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On Generation and corruption   


accept the other as well. Those, on the other hand, who do not make

their coming-to-be reciprocal-who refuse to suppose that any one of

the 'elements' comes-to-be out of any other taken singly, except in

the sense in which bricks come-to-be out of a wall-are faced with a

paradox. How, on their theory, are flesh and bones or any of the other

compounds to result from the 'elements' taken together?

Indeed, the point we have raised constitutes a problem even for

those who generate the 'elements' out of one another. In what manner

does anything other than, and beside, the 'elements' come-to-be out of

them? Let me illustrate my meaning. Water can come-to-be out of Fire

and Fire out of Water; for their substralum is something common to

them both. But flesh too, presumably, and marrow come-to-be out of

them. How, then, do such things come to-be? For (a) how is the

manner of their coming-to-be to be conceived by those who maintain a

theory like that of Empedocles? They must conceive it as

composition-just as a wall comes-to-be out of bricks and stones: and

the 'Mixture', of which they speak, will be composed of the

'elements', these being preserved in it unaltered but with their small

particles juxtaposed each to each. That will be the manner,

presumably, in which flesh and every other compound results from the

'elements'. Consequently, it follows that Fire and Water do not

come-to-be 'out of any and every part of flesh'. For instance,

although a sphere might come-to-be out of this part of a lump of wax

and a pyramid out of some other part, it was nevertheless possible for

either figure to have come-to-be out of either part indifferently:

that is the manner of coming-to-be when 'both Fire and Water

come-to-be out of any and every part of flesh'. Those, however, who

maintain the theory in question, are not at liberty to conceive that

'both come-to-be out of flesh' in that manner, but only as a stone and

a brick 'both come-to-be out of a wall'-viz. each out of a different

place or part. Similarly (b) even for those who postulate a single

matter of their 'elements' there is a certain difficulty in explaining

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