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Metaphysics   


form of non-being exists potentially, still it is not by virtue of a
potentiality for any and every thing, but different things come from
different things; nor is it satisfactory to say that 'all things
were together'; for they differ in their matter, since otherwise why
did an infinity of things come to be, and not one thing? For
'reason' is one, so that if matter also were one, that must have
come to be in actuality which the matter was in potency. The causes
and the principles, then, are three, two being the pair of
contraries of which one is definition and form and the other is
privation, and the third being the matter.
3

Note, next, that neither the matter nor the form comes to be-and I
mean the last matter and form. For everything that changes is
something and is changed by something and into something. That by
which it is changed is the immediate mover; that which is changed, the
matter; that into which it is changed, the form. The process, then,
will go on to infinity, if not only the bronze comes to be round but
also the round or the bronze comes to be; therefore there must be a
stop.
Note, next, that each substance comes into being out of
something that shares its name. (Natural objects and other things both
rank as substances.) For things come into being either by art or by
nature or by luck or by spontaneity. Now art is a principle of
movement in something other than the thing moved, nature is a
principle in the thing itself (for man begets man), and the other
causes are privations of these two.
There are three kinds of substance-the matter, which is a 'this'
in appearance (for all things that are characterized by contact and
not, by organic unity are matter and substratum, e.g. fire, flesh,
head; for these are all matter, and the last matter is the matter of
that which is in the full sense substance); the nature, which is a
'this' or positive state towards which movement takes place; and
again, thirdly, the particular substance which is composed of these
two, e.g. Socrates or Callias. Now in some cases the 'this' does not
exist apart from the composite substance, e.g. the form of house
does not so exist, unless the art of building exists apart (nor is
there generation and destruction of these forms, but it is in
another way that the house apart from its matter, and health, and
all ideals of art, exist and do not exist); but if the 'this' exists
apart from the concrete thing, it is only in the case of natural
objects. And so Plato was not far wrong when he said that there are as
many Forms as there are kinds of natural object (if there are Forms
distinct from the things of this earth). The moving causes exist as
things preceding the effects, but causes in the sense of definitions
are simultaneous with their effects. For when a man is healthy, then
health also exists; and the shape of a bronze sphere exists at the
same time as the bronze sphere. (But we must examine whether any
form also survives afterwards. For in some cases there is nothing to
prevent this; e.g. the soul may be of this sort-not all soul but the
reason; for presumably it is impossible that all soul should survive.)
Evidently then there is no necessity, on this ground at least, for the
existence of the Ideas. For man is begotten by man, a given man by
an individual father; and similarly in the arts; for the medical art
is the formal cause of health.
4

The causes and the principles of different things are in a sense
different, but in a sense, if one speaks universally and analogically,
they are the same for all. For one might raise the question whether
the principles and elements are different or the same for substances
and for relative terms, and similarly in the case of each of the
categories. But it would be paradoxical if they were the same for all.
For then from the same elements will proceed relative terms and

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