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On Generation and corruption   


of its burning as a 'combining' either of its particles with one

another or of itself with the fire: what we say is that 'the fire is

coming-to-be, but the wood is 'passing-away'. Similarly, we speak

neither (ii) of the food as 'combining' with the body, nor (iii) of

the shape as 'combining' with the wax and thus fashioning the lump.

Nor can body 'combine' with white, nor (to generalize) 'properties'

and 'states' with 'things': for we see them persisting unaltered.

But again (iv) white and knowledge cannot be 'combined' either, nor

any other of the 'adjectivals'. (Indeed, this is a blemish in the

theory of those who assert that 'once upon a time all things were

together and combined'. For not everything can 'combine' with

everything. On the contrary, both of the constituents that are

combined in the compound must originally have existed in separation:

but no property can have separate existence.)

Since, however, some things are-potentially while others

are-actually, the constituents combined in a compound can 'be' in a

sense and yet 'not-be'. The compound may he-actually other than the

constituents from which it has resulted; nevertheless each of them may

still he-potentially what it was before they were combined, and both

of them may survive undestroyed. (For this was the difficulty that

emerged in the previous argument: and it is evident that the combining

constituents not only coalesce, having formerly existed in separation,

but also can again be separated out from the compound.) The

constituents, therefore, neither (a) persist actually, as 'body' and

'white' persist: nor (b) are they destroyed (either one of them or

both), for their 'power of action' is preserved. Hence these

difficulties may be dismissed: but the problem immediately connected

with them-whether combination is something relative to perception'

must be set out and discussed.

When the combining constituents have been divided into parts so

small, and have been juxtaposed in such a manner, that perception

fails to discriminate them one from another, have they then 'been

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