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On Generation and corruption   

Earth, owing to the survival of the dry of the Fire and the cold of

the Water. So, too, in the same Way, Fire and Water will result from

Air plus Earth. For there will be Water, when the hot of the Air and

the dry of the Earth have passed-away (since the moist of the former

and the cold of the latter are left): whereas, when the moist of the

Air and the cold of the Earth have passed-away, there will be Fire,

owing to the survival of the hot of the Air and the dry of the

Earth-qualities essentially constitutive of Fire. Moreover, this

mode of Fire's coming-to-be is confirmed by perception. For flame is

par excellence Fire: but flame is burning smoke, and smoke consists of

Air and Earth.

No transformation, however, into any of the 'simple' bodies can

result from the passingaway of one elementary quality in each of two

'elements' when they are taken in their consecutive order, because

either identical or contrary qualities are left in the pair: but no

'simple' body can be formed either out of identical, or out of

contrary, qualities. Thus no 'simple' body would result, if the dry of

Fire and the moist of Air were to pass-away: for the hot is left in

both. On the other hand, if the hot pass-away out both, the

contraries-dry and moist-are left. A similar result will occur in

all the others too: for all the consecutive 'elements' contain one

identical, and one contrary, quality. Hence, too, it clearly follows

that, when one of the consecutive 'elements' is transformed into

one, the coming-to-be is effected by the passing-away of a single

quality: whereas, when two of them are transformed into a third,

more than one quality must have passedaway.

We have stated that all the 'elements' come-to-be out of any one

of them; and we have explained the manner in which their mutual

conversion takes place. Let us nevertheless supplement our theory by

the following speculations concerning them.


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