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Exoterikoi Logoi and Enkyklioi Logoi in the Corpus Aristotelicum and the Origin of the Idea

Exoterikoi Logoi and Enkyklioi Logoi in the Corpus Aristotelicum and the Origin of the Idea of the Enkyklios Paideia Author(s): A. P. Bos Reviewed work(s):

Source: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 50, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1989), pp. 179-198 Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

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BYA. P. Bos

Let us

beginby considering the modemdebateon the interpretations

replacement of the philosophy of


published worksbut

Aristotle put

andin lectureson subjects dealtwith in



could easily refer to these publications.

tried to identify one of Aristotle'slost

of the referencesin the Corpus Aristotelicum.From hypotheses that I have developed elsewhere,1it followsthat the Corpus Aristotelicumwas

meantnot as a

as a counterpart and supplement.According to this view,

forwardthe sametheoriesand explanations in differentformsin his oral

tuitionand his publishedwork;

his earlier

When ancientcommentatorsconsideredAristotle'sreferencesto other

discussions,they almost always

writings as theirsource.In our time,however, a heateddebatehasflared

up over the meaning of the references.

In 1863Jacob Bernays wroteone of the firstdetailedstudieson the referencesin the Corpus Aristotelicum.2In his footsteps Werner Jaeger madean extensive analysis of the problem of the exoterikoi logoi,noting

regarded as a work by Eudemus


to exoterikoi logoi as a referenceto specific workswritten by a different

Rhodesandnot by Aristotle, it wasdifficultto interpret its references

that, whiletheEudemianEthicswasstill


Ethics as an authenticAristotelian writing had removedthat obstacle, and he thus concluded"that the exotericdiscussionsweredefinitewrit-


of the referenceshad been

the earliest period,

afterhis breakwith Plato's theory, whenit became necessarycompletely

to rewriteall the main branchesof philosophy, he took from his

compositions whateverhe could still use and constructedthe new with

the help

andin factthe literary worksof Aristotle."4For Jaeger the problem

author,i.e., Aristotle.3 Jaeger's own staunchdefenseof the

solved conclusively. "In


of theold

Lateron he discoveredmoreserious consequences

Cf. A. P. Bos, "The relation between Aristotle's lost writings and the surviving

Aristotelian Corpus," Philosophia Reformata, 52 (1987), 24-40, and "A 'dreaming Kronos' in a lost work by Aristotle," L 'antiquiteclassique, 58 (forthcoming, 1989). 2 J. Bernays, Die Dialoge des Aristotelesin ihrem Verhiltniss zu seinen iibrigen Werken (Berlin, 1863). In passing I would like to refer to the interesting article by M. G. Wilmott

"Aristoteles exotericus, acroamaticus,

1 (1985), 67-95, treating the Renaissance discussion.

mysticus," Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres,

W. Jaeger, "The Eudemian Ethics and the problem of the exoteric discussions," Aristotle (Oxford, 1948), 246-58.


4 Op. cit., 247.






in his new

ideas. They led him fartherandfarther away fromthe old."5

It is clear that this view is dominated by Jaeger'sdevelopmental con-

ception of Aristotle'swork. Withoutin any way aiming at completeness, we note support for the

views of Bernays and Jaeger in the writings of H. Bonitz, P. Moraux,

R. A. Gauthier, and J. Y. Jolif, D. J. Allan, W. K. C. Guthrie, and H.

Flashar.6P. Moraux, who holds that the referencesto exoterikoi logoi are best regarded as citationsof a singlewriting,7 takesthe term "exo- teric"to mean "superficial, not trulyscientific,dialectical," even though the contentof the workin question was not withoutvalue.8

A quite differentvariantof this approach was defendedin 1958 by

W. Wieland.Thisauthor interprets thetermexoterikoi logoi as a reference

to specificwritingsresulting fromAristotle'sworkas a teacherof rhetoric during his firstAthenian period. "Exot. logoi wire dannfur Aristoteles das, was in den Bereichder nichtphilosophischenLehrtatigkeit fiel."9 Among those who do not agree that the Corpus refersto already existingwritingsbyAristotle, thefamousGermanscholarHermannDiels

postulates that all passagescontaining the expression exoterikoi logoi require anidentical explanation.10 Theentire theory of Bernays and Jaeger breaksdown on this requirement,according to Diels, since in Physics

4.10 no referenceto Aristotle's dialogues can be assumed.It is out of

the question,moreover, thatthe passages in the Eudemian Ethics, which Diels holds to be a work by Eudemusof Rhodes, could referto Aris-

totelian writings.11According to Diels, "soll mandie exoterikoi logoi als

ta exothen legomena auffassenund darunterdie

peripatetischenSchule, sondernsonst z.B. in der Akademie iiblichen,

nicht innerhalbder

aber auch bei ilteren, sei es Philosophen oder Laien


5 Op.cit., 258.

6H. Bonitz, Index Aristotelicus (Berlin, 1870), 104b56. P. Moraux, Les Listes an- ciennes des ouvrages d'Aristote (Louvain, 1951), 167-72; A la Recherche de 1'Aristote perdu (Louvain, 1957), 7ff.; Der Aristotelismusbei den Griechen (Berlin, 1973), I, 6 n.

10. R. A. Gauthier and J. Y. Jolif, Aristote, L 'Ethique a Nicomaque (Paris, 1958), I, 36ff. (19702), 63ff. D. J. Allan, The philosophyof Aristotle (London, 1970), 6. W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek philosophy (Cambridge, 1981), VI, 54. H. Flashar, "Aris-

toteles" in Fr. Uberweg, (ed.), Grundrissder Geschichteder Philosophie (Basel,

III, 180-81.

7 P. Moraux, op. cit. (1957), 8, 52-53. 8 P. Moraux, op. cit., 20 f., inferring this from Eudemian Ethics 1.8 1217b20-23 and Politics 1.5 1254a33.

9 W. Wieland, "Aristoteles als Rhetoriker und die exoterischen Schriften," Hermes, 86 (1958), esp. 337-38. O1 H. Diels, "Uber die exoterischen Reden des Aristoteles," Sitzungsberichte der Ber- liner Akademie der Wissenschaften(1883), 477-94. " Loc. cit., 481 and 491.




Er6rterungen verstehen."12Thisviewis shared by W. D. Ross, I. During, and F. Dirlmeier.13 Is a new approach to the problempossible? I note that, at first sight

and taken by referring to

personalappearance in his publisheddialogues as the spokesman of his

completely normaland

own views, the

meaningful. Problemsarise only when, on the basisof a certainrecon-



and "later superseded." A problem also arisesif one followsthe ancient


conclusion,however, thatit cannot

be true in

merelypopular.My inquiry

must haveconducteda profound and scientific philosophical discussion

withPlatoandthatthereis no

or more popular (in intention)than, for instance, Plato'sStatesmanor

reasonfor calling this workless profound

establishesin particular that the Eudemus

themselves, the passages concerned give the impression of

if Aristotle made a

specific, familiar writings.Certainly,

citationof these writings seems

the development of Aristotle's thought, the philosophical

of the published worksis characterizedas "Platonic,""early,"

characterizing the dialogues as merely"introductory"

or "popularizing." I havecometo the


that Aristotle's

published work was "Platonic," or


The question now is whetherthis new


of view can also offera

different approach to the old

Aristotelicum.If we want to find out whetherAristotleused the terms

exoterikoi logoi and enkyklioilogoiindiscriminately or usedthemto refer to different categories of writings, we shall have to recall that it was

Aristotlewho introducedas a special new

problem of the referencesin the Corpus


the doctrineof the

enkyklionsoma, the fifth element,

which is characterized by enkyklios

phoraor enkyklios kinesis.Aristotle also, like his greatmaster, refersa

few times to ta exo tou ouranouas that which transcendsthe reality of Physis and belongs to a radically differentorder.

philosophical role of the term ta

I would now like to considerthe


De caelo 1.9.Thetextin thePhaedrusforms part of the greatmyth about the journey of the souls to the summitof the celestial region. First we

are told aboutthe visions and journeys(diexodoi) which the heavenly


guidedby their great leader Zeus, accomplish withinthe celestial

exoin Platoand Aristotle,specifically in

vault, and then aboutthe times when the

which they ascendto the pinnacle of the celestialroof. Once they have

gods go to their banquet, for

arrived there,theygo outsideandstandon the backof the celestialvault

2Loc. cit., 481.

13 W. D. Ross, Aristotle's Metaphysics(Oxford, 1924), II, 408-10; Aristotle's Physics (Oxford, 1936), 595. I. During, Aristotle in the ancient biographical tradition (G6teborg, 1957), 425 ff. F. Dirlmeier, Aristoteles, Nikomachische Ethik (Darmstadt, 1956), 272-




to contemplate the "extra-celestial region." Fromthis supremely elevated positionthey contemplatebeing and true reality, which is the object of true science.14Of the souls in the retinueof the gods, the most perfect succeedin reachingup to the extra-celestial region with their intellect,15 whilethe othersareless or not at all successful.But for the perfect souls this experience is equivalent to initiationin the perfectmysteries. In this mythical text Plato again makesit clear that the acquisition of perfect theoriais a superhuman, divineidealwhichcan only beachieved by man when he has transcendedhis earthly and mortalconditionand has becomelike celestial beings. This ideal is set beforeman in a phil-

osophicalmyth,metaphorbeing the most adequateway of talking about ta exo. It is quite reasonableto see the ascentdescribed by the myth as a pattern of cognitive levelsas well, in the sensethatPlato too, in talking aboutthe diexodoiof the gods, subordinatedthe study of intra-physical reality to the knowledge of the supra-physicalworld, indicatedas the knowledge of the Ideasand the absoluteSource.

In his treatiseDe caelo,

Aristotle, after arguing that the ouranosis

one and perfect, statesthat what is outsideheavencannotbe

in termsof "location"or "emptyspace" or "time"; for no soma can existoutsideheaven.16 Nevertheless, he does postulate the reality of t 'akei

and of ta hyper ten exotato tetagmenaphoran.?7

spoken of

At this very point, wherethe readerof the De caelo would like to

hear more aboutthe conditionof such divine beings who continuously

leadthe most


this supremereality, the fact remainsthat he assigns to it the highest place in his system and also holdsit to be relatedto the highest level of

knowledge. For the knowledgepossessedby the transcendent god is a knowledge not of the formsin theircombinationwith matterbut of the pure forms.And his cognitivefaculty is not a nousboundto a psychikon soma as possessedby the visible gods but a pure and free nous. The

structuralreason why it is

the supremedeity is perhapsthat, according to Aristotle,only

perfect andmost self-sufficient life, Aristotle emphatically enlarging on the subject. But though he says little about

not possible to speak or speakfittingly about


14 Plato,



Ibid., 248a1-2.


6Arist., De caelo, 1.9 279all: oude topos oude kenon oude chronos estin exo tou

exo de tou ouranou dedeiktai hoti out' estin out' endechetai genesthai soma.

For this notion of to exo, cf. also Physics 3.4 203a7-8: 6 206b23; De caelo, 1.7 275b8; b9;



278b24; 25; 33; 35; 279a6. Cf. also Philo, De aeternitate mundi, 5.20-24 = Aristotle,

De philosophia fr. 19a (Ross). It is still used in this sense by Plotinus, Enneads, 5 (10)


17 Ibid., 279a18-20. Cf. F. Solmsen. "Beyond the heavens," Museum Helveticum, 33 (1976), 24-32, who rightly observes: "that Aristotle should have conceived these ideas about t 'akei independently of the "Phaedrus" is very hard to believe."



who have deposed

contactwith the

the obstructionof perishability can actually make

thought of the trulyfree,sovereign Nous.'1


pursuing our


inquiry into appearances of the termexoterikoi

logoi in the period after Aristotle, let us notethatAristotleusesthe term

exoterikoi logoi as a termwhich is clearand familiarto his audienceor

no explanation of it, andthatthe termesoterikoi

logoi does not occurin his work. Attempts to explain the termexoterikoi

readers, butthathe

logoi arenotfoundin the period beforeAndronicus'seditionof the


Aristotelicumbecame available, andthereis no evidencethat scholarsat thattimewerein a better position to explain the termthanwe are today.

In assessing their testimonies, we shallhaveto considerthe

explanations of the


that their

Aristotle's philosophicalheritageresulting froma change in the view of

what constitutes"true, serious

istotle's publishedworks, like thatof PlatoandHeraclides Ponticus, had


possible after the rediscovery of

writings as the expression of Aristotle's true, serious philosophy, even if

Aristotlehimselfhad not consideredthis philosophy to be moreserious and more relevantthan that of his published works.For Aristotle may haveheld that whatcame "after physics" had to be of a differentorder from discursive,apodeicticreasoning. The absenceof a mythicalper-


Aristotlethe statusof a "modern"and serious philosopher on the basis

of these treatisesin an age that had come to make other demandson philosophy than Aristotlehimselfhad done.

The Hellenistic interpretations of the termexoterikoi logoi, as a ref- erenceto Aristotelian writings, were systematically collocated by I. Diir- ing in his study on Aristotleand the biographical tradition.20In his list

of relevanttexts,


Eudemusof Rhodesin his commentary on Aristotle's Physics as referring

to an exoterike aporia. Eudemusis reported to havesaidthat a

about the Eleaticview of naturedealt with by was exoteric because,according to Simplicius, it

to the fieldof dialectics.21 During remarks: "Again we findthatexoteric

termwereinfluenced by the revaluationof

philosophy."'9 If the philosophy of Ar-

employing a superhumanmythicalperspective, it was

the Corpus Aristotelicumto see these

in the

treatises,however,may make it possible

to claim for


also mentionsthe fact that


Aristotlein Physics 1.2

belonged more properly

=(roughly speaking) 'popular' as opposed to 'scientific,' "22 And he

247c: oute tis hymnese po

ton teide poietes, which no doubt must be taken to refer to the human, mortal condition, comparable with that of bats existing in the darkness of "visible" reality. Cf. F. Solmsen,

loc. cit., 24 n. 1. '9 See Bos, "The Relation between Aristotle's Lost Writings

18 This already seems to be indicated in Plato's Phaedrus,



201. During,


op. cit., 426-43.

Simplicius, In Aristotelis Physicorum libroscommentaria (C.I.A.G., 9; Berlin, 1882),

83.27, 85.26 and 86.1 =

Eudemus of Rhodes, ed. F. Wehrli (Basle, 1969), fr. 36.

22 I. During, op. cit., 440.



is probablyright, asfarasthe meaning concernedis

gave to the term exoterikos.23

But the crucial question is whetherEudemusof Rhodeshadthe same


literally, andit appears therethat Eudemusdid not say "exotericto the

argument at hand" but "This question containsan exoteric

It is Simplicius who combinesthe

and Eudemus'sremarkthat

wordsused by Aristotlein Physics1.2,

"perhaps not relevantto our argument,"

"this question containsan exoteric

thatwhich Simplicius


in mind. For slightly furtheron



aporia" into the phrase, "a problem

exotericto the argument at hand."WhatEudemus may have meantto say was that the matter broughtup by Aristotlehere is an "exoteric"

problem in the sensethat it

enquiry whichdiscussesat a fundamentallevel the possible existenceof

an Eleatic Being and in general the existenceof ungenerated and mo-

tionless beings. In the De caelo,too, Aristotle says that such a question

does not belong to physics but ratherto "anotherand higherenquiry

than physics."25 It is the question of whether non-physicalbeingsexist, such as the Eleatic Being, the Platonic Ideas, or the AristotelianPrime


does not belong to physics but to a different

It is remarkablethat the earliestreferenceto exoterikoi logoi occurs

in one of Cicero'slettersto Atticus. In it Cicerostateshis intentionof

adding new and separate introductionsto the variousbooks of his Re-

public, "ut Aristoteles


iis quos exoterikous vocat."26In the context it

is clear that Cicero is talking about Aristotelianworks which we no



yearslater, in his Definibus,

Cicero againbringsup theexoterikoi

logoi. In a speech


andethics.He goes on to statethattwo kindsof bookshavebeenwritten

also called "ex-

oterical," the other

why Aristotleand Theophrastus sometimesseem to have defendeddif-


aboutthe Peripatetic school Piso first argues that the



in this traditionconsistedof three

one writtenin a

"On the highestgood,"

in the form of treatisesand more refined.27This is

A striking detailin this passage is the fact that Cicerocharacterizes

the treatisesas limatius scriptum, "writtenwith more care and refine-

23 During also refers to Simplicius, In Physica, 695.28, where Simplicius explains "exoteric" with the words: ta koina kai di endoxon perainomena. Cf. also Simplicius, In



24 Ibid., 85.26: echei de auto touto aporian exoteriken.

25 Aristotle, De caelo, 3.1 (298b12-20).

26 Cicero, Epistola ad Atticum, 4.16.2. During, op. cit., 426, dates this letter 54 BC.

27 Cicero, Definibus, 5.5.12: "De summo autem bono quia duo genera librorum sunt, unum populariter scriptum quod exoterikon appellabant, alterum limatius quod in com- mentariis reliquerunt."



ment." For it is precisely the few literal fragments of Aristotle's dialogues that give the impression of being written with more literary care than the treatises. We should not make the error of believing that Cicero's judgment is based on his own comparison of Aristotelian writings from both categories, for he is here merely reporting an account by Antiochus of Ascalon. The latter appears to have known that Aristotle refers a few times to his exoterikoi logoi in connection with a discussion of the Good. He may well have inferred this from a passage in the Eudemian Ethics (1.8 1217b16-23), for there Aristotle claims to have talked about the theory of Ideas, including the Idea of the Good, both "in the exoterikoi logoi and in the logoi kata philosophian." We may assume that Antiochus,

like many moder

his published writings on the one hand and to his treatises on the other.28

But, as we shall later establish, there is no good reason for taking the logoi kata philosophian to refer to the unpublished treatises. Besides, precisely the context of Eudemian Ethics 1.8 indicates that Aristotle does

not consider the theory of Ideas a subject amenableto a

Rather, since it is a non-physical subject, it requires a more abstract and

strictly logical discussion. Other authors who may be mentioned in this short survey of ancient interpretationsconcerning the meaning of exoterikoi logoi include Strabo, Plutarch, Aulus Gellius, and the other authors mentioned by During.29 According to During, however, none of these writers offers information that is unquestionablyindependent of the Introduction which Andronicus of Rhodes wrote to his edition of the Corpus Aristotelicum.And we might surmise that one of the main aims of that Introduction was to promote Andronicus's edition as the only scientific edition of Aristotle's serious work.

interpreters, held that Aristotle was thus referring to

popular treatment.

At the beginning of his commentary on the Categoriae, the Neopla- tonic commentator on Aristotle's work, Ammonius, discusses the division of Aristotle's writings.30 After distinguishing between "dialogic" works and works written from Aristotle's own point of view (autoprosopa), he continues:

The dialogicwritings arealsocalled "exoteric," the writings fromhis own

of view "doctrinaldiscourses"or "lectures."It needsto be investigatedwhy

they are so called. Some say that the

develops the

subjects underdiscussion by

becausein themhe doesnot advancehis own views, but as it were



were also called "exoteric"

proceeding from [the viewpointsof] other people.

But this view is incorrect.For they were called "exoteric"because they were

28 Cf. I. During, op. cit., 427-28.

29 See I. During, op. cit., 428ff.

30 Ammonius, In Aristotelis Categorias commentaria (C.I.A.G., 4.4: Berlin, 1895), 3.20





written for

philosopher aimedat comprehensiblelanguage andnot at conclusive arguments,

proceeding on the basis

the seriousand so that they

wouldbe followed by the seriousand whollygenuine loverof philosophy.31

During notes that the view rejected here by Ammonius seems to have been defended by Alexander of Aphrodisias in his lost commentary on the De anima. Ammonius himself opted for the explanation put forward by Andronicus, who posited a difference in depth and stylistic refine-


The starting-point of Ammonius's text is of course sound, namely, that Aristotle's dialogic works contained large portions of text which do not represent his own views. But it is going too far to conclude that Aristotle's own views were altogetherlacking in these dialogues. In Plato's dialogues, too, it is sometimes difficult to determine which point of view Plato would be prepared to defend, but we do know that Socrates is more likely to be the mouthpiece of his views than Protagoras and Kallimachos. In addition we know that Aristotle also wrote dialogues in which he personally takes part in the discussion, sometimes even as its leader.33It is really too elaborate to assume that he did not speak for himself there either. We must again bear the possibility in mind that such an idea was a result of Andronicus's prevailing wish to present his edition as the rediscovery of Aristotle's true philosophy.

his "lectures"so that they wouldbe followed


with only limited powers of comprehension, so that the


generallyacceptedopinions;by contrast, he wrote


We would now like to show how various elements from the tradition

can be combined in an entirely new interpretation. Since the


of the term "exoteric" do not appear until after Andronicus's edition, it is legitimate to assume that they were attempts to solve the problem of the references in the Corpus with no more information than is now available to us. On the basis of the subjects dealt with in the exoterikoi logoi, which, as we shall see more clearly in the next section, included Plato's doctrine of Ideas and the debate over the Idea of the Good, we

seem justified in considering that "exoteric" was understood by Aristotle as "pertaining to the realities lying outside Physis." That is to say, in these works Aristotle discussed the subjects which, according to his own philosophy of science, were not susceptible to treatment in a discursive, conclusive argumentation. For argumentation or proof is possible only on the basis of acceptance of the starting-points (archai). Thus, while the matters belonging to Physis and to the realm of common human experience can be discussed scientifically and with re- course to argumentation, a fundamentally different method is required

3' Ibid., 4.18-27 =

I. During, op. cit., 437.

32 I. During,

loc. cit.

33 See Cicero, Epistola ad Atticum, 13, 19, 4.



to discussthatwhichtranscendsthem.The onlypossibility is to


positions and test their value by showing the

Therecan in fact be no better

form for the debatewith the Eleaticsand Plato and his school than a dialecticaldiscourseor dialogue. Characteristicof the conflictbetween


various consequences for

interpretation of experientialreality.


views is that

argumentation does play a role

as a

assumed it is im-

in it but only as a "retrospectiveargumentation" of positions

prior to the argument. Such a discussion,however, in which


is not "unscientific," but actuallyprovides a basisfor science.The fact

that Aristotle alwaysqualifiesphysics


the science of principles. It becomesclear to Aristotlethat "science"

"secondary" science implies

possible to proveconclusively that one is right andthe

reliability of physics is anchoredina higherscience,

consistsof two

sumption of

components:strictlylogical argumentation and the as-

practice of the rhetorician, it

starting-points which cannotthemselvesbe demonstrated.

inquiry basedon "acceptedopin-

Thus the "dialectical"methodof

ions" (endoxa) is not only relevantfor the

is alsothe only methodwhichcanbe usedat the highest levelof scientific

research, for the scienceskata philosophian.34 To this extentthe content

of the Topics is not without importance for Aristotle's theory of science,


workis more important than the Analytics.


of viewit

is quitepossible to argue thatthis

To test the validity of our hypothesis, we shall have to check the

varioustextsrelevantto this discussionandto

that weredealtwith in the writings referredto in the

inquire aboutthe subjects


In the NicomacheanEthics1.3 1096a3, in a discussionof the familiar

triadof lifestyles, Aristotleconfineshimselfto a very concise

so concise, in fact, that the exact intentionsof the authorcannothave

this text by itself.After

brieflycharacterizing the first two ways of life, Aristotlebreaksoff his summary with the words: "Enough of this now. For this has been dis-

cussedat sufficient length in

The third type of life, he

which enkyklios seemsrelatedto

a kind of writing. After discussing the substancesreferredto as exo tou

whatfollows.De caelo


beenunderstoodon a first reading or hearing of

hoi enkyklioi[logoi] [or in ta enkyklia]. "35

says, will be discussedin

1.9 279a30is the

only other passage in

ouranouand hyper ten exotato phoran, Aristotle observes,"So too, in

34 See Topics, 1.2 (101a25-b4).

35 Cf. J. Burnet, The Ethics of Aristotle (London, 1900), "in every-day discussions or writings"; E. Rolfes, Aristoteles, Nikomachische Ethik, (Leipzig, 1921), "in den ency- clischen Schriften"; W. D. Ross, TheNicomacheanEthics (Oxford, 1925) "in the popular discussions"; F. Dirlmeier, op. cit., "in den Schriften fir weitere Kreise"; R. A. Gauthier and J. Y. Jolif, op. cit., "dans un livre qui est entre toutes les mains," with the explanation, "c'est-a-dire dans le Protreptique"; H. G. Apostle, The Nicomachean Ethics (Dordrecht, 1975): "it has been sufficiently treated in periodicals" (sic!).




the discussions concerning the divine beings, the

oftenshowedthatwhateveris primary and supremelydivine, is



unchangeable. "36

Given the currentsituationin the scholarlydebate, we do well to

emphasize that it is probablyimpossible to ascertainwhat Aristotleex-

actly meant by the above expressions, but reconsiderationof all

of the problemmay help


considerationsthan those which the text itself raises.

Duly recognizing,therefore, the obstacleswhich confrontus on this


us to see how certain

explanations of the text

inspiredby other

on choicesmade by the interpreter, choices


Aristotle discussed subjects like those referredto in N.E. 1.3 and De

caelo 1.9in writings whichhe releasedfor publication, it is legitimate to assumethatthesereferencesareto writingsby Aristotlehimselfandnot to unwritten public discussions.These Aristotelian writings must have


andso these problems do not haveto be treated exhaustivelyby Aristotle

in N.E. 1.3andDe


De caelo 1.9 werethe finalresult.It is remarkable that, while Aristotle

statesthat hoi enkyklioi discussedin sufficientdetailthe life dominated

by pleasure andthe life in whichsocial

he gives the impression of being unableto referto hoi enkyklioi for an

extensivetreatmentof the theoreticallife. As we shall see, the Nicoma-

cheanEthicsalso referstwice to hoi exoterikoi logoi. These are said to havedealtwith the distinctionbetweenan irrationaland a rational part

of the soul and with the distinctionbetween poiesis and

this suggests that exoterikoi logoi shouldnot be takento meanthe same

as enkyklioilogoi. Aristotleseemsto havebeenthe firstto use the term

enkyklios in

writings, buthe provides no further

explanation of it. We noted that the word enkyklios was also used

Aristotlein relationto the circularmotionof the fifth element,i.e., in

relationto a

foundin the Corpus in connectionwith the dutiescarriedout by slaves

(ta enkykliadiakonemata), with "everydaylife,"andwith certain (per- iodical?) taxesor obligations.38 Now we shallhaveto bearin mindherethatin Greeka logosphysikos

specific Aristoteliandoctrine.37The term is further

we can make a numberof observations.Becausewe know that

problemsextensively and

through a variety of arguments,

caelo 1.9.Aristotle presupposesfamiliarity withthese

those who attendedhis lectures, of whichN.E. 1.3 and

standing formsthe highestgoal,


In itself

relationto discoursesor



36 W. K. C. Guthrie, Aristotle,On the Heavens (London, 1939): "In the more popular philosophical works," with the explanation: "The evidence of Simplicius seems conclusive for identifying the enkykliaphilosophemata, like the exoterikoi logoi, with Aristotle's own published works. He refers to the dialogue Peri philosophias by name for the present passage." 37Cf. De caelo, 2.3 (286al 1;b6); 8 (290a2); 2.12 (293a 1 ); 14 (296a35); Meteorologica,

1.3 (339a4) (Ideler); 1.4 (341b14); 7 (344a9); 1.2 (339a12).


Cf. Politics, 1.7 (1255b25); 2.5 (1263a21); 2.9 (1269b35); Oeconomica, 2.5 (1346a8).



is not a

with a moral

content. We have to

meaneither logoi which are enkyklioi themselvesor logoiconcerning ta enkyklia. This distinction,however, leaves scope for severalvariants. ( 1 ) Logoi whichare enkyklioi themselves.In that case enkyklios will haveto mean "in circulation," whether (la) in circulationin an intimate circle,i.e, of the membersof the school community, or (lb) in circulationin a wider

circle,i.e., availablefor the entire readingpublic.(2) Logoiconcerning

ta enkyklia, whether (2a) logoiconcerninggeneral,non-specialistsubjects,

(2b) logoiconcerning the substanceswhichmovein a circularorbit (that


in it), (2c) logoiconcerning all thatis subject to cyclicalprocesses(either

of movement, or of generation and dissolution), or (2d) logoiconcerning all that is enclosedwithinthe circleof the furthestcelestial sphere, that is to say, concerning the entirerealmof Physis and human experience.

"physicallogos" but a "logosconcerningphysics."Similarly, a

logosethikosis not a logos qualified as moralbut a logos

consider,therefore, that hoi enkyklioilogoi may

concerning the fifth elementand all that consistsof it or participates


following commentsonthe possibilities summed up above:

interpretation has neverbeen considered.

(la) As far as we know this

"Logoi in circulation"will in fact have to be takenin sense (lb). That

would carry the connotationof "addressedand availableto a wide

public," alsoin the senseof "popularizing,""popular"; but therewould

be no meaningful contrastwith exoterikoi logoi. The

in (2a) "logoiconcerninggeneral,non-specialistsubjects,"might

sideredfor the

caelo 1.9, andtherewouldbe no clearcontrastwith exoterikoi logoi. On the other hand,(2b) "logoiconcerning the substanceswhich move in a circularorbit"couldbe consideredfor De caelo 1.9 but is less probable inN.E. 1.3. (2c) wouldcontrastthe eternal, immutable supralunary realm

and the sublunaryregion of generation and dissolutionwith that which

transcendsNatureand is not

term enkyklioswould not in itself be

in clear contrastwith exoterikos.

Such a contrast would, however, be present in sense (2d), if we are to

interpret the "logoiconcerning ta enkyklia" as "logoiconcerning all that is enclosedwithinthe circleof the furthestcelestial sphere."(By analogy

exoterikoi logoi could then mean "logoiconcerning that which

outsidethe furthestcelestial sphere.")Possibility(2d) fits N.E. 1.3,

sofar as the theoreticallife cannotbe adequately talkedaboutwithout discussing the reality of the transcendentNous.It can alsobe considered for De caelo 1.9, since Aristotle plainlyregards the immutability of the

divineas the subject of

At the end of book 1 of the NicomacheanEthicsAristotlestatesthat eudaimoniais an activity of the soul. Therefore, the soul also belongs to


underdiscussion.He then continuesas follows:"Some things are said

possibility outlined

be con-

passage in

N.E. 1.3but is less obviousfor the text in De

subject to any temporalprocess,

but the




study of ethics, to

the extent which is sufficientfor the




aboutit [i.e., aboutthe soul],

too, and we must use these, for

rational."39We can observethat the psychology

irrational, another part

referredto here is not the psychology of the De anima;but it will not

psychology cannotbe Aristotle's,

the basis of his further

discussionsin the N.E. But we also find this

other texts which have been relatedto Aristotle'slost works.4For his lectureson ethics, Aristotle apparently considers knowledge of other,

previouslypublishedwritingsnecessary. These seem to have developed

a psychology which

Plato's Phaedrus,Timaeus, and Lawsthan



in the exoterikoi logoi

that one part of the soul is

do to claim, as J. Burnet does, thatthis

since Aristotle clearly makes this psychology

psychology in a numberof

is morein line

(though not identical) with

that of

with that of the De anima.

At another


in the N.E. (6.4 1140al-3) Aristotle says that he

detailthe distinctionbetween "making"(poiesis) and becausehe can referfor this to the exoterikoi logoi.

We are concernedherewith a philosophical distinctionwhich no other

systematically as Aristotleand

neednot explain in


philosopher elaboratedand employed so

whichis also

of the world-creatingDemiurge. In this debateAristotlehad exclusively

assigned the activity

psyche, and the activity of poiesis to the empsychon soma. This passage,

closely relatedto Aristotle's polemicagainst Plato's theology

of theoriato the nous, the activity of

praxis to the

current writings or discussions by other

therefore, cannot possibly referto


In the


1 1076a28) Aristotleasks whether,besides

the visible substances, thereis also an unmovedand eternalsubstance. Inthiscontexttheviewsof otherthinkerswhoassumeda divisionbetween visible reality anda non-sensible reality will also pass under review, such as the Pythagoreanizing andthe PlatonicRealists.The latter subject will


subject has been exhaustively discussedin the exoterikoi logoi."41

be dealtwith for the sake of

completeness: "For most part

of this

As farasthe theory of Ideasis concerned, no onedoubtsthatAristotle

wroteworksnow lost which enteredinto it

ideis,De bono); and it

his philosophicalreputation to his opposition of Plato's theory of Ideas,

would referfor a detaileddiscussionof this

deeply(De philosophia, De

seems unlikely that Aristotle, who owes muchof

subject to writings or dis-

39Nicomachean Ethics, 1.13 (1102a26-28). Cf. J. Burnet, op. cit.: "extraneous dis- cussions," with the explanation, "extraneous to the Aristotelian school"; W. D. Ross, op. cit., "in the discussions outside our school"; R. A. Gauthier and J. Y. Jolif, op. cit., "dans un ouvrage de vulgarisation bien connu du public." 40E.g. Protrepticus, fr. 6 (Ross, During B 60); cf. De philosophia, fr. 27b (Ross), where pathetic and intellective functions are explicitly assigned to the soul. 41 Ibid., 1076a27-28. Tethryletai need not be "disparaging," as H. Diels, op. cit., 488,

and F. Dirlmeier, op. cit., 275, think. It can certainly mean "down to the smallest details,"

where thryloumenon also means

"discussed exhaustively." Cf. Eudemus, fr. 6 (Ross),

"that which is very well-known," which is then taken up in a positive sense.



cussions by o<