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On Generation and corruption   

is thus, then, that in the first place the 'elements' are transformed;

and that (in the second place) out of the 'elements' there

come-to-be flesh and bones and the like-the hot becoming cold and

the cold becoming hot when they have been brought to the 'mean'. For

at the 'mean' is neither hot nor cold. The 'mean', however, is of

considerable extent and not indivisible. Similarly, it is qua

reduced to a 'mean' condition that the dry and the moist, as well as

the contraries we have used as examples, produce flesh and bone and

the remaining compounds.


All the compound bodies-all of which exist in the region belonging

to the central body-are composed of all the 'simple' bodies. For

they all contain Earth because every 'simple' body is to be found

specially and most abundantly in its own place. And they all contain

Water because (a) the compound must possess a definite outline and

Water, alone of the 'simple' bodies, is readily adaptable in shape:

moreover (b) Earth has no power of cohesion without the moist. On

the contrary, the moist is what holds it together; for it would fall

to pieces if the moist were eliminated from it completely.

They contain Earth and Water, then, for the reasons we have given:

and they contain Air and Fire, because these are contrary to Earth and

Water (Earth being contrary to Air and Water to Fire, in so far as one

Substance can be 'contrary' to another). Now all compounds

presuppose in their coming-to-be constituents which are contrary to

one another: and in all compounds there is contained one set of the

contrasted extremes. Hence the other set must be contained in them

also, so that every compound will include all the 'simple' bodies.

Additional evidence seems to be furnished by the food each

compound takes. For all of them are fed by substances which are the

same as their constituents, and all of them are fed by more substances

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