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On Generation and corruption   


be'. For since the revolving body is always setting something else

in motion, the movement of the things it moves must also be

circular. Thus, from the being of the 'upper revolution' it follows

that the sun revolves in this determinate manner; and since the sun

revolves thus, the seasons in consequence come-to-be in a cycle,

i.e. return upon themselves; and since they come-to-be cyclically,

so in their turn do the things whose coming-to-be the seasons

initiate.

Then why do some things manifestly come to-be in this cyclical

fashion (as, e.g. showers and air, so that it must rain if there is to

be a cloud and, conversely, there must be a cloud if it is to rain),

while men and animals do not 'return upon themselves' so that the same

individual comes-to-be a second time (for though your coming-to-be

presupposes your father's, his coming-to-be does not presuppose

yours)? Why, on the contrary, does this coming-to-be seem to

constitute a rectilinear sequence?

In discussing this new problem, we must begin by inquiring whether

all things 'return upon themselves' in a uniform manner; or whether,

on the contrary, though in some sequences what recurs is numerically

the same, in other sequences it is the same only in species. In

consequence of this distinction, it is evident that those things,

whose 'substance'-that which is undergoing the process-is

imperishable, will be numerically, as well as specifically, the same

in their recurrence: for the character of the process is determined by

the character of that which undergoes it. Those things, on the other

hand, whose 'substance' is perish, able (not imperishable) must

'return upon themselves' in the sense that what recurs, though

specifically the same, is not the same numerically. That why, when

Water comes-to-be from Air and Air from Water, the Air is the same

'specifically', not 'numerically': and if these too recur

numerically the same, at any rate this does not happen with things

whose 'substance' comes-to-be-whose 'substance' is such that it is

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