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Metaphysics   


substances. What then will this common element be? For (1) (a) there
is nothing common to and distinct from substance and the other
categories, viz. those which are predicated; but an element is prior
to the things of which it is an element. But again (b) substance is
not an element in relative terms, nor is any of these an element in
substance. Further, (2) how can all things have the same elements? For
none of the elements can be the same as that which is composed of
elements, e.g. b or a cannot be the same as ba. (None, therefore, of
the intelligibles, e.g. being or unity, is an element; for these are
predicable of each of the compounds as well.) None of the elements,
then, will be either a substance or a relative term; but it must be
one or other. All things, then, have not the same elements.
Or, as we are wont to put it, in a sense they have and in a
sense they have not; e.g. perhaps the elements of perceptible bodies
are, as form, the hot, and in another sense the cold, which is the
privation; and, as matter, that which directly and of itself
potentially has these attributes; and substances comprise both these
and the things composed of these, of which these are the principles,
or any unity which is produced out of the hot and the cold, e.g. flesh
or bone; for the product must be different from the elements. These
things then have the same elements and principles (though specifically
different things have specifically different elements); but all things
have not the same elements in this sense, but only analogically;
i.e. one might say that there are three principles-the form, the
privation, and the matter. But each of these is different for each
class; e.g. in colour they are white, black, and surface, and in day
and night they are light, darkness, and air.
Since not only the elements present in a thing are causes, but
also something external, i.e. the moving cause, clearly while
'principle' and 'element' are different both are causes, and
'principle' is divided into these two kinds; and that which acts as
producing movement or rest is a principle and a substance. Therefore
analogically there are three elements, and four causes and principles;
but the elements are different in different things, and the
proximate moving cause is different for different things. Health,
disease, body; the moving cause is the medical art. Form, disorder
of a particular kind, bricks; the moving cause is the building art.
And since the moving cause in the case of natural things is-for man,
for instance, man, and in the products of thought the form or its
contrary, there will be in a sense three causes, while in a sense
there are four. For the medical art is in some sense health, and the
building art is the form of the house, and man begets man; further,
besides these there is that which as first of all things moves all
things.
5

Some things can exist apart and some cannot, and it is the
former that are substances. And therefore all things have the same
causes, because, without substances, modifications and movements do
not exist. Further, these causes will probably be soul and body, or
reason and desire and body.
And in yet another way, analogically identical things are
principles, i.e. actuality and potency; but these also are not only
different for different things but also apply in different ways to
them. For in some cases the same thing exists at one time actually and
at another potentially, e.g. wine or flesh or man does so. (And
these too fall under the above-named causes. For the form exists
actually, if it can exist apart, and so does the complex of form and
matter, and the privation, e.g. darkness or disease; but the matter
exists potentially; for this is that which can become qualified either
by the form or by the privation.) But the distinction of actuality and
potentiality applies in another way to cases where the matter of cause
and of effect is not the same, in some of which cases the form is
not the same but different; e.g. the cause of man is (1) the

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