On Generation and corruption
susceptible in a very slight degree-the compound resulting from
their combination is either no greater in volume or only a little
greater. This is what happens when tin is combined with bronze. For
some things display a hesitating and ambiguous attitude towards one
another-showing a slight tendency to combine and also an inclination
to behave as 'receptive matter' and 'form' respectively. The behaviour
of these metals is a case in point. For the tin almost vanishes,
behaving as if it were an immaterial property of the bronze: having
been combined, it disappears, leaving no trace except the colour it
has imparted to the bronze. The same phenomenon occurs in other
It is clear, then, from the foregoing account, that 'combination'
occurs, what it is, to what it is due, and what kind of thing is
'combinable'. The phenomenon depends upon the fact that some things
are such as to be (a) reciprocally susceptible and (b) readily
adaptable in shape, i.e. easily divisible. For such things can be
'combined' without its being necessary either that they should have
been destroyed or that they should survive absolutely unaltered: and
their 'combination' need not be a 'composition', nor merely
'relative to perception'. On the contrary: anything is 'combinable'
which, being readily adaptable in shape, is such as to suffer action
and to act; and it is 'combinable with' another thing similarly
characterized (for the 'combinable' is relative to the
'combinable'); and 'combination' is unification of the
'combinables', resulting from their 'alteration'.
WE have explained under what conditions 'combination', 'contact',
and 'action-passion' are attributable to the things which undergo
natural change. Further, we have discussed 'unqualified'