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Metaphysics   


be was once coming to be, that which comes to be something was also
once coming to be; therefore that which simply comes to be something
was not yet in existence, but something which was coming to be
coming to be something was already in existence. And this was once
coming to be, so that at that time it was not yet coming to be
something else. Now since of an infinite number of terms there is
not a first, the first in this series will not exist, and therefore no
following term exist. Nothing, then, can either come term wi to be
or move or change. Further, that which is capable of a movement is
also capable of the contrary movement and rest, and that which comes
to be also ceases to be. Therefore that which is coming to be is
ceasing to be when it has come to be coming to be; for it cannot cease
to be as soon as it is coming to be coming to be, nor after it has
come to be; for that which is ceasing to be must be. Further, there
must be a matter underlying that which comes to be and changes. What
will this be, then,-what is it that becomes movement or becoming, as
body or soul is that which suffers alteration? And; again, what is
it that they move into? For it must be the movement or becoming of
something from something into something. How, then, can this condition
be fulfilled? There can be no learning of learning, and therefore no
becoming of becoming. Since there is not movement either of
substance or of relation or of activity and passivity, it remains that
movement is in respect of quality and quantity and place; for each
of these admits of contrariety. By quality I mean not that which is in
the substance (for even the differentia is a quality), but the passive
quality, in virtue of which a thing is said to be acted on or to be
incapable of being acted on. The immobile is either that which is
wholly incapable of being moved, or that which is moved with
difficulty in a long time or begins slowly, or that which is of a
nature to be moved and can be moved but is not moved when and where
and as it would naturally be moved. This alone among immobiles I
describe as being at rest; for rest is contrary to movement, so that
it must be a privation in that which is receptive of movement.
Things which are in one proximate place are together in place, and
things which are in different places are apart: things whose
extremes are together touch: that at which a changing thing, if it
changes continuously according to its nature, naturally arrives before
it arrives at the extreme into which it is changing, is between.
That which is most distant in a straight line is contrary in place.
That is successive which is after the beginning (the order being
determined by position or form or in some other way) and has nothing
of the same class between it and that which it succeeds, e.g. lines in
the case of a line, units in that of a unit, or a house in that of a
house. (There is nothing to prevent a thing of some other class from
being between.) For the successive succeeds something and is something
later; 'one' does not succeed 'two', nor the first day of the month
the second. That which, being successive, touches, is contiguous.
(Since all change is between opposites, and these are either
contraries or contradictories, and there is no middle term for
contradictories, clearly that which is between is between contraries.)
The continuous is a species of the contiguous. I call two things
continuous when the limits of each, with which they touch and by which
they are kept together, become one and the same, so that plainly the
continuous is found in the things out of which a unity naturally
arises in virtue of their contact. And plainly the successive is the
first of these concepts (for the successive does not necessarily
touch, but that which touches is successive; and if a thing is
continuous, it touches, but if it touches, it is not necessarily
continuous; and in things in which there is no touching, there is no
organic unity); therefore a point is not the same as a unit; for
contact belongs to points, but not to units, which have only
succession; and there is something between two of the former, but
not between two of the latter.

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