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Metaphysics   


what are not, and whether the parts of the substance are also parts of
the definition. Further, too, neither the universal nor the genus is a
substance; we must inquire later into the Ideas and the objects of
mathematics; for some say these are substances as well as the sensible
substances.
But now let us resume the discussion of the generally recognized
substances. These are the sensible substances, and sensible substances
all have matter. The substratum is substance, and this is in one sense
the matter (and by matter I mean that which, not being a 'this'
actually, is potentially a 'this'), and in another sense the formula
or shape (that which being a 'this' can be separately formulated), and
thirdly the complex of these two, which alone is generated and
destroyed, and is, without qualification, capable of separate
existence; for of substances completely expressible in a formula
some are separable and some are separable and some are not.
But clearly matter also is substance; for in all the opposite
changes that occur there is something which underlies the changes,
e.g. in respect of place that which is now here and again elsewhere,
and in respect of increase that which is now of one size and again
less or greater, and in respect of alteration that which is now
healthy and again diseased; and similarly in respect of substance
there is something that is now being generated and again being
destroyed, and now underlies the process as a 'this' and again
underlies it in respect of a privation of positive character. And in
this change the others are involved. But in either one or two of the
others this is not involved; for it is not necessary if a thing has
matter for change of place that it should also have matter for
generation and destruction.
The difference between becoming in the full sense and becoming
in a qualified sense has been stated in our physical works.
2

Since the substance which exists as underlying and as matter is
generally recognized, and this that which exists potentially, it
remains for us to say what is the substance, in the sense of
actuality, of sensible things. Democritus seems to think there are
three kinds of difference between things; the underlying body, the
matter, is one and the same, but they differ either in rhythm, i.e.
shape, or in turning, i.e. position, or in inter-contact, i.e.
order. But evidently there are many differences; for instance, some
things are characterized by the mode of composition of their matter,
e.g. the things formed by blending, such as honey-water; and others by
being bound together, e.g. bundle; and others by being glued together,
e.g. a book; and others by being nailed together, e.g. a casket; and
others in more than one of these ways; and others by position, e.g.
threshold and lintel (for these differ by being placed in a certain
way); and others by time, e.g. dinner and breakfast; and others by
place, e.g. the winds; and others by the affections proper to sensible
things, e.g. hardness and softness, density and rarity, dryness and
wetness; and some things by some of these qualities, others by them
all, and in general some by excess and some by defect. Clearly,
then, the word 'is' has just as many meanings; a thing is a
threshold because it lies in such and such a position, and its being
means its lying in that position, while being ice means having been
solidified in such and such a way. And the being of some things will
be defined by all these qualities, because some parts of them are
mixed, others are blended, others are bound together, others are
solidified, and others use the other differentiae; e.g. the hand or
the foot requires such complex definition. We must grasp, then, the
kinds of differentiae (for these will be the principles of the being
of things), e.g. the things characterized by the more and the less, or
by the dense and the rare, and by other such qualities; for all
these are forms of excess and defect. And anything that is
characterized by shape or by smoothness and roughness is characterized

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