Incoherence of the Incoherence
This consequence, that everything which exists is simple, is a necessary consequence for the philosophers, if they assume that the First Agent is like a simple agent in the empirical world. But this consequence is binding only upon the man who applies this principle universally to everything that exists. But the man who divides existents into abstract existents and material, sensible existents, makes the principles to which the sensible existent ascends different from the principles to which the intelligible existent ascends, for he regards as the principles of the sensible existents matter and form, and he makes some of these existents the agents of others, till the heavenly body is reached, and he makes the intelligible substances ascend to a first principle which is a principle to them, in one way analogous to a formal cause, in another analogous to a final cause, and in a third way analogous to an efficient cause. All this has been proved in the works of the philosophers, and we state this proposition here only in a general way. Therefore these difficulties do not touch them. And this is the theory of Aristotle.’
About this statement-that out of the one only one proceeds-all ancient philosophers were agreed, when they investigated the first principle of the world in a dialectical way (they mistook this investigation, however, for a real demonstration), and they all came to the conclusion that the first principle is one and the same for everything, and that from the one only one can proceed. Those two principles having been established, they started to examine where multiplicity comes from. They had already come to the conclusion that the older theory was untenable.