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

Previous | Next

On Generation and corruption   

combined Or ought we to say 'No, not until any and every part of one

constituent is juxtaposed to a part of the other'? The term, no doubt,

is applied in the former sense: we speak, e.g. of wheat having been

'combined' with barley when each grain of the one is juxtaposed to a

grain of the other. But every body is divisible and therefore, since

body 'combined' with body is uniform in texture throughout, any and

every part of each constituent ought to be juxtaposed to a part of the


No body, however, can be divided into its 'least' parts: and

'composition' is not identical with 'combination', but other than

it. From these premises it clearly follows (i) that so long as the

constituents are preserved in small particles, we must not speak of

them as 'combined'. (For this will be a 'composition' instead of a

'blending' or 'combination': nor will every portion of the resultant

exhibit the same ratio between its constituents as the whole. But we

maintain that, if 'combination' has taken place, the compound must

be uniform in texture throughout-any part of such a compound being the

same as the whole, just as any part of water is water: whereas, if

'combination' is 'composition of the small particles', nothing of

the kind will happen. On the contrary, the constituents will only be

'combined' relatively to perception: and the same thing will be

'combined' to one percipient, if his sight is not sharp, (but not to

another,) while to the eye of Lynceus nothing will be 'combined'.)

It clearly follows (ii) that we must not speak of the constituents

as 'combined in virtue of a division such that any and every part of

each is juxtaposed to a part of the other: for it is impossible for

them to be thus divided. Either, then, there is no 'combination', or

we have still to explain the manner in which it can take place.

Now, as we maintain, some things are such as to act and others

such as to suffer action from them. Moreover, some things-viz. those

Which have the same matter-'reciprocate', i.e. are such as to act upon

one another and to suffer action from one another; while other things,

Previous | Next
Site Search