is not merely a direct apprehending of first principles, for it also entails demonstration (ἀπόδειξις). And this because human apprehending is not a pure νοῦς, but a νοῦς that, in order to disclose itself (whether to itself or to others), must pass through the λόγος, that is, a νοῦς that is a διανοεῖν. It is an apprehending that apprehends things in their unity (in the ἀρχή of their respective being) only by way of separating out their being in relation to one another, by seeing things as being this or that and not something else. "On the basis of λόγος, of addressing something as something, νοεῖν becomes a διανοεῖν" (GA 19, 59). Human νοῦς is in need of λόγος: only by becoming dianoetic can it "demonstrate," that is, let things be seen in their being, as being this or that. Demonstration, we noted, is the method of ἐπιστήμη, which proceeds by deduction on the basis of certain ἀρχαί already given. The principles themselves, however, are given through induction (ἐπαγωγή), that is, via an immediate apprehending enabled by νοῦς (NE, 1139b28f.). Σοφία directs itself toward the being of particular beings, toward particular beings insofar as they are, that is, toward their ἀρχαί (their being) as such (and not only toward their being this or that, as do the particular sciences); but it can do so only because it is also a διανοεῖν, only because it is able to separate and gather those beings as such via λόγος. The ἀρχαί as such, however, are not purely "logical," for they can be apprehended only in a singular and finite act of νοεῖν. Thus, Aristotle continues, the wise man must see (εἰδέναι) both what follows from first principles (τὰ ἐκ τῶν ἀρχῶν), that is, dianoetically and deductively, and (via νοῦς) truly disclose (ἀληθεύειν) the first principles themselves. Σοφία must be a combination of νοῦς and ἐπιστήμη, it must be "a consummated knowledge [ἐπιστήμη] of that which is most exalted [τιμιωτάτων]" (NE, 1141a17). It must be a knowledge of being itself as such and as a whole, of that which "most is" in all beings.

"That which is most exalted" is here, as in Book I of the Metaphysics, identified with the divine (τὸ θεῖον) (M, 983a5). In that treatise, however, Aristotle expresses doubt as to whether knowledge of the divine could be considered something within human power, "since in many repects human nature is slave-like" (M, 982b30). The desire for σοφία, however, strives precisely for a freedom and independence from human necessity; it is a striving that unfolds solely for the sake of itself, and thus most approximates and approaches divine freedom. Knowledge of the divine is σοφία; yet σοφία can be divine in only two ways, notes Aristotle: either it is the possession of god, belonging to the divine, or it has the divine as its object. Is this supreme, divine vision of something ever-enduring (ἀεί) possible for human beings? Is not human existence bound to the finitude of the concrete situation, thus thoroughly dependent and constantly changing? Is not all human seeing bound to and limited by the contingencies of πρᾶξις? Is it