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δεῖ + aorist participle + infinitive

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δεῖ + aorist participle + infinitive

Postby rustymason » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:31 pm

I'm having a hard time getting my brain around this one:

Ἅ γὰρ δεῖ μαθόντας ποιεῖν, ταῦτα ποιούντες μανθάνομεν.
"What we have to learn to do we learn by doing." -- Aristotle

How does the translator (Harbottle) get "we" and "to learn" from the aorist participle in the first clause?
Can anyone provide a literal translation in English?
In the second clause, ταῦτα the object of μανθάνομεν, right?

Gratias
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Re: δεῖ + aorist participle + infinitive

Postby NateD26 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:47 pm

I do not know the context, but you have 1st pl. verb μανθάνομεν with two
participles, both refer to the subject of that verb "we".
[ignore]Also note that if δεῖ didn't have ἡμᾶς as its implied subject, ὑμᾶς/αὐτοῦς would have to
be written*.[/ignore] ταῦτα is the object of ποιοῦντες and is the antecedent for ἅ.

* I apologize but I was wrong. Smyth in 1952b noted that "the subject of the inf. is expressed or omitted according to the sense".

I will attempt to translate:
For that (these things) which it is necessary that we learn to do, we learn by doing.

EDIT: I think I am wrong regarding δεῖ and its subject. Perhaps it is impersonal ἀνθρώπους/τινας which is commonly omitted
according to Smyth.

For that (these things) which it is necessary that people learn to do, we learn by doing.
Last edited by NateD26 on Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: δεῖ + aorist participle + infinitive

Postby rustymason » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:03 pm

I have no context, it's just a quote from Aristotle.
Ἃ γὰρ δεῖ μαθόντας ποιεῖν, ταῦτα ποιοῦντες μανθάνομεν.

I am thinking of this rule, from JACT (Grammar, 7B, pg 136):
δεῖ + accusative + infinitive
It is necessary that [accusative] must [infinitive]
e.g., δεῖ ἡμᾶς λέγειν, It is necessary that we must speak.
Or, we must speak.

If I use that rule, then my first clause translates literally to:
What is necessary that (we) learners/learned must do, we learn by doing., or
What (we) learners/learned must do, we learn by doing,
which seems to me a different meaning from Harbottle's translation.
Last edited by rustymason on Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:34 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: δεῖ + aorist participle + infinitive

Postby NateD26 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:21 pm

rustymason wrote:If we removed the aorist participle in the first clause, we'd have:
What is necessary to do, we learn by doing.
The subject accusative is assumed. Right?

Exactly.

rustymason wrote:But add the participle back in and then we'd have:
What is necessary for learners to do, we learn by doing.
Which is still not the English translation given.

I think the translator (Harbottle) has taken the aorist participle, after learning (it)/by (first) learning
[whereas the pres. part. is by doing (at the same time)] and made it supplementary to the inf. which has
basically the same meaning.

I'm not sure, but if it were "for learners", the participle would be with the article, but I hope others
will correct me if I'm wrong.

What is necessary that people do after learning, we learn by doing.

I guess it is to contrast themselves from the majority in that they learn inductively while it is commonly acceptable to do so deductively.
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Re: δεῖ + aorist participle + infinitive

Postby rustymason » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:43 pm

Sorry, Nate, I accidentally submitted too early and then changed my entire post on you. I had just awoken, and didn't expect a reply so quickly.

I think you may be right that I am incorreclty treating the participle like a substantive. Let me think on that.
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Re: δεῖ + aorist participle + infinitive

Postby spiphany » Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:19 pm

I'm puzzling over this, too...don't know that I have any answers, but I can throw some additional information into the discussion.

The passage is from the beginning of the second book of the Nicomachean Ethics (Bekker page 1103a).
The complete sentence reads: τὰς δ᾽ ἀρετὰς λαμβάνομεν ἐνεργήσαντες πρότερον, ὥσπερ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων τεχνῶν: ἃ γὰρ δεῖ μαθόντας ποιεῖν, ταῦτα ποιοῦντες μανθάνομεν, οἷον οἰκοδομοῦντες οἰκοδόμοι γίνονται καὶ κιθαρίζοντες κιθαρισταί

I looked this up in Perseus in the hopes there might be a commentary on the passage. I don't know if additional context would help. Rackham's English translation reads:
Moreover, the faculties given us by nature are bestowed on us first in a potential form; we exhibit their actual exercise afterwards. This is clearly so with our senses: we did not acquire the faculty of sight or hearing by repeatedly seeing or repeatedly listening, but the other way about—because we had the senses we began to use them, we did not get them by using them. The virtues on the other hand we acquire by first having actually practised them, just as we do the arts. We learn an art or craft by doing the things that we shall have to do when we have learnt it: for instance, men become builders by building houses, harpers by playing on the harp.

He adds the following note on this sentence:
Or possibly ‘For things that we have to learn to do [in contrast with things that we do by nature], we learn by doing them.’


So...there does seem to be some uncertainty here about the relationship of μαθόντας to the rest of the sentence.
Option 1: "...those things, which are necessary for us to do, when we have learned [the craft]..."
Option 2: this is the version we've been having trouble with, and while the translation makes a certain intuitive sense, I'm having trouble parsing it as well.
The only way I seem to be able to work it is to interpret ποιεῖν as dependent on μαθόντας rather than δεῖ, something like
"It is necessary for us, who learn to do these things..."
This seems very elliptical to me, and I don't know if it's possible to use δεῖ this way without an infinitive, but I've seen stranger things in Greek.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: δεῖ + aorist participle + infinitive

Postby rustymason » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:07 pm

Here's my thought on a literal translation, using spiphany's and Nate's most helpful comments:
What (we) learned people need to do, we learn by doing.
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Re: δεῖ + aorist participle + infinitive

Postby NateD26 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:20 am

I edited my first reply, pointing out my error. The subject of the infinitive can be omitted, as in here,
and it is most likely ἡμᾶς judging by the context spiphany supplied.

The first option takes μαθόντας as a temporal clause, when we have learnt it and ἃ δεῖ ποιεῖν
as having a future aspect to that of the participle, that we shall have to do.

For we learn [a profession/an art] by doing the things that we shall have to do once we have learnt it.

This is the reason for his statement in the first clause:
τὰς δ᾽ ἀρετὰς λαμβάνομεν ἐνεργήσαντες πρότερον, We obtain the virtues after we have practiced (them) first.

The second option was explained by spiphnay.
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Re: δεῖ + aorist participle + infinitive

Postby jaihare » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:47 am

NateD26 wrote:I edited my first reply, pointing out my error. The subject of the infinitive can be omitted, as in here,
and it is most likely ἡμᾶς judging by the context spiphany supplied.

The first option takes μαθόντας as a temporal clause, when we have learnt it and ἃ δεῖ ποιεῖν
as having a future aspect to that of the participle, that we shall have to do.

For we learn [a profession/an art] by doing the things that we shall have to do once we have learnt it.

This is the reason for his statement in the first clause:
τὰς δ᾽ ἀρετὰς λαμβάνομεν ἐνεργήσαντες πρότερον, We obtain the virtues after we have practiced (them) first.

The second option was explained by spiphnay.


Learning by practice. :) Fascinating.
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ὁ μὲν Παῦλος τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις μαθητὰς τὴν χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν Χριστῷ ἐδίδασκεν, οἱ δ᾿ ἄλλοι ἀπόστολοι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἐδίδασκον τηρεῖν τὸν θεῖον νόμον τὸν χειρὶ Μωϋσέως δοθέντα.
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