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said either to see or to be blind, and that in an indeterminate sense,

signifying that the capacity may be either present or absent; for it

is not necessary either that it should see or that it should be blind,

but that it should be either in the one state or in the other. Yet

in the case of those contraries which have an intermediate we found

that it was never necessary that either the one or the other should be

present in every appropriate subject, but only that in certain

subjects one of the pair should be present, and that in a

determinate sense. It is, therefore, plain that 'positives' and

'privatives' are not opposed each to each in either of the senses in

which contraries are opposed.

Again, in the case of contraries, it is possible that there should

be changes from either into the other, while the subject retains its

identity, unless indeed one of the contraries is a constitutive

property of that subject, as heat is of fire. For it is possible

that that that which is healthy should become diseased, that which

is white, black, that which is cold, hot, that which is good, bad,

that which is bad, good. The bad man, if he is being brought into a

better way of life and thought, may make some advance, however slight,

and if he should once improve, even ever so little, it is plain that

he might change completely, or at any rate make very great progress;

for a man becomes more and more easily moved to virtue, however

small the improvement was at first. It is, therefore, natural to

suppose that he will make yet greater progress than he has made in the

past; and as this process goes on, it will change him completely and

establish him in the contrary state, provided he is not hindered by

lack of time. In the case of 'positives' and 'privatives', however,

change in both directions is impossible. There may be a change from

possession to privation, but not from privation to possession. The man

who has become blind does not regain his sight; the man who has become

bald does not regain his hair; the man who has lost his teeth does not

grow his grow a new set. (iv) Statements opposed as affirmation and

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