Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of On Generation and corruption

Previous | Next

On Generation and corruption   

only with a qualification?

The distinction must be investigated once more, for it demands

some explanation. (It is applied in a twofold manner.) For (i) we

say 'it is now passing-away' without qualification, and not merely

'this is passing-away': and we call this change 'coming-to-be', and

that 'passing-away', without qualification. And (ii) so-and-so

'comes-to-be-something', but does not 'come-to-be' without

qualification; for we say that the student 'comes-to-be-learned',

not 'comes-to-be' without qualification.

(i) Now we often divide terms into those which signify a 'this

somewhat' and those which do not. And (the first form of) the

distinction, which we are investigating, results from a similar

division of terms: for it makes a difference into what the changing

thing changes. Perhaps, e.g. the passage into Fire is 'coming-to-be'

unqualified, but 'passingaway-of-something' (e.g. Earth): whilst the

coming-to-be of Earth is qualified (not unqualified) 'coming-to-be',

though unqualified 'passing-away' (e.g. of Fire). This would be the

case on the theory set forth in Parmenides: for he says that the

things into which change takes place are two, and he asserts that

these two, viz. what is and what is not, are Fire and Earth. Whether

we postulate these, or other things of a similar kind, makes no

difference. For we are trying to discover not what undergoes these

changes, but what is their characteristic manner. The passage, then,

into what 'is' not except with a qualification is unqualified

passing-away, while the passage into what 'is' without qualification

is unqualified coming-to-be. Hence whatever the contrasted 'poles'

of the changes may be whether Fire and Earth, or some other couple-the

one of them will be 'a being' and the other 'a not-being'.

We have thus stated one characteristic manner in which unqualified

will be distinguished from qualified coming-to-be and passing-away:

but they are also distinguished according to the special nature of the

material of the changing thing. For a material, whose constitutive

Previous | Next
Site Search