senses refers to his matrix of form and matter, and sensation in that context is regarded as a form of knowledge caused to come into existence by the motions that are assimilated by the sense organs and the body. These motions are then transformed by the sense organs into “knowledge” of qualities such as black, white, sweet, sour etc. The “form” of the black object becomes an element of the above knowledge state, received by the eye. The object has the power to influence the sense organ and the sense organ has the power to assimilate the form of the object. The form of the object is assimilated by the organ in “the act of sensation”. Brett then inserts into this discussion the modern idea of consciousness together with his earlier subject/object distinction:

“in all sensation an objective stimulus is the cause of a change which precedes through a medium into consciousness.”

These terms of subject/object and consciousness are not terms we can find in Aristotle’s writings but a stimulus proceeding through a medium into consciousness suggests passivity on the part of the subject rather than an “act”. If this is the case then it would seem to contradict the earlier assertion that psychological theorizing ought to be about what a subject does rather than what happens to him/her. Later, Brett refers to activity on the part of the sense organ but this is activity that is caused to happen by an external cause and may not as a consequence fall into the category of a human psuche causing itself to do things. The major difference between these two types of change is a metaphysical difference between things that cause themselves to do things(activity) and things that cause other things to become active. Even Kantian Philosophy in the context of such discussions claims that all representations in the mind be they intuitive or conceptual, are accompanied by an “I think”–an active process of thought. The experiencing of black, then, could be a passive affair in which the subject passively experiences(senses) blackness or it can be an active intuitive affair in which the blackness is intuited to be spatial, to be out there or enveloping me. The latter involves a cognitive attitude toward the blackness the former does not. This “I think” however should not be confused with the Cartesian Ego that stands in some relation of epistemological certainty to its own thinking and in some kind of opposition to the objects of representation. This Kantian “I think” is, on the contrary, an Aristotelian holistic idea of a continuously enduring Subject brought into existence by an act of generation and destined for ruin and destruction at the end of its life and who during the course of its life actively “reasons” about or “contemplates” true beliefs and good actions.

According to Jonathan Lear in his work “Aristotle; the desire to understand”:

“We are not satisfied to know, for example, that the heavens move in such a way: nor will we be satisfied to know a vast array of such fats about the phenomena. We want to know why the heavens move that way, why the phenomena are as they are. We are after more than knowledge, we are after understanding.”(p6)

Only principles provide us with that understanding and enable us to systematically connect and thereby understand phenomena and the facts about them. Thinking desires both knowledge and understanding and the human begins according to Aristotle, his contemplative life by being in awe of the heavens prior to the search for the principle(s) that explain why they are as they are. The state of awe and wonder subsides when we achieve the kind of understanding provided by explanations of the phenomena in terms of principles. This kind of explanation is, according to Aristotle, possibly more “scientific” then the kind of investigation that dedicates itself to accumulating the “facts” about the heavens. Both kinds of investigation are important but they are to be distinguished: the concepts and methods used in the context of discovery are significantly different (and yet related in some ways) to the concepts and methods that are used in the context of explanation/justification. Reason is obviously involved in both contexts. It is like the light of the fire in the cave and the light of the sun that transforms night into day. For Aristotle, man is the subject of awe and wonder and the claim in the context of explanation that he is the rational animal capable of discourse is an illuminating claim, especially in comparison with the chaos of accounts of man provided for us over the last 150 years since Psychology detached itself from Philosophy in order to make “progress” in the field of the knowledge of man. Brett is a disciple of this “new science” and wishes to place Reason “Inside” of man:

“For Reason is with Aristotle, as with Plato, a light within:it guides the footsteps of man on the daily paths of life, it illuminates the dark places of nature: in it is the birth of art, and it becomes ar last divine and immortal.”

For both Aristotle and his teacher Reason was something that brought light to the world and both would have thought that the attempt to place reason within man, and not in the discourse in the agora, or in the laws of the Callipolis was an unnecessary spatialisation of something that is a potential power that is only actualised under the right circumstances whether that be in the mode of theoretical belief or practical action and whether it be the beliefs and actions of the individual or of institutions such as the judiciary and religious temples. Reason is what we use to achieve a deeper understanding of the world and ourselves, an understanding that is so much more than the accumulation of the totality of facts about the phenomena we are studying. Reason stands mysteriously outside of the “inner”: a term so necessary for the scientist once he divides phenomena into the (inner)subjective and the (outer)objective.

Lear points out in the context of the above discussion that the term epistemé as used by the Greeks transcends the modern subject-object distinction that is so often used in epistemological discussions:

“Aristotle uses epistemé in two ways: first to refer to an organized body of knowledge, like geometry: second to refer to the state of the soul of a person who has learned this body of knowledge.”(p7)

Lear goes on to interestingly argue that the psuche (or soul or mind) is organized by this knowledge to such an extent that we, for example, call someone with knowledge of mathematics , a mathematician not just because they have something “in ” their souls non mathematicians do not have but rather because they are capable of using this power on occasion to help us understand the world through their mathematical proofs and explanations. Epistemé, for Lear, as for Martin Heidegger, is related to Being or Reality in a deeper way than the mere understanding that explanations provide. Reality itself, for Aristotle and Heidegger, reveals itself to those that systematically understand the world that may yet remain a mystery after the Mathematicians explanations come to an end. Heidegger criticizes Aristotle, as Lear does not, for talking about the many meanings of Being but failing to focus on its nature as presented by the idea of Aletheia (unconcealment). Heidegger’s comments may not apply across the board of all of Aristotle’s positions. For Aristotle, it is clear that there is a region of the systematic understanding of the world that is fundamentally reflective, i.e. concerned with the challenge of the Oracle to “know thyself”, something that can only be achieved in the “attempt” to understand understanding. For it can only be an attempt given the fact that for Aristotle, this self-reflective path leads to the first principle of all things, namely God. Our attempt to understand understanding thus is an attempt to understand God. Knowing thyself on the path of such reflection requires acknowledging man’s place in the great chain of Being. Part of this process involves understanding how Plato in particular regarded the Polis as related to the revelation of man’s nature and the unconcealment of Being(Aletheia). The Callipolis for Plato was literally a divine construction built with the divine part of ourselves that enlightened the Cosmos like a sun. Kant too saw the connection of the actualisation of (divine?) Reason in man in a vision of a Cosmopolitan world some hundred thousand years in the future: a world in which cosmopolitan men roam the earth and wars are a thing of the past. The period of one hundred thousand years rests upon an analysis of man himself that observes that man is only potentially and not actually rational and therefore although he needs a master cannot tolerate having an actual master deciding his fate. Kant then reflects upon the necessity for a universal philosophical education that will transcend this master-slave conception by making man a master of himself.

Brett’s scientific psychological account, having placed reason inside man, continues with the following reflection:

“The rational creature is conscious of the principle as well as of the impulse, and so becomes the subject of voluntary as well as of impulsive actions…there are in him the desires of the beast united with a reason that is godlike: in the relation of these two are contained the problems of the psychology of conduct.”

Lurking in the background of these reflections is, of course, the desire to isolate variables and connect causes and effects whether it be in the arena of impulse and the emotions or the arena of what he calls “conduct”.

Emotions obviously play an important role in man’s existence both for reasons of survival and for the achievement of what Psychologists call “the quality of life” which in their eyes can be achieved by the scientific regulation of pleasures and pains. Brett, in this context, refers not to action but pure movement and claims that sense images are exciting causes. The imagination is as a consequence of its role in the conjuring up of sense images in their absence, evoked in desire and anger to the specific exclusion of thought and reason:

“Desire has an emotional quality because it begins in the pain of want and ends in the pleasure of satisfaction. Anger, fear, and courage are types of feelings which are allied to Temper or the spirit of resistance: anger arises from the sense of wrong and seeks after revenge: fear is consciousness of danger with prospect of ultimate disaster: while courage is the consciousness of danger accompanied by assurance of successful resistance. The remainder come under the general heading of Wish, and are attitudes of mind accompanied by imaginations of good or evil whether for oneself or for others. As wish is concerned with good and evil, the presence of the images of good and evil in each of these states justifies their position under this head.”

It appears from the above quote that, at least insofar as The Wish is concerned thought in some form(“imaginations of good and evil for oneself or others”) must be involved and this in turn surely means that the wish is amenable to the influence of reason. It should also, however, be recalled that the emotions in general, can also be pathological states and processes requiring “cathartic” treatments. The emotions of Pity and Fear, for Aristotle, were not necessarily pathological formations but they also required what amounts to (almost) medical intervention by poets using literary techniques(processes of thought) for their catharsis. The exclusion of thought to the benefit of imagination by Brett does not quite fit the phenomena we are confronted with in this field of inquiry.

Mental illness obviously interferes with both our sense of reality and our attempts to lead successful virtuous lives. Excessive fear and insufficient courage, if part of our characters, may be pathological conditions requiring education and sometimes therapy. Such therapy follows the principle outlined in the Greek oracular pronouncement “Nothing too much” and also the Aristotelian Principle of the golden mean. The imagination obviously plays a part in the formation of pathological states which are the results of sensory images and processes and not reason. Psychoanalysis attempts to use reason technically to bring about a therapy that enables patients to, if not understand themselves, at least accumulate facts about themselves of which they were perhaps unaware. Brett does not, however, mention Psychoanalysis in this context in spite of its obvious relevance. He continues instead to speak of conation, a notion which for him is related to behaviour or pure movement in a way which is difficult to understand:

“At its lowest level, conation is the immediate impulse to pursue or avoid. When this impulse is subjected to deliberation it is raised to the level of choice: for choice is rationalized impulse or conation based on rational deliberation. Thus a movement must be the outcome of two distinct processes according as the ultimate imagination which gives a picture of the end is the result of sense processes or of reasoning.”

The idea of freedom and someone being set free by rational deliberation obviously arises in relation to the above reflection but the insertion of the “picture of the end” may be a mischaracterization of the very universal thought about the end. This “picture theory” of psychological reflection takes us in the opposite direction to that of the required search for universal principles of action and emotion.

In the above quote it is a relatively simple matter to discern that he has divided the whole of action-in- a- context into the parts of cause and effect whether it be the division of impulsive movement, sense images, and imagination or the division of conduct into the elements of reason and imagination. Such division is obviously dictated by scientific method which demands the identification of independent and dependent variables. It is this kind of illegitimate division of a holistic complex of parts that also then demands a further division into what is subjective and what is objective. Both kinds of division would have been rejected by Aristotle in the context of practical action and practical reasoning about that action. The example we find Aristotle using in this context is that of a builder building a house, an activity that looks on the face of it as if it can be divided into two, namely the activity of the building and the completed product of the house. Aristotle also discusses another two activities, those of a doctor treating his patient and a teacher teaching his students and here it is perhaps not so easy to conceive of creative artistic activity and a completed “product”. One thing is absolutely certain and that is that in his descriptions and explanations of these three activities we encounter no attempt to isolate the holistic complexes of the builder building, the doctor doctoring, and the teacher teaching into independent and independent variables.

It is rather the form or principle of the change from, for example, there being an empty plot of land to there appearing a house built upon the land that Aristotle focuses upon. He reflects upon materialistic explanations that relate only to the material used in this process of change and comments that following the journey of the materials from the quarries and the woods to their manipulation by the builder(efficient cause) to the final finished product will never fully explain the change we have witnessed. For that, he argues, we would need to understand how the psuche is endowed with knowledge of the principles involved in building the house: for this understanding, we need to resort to explaining how the formal and final causes interacted with the material and efficient causes. The name for the knowledge that the builder has is techne(an instrumental form of knowing which utilizes tools in a context of equipmental involvements) but it is not certain that this “artistic” knowledge suffices for the theoretical knowledge the doctor and teacher require for the exercise of their professions. In these two situations, we may need to refer to epistemé. In the case of the doctor the telos or final cause is the health of the body of the patient and in the case of the teacher, for Aristotle, it is the health of the student’s soul that is at stake. In the latter case, we are definitely dealing with epistemé because at the end of the teaching the student must grasp the principles that are being taught, be they scientific, mathematical or philosophical. In this latter case the metaphors of “material” and shaping” are strained but we do say that we are forming these young minds if we are teachers.

It should not be forgotten that abstract and concrete forms are being transmitted in the polis. For the benefit of the polis the light of these forms enlightens the dark aspects of the polis as Plato’s sun enlightens the darkness of the Cosmos. Besides the transmission of concrete forms such as buildings(so important to the polis), built by citizens for citizens and the abstract forms of epistemé there is a third realm of forms whose transmission is vital to the polis, namely that which is produced as the consequence of sexual reproduction, namely children. Children will ensure the continuity of building, doctoring teaching and governing and thereby if this is done virtuously (in the name of aretè) hopefully ensure the continued existence of the polis.

Having divided action and conduct into parts we then see the consequence of such division for ethical understanding. Brett claims the following:

“..desire and wish and will are all harmonious in the complete character. This, as an ethical ideal, implies that the true good and the object of all from the psychological standpoint, the goodness and badness of the end, is not of primary importance. The question that belongs to Psychology is that of unity or coordination of impulses, not the question of the rightness of intention.”

So, we see the intentional ends of the house, the welfare of the patient, and the successful education of the student are not of primary importance for Brett as they are for Aristotle. This is an astonishing conclusion and appears to leave the realm of practical and theoretical reasoning curiously determined by hypothetical considerations. This we must point out is entirely inconsistent with the Aristotelian position. Brett continues his tactic of division and divides particular action from any universal to which it might belong and he ominously further claims that only rarely does the means and the ends of action form what he calls an “ideal unity” What does he mean here? That houses are not successfully built, patients only rarely cured and that teaching only rarely results in learning? This, of course, would seem to follow if intentions are merely subjective and the pure physically described movements what is truly objective. This is not, however in accordance with the logic or metaphysics of Aristotle who regarded intentions as the embodiments of the forms or principles of house building, health after treatment, and knowledge and wisdom imparted by teaching.

Our world is a world composed of principles and not the totality of facts or variables of the scientist.