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Metaphysics   


would be suggested if one were to pronounce the 'u' in phusis long.
(2) That immanent part of a growing thing, from which its growth first
proceeds. (3) The source from which the primary movement in each
natural object is present in it in virtue of its own essence. Those
things are said to grow which derive increase from something else by
contact and either by organic unity, or by organic adhesion as in
the case of embryos. Organic unity differs from contact; for in the
latter case there need not be anything besides the contact, but in
organic unities there is something identical in both parts, which
makes them grow together instead of merely touching, and be one in
respect of continuity and quantity, though not of quality.-(4)
'Nature' means the primary material of which any natural object
consists or out of which it is made, which is relatively unshaped
and cannot be changed from its own potency, as e.g. bronze is said
to be the nature of a statue and of bronze utensils, and wood the
nature of wooden things; and so in all other cases; for when a product
is made out of these materials, the first matter is preserved
throughout. For it is in this way that people call the elements of
natural objects also their nature, some naming fire, others earth,
others air, others water, others something else of the sort, and
some naming more than one of these, and others all of them.-(5)
'Nature' means the essence of natural objects, as with those who say
the nature is the primary mode of composition, or as Empedocles says:-

Nothing that is has a nature,
But only mixing and parting of the mixed,
And nature is but a name given them by men.

Hence as regards the things that are or come to be by nature, though
that from which they naturally come to be or are is already present,
we say they have not their nature yet, unless they have their form
or shape. That which comprises both of these exists by nature, e.g.
the animals and their parts; and not only is the first matter nature
(and this in two senses, either the first, counting from the thing, or
the first in general; e.g. in the case of works in bronze, bronze is
first with reference to them, but in general perhaps water is first,
if all things that can be melted are water), but also the form or
essence, which is the end of the process of becoming.-(6) By an
extension of meaning from this sense of 'nature' every essence in
general has come to be called a 'nature', because the nature of a
thing is one kind of essence.
From what has been said, then, it is plain that nature in the
primary and strict sense is the essence of things which have in
themselves, as such, a source of movement; for the matter is called
the nature because it is qualified to receive this, and processes of
becoming and growing are called nature because they are movements
proceeding from this. And nature in this sense is the source of the
movement of natural objects, being present in them somehow, either
potentially or in complete reality.
5

We call 'necessary' (1) (a) that without which, as a condition,
a thing cannot live; e.g. breathing and food are necessary for an
animal; for it is incapable of existing without these; (b) the
conditions without which good cannot be or come to be, or without
which we cannot get rid or be freed of evil; e.g. drinking the
medicine is necessary in order that we may be cured of disease, and
a man's sailing to Aegina is necessary in order that he may get his
money.-(2) The compulsory and compulsion, i.e. that which impedes
and tends to hinder, contrary to impulse and purpose. For the
compulsory is called necessary (whence the necessary is painful, as
Evenus says: 'For every necessary thing is ever irksome'), and
compulsion is a form of necessity, as Sophocles says: 'But force
necessitates me to this act'. And necessity is held to be something

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