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Metaphysics   


by the straight and the curved. And for other things their being
will mean their being mixed, and their not being will mean the
opposite.
It is clear, then, from these facts that, since its substance is
the cause of each thing's being, we must seek in these differentiae
what is the cause of the being of each of these things. Now none of
these differentiae is substance, even when coupled with matter, yet it
is what is analogous to substance in each case; and as in substances
that which is predicated of the matter is the actuality itself, in all
other definitions also it is what most resembles full actuality.
E.g. if we had to define a threshold, we should say 'wood or stone
in such and such a position', and a house we should define as
'bricks and timbers in such and such a position',(or a purpose may
exist as well in some cases), and if we had to define ice we should
say 'water frozen or solidified in such and such a way', and harmony
is 'such and such a blending of high and low'; and similarly in all
other cases.
Obviously, then, the actuality or the formula is different when
the matter is different; for in some cases it is the composition, in
others the mixing, and in others some other of the attributes we
have named. And so, of the people who go in for defining, those who
define a house as stones, bricks, and timbers are speaking of the
potential house, for these are the matter; but those who propose 'a
receptacle to shelter chattels and living beings', or something of the
sort, speak of the actuality. Those who combine both of these speak of
the third kind of substance, which is composed of matter and form (for
the formula that gives the differentiae seems to be an account of
the form or actuality, while that which gives the components is rather
an account of the matter); and the same is true of the kind of
definitions which Archytas used to accept; they are accounts of the
combined form and matter. E.g. what is still weather? Absence of
motion in a large expanse of air; air is the matter, and absence of
motion is the actuality and substance. What is a calm? Smoothness of
sea; the material substratum is the sea, and the actuality or shape is
smoothness. It is obvious then, from what has been said, what sensible
substance is and how it exists-one kind of it as matter, another as
form or actuality, while the third kind is that which is composed of
these two.
3

We must not fail to notice that sometimes it is not clear
whether a name means the composite substance, or the actuality or
form, e.g. whether 'house' is a sign for the composite thing, 'a
covering consisting of bricks and stones laid thus and thus', or for
the actuality or form, 'a covering', and whether a line is 'twoness in
length' or 'twoness', and whether an animal is soul in a body' or 'a
soul'; for soul is the substance or actuality of some body. 'Animal'
might even be applied to both, not as something definable by one
formula, but as related to a single thing. But this question, while
important for another purpose, is of no importance for the inquiry
into sensible substance; for the essence certainly attaches to the
form and the actuality. For 'soul' and 'to be soul' are the same,
but 'to be man' and 'man' are not the same, unless even the bare
soul is to be called man; and thus on one interpretation the thing
is the same as its essence, and on another it is not.
If we examine we find that the syllable does not consist of the
letters + juxtaposition, nor is the house bricks + juxtaposition.
And this is right; for the juxtaposition or mixing does not consist of
those things of which it is the juxtaposition or mixing. And the
same is true in all other cases; e.g. if the threshold is
characterized by its position, the position is not constituted by
the threshold, but rather the latter is constituted by the former. Nor
is man animal + biped, but there must be something besides these, if
these are matter,-something which is neither an element in the whole

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