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



Previous | Next
                  

On Generation and corruption   


pints of Air); even so, they are 'comparable in their amount',

though not qua 'amount' but qua Iso-much power'. There is also (iii) a

third possibility. Instead of comparing their powers by the measure of

their amount, they might be compared as terms in a 'correspondence':

e.g. 'as x is hot, so correspondingly y is white'. But

'correspondence', though it means equality in the quantum, means

similarity in a quale. Thus it is manifestly absurd that the

'simple' bodies, though they are not transformable, are comparable not

merely as 'corresponding', but by a measure of their powers; i.e. that

so-much Fire is comparable with many times-that-amount of Air, as

being 'equally' or 'similarly' hot. For the same thing, if it be

greater in amount, will, since it belongs to the same kind, have its

ratio correspondingly increased.

A further objection to the theory of Empedocles is that it makes

even growth impossible, unless it be increase by addition. For his

Fire increases by Fire: 'And Earth increases its own frame and Ether

increases Ether." These, however, are cases of addition: but it is not

by addition that growing things are believed to increase. And it is

far more difficult for him to account for the coming-to-be which

occurs in nature. For the things which come-to-be by natural process

all exhibit, in their coming-to-be, a uniformity either absolute or

highly regular: while any exceptions any results which are in

accordance neither with the invariable nor with the general rule are

products of chance and luck. Then what is the cause determining that

man comes-to-be from man, that wheat (instead of an olive) comes-to-be

from wheat, either invariably or generally? Are we to say 'Bone

comes-to-be if the "elements" be put together in such-and such a

manner'? For, according to his own estatements, nothing comes-to-be

from their 'fortuitous consilience', but only from their 'consilience'

in a certain proportion. What, then, is the cause of this proportional

consilience? Presumably not Fire or Earth. But neither is it Love

and Strife: for the former is a cause of 'association' only, and the

Previous | Next
Site Search