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Since contraries are other in form, and the perishable and the
imperishable are contraries (for privation is a determinate
incapacity), the perishable and the imperishable must be different
in kind.
Now so far we have spoken of the general terms themselves, so that
it might be thought not to be necessary that every imperishable
thing should be different from every perishable thing in form, just as
not every pale thing is different in form from every dark thing. For
the same thing can be both, and even at the same time if it is a
universal (e.g. man can be both pale and dark), and if it is an
individual it can still be both; for the same man can be, though not
at the same time, pale and dark. Yet pale is contrary to dark.
But while some contraries belong to certain things by accident
(e.g. both those now mentioned and many others), others cannot, and
among these are 'perishable' and 'imperishable'. For nothing is by
accident perishable. For what is accidental is capable of not being
present, but perishableness is one of the attributes that belong of
necessity to the things to which they belong; or else one and the same
thing may be perishable and imperishable, if perishableness is capable
of not belonging to it. Perishableness then must either be the essence
or be present in the essence of each perishable thing. The same
account holds good for imperishableness also; for both are
attributes which are present of necessity. The characteristics,
then, in respect of which and in direct consequence of which one thing
is perishable and another imperishable, are opposite, so that the
things must be different in kind.
Evidently, then, there cannot be Forms such as some maintain,
for then one man would be perishable and another imperishable. Yet the
Forms are said to be the same in form with the individuals and not
merely to have the same name; but things which differ in kind are
farther apart than those which differ in form.

Book XI

THAT Wisdom is a science of first principles is evident from the
introductory chapters, in which we have raised objections to the
statements of others about the first principles; but one might ask the
question whether Wisdom is to be conceived as one science or as
several. If as one, it may be objected that one science always deals
with contraries, but the first principles are not contrary. If it is
not one, what sort of sciences are those with which it is to be
Further, is it the business of one science, or of more than one,
to examine the first principles of demonstration? If of one, why of
this rather than of any other? If of more, what sort of sciences
must these be said to be?
Further, does Wisdom investigate all substances or not? If not
all, it is hard to say which; but if, being one, it investigates
them all, it is doubtful how the same science can embrace several
Further, does it deal with substances only or also with their
attributes? If in the case of attributes demonstration is possible, in
that of substances it is not. But if the two sciences are different,
what is each of them and which is Wisdom? If we think of it as
demonstrative, the science of the attributes is Wisdom, but if as
dealing with what is primary, the science of substances claims the
But again the science we are looking for must not be supposed to
deal with the causes which have been mentioned in the Physics. For (A)
it does not deal with the final cause (for that is the nature of the
good, and this is found in the field of action and movement; and it is
the first mover-for that is the nature of the end-but in the case of

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