DE MEMORIA ET REMINISCENTIA
John Burchill, O.P.
Dover, Massachusetts, 1962
298. As the Philosopher says in the seventh book On the Histories of Animals nature proceeds little by little from the inanimate to the animate, so that the genus of inanimate things is found prior to the genus of plants. When the genus of plants is compared to other bodies, it seems to be animate, but compared to the genus of animals, inanimate. (Nature) similarly proceeds from plants to animals in a certain continuous order; for certain immobile animals, which cling to the earth, appear to differ little from plants. Likewise in the progression from animals to man, there are found certain animals in which some likeness of reason appears. Although prudence is a virtue proper to man (for prudence is right reason concerned with things to be done, as is said in the seventh book of the Ethics), yet some animals are found to participate in a kind of prudence. The possession of reason is not the cause of this; it is rather that these animals are moved to perform certain works by a natural instinct (working) through the apprehension of the senses, as if they were operating by reason. Moreover it pertains to prudence to direct one by a consideration not only of the present circumstances, but also of past events, in those courses of action which are at hand. For this reason, Cicero, in his Rhetoric, proposes as the parts of prudence not only foresight, by which the future is planned, but also understanding, by which the present is considered, and memory, by which the past is apprehended. Hence it is necessary that there be also in other animals, which show a participated likeness of prudence, not only a sense for the present, but also a memory of the past. Therefore the Philosopher, in the beginning of the Metaphysics, says that in certain animals memory is formed out of the senses, and on this account they are prudent.
299. But as animals have an imperfect prudence compared to man, so also they have an imperfect memory. For other animals only remember, but men both remember and recollect. Therefore Aristotle, going step by step, treats of memory and recollection after the book in which he considered the senses which are common to all animals. One of these (recollection) is found in man alone, but the other (memory) is found both in men and in perfect animals.
300. This book is divided into two parts: first he (Aristotle) gives a preface in which he shows what he proposes to do; then he proceeds to treat those things which he has in mind, at the words, "First, therefore, etc."
Concerning the first point he says that two things ought to be discussed. The first to be discussed is memory, and remembering, which is its act. Concerning memory and remembering he promises to discuss three points: first, what is memory and what is remembering, then, what is its cause; and finally, to what part of the soul does the passion of remembering pertain. For all the operations of the senses are certain passions insofar as to sense something is to suffer it.
301. Then, he says that he will discuss recollection. But lest recollection and remembering appear to be the same thing, he adds a certain sign of their difference taken from man in whom both are found. For the same men are not good at remembering and at recollecting. Rather, as it often happens, those who are better at remembering are slow at discovery and learning; those, however, who are quick at discovering for themselves and at learning from others, are better at recollecting.
302. The reason for this is that the divers aptitudes which men have for the works of the soul depend on divers dispositions of the body. Thus we see in physical things that those which receive an impression slowly and with difficulty, retain it well; e.g., stone; but those which receive it easily do not retain it well; e.g., water. Now since remembering is nothing other than conserving well what has once been received, therefore, those who are slow at receiving retain well what they have received, and this is to remember well. But those receiving easily lose the greater part easily. Recollection, however, is a certain rediscovery of something previously received but not conserved. Therefore, those who are good at discovering and receiving instruction are also good at recollecting.
303. Then, when he says, "First, indeed, etc." he carries out his proposal. First he explains remembering; then, recollecting, at the words, "About recollection", what is left to say is, etc." Concerning the former he makes three points: he shows what remembering is; then; to which part of the soul it belongs, at the words, "For of the imagination, etc."; and finally, the cause on account of which it operates, at the words, "However, one might question, etc."
Now since powers, habits, and operations are specified by their objects, he makes a twofold. consideration concerning the first subject; namely, memory. First he inquires into the object of memory; then he concludes by defining it, at the words, "Memory, therefore, is, etc." Concerning the object of memory he discusses two things. First he gives his intention; then he shows what he proposed to do, where he says, "Neither the future, etc." He says, therefore, that to attain knowledge about memory it is necessary first to discover what sorts of things are objects of memory. (He follows this order) because objects are prior to acts, and acts to powers as has been said in the second book On the Soul. It is necessary to attain this knowledge because deception frequently occurs on this point, since some people say that memory is about things of which it is not.
304. Then when he says, "For neither, etc.", he shows what he proposed to do (namely, to determine the object of memory.) First he says that memory is not of future things, and then that it is not of things present, at the words, "Nor of the present, etc." Finally (he determines that memory) is of things past, at the words, "Memory is of what has been completed, etc."
He says that remembering is not of future things. Rather we have opinion of future things on the part of the knowing faculties, when, for instance, someone opines that something is going to happen. On the part of the appetitive faculties, then, there is hope, since hope tends to some future event at some time. He says, moreover, that there may even be a certain science of future events which would be a science which foretells. Some people call this divination because they can know by it what might happen in the future, concerning which there is expectation. But since hope is of future things which man can obtain, while the future events of which we are speaking are future contingencies, and of these there can be no science, it seems that there can be no science which foretells the future.
305. We ought to add that there can be no science of future contingencies considered in themselves, but when these future contingencies are examined in their causes, there can be a science of them, inasmuch as some sciences know that certain things are confined (to produce) given effects. This is the mode in which natural science considers generable and corruptible things. In a similar manner astrologers by their science can make predictions about expected future events. For example, (they can make predictions) about fertility or sterility, because of the positions of the heavenly bodies bearing on such effects.
306. Then when he says, "Nor of the present, etc.", he shows that memory is not of the present. But he says that the present pertains to the senses, by which we know neither the future, nor what is completed; i.e. the past, but only the present.
307. Then when he says, "Memory, however, etc.", he explains that memory is of things past. The proof for this he takes from the common use of language. When some object is present; e.g., when someone is presently seeing a white object, no one would say that he remembers the white object a Likewise no one says that he remembers what he is actually considering intellectually, when he is actually considering and understanding it. But commonly when men see a white object, they say that they sense it, and actually considering something is called only knowing. But when someone has habitual knowledge and a sense faculty without its operations or acts, he is then said to remember past acts; when, for instance, he grasps intellectually that a triangle has three angles equal to two right angles and perhaps sensibly sees the outline of the figure. On the part of the intellectual operation, he remembers because he has learned from another or because he has thought it out for himself; on the part of the sensible apprehension he remembers because he has heard, or seen, or perceived by some other sense. For in every instance in which the soul remembers, it asserts that it has first heard, or sensed, or understood something.
308. From the preceding exposition it is evident that the Philosopher does not intend to say that memory cannot be of things which are themselves in the present, as if it were only of those things which were in the past. For men can remember not only those persons who have died, but also living persons; and one can even be said to recollect himself, as Virgil wrote, "Ulysses brooked, nor was the Ithacan in that sore strait forgetful of himself." By this he wishes it to be understood that he remembered himself. So, the intention of the Philosopher is to affirm that memory is of the past in reference to our apprehension; i.e., previously we either sensed or understood some objects, and it makes no difference whether these things considered in themselves are in the present or not.
309. Then, when he says, "Memory is, therefore, etc.", he concludes from the foregoing what memory is. Memory is neither sense, because sense is of the present alone, nor opinion, which can pertain to the future. However, memory must pertain to something of these, either through the mode of a habit; e.g., if it is some permanent power, or through the mode of a passion; e.g., if it is a transient impression. Now this is the way memory pertains to sense, or opinion: when some period of time intervenes between the prior apprehension of the senses or of the intellectual opinion and the subsequent memory of them, then, it is possible to have memory of the past apprehension. For as we have said, a thing which is apprehended now cannot be remembered in the 'now'. It is sense which is of the present, hope, of course, of the future, and memory of the past. Thus it is necessary that, for everything remembered, there be some time intervening between the memory and the prior apprehension.
310. From the foregoing analysis he concludes that only animals which sense time can remember; and they remember by the part of the soul by which they sense time. Concerning this he inquires in the following section.
311. After the Philosopher has shown what memory is, he now explains to what part of the soul it pertains. Concerning this he does two things. First he prefaces a certain point which is necessary for what he proposes to do, at the words, "Magnitude and movement, however, etc."
Concerning the former, he makes the intended introduction; then he exemplifies it, where he says, "For the same passion happens, etc."; finally he shows what aspect of this is to be explained elsewhere, at the words, "Therefore, for this reason, etc." Therefore, he first notes that in the book On the Soul he has explained what the imagination is, namely, a movement made by the sense in act. In the same book he has also shown that men do not understand without a phantasm.
312. Then when he says, "For the same passion happens, etc.", he proves what he just said. It might seem incongruous to someone that a man cannot understand without a phantasm, since the phantasm is the likeness of the physical thing, while understanding is of universals, which are abstracted from particulars. Therefore, to manifest this he gives the following example. It happens that the intellect needs a phantasm, just as it happens in the drawing of a geometrical figure in which a triangle is drawn that it must be of some determinate quantity, although the geometrician in his demonstration does not use a determinate quantity of triangle. Likewise a man wishing to understand some object sets before his eyes (recalls to mind) a phantasm of some determinate quantity, insofar as it is singular; for instance, wishing to understand man, the imagination proposes (an image of) some man three feet in height; but the intellect understands man insofar as he is man, not insofar as he has this particular quantity.
313. However, because the intellect can understand the nature of quantity, he notes that if the objects to be understood are by nature quantified, e.g., line, surface, and number—yet not definite, i.e., limited by a determination of singularity—nevertheless, he must present to himself an image of a determined quantity. There occurs, for instance, to a man desiring to understand 'line', a phantasm of a two-foot line, but the intellect understands 'line' only according to the nature of quantity, and not as it is 'of two feet'.
314. Then when he says, "For this reason, etc.", he makes clear why this point is reserved, and he says that there is another reason which shows why man can understand nothing without the continuum and time, insofar as man can understand nothing without a phantasm. For a phantasm must be connected with the extended and time, from the very fact that it is a likeness of a singular thing which is 'here and now', and this cannot be understood without a phantasm. The reason why man cannot understand without a phantasm can be easily given in the case of the first reception of the intelligible species, which are abstracted from phantasms, according to the doctrine of Aristotle in the third book On the Soul. But it is also evident from experience that he who has already acquired intelligible knowledge through species grasped in understanding cannot actually consider what he knows unless he has some phantasm, For this reason also, an injury to the organ of imagination impedes man not only from understanding something new, but also from considering what he previously understood, as is evident in the insane.
315. However someone could object here that the intelligible species do not remain in the human possible intellect, except as long as a person is actually understanding. Then, after a person is no longer actually understanding, the intelligible species pass away and cease to be in the intellect, in the manner in which light ceases to be in the air when an illuminating body is absent. Thus it is necessary, if the intellect would understand anew, to turn again to phantasms to acquire intelligible species.
316. This (objection) is expressly contrary to the words of Aristotle found in the third book On the Soul. He says there, that since the possible intellect becomes the divers intelligible objects through their species, it is then in potency to actually understand them. (The above statement) is also unreasonable since the intelligible species are actually received in the possible intellect immovably according to its own mode; and so the possible intellect has intelligible species even when not actually understanding.
This is not the same as in the sensitive faculties in which, as a result of the composition of the physical organ, it is one thing to receive an impression, which is to sense actually; and another to retain, when the things are not actually being sensed, as Avicenna objects. (The fact that the possible intellect has intelligible species even when not actually understanding) is an effect of the divers grade of being of the intelligible forms, which may be either in pure potency, as in discovery or learning; or in pure act, as when one is actually understanding; or, finally, midway between potency and act, which is to be in the state of a habit.
The human possible intellect, therefore, needs a phantasm not only that it might acquire intelligible species, but also that it might inspect them in a certain way in the phantasms. This is what is said in the third book On the Soul. Therefore, the intellect understands species in phantasms.
317. The reason for this (mode of understanding) is that operation is proportioned to faculty and essence. Man's intellect, however, is in the sensitive part, as is said in the second book On the Soul. Thus its proper operation is to understand intelligible objects in phantasms, just as the (proper) operation of the intellect of a separated substance is to understand objects intelligible in themselves. The cause of the different modes of understanding is given by the metaphysician, who considers the divers grades of intellect.
318. Then when he says, "Magnitude and motion, however, etc.", he shows to which part of the soul memory belongs: first, by a reason, then, by signs, where he says, "Hence in others, etc."; finally he concludes what he proposed to do, where he says, "Of which part, therefore, etc." He states first, that it is necessary that magnitude and motion be known by the same part of the soul by which time is known. For these three are connected both in their division and in that which constitutes the infinite and finite, as is proved in the sixth book of the Physics.
319. Magnitude, however, is known by the senses, for it is one of the common sensibles. In a like manner motion, especially local motion, is known insofar as the distance of a magnitude is known. But time is known insofar as the prior and posterior in motion are known. For this reason these three can be perceived by the senses. Now a thing is perceived by the senses in two ways. In one way (a thing is perceived) through a change worked in the senses by a sensible object; and thus the proper as well as the common sensibles are known by the proper senses and the common sense. In another way, something is known by a secondary movement which remains after the first change worked in the senses by the sensible object. This movement remains at times even after the sensible objects are gone and pertains to the phantasm, as has been considered in the book On the Soul. But the fantasy insofar as it appears through this secondary movement is a passion of the common sense, for it follows the whole change wrought in the senses which begins from the proper sensibles and is terminated at the common sense. Consequently, it is clear, that these three, namely, magnitude, motion and time, insofar as they are in a phantasm, are comprehended and known by the common sense.
320. Moreover, memory is not only of sensible objects for instance, when someone remembers that he has sensed; but it also of intelligible objects, for instance, when someone remembers that he understood. This is not, however, without a phantasm. For sensible objects, after they have passed away, are not perceived by the senses except in a phantasm; understanding also is not without a phantasm, as was noted above. For this reason he concludes that memory belongs to the intellectual part of the soul, but only accidentally; it belongs essentially to the first sensitive element, the common sense. Now it has been said above, that a man understanding represents to himself a determined quantity in the phantasm, even though the intellect in itself considers an absent thing.
But the apprehension of time pertains to memory according to a certain determination, namely, a distance in the past from the present instant. Hence, memory pertains essentially to the appearance of phantasms; accidentally to the judgment of the intellect.
321. It may seem to someone from what has been said here that the imagination and memory are not faculties distinct from the common sense, but are certain passions of it. However, Avicenna reasonably shows that the faculties are divers. Since sensitive faculties are acts of physical organs, it is necessary that the reception of sensible forms, which pertains to the senses, and their conservation, which belongs to the imagination or fantasy, pertain to divers faculties. As we see in physical things, reception pertains to one principle and conservation to another, for humid things are quite receptive, but dry and hard things are more conservative. Likewise it pertains to one principle to receive a form, to another to conserve the form received by the senses, and to still another to perceive some signification not apprehended by the senses. Although the estimative faculty perceives (the signification) even in other animals, the memorative faculty retains (it). It functions by remembering a thing, not absolutely, but as it was apprehended in the past by the senses or the intellect.
322. Thus it happens among divers faculties that one is as the root and origin of the others, and their very acts presuppose the act of the first faculty. For instance, the nutritive function is as the root of the functions of growth and reproduction; each of which uses nutriment. Likewise the common sense is the root of the fantasy and the memory, which presuppose the act of the common sense.
323. Then when he says, "Hence in others, etc.", he manifests what he said by two signs. The first sign is taken from the case of animals possessing memory. Because memory is essentially of the first sensitive element, he says, it is found in certain other animals having senses and lacking an intellect, and not only in man and in certain others having opinion, which can pertain to the speculative intellect, and prudence, which pertains to the practical intellect. If memory were something intellectual, it would not be in many other animals, in which it is certain that there is a memory, and nevertheless, no intellect.
324. He says, moreover, "perhaps" because some people have wondered whether certain animals besides man possess an intellect, because of certain actions resembling works of reason, such as the actions of apes and certain similar animals.
325. The second sign he presents, where he says, "Since, not etc.", and it is taken from animals not possessing a memory. He says that it is clear that memory belongs essentially to the sensitive part, because even now when we suppose that man alone among mortals has an intellect, memory is not in all animals, but those alone have memory which sense time. For certain animals perceive nothing unless they are in the presence of sensible things, as certain immobile animals, which for this reason have an indeterminate imagination, as is said in the second and third book On the Soul.
For this reason they cannot know the prior and posterior, and consequently do not have a memory. For whenever the soul acts by memory, as was said before, it senses at the same time that it previously saw, or heard, or learned this thing. Now, the prior and posterior pertain to time.
326. Then when he says, "Of which part, therefore, etc.", he concludes what he proposed to do. He says that the part of the soul to which memory pertains is clear from what has been said, because it pertains to that part to which the imagination belongs, and because the things which are essential objects of memory are those of which we have phantasms, namely, sensible objects, while intelligible things, which are not apprehended by man without the imagination, are accidental objects of memory. For this reason we cannot remember well those things which have a subtle and spiritual consideration; those objects that are gross and sensible are better objects of memory. It is necessary, if we wish to facilitate the remembering of intelligible reasons to bind them to certain phantasms, as Cicero teaches in his Rhetoric. Nevertheless memory is placed by some in the intellectual part, insofar as memory is understood to be every habitual conservation of those things which pertain to the intellectual part of the soul.
327. Now that the Philosopher has shown what memory is, and to which part of the soul it belongs, he shows here the cause of remembering.
Concerning this he does two things: first he mentions a doubt; then he solves it, where he says, "Either it is, as it happens, etc."
Concerning the first he does three things: first he mentions the doubt; then he indicates something which the doubt supposes, where he says, "For it is clear, since it is necessary, etc."; finally he brings forth reasons pertaining to the question, at the words, "But if such occurrences, etc."
Therefore, he says first, that someone may wonder why in remembering we remember the thing which is not present and do not remember the present passion, for in remembering a certain passion affects the soul in the present, but the things remembered are absent.
328. Then when he says, "For it is clear, since it is necessary, etc.", he makes clear the thing which he had presupposed; namely, that a certain passion is in the soul while we are remembering. First he manifests this through a cause; then, through signs, where he says, "For which reason, in those, etc."
He says first, therefore, that it is obviously necessary to understand some such passion to have been made by the senses in the soul and in the organ of the animated body. For we say that the memory of the soul is a kind of habit and that the passion is like a picture, because, the sensible thing imprints its likeness on the senses and this likeness remains in the imagination, even when the sensible thing is absent., Therefore, he adds that the movement made on the senses by the sensible thing impresses something like a sensible figure on the imagination, which remains even in the absence of the sensible thing, in the same way as those who seal with rings impress a certain figure in wax, which remains even when the seal or ring has been removed.
329. He says, "In the soul and in part of the body", because the passion, which is an act of the organic body, pertains to the sensitive part; it does not pertain to the soul alone but to the composite. Moreover he calls memory a habit of this part because memory is in the sensitive part, and we retain, as it were, habitually those things which we conserve in the memory, when we are not actually apprehending.
330. Then when he says, "For this reason, in those, etc.", he manifests what he proposed, through signs, namely, that in remembering, the above mentioned passion is present. He says that since such an experience is necessary to memory, it happens that certain people do not have a memory because they are involved in great movement, whether this is because of an afflicted state of the body, as in the infirm or the inebriated, or, because of the soul, as in those aroused to anger or concupiscence. This also happens if one is at an age marked by growth or decline. For through such causes the body of man is in a certain flux; and, therefore, cannot retain an impression which is made from the movement of a sensible thing, as would happen if some movement or even a seal is imprinted on flowing water. The figure would disappear immediately because of the flow.
331. Moreover in some others the previously mentioned impression is not received. At times it happens because of frigidity congealing the humors, as in those who are in great fear; for on account of frigidity nothing can be impressed on their souls. He gives (herein) the example of old buildings. The wall, when it is new and before the cement has hardened, can easily be changed, but not after it has hardened. It does not happen, at times, because of frigidity, but because of the natural hardness of what should receive the passion. For earthy bodies are hard even if they are hot, but watery bodies are hardened through being frozen. For the reasons given above, those who are very young, as boys, and also the old, are deficient in memory, because the bodies of boys are in constant movement because of growth; the old, on the other hand, because of decline. Therefore, an impression is well retained in neither (group).
332. Yet it happens that things which one receives in boyhood are firmly held in the memory because of the vehemence of the movement, just as it happens that things about which we wonder are imprinted more in the memory. We wonder especially, however, at the new and unusual: hence a greater wondering about things, as if they were unusual, affects the young who are going about the world for the first time; for this reason they remember firmly. However, because of the disposition of their changing body, it is their lot to be weak in memory; He adds, moreover, that similarly for the reasons given previously, neither those who are especially swift at apprehending, nor those who are too slow are good at remembering.
Those who are especially quick are more humid than they ought to be, for it is easy for the humid to receive impressions. But those who are slower are also harder, and, therefore, the impression of the phantasm does not remain as readily in the soul. "However, it does not touch the hard"; i.e., they do not receive the impression of the phantasm.
333. What has been said can be explained in another way, so that one would read, first, that he has designated the supervening movement as the cause for the defect of memory, which, afterwards, he manifested by the example of the young and old. Then, secondly, he designated a cause from a natural disposition, for the watery humor, which is cold and moist, abounds in some, and, therefore, the impressions of the phantasms are easily dispelled in them, as old buildings easily collapse; while in others the earthy humor abounds, and so they do not receive the impression because of its hardness. Afterwards he manifests this through the example of those who are swift and slow (at apprehending).
334. It must also be considered that he previously said that the impression of the phantasm is made in the soul and in part of the body, so that afterwards he might show that men are related differently towards an impression of this kind because of divers dispositions of the body.
.335. Then, when he says, "But if such occurrences, etc.", he argues about the previously raised question. First, having manifested what he supposed, he resumes the question. He says that if this happens with regard to memory, namely, that there is a certain present passion in it, as in a picture, it must be asked whether a person remembers this passion which is present in himself when remembering, or the sensible thing from which that impression was made.
336. Then, where he says, "If the former, etc.", he raises the objection to the one solution, saying, that if someone should say that man remembers the present passion it would follow that he would remember nothing of the absent (things), which is against what has already been decided.
337. Finally, at the words, "If the latter, etc.", he raises three objections to the other solution. He gives the first, saying, that if someone remembers that thing from which a passion has been elicited, it would seem incongruous that a man would sense what is present; namely, the passion, and simultaneously remember what is absent, which he is unable to sense. For it has been said that memory pertains to the first sensitive element (common sense); and thus it does not, seem that sense is of one thing and memory of another.
338. He gives the second objection where he says, "And if it is like, etc." He says that if a passion of this kind, which is present to the one remembering, is in us as a certain figure or picture of the senses themselves by way of their representing the first change worked in the senses by the sensible object, why will memory be of another; namely, of the thing and not of the picture or figure itself? For since the sense is the figure, it is plain that it can be apprehended. Moreover, it is also evident from experience that he who remembers speculates intellectually on this passion, and he senses (it too) by the sensitive part. It seems incongruous, however, that when a thing is present which falls under apprehension, it itself should not be apprehended, but something else.
339. He offers the third objection at the words, "How then, etc." He asks how someone could remember what is not present by an internal Sense. Since the external senses are conformed to the internal senses, it would follow that the external senses would be dealing with a thing which is not present, so that, for instance, one would see and hear a thing not present, and this seems objectionable.
340. Then, when he says, "Either it is as it happens, etc.", he solves the question raised. First he shows the cause of remembering; then he shows what causes something to be well preserved in the memory, where he says, "Exercises, however, etc."; finally he gives a summary, at the words, "What indeed, etc." Concerning the first he does two things: first he solves a doubt; then he makes the solution clear by a sign, where he says, "And because of this, sometimes, etc."
He says, therefore, that it can be explained how what has been said occurs and happens, namely, that someone perceives the present passion and remembers the absent thing. He presents the example of an animal painted on a tablet, which is both a depicted animal and an image of a real animal. Although both aspects belong to the same subject, nevertheless, these aspects differ in formality. Thus one is a consideration of it as a depicted animal, the other as it is the image of a real animal. In a similar manner the phantasm, which is in us, can be taken as it is something in itself, or as it is a phantasm of another thing. In itself it is to be regarded as a kind of object on which the intellect speculates, or the fantasy also, inasmuch as it pertains to the sensitive part, As it is a phantasm of another thing, which we sensed or understood previously, it is considered as an image leading to another and. the principle of remembering.
341. Therefore, since the soul remembers in the mode of a phantasm, if the soul turns to it in itself, it seems to be present to the soul, either as something intelligible which the intellect looks at in the phantasm, or simply as the phantasm which the imaginative faculty apprehends. If the soul turns to the phantasm insofar as it is the phantasm of another thing, and considers it as an image of what we previously sensed or understood, as was said concerning the picture (e.g., if someone does not see Coriscus but considers a phantasm of him as the image of Coriscus), there is now another passion to this consideration, and now this pertains to memory.
342. Moreover, just as it happens with the phantasm of some singular man, that sometimes it is considered in itself and sometimes as an image; e.g., the linage of Coriscus; so also it happens with intelligible objects. For sometimes the intellect looks at a phantasm as at a certain depicted animal, (and this occurs) if it looks at it in itself, and thus it is considered solely as a certain intelligible thing; if, however, the intellect looks at it as it is an image, it will thus be a principle of remembering, as it happens 'herein'; i.e., concerning particular things.
343. Therefore, it is evident (from this), that when the soul turns itself to the phantasm, as it is a certain form reserved in the sensitive part, there is thus an act of the imagination or the fantasy, or even of the intellect considering this (in the) universal. If, however, the soul turns to it as an image of what we previously heard or understood, it pertains to the act of remembering.
Therefore, because being an image implies a certain signification about a form, Avicenna aptly says that memory regards the intention, imagination, the form apprehended by the senses.
344. Then when he says, "And because of this, sometimes, etc." he makes clear what he said, by certain signs. He says that because we remember at the time when we attend to the phantasm, to the extent that it is the image of what we previously sensed and understood, therefore, men are situated. in relation to the act of memory in a threefold manner.
345. For sometimes there occurs in us movements of phantasms, which are formed from what we sensed and are left behind from the first change of a proper sense by the sensible thing; but we do not know whether these movements are in us because we previously sensed something. Thus we wonder whether we are remembering or not.
346. Then, it sometimes happens that a man understands and recollects something because the phantasm of what (he) has previously heard or seen then occurs to (him), which is properly remembering. This happens when a man, who is imagining a phantasm, is moved indeed by the present phantasm itself; but considers it insofar as it is the image of another which he previously sensed or understood.
347. Finally, the contrary of the first way sometimes happens, so that man believes that he remembers when he has not remembered, as happened to a certain man named Antipheron, who came from Oretanus; and it also happens to those suffering from mental derangement. For they think that phantasms occurring to them for the first time are, as it were, of some previous events, as if they remembered those things which they never saw or heard. This happens when one considers what is not the image of another prior event as if it were its image.
348. When when he says, "Exercises, however, etc.", he shows by what things memory is preserved. He says that frequent meditations on those things which we sensed or understood preserve their memory so that one recollects well the things which he saw or understood. Meditation is nothing other than considering things many times as an image of things previously apprehended and not only in themselves, which mode of preserving pertains to the formality of memory. It is clear, too, that by the frequent act of remembering the habit of memorable objects is strengthened, as also any habit (is strengthened) through similar acts; and a multiplication of the cause fortifies the effect.
349. Then when he says, "What, therefore, etc.", he summarizes similarly the aforesaid. He says that, it has been noted what memory is and what remembering is: that memory is a habit; i.e., a certain habitual preservation of a phantasm, not, indeed in itself (for this pertains to the imaginative faculty), but insofar as the phantasm is an image of something previously sensed. We have also shown to what part of the soul (of the things which are in us) memory belongs; namely, that it pertains to the first sensitive element (common sense), insofar as we know time through it.
350. After the Philosopher has come to a decision concerning memory and remembering, he now resolves the question of recollecting. First he says what, his intention is; then he continues what be proposed to do, where he says, "For recollection is not, etc."
Therefore, he says first, that, after speaking about remembering, he must yet speak about recollecting in this order, so that whatever truths can be understood by argumentative reasonings are first supposed as actual truths, and thus he excuses himself from a prolonged argument, about those things which pertain to recollection.
351. Then when he says, "For recollection is not, etc.", he continues what he proposed to do. Concerning this he does three things. First he shows that recollection is by a comparison to other apprehensions; then he resolves the mode of recollecting, where he says, "However, they have recollection, etc." Finally he shows what kind of a passion recollection is, where he says, "But that is a certain bodily passion, etc."
He does two things concerning the first. First he shows what recollection is not; then, what it is, at the words, "But as then (something) would reoccur, etc." Concerning the first he does two things. First he proposes what he intends; then he manifests what he proposed to do, at the words, "For at the instant when one first learns, etc." He says, therefore, first, that recollection is neither a reoccurrence of memory, in such a way that recollecting is nothing other than remembering again, nor, again, is recollection the first acquisition of some knowable object; e.g., what is a formed by the senses or the intellect.
352. Then when he says, "For at the instant when one first learns, etc.", he makes clear what he said. He does two things concerning this: first he shows the difference between the two things which he noted, namely, the reoccurrence of memory and the acquisition (of knowledge); then he shows that recollection is neither the reoccurrence of memory nor the acquisition (of knowledge), at the words, "Furthermore" it is clear, etc." Concerning the first he does two things. First he shows that the acquisition (of some knowable object) is not memory" because the person acquiring does not remember; then he shows, on the other hand, that remembering is not the acquisition (of some knowable object), because the person remembering does net acquire something new, where he says, "Nor does he acquire, etc."
Therefore, he says first, that when someone first learns or suffers a sensitive apprehension, there occurs no memory at that time, because nothing reoccurs unless it first existed; but no memory preceded. Therefore, to learn or sense for the first time is not to have a memory reoccur.
353. Then when he says, "Nor does he acquire, etc.", he shows that remembering is not the first acquisition (of some knowable object). Concerning this he does two things. First he shows that remembering does not. consist in acquiring knowledge,; then he shows that it does not consist in acquiring (knowledge) in the first instant, at the words, "Further, at the very individual, etc." Thus, he says first, that the person remembering does not acquire knowledge of the thing remembered from the first instant.
Since memory is of what is completed, as was noted above, there is memory only when knowledge through the mode of a habit or at least of a passion is already existing as completed. But, when the first passion is formed in the acquisition of knowledge, it is not yet completed; therefore, memory is not yet present in man.
354. Then when he says, "Further, at the very individual, etc.", he shows that there is no memory either through the mode of a habit or through the mode of a passion in the first instant in which knowledge is just achieved, for knowledge is not yet converted into a habits. In this regard we should note what is proved in the sixth book of the Physics, that a thing is said to be completed only in the indivisible instant which is the term of time measuring the motion. He says, therefore, that when knowledge has been once achieved in the indivisible, which is the term of time of the generation of the knowledge, it can be said that, in that instant it is already in the patient; i.e., the passion and science (are already) in the one acquiring the knowledge. We are not speaking strictly here when we apply the name 'science', which properly signifies a habit, but we are taking this name as a common term for habit and passion. The reason for what he says is this: it is always true to say that the thing generated exists in the ultimate instant of its generation; e.g., in the ultimate instant of the generation of fire, fire now is. Thus, when science exists, nothing prevents a remembering of those things which we already know, but this is by accident, For we do not remember those things inasmuch as we have science of them in the present, for essentially memory does not occur before time has elapsed, namely, before an intermediate time intervenes between the previously existing knowledge and the memory itself. A person now remembers what he previously heard, or saw, or suffered in any other way; he, however, does not now remember what he is suffering now. For it is clear that one is said to be suffering now, for the first time, in the last instant of the passion. Therefore, memory cannot be at that time.
355. Then when he says, "Furthermore, it is clear, etc.", he shows further that recollection is neither the reoccurrence of a memory nor the acquisition of something new. He says that it has been made clear through the foregoing, that remembering does not happen to a person now recollecting; i.e., one does not remember what he is now recollecting, but what he sensed or in any other way suffered in the first instant. Thus, recollection is not the occurrence of memory; but it is referred to something which someone previously apprehended.
356. Then he says, "Further, it is clear, etc.", he shows what recollection is. He says first, that recollection is the recovery of the first acquisition; then he shows that not every such recovery is recollection, at the words, "And so, not, etc."
He says first, therefore, that recollection is not the reoccurrence of a memory, for we call it the habit of memory, when something reoccurs which one knew or sensed by the proper senses or the common sense. Now as remembering is referred to a knowledge previously achieved, so also recollecting. Recollecting, however, consists in this, that we recover a prior apprehension in some way, but not in such a way that recollection is one of those things which were mentioned; i.e. senses, memory, fantasy, or science; for remembering occurs through recollection, insofar as recollection is a kind of movement towards remembering. Thus memory follows recollection, as a term (follows) motion.
357. However according to another (way of) understanding, recollection follows memory, for just as the inquisition of reason is the way towards the knowledge of something, and yet proceeds from something known, so also recollection is the way towards the memory of something, and yet proceeds from something remembered, as will be evident below.
358. Then when he says, "And so, not, etc.", he shows that not just any reoccurrence (of the knowledge of) senses or science is recollection. He says that it is not universally true that recollection is achieved whenever the knowledge of science or senses, which was possessed previously, is renewed again, for in one way recollecting is the case in the one recovering (the knowledge of) senses or science, and in another way it is not. That this not universally true he shows by this: it happens that the same man after losing learns or discovers a second time the same thing which he possessed previously, yet this is not recollecting. Therefore, recollecting must differ from these, namely, from learning or discovering a second time. (He also says) that something more is involved in (recollection), which is its starting point, than is required for learning. However, what that something more is, is made evident by the following.
359. After the Philosopher inquired how recollection is related to the other things pertaining to knowledge, he begins to Show here the mode of recollecting.
First he shows the mode of recollecting; then he shows the difference between memory and recollection, at the words, "Which, therefore, are not the same, etc."
Concerning the first he does two things. First he shows the mode of recollecting with reference to things which we recollect; then with reference to time, for recollection concerns time as does memory, and this (he shows), at the words, "But it is necessary especially to know, etc."
He does two things concerning the first. First he sets forth the cause of recollecting; then he shows the mode by which one proceeds in recollecting, at the words, "Whenever, therefore, we are recollecting, etc."
The cause of recollecting, moreover, is the order of movements which are left in the soul from the first impression of what we apprehend.
360. Proposing this cause first, he says, therefore, that recollections occur because one movement naturally presents itself to us after another, and this happens in two ways. In one way, the second movement follows after the first movement from necessity; e.g., the apprehension of animal follows after the apprehension of man from necessity. It is thus evident that when the soul is moved by the first movement, it will be moved by the second also. But it happens in another way insofar as the second movement follows after the first not from necessity, but out of custom. Thus, for instance, someone is accustomed after this (the first movement) to think, or speak, or act, and then the second movement follows after the first, not always, but in the majority of instances; i.e., for the most part, just as natural effects follow from their causes for the most part, but not always.
361. However the custom spoken of is not established equally in all men. It happens that some by thinking a single time fix the custom more quickly in themselves than others, even if the latter think of the sequence many times. This occurs either on account of greater attention and more profound knowledge, or because their nature is more receptive and retentive of an impression. For this reason also, it happens that certain things seen a single time are remembered better by us than ether things seen many times. The reason is that those things to which we vigorously apply the mind remain better in the memory. On the other hand those things which we see or consider superficially and lightly slip quickly from the memory.
362. Then when he says, "Whenever, therefore, we are recollecting, etc.", he shows how recollection proceeds presupposing the aforesaid order of movements. Concerning this he does two things. First, he shows the mode of proceeding in recollecting; then he shows whence a person must proceed in recollecting, where he says, "But one must get hold of a starting point."
He does two things concerning the first. First he shows the mode by which one proceeds in recollecting; then from this he shows how recollecting and learning differ, which he left undetermined above; and this (he shows) where he says, "Recollecting differs also in this, etc."
Concerning the first he does three things. First he sets forth the mode of recollecting; then from this he solves a certain doubt, where he says, "However nothing is necessary etc." Finally, he makes clear what he proposed by signs, at the words, Whence most swiftly."
First, therefore, he concludes from the foregoing, that as one movement follows after another, either from necessity or custom, it is necessary, when we recollect, that we be moved by some one of these movements until we come to be moved to apprehend that movement which is wont to follow after the first. This is the movement which we intend to rediscover by recollecting, because recollecting is nothing other than the searching for something which slipped from the memory. Thus by recollecting we hunt; i.e., we seek what follows from something prior which we hold in the memory. For as one who inquires by demonstration proceeds from something prior which is known, from which he hunts something posterior, which is unknown; so also the person recollecting proceeds from something prior which is held in the memory to rediscover what slipped from the memory.
363. Moreover, this first thing from which the person recollecting begins his search is sometimes some known time, and sometimes some known thing with respect to time he sometimes begins from the 'now'; i.e., proceeding from the present time into the past, which he seeks to remember. For instance, if he seeks to remember what he did four days ago, he thinks in this manner; today I did this, yesterday that, on the third day another thing; and thus following the succession of accustomed movements he arrives at working out what he did on the fourth day. Sometimes he begins from some other time; e. g., if someone retains in memory what he did eight days ago and has forgotten what he did four days ago, he will proceed by going forward to the seventh day, and so on until he comes to the fourth day, or he will go backward from the eighth day to the fifteenth day, or to some other past time.
364. In a like mode someone sometimes recollects beginning from some thing which he remembers, from which he proceeds to another by a threefold relationship. At times (he proceeds) by reason of likeness; e. g., when someone remembers something about Socrates, and through this Plato, who is like him in wisdom, occurs to him. At other times (he proceeds) by reason of contrast; e.g., if someone should remember something about Hector, and through this, Achilles occurs to him. Finally, (he proceeds) at times by reason of any closeness whatever; e.g., when someone is mindful of 'father' and through this 'son' occurs to him. The same procedure holds good for any other close relationship, whether of society, or place, or time. For recollection is formed, inasmuch as movements of these kinds follow each other.
365. For the movements of some of the foregoing are the same, especially of the like things, while the movements of others are simultaneous, namely, of contrary things, because by a knowledge of one contrary the other is simultaneously known. Sometimes some movements have a portion of others, as happens in things closely related. For something is observed in each of the related things which pertains to the other, and thus that overlapping part, which is left out of an apprehension, although it is small, follows on the movement of the first thing; as a result, when the first thing is apprehended, the second occurs to apprehension as a consequent.
366. However it must be further noted that sometimes those who are seeking to find a consequent lost movement arrive at the posterior movement from some prior movement in the foregoing mode; and this properly is recollecting; namely, when someone intentionally seeks the memory of some things. It sometimes happens indeed that even those who are not seeking to remember arrive at the memory of some thing, for the reason that they are proceeding from a prior movement to a posterior movement, as has been described.
Since the movement of the forgotten thing is formed in the soul after the other (movement), and this happens 'in most cases'; i.e., for the most part; then, given the other movements such as we have mentioned; i.e., by similars, contraries and closenesses, that second movement is excited, even when it was not intended. But this is loosely called recollection. It is, however, remembering in a casual way with a certain resemblance to recollection.
367. Then, when he says, "However. nothing is necessary, etc.", he solves a certain doubt on the basis of the foregoing. For a doubt could arise (with reference to) why we frequently remember things that are far-off; e.g., things that happened many years before, and we do not remember things that are recent; e.g., things which occurred a few day's before.
368. But he (Aristotle) says that, it is not necessary to apply the mind to this; i.e., to be disturbed by doubting, because it is clear that this occurs somehow in the same way, (as) was explained in the foregoing. He explains resuming what was said; namely, that it happens sometimes that the soul learns by apprehending a consequent which it had forgotten, without recollecting it by a prior inquiry or intention, for one movement follows another by custom. Hence upon the excitation of the first movement, the second follows, even if the man does not intend it. Now as this happens from custom apart from deliberate intention, so also one will do this when he wishes to recollect intentionally, for he seeks to elicit the first movement upon which the posterior movement follows; because it sometimes happens that the movements of things which are far-off are more established because of custom, therefore, we occasionally remember those things more, whether from inquisition or without inquisition.
369. Then when he says, "Whence, most swiftly, etc.", he manifests the aforesaid mode (of proceeding) by two signs. The first of these he posits saying that, because a consequent movement comes from a prior movement on account of custom, either by inquiring or not inquiring, therefore, recollections are formed most quickly and best when someone begins to meditate from the beginning of the entire affair, because the movements of things in the soul are formed in conformity with the order in which the things follow each other. So, for instance, when we seek some verse, we begin first at the beginning.
370. He gives the second sign, where he says, "Those things are easier to recollect, etc." He says that those things are easier to recollect which are well ordered, such as mathematics and mathematical theorems, for the latter are concluded from the first, and so forth. Those things, however, which are badly ordered are recollected with difficulty."
371. Therefore, to remember or recollect well, we can learn four useful lessons from the foregoing. First one must be careful to reduce to some order what one wishes to retain; then one must apply the mind profoundly and intently to those things; next one must frequently meditate (on them) in order; finally one must begin to recollect from the starting point.
372. After the Philosopher has shown the mode of recollecting, he explains two things here which were mentioned above. The first is how recollecting differs from relearning; the second is that it is necessary that the person recollecting begin from starting points, at the words, "Bu it is necessary to get hold of a starting point, etc."
He does two things concerning the first. First he shows how recollection differs from relearning; then how recollection differs from rediscovery, at the words, "However many times, etc."
Concerning the first it must be pointed out, that both he who recollects and he who relearns recovers knowledge which was lost; but he who recollects recovers it under the formality of memory, with reference; namely, to what was previously known. He, however, who relearns recovers it absolutely, and not as if it were of something previously known. Now, since we do not attain to a knowledge of the unknown except from some principles already known, it is necessary that the principles from which we proceed in order to know the unknown be of the same genus, as is evident from the first book of the Posterior Analytics. Therefore it is necessary that a person recollecting should proceed from things remembered as a starting point in order to recover knowledge under the formality of memory, which Ls not the case in relearning.
373. Therefore, he says that recollection differs from relearning in this: a person recollecting has in some way the capacity to be moved to something which is connected to a prior thing retained in memory. For instance, when someone recollecting that something was said to him, but has forgotten who said it, he will use what he has in his memory for the purpose of recollecting what he has forgotten. However, when he does not succeed in recovering the lost knowledge through the starting point retained in memory, but through something else which is proposed to him anew by a teacher, it is neither memory nor recollection, but learning anew.
374. Then, when he says, "However, many times, etc.", he shows how recollecting differs from rediscovery. He says that frequently a man cannot now recollect what he has forgotten, because the movements by which he can arrive at what he seeks to remember do not remain in him. But if he should seek (knowledge) as if anew, he can proceed to a knowledge of that thing, and many times he finds what he is seeking as if he were acquiring knowledge anew. This happens when the soul is thinking of divers things and is moved by many movements, and if it happens that it hits on the movement with which the knowledge of the thing is connected, it, is said to discover (it).
375. Therefore, although he can discover, he cannot recollect, because recollection occurs insofar as a man retains interiorly a certain aptitude or capability of leading himself to the movements of the thing which he seeks. But this occurs when he can manage to be moved by the movement which he lost through forgetfulness; this (must happen) by himself) and not from someone teaching, as happens when he relearns; and from movements prepossessed, not from new movements) as when he rediscovers, as has been said. Then, when he says, "But it is necessary to get hold of a starting point, etc.", he shows that it is necessary that a person recollecting begin from a starting point. Concerning this he does two things. First he shows what he proposed to do; then he assigns a cause of the defect, which we sometimes suffer in recollecting, at the words, "The cause of one's sometimes recollecting, etc.: He does two things concerning the first (point). First he shows that it is necessary that a person recollecting begin from a starting point; then, from what kind of a starting point, where
He does three things concerning the first. First, he sets forth what he intends. He says that it is necessary that a person who wishes to recollect take a starting point from which he begins to be moved either by thinking, or speaking, or doing some other (operation).
377. Then, where he says, "Because of this, etc.", he shows what he said through a sign. Now, because it is necessary that a person recollecting take some starting point from which he begins the process of recollection, (we find that) men sometimes seem to recollect from places in which things have been said, or done, or thought. They use the place as a certain starting point for recollecting, because access to the place is a certain starting point for all those things which are done in the place. Hence Cicero teaches in his Rhetoric, that, to remember easily, it is necessary to imagine certain ordered places in which the phantasms of those things which we wish to remember are arranged in a certain order.
378. Then, when he says, "However, the cause is, etc.", he Shows what he has proposed by a cause, saying, that the reason why it is necessary for a person recollecting to take a starting point is that men, by a certain roving of the mind, easily pass from one thing to another by reason of likeness, or contrariety, or closeness. For instance, if we think or speak of milk, we easily pass to white on account of the whiteness of milk; and from white to air on account of the clearness of the transparent medium of light which causes whiteness; and from air to the moist, because air is moist, and from moisture we arrive at a recollection of Autumn, which we come upon by reason of contrariety, because this season is cold and dry.
379. Then, when he says, "However, it seems, etc." he shows what kind of a starting point the person recollecting ought to take. He says that what is universal seems to be the starting point and the means by which he can arrive at everything. However, the universal, which is spoken of here is not the one which is spoken of in Logic; namely, that which is predicated of many things; but (it is) that from which one is wont to be moved to divers thing. For instance, if someone, after (the apprehension of) milk, is moved to whiteness and to sweetness; and from whiteness to other things as has been mentioned; and then again from sweetness to digestive heat; and to fire; and consequently to other thoughts, milk is like a universal for all these movements. Now, it is necessary to have recourse to this (starting point) if one wishes to recollect the consequences of anything whatsoever, because if one does not previously recollect the consequences of something through other subsequent starting points, at least he could recollect when he comes on that first universal starting point. Or if he does not recollect then, he cannot recollect from any other source.
380. He gives the example of divers thoughts (expressed) by divers letters: A, B, G, D, E, Z, S, and T. He lists these letters according to the order of the Greek alphabet. Yet in recollecting the same order is not (followed); but it must be granted that someone thinking or speaking of B might pass to A; (thinking or speaking) of A, sometimes to E, sometimes to G D, or sometimes to D, or sometimes to E; (thinking or speaking) of G, sometimes to I, sometimes to A. Therefore, if someone does not recollect what is under G, he can recollect what is under E, if he comes to E, and from it is moved to two letters; namely, to E and D. But perhaps he did not seek E nor D, but sought S or Z; then, he will recollect upon coming to G. But because we do not know whether what we are seeking is contained under E or under G; it is necessary to have recourse to A which is as a universal with respect to all the letters. It is always necessary to proceed in such a way; e.g., if B were yet more universal than A.
381. However the aforesaid arrangement can be understood In another way, so that he would come from A directly to G, but laterally (from) B to A, from G laterally to I, and from here, then, directly to T, from which (he could come) to D and E. Therefore, he (Aristotle) says that If someone remembers at E which is last, he comes upon T which is preceding. If perhaps he does not remember at T, because what he seeks is not contained under it, he would have recourse to G, under which certain other (letters) are contained; e.g., A and Z; and after that to A, as has been said, under which B is also contained. This can be observed in the line proposed.
382. Therefore, when he says, "The cause of a person's sometimes recollecting, etc." he assigns the cause of the defect which persons recollecting suffer. First (he considers) the case of not recollecting at all; and secondly, the case of a defective recollection, where he says, "And since, etc." Therefore, he says first, that because it happens that from the same starting point from which someone is moved to divers thing, he is moved more frequently to one than. to another; therefore, even given the same starting point, men sometimes recollect and sometimes do not. For instance, if someone were moved from G to E and D, (he will be moved) more times to one than to the other. Whence given this (starting point), he recollects easily that towards which he is more frequently accustomed to be moved. But if he is not moved by the 'old way'; i.e., by that through which he more accustomed to be moved, he is moved in a less accustomed way; and, therefore, he does not easily recollect because custom is, as it were, a kind of nature. For just an things which exist by nature are formed and repaired easily, for things quickly return to their own nature by the inclination of nature (as is evident from hot water which quickly returns to cold); so also we easily recollect things which we considered many times by the inclination of custom.
383. He shows that custom is like a nature by this: as in nature there is a certain order by which something comes to be after something else; so also when many activities succeed one another in an order, they produce a kind of nature. This occurs especially in the activities of animals, in whose principles (of action) one thing is impressing, and another is receiving the impression of the senses. Therefore, those things which we saw or heard frequently are more firmly fixed in the imagination after the mode of a kind of nature. So, for instance, the multiplication of the impression of a natural agent works toward the form which is the nature of the thing.
384. Then when he says, "Since in those things which are in the realm of nature, etc.", he shows the reason why we sometimes recollect defectively. He says that, as in those things which are according to nature, something may occur which is outside of nature, which happens by chance or fortune, as is seen in the parts of animals; so much more does something irregular and outside intention occur in those things which are according to custom, which although it imitates nature, is yet lacking its firmness. Therefore, even in this matter; i.e., in these things which we recollect through custom, recollecting works out differently on different occasions, and this happens on account of some impediment; e.g., when someone is distracted 'thence'; i.e., from the accustomed course to some other. This is evident in the case of those who say something from memory, for if their imagination is distracted to something else, they lose what they ought to say or say it defectively. On this account, when one needs to recollect some name or some word, he produces the word in a manner different from what he knows (conserves).
385. Finally, he summarizes the section (saying) that recollection occurs according to the aforesaid mode.
386. Now that the Philosopher has shown the mode of recollecting from the point of view of the things recollected, he determines here the mode of recollecting from the point of view of time.
First he sets forth what he intends; then he shows what he proposed to do, at the words, "There is something, etc." He says, therefore, first, that in recollecting it is especially necessary to know time; namely, past time, which is the concern of memory, of which recollection is the search. However, past time is sometimes known by the person recollecting under a certain measure; e. g., when he knows that he sensed this thing at some time three days ago; and sometimes indefinitely; i.e., indeterminately; e.g., if he recalls that he sensed this at some time or other.
387. Then when he says, "There is something, etc.", he shows what he proposed to do. First he shows how the soul knows the measure of time; then he shows the principal proposal; namely, that knowing time is necessary to the person recollecting, where he says, "When, therefore, (the movement) of a thing, etc." Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he shows what he proposes to do; then he presents a certain question, at the words, "For how it differs, etc."
He says, therefore, first, that there is something in the soul by which it judges the greater and lesser measure of time. (The fact) that there is (something in the soul) that judges about time is reasonable, for it judges about physical magnitudes, which the soul understands; the 'large'; for instance, in relation to the quantity of visualized bodies, and the 'far-off' with respect to the extension of local distance. The amount of time, which is measured according to distance from the present instant (nunc), is proportioned to this.
388. However the soul knows magnitudes of this kind not by extending the understanding thereon, as if the soul knew magnitudes by touching them with the intellect. He seems to say this on account of Plato, as is evident in the first book On the Soul. By this mode also, some people say that seeing is effected, because a ray passes the whole distance to the thing seen, as was mentioned in the second book On Sense and Sensation. But it is impossible that magnitudes are known by the soul by contact with the understanding, because in such a case the soul could not understand any but existing magnitudes; whereas in fact it understands magnitudes which are not existing. For nothing prevents the soul from understanding double the quantity of the heavens. Therefore, the soul does not know magnitude by stretching itself out upon the thing, but rather, because a certain movement from the sensible thing reflected in the soul, is proportional to the exterior magnitude. For there are in the sol certain forms and movements similar to things by which it knows the things.
389. Then, when he says, "For how it differs, etc.", he settles a certain question concerning the aforesaid. Concerning this he does three things. First he sets forth the question; then he solves it, at the words, "Or because, etc."
Finally he exemplifies the solution in letters, where he says, "As, therefore, etc."
Since the soul knows magnitude by the image which it possesses of magnitude, he seeks first, therefore, how does that way differ from the way by which it knows the greater and lesser magnitude. For it does not, seem to have a different image because it does not differ in species.
390. Then, when he says, "Or because, etc." he solves the question. He says that the soul by a similar figure or form understands lesser; i.e., a lesser quantity, just as by a similar form it knows a greater magnitude. For interior forms and movements correspond proportionately to exterior magnitudes, and perhaps the situation in respect to magnitudes or distances or places and times is the same as that of species of things; Hence, as there are divers images and movements in the knower responding proportionately to divers species of things; e.g., to a horse or a cow, also (there are divers images corresponding to divers quantities.
391. Then, when he says, "As, therefore, etc.", he shows this diverse proportion by an example in letters. To clarify this, it must be noted, that, because he said above that in the understanding there are similar figures and movements proportioned to things, (the example he uses here) is that of the similarity of figures, as geometricians use (them). They call figures similar (when) their sides are proportional and their angles are equal, as evident in the sixth book of Euclid:
392. Therefore, the triangle BAE is drawn, whose base is BE. Then, from a point marked G inside BA, a line, GD, is drawn Equidistant from the base to the other side; and. likewise a line equidistant from the base drawn in triangle GAD. Now it has been demonstrated in the first book of Euclid, that a straight line falling upon two equidistant (lines) has opposite angles equal. Angle AGB, therefore, is equal be AEB, and angle ADG is equal to angle AEB, but angle A is common. The three angles of triangle AGD, therefore are equal to the angles of triangle BAE; therefore, the lines which are subtended by the equal angles are proportional according to the fourth proportion in the sixth book of Euclid. Therefore, the proportion of AB to AG is the same as the proportion (of) BE to CD; therefore, alternately, the proportion (of) AB to BE is the same as the proportion (of) AG to GD; and thus the two aforesaid triangles are similar figures. Now, by the line AB and its parts, are understood the movements of the soul by which the soul knows, Then, by the lines BE, GD, and ZI, which are the bases of the triangle, are understood divers quantities, differing in greatness and smallness.
393. Therefore, he concludes by this example: if the soul is moved according to movement AB to know quantity BE, this movement will by itself make quantity GD to be known, because movement AG, which is contained in AB, and the magnitude GD, are related by the same proportion as the movement AB and the magnitude BE.
394. But then the question which was raised above, will recur, since more is required to know quantity GD, which is greater than for knowing quantity ZI, which is lesser.
395. That this might, be more explicitly seen, he takes distinct movements, one of which is not contained in the other. Therefore, let one line, KM, be divided at point T in such away, that there is the same proportion of KT to IM as of line AG (by which quantity GD is known) to line AB (by which BE is known). Thus, at the same time, (the soul) is moved according to these movements, because as quantity GD is known by movement AB, so also by movement KT. Now as quantity BE is known by movement AB, so also it is known by movement TM. If someone wishes to know quantity ZI by movement AZ, it is necessary the GZ be subtracted from AG, as GB is added to it to know quantity BE. But if we wish to take distinct movements, it will be necessary to take TE, in place of the two movements Kt AND tm, SO THAT IT IS g AND m. The other two movements are drawn at the same point (as before); one is KL and the other LM, so that line KM is divided at point L, and in such a way that the proportion of KL to LM (is) the same as the proportion of AZ to AB. Whence, as he knows quantity BE by movement LM, so, by movement KL he knows ZI. It is thus demonstrated.
396. Then, when he says, "Since, therefore, etc.", he shows the principal proposal. First he shows that it is necessary that the person recollecting know time; then he shows a twofold mode of knowing time, at the words, "Which, indeed, is of time, etc."
Therefore, he says first that when a movement of an object to be remembered and of past time occurs in the soul at the same time, there is then an act of memory. But if someone should think himself so disposed, and is not put in the state of memory in this way, because either the movement of the thing or the movement of time is lacking, he has not remembered. For nothing prevents there being a misrepresentation in the memory; e.g., when it seems to someone that he remembers, and (yet) he does not remember, because the past time occurs to him, but no the thing which he saw, but another in its place. Sometimes one remembers and does not think that he remembers. It is hidden from him simply because the time does not occur to him, but (only) the thing, for as has been said above, remembering is to intend the phantasm of some thing as it is an image of some thing previously apprehended. Hence, if the movement of the thing is made without the movement of time, or conversely, he does not recollect.
397. Then, when he says, "Which, indeed, is etc.", he shows the divers modes by which persons recollecting know time. For sometimes someone remembers time, but not under a definite measure; e.g., (not) that he did something the day before yesterday, but that he did it at some time. On the other hand, sometimes someone remembers under a measure of past time, although not under a definite measure. For men are accustomed to say that they remember something as past; but they do not know when it was, because they do not know the length of time; i.e., the measure. This happens because of a weak movement as is the case with those things which are seen from far-off, and are known indeterminately.