Welcome
   Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Authors
Works by Aristotle
Pages of Metaphysics



Previous | Next
                  

Metaphysics   


sense the accident and its essence are the same, and in a sense they
are not; for the essence of white is not the same as the man or the
white man, but it is the same as the attribute white.)
The absurdity of the separation would appear also if one were to
assign a name to each of the essences; for there would be yet
another essence besides the original one, e.g. to the essence of horse
there will belong a second essence. Yet why should not some things
be their essences from the start, since essence is substance? But
indeed not only are a thing and its essence one, but the formula of
them is also the same, as is clear even from what has been said; for
it is not by accident that the essence of one, and the one, are one.
Further, if they are to be different, the process will go on to
infinity; for we shall have (1) the essence of one, and (2) the one,
so that to terms of the former kind the same argument will be
applicable.
Clearly, then, each primary and self-subsistent thing is one and
the same as its essence. The sophistical objections to this
position, and the question whether Socrates and to be Socrates are the
same thing, are obviously answered by the same solution; for there
is no difference either in the standpoint from which the question
would be asked, or in that from which one could answer it
successfully. We have explained, then, in what sense each thing is the
same as its essence and in what sense it is not.
7

Of things that come to be, some come to be by nature, some by art,
some spontaneously. Now everything that comes to be comes to be by the
agency of something and from something and comes to be something.
And the something which I say it comes to be may be found in any
category; it may come to be either a 'this' or of some size or of some
quality or somewhere.
Now natural comings to be are the comings to be of those things
which come to be by nature; and that out of which they come to be is
what we call matter; and that by which they come to be is something
which exists naturally; and the something which they come to be is a
man or a plant or one of the things of this kind, which we say are
substances if anything is-all things produced either by nature or by
art have matter; for each of them is capable both of being and of
not being, and this capacity is the matter in each-and, in general,
both that from which they are produced is nature, and the type
according to which they are produced is nature (for that which is
produced, e.g. a plant or an animal, has a nature), and so is that
by which they are produced--the so-called 'formal' nature, which is
specifically the same (though this is in another individual); for
man begets man.
Thus, then, are natural products produced; all other productions
are called 'makings'. And all makings proceed either from art or
from a faculty or from thought. Some of them happen also spontaneously
or by luck just as natural products sometimes do; for there also the
same things sometimes are produced without seed as well as from
seed. Concerning these cases, then, we must inquire later, but from
art proceed the things of which the form is in the soul of the artist.
(By form I mean the essence of each thing and its primary
substance.) For even contraries have in a sense the same form; for the
substance of a privation is the opposite substance, e.g. health is the
substance of disease (for disease is the absence of health); and
health is the formula in the soul or the knowledge of it. The
healthy subject is produced as the result of the following train of
thought:-since this is health, if the subject is to be healthy this
must first be present, e.g. a uniform state of body, and if this is to
be present, there must be heat; and the physician goes on thinking
thus until he reduces the matter to a final something which he himself
can produce. Then the process from this point onward, i.e. the process
towards health, is called a 'making'. Therefore it follows that in a

Previous | Next
Site Search