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On Generation and corruption   

the manner in which it sets things moving.


As to our own theory-we have given a general account of the causes

in an earlier work,' we have now explained and distinguished the

'matter' and the 'form'. Further, since the change which is motion has

been proved' to be eternal, the continuity of the occurrence of

coming-to-be follows necessarily from what we have established: for

the eternal motion, by causing 'the generator' to approach and retire,

will produce coming-to-be uninterruptedly. At the same time it is

clear that we were right when, in an earlier work,' we called motion

(not coming-to-be) 'the primary form of change'. For it is far more

reasonable that what is should cause the coming-to-be of what is

not, than that what is not should cause the being of what is. Now that

which is being moved is, but that which is coming-to-be is not: hence,

also, motion is prior to coming-to-be.

We have assumed, and have proved, that coming-to-be and passing-away

happen to things continuously; and we assert that motion causes

coming-to-be. That being so, it is evident that, if the motion be

single, both processes cannot occur since they are contrary to one

another: for it is a law of nature that the same cause, provided it

remain in the same condition, always produces the same effect, so

that, from a single motion, either coming-to-be or passing-away will

always result. The movements must, on the contrary, be more than

one, and they must be contrasted with one another either by the

sense of their motion or by its irregularity: for contrary effects

demand contraries as their causes.

This explains why it is not the primary motion that causes

coming-to-be and passingaway, but the motion along the inclined

circle: for this motion not only possesses the necessary continuity,

but includes a duality of movements as well. For if coming-to-be and

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