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On Generation and corruption   


not-being (e.g. out of not-white or not-beautiful), but unqualified

coming-to-be is a process out of unqualified not-being.

Now 'unqulified' means either (i) the primary predication within

each Category, or (ii) the universal, i.e. the all-comprehensive,

predication. Hence, if'unqualified not-being 'means the negation of

'being' in the sense of the primary term of the Category in

question, we shall have, in 'unqualified coming-to-be', a coming-to-be

of a substance out of not-substance. But that which is not a substance

or a 'this' clearly cannot possess predicates drawn from any of the

other Categories either-e.g. we cannot attribute to it any quality,

quantity, or position. Otherwise, properties would admit of

existence in separation from substances. If, on the other hand,

'unqualified not-being' means 'what is not in any sense at all', it

will be a universal negation of all forms of being, so that what

comes-to-be will have to come-to-be out of nothing.

Although we have dealt with these problems at greater length in

another work,where we have set forth the difficulties and

established the distinguishing definitions, the following concise

restatement of our results must here be offered: In one sense things

come-to-be out of that which has no 'being' without qualification: yet

in another sense they come-to-be always out of what is'. For

coming-to-be necessarily implies the pre-existence of something

which potentially 'is', but actually 'is not'; and this something is

spoken of both as 'being' and as 'not-being'.

These distinctions may be taken as established: but even then it

is extraordinarily difficult to see how there can be 'unqualified

coming-to-be' (whether we suppose it to occur out of what

potentially 'is', or in some other way), and we must recall this

problem for further examination. For the question might be raised

whether substance (i.e. the 'this') comes-to-be at all. Is it not

rather the 'such', the 'so great', or the 'somewhere', which

comes-to-be? And the same question might be raised about

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