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



Previous | Next
                  

On Generation and corruption   


generate by being put together and becoming intertwined. From the

genuinely-one, on the other hand, there never could have come-to-be

a multiplicity, nor from the genuinely-many a "one": that is

impossible. But' (just as Empedocles and some of the other

philosophers say that things suffer action through their pores, so)

'all "alteration" and all "passion" take place in the way that has

been explained: breaking-up (i.e. passing-away) is effected by means

of the void, and so too is growth-solids creeping in to fill the

void places.' Empedocles too is practically bound to adopt the same

theory as Leucippus. For he must say that there are certain solids

which, however, are indivisible-unless there are continuous pores

all through the body. But this last alternative is impossible: for

then there will be nothing solid in the body (nothing beside the

pores) but all of it will be void. It is necessary, therefore, for his

'contiguous discretes' to be indivisible, while the intervals

between them-which he calls 'pores'-must be void. But this is

precisely Leucippus' theory of action and passion.

Such, approximately, are the current explanations of the manner in

which some things 'act' while others 'suffer action'. And as regards

the Atomists, it is not only clear what their explanation is: it is

also obvious that it follows with tolerable consistency from the

assumptions they employ. But there is less obvious consistency in

the explanation offered by the other thinkers. It is not clear, for

instance, how, on the theory of Empedocles, there is to be

'passing-away' as well as 'alteration'. For the primary bodies of

the Atomists-the primary constituents of which bodies are composed,

and the ultimate elements into which they are dissolved-are

indivisible, differing from one another only in figure. In the

philosophy of Empedocles, on the other hand, it is evident that all

the other bodies down to the 'elements' have their coming-to-be and

their passingaway: but it is not clear how the 'elements'

themselves, severally in their aggregated masses, come-to-be and

Previous | Next
Site Search