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

Previous | Next

On Generation and corruption   

arbitrary fiction. For up to what limit is it divisible? And for

what reason is part of the Whole indivisible, i.e. a plenum, and

part divided? Further, they maintain, it is equally necessary to

deny the existence of motion.

Reasoning in this way, therefore, they were led to transcend

sense-perception, and to disregard it on the ground that 'one ought to

follow the argument': and so they assert that the universe is 'one'

and immovable. Some of them add that it is 'infinite', since the limit

(if it had one) would be a limit against the void.

There were, then, certain thinkers who, for the reasons we have

stated, enunciated views of this kind as their theory of 'The

Truth'.... Moreover, although these opinions appear to follow

logically in a dialectical discussion, yet to believe them seems

next door to madness when one considers the facts. For indeed no

lunatic seems to be so far out of his senses as to suppose that fire

and ice are 'one': it is only between what is right and what seems

right from habit, that some people are mad enough to see no


Leucippus, however, thought he had a theory which harmonized with

sense-perception and would not abolish either coming-to-be and

passing-away or motion and the multiplicity of things. He made these

concessions to the facts of perception: on the other hand, he conceded

to the Monists that there could be no motion without a void. The

result is a theory which he states as follows: 'The void is a "not

being", and no part of "what is" is a "not-being"; for what "is" in

the strict sense of the term is an absolute plenum. This plenum,

however, is not "one": on the contrary, it is a many" infinite in

number and invisible owing to the minuteness of their bulk. The "many"

move in the void (for there is a void): and by coming together they

produce "coming to-be", while by separating they produce

"passing-away". Moreover, they act and suffer action wherever they

chance to be in contact (for there they are not "one"), and they

Previous | Next
Site Search