Lectio 1 (184 a 9-b 14)
Chapter 1
(184a.) Ἐπειδὴ τὸ εἰδέναι καὶ τὸ ἐπίστασθαι συμβαίνει περὶ πάσας τὰς μεθόδους, ὧν εἰσὶν ἀρχαὶ ἢ αἴτια ἢ στοιχεῖα, ἐκ τοῦ ταῦτα γνωρίζειν (τότε γὰρ οἰόμεθα γιγνώσκειν ἕκαστον, ὅταν τὰ αἴτια γνωρίσωμεν τὰ πρῶτα καὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς τὰς πρώτας καὶ μέχρι τῶν στοιχείων), δῆλον ὅτι καὶ τῆς περὶ φύσεως ἐπιστήμης πειρατέον διορίσασθαι πρῶτον τὰ περὶ τὰς ἀρχάς. When the objects of an inquiry, in any department, have principles, conditions, or elements, it is through acquaintance with these that knowledge, that is to say scientific knowledge, is attained. For we do not think that we know a thing until we are acquainted with its primary conditions or first principles, and have carried our analysis as far as its simplest elements. Plainly therefore in the science of Nature, as in other branches of study, our first task will be to try to determine what relates to its principles.
πέφυκε δὲ ἐκ τῶν γνωριμωτέρων ἡμῖν ἡ ὁδὸς καὶ σαφεστέρων ἐπὶ τὰ σαφέστερα τῇ φύσει καὶ γνωριμώτερα· οὐ γὰρ ταὐτὰ ἡμῖν τε γνώριμα καὶ ἁπλῶς. διόπερ ἀνάγκη τὸν τρόπον τοῦτον προάγειν ἐκ τῶν ἀσαφεστέρων μὲν τῇ φύσει ἡμῖν δὲ σαφεστέρων ἐπὶ τὰ σαφέστερα τῇ φύσει καὶ γνωριμώτερα. ἔστι δ' ἡμῖν τὸ πρῶτον δῆλα καὶ σαφῆ τὰ συγκεχυμένα μᾶλλον· ὕστερον δ' ἐκ τούτων γίγνεται γνώριμα τὰ στοιχεῖα καὶ αἱ ἀρχαὶ διαιροῦσι ταῦτα. διὸ ἐκ τῶν καθόλου ἐπὶ τὰ καθ' ἕκαστα δεῖ προϊέναι· The natural way of doing this is to start from the things which are more knowable and obvious to us and proceed towards those which are clearer and more knowable by nature; for the same things are not 'knowable relatively to us' and 'knowable' without qualification. So in the present inquiry we must follow this method and advance from what is more obscure by nature, but clearer to us, towards what is more clear and more knowable by nature. Now what is to us plain and obvious at first is rather confused masses, the elements and principles of which become known to us later by analysis. Thus we must advance from generalities to particulars;
τὸ γὰρ ὅλον κατὰ τὴν αἴσθησιν γνωριμώτερον, τὸ δὲ καθόλου ὅλον τί ἐστι· πολλὰ γὰρ περιλαμβάνει ὡς μέρη τὸ καθόλου. for it is a whole that is best known to sense-perception, and a generality is a kind of whole, comprehending many things within it, like parts.
πέπονθε δὲ (184b.) ταὐτὸ τοῦτο τρόπον τινὰ καὶ τὰ ὀνόματα πρὸς τὸν λόγον· ὅλον γάρ τι καὶ ἀδιορίστως σημαίνει, οἷον ὁ κύκλος, ὁ δὲ ὁρισμὸς αὐτοῦ διαιρεῖ εἰς τὰ καθ' ἕκαστα. Much the same thing happens in the relation of the name to the formula. A name, e.g. 'round', means vaguely a sort of whole: its definition analyses this into its particular senses.
καὶ τὰ παιδία τὸ μὲν πρῶτον προσαγορεύει πάντας τοὺς ἄνδρας πατέρας καὶ μητέρας τὰς γυναῖκας, ὕστερον δὲ διορίζει τούτων ἑκάτερον. Similarly a child begins by calling all men 'father', and all women 'mother', but later on distinguishes each of them.
Quia liber physicorum, cuius expositioni intendimus, est primus liber scientiae naturalis, in eius principio oportet assignare quid sit materia et subiectum scientiae naturalis. 1. Because this book, The Physics, upon which we intend to comment here, is the first book of natural science, it is necessary in the beginning to decide what is the matter and the subject of natural science.
Sciendum est igitur quod, cum omnis scientia sit in intellectu, per hoc autem aliquid fit intelligibile in actu, quod aliqualiter abstrahitur a materia; secundum quod aliqua diversimode se habent ad materiam, ad diversas scientias pertinent. Since every science is in the intellect, it should be understood that something is rendered intelligible in act insofar as it is in some way abstracted from matter. And inasmuch as things are differently related to matter they pertain to different sciences.
Rursus, cum omnis scientia per demonstrationem habeatur, demonstrationis autem medium sit definitio; necesse est secundum diversum definitionis modum scientias diversificari. Furthermore, since every science is established through demonstration, and since the definition is the middle term in a demonstration, it is necessary that sciences be distinguished according to the diverse modes of definition.
Sciendum est igitur quod quaedam sunt quorum esse dependet a materia, nec sine materia definiri possunt: quaedam vero sunt quae licet esse non possint nisi in materia sensibili, in eorum tamen definitione materia sensibilis non cadit. Et haec differunt ad invicem sicut curvum et simum. Nam simum est in materia sensibili, et necesse est quod in eius definitione cadat materia sensibilis, est enim simum nasus curvus; et talia sunt omnia naturalia, ut homo, lapis: curvum vero, licet esse non possit nisi in materia sensibili, tamen in eius definitione materia sensibilis non cadit; et talia sunt omnia mathematica, ut numeri, magnitudines et figurae. Quaedam vero sunt quae non dependent a materia nec secundum esse nec secundum rationem; vel quia nunquam sunt in materia, ut Deus et aliae substantiae separatae; vel quia non universaliter sunt in materia, ut substantia, potentia et actus, et ipsum ens. 2. It must be understood, therefore, that there are some things whose existence depends upon matter, and which cannot be defined without matter. Further there are other things which, even though they cannot exist except in sensible matter, have no sensible matter in their definitions. And these differ from each other as the curved differs from the snub. For the snub exists in sensible matter, and it is necessary that sensible matter fall in its definition, for the snub is a curved nose. And the same is true of all natural things, such as man and stone. But sensible matter does not fall in the definition of the curved, even though the curved cannot exist except in sensible matter. And this is true of all the mathematicals, such as numbers, magnitudes and figures. Then, there are still other things which do not depend upon matter either according to their existence or according to their definitions. And this is either because they never exist in matter, such as God and the other separated substances, or because they do not universally exist in matter, such as substance, potency and act, and being itself.
De huiusmodi igitur est metaphysica: de his vero quae dependent a materia sensibili secundum esse sed non secundum rationem, est mathematica: de his vero quae dependent a materia non solum secundum esse sed etiam secundum rationem, est naturalis, quae physica dicitur. 3. Now metaphysics deals with things of this latter sort. Whereas mathematics deals with those things which depend upon sensible matter for their existence but not for their definitions. And natural science, which is called physics, deals with those things which depend upon matter not only for their existence, but also for their definition.
Et quia omne quod habet materiam mobile est, consequens est quod ens mobile sit subiectum naturalis philosophiae. Naturalis enim philosophia de naturalibus est; naturalia autem sunt quorum principium est natura; natura autem est principium motus et quietis in eo in quo est; de his igitur quae habent in se principium motus, est scientia naturalis. And because everything which has matter is mobile, it follows that mobile being is the subject of natural philosophy. For natural philosophy is about natural things, and natural things are those whose principle is nature. But nature is a principle of motion and rest in that in which it is. Therefore natural science deals with those things which have in them a principle of motion.
Sed quia ea quae consequuntur aliquod commune, prius et seorsum determinanda sunt, ne oporteat ea multoties pertractando omnes partes illius communis repetere; necessarium fuit quod praemitteretur in scientia naturali unus liber, in quo tractaretur de iis quae consequuntur ens mobile in communi; sicut omnibus scientiis praemittitur philosophia prima, in qua determinatur de iis quae sunt communia enti inquantum est ens. 4. Furthermore those things which are consequent upon something common must be treated first and separately. Otherwise it becomes necessary to repeat such things many times while discussing each instance of that which is common. Therefore it was necessary that one book in natural science be set forth in which those things which are consequent upon mobile being in common are treated; just as first philosophy, in which those things which are common to being insofar as it is being, is set forth for all the sciences.
Hic autem est liber physicorum, qui etiam dicitur de physico sive naturali auditu, quia per modum doctrinae ad audientes traditus fuit: cuius subiectum est ens mobile simpliciter. This, then, is the book, The Physics, which is also called On Physics, or Of the Natural to be Heard, because it was handed down to hearers by way of instruction. And its subject is mobile being simply.
Non dico autem corpus mobile, quia omne mobile esse corpus probatur in isto libro; nulla autem scientia probat suum subiectum: et ideo statim in principio libri de caelo, qui sequitur ad istum, incipitur a notificatione corporis. I do not, however, say mobile body, because the fact that every mobile being is a body is proven in this book, and no science proves its own subject. And thus in the very beginning of the De Caelo, which follows this book, we begin with the notion of body.
Sequuntur autem ad hunc librum alii libri scientiae naturalis, in quibus tractatur de speciebus mobilium: puta in libro de caelo de mobili secundum motum localem, qui est prima species motus; in libro autem de generatione, de motu ad formam et primis mobilibus, scilicet elementis, quantum ad transmutationes eorum in communi; quantum vero ad speciales eorum transmutationes, in libro Meteororum; de mobilibus vero mixtis inanimatis, in libro de mineralibus; de animatis vero, in libro de anima et consequentibus ad ipsum. Moreover, after The Physics there are other books of natural science in which the species of motion are treated. Thus in the De Caelo we treat the mobile according to local motion, which is the first species of motion. In the De Generatione, we treat of motion to form and of the first mobile things, i.e., the elements, with respect to the common aspects of their changes. Their special changes are considered in the book Meteororum. In the book, De Mineralibus, we consider the mobile mixed bodies which are non-living. Living bodies are considered in the book, De Anima and the books which follow it.
Huic autem libro praemittit philosophus prooemium, in quo ostendit ordinem procedendi in scientia naturali. 5. To this book, then, the Philosopher writes a preface in which he shows the order of procedure in natural science.
Unde duo facit: primo ostendit quod oportet incipere a consideratione principiorum; secundo quod inter principia oportet incipere a principiis universalioribus, ibi: innata autem et cetera. In this preface he does two things. First he shows that it is necessary to begin with a consideration of principles. Secondly, where he says, ‘The natural way of doing this...’ (184 a 16), he shows that among principles, it is necessary to begin with the more universal principles.
Primo ergo ponit talem rationem. In omnibus scientiis quarum sunt principia aut causae aut elementa, intellectus et scientia procedit ex cognitione principiorum, causarum et elementorum; sed scientia quae est de natura, habet principia, elementa et causas; ergo in ea oportet incipere a determinatione principiorum. First he gives the following argument. In all sciences of which there are principles or causes or elements, understanding and science proceed from a knowledge of the principles, causes and elements. But the science which is about nature has principles, elements and causes. Therefore it is necessary in it to begin with a determination of principles.
Quod autem dicit intelligere, refertur ad definitiones; quod vero dicit scire, ad demonstrationes. Nam sicut demonstrationes sunt ex causis, ita et definitiones; cum completa definitio sit demonstratio sola positione differens, ut dicitur in I Poster. When he says ‘to understand’ he has reference to definitions, and when he says ‘to have science’ he has reference to demonstrations. For as demonstrations are from causes, so also are definitions, since a complete definition is a demonstration differing only by position, as is said in Posterior Analytics, I:8.
Per hoc autem quod dicit principia aut causas aut elementa, non intendit idem significare. Nam causa est in plus quam elementum; elementum enim est ex quo componitur res primo et est in eo, ut dicitur in V Metaphys., sicut litterae sunt elementa locutionis, non autem syllabae: causae autem dicuntur ex quibus aliqua dependent secundum suum esse vel fieri; unde etiam quae sunt extra rem, vel quae sunt in re ex quibus non componitur res primo, possunt dici causae, non tamen elementa. Principium vero importat quendam ordinem alicuius processus; unde aliquid potest esse principium, quod non est causa: sicut id unde incipit motus est principium motus, non tamen causa; et punctum est principium lineae, non tamen causa. When, however, he speaks of principles or causes or elements, he does not intend to signify the same thing by each. For cause is wider in meaning than element. An element is a first component of a thing and is in it [i.e., in the composed], as is said in Metaphysics, V:3. Thus the letters, but not the syllables, are the elements of speech. But those things are called causes upon which things depend for their existence or their coming to be. Whence even that which is outside the thing, or that which is in it, though the thing is not first composed of it, can be called a cause. But it cannot be called an element. And thirdly principle implies a certain order in any progression. Whence something can be a principle which is not a cause, as that from which motion begins is a principle of motion, but is not a cause, and a point is a principle of a line but not a cause.
Sic igitur per principia videtur intelligere causas moventes et agentes, in quibus maxime attenditur ordo processus cuiusdam; per causas autem videtur intelligere causas formales et finales, a quibus maxime dependent res secundum suum esse et fieri; per elementa vero proprie primas causas materiales. Therefore, by principle he seems to mean moving causes and agents in which, more than in others, there is found an order of some progression. By causes he seems to mean formal and final causes upon which things most of all depend for their existence and their coming to be. By elements he means properly the first material causes.
Utitur autem istis nominibus disiunctim et non copulatim ad designandum quod non omnis scientia per omnes causas demonstrat. Nam mathematica non demonstrat nisi per causam formalem; metaphysica demonstrat per causam formalem et finalem praecipue, et etiam agentem; naturalis autem per omnes causas. Moreover he uses these terms disjunctively and not copulatively in order to point out that not every science demonstrates through. all the causes. For mathematics demonstrates only through the formal cause. Metaphysics demonstrates through the formal and final causes principally but also through the agent. Natural science, however, demonstrates through all the causes.
Primam autem propositionem rationis inductae probat ex communi opinione, sicut et in libro Poster.: quia tunc quilibet opinatur se cognoscere aliquid, cum scit omnes causas eius a primis usque ad ultimas. Nec oportet ut aliter accipiamus hic causas et elementa et principia quam supra, ut Commentator vult, sed eodem modo. Dicit autem usque ad elementa, quia id quod est ultimum in cognitione est materia. Nam materia est propter formam; forma autem est ab agente propter finem, nisi ipsa sit finis: ut puta dicimus quod propter secare serra habet dentes, et ferreos oportet eos esse ut sint apti ad secandum. He then proves from common opinion the first proposition of his argument. This is also proven in the Posterior Analytics I:2. For a man thinks that he knows something when he knows all its causes from the first to the last. The meaning here of causes, principles, and elements is exactly the same as we have explained above, even though the Commentator disagrees. Furthermore Aristotle says, ‘...as far as its simplest elements’ (184 a 14), because that which is last in knowledge is matter. For matter is for the sake of form, and form is from the agent for the sake of the end, unless it itself is the end. For example, we say that a saw has teeth in order to cut, and these teeth ought to be made of iron so they will be apt for cutting.
Deinde cum dicit: innata autem etc., ostendit quod inter principia oportet praedeterminare de universalioribus: et primo ostendit hoc per rationem; secundo per quaedam signa, ibi: totum enim et cetera. 6. Next where he says, ‘The natural way of doing this...’(184 a 16), he shows that among principles it is necessary to treat the more universal ones first, And he shows this first by means of an argument, and secondly, by an “ample, where he says, for it is a whole (184 a 25 #9).
Circa primum ponit talem rationem. Innatum est nobis ut procedamus cognoscendo ab iis quae sunt nobis magis nota, in ea quae sunt magis nota naturae; sed ea quae sunt nobis magis nota, sunt confusa, qualia sunt universalia; ergo oportet nos ab universalibus ad singularia procedere. First he gives the following argument. It is natural for us to proceed in knowing from those things which are better known to us to those which are better known by nature. But the things which are better known to us are confused, such as the universals. Therefore it is necessary for us to proceed from universals to singulars.
Ad manifestationem autem primae propositionis, inducit quod non sunt eadem magis nota nobis et secundum naturam; sed illa quae sunt magis nota secundum naturam, sunt minus nota secundum nos. Et quia iste est naturalis modus sive ordo addiscendi, ut veniatur a nobis notis ad ignota nobis; inde est quod oportet nos devenire ex notioribus nobis ad notiora naturae. 7. For purposes of clarifying the first proposition he makes the point that things which are better known to us and things which are better known according to nature are not the same. Rather those things which are better known according to nature are less known to us. And because the natural way or order of learning is that we should come to that which is unknown by us from that which is known by us, it is necessary for us to arrive at the better known in nature from the better known to us.
Notandum autem est quod idem dicit nota esse naturae et nota simpliciter. Simpliciter autem notiora sunt, quae secundum se sunt notiora. Sunt autem secundum se notiora, quae plus habent de entitate: quia unumquodque cognoscibile est inquantum est ens. Magis autem entia sunt, quae sunt magis in actu: unde ista maxime sunt cognoscibilia naturae. It must be noted, however, that that which is known by nature and that which is known simply mean the same. Those things are better known simply which are in themselves better known. But those things are better known in themselves which have more being, because each thing is knowable insofar as it is being. However, those beings are greater which are greater in act. Whence these are the most knowable by nature.
Nobis autem e converso accidit, eo quod nos procedimus intelligendo de potentia in actum; et principium cognitionis nostrae est a sensibilibus, quae sunt materialia, et intelligibilia in potentia: unde illa sunt prius nobis nota quam substantiae separatae, quae sunt magis notae secundum naturam, ut patet in II Metaphys. For us, however, the converse is true because we proceed in understanding from potency to act. Our knowledge begins from sensible things which are material and intelligible in potency. Whence these things are known by us before the separated substances, which are better known according to nature, as is clear in Metaphysics, II:2.
Non ergo dicit notiora naturae, quasi natura cognoscat ea; sed quia sunt notiora secundum se et secundum propriam naturam. Dicit autem notiora et certiora, quia in scientiis non quaeritur qualiscumque cognitio, sed cognitionis certitudo. He does not, therefore, say known by nature as if nature knew these things, but because they are better known in themselves and according to their proper natures. And he says better known and more certain, because in the sciences not just any kind of knowledge is sought, but a certain knowledge.
Ad intellectum autem secundae propositionis, sciendum est quod confusa hic dicuntur quae continent in se aliqua in potentia et indistincte. Et quia cognoscere aliquid indistincte, medium est inter puram potentiam et actum perfectum, ideo, dum intellectus noster procedit de potentia in actum, primo occurrit sibi confusum quam distinctum; sed tunc est scientia completa in actu, quando pervenitur per resolutionem ad distinctam cognitionem principiorum et elementorum. Et haec est ratio quare confusa sunt primo nobis nota quam distincta. Next in order to understand the second proposition, it must be known that those things are here called ‘confused’ which contain in themselves something potential and indistinct. And because to know something indistinctly is a mean between pure potency and perfect act, so it is that while our intellect proceeds from potency to act, it knows the confused before it knows the distinct. But it has complete science in act when it arrives, through resolution, at a distinct knowledge of the principles and elements. And this is the reason why the confused is known by us before the distinct.
Quod autem universalia sint confusa manifestum est, quia universalia continent in se suas species in potentia, et qui scit aliquid in universali scit illud indistincte; tunc autem distinguitur eius cognitio, quando unumquodque eorum quae continentur potentia in universali, actu cognoscitur: qui enim scit animal, non scit rationale nisi in potentia. Prius autem est scire aliquid in potentia quam in actu: secundum igitur hunc ordinem addiscendi quo procedimus de potentia in actum, prius quoad nos est scire animal quam hominem. That universals are confused is clear. For universals contain in themselves their species in potency. And whoever knows something in the universal knows it indistinctly. The knowledge, however, becomes distinct when each of the things which are contained in potency in the universal is known in act. For he who knows animal does not know the rational except in potency. Thus knowing something in potency is prior to knowing it in act. Therefore, according to this order of learning, in which we proceed from potency to act, we know animal before we know man.
Contrarium autem huic videtur esse quod dicit philosophus in I Poster., quod singularia sunt magis nota quoad nos, universalia vero naturae sive simpliciter. 8. It would seem, however, that this is contrary to what the Philosopher says in Posterior Analytics, I:2, namely, that singulars are better known to us, whereas the universals are better known by nature or simply.
Sed intelligendum est quod ibi accipit singularia ipsa individua sensibilia: quae sunt magis nota quoad nos, quia sensus cognitio, quae est singularium, praecedit cognitionem intellectus in nobis, quae est universalium. Sed quia cognitio intellectualis est perfectior, universalia autem sunt intelligibilia in actu, non autem singularia (cum sint materialia); simpliciter et secundum naturam universalia sunt notiora. But it must be understood that there he takes as singulars the individual sensible things themselves, which are better known to us because the knowledge of sense, which is of singulars, does precede in us the knowledge of the intellect, which is of universals. And because intellectual knowledge is more perfect, and because the universals are intelligible in act, whereas the singulars are not (since they are material), the universals are better known simply and according to nature.
Hic autem singularia dicit non ipsa individua, sed species; quae sunt notiores secundum naturam, utpote perfectiores existentes et distinctam cognitionem habentes: genera vero sunt prius nota quoad nos, utpote habentia cognitionem in potentia et confusam. Here, however, by singulars he means not the individuals themselves, but the species. And these are better known by nature, existing more perfectly, as it were, and being known with a distinct knowledge. But the genera are known by us first, being known, as it were, confusedly and in potency.
Sciendum autem quod Commentator aliter exponit. Dicit enim quod ibi, innata autem est etc., vult ostendere philosophus modum demonstrationis huius scientiae, quia scilicet demonstrat per effectus et posteriora secundum naturam: ut sic quod ibi dicitur, intelligatur de processu in demonstrando, et non in determinando. Cum autem dicit, sunt autem nobis etc., intendit manifestare, secundum eum, quae sunt magis nota quoad nos et minus nota secundum naturam, scilicet composita simplicibus, intelligens composita per confusa. Ultimo autem concludit quod procedendum est ab universalioribus ad minus universalia, quasi quoddam corollarium. It should be known, however, that the Commentator explains this passage in another way. He says that in the passage beginning, ‘The natural way of doing this...’ (184 a 16), the Philosopher wishes to explain the method of demonstration of this science, namely, that this science demonstrates through the effect and what is posterior according to nature. Hence what is said here is to be understood of the progression in demonstration and not of the progression in determination. Then in the passage where Aristotle says, ‘Now what is plain to us...’(184 a 22), he intends to make clear (according to the Commentator) what things are better known to us and what is better known by nature, i.e., things which are composed of the simple, understanding ‘confused’ to mean ‘composed’. Finally, then, he concludes, as if to a corollary, that we must proceed from the more universal to the less universal.
Unde patet quod eius expositio non est conveniens, quia non coniungit totum ad unam intentionem; et quia hic non intendit philosophus ostendere modum demonstrationis huius scientiae, hoc enim faciet in secundo libro secundum ordinem determinandi; iterum quia confusa non debent exponi composita, sed indistincta; non enim posset concludi aliquid ex universalibus, cum genera non componantur ex speciebus. It is clear that his explanation is not suitable, because he does not join the whole passage to one intention. Moreover the Philosopher does not intend to set forth the mode of demonstration of this science here, because he will do this in Book II according to his order of treatment. Furthermore, the confused should not be taken to mean composed, but rather to mean indistinct. For nothing could be concluded from such universals because genera are not composed of species.
Deinde cum dicit: totum enim etc., manifestat propositum per tria signa. Quorum primum sumitur a toto integrali sensibili: et dicit quod totum sensibile est notius secundum sensum; ergo et totum intelligibile est notius secundum intellectum. Universale autem est quoddam totum intelligibile, quia comprehendit multa ut partes, scilicet sua inferiora; ergo universale est notius secundum intellectum quoad nos. Videtur autem haec probatio inefficax, quia utitur toto et parte et comprehensione aequivoce. 9. Next, where he says, ‘... for it is a whole ...’ (184 a 25), he clarifies his position with three examples. The first of these is taken from the integral sensible whole. He says that since the sensible whole is better known to the sense, then, the intelligible whole is also better known to the intellect. But the universal is a sort of intelligible whole, because it comprehends many as parts, namely, its inferiors. Therefore the universal is better known to us intellectually.
Dicendum est autem quod totum integrale et universale conveniunt in hoc, quod utrumque est confusum et indistinctum. But it would seem that this proof is not effective, because he uses whole and part and comprehension equivocally.
Sicuti enim qui apprehendit genus, non apprehendit species distincte sed in potentia tantum, ita qui apprehendit domum, nondum distinguit partes: unde cum ratione confusionis totum sit prius cognitum quoad nos, eadem ratio est de utroque toto. Esse autem compositum non est commune utrique toti: unde manifestum est quod signanter dixit supra confusa, et non composita. However it must be said that the integral whole and the universal agree in that each is confused and indistinct. For just as he who apprehends a genus does not apprehend the species distinctly, but in potency only, so also he who apprehends a house does not yet distinguish its parts. Whence it is that a whole is first known to us as confused. This applies to both of these wholes. However, to be composed is not common to each whole. Whence it is clear that Aristotle significantly said ‘confused’ above and not ‘composed’.
Deinde cum dicit: sustinent autem etc., ponit aliud signum de toto integrali intelligibili. 10. Next where he says, ‘Much the same thing ...’ (184 b 9), he gives another example taken from the integral intelligible whole.
Definitum enim se habet ad definientia quodammodo ut totum integrale, inquantum actu sunt definientia in definito; sed tamen qui apprehendit nomen, ut puta hominem aut circulum, non statim distinguit principia definientia; unde nomen est sicut quoddam totum et indistinctum, sed definitio dividit in singularia, idest distincte ponit principia definiti. For that which is defined is related to the things defining it as a kind of integral whole, insofar as the things defining it are in act in that which is defined. But he who apprehends a name, for example, man or circle, does not at once distinguish the defining principles. Whence it is that the name is, as it were, a sort of whole and is indistinct, whereas the definition divides into singulars, i.e., distinctly sets forth the principles of that which is defined.
Videtur autem hoc esse contrarium ei quod supra dixit; nam definientia videntur esse universaliora, quae dixit prius esse nota nobis. Item si definitum esset notius nobis quam definientia, non notificaretur nobis definitum per definitionem: nihil enim notificatur nobis nisi ex magis notis nobis. This, however, seems to be contrary to what he said above. For the things which define would seem to be more universal, and these, he said, were first known by us. Furthermore, if that which is defined were better known to us than the things which define, we would not grasp that which is defined through the definition, for we grasp nothing except through that which is better known to us.
Sed dicendum quod definientia secundum se sunt prius nota nobis quam definitum; sed prius est notum nobis definitum, quam quod talia sint definientia ipsius: sicut prius sunt nota nobis animal et rationale quam homo; sed prius est nobis notus homo confuse, quam quod animal et rationale sint definientia ipsius. But it must be said that the things which define are in themselves known to us before that which is defined, but we know the thing which is defined before we know that these are the things which define it. Thus we know animal and rational before we know man. But man is known confusedly before we know that animal and rational are the things which define man.
Deinde cum dicit: et pueri etc., ponit tertium signum sumptum ex universaliori sensibili. Sicut enim universalius intelligibile est prius notum nobis secundum intellectum, ut puta animal homine, ita communius sensibile est prius notum nobis secundum sensum, ut puta hoc animal quam hic homo. 11. Next where he says, ‘Similarly a child ...’ (184 b 11), he gives the third example taken from the more universal sensible. For as the more universal intelligible is first known to us intellectually, for example, animal is known before man, so the more common sensible is first known to us according to sense, for example, we know this animal before we know this man.
Et dico prius secundum sensum et secundum locum et secundum tempus. Secundum locum quidem, quia cum aliquis a remotis videtur, prius percipimus ipsum esse corpus quam esse animal, et hoc prius quam quod sit homo, et ultimo quod sit Socrates. Et similiter secundum tempus puer prius apprehendit hunc ut quendam hominem, quam ut hunc hominem qui est Plato, qui est pater eius: et hoc est quod dicit, pueri primum appellant omnes viros patres et feminas matres, sed posterius determinant, idest determinate cognoscunt, unumquodque. And I say first according to sense both with reference to place and with reference to time. This is true according to place because, when someone is seen at a distance, we perceive him to be a body before we perceive that he is an animal, and animal before we perceive him to be a man, and finally we perceive that he is Socrates. And in the same way with reference to time, a boy apprehends this individual as some man before he apprehends this man, Plato, who is his father. And this is what he says: children at first call all men fathers and all women mothers, but later they determine, that is, they know each determinately.
Ex quo manifeste ostenditur quod prius cognoscimus aliquid sub confusione quam distincte. From this it is clearly shown that we know a thing confusedly before we know it distinctly.

Lectio 2 (184 b 15-185 a 19)
Chapter 2
Ἀνάγκη δ' ἤτοι μίαν εἶναι τὴν ἀρχὴν ἢ πλείους, καὶ εἰ μίαν, ἤτοι ἀκίνητον, ὥς φησι Παρμενίδης καὶ Μέλισσος, ἢ κινουμένην, ὥσπερ οἱ φυσικοί, οἱ μὲν ἀέρα φάσκοντες εἶναι οἱ δ' ὕδωρ τὴν πρώτην ἀρχήν· εἰ δὲ πλείους, ἢ πεπερασμένας ἢ ἀπείρους, καὶ εἰ πεπερασμένας πλείους δὲ μιᾶς, ἢ δύο ἢ τρεῖς ἢ τέτταρας ἢ ἄλλον τινὰ ἀριθμόν, καὶ εἰ ἀπείρους, ἢ οὕτως ὥσπερ Δημόκριτος, τὸ γένος ἕν, σχήματι δὲ <διαφερούσας>, ἢ εἴδει διαφερούσας ἢ καὶ ἐναντίας. The principles in question must be either (a) one or (b) more than one. If (a) one, it must be either (i) motionless, as Parmenides and Melissus assert, or (ii) in motion, as the physicists hold, some declaring air to be the first principle, others water. If (b) more than one, then either (i) a finite or (ii) an infinite plurality. If (i) finite (but more than one), then either two or three or four or some other number. If (ii) infinite, then either as Democritus believed one in kind, but differing in shape or form; or different in kind and even contrary.
ὁμοίως δὲ ζητοῦσι καὶ οἱ τὰ ὄντα ζητοῦντες πόσα· ἐξ ὧν γὰρ τὰ ὄντα ἐστὶ πρώτων, ζητοῦσι ταῦτα πότερον ἓν ἢ πολλά, καὶ εἰ πολλά, πεπερασμένα ἢ ἄπειρα, ὥστε τὴν ἀρχὴν καὶ τὸ στοιχεῖον ζητοῦσι πότερον ἓν ἢ πολλά. A similar inquiry is made by those who inquire into the number of existents: for they inquire whether the ultimate constituents of existing things are one or many, and if many, whether a finite or an infinite plurality. So they too are inquiring whether the principle or element is one or many.
τὸ μὲν οὖν εἰ ἓν καὶ ἀκίνητον τὸ ὂν σκοπεῖν οὐ περὶ φύσεώς ἐστι σκο(185a.) πεῖν· ὥσπερ γὰρ καὶ τῷ γεωμέτρῃ οὐκέτι λόγος ἔστι πρὸς τὸν ἀνελόντα τὰς ἀρχάς, ἀλλ' ἤτοι ἑτέρας ἐπιστήμης ἢ πασῶν κοινῆς, οὕτως οὐδὲ τῷ περὶ ἀρχῶν· οὐ γὰρ ἔτι ἀρχὴ ἔστιν, εἰ ἓν μόνον καὶ οὕτως ἓν ἔστιν. ἡ γὰρ ἀρχὴ τινὸς ἢ τινῶν. Now to investigate whether Being is one and motionless is not a contribution to the science of Nature. For just as the geometer has nothing more to say to one who denies the principles of his science—this being a question for a different science or for or common to all—so a man investigating principles cannot argue with one who denies their existence. For if Being is just one, and one in the way mentioned, there is a principle no longer, since a principle must be the principle of some thing or things.
ὅμοιον δὴ τὸ σκοπεῖν εἰ οὕτως ἓν καὶ πρὸς ἄλλην θέσιν ὁποιανοῦν διαλέγεσθαι τῶν λόγου ἕνεκα λεγομένων (οἷον τὴν Ἡρακλείτειον, ἢ εἴ τις φαίη ἄνθρωπον ἕνα τὸ ὂν εἶναι), To inquire therefore whether Being is one in this sense would be like arguing against any other position maintained for the sake of argument (such as the Heraclitean thesis, or such a thesis as that Being is one man)
ἢ λύειν λόγον ἐριστικόν, ὅπερ ἀμφότεροι μὲν ἔχουσιν οἱ λόγοι, καὶ ὁ Μελίσσου καὶ ὁ Παρμενίδου· καὶ γὰρ ψευδῆ λαμβάνουσι καὶ ἀσυλλόγιστοί εἰσιν· μᾶλλον δ' ὁ Μελίσσου φορτικὸς καὶ οὐκ ἔχων ἀπορίαν, ἀλλ' ἑνὸς ἀτόπου δοθέντος τὰ ἄλλα συμβαίνει· τοῦτο δὲ οὐδὲν χαλεπόν. or like refuting a merely contentious argument—a description which applies to the arguments both of Melissus and of Parmenides: their premisses are false and their conclusions do not follow. Or rather the argument of Melissus is gross and palpable and offers no difficulty at all: accept one ridiculous proposition and the rest follows—a simple enough proceeding.
ἡμῖν δ' ὑποκείσθω τὰ φύσει ἢ πάντα ἢ ἔνια κινούμενα εἶναι· δῆλον δ' ἐκ τῆς ἐπαγωγῆς. ἅμα δ' οὐδὲ λύειν ἅπαντα προσήκει, ἀλλ' ἢ ὅσα ἐκ τῶν ἀρχῶν τις ἐπιδεικνὺς ψεύδεται, ὅσα δὲ μή, οὔ, οἷον τὸν τετραγωνισμὸν τὸν μὲν διὰ τῶν τμημάτων γεωμετρικοῦ διαλῦσαι, τὸν δὲ Ἀντιφῶντος οὐ γεωμετρικοῦ· We physicists, on the other hand, must take for granted that the things that exist by nature are, either all or some of them, in motion which is indeed made plain by induction. Moreover, no man of science is bound to solve every kind of difficulty that may be raised, but only as many as are drawn falsely from the principles of the science: it is not our business to refute those that do not arise in this way: just as it is the duty of the geometer to refute the squaring of the circle by means of segments, but it is not his duty to refute Antiphon's proof.
οὐ μὴν ἀλλ' ἐπειδὴ περὶ φύσεως μὲν οὔ, φυσικὰς δὲ ἀπορίας συμβαίνει λέγειν αὐτοῖς, ἴσως ἔχει καλῶς ἐπὶ μικρὸν διαλεχθῆναι περὶ αὐτῶν· ἔχει γὰρ φιλοσοφίαν ἡ σκέψις. At the same time the holders of the theory of which we are speaking do incidentally raise physical questions, though Nature is not their subject: so it will perhaps be as well to spend a few words on them, especially as the inquiry is not without scientific interest.
Posito prooemio, in quo ostensum est quod scientia naturalis debet incipere a principiis universalioribus, hic secundum praedictum ordinem incipit prosequi ea quae pertinent ad scientiam naturalem. 12. Having completed the preface in which it was shown that natural science ought to begin with the more universal principles, here, according to the order already stated, he begins to pursue those matters which pertain to natural science.
Et dividitur in duas partes: in quarum prima determinat de principiis universalibus scientiae naturalis; in secunda determinat de ente mobili in communi, de quo intendit in hoc libro; et hoc in tertio libro, ibi: quoniam autem natura est et cetera. This discussion is divided into two parts. In the first part he treats the universal principles of natural science. In the second part he treats mobile being in common (which is what he intends to treat in this book).’ This is taken up in Book III, where he says, ‘Nature has been defined ...’ (200 b 12; L1).
Prima in duas: in prima determinat de principiis subiecti huius scientiae, idest de principiis entis mobilis inquantum huiusmodi; in secunda de principiis doctrinae, in secundo libro, ibi: eorum quae sunt et cetera. The first part is divided into two parts. First he treats the principles of the subject of this science, that is, the principles of mobile being as such. Secondly he treats the principles of the doctrine. This he does in Book II, where he says, ‘Of things that exist...’ (192 b 8; L1).
Prima autem in duas: in prima prosequitur opiniones aliorum de principiis communibus entis mobilis; in secunda inquirit veritatem de eis, ibi: omnes igitur contraria principia et cetera. The first part is divided into two parts. First he considers the opinions others have had concerning the common principles of mobile being. Secondly he seeks the truth concerning them, where he says, ‘All thinkers, then, agree ...’ (188 a 18; L10).
Circa primum tria facit: primo ponit diversas opiniones antiquorum philosophorum de principiis communibus naturae; secundo ostendit quod aliquas earum prosequi non pertinet ad naturalem, ibi: id quidem igitur etc.; tertio prosequitur opiniones improbando earum falsitatem, ibi: principium autem et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes three points. First he sets forth the different opinions of the ancient philosophers concerning the common principles of nature. Secondly, where he says, ‘Now to investigate ...’ (184 b 25 #15), he shows that it does not pertain to natural science to pursue some of these opinions. Thirdly, where he says, ‘The most pertinent question...’ (185 a 20; L3), he considers these opinions, showing their falsity.
Circa primum duo facit: primo ponit diversas opiniones philosophorum de principiis naturae; secundo ostendit eandem diversitatem esse circa opiniones philosophorum de entibus, ibi: similiter autem quaerunt et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he sets forth the different opinions of the philosophers concerning the principles of nature. Secondly, where he says, ‘A similar inquiry is made ...’ (184 b 23 #14), he shows that this same diversity exists with reference to the opinions of the philosophers concerning beings.
Dicit ergo primo quod necesse est esse unum principium naturae aut multa; et utraque pars habuit philosophos opinantes. 13. He says, therefore, first of all, that it is necessary that there be one principle of nature or many. And each position has claimed the opinions of the philosophers.
Quidam enim eorum posuerunt unum principium, quidam multa. Et eorum qui posuerunt unum, quidam posuerunt illud esse immobile, sicut Parmenides et Melissus, de quorum opinione infra patebit; quidam vero posuerunt illud esse mobile, scilicet antiqui naturales. Some of them, indeed, held that there is one principle, others held that there are many. And of those who held that there is one principle, some held that it was immobile, as did Parmenides and Melissus, whose opinion he will examine below. Some, however, held that it was mobile, as did. the natural philosophers.
Quorum quidam posuerunt aerem esse principium omnium naturalium, ut Diogenes; quidam vero aquam, ut Thales; quidam vero ignem, ut Heraclitus; alii vero aliquid medium inter aerem et aquam, ut vaporem. Of these, some held that air was the principle of all natural things, as Diogenes; others that it was water, as Thales; others that it was fire, as Heraclitus; and still others some mean between air and water, such as vapour.
Nullus vero eorum qui posuerunt principium unum tantum, dixit illud esse terram, propter eius grossitiem. Huiusmodi autem principia mobilia dicebant, quia per horum alicuius rarefactionem et condensationem alia fieri dicebant. But none of those who held that there was only one principle said that it was earth because of its density. For they held that principles of this sort were mobile, because they said that other things come to be through the rarefication and condensation of certain of these principles.
Eorum vero qui posuerunt plura principia, quidam posuerunt ea finita, quidam posuerunt infinita. Of those who held the principles to be many, some held them to be finite, others held that they were infinite.
Eorum autem qui posuerunt ea esse finita, licet plura uno, quidam posuerunt ea esse duo, scilicet ignem et terram, ut infra dicet de Parmenide; quidam vero tria, scilicet ignem, aerem et aquam (nam terram quasi compositam existimabant propter eius grossitiem); alii vero posuerunt ea esse quatuor, scilicet Empedocles, vel etiam secundum aliquem alium numerum (quia et ipse Empedocles cum quatuor elementis posuit duo alia, scilicet amicitiam et litem). Of those who held that they were finite (although more than one) some held that there were two, i.e., fire and earth, as Parmenides will say below [L 10]. Others held that there were three, i.e., fire, air and water (for ‘they thought earth to be in some way composed because of its density). Others, however, held that there were four, as Empedocles did, or even some other number, because even Empedocles himself along with the four elements posited two other principles, namely, friendship and strife.
Qui vero posuerunt plura infinita, diversificati sunt. Democritus enim posuit indivisibilia corpora quae dicuntur atomi, esse principia omnium rerum. Sed huiusmodi corpora posuit esse omnia unius generis secundum naturam, sed tamen differebant secundum figuram et formam: et non solum differebant, sed contrarietatem ad invicem habebant. Ponebat enim tres contrarietates, unam secundum figuram, quae est inter curvum et rectum; aliam secundum ordinem, quae est prioris et posterioris; aliam secundum positionem, scilicet ante et retro, sursum et deorsum, dextrorsum et sinistrorsum. Et sic ex illis corporibus unius naturae existentibus, diversa fieri ponebat secundum diversitatem figurae, positionis et ordinis atomorum. Ex hac autem opinione dat intelligere oppositam opinionem, scilicet Anaxagorae, qui posuit infinita principia, sed non unius generis secundum naturam. Posuit enim principia naturae esse infinitas partes minimas carnis et ossis et aliorum huiusmodi, ut manifestum erit inferius. Those who held that there was an infinite plurality of principles had a diversity of opinions. For Democritus held that indivisible bodies which are called atoms are the principles of all things. And he held that bodies of this sort were all of one genus according to nature, but that they differed according to figure and form, and that they not only differed but even had contrariety among themselves. For he held three contrarieties: one according to figure, which is between the curved and the straight, another according to order, which is the prior and the posterior, and another according to position, namely, before and behind, above and below, to the right and to the left. And so he held that from these bodies existing of one nature different things come to be according to the diversity of the figure, position and order of the atoms. In this opinion, then, he gives us some basis for understanding the opposing opinion, namely that of Anaxagoras who held that the principles were infinite, but not of one genus according to nature. For he held that the principles of nature were the infinite, smallest parts of flesh and bone and other such things, as will be made clear below.
Attendendum autem quod non divisit plura principia per mobilia et immobilia, quia nullus ponens prima principia plura, potuit ponere ea immobilia: cum enim omnes ponerent contrarietatem in principiis, contraria autem nata sunt se alterare, cum pluralitate principiorum immobilitas stare non poterat. It must be noted, however, that he did not divide these many principles into mobile and immobile. For none of these who held that the first principles were many held that they were immobile. For since an place contrariety in the principles, and since it is natural for contraries to change, immobility could not stand with a plurality of principles.
Deinde cum dicit: similiter autem quaerunt etc., ostendit quod eadem diversitas opinionum est circa entia. 14. Secondly, at the point where he says, ‘A similar inquiry is made...’ (184 b 23; L9), he shows that there is the same diversity of opinions concerning beings.
Et dicit quod similiter physici, inquirentes de iis quae sunt, idest de entibus, quaerunt quot sint, utrum scilicet unum aut plura; et si sint multa, utrum sint finita vel infinita. He says that in like manner the physicists, when inquiring about those things which are, i.e., about beings, wondered how many there are, i.e., whether there is one or many; and if many, whether finite or infinite.
Et ratio huius est, quia antiqui physici non cognoverunt nisi causam materialem, de aliis autem causis parum tetigerunt. Ponebant autem formas naturales esse accidentia, sicut et artificiales: sicut ergo tota substantia artificialium est eorum materia, ita sequebatur secundum eos quod tota substantia naturalium esset eorum materia. And the reason for this is that the ancient physicists did not know any cause but the material cause (although they touched lightly upon the other causes). Rather they held that the natural forms were accidents, as the forms of artificial things are. Since, therefore, the whole substance of artificial things is their matter, so it followed, according to them, that the whole substance of natural things would be their matter.
Unde qui ponebant tantum unum principium, puta aerem, putabant quod alia entia essent aer secundum suam substantiam: et simile est de aliis opinionibus. Et hoc est quod dicit, quod physici quaerunt ex quibus sunt quae sunt: idest, inquirendo de principiis inquirunt causas materiales, ex quibus entia esse dicuntur. Unde patet quod quando inquirunt de entibus, utrum sint unum aut plura, eorum inquisitio est de principiis materialibus, quae elementa dicuntur. Hence those who held one principle only, for example, air, thought that other beings were air according to their substance. And the same is true of the other opinions. Hence Aristotle says that the physicists seek what is in that from which things are, i.e., in inquiring about principles they sought the material causes from which beings are said to be. Whence it is clear that when they inquire about beings, whether they are one or many, their inquiry concerns the material principles which are called elements.
Deinde cum dicit: id quidem igitur etc., ostendit quod aliquam istarum opinionum improbare non pertinet ad naturalem. 15. Next where he says, ‘Now to investigate ...’ (184 b 25), he shows that it does not pertain to natural science to disprove some of these opinions.
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo ostendit quod improbare opinionem Parmenidis et Melissi non pertinet ad scientiam naturalem; secundo assignat rationem quare ad praesens est utile eam improbare, ibi: sed quoniam de natura et cetera. And concerning this he makes two points. First he shows that it does not pertain to natural science to disprove the opinion of Parmenides and Melissus. Secondly, where he says, ‘At the same time the holders of the theory...’ (185 a 18),2 he gives a reason why it is useful to the present work to disprove this opinion.
Circa primum duo facit: primo ostendit quod non pertinet ad scientiam naturalem improbare praedictam opinionem; secundo quod non pertinet ad eam solvere rationes quae ad probandum ipsam inducuntur, ibi: aut solvere rationem et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he shows that it does not pertain to natural science to disprove the aforesaid opinion. Secondly, where he says, ‘... or like refuting ...’ (185 a 8 #17), he shows that it does not pertain to natural science to resolve the arguments which are brought forth to prove this opinion.
Primum ostendit duabus rationibus, quarum secunda incipit ibi: simile igitur et cetera.  He establishes his first point with two arguments, the second , of which begins where he says, ‘To inquire therefore ...’ (185 a 5 #16).
Dicit ergo primo quod non pertinet ad scientiam naturalem intendere ad perscrutandum de hac opinione, si ens est unum et immobile. Iam enim ostensum est quod non differt secundum intentionem antiquorum philosophorum, ponere unum principium immobile, et ponere unum ens immobile. He says, therefore, that it does not pertain to natural science to undertake a thorough consideration of the opinion whether being is one and immobile. For it has already been shown that there is no difference, according to the intention of the ancient philosophers, whether we hold one immobile principle or one immobile being.
Et quod improbare hanc opinionem ad naturalem non pertineat, sic ostendit. Ad geometriam non pertinet inducere rationem contra destruentem sua principia; sed hoc vel pertinet ad aliquam aliam scientiam particularem (si tamen geometria sit subalternata alicui particulari scientiae; sicut musica arithmeticae subalternatur, ad quam pertinet disputare contra negantem principia musicae); vel hoc pertinet ad scientiam communem, scilicet ad logicam vel metaphysicam. Sed praedicta positio destruit principia naturae; quia si sit solum unum ens, et sic unum, scilicet immobile, ut sic ex eo fieri alia non possint, tolletur ratio principii; quia omne principium aut est principium alicuius aut aliquorum. Ad positionem igitur principii sequitur multitudo, quia aliud est principium et aliud id cuius est principium; qui igitur negat multitudinem, tollit principia: non igitur debet contra hanc positionem disputare naturalis. And that it should not pertain to natural science to disprove this opinion he shows as follows. It does not pertain to geometry to bring forth reasons against an argument which destroys its principles. Rather, this either pertains to some other particular science (if, indeed, geometry is subalternated to some particular science, such as music is subalternated to arithmetic, to which it pertains to dispute against any position denying the principles of music), or it pertains to a common science such as logic or metaphysics. But the aforesaid position destroys the principles of nature. For if there is only one being, and if this being is immobile, such that from it others cannot come to be, then the very nature of a principle is taken away. For every principle is either a principle of some thing or of some things. Therefore, if we posit a principle, a multiplicity follows, because one is the principle and the other is that of which it is the principle. Whoever, therefore, denies multiplicity removes principles. Therefore natural science ought not to argue against this position.
Deinde cum dicit: simile igitur etc., ostendit idem alia ratione. Non enim requiritur ab aliqua scientia ut inducat rationem contra opiniones manifeste falsas et improbabiles; nam quolibet proferente contraria opinionibus sapientis solicitum esse, stultum est, ut dicitur I Topic. 16. Next where he says, ‘To inquire therefore...’(185 a 5), he shows the same point with another argument. It is not required of any science that it bring forth arguments against manifestly false and improbable opinions. For to worry about one who offers positions contrary to the opinions of the wise is stupid, as is said in Topics, I:11.
Hoc est ergo quod dicit, quod intendere ad perquirendum si ens est sic unum, scilicet immobile, simile est ac si disputaretur contra quamlibet aliam positionem improbabilem, ut puta contra positionem Heracliti, qui dixit omnia semper moveri et nihil esse verum; vel contra positionem alicuius qui diceret quod totum ens est unus homo, quae quidem positio esset omnino improbabilis. Et tamen qui ponit esse ens unum tantum immobile, cogitur ponere totum ens esse aliquod unum. Sic igitur patet quod non est naturalis scientiae contra hanc positionem disputare. He says, therefore, that to undertake a thorough consideration of the question whether being is one, and hence immobile, is like arguing against any other improbable position. For example, it is like arguing against the position of Heraclitus, who said that all things are always moved and that nothing is true; or against the position of one who would say that the whole of being is one man, which position, indeed, would be altogether improbable. And indeed whoever holds being to be only one immobile thing is forced to hold that the whole of being is some one thing. It is clear, therefore, that it does not belong to natural science to argue against this position.
Deinde cum dicit: aut solvere etc., ostendit quod non est naturalis etiam solvere praedictorum philosophorum rationes. Et hoc per duas rationes, quarum secunda ponitur ibi: nobis autem subiiciantur et cetera. 17. Next when he says, ‘... or like refuting ...’ (185 a 8), he shows that it does not belong to natural science even to resolve the arguments of the aforementioned philosophers. And this for two reasons, the second of which begins where he says, ‘We physicists ...’ (185 a 13 #18).
Probat ergo primo propositum per hoc quod non exigitur in aliqua scientia ut solvantur rationes sophisticae, quae manifestum defectum habent vel formae vel materiae. Et hoc est quod dicit, quod simile est intendere ad improbabiles rationes aut etiam solvere rationem litigiosam, idest sophisticam. Hoc autem quod sint sophisticae, habent utraeque rationes et Melissi et Parmenidis: peccant enim in materia, unde dicit quod falsa recipiunt, idest falsas propositiones assumunt; et peccant in forma, unde dicit quod non syllogizantes sunt. Sed ratio Melissi est magis onerosa, idest vana et fatua, et non habens defectum, idest non inducens dubitationem: et hoc infra ostendetur. Non est autem inconveniens si uno inconvenienti dato alia sequantur. Sic igitur concludi potest quod non requiritur a philosopho naturali quod solvat huius rationes. First he proves his position by pointing out that it is not incumbent upon any science to resolve sophistic arguments which have an obvious defect of form or matter. He says that to deal with improbable arguments is like solving a contentious or sophistic argument. But each argument of both Melissus and Parmenides is sophistic, for they err in matter, whence he says that they have accepted what is false, i.e., they assume false propositions, and they err in form, whence he says that they are not syllogizing. But the position of Melissus is much worse, i.e., more vain and foolish and does not cause any difficulty. This will be shown below [L 5]. Moreover, it is not inconsistent that given one inconsistency another should follow. Therefore it can be concluded that it is not required of the philosopher of nature that he resolve the arguments of this man.
Deinde cum dicit: nobis autem subiiciantur etc., ponit secundam rationem ad idem: quae talis est. In scientia naturali supponitur quod naturalia moveantur vel omnia vel quaedam: quod dicit quia de quibusdam est dubium si moventur et qualiter moventur, puta de anima, de centro terrae, de polo caeli, et formis naturalibus, et aliis huiusmodi. Et quod naturalia moveantur, potest manifestum esse ex inductione; quia ad sensum apparet quod res naturales moventur. 18. He sets forth the second argument for this where he says, ‘We physicists...’ (185 a 13). The argument is as follows. In natural science it is supposed that natural things are moved, either all or some of them. He says this because there is doubt whether some things are moved and how they are moved, for example, about the soul and the centre of the earth, and the pole of heaven, and about natural forms and other such things. But the fact that natural things are moved can be made clear from induction, for it is apparent to the sense that natural things are moved.
Est autem necessarium motum supponi in scientia naturali, sicut necessarium est supponi naturam, in cuius definitione ponitur motus; est enim natura principium motus, ut infra dicetur. It is as necessary that motion be supposed in natural science as it is necessary that nature be supposed. For motion is placed in the definition of nature, for nature is a principle of motion, as will be said below [II, L1].
Hoc autem habito, quod motus supponatur in scientia naturali, ulterius procedit ad propositum ostendendum per hoc quod non omnes rationes sunt solvendae in aliqua scientia, sed solum illae quae concludunt aliquod falsum ex principiis illius scientiae: quaecumque vero non concludunt ex principiis scientiae, sed ex contrariis principiorum, non solvuntur in illa scientia. Et hoc probat per exemplum in geometricis dicens: ut tetragonismum, idest quadraturam circuli, hunc quidem qui est per decisiones circumferentiae, dissolvere pertinet ad geometram, quia nihil supponit contrarium principiis scientiae. Voluit enim quidam invenire quadratum aequale circulo dividendo circumferentiam circuli in multas partes, et singulis partibus supponendo lineas rectas: et sic, inveniendo aliquam figuram sicut rectilineam aequalem alicui illarum figurarum quae continentur a decisione circumferentiae et corda, aut pluribus aut omnibus, aestimabat se invenisse figuram rectilineam aequalem toti circulo, cui facile erat invenire quadratum aequale per principia geometriae: et sic putabat se invenire posse quadratum aequale circulo. Sed non sufficienter argumentabatur: quia licet illae decisiones consumerent totam circumferentiam circuli, non tamen figurae contentae a decisione circumferentiae et lineis rectis, comprehendebant totam superficiem circularem. Having established this point, that motion is supposed in natural science, he proceeds further to prove his position as follows. Not all arguments must be resolved in any science, but only those which conclude to something false from the principles of that science. Any arguments which do not reach their conclusions from the principles of the science, but from the contraries of these principles, are not resolved in that science. He proves this by an example taken from geometry saying that it pertains to geometry to resolve the problem of squaring, i.e., the squaring of a circle by dissecting the circumference, because this method supposes nothing contrary to the principles of the science of geometry. For somebody wished to find a square equal to a circle by dividing the circumference of the circle into many parts and placing straight lines in each part. And so by finding some figure, which was rectilinear, equal to some of the figures which were contained by the dissections of the circumference and the cords (either many or all), he thought he had found a rectilinear figure equal to the whole circle, to which it was easy to find an equal square through the principles of geometry. And thus he thought that he was able to find a square equal to a circle. But he did not argue well enough, for although these dissections used up the whole circumference of the circle, the figures contained by the dissections of the circumference and the straight lines did not encompass the whole circular surface.
Sed dissolvere quadraturam Antiphontis, non pertinet ad geometram, quia utebatur contrariis principiorum geometriae. Describebat enim in circulo aliquam figuram rectilineam, puta quadratum, et dividebat arcus quibus subtendebantur latera quadrati, singulos in duo media, et a punctis decisionum ducebat lineam rectam ad omnes angulos quadrati; et sic resultabat in circulo figura octo angulorum, quae plus accedebat ad aequalitatem circuli quam quadratum. Iterum dividebat arcus quibus subtendebantur latera figurae octo angulorum, singulos in duo media; et sic ducendo lineas rectas a punctis decisionum ad angulos praedictae figurae, resultabat figura sedecim angulorum, quae adhuc plus accedebat ad aequalitatem circuli. Semper ergo dividendo arcus, et ducendo lineas rectas ad angulos figurae praeexistentis, consurgit figura propinquius se habens ad aequalitatem circuli. Dicebat autem quod non est procedere in infinitum in decisione arcuum: erit ergo devenire ad aliquam figuram rectilineam aequalem circulo, cui poterit quadratum aequari. But to resolve the square of Antiphon does not pertain to geometry, because he used principles contrary to those of geometry. For he described in a circle a certain rectilinear figure, for example, a square. And he divided in half the arcs by which the sides of the square were subtended. And from the points of dissection he led straight lines to all the angles of the square. And then there resulted in the circle a figure of eight angles, which more closely approached equality with the circle than the square. Then he again divided in half the arcs by which the sides of the octagon were subtended, and thus by leading straight lines from the points of dissection to the angles of this figure there resulted a figure of sixteen angles, which still further approached equality with the circle. Therefore, by always dividing the arcs and leading straight lines to the angles of the figure already existing there will arise a figure very near to equality with the circle. He said, then, that it was impossible to proceed to infinity in the dissection of arcs. Therefore, it was necessary to arrive at some rectilinear figure equal to the circle to which some square could be equal.
Quia igitur supponebat quod arcus non semper dividuntur in duo media, quod est contrarium principiis geometriae, huiusmodi rationem dissolvere non pertinet ad geometram. But, because he supposed that an arc is not always divisible in half, which is contrary to the principles of geometry, it does not pertain to geometry to resolve an argument of this sort.
Quia igitur rationes Parmenidis et Melissi supponunt ens esse immobile, ut infra patebit; hoc autem est contra principia supposita in scientia naturali; sequitur quod solvere huiusmodi rationes, non pertinet ad philosophum naturalem. Therefore, because the arguments of Parmenides and Melissus suppose being to be immobile (as will be shown below [L5]), and since this is contrary to the principles supposed in natural science, it follows that it does not pertain to the natural philosopher to resolve arguments of this sort.
Deinde cum dicit: sed quoniam de natura etc., assignat rationem quare disputet contra praedictam positionem. Et dicit quod quia praedicti philosophi loquebantur de rebus naturalibus, licet non inducerent defectus, idest dubitationes naturales; utile est ad propositum disputare de huiusmodi opinionibus: quia etsi non sit scientiae naturalis disputare contra huiusmodi positiones, pertinet tamen ad philosophiam primam. 19. Next where he says, ‘At the same time ...’ (185 a 18), he states why he will argue against the aforementioned position. He says that because the philosophers mentioned above did speak of natural things, even though they did not create a problem (that is, in the sphere of natural science), it is useful for his present purpose to argue against opinions of this sort. For even though it does not pertain to natural science to argue against such positions, it does pertain to first philosophy.

Lectio 3 (185 a 20-b 27)
Chapter 2 cont.
ἀρχὴ δὲ οἰκειοτάτη πασῶν, ἐπειδὴ πολλαχῶς λέγεται τὸ ὄν, πῶς λέγουσιν οἱ λέγοντες εἶναι ἓν τὰ πάντα, πότερον οὐσίαν τὰ πάντα ἢ ποσὰ ἢ ποιά, καὶ πάλιν πότερον οὐσίαν μίαν τὰ πάντα, οἷον ἄνθρωπον ἕνα ἢ ἵππον ἕνα ἢ ψυχὴν μίαν, ἢ ποιὸν ἓν δὲ τοῦτο, οἷον λευκὸν ἢ θερμὸν ἢ τῶν ἄλλων τι τῶν τοιούτων. ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα διαφέρει τε πολὺ καὶ ἀδύνατα λέγειν. εἰ μὲν γὰρ ἔσται καὶ οὐσία καὶ ποιὸν καὶ ποσόν, καὶ ταῦτα εἴτ' ἀπολελυμένα ἀπ' ἀλλήλων εἴτε μή, πολλὰ τὰ ὄντα· εἰ δὲ πάντα ποιὸν ἢ ποσόν, εἴτ' οὔσης οὐσίας εἴτε μὴ οὔσης, ἄτοπον, εἰ δεῖ ἄτοπον λέγειν τὸ ἀδύνατον. οὐθὲν γὰρ τῶν ἄλλων χωριστόν ἐστι παρὰ τὴν οὐσίαν· πάντα γὰρ καθ' ὑποκειμένου λέγεται τῆς οὐσίας. Μέλισσος δὲ τὸ ὂν ἄπειρον εἶναί φησιν. ποσὸν ἄρα τι τὸ ὄν· τὸ γὰρ ἄπειρον ἐν τῷ ποσῷ, οὐσίαν δὲ ἄπειρον εἶναι ἢ ποιότητα ἢ (185b.) πάθος οὐκ ἐνδέχεται εἰ μὴ κατὰ συμβεβηκός, εἰ ἅμα καὶ ποσὰ ἄττα εἶεν· ὁ γὰρ τοῦ ἀπείρου λόγος τῷ ποσῷ προσχρῆται, ἀλλ' οὐκ οὐσίᾳ οὐδὲ τῷ ποιῷ. εἰ μὲν τοίνυν καὶ οὐσία ἔστι καὶ ποσόν, δύο καὶ οὐχ ἓν τὸ ὄν· εἰ δ' οὐσία μόνον, οὐκ ἄπειρον, οὐδὲ μέγεθος ἕξει οὐδέν· ποσὸν γάρ τι ἔσται. The most pertinent question with which to begin will be this: In what sense is it asserted that all things are one? For 'is' is used in many senses. Do they mean that all things 'are' substance or quantities or qualities? And, further, are all things one substance—one man, one horse, or one soul—or quality and that one and the same—white or hot or something of the kind? These are all very different doctrines and all impossible to maintain. or if both substance and quantity and quality are, then, whether these exist independently of each other or not, Being will be many. If on the other hand it is asserted that all things are quality or quantity, then, whether substance exists or not, an absurdity results, if the impossible can properly be called absurd. For none of the others can exist independently: substance alone is independent: for everything is predicated of substance as subject. Now Melissus says that Being is infinite. It is then a quantity. For the infinite is in the category of quantity, whereas substance or quality or affection cannot be infinite except through a concomitant attribute, that is, if at the same time they are also quantities. For to define the infinite you must use quantity in your formula, but not substance or quality. If then Being is both substance and quantity, it is two, not one: if only substance, it is not infinite and has no magnitude; for to have that it will have to be a quantity.
ἔτι ἐπεὶ καὶ αὐτὸ τὸ ἓν πολλαχῶς λέγεται ὥσπερ καὶ τὸ ὄν, σκεπτέον τίνα τρόπον λέγουσιν εἶναι ἓν τὸ πᾶν. λέγεται δ' ἓν ἢ τὸ συνεχὲς ἢ τὸ ἀδιαίρετον ἢ ὧν ὁ λόγος ὁ αὐτὸς καὶ εἷς ὁ τοῦ τί ἦν εἶναι, ὥσπερ μέθυ καὶ οἶνος. εἰ μὲν τοίνυν συνεχές, πολλὰ τὸ ἕν· εἰς ἄπειρον γὰρ διαιρετὸν τὸ συνεχές. (ἔχει δ' ἀπορίαν περὶ τοῦ μέρους καὶ τοῦ ὅλου, ἴσως δὲ οὐ πρὸς τὸν λόγον ἀλλ' αὐτὴν καθ' αὑτήν, πότερον ἓν ἢ πλείω τὸ μέρος καὶ τὸ ὅλον, καὶ πῶς ἓν ἢ πλείω, καὶ εἰ πλείω, πῶς πλείω, καὶ περὶ τῶν μερῶν τῶν μὴ συνεχῶν· καὶ εἰ τῷ ὅλῳ ἓν ἑκάτερον ὡς ἀδιαίρετον, ὅτι καὶ αὐτὰ αὑτοῖς.) Again, 'one' itself, no less than 'being', is used in many senses, so we must consider in what sense the word is used when it is said that the All is one. Now we say that (a) the continuous is one or that (b) the indivisible is one, or (c) things are said to be 'one', when their essence is one and the same, as 'liquor' and 'drink'. If (a) their One is one in the sense of continuous, it is many, for the continuous is divisible ad infinitum. There is, indeed, a difficulty about part and whole, perhaps not relevant to the present argument, yet deserving consideration on its own account—namely, whether the part and the whole are one or more than one, and how they can be one or many, and, if they are more than one, in what sense they are more than one. (Similarly with the parts of wholes which are not continuous.) Further, if each of the two parts is indivisibly one with the whole, the difficulty arises that they will be indivisibly one with each other also.
ἀλλὰ μὴν εἰ ὡς ἀδιαίρετον, οὐθὲν ἔσται ποσὸν οὐδὲ ποιόν, οὐδὲ δὴ ἄπειρον τὸ ὄν, ὥσπερ Μέλισσός φησιν, οὐδὲ πεπερασμένον, ὥσπερ Παρμενίδης· τὸ γὰρ πέρας ἀδιαίρετον, οὐ τὸ πεπερασμένον. But to proceed: If (b) their One is one as indivisible, nothing will have quantity or quality, and so the one will not be infinite, as Melissus says—nor, indeed, limited, as Parmenides says, for though the limit is indivisible, the limited is not.
ἀλλὰ μὴν εἰ τῷ λόγῳ ἓν τὰ ὄντα πάντα ὡς λώπιον καὶ ἱμάτιον, τὸν Ἡρακλείτου λόγον συμβαίνει λέγειν αὐτοῖς· ταὐτὸν γὰρ ἔσται ἀγαθῷ καὶ κακῷ εἶναι, καὶ ἀγαθῷ καὶ μὴ ἀγαθῷ εἶναι—ὥστε ταὐτὸν ἔσται ἀγαθὸν καὶ οὐκ ἀγαθόν, καὶ ἄνθρωπος καὶ ἵππος, καὶ οὐ περὶ τοῦ ἓν εἶναι τὰ ὄντα ὁ λόγος ἔσται ἀλλὰ περὶ τοῦ μηδέν—καὶ τὸ τοιῳδὶ εἶναι καὶ τοσῳδὶ ταὐτόν. But if (c) all things are one in the sense of having the same definition, like 'raiment' and 'dress', then it turns out that they are maintaining the Heraclitean doctrine, for it will be the same thing 'to be good' and 'to be bad', and 'to be good' and 'to be not good', and so the same thing will be 'good' and 'not good', and man and horse; in fact, their view will be, not that all things are one, but that they are nothing; and that 'to be of such-and-such a quality' is the same as 'to be of such-and-such a size'.
Postquam posuit opiniones philosophorum de principiis, hic disputat contra eos. 20. After he has set forth the opinions of the philosophers concerning principles, here Aristotle argues against them.
Et primo contra illos qui non naturaliter de natura locuti sunt; secundo contra illos qui naturaliter de natura locuti sunt, ibi: sicut autem physici et cetera. First he argues against those who spoke unnaturally about nature. Secondly, where he says, ‘The physicists, on the other hand ...’ (187 a 11; L8 #53), he argues against those who spoke of nature in a natural way.
Circa primum duo facit: primo disputat contra positionem Melissi et Parmenidis; secundo contra rationes eorum, ibi: et ex quibus demonstrant et cetera. Circa primum duo facit: primo disputat contra positionem hanc, ens est unum, per rationem sumptam ex parte entis, quod est subiectum in propositione; secundo per rationem sumptam ex parte unius, quod est praedicatum, ibi: amplius quoniam et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he argues against the position of Melissus and Parmenides, and secondly against their arguments, where he says, ‘Further the arguments they use ...’ (186 a 5; L5 #29). Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he argues against the position that ‘being is one’ by using an argument dealing with the ‘being’ which is the subject in this proposition. Secondly, where he says, ‘Again, “one” itself ...’(185 b 5 #22), he uses an argument dealing with the ‘one’ which is the predicate.
Dicit ergo primo: quod id quod maxime accipiendum est pro principio ad disputandum contra positionem praedictam, est quod id quod est, idest ens, dicitur multipliciter. Quaerendum enim est ab eis qui dicunt ens esse unum, quomodo accipiant ens: utrum scilicet pro substantia, vel pro qualitate, vel pro aliquo aliorum generum. Et quia substantia dividitur in universalem et particularem, idest in substantiam primam et secundam, et iterum in multas species, quaerendum est utrum dicant ens esse unum ut hominem unum, aut ut equum unum, aut ut animam unam; aut ut qualitatem unam, ut album aut calidum aut aliquod huiusmodi: multum enim differt quodcumque istorum dicatur. 21. He says first that that which should be taken primarily as a principle in arguing against the aforesaid position is the fact that that which is, i.e., being, is said in many ways. For we must ask of those who say that being is one how they are using ‘being’: whether they take it for substance, or for quality, or for one of the other genera. And because substance is divided into the universal and the particular, i.e., into first and second substance, and further into many species, we must ask the following questions. Do they say that being is one as one man or as one horse, or as one soul, or as one quality, such as white or hot or some other such thing? For it makes a great difference which of these is said.
Oportet igitur quod si ens est unum, quod vel sit substantia et accidens simul, vel sit accidens tantum, vel substantia tantum. Hence, if being is one, it must either be substance and accident together, or it must be accident alone, or substance alone.
Si autem sit substantia et accidens simul, non erit unum ens tantum, sed duo. Nec differt quantum ad hoc utrum substantia et accidens sint simul in uno ut unum vel diversa: If, however, it is substance and accident together, then being will not be one only, but two. Nor does it differ with reference to this whether substance and accident are together in one thing as one or as different.
quia licet sint simul in uno, non tamen sunt unum simpliciter, sed unum subiecto. Et sic ponendo substantiam cum accidente, sequitur quod non sint unum simpliciter sed multa. For even though they are together in one thing, they are not one simply, but one in subject. And so by positing substance with accident it follows that they are not one simply, but many.
Si vero dicatur quod sit accidens tantum et non substantia, hoc est omnino impossibile: nam accidens sine substantia omnino esse non potest; omnia enim accidentia de substantia dicuntur sicut de subiecto, et in hoc ratio eorum consistit. If, however, it is said that being is accident only and not substance, this is altogether impossible. For accident can in no way be without substance. For every accident is said of substance as of its subject, and the very definition of accident involves this.
Si vero dicatur quod sit substantia tantum sine accidente, sequitur quod non sit quantitas, nam quantitas accidens est: et hoc est contra positionem Melissi. Posuit enim ens esse infinitum; unde sequitur quod sit quantum, quia infinitum per se loquendo non est nisi in quantitate; sed substantia et qualitas et huiusmodi non dicuntur infinita nisi per accidens, inquantum scilicet sunt simul cum quantitate. Cum ergo Melissus ponat ens infinitum, non potest ponere substantiam sine quantitate. Si ergo est substantia et quantitas simul, sequitur quod non sit tantum unum ens, sed duo; si vero sit solum substantia, non est infinitum, quia non habebit magnitudinem neque quantitatem: nullo igitur modo potest esse verum quod Melissus dicit, ens esse unum. If, however, it is said that being is substance only without accident, then it follows that it would not be a quantity, for quantity is an accident. And this is contrary to the position of Melissus. For he held that being was infinite, whence it follows that it is quantity, because the infinite, properly speaking, does not exist except in quantity. And substance and quality and the like are not said to be infinite except accidentally insofar as they are, for instance, together with quantity. Since, then, Melissus held being to be infinite, he cannot hold that it is substance without quantity. If, therefore, being is substance and quantity together, it follows that being is not one only, but two. If, however, it is substance alone, it is not infinite, because it will not have magnitude or quantity. Hence what Melissus says, namely, that being is one, can in no way be true.
Deinde cum dicit: amplius quoniam et ipsum etc., ponit secundam rationem acceptam ex parte unius. 22. Then where he says, ‘Again “one” itself...’ (185 b 5) he sets forth his second argument which deals with the ‘one’.
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo ponit rationem; secundo ostendit quomodo quidam erraverunt in solutione ipsius, ibi: conturbati sunt autem et cetera. Concerning this he makes two points. First he gives the argument. Secondly, where he says, ‘Even the more recent ...’ (185 b 25; L4 #25), he shows how some have erred in the solution of this question.
Dicit ergo primo quod sicut ens dicitur multipliciter, ita et unum: et ideo considerandum est quomodo dicant omnia esse unum. He says first that just as being is said in many ways, so also is one. And so we must consider in what way they say that all things are one.
Dicitur enim unum tripliciter: vel sicut continuum est unum, ut linea et corpus; vel sicut indivisibile est unum, ut punctum; vel sicut unum dicuntur illa quorum ratio est una, seu definitio, sicut vappa et vinum dicuntur unum. For ‘one’ is used in three ways: either as the continuous is one, such as a line or a body, or as the indivisible is one, such as a point, or as those things are said to be one whose nature [ratio] or definition is one, as drink and wine are said to be one.
Primo ergo ostendit quod non possunt dicere quod omnia sunt unum continuatione, quia continuum est quodammodo multa: omne enim continuum est in infinitum divisibile, et sic continet in se multas partes. Unde qui ponit ens continuum, necesse est quod ponat quodammodo multa. First, therefore, he shows that we cannot say that all are one by continuity, because a continuum is in a certain respect many. For every continuum is divisible to infinity, and so contains many in itself as parts. Hence whoever holds that being is a continuum must hold that it is in a certain respect many.
Et non solum propter multitudinem partium, sed etiam propter diversitatem quae videtur esse inter totum et partes. And this is true, not only because of the number of the parts, but also because of the difference which seems to exist between the whole and the parts.
Est enim dubitatio utrum totum et partes sint unum aut plura. Et licet forsitan haec dubitatio ad propositum non pertineat, tamen per se ipsam utilis est ad cognoscendum. Et non solum de totis continuis, sed etiam de totis contiguis, quorum partes non sunt continuae; sicut partes domus, quae sunt unum contactu et compositione. Et manifestum est quod totum secundum quid est idem parti, non tamen simpliciter. Si enim simpliciter totum esset idem uni partium, eadem ratione esset idem alteri partium; quae autem uni et eidem sunt eadem, sibi invicem sunt eadem; et sic sequitur quod ambae partes, si ponantur simpliciter esse idem toti, quod sint idem ad invicem. Et sic sequeretur quod totum sit indivisibile, non habens diversitatem partium. For there is a question whether the whole and the parts are one or many. And although this question, perhaps, does not pertain to the matter at hand, it is, nevertheless, worthy of consideration for its own sake. And here we consider not only the continuous whole, but also the contiguous whole whose parts are not continuous, such as the parts of a house which are one by contact and composition. It is clear that that which is a whole accidentally is the same as its parts. But this is not true of that which is a whole simply. For if that which is a whole simply the same as one of the parts, then for the same reason it would be the same as another of the parts. But things which are identical with the same thing are identical with each other. And thus it would follow that both parts, if they are held simply to be the same as the whole, would be identical with each other. Hence it would follow that the whole would be indivisible having no diversity of parts.
Deinde cum dicit: at vero si est etc., ostendit quod omnia non possunt esse unum sicut indivisibile est unum: quia quod est indivisibile non potest esse quantum, cum omnis quantitas sit divisibilis; et per consequens non potest esse quale, ut intelligatur de qualitate quae fundatur super quantitatem. Et si non est quantum, non potest esse finitum, sicut dixit Parmenides, neque infinitum, sicut dixit Melissus; quia terminus indivisibilis, utpote punctus, est finis et non finitus; quia finitum et infinitum conveniunt quantitati. 23. Next where he says, ‘But to proceed ...’ (185 b 18), he shows that it is impossible for all to be one as the indivisible is one. For that which is indivisible cannot be a quantity, since every quantity is divisible. As a result of this it cannot be a quality, if it is understood that we are speaking of a quality which is founded upon quantity. And if it is not a quantity, it cannot be finite as Parmenides has said, nor can it be infinite as Melissus has said. For an indivisible terminus, such as a point, is an end and is not finite. For the finite and the infinite are found in quantity.
Deinde cum dicit: at vero si ratione etc., ostendit quomodo non potest dici omnia esse unum secundum rationem: quia si hoc esset, sequerentur tria inconvenientia. 24. Next where he says, ‘But if all things...’ (185 b 19), he shows how it cannot be said that all things are one in definition [ratio]. For if this were true, three absurdities would follow.
Primum est quod contraria essent unum secundum rationem, scilicet quod eadem ratio esset boni et mali, sicut Heraclitus ponebat eandem esse rationem contrariorum, ut patet in IV Metaphys. The first is that contraries would be one according to definition [ratio), so that the definitions of good and evil would be the same, just as Heraclitus held the definitions of contraries to be the same,. as is made clear in Metaphysics, IV:3.
Secundum inconveniens est quod eadem esset ratio boni et non boni, quia ad malum sequitur non bonum; et sic sequeretur quod esset eadem ratio entis et non entis; et sic sequeretur etiam quod omnia entia non solum essent unum ens, ut ipsi ponunt, sed etiam essent non ens vel nihil; quia quaecumque sunt unum secundum rationem, ita se habent quod de quocumque praedicatur unum, et aliud. Unde si ens et nihil sunt unum secundum rationem, sequitur, si omnia sunt unum ens, quod omnia sunt nihil. The second absurdity is that the definitions [ratio] of the good and the non-good would be the same, because non-good follows upon evil. And thus it would follow that the definitions of being and non-being would be the same. And it would also follow that all beings would not only be one being, as they hold, but also they would be non-being or nothing. For things which are one in definition are so related that they may be used interchangeably as predicates. Whence if being and nothing are one according to definition, then it follows, that if all are one being, all are nothing.
Tertium inconveniens est quod diversa genera, ut quantitas et qualitas, sint eadem secundum rationem. Et hoc inconveniens ponit cum dicit, et tali et tanto. The third absurdity is that the different genera, such as quantity and quality, would be the same according to definition [ratio]. He sets forth this absurdity where he says ‘... “to be of such-and-such a quality” is the same as “to be of such-and-such a size”’ (185 b 24).
Advertendum vero quod sicut philosophus dicit in IV Metaphys., contra negantes principia non potest adduci demonstratio simpliciter, quae procedit ex magis notis simpliciter; sed demonstratio ad contradicendum, quae procedit ex iis quae supponuntur ab adversario, quae sunt interdum minus nota simpliciter. Et sic philosophus in hac disputatione utitur pluribus quae sunt minus nota quam hoc quod est entia esse multa et non unum tantum, ad quod rationes adducit. We must note however, that, as the Philosopher says in Metaphysics, IV:4, against those who deny principles there can be no unqualified demonstration which proceeds from what is more known simply. But we may use a demonstration to contradiction which proceeds from those things which are supposed by our adversary, which things are, for the time being, less known simply. And so the Philosopher, in this argument, uses many things which are less known than the fact that beings are many and not only one—the point about which he argues.

Lectio 4 (185 b 27-186 a 4)
Chapter 2 cont.
ἐθορυβοῦντο δὲ καὶ οἱ ὕστεροι τῶν ἀρχαίων ὅπως μὴ ἅμα γένηται αὐτοῖς τὸ αὐτὸ ἓν καὶ πολλά. διὸ οἱ μὲν τὸ ἐστὶν ἀφεῖλον, ὥσπερ Λυκόφρων, οἱ δὲ τὴν λέξιν μετερρύθμιζον, ὅτι ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὐ λευκός ἐστιν ἀλλὰ λελεύκωται, οὐδὲ βαδίζων ἐστὶν ἀλλὰ βαδίζει, ἵνα μή ποτε τὸ ἐστὶ προσάπτοντες πολλὰ εἶναι ποιῶσι τὸ ἕν, ὡς μοναχῶς λεγομένου τοῦ ἑνὸς ἢ τοῦ ὄντος. πολλὰ δὲ τὰ ὄντα ἢ λόγῳ (οἷον ἄλλο τὸ λευκῷ εἶναι καὶ μουσικῷ, τὸ δ' αὐτὸ ἄμφω· πολλὰ ἄρα τὸ ἕν) ἢ διαιρέσει, ὥσπερ τὸ ὅλον καὶ τὰ μέρη. ἐνταῦθα (186a.) δὲ ἤδη ἠπόρουν, καὶ ὡμολόγουν τὸ ἓν πολλὰ εἶναι—ὥσπερ οὐκ ἐνδεχόμενον ταὐτὸν ἕν τε καὶ πολλὰ εἶναι, μὴ τἀντικείμενα δέ· ἔστι γὰρ τὸ ἓν καὶ δυνάμει καὶ ἐντελεχείᾳ. Even the more recent of the ancient thinkers were in a pother lest the same thing should turn out in their hands both one and many. So some, like Lycophron, were led to omit 'is', others to change the mode of expression and say 'the man has been whitened' instead of 'is white', and 'walks' instead of 'is walking', for fear that if they added the word 'is' they should be making the one to be many—as if 'one' and 'being' were always used in one and the same sense. What 'is' may be many either in definition (for example 'to be white' is one thing, 'to be musical' another, yet the same thing be both, so the one is many) or by division, as the whole and its parts. On this point, indeed, they were already getting into difficulties and admitted that the one was many—as if there was any difficulty about the same thing being both one and many, provided that these are not opposites; for 'one' may mean either 'potentially one' or 'actually one'.
Postquam philosophus improbavit opinionem Parmenidis et Melissi ponentium ens esse unum, hic ostendit quod ex eadem radice quidam posteriores philosophi in dubitationem inciderunt. 25. Having disproven the opinion of Parmenides and Melissus that being is one, the Philosopher here shows that certain later philosophers fell into difficulty on this very same problem.
Erraverunt enim Parmenides et Melissus eo quod nesciverunt distinguere unum: unde quae aliquo modo sunt unum, simpliciter esse unum enunciabant. Posteriores autem philosophi, nescientes distinguere unum, pro inconvenienti reputabant quod idem aliquo modo sit unum et multa: quod tamen convicti rationibus confiteri cogebantur. Et ideo dicit quod posteriores philosophi conturbati sunt, idest in dubitationem inciderunt, quemadmodum et antiqui, scilicet Parmenides et Melissus, ne forte cogerentur hoc dicere, quod idem sit unum et multa; quod inconveniens videbatur utrisque. Et ideo primi ponentes omnia unum, totaliter multitudinem auferebant: posteriores vero multitudinem auferre conabantur a quibuscumque quae ponerent esse unum. Parmenides and Melissus erred because they did not know how to distinguish the uses of the term ‘one’. Thus, what is one in a certain respect, they said was one simply. But the later philosophers, also not knowing how to distinguish the uses of the term ‘one’, thought it absurd that one and the same thing should be in some way one and many. Yet, being convinced by the arguments, they were forced to believe it. And so Aristotle says that the later philosophers were ‘disturbed’ (that is, fell into a difficulty similar to that of the ancients, i.e., Parmenides and Melissus) lest they be forced to say that one and the same thing is one and many. Now this seemed absurd to both groups of philosophers. So the earlier philosophers, holding that all is one, rejected all multiplicity. The later philosophers, on the other hand, tried to remove multiplicity from anything they held to be one.
Et ideo quidam in propositionibus, ut Lycophron, auferebant hoc verbum est: dicebant enim quod non est dicendum homo est albus, sed homo albus. Considerabant enim quod homo et albus sunt quodammodo unum, alioquin album de homine non praedicaretur; sed videbatur eis quod haec dictio est, cum sit copula verbalis, inter duo copularet: et ideo totaliter ab eo quod est unum multitudinem auferre volentes, dicebant non esse apponendum hoc verbum est. 26. Thus some, such as Lycophron, removed the verb is from propositions. They said that we must not say ‘man is white’ but rather ‘white man’. For they thought that man and. white were in some way one, otherwise white would not be predicated of man. And it seemed to them that the word ‘is’, since it is a verbal copula, must serve as a copula between two. And so, wishing to remove all multiplicity from that which is one, they said the verb ‘is’ must not be used.
Sed quia imperfecta oratio videbatur, et imperfectum sensum generari in animo auditoris, si ponantur nomina absque additione alicuius verbi; hoc volentes corrigere alii mutabant modum loquendi, et non dicebant homo albus, propter imperfectionem orationis, nec homo est albus, ne daretur intelligi multitudo, sed homo albatur: quia per hoc quod est albari, non intelligitur res aliqua, ut eis videbatur, sed quaedam subiecti transmutatio. Et similiter dicebant non esse dicendum homo est ambulans, sed homo ambulat; ne per additionem huius copulae verbalis est, id quod reputabant unum, scilicet hominem album, facerent esse multa: ac si unum et ens dicerentur singulariter, idest uno modo, et non multipliciter. But because such speech seemed to be imperfect, and because an imperfect understanding was produced in the soul of him who heard if names were spoken without the addition of any verb, some, wishing to correct this, changed the mode of speech. They did not say ‘white man’ because of the imperfection of this mode of speech. Nor did they say ‘man is white’ lest they give the impression that there is multiplicity. Rather they said ‘man whitened’,’ because by this expression ‘whitened’ [albari] a thing is not understood (as it seemed to them), but rather a certain change in the subject. And in like manner they said that we must not say ‘man is walking’ but ‘man walks’, lest by the addition of the verbal copula ‘is’ they make that which they thought to be one (i.e., white man) to be many, as if one and being were used in only one way and not in many.
Sed hoc est falsum, quia id quod est unum uno modo, potest esse multa alio modo: sicut quod est unum subiecto, potest esse multa ratione, sicut album et musicum idem sunt subiecto sed ratione multa; alia enim est ratio musici et alia albi. Unde concludi potest quod unum sit multa. 27. But this is false, For that which is one in one respect can be many in some other respect, as what is one in subject can be many in definition [ratio]. Thus the white and the musical are the same in subject but many in definition [ratio]. Hence it can be concluded that the one may be many.
Alio etiam modo contingit quod id quod est unum toto et actu, sit multa secundum partium divisionem: unde totum est unum in sua totalitate, sed habet partium multitudinem. This may happen also in another way. That which is actually one as a whole may be many according to a division of parts. Whence the whole is one in its totality, but it has multiplicity of parts.
Et quamvis ad id quod est unum subiecto et multa ratione aliquod remedium adinvenirent, auferentes hoc verbum est, vel commutantes ut supra dictum est; tamen hic, scilicet in toto et partibus, omnino deficiebant respondere nescientes; et confitebantur tanquam aliquid inconveniens, unum esse multa. And although those who wished to remove the verb ‘is’ or alter it, as was said above [#26], found some solution to the objection that things could be one in subject and many in definition [ratio], they failed altogether to answer the objection that a thing may be one as a whole but many in its parts. They still believed it to be something of an absurdity that the one should be many.
Sed hoc non est inconveniens quando unum et multa non accipiuntur ut opposita. Unum enim in actu et multa in actu opponuntur; sed unum in actu et multa in potentia non sunt opposita. Et propter hoc subdit quod unum dicitur multipliciter, scilicet unum in potentia et unum in actu: et sic idem nihil prohibet esse unum in actu et multa in potentia, sicut patet de toto et partibus. But it is not absurd if the one and the many are not taken as opposites. For the one in act and the many in act are opposed, but the one in act and the many in potency are not opposed. And because of this he adds that ‘one’ is said in many ways, i.e., one in potency and one in act. And so nothing prohibits the same thing from being one in act and many in potency, as is clear with regard to the whole and the parts.
Ultimo autem inducit conclusionem principaliter intentam, scilicet quod ex praedictis rationibus patet quod impossibile est omnia entia esse unum. 28. Finally he draws the conclusion which he had uppermost in mind, namely, that it is clear from the foregoing arguments that it is impossible for all beings to be one.

Lectio 5 (186 A 5-22)
Chapter 3
Τόν τε δὴ τρόπον τοῦτον ἐπιοῦσιν ἀδύνατον φαίνεται τὰ ὄντα ἓν εἶναι, καὶ ἐξ ὧν ἐπιδεικνύουσι, λύειν οὐ χαλεπόν. ἀμφότεροι γὰρ ἐριστικῶς συλλογίζονται, καὶ Μέλισσος καὶ Παρμενίδης [καὶ γὰρ ψευδῆ λαμβάνουσι καὶ ἀσυλλόγιστοί εἰσιν αὐτῶν οἱ λόγοι· μᾶλλον δ' ὁ Μελίσσου φορτικὸς καὶ οὐκ ἔχων ἀπορίαν, ἀλλ' ἑνὸς ἀτόπου δοθέντος τἆλλα συμβαίνει· τοῦτο δ' οὐθὲν χαλεπόν]. If, then, we approach the thesis in this way it seems impossible for all things to be one. Further, the arguments they use to prove their position are not difficult to expose. For both of them reason contentiously—I mean both Melissus and Parmenides. [Their premisses are false and their conclusions do not follow. Or rather the argument of Melissus is gross and palpable and offers no difficulty at all: admit one ridiculous proposition and the rest follows—a simple enough proceeding.]
ὅτι μὲν οὖν πα ραλογίζεται Μέλισσος, δῆλον· οἴεται γὰρ εἰληφέναι, εἰ τὸ γενόμενον ἔχει ἀρχὴν ἅπαν, ὅτι καὶ τὸ μὴ γενόμενον οὐκ ἔχει. The fallacy of Melissus is obvious. For he supposes that the assumption 'what has come into being always has a beginning' justifies the assumption 'what has not come into being has no beginning'.
εἶτα καὶ τοῦτο ἄτοπον, τὸ παντὸς εἶναι ἀρχήντοῦ πράγματος καὶ μὴ τοῦ χρόνου, καὶ γενέσεως μὴ τῆς ἁπλῆς ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀλλοιώσεως, ὥσπερ οὐκ ἀθρόας γιγνομένης μεταβολῆς. Then this also is absurd, that in every case there should be a beginning of the thing—not of the time and not only in the case of coming to be in the full sense but also in the case of coming to have a quality—as if change never took place suddenly.
ἔπειτα διὰ τί ἀκίνητον, εἰ ἕν; ὥσπερ γὰρ καὶ τὸ μέρος ἓν ὄν, τοδὶ τὸ ὕδωρ, κινεῖται ἐν ἑαυτῷ, διὰ τί οὐ καὶ τὸ πᾶν; ἔπειτα ἀλλοίωσις διὰ τί οὐκ ἂν εἴη; Again, does it follow that Being, if one, is motionless? Why should it not move, the whole of it within itself, as parts of it do which are unities, e.g. this water? Again, why is qualitative change impossible?
ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδὲ τῷ εἴδει οἷόν τε ἓν εἶναι, πλὴν τῷ ἐξ οὗ (οὕτως δὲ ἓν καὶ τῶν φυσικῶν τινες λέγουσιν, ἐκείνως δ' οὔ)· ἄνθρωπος γὰρ ἵππου ἕτερον τῷ εἴδει καὶ τἀναντία ἀλλήλων. But, further, Being cannot be one in form, though it may be in what it is made of. (Even some of the physicists hold it to be one in the latter way, though not in the former.) Man obviously differs from horse in form, and contraries from each other.
Postquam philosophus improbavit positionem Parmenidis et Melissi, hic incipit solvere eorum rationes. 29. Having disproved the position of Parmenides and Melissus, here the Philosopher begins to answer their arguments.
Et circa hoc tria facit: primo ostendit quomodo rationes eorum sunt solvendae; secundo solvit rationem Melissi, ibi: quod quidem igitur etc.; tertio solvit rationem Parmenidis, ibi: et ad Parmenidem et cetera. Concerning this he makes three points. First he shows how their arguments are to be answered. Secondly, where he says, ‘The fallacy of Melissus ...’ (186 a 10 #31), he answers the argument of Melissus. Thirdly, where he says, ‘The same kind of argument ...’ (186 a 23; L6 #36), he answers the argument of Parmenides.
Dicit ergo primo: quod non est difficile solvere rationes ex quibus syllogizant Parmenides et Melissus, quia utrique sophistice syllogizant et in eo quod assumunt falsas propositiones, et in eo quod non servant debitam formam syllogismi. Sed ratio Melissi est magis onerosa, idest magis vana et fatua, et non habens defectum, idest non inducens dubitationem. Assumit enim quod contrariatur naturalibus principiis et est manifeste falsum, scilicet quod ens non generetur. Unde non est grave si uno inconvenienti dato alia sequantur. 30. He says that it is not difficult to answer the arguments with which Parmenides and Melissus reasoned. For each syllogized sophistically both in that, they assumed false propositions and in that they did not observe the proper form of the syllogism. But the argument of Melissus is the more gross, that is, more vain and foolish, and does not cause any difficulty. For he assumed what is contrary to natural principles and what is manifestly false, namely, that being is not generated. And it is not a serious matter, granting one absurdity, if another should follow.
Deinde cum dicit: quod quidem igitur etc., solvit rationem Melissi: quae talis erat. 31. Next when he says, ‘The fallacy of Melissus ...’ (186 a 10), he answers the argument of Melissus, which argument is as follows.
Quod factum est, habet principium; ergo quod non est factum, non habet principium: sed ens non est factum; ergo non habet principium, et per consequens non habet finem: sed quod non habet principium et finem, est infinitum; ergo ens est infinitum. Quod autem est infinitum, est immobile; non enim haberet extra se quo moveretur: iterum quod est infinitum est unum, quia si esset multa, oporteret esse aliquid extra infinitum: ergo ens est unum et infinitum et immobile. What is made has a beginning. Therefore what is not made has no beginning. But being is not made. Therefore it has no beginning, and as a result has no end. But what has neither beginning nor end is infinite. Therefore being is infinite. But what is infinite is immobile, for it would not have outside itself that by which it would be moved. Furthermore what is infinite is one, because if there were many there must necessarily be something outside the infinite. Therefore being is one and infinite and immobile.
Ad ostendendum autem quod ens non generatur, inducebat quandam rationem qua etiam utebantur quidam philosophi naturales: unde ponit eam infra circa finem huius primi libri. Furthermore, in order to show that being is not generated, Melissus used a certain argument which some natural philosophers also used. Aristotle gives this argument below, near the end of Book I [L14 #120].
Hanc autem rationem improbat quantum ad quatuor. 32. Aristotle disproves this argument of Melissus on four counts.
Primo quidem quantum ad hoc quod dicit: quod factum est habet principium, ergo quod non est factum non habet principium. Hoc enim non sequitur, sed est fallacia consequentis. Arguit enim a destructione antecedentis ad destructionem consequentis, cum recta forma argumentandi sit e converso arguere. Unde non sequitur: si est factum habet principium, ergo si non est factum non habet principium; sed sequeretur: ergo si non habet principium, non est factum. He argues first against the statement of Melissus that if what is made has a beginning, then what is not made has no beginning. This does not follow. Rather it is a fallacy of consequent. For he argues from the destruction of the antecedent to the destruction of the consequent, whereas the correct form of argumentation would be the converse. Whence it does not follow that if a thing which is made has a beginning, then that which is not made does not have a beginning. The correct conclusion would be that if a thing does not have a beginning, then it is not made.
Secundo, ibi: postea et hoc inconveniens etc., improbat praedictam rationem quantum ad illam illationem: non habet principium, ergo est infinitum. 33. Secondly, where he says, ‘Then this also is absurd ...’ (186 a 13), he disproves the argument under discussion with reference to the inference that if something has no beginning, then it is infinite.
Principium enim dicitur dupliciter. Uno modo dicitur principium temporis et generationis; et sic accipitur principium cum dicitur: quod factum est habet principium, vel quod non est factum non habet principium. Alio modo est principium rei vel magnitudinis, et sic sequeretur: si non habet principium est infinitum. Unde patet quod accipit nomen principii ac si esset uno modo dictum. For ‘beginning’ may be taken in two ways. In one way we speak of a beginning of time and of generation. And this meaning of beginning is taken when it is said that what is made has a beginning or what is not made has no beginning. In another sense, beginning is the beginning of a thing or a magnitude. And in this sense it would follow that if a thing has no beginning, then it is infinite.
Et hoc est quod dicit, quod inconveniens est dicere quod principium omnis, id est cuiuscumque habentis principium, sit principium rei, idest magnitudinis; et quod non sit alio modo dictum principium temporis et generationis. Whence it is clear that Melissus uses the term ‘beginning’ as if it had one meaning only. Hence Aristotle says that it is absurd to say that every case of beginning is the beginning of a thing, that is, of a magnitude, so that the beginning of time and of generation is not another meaning of the term.
Non tamen ita quod simplex generatio et momentanea, quae est inductio formae in materiam, habeat principium, quia simplicis generationis non est accipere principium: sed totius alterationis, cuius terminus est generatio, est accipere principium, cum non sit momentanea mutatio, et aliquando generatio dicatur propter suum terminum. However a simple and instantaneous generation (which is the induction of a form in matter) does not have a beginning. For of a simple generation there is no beginning. But there is a beginning for a whole alteration whose terminus is a generation, since this would not be an instantaneous change. And because of this terminus this is sometimes called a generation.
Tertio, ibi: postea propter quid etc., improbat praedictam positionem quantum ad tertiam illationem, qua infertur: est infinitum, ergo est immobile. 34. Thirdly, where he says, ‘Again does it follow...’ (186 a 15), he disproves the above position with reference to its third inference, namely, that because being is infinite, it is immobile.
Et ostendit quod hoc non sequitur dupliciter. Primo quidem in motu locali: quia aliqua pars aquae potest moveri in seipsa, ita quod non moveatur ad locum extrinsecum, sed secundum congregationem et disgregationem partium; et similiter, si totum corpus infinitum esset aqua, esset possibile quod partes eius moverentur infra totum, et non procederent extra locum totius. Item improbat quantum ad motum alterationis: quia nihil prohiberet infinitum alterari vel in toto vel in partibus; non enim propter hoc oporteret ponere aliquid extra infinitum. He shows in two ways that this does not follow. First it does not follow in regard to local motion. For a part of water could be moved with in water so that it is not moved to any extrinsic place. In this case it would be moved by a joining and separation of the parts. And likewise, if the whole infinite body were water, it would be possible for the parts of it to be moved within the whole and not proceed outside the place of the whole. Again he disproves this with reference to the motion of alteration. For nothing prevents the infinite from being altered either as a whole or in its parts, for it would not be necessary to posit something outside the infinite to account for this.
Quarto, ibi: at vero nec specie etc., improbat praedictam rationem quantum ad quartam illationem, qua concludebatur quod si ens est infinitum, quod sit unum. Non enim sequebatur quod sit unum secundum speciem, sed forte secundum materiam: sicut quidam philosophorum naturalium posuerunt omnia esse unum secundum materiam, non autem secundum speciem. Manifestum est enim quod homo et equus differunt secundum speciem; et similiter contraria sunt differentia ad invicem secundum speciem. 35. Fourthly, where he says, ‘But further...’ (186 a 19), he disproves the given argument with reference to its fourth inference by which it is concluded that, if being is infinite, it is one. For it does not follow that it is one according to species, but rather that it is one according to matter, just as some of the philosophers of nature have held that all things are one according to matter, but not according to species. For it is obvious that man and horse differ in species, and in like manner contraries differ from each other in species.

Lectio 6 (186 a 23-b 35)
Chapter 3 cont.
καὶ πρὸς Παρμενίδην δὲ ὁ αὐτὸς τρόπος τῶν λόγων, καὶ εἴ τινες ἄλλοι εἰσὶν ἴδιοι· καὶ ἡ λύσις τῇ μὲν ὅτι ψευδὴς τῇ δὲ ὅτι οὐ συμπεραίνεται, The same kind of argument holds good against Parmenides also, besides any that may apply specially to his view: the answer to him being that 'this is not true' and 'that does not follow'.
ψευδὴς μὲν ᾗ ἁπλῶς λαμβάνει τὸ ὂν λέγεσθαι, λεγομένου πολλαχῶς, His assumption that one is used in a single sense only is false, because it is used in several.
ἀσυμπέραντος δὲ ὅτι, εἰ μόνα τὰ λευκὰ ληφθείη, σημαίνοντος ἓν τοῦ λευκοῦ, οὐθὲν ἧττον πολλὰ τὰ λευκὰ καὶ οὐχ ἕν· οὔτε γὰρ τῇ συνεχείᾳ ἓν ἔσται τὸ λευκὸν οὔτε τῷ λόγῳ. ἄλλο γὰρ ἔσται τὸ εἶναι λευκῷ καὶ τῷ δεδεγμένῳ. καὶ οὐκ ἔσται παρὰ τὸ λευκὸν οὐθὲν χωριστόν· οὐ γὰρ ᾗ χωριστὸν ἀλλὰ τῷ εἶναι ἕτερον τὸ λευκὸν καὶ ᾧ ὑπάρχει. ἀλλὰ τοῦτο Παρμενίδης οὔπω συνεώρα. His conclusion does not follow, because if we take only white things, and if 'white' has a single meaning, none the less what is white will be many and not one. For what is white will not be one either in the sense that it is continuous or in the sense that it must be defined in only one way. 'Whiteness' will be different from 'what has whiteness'. Nor does this mean that there is anything that can exist separately, over and above what is white. For 'whiteness' and 'that which is white' differ in definition, not in the sense that they are things which can exist apart from each other. But Parmenides had not come in sight of this distinction.
ἀνάγκη δὴ λαβεῖν μὴ μόνον ἓν σημαίνειν τὸ ὄν, καθ' οὗ ἂν κατηγορηθῇ, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὅπερ ὂν καὶ ὅπερ ἕν. τὸ γὰρ συμβεβηκὸς καθ' ὑποκειμένου τινὸς λέγεται, ὥστε ᾧ συμβέβηκε τὸ ὄν, οὐκ ἔσται (ἕτερον γὰρ (186b.) τοῦ ὄντος)· ἔσται τι ἄρα οὐκ ὄν. οὐ δὴ ἔσται ἄλλῳ ὑπάρχον τὸ ὅπερ ὄν. οὐ γὰρ ἔσται ὄν τι αὐτὸ εἶναι, εἰ μὴ πολλὰ τὸ ὂν σημαίνει οὕτως ὥστε εἶναί τι ἕκαστον. ἀλλ' ὑπόκειται τὸ ὂν σημαίνειν ἕν. It is necessary for him, then, to assume not only that 'being' has the same meaning, of whatever it is predicated, but further that it means (1) what just is and (2) what is just one. It must be so, for (1) an attribute is predicated of some subject, so that the subject to which 'being' is attributed will not be, as it is something different from 'being'. Something, therefore, which is not will be. Hence 'substance' will not be a predicate of anything else. For the subject cannot be a being, unless 'being' means several things, in such a way that each is something. But ex hypothesi 'being' means only one thing.
εἰ οὖν τὸ ὅπερ ὂν μηδενὶ συμ βέβηκεν ἀλλὰ <τὰ ἄλλα> ἐκείνῳ, τί μᾶλλον τὸ ὅπερ ὂν σημαίνει τὸ ὂν ἢ μὴ ὄν; εἰ γὰρ ἔσται τὸ ὅπερ ὂν [ταὐτὸ] καὶ λευκόν, τὸ λευκῷ δ' εἶναι μὴ ἔστιν ὅπερ ὄν (οὐδὲ γὰρ συμβεβηκέναι αὐτῷ οἷόν τε τὸ ὄν· οὐδὲν γὰρ ὂν ὃ οὐχ ὅπερ ὄν), οὐκ ἄρα ὂν τὸ λευκόν· οὐχ οὕτω δὲ ὥσπερ τι μὴ ὄν, ἀλλ' ὅλως μὴ ὄν. τὸ ἄρα ὅπερ ὂν οὐκ ὄν· ἀληθὲς γὰρ εἰπεῖν ὅτι λευκόν, τοῦτο δὲ οὐκ ὂν ἐσήμαινεν. ὥστε καὶ τὸ λευκὸν σημαίνει ὅπερ ὄν· πλείω ἄρα σημαίνει τὸ ὄν. If, then, 'substance' is not attributed to anything, but other things are attributed to it, how does 'substance' mean what is rather than what is not? For suppose that 'substance' is also 'white'. Since the definition of the latter is different (for being cannot even be attributed to white, as nothing is which is not 'substance'), it follows that 'white' is not-being—and that not in the sense of a particular not-being, but in the sense that it is not at all. Hence 'substance' is not; for it is true to say that it is white, which we found to mean not-being. If to avoid this we say that even 'white' means substance, it follows that 'being' has more than one meaning.
οὐ τοίνυν οὐδὲ μέγεθος ἕξει τὸ ὄν, εἴπερ ὅπερ ὂν τὸ ὄν· ἑκατέρῳ γὰρ ἕτερον τὸ εἶναι τῶν μορίων. In particular, then, Being will not have magnitude, if it is substance. For each of the two parts must he in a different sense.
ὅτι δὲ διαιρεῖται τὸ ὅπερ ὂν εἰς ὅπερ ὄν τι ἄλλο, καὶ τῷ λόγῳ φανερόν, οἷον ὁ ἄνθρωπος εἰ ἔστιν ὅπερ ὄν τι, ἀνάγκη καὶ τὸ ζῷον ὅπερ ὄν τι εἶναι καὶ τὸ δίπουν. εἰ γὰρ μὴ ὅπερ ὄν τι, συμβεβηκότα ἔσται. ἢ οὖν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἢ ἄλλῳ τινὶ ὑποκειμένῳ. ἀλλ' ἀδύνατον· συμβεβηκός τε γὰρ λέγεται τοῦτο, ἢ ὃ ἐνδέχεται ὑπάρχειν καὶ μὴ ὑπάρχειν, ἢ οὗ ἐν τῷ λόγῳ ὑπάρχει τὸ ᾧ συμβέβηκεν [ἢ ἐν ᾧ ὁ λόγος ὑπάρχει ᾧ συμβέβηκεν] (οἷον τὸ μὲν καθῆσθαι ὡς χωριζόμενον, ἐν δὲ τῷ σιμῷ ὑπάρχει ὁ λόγος ὁ τῆς ῥινὸς ᾗ φαμὲν συμβεβηκέναι τὸ σιμόν)· ἔτι ὅσα ἐν τῷ ὁριστικῷ λόγῳ ἔνεστιν ἢ ἐξ ὧν ἐστιν, ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τῷ τούτων οὐκ ἐνυπάρχει ὁ λόγος ὁ τοῦ ὅλου, οἷον ἐν τῷ δίποδι ὁ τοῦ ἀνθρώ που ἢ ἐν τῷ λευκῷ ὁ τοῦ λευκοῦ ἀνθρώπου. εἰ τοίνυν ταῦτα τοῦτον ἔχει τὸν τρόπον καὶ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ συμβέβηκε τὸ δίπουν, ἀνάγκη χωριστὸν εἶναι αὐτό, ὥστε ἐνδέχοιτο ἂν μὴ δίπουν εἶναι τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ἢ ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τῷ τοῦ δίποδος ἐνέσται ὁ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου λόγος. ἀλλ' ἀδύνατον· ἐκεῖνο γὰρ ἐν τῷ ἐκείνου λόγῳ ἔνεστιν. εἰ δ' ἄλλῳ συμβέβηκε τὸ δίπουν καὶ τὸ ζῷον, καὶ μὴ ἔστιν ἑκάτερον ὅπερ ὄν τι, καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἂν εἴη τῶν συμβεβηκότων ἑτέρῳ. ἀλλὰ τὸ ὅπερ ὂν ἔστω μηδενὶ συμβεβηκός, καὶ καθ' οὗ ἄμφω [καὶ ἑκατέρον], καὶ τὸ ἐκ τούτων λεγέσθω· ἐξ ἀδιαιρέτων ἄρα τὸ πᾶν; (2) Substance is plainly divisible into other substances, if we consider the mere nature of a definition. For instance, if 'man' is a substance, 'animal' and 'biped' must also be substances. For if not substances, they must be attributes—and if attributes, attributes either of (a) man or of (b) some other subject. But neither is possible. (a) An attribute is either that which may or may not belong to the subject or that in whose definition the subject of which it is an attribute is involved. Thus 'sitting' is an example of a separable attribute, while 'snubness' contains the definition of 'nose', to which we attribute snubness. Further, the definition of the whole is not contained in the definitions of the contents or elements of the definitory formula; that of 'man' for instance in 'biped', or that of 'white man' in 'white'. If then this is so, and if 'biped' is supposed to be an attribute of 'man', it must be either separable, so that 'man' might possibly not be 'biped', or the definition of 'man' must come into the definition of 'biped'—which is impossible, as the converse is the case. (b) If, on the other hand, we suppose that 'biped' and 'animal' are attributes not of man but of something else, and are not each of them a substance, then 'man' too will be an attribute of something else. But we must assume that substance is not the attribute of anything, that the subject of which both 'biped' and 'animal' and each separately are predicated is the subject also of the complex 'biped animal'. Are we then to say that the All is composed of indivisible substances?
Postquam philosophus improbavit rationem Melissi, hic improbat rationem Parmenidis. 36. Having disproved the argument of Melissus, here the Philosopher disproves the argument of Parmenides.
Et primo improbat eam; secundo excludit dicta quorundam qui male obviabant rationi Parmenidis, ibi: quidam autem rationibus et cetera. First he disproves the argument. Secondly, where he says, ‘Some thinkers did...’(187 a 1; L7 #47ff.), he rejects what has been said by some who have argued badly against Parmenides.
Circa primum duo facit: primo ponit modos quibus obviandum est rationi Parmenidis; secundo illis modis eam solvit ibi: falsa quidem et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he sets forth the ways in which the argument of Parmenides is to be refuted. Secondly, where he says, ‘His assumption...’(186 a 24 #39), he resolves the argument in these ways.
Circa primum sciendum est quod ratio Parmenidis talis erat, ut patet in I Metaphys. Quidquid est praeter ens est non ens; sed quod est non ens est nihil; ergo quidquid est praeter ens est nihil. Sed ens est unum; ergo quidquid est praeter unum est nihil; ergo est tantum unum ens. Et ex hoc concludebat quod esset immobile, quia non haberet a quo moveretur, nec haberet extra se quo moveretur. 37. Concerning the first part it must be known that the argument of Parmenides was as follows, as is clear from Metaphysics, I:5. Whatever is other than being is non-being. But what is non-being is nothing. Therefore whatever is other than being is nothing. But being is one, therefore whatever is other than one is nothing. Therefore there is only one being. And from this he concluded that it would be immobile, because it would not have anything by which it would be moved, nor would there be anything outside of it by which it would be moved.
Ex ipsis autem eorum rationibus patet quod Parmenides considerabat ens secundum rationem entis, et ideo ponebat ens esse unum et finitum: Melissus autem considerabat ens ex parte materiae, considerabat enim ens secundum quod est factum vel non factum; et ideo ponebat ens esse unum et infinitum. It is clear, moreover, from their very arguments that Parmenides considered being under the aspect [secundum rationem] of being, and so held it to be one and finite; whereas Melissus considered being from the point of view of matter. For Melissus considered being insofar as it is made or not made. And so he held being to be one and infinite.
Dicit ergo quod idem modus est procedendi contra rationem Parmenidis et contra rationem Melissi. Nam sicut ratio Melissi solvebatur ex eo quod assumebat propositiones falsas, et ex eo quod non recte concludebat secundum rectam formam syllogisticam; sic et ratio Parmenidis solvitur partim quia falsa assumit, et partim quia non recte concludit. 38. Aristotle says, therefore, that the same approach must be used against the argument of Parmenides that was used against the argument of Melissus. For as the argument of Melissus was answered on the basis that he assumed false propositions and did not draw his conclusions according to the correct form of the syllogism, so also the argument of Parmenides is answered partly because he assumed false propositions and partly because he did not draw his conclusions correctly.
Dicit autem et esse alios modos disputandi proprios contra Parmenidem; quia contra eum disputari potest ex propositionibus ab eo sumptis, quae sunt aliquo modo verae et probabiles. Sed Melissus procedebat ex eo quod est falsum et improbabile, scilicet quod ens non generatur: unde non disputavit contra eum per propositiones ab eo sumptas. He says, however, that there are also other appropriate ways of arguing against Parmenides. For it is possible to argue against Parmenides from the propositions which he assumed and which are in a certain respect true and probable. But Melissus proceeded from what was false and improbable, for example, that being is not generated. Because of this, Aristotle did not argue against Melissus from the propositions which he assumed.
Deinde cum dicit: falsa quidem etc., prosequitur praedictos modos. Et primo primum; secundo secundum, ibi: non concluditur autem et cetera. 39. Next where he says, ‘His assumption...’ (186 a 24), he follows the procedures just mentioned. First according to the first way, and secondly according to the second way, where he says, ‘His conclusion does not follow ...’ (186 a 25 #40).
Dicit ergo primo quod Parmenides assumit propositiones falsas, quia accipit quod est, idest ens, dici simpliciter, idest uno modo, cum tamen dicatur multipliciter. He says, therefore, first that Parmenides assumed false propositions because he held that what is, i.e., being, is used simply, i.e., in one way. Whereas in fact it is used in many ways.
Dicitur enim ens uno modo substantia, alio modo accidens; et hoc multipliciter secundum diversa genera: potest etiam accipi ens prout est commune substantiae et accidenti. For being is used in one way for substance, in another way for accident; and the latter is used in many ways according to the different genera. Being also can be used commonly for substance and accident.
Patet autem quod propositiones ab eo sumptae in uno sensu sunt verae, et in alio sensu sunt falsae. Nam cum dicitur: quidquid est praeter ens est non ens, verum est si ens sumatur prout est commune substantiae et accidenti: si autem sumatur pro accidente tantum vel pro substantia tantum, falsum est, ut infra ostendetur. Hence it is clear that the propositions assumed by Parmenides are true in one sense and false in another. For when it is said that whatever is other than being is non-being, this is true if being is taken, as it were, commonly for substance and accident. If, however, being is taken for accident alone or for substance alone, this is false, as will be shown below [#42-43].
Similiter et cum dicit quod ens est unum, verum est si accipiatur pro aliqua una substantia vel pro aliquo uno accidente: non tamen verum erit in illo sensu quod quidquid est praeter illud ens, sit non ens. Likewise when he says that being is one, this is true if being is taken for some one substance or for some one accident. But this will not be true in the sense that whatever is other than that being is non-being.
Deinde cum dicit: non concluditur etc., prosequitur secundum modum solutionis, quod scilicet ratio Parmenidis non recte concludebat. 40. Next where he says, ‘His conclusion does not follow ...’ (186 a 25), he follows the second method of answering the argument, i.e., that the argument of Parmenides does not draw its conclusion according to proper form.
Et primo ostendit in simili; secundo adaptat ad propositum, ibi: necesse est igitur et cetera. He shows this first in an example. And secondly, where he says, ‘It is necessary for him ...’ (186 a 33 #41), he adapts this example to the problem at hand.
Dicit ergo primo quod ex hoc sciri potest quod ratio Parmenidis non concludit recte, quia forma argumentandi non est efficax in omni materia; quod oporteret si esset debita forma argumentandi. Si enim accipiamus album loco entis, et ponamus quod album significet unum tantum et non dicatur aequivoce, et dicamus sic: quidquid est praeter album est non album, et quidquid est non album est nihil; non sequitur quod album sit unum tantum. Primo quidem quia non erit necessarium quod omnia alba sint unum continuum. Vel aliter: non erit unum album continuatione; idest ex hoc ipso quod est continuum, non erit unum simpliciter; quia continuum est quodammodo multa, ut supra dictum est. He says, therefore, first that it can be seen that the argument of Parmenides does not draw its conclusion properly because of the fact that the form of argumentation used is not efficacious in every matter. And this could not be true if a proper form of argumentation were used. For if we take ‘white’ in the place of ‘being’, and if we say that ‘white’ signifies one thing only and is not used equivocally, and if we say that whatever is other than white is non-white, and whatever is non-white is nothing, then it will not follow that white would be one only. For it will not be necessary that all white things are one continuum. Or, to put it differently, white will not necessarily be one by continuity, i.e., from the fact that white is a continuum, it will not be one simply. For a continuum is in a certain respect many, as was said above [L3 #22].
Et similiter non erit unum ratione: alia enim est ratio albi et susceptibilis. Et tamen non erit aliquid praeter album quasi ab eo divisum: non est enim aliud album a susceptibili quia album sit separabile a susceptibili; sed quia alia est ratio albi et susceptibilis. Sed hoc nondum erat consideratum tempore Parmenidis, scilicet quod aliquid esset unum subiecto et multa ratione: et ideo credidit quod si nihil sit extra aliquod subiectum, quod sequatur id esse unum. Sed hoc falsum est tum propter multitudinem partium, tum propter diversam rationem subiecti et accidentis. And in like manner white will not be one in definition [ratio], for the white and that which is receptive of the white are different in definition [ratio]. Furthermore there will not be something other than white, as it were, separated from it. For the white is not other than that which is receptive of it because the white is separable from that which is receptive of it, but because the definitions [ratio] of the white and of that which is receptive of it are different. But. it was not yet known at the time of Parmenides that something could be one in subject and many in definition [ratio].
Deinde cum dicit: necesse est igitur etc., adaptat similitudinem ad propositum, ut quod dictum est de albo, ostendat similiter se habere circa ens. 41. Next where he says, ‘It is necessary for him ...’ (186 a 33), he adapts this example to the matter at hand in order to show how what he has said of the white also applies to being.
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo ostendit quod non sequitur ens esse unum simpliciter, propter hoc quod subiectum et accidens sunt diversa secundum rationem; secundo propter multitudinem partium, ibi: neque igitur magnitudo et cetera. Concerning this he makes two points. First he shows that it does not follow that being is one simply. For subject and accident are different according to definition [ratio]. Secondly, where he says, ‘In particular then...’ (186 b 13 #44), he shows that this does not follow because of the multiplicity of parts.
Circa primum duo facit: primo ostendit quod cum dicitur quidquid est praeter ens est non ens, hoc quod est ens non potest accipi pro accidente tantum; secundo quod non potest accipi pro substantia tantum, ibi: si igitur quod vere et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he shows that when it is said that ‘whatever is other than being is non-being’, this ‘being’ cannot be taken to mean accident alone. Secondly, where he says, ‘If, then, substance ...’ (186 b 4 #43), he shows that this ‘being’ cannot be taken to mean substance alone.
Dicit ergo primo quod cum dicitur quidquid est praeter ens est non ens, si ens dicatur unum significare, oportebit quod significet non quodcumque ens, vel de quocumque praedicatur; sed significet quod vere est, idest substantiam, et significet quod vere est unum, scilicet indivisibile. Si enim ens significet accidens, cum accidens praedicetur de subiecto, oportet quod subiectum non sit cui accidit accidens quod ponitur ens. Si enim quidquid est praeter ens est non ens, idest praeter accidens, et subiectum est alterum ab accidente quod significat hoc quod dico ens; sequetur quod subiectum sit non ens: et ita, cum accidens quod est ens praedicetur de subiecto quod est non ens, sequetur quod ens praedicetur de non ente. Et hoc est quod concludit, erit itaque aliquid cum non sit; ac si dicat: ergo sequetur quod non ens sit ens. Hoc autem est impossibile, quia hoc est primum supponendum in scientiis, quod contradictoria non praedicentur de se invicem, ut in IV Metaphys. dicitur. Unde concludit quod si aliquid sit vere ens, supposita hac propositione, quidquid est praeter ens est non ens, quod illud non sit accidens inhaerens alii. Quia tunc non contingeret ipsi subiecto sic esse aliquod ens, idest quod ipsum subiectum haberet rationem entis, nisi ens multa significaret, ita quod unumquodque illorum multorum esset aliquod ens: sed supponitur a Parmenide quod ens significat unum tantum. 42. He says, therefore, first that when it is said that ‘whatever is other than being is non-being’, if ‘being’ is said to signify one thing, then it will be necessary that it signify not some one being or what is predicated of some one thing. Rather it will signify what truly is, i.e., substance, and it will signify what is truly one, i.e., the indivisible. For if being were to signify accident, then, since accident would be predicated of a subject, the subject could not be that to which the accident, which is called being, occurs. For if whatever is other than being is non-being (i.e., other than accident), and if the subject is other than the accident, which is here said to be being, then it follows that the subject is nonbeing. And so when accident, which is being, is predicated of the subject which is non-being, it follows that being is predicated of non-being. Hence, Aristotle concludes, ‘Something, therefore, which is not win be’ (186 b 1), that is, it will follow that non-being is being. This, however, is impossible.. For what is first of all assumed in the sciences is that contradictories are not to be predicated of each other, as is said in Metaphysics, IV:7. Whence he concludes that if anything is truly being, as is supposed in the proposition ‘whatever is other than being is nonbeing’, it follows that it is not an accident inhering in something else. For in this case its subject would not be a being. That is, this subject would not have the nature [ratio] of being, unless being should signify many, so that each of the many would be a being. But it was assumed by Parmenides that being signifies one only.
Deinde cum dicit: si igitur quod vere etc., postquam conclusit quod cum dicitur quidquid est praeter ens est non ens, per ens non potest intelligi accidens, ostendit quod nec etiam substantia. Unde dicit: si igitur quod vere est non sit accidens alicui, sed illi aliquid accidit, oportet quod in hac propositione, quidquid est praeter ens est non ens, magis significetur quod vere est, idest substantia, per ens quam per non ens. 43. Next where he says, ‘If, then, substance.. .’(186 b 4), after he has concluded that ‘being’ cannot refer to accident when it is said that ‘whatever is other than being is non-being’, he shows further that ‘being’ cannot refer to substance either. Whence he says that if what truly is does not happen to something, but other things happen to it, then in the proposition ‘whatever is other than being is non-being’, it is necessity that ‘what truly is’, i.e., substance, be signified by being rather than by non-being.
Sed nec hoc potest stare. Ponatur enim quod id quod vere est ens, idest illa substantia, sit album: album autem non est quod vere est. Iam enim dictum est quod id quod vere est, non est possibile accidere alicui: et hoc ideo quia quod non vere est, idest quod non est substantia, non est quod est, idest non est ens. Sed quidquid est praeter ens, idest praeter substantiam, est non ens: sic ergo sequitur quod album non sit ens. Et non solum ita quod non sit hoc ens, sicut homo non est hoc ens quod est asinus: sed quod omnino non sit, quia ipse dicit quod quidquid est praeter ens est non ens, et quod est non ens est nihil. Ex hoc ergo sequitur quod non ens praedicetur de eo quod vere est; quia album praedicatur de substantia, quae vere est, et tamen album non significat ens, ut dictum est. But this cannot stand. For let it be held that that which truly is, i.e., substance, is white. But white is not that which truly is. For it has already been said that that which truly is cannot happen to something. And this is so because what is not truly, i.e., what is not substance, is not that which is, i.e., is not being. But what is other than being, i.e., other than substance, is non-being. Hence it follows that white is non-being, not only in the sense that it is not this being, as a man is not this being which is an ass, but also in the sense that it is not in any way. For he says that whatever is other than being is non-being, and what is nonbeing is nothing. From this, therefore, it follows that non-being would be predicated of that which truly is, because white is predicated of substance, which truly is. And white does not signify being, as was said.
Unde sequitur quod ens sit non ens: et hoc est etiam impossibile, quia unum contradictoriorum non praedicatur de altero. Whence it follows that being is non-being. And this indeed is impossible, because one contradictory is not predicated of another.
Unde si ad evitandum hoc inconveniens dicamus quod vere ens non solum significat subiectum, sed etiam ipsum album, sequitur quod ens multa significet. Et ita non erit tantum unum ens, quia subiectum et accidens plura sunt secundum rationem. Whence, if in order to avoid this inconsistency, we say that true being signifies not only the subject, but also the white itself, it follows that being will signify many. And thus there will not be only one being, for subject and accident are many according to nature [ratio].
Deinde cum dicit: neque igitur magnitudo etc., ostendit quod non sequitur ex ratione Parmenidis quod sit tantum unum ens, propter multitudinem partium. Et primo quantum ad partes quantitativas; secundo quantum ad partes rationis, ibi: quod autem dividitur et cetera. 44. Next where he says, ‘In particular then ...’ (189 b 13), he shows, because of the multiplicity of parts, that it does not follow from the argument of Parmenides that there is only one being. He shows this first with reference to quantitative parts and secondly with reference to the parts of definition [ratio], where he says, ‘Substance is plainly divisible...’ (186 b 14).1
Dicit ergo primo quod si ens tantum unum significet, non solum non poterit esse accidens cum subiecto, sed neque etiam ens erit aliqua magnitudo: quia omnis magnitudo est divisibilis in partes, utriusque autem partis non est eadem ratio sed altera. Unde sequitur quod illud ens unum non sit substantia corporea. He says, therefore, first that if being signifies only one thing, not only will it not be accident with subject, but neither will it be a, magnitude. For every magnitude is divisible into parts. But the natures [ratio] of each of the parts are not the same, but different. Whence it follows that this one being is not a corporeal substance.
Secundo, ibi: quod autem dividitur etc., ostendit quod non possit esse ens substantia definibilis. 45. Secondly, where he says, ‘Substance is plainly divisible ...’ (186 b 14), he shows that this being cannot be a definable substance.
Manifestum est enim ex definitione quod id quod vere est, idest substantia, dividitur in plura, quorum unumquodque est quod vere est, idest substantia, et aliud secundum rationem. Ut ponamus quod illud unum quod vere est, sit homo: cum homo sit animal bipes, necesse est quod animal sit et bipes sit; et utrumque eorum erit quod vere est, idest substantia. Quod si non sint substantiae, erunt accidentia: aut igitur homini aut alicui alteri. Sed impossibile est quod sint accidentia homini. For in a definition it is clear that that which truly is, i.e., the substance, is divided into many, each one of which is what truly is, i.e. substance, and each one of which has a different nature [ratio]. Let us suppose that man is one thing which truly is. Since man is a two-footed animal, it is necessary that animal be and that two-footed be. And each of these will be what truly is, i.e., substance. And if they are not substances, they are accidents, either of man or of some other thing. But it is impossible that they be accidents of man.
Et ad hoc ostendendum duo supponit. And to make this clear he assumes two things.
Quorum primum est quod accidens dicitur dupliciter: uno modo accidens separabile, quod contingit inesse et non inesse, ut sedere; alio modo accidens inseparabile et per se. Et hoc est accidens in cuius definitione ponitur subiectum cui accidit: sicut simum est per se accidens nasi quia in definitione simi ponitur nasus; est enim simum nasus curvus. First he assumes that ‘accident’ is used in two ways. One type of accident is separable, and as such can be in something or not in it, for example, to sit. Another type of accident is inseparable and per se. And this latter is the accident in whose definition is placed the subject in which it is. For example, the snub is a per se accident of nose, because nose is placed in the definition of the snub. For the snub is a curved nose.
Secundum quod supponit est quod si aliqua ponuntur in definitione alicuius definiti, aut in definitione alicuius eorum ex quibus constat definitio, impossibile est quod in definitione alicuius horum ponatur definitio totius definiti. Sicut bipes ponitur in definitione hominis, et quaedam alia ponuntur in definitione bipedis vel animalis, ex quibus definitur homo: impossibile est autem quod ponatur homo in definitione bipedis, aut in definitione alicuius eorum quae cadunt in definitione bipedis vel animalis; alioquin esset definitio circularis, et esset idem prius et posterius, et notius et minus notum; omnis enim definitio est ex prioribus et notioribus, ut in VI Topic. dicitur. Et eadem ratione, cum in definitione hominis albi ponatur album, non est possibile quod in definitione albi ponatur homo albus. The second thing which he assumes is that if certain things are placed in the definition of that which is defined, or in the definition of the things on which the definition depends, then it is impossible that the whole definition of that which is defined be placed in the definition of these certain things. Thus two-footed is placed in the definition of man, and certain other things are placed in the definition of two-footed or animal, from which [i.e., from two-footed and animal] man is defined. Hence it is impossible that man be placed in the definition of two-footed or in the definition of any of the things which fall in the definition of two-footed or of animal. Otherwise we would have a circular definition, and one and the same thing would be both prior and posterior, better known and less known. For every definition is from the prior and the better known, as is said in Topics, VI:4. And for the same reason, when white is placed in the definition of white man, it is impossible for white man to be placed in the definition of white.
His igitur suppositis, sic argumentatur. Si bipes est accidens homini, necesse est vel quod sit accidens separabile, et sic continget hominem non esse bipedem, quod est impossibile; vel erit inseparabile, et sic oportebit quod homo ponatur in ratione bipedis, quod est etiam impossibile quia bipes ponitur in ratione eius. Impossibile est igitur quod bipes sit accidens homini, et eadem ratione neque animal. Si vero dicatur quod ambo sunt accidentia alicui alii, sequeretur quod etiam homo accidat alicui alteri. Sed hoc est impossibile: iam enim supra dictum est quod illud quod vere est nulli accidit, homo autem supponitur esse illud quod vere est, ut ex superioribus patet. These things having been assumed, the argument is as follows. If two-footed is an accident of man, it must be either a separable accident (and thus it could happen that man is not two-footed, which is impossible) or an inseparable accident (and thus it will be necessary that man be placed in the definition of two-footed). But this also is impossible, because two-footed is placed in the definition of man. It is impossible, therefore, that two-footed be an accident of man. For the same reason animal cannot be an accident. If, however, it is said that both are accidents of something else, it would follow that man also would be an accident of something else. But this is impossible, for it has already been said above that that which truly is is an accident of nothing. But man was assumed to be that which truly is, as is clear from what was said above.
Quod autem sequatur hominem accidere alteri si animal et bipes alteri accidunt, sic manifestat: quia de quocumque dicuntur ambo seorsum, scilicet animal et bipes, de eodem dicetur utrumque simul, scilicet animal bipes; et de quocumque dicitur animal bipes, dicitur quod est ex eis, scilicet homo, quia nihil aliud est homo quam animal bipes. That it would follow that man would be an accident of another if animal and two-footed were accidents of another, he shows as follows. What is said of both animal and two-footed taken separately may be said of them taken together, i.e., two-footed animal. And what is said of two-footed animal may be said of that which is from them, i.e., man, because man is nothing other than a two-footed animal.
Sic igitur patet quod si ponatur unum tantum ens, non possunt poni partes quantitativae, neque partes magnitudinis, neque partes rationis. Sic igitur sequitur quod omne ens sit de numero indivisibilium, ne ponentes unum ens cogamur ponere multa propter partes. Therefore it is clear that if being is held to be one only, we cannot hold that there are quantitative parts, or parts of a magnitude, or parts of a definition. Therefore it follows that every being is numerically indivisible. Otherwise, while holding being to be one, we would be forced to posit a multiplicity because of the parts.
Commentator autem dicit quod ibi, sed quod vere est etc., ponit secundam rationem Parmenidis ad ostendendum quod ens sit unum, quae talis est. Ens quod est unum est substantia et non accidens (et per substantiam intelligit corpus): si autem corpus illud dividatur in duas medietates, sequitur quod ens dicatur de utraque medietate et de congregato ex eis. Et hoc vel procedit in infinitum, quod est impossibile secundum ipsum; aut erit dividere usque ad puncta, quod etiam est impossibile; unde oportet quod ens sit unum indivisibile. 46. the Commentator, however, says that in the passage beginning, ‘But we must assume ...’ (186 b 33), Aristotle sets forth the second argument of Parmenides to show that being is one. And this argument is as follows. A being which is one is substance and not accident (and by substance he means body). If, however, that body is divided into two halves, it will follow that being is predicated of each half and of the union of the two. And this either proceeds to infinity, which is impossible in itself, or else the being is divided into points. But this also is impossible. Hence it follows that being is an indivisible one.
Sed haec expositio extorta est et contra intentionem Aristotelis, sicut satis apparet litteram inspicienti secundum primam expositionem. But this exposition is fabricated and contrary to the intention of Aristotle, as is sufficiently clear from an examination of the letter of the text according to the first explanation.

Lectio 7 (187 a 1-10)
Chapter 3 cont.
(187a.) ἔνιοι δ' ἐνέδοσαν τοῖς λόγοις ἀμφοτέροις, τῷ μὲν ὅτι πάντα ἕν, εἰ τὸ ὂν ἓν σημαίνει, ὅτι ἔστι τὸ μὴ ὄν, τῷ δὲ ἐκ τῆς διχοτομίας, ἄτομα ποιήσαντες μεγέθη. Some thinkers did, in point of fact, give way to both arguments. To the argument that all things are one if being means one thing, they conceded that not-being is; to that from bisection, they yielded by positing atomic magnitudes.
φανερὸν δὲ καὶ ὅτι οὐκ ἀληθὲς ὡς, εἰ ἓν σημαίνει τὸ ὂν καὶ μὴ οἷόν τε ἅμα τὴν ἀντίφασιν, οὐκ ἔσται οὐθὲν μὴ ὄν· οὐθὲν γὰρ κωλύει, μὴ ἁπλῶς εἶναι, ἀλλὰ μὴ ὄν τι εἶναι τὸ μὴ ὄν. But obviously it is not true that if being means one thing, and cannot at the same time mean the contradictory of this, there will be nothing which is not, for even if what is not cannot be without qualification, there is no reason why it should not be a particular not-being.
τὸ δὲ δὴ φάναι, παρ' αὐτὸ τὸ ὂν εἰ μή τι ἔσται ἄλλο, ἓν πάντα ἔσεσθαι, ἄτοπον. τίς γὰρ μανθάνει αὐτὸ τὸ ὂν εἰ μὴ τὸ ὅπερ ὄν τι εἶναι; εἰ δὲ τοῦτο, οὐδὲν ὅμως κωλύει πολλὰ εἶναι τὰ ὄντα, ὥσπερ εἴρηται. ὅτι μὲν οὖν οὕτως ἓν εἶναι τὸ ὂν ἀδύνα τον, δῆλον. To say that all things will be one, if there is nothing besides Being itself, is absurd. For who understands 'being itself' to be anything but a particular substance? But if this is so, there is nothing to prevent there being many beings, as has been said. It is, then, clearly impossible for Being to be one in this sense.
Postquam philosophus improbavit rationem Parmenidis ducendo ad quaedam inconvenientia, hic improbat positionem quorundam, qui praedicta inconvenientia concedebant. 47. After the Philosopher has disproved the argument of Parmenides by bringing forth certain inconsistencies found in it, he here disproves the position of those who have conceded these inconsistencies.
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo ponit positionem eorum; secundo improbat eam, ibi: manifestum autem et cetera. Concerning this he makes two points. First he sets forth their position. Secondly, he disproves it where he says, ‘But obviously it is not...’ (187 a 3 #50).
Considerandum est ergo primo: quod supra philosophus contra rationem Parmenidis duabus rationibus usus est. Una ad ostendendum quod ex ratione Parmenidis non sequitur omnia esse unum, propter diversitatem subiecti et accidentis: quae quidem ratio ducebat ad hoc inconveniens, quod non ens est ens, ut ex superioribus patet. Alia vero ratio procedebat ad ostendendum quod non sequitur omnia esse unum, propter hoc quod si esset magnitudo, sequeretur magnitudinem esse indivisibilem; quia si sit divisibilis, erunt quodammodo multa. 48. It must be noted first that the Philosopher used two arguments above [L6 #36ff.] against the argument of Parmenides. He used one to show that, because of the diversity of subject and accident, it does not follow from the argument of Parmenides that all is one. This argument led to the absurdity that non-being is being, as is clear from what was said above. The other argument proceeded to show that the conclusion that an is one does not follow because, if it were a magnitude, it would follow that this magnitude is indivisible. For if it were divisible, there would be some sort of multiplicity.
Platonici vero utrique rationi acquieverunt, concedendo impossibilia ad quae deducunt. 49. The Platonists, however, gave in to each argument, conceding the impossibilities to which they led.
Acquieverunt ergo primae rationi, quae ducebat ad hoc quod non ens esset ens, si aliquis diceret quod ens significet unum, vel substantiam tantum vel accidens tantum, et per hoc vellet dicere quod omnia sunt unum:- huic rationi, dico, acquieverunt quod non ens esset ens. They accepted the first argument which led to the conclusion that non-being would be being. Suppose that someone were to say that being signifies one thing, either substance alone or accident alone, and because of this he might also wish to say that all things are one-in regard to this argument, I say, they accepted [the conclusion] that non-being would be being.
Dicebat enim Plato quod accidens est non ens: et propter hoc dicitur in VI Metaphys. quod Plato posuit sophisticam circa non ens, quia versatur maxime circa ea quae per accidens dicuntur. Sic ergo Plato, intelligens per ens substantiam, concedebat primam propositionem Parmenidis, dicentis quod quidquid est praeter ens est non ens; quia ponebat accidens, quod est praeter substantiam, esse non ens. For Plato said that accident is non-being. And because of this it is said in Metaphysics, VI:2 that Plato held that sophistry dealt with nonbeing, because it treated most of all those things which are predicated per accidens. Therefore Plato, understanding being to be substance, conceded the first proposition of Parmenides who said that whatever is other than being is non-being. For Plato held that accident, which is other than substance, was non-being.
Non tamen concedebat secundam propositionem, hanc scilicet: quidquid est non ens est nihil. Licet enim diceret accidens esse non ens, non tamen dicebat accidens esse nihil, sed aliquid. Et propter hoc secundum ipsum non sequebatur quod sit unum tantum. He did not, however, concede the second proposition, namely, that whatever is non-being is nothing. For although he would say that accident is non-being, he did not say that accident is nothing, but rather that it is something. And because of this, according to Plato, it does not follow that being is one only.
Sed alteri rationi, quae ducebat ad hoc quod magnitudo esset indivisibilis, assentiebat faciendo magnitudines esse indivisibiles ex decisione, idest dicendo quod magnitudinum divisio ad indivisibilia terminatur. Ponebat enim corpora resolvi in superficies, et superficies in lineas, et lineas in indivisibilia, ut patet in III de caelo et mundo. But Plato, when he made magnitudes to be indivisible by dissection, that is, when he said that a magnitude is terminated in indivisibles by division, did assent to the other argument which led to the conclusion that a magnitude would be indivisible. For he held that bodies are resolved into surfaces, and surfaces into lines, and lines into indivisibles, as is clear in De Caelo et Mundo, III:1.
Deinde cum dicit: manifestum autem etc., improbat praedictam positionem quantum ad hoc, quod concedebat quod non ens est aliquid. Nam quantum ad id quod faciebat individuas magnitudines, improbat suo loco in sequentibus scientiae naturalis. 50. Next where he says, ‘But obviously ...’ (187 a 3), he disproves the above position in regard to the point that Plato conceded, namely, that non-being is something. In regard to the other point, namely, that Plato held that there are indivisible magnitudes, this is disproved in its proper place in the following books of natural science [VI L1].
Improbat autem primum dupliciter: primo ostendendo quod non sequitur ex ratione Platonis quod non ens sit aliquid; secundo quantum ad hoc quod dicebat, quod nisi hoc ponatur (scilicet quod si non ens quod est accidens, non sit aliquid), sequitur omnia esse unum, ibi: dicere igitur et cetera. He disproves the first point in two ways. First he shows that it does not follow from the argument of Plato that non-being is something. Secondly, he disproves Plato’s remark that unless we hold this (i.e., that the non-being which is accident is something), it will follow that all is one. He does this where he says, ‘To say that all things ...’ (187 a 7 #52).
Dicit ergo primo manifestum esse quod non est verum quod ista ratio Platonis sequatur, qua sic deducebat, ens unum significat. Ponebat enim ens esse genus, et univoce dictum de omnibus secundum participationem primi entis; et iterum ponebat quod contradictoria non sunt simul vera. Ex his duobus arbitrabatur sequi non ens non esse nihil, sed aliquid. Si enim ens significat unum quod est substantia, oportebit quod quidquid est non substantia, sit non ens: quia si esset ens, cum ens non significet nisi substantiam, sequeretur quod esset substantia; et ita esset simul substantia et non substantia; quod est contradictoria simul vera esse. Si igitur impossibile est contradictoria simul vera esse, et ens significat unum quod est substantia, sequetur quod quidquid est non substantia, sit non ens. Sed aliquid est non substantia, scilicet accidens; igitur aliquid est non ens: et sic non est verum quod non ens sit nihil. 51. He says, therefore, first that the argument by which Plato concluded that being signifies one clearly does not follow. For he held that being is a genus and is predicated univocally of all things by a participation in the first being. And further he held that contradictories cannot be true at the same time. From these two points he thought that it followed that non-being is not nothing, but something. For if being signifies the one, which is substance, it will be necessary that whatever is not substance is non-being. For if it were being, then since being does not signify anything but substance, it would follow that it would be substance. And so it would at once be substance and non-substance, in which case contradictories would be true at the same time. If, therefore, it is impossible for contradictories to be true at the same time, and if being signifies the one, which is substance, it would follow that whatever is not substance is non-being. But there is something which is not substance, namely, accident. Therefore something is non-being. And so it is not true that non-being is nothing.
Ostendit autem Aristoteles quod hoc non sequitur, quia si ens significat principaliter unum quod est substantia, nihil prohibet dicere quod accidens, quod non est substantia, non sit simpliciter ens: sed tamen non propter hoc oportet quod illud quod non est aliquid, idest substantia, dicatur absolute non ens. Licet ergo accidens non sit ens simpliciter, non tamen potest dici absolute non ens. But Aristotle shows that this does not follow. For if being signifies principally the one, which is substance, there is nothing to prevent one from saying that accident, which is not substance, is not being simply. But because of this it is not necessary to say that that which is not something, i.e., not substance, is absolute non-being. Hence, although accident is not being simply, it cannot, indeed, be called absolute nonbeing.
Deinde cum dicit: dicere igitur etc., ostendit ulterius quod non sequitur, si non ens quod est accidens non sit aliquid, quod omnia sint unum. Et hoc est quod dicit, quod inconveniens est dicere quod sequatur omnia esse unum nisi aliquid sit extra ens, quia per ens non potest intelligi nisi substantia, quae vere est. Sed si substantia sit, nihil prohibet esse multa, sicut iam dictum est, etiam remota magnitudine et accidente; quia definitio substantiae dividitur in multa quae sunt de genere substantiae, sicut homo in animal et bipes. Et ulterius sequitur quod secundum diversas differentias generis sint multae substantiae in actu. Et ultimo infert conclusionem principaliter intentam, quod non omnia sunt unum, sicut dicebat Parmenides et Melissus. 52. Next where he says, ‘To say that all things ...’ (187 a 7), he shows further that, if the non-being which is accident is not something, it does not follow that all is one. For if being can mean only substance, which truly is, then he says that it is absurd to hold that it would follow that all things are one unless there is something outside of being. For if there is substance, there is nothing to prevent there being a multiplicity of substances, as has already been said [L6 #45], even if magnitude and accident are removed. For the definition of substance is divided into the many things which are in the genus of substance, as man is divided into animal and two-footed. And further it follows that according to the diverse differentiae of a genus there are many substances in act. And finally he draws the conclusion which he had uppermost in mind, namely, that all things are not one, as Parmenides and Melissus said.

Lectio 8 (187 a 11-26)
Chapter 4
Ὡς δ' οἱ φυσικοὶ λέγουσι, δύο τρόποι εἰσίν. οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἓν ποιήσαντες τὸ [ὂν] σῶμα τὸ ὑποκείμενον, ἢ τῶν τριῶν τι ἢ ἄλλο ὅ ἐστι πυρὸς μὲν πυκνότερον ἀέρος δὲ λεπτότερον, τἆλλα γεννῶσι πυκνότητι καὶ μανότητι πολλὰ ποιοῦντες (ταῦτα δ' ἐστὶν ἐναντία, καθόλου δ' ὑπεροχὴ καὶ ἔλλειψις, ὥσπερ τὸ μέγα φησὶ Πλάτων καὶ τὸ μικρόν, πλὴν ὅτι ὁ μὲν ταῦτα ποιεῖ ὕλην τὸ δὲ ἓν τὸ εἶδος, οἱ δὲ τὸ μὲν ἓν τὸ ὑποκείμενον ὕλην, τὰ δ' ἐναντία διαφορὰς καὶ εἴδη)· οἱ δ' ἐκ τοῦ ἑνὸς ἐνούσας τὰς ἐναντιότητας ἐκ κρίνεσθαι, ὥσπερ Ἀναξίμανδρός φησι, καὶ ὅσοι δ' ἓν καὶ πολλά φασιν εἶναι, ὥσπερ Ἐμπεδοκλῆς καὶ Ἀναξαγόρας· ἐκ τοῦ μίγματος γὰρ καὶ οὗτοι ἐκκρίνουσι τἆλλα. διαφέρουσι δὲ ἀλλήλων τῷ τὸν μὲν περίοδον ποιεῖν τούτων, τὸν δ' ἅπαξ, καὶ τὸν μὲν ἄπειρα, τά τε ὁμοιομερῆ καὶ τἀναντία, τὸν δὲ τὰ καλούμενα στοιχεῖα μόνον. The physicists on the other hand have two modes of explanation. The first set make the underlying body one either one of the three or something else which is denser than fire and rarer than air then generate everything else from this, and obtain multiplicity by condensation and rarefaction. Now these are contraries, which may be generalized into 'excess and defect'. (Compare Plato's 'Great and Small'—except that he make these his matter, the one his form, while the others treat the one which underlies as matter and the contraries as differentiae, i.e. forms). The second set assert that the contrarieties are contained in the one and emerge from it by segregation, for example Anaximander and also all those who assert that 'what is' is one and many, like Empedocles and Anaxagoras; for they too produce other things from their mixture by segregation. These differ, however, from each other in that the former imagines a cycle of such changes, the latter a single series. Anaxagoras again made both his 'homceomerous' substances and his contraries infinite in multitude, whereas Empedocles posits only the so-called elements.
Postquam philosophus improbavit opinionem de principiis eorum qui de natura non naturaliter sunt locuti, hic prosequitur opiniones eorum qui de principiis naturae naturaliter sunt locuti, non removentes motum: et ideo vocat eos physicos, idest naturales. 53. After the Philosopher has disproved the opinion concerning principles of those who did not speak of nature as natural philosophers, he here pursues the opinions of those who, not disregarding motion, spoke of the principles of nature as natural philosophers. And he calls these men physicists, i.e., natural philosophers.
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo ostendit diversitatem opinionum; secundo prosequitur unam earum, ibi: videtur autem et cetera. Concerning this he makes two points. First he sets forth the diversity of their opinions. Secondly he examines one of these opinions, where he says, ‘The theory of Anaxagoras...’ (187 a 28; L9 #58).
Dicit ergo primo quod secundum opinionem naturalium philosophorum, duo sunt modi secundum quos generantur res ex principiis. Quorum unum tangebant philosophi naturales ponentes unum tantum principium materiale; sive esset unum de tribus elementis, scilicet igne, aere et aqua (quia terram solam nullus posuit principium, ut supra dictum est), sive aliquod medium inter ea, ut puta quod esset densius igne et subtilius aere. Ab isto autem uno principio dicebant omnia alia generari secundum raritatem et densitatem; ut puta, qui ponebant aerem principium, dicebant quod ex eo rarefacto generatur ignis, ex eo autem condensato generatur aqua. Rarum autem et densum sunt contraria; et reducuntur ad excellentiam et defectum, ut ad quaedam universaliora: nam densum est quod habet multum de materia, rarum autem quod parum. 54. He says first that according to the opinion of the natural philosophers there are two ways in which things are generated from principles. One of the opinions was advanced by the natural philosophers who held that there is only one material principle. This principle would be either one of three elements, i.e., fire, air, and water (for no one made earth alone the principle, as was said above [L2 #13]) or else some intermediate between them, for example, that which would be more dense than fire and more subtle than air. They then said that all other things were generated from this one principle by rarity and density. For example, those who made air to be the principle said that fire was generated from air by rarefaction, and water by condensation. However, the dense and the rare are contraries and are reduced to excess and defect as to something more universal. For the dense is what has much matter, whereas the rare has little.
Et sic quodammodo concordabant cum Platone, qui ponebat magnum et parvum principia, quae etiam pertinent ad excellentiam et defectum. Sed in hoc differebant a Platone, quia Plato posuit magnum et parvum ex parte materiae, quia ponebat unum principium formale, quod est quaedam idea participata a diversis secundum diversitatem materiae: antiqui vero naturales ponebant contrarietatem ex parte formae, quia ponebant primum principium unam materiam, ex qua multa constituuntur secundum diversas formas. 55. And thus they agreed in a certain respect with Plato who held that the great and the small are principles which also pertain to excess and defect. But they differed from Plato as follows. Plato held that the great and the small are on the side of matter, because he posited one formal principle which is a certain idea participated in by different things according to a diversity of matter; the ancient natural philosophers, on the other hand, maintained a contrariety on the part of form, because they held that the first principle is one matter from which many things were constituted in being according to different forms.
Alii vero antiqui naturales ponebant res fieri ex principiis, ex hoc quod ipsa contraria et diversa extrahebantur ab uno, in quo erant quasi commixta et confusa. 56. Other natural philosophers, however, held that things come to be from principles in such a way that contraries themselves and different things are drawn forth from one thing in which they already existed, as it were, mixed and confused.
Sed in hoc differebant, quod Anaximander ponebat illud unum confusum esse principium, non autem illa multa quae in eo erant commixta: unde ponebat unum tantum principium. Empedocles vero et Anaxagoras ponebant magis esse principia illa quae in eo permiscebantur: et ideo ponebant multa principia, licet et illud unum confusum quodammodo principium ponerent. But they differed as follows. Anaximander held that the principle is one confused state in which there are not many things mixed together. Thus he held one principle only. But Empedocles and Anaxagoras held rather that the principles are the very things which are mixed together in that one confused state. And so they held many principles, although they also held that this one confused state is in some way a principle.
Sed Anaxagoras et Empedocles differebant in duobus. Primo quidem quia Empedocles ponebat circulationem quandam commixtionis et segregationis. Ponebat enim mundum multoties esse factum et multoties corruptum; ita scilicet quod cum mundus corruptus fuit, amicitia omnia confundente in unum, iterum mundus generaretur, lite separante et distinguente: et sic confusioni succedit distinctio et e converso. Sed Anaxagoras ponebat semel tantum mundum factum esse, ita quod a principio omnia essent commixta in unum: sed intellectus, qui incoepit extrahere et distinguere, nunquam cessabit hoc facere, ita quod nunquam erunt omnia commixta in unum. 57. But Anaxagoras and Empedocles differed on two points. First, Empedocles held that there is a certain cycle of mixing and separating. For he held that the world has been made and corrupted many times; that is to say, when the world has been corrupted by friendship gathering all into one, the world is then generated again by strife separating and distinguishing. And thus the distinction of things follows upon their being confused, and vice versa. But Anaxagoras held that the world was made only once, such that from the beginning all things were mixed into one. But mind, which began to draw out and to distinguish, will never cease to do this, so that all things never will be mixed into one.
Alio modo differebant in hoc quod Anaxagoras posuit principia esse infinitas partes similes et contrarias: sicut infinitas partes carnis, quae sunt similes invicem, et infinitas partes ossis et aliorum quae habent partes similes, cum tamen quarundam sit ad alias contrarietas; sicut partium ossis ad partes sanguinis est contrarietas secundum humidum et siccum. Sed Empedocles posuit principia solum illa quatuor quae communiter dicuntur elementa, scilicet ignem, aerem, aquam et terram. They also differed in another way. Anaxagoras held that the principles are infinite parts which are alike and contrary. Thus there are infinite parts of flesh which are like each other and infinite parts of bone and other things which have similar parts, yet each has a contrariety to the others. Thus the contrariety of the parts of bone to the parts of blood is that of the dry to the moist. But Empedocles held as principles only those four things which are commonly called elements, i.e., fire, air, water, and earth.

Lectio 9 (187 a 27-188 a 18)
Chapter 4
ἔοικε δὲ Ἀναξαγόρας ἄπειρα οὕτως οἰηθῆναι διὰ τὸ ὑπολαμβάνειν τὴν κοινὴν δόξαν τῶν φυσικῶν εἶναι ἀληθῆ, ὡς οὐ γιγνομένου οὐδε νὸς ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος (διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ οὕτω λέγουσιν, ἦν ὁμοῦ πάντα, καὶ τὸ γίγνεσθαι τοιόνδε καθέστηκεν ἀλλοιοῦσθαι, οἱ δὲ σύγκρισιν καὶ διάκρισιν)· The theory of Anaxagoras that the principles are infinite in multitude was probably due to his acceptance of the common opinion of the physicists that nothing comes into being from not-being. For this is the reason why they use the phrase 'all things were together' and the coming into being of such and such a kind of thing is reduced to change of quality, while some spoke of combination and separation.
ἔτι δ' ἐκ τοῦ γίγνεσθαι ἐξ ἀλλήλων τἀναντία· ἐνυπῆρχεν ἄρα· Moreover, the fact that the contraries proceed from each other led them to the conclusion.
εἰ γὰρ πᾶν μὲν τὸ γιγνόμενον ἀνάγκη γίγνεσθαι ἢ ἐξ ὄντων ἢ ἐκ μὴ ὄντων, τούτων δὲ τὸ μὲν ἐκ μὴ ὄντων γίγνεσθαι ἀδύνατον (περὶ γὰρ ταύτης ὁμογνωμονοῦσι τῆς δόξης ἅπαντες οἱ περὶ φύσεως), τὸ λοιπὸν ἤδη συμβαίνειν ἐξ ἀνάγκης ἐνόμισαν, ἐξ ὄντων μὲν καὶ ἐνυπαρχόντων γίγνεσθαι, διὰ μικρότητα δὲ τῶν ὄγκων ἐξ (187b.) ἀναισθήτων ἡμῖν. διό φασι πᾶν ἐν παντὶ μεμῖχθαι, διότι πᾶν ἐκ παντὸς ἑώρων γιγνόμενον· The one, they reasoned, must have already existed in the other; for since everything that comes into being must arise either from what is or from what is not, and it is impossible for it to arise from what is not (on this point all the physicists agree), they thought that the truth of the alternative necessarily followed, namely that things come into being out of existent things, i.e. out of things already present, but imperceptible to our senses because of the smallness of their bulk. So they assert that everything has been mixed in every. thing, because they saw everything arising out of everything.
φαίνεσθαι δὲ διαφέροντα καὶ προσαγορεύεσθαι ἕτερα ἀλλήλων ἐκ τοῦ μάλισθ' ὑπερέχοντος διὰ πλῆθος ἐν τῇ μίξει τῶν ἀπείρων· εἰλικρινῶς μὲν γὰρ ὅλον λευκὸν ἢ μέλαν ἢ γλυκὺ ἢ σάρκα ἢ ὀστοῦν οὐκ εἶναι, ὅτου δὲ πλεῖστον ἕκαστον ἔχει, τοῦτο δοκεῖν εἶναι τὴν φύσιν τοῦ πράγματος. But things, as they say, appear different from one another and receive different names according to the nature of the particles which are numerically predominant among the innumerable constituents of the mixture. For nothing, they say, is purely and entirely white or black or sweet, bone or flesh, but the nature of a thing is held to be that of which it contains the most.
εἰ δὴ τὸ μὲν ἄπειρον ᾗ ἄπειρον ἄγνωστον, τὸ μὲν κατὰ πλῆθος ἢ κατὰ μέγεθος ἄπειρον ἄγνωστον πόσον τι, τὸ δὲ κατ' εἶδος ἄπειρον ἄγνωστον ποῖόν τι. τῶν δ' ἀρχῶν ἀπείρων οὐσῶν καὶ κατὰ πλῆθος καὶ κατ' εἶ δος, ἀδύνατον εἰδέναι τὰ ἐκ τούτων. οὕτω γὰρ εἰδέναι τὸ σύνθετον ὑπολαμβάνομεν, ὅταν εἰδῶμεν ἐκ τίνων καὶ πόσων ἐστίν. Now (1) the infinite qua infinite is unknowable, so that what is infinite in multitude or size is unknowable in quantity, and what is infinite in variety of kind is unknowable in quality. But the principles in question are infinite both in multitude and in kind. Therefore it is impossible to know things which are composed of them; for it is when we know the nature and quantity of its components that we suppose we know a complex.
ἔτι δ' εἰ ἀνάγκη, οὗ τὸ μόριον ἐνδέχεται ὁπηλικονοῦν εἶναι κατὰ μέγεθος καὶ μικρότητα, καὶ αὐτὸ ἐνδέχεσθαι (λέγω δὲ τῶν τοιούτων τι μορίων, εἰς ὃ ἐνυπάρχον διαιρεῖται τὸ ὅλον), εἰ δὴ ἀδύνατον ζῷον ἢ φυτὸν ὁπηλικονοῦν εἶναι κατὰ μέγεθος καὶ μικρότητα, φανερὸν ὅτι οὐδὲ τῶν μορίων ὁτιοῦν· ἔσται γὰρ καὶ τὸ ὅλον ὁμοίως. σὰρξ δὲ καὶ ὀστοῦν καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα μόρια ζῴου, καὶ οἱ καρποὶ τῶν φυτῶν. δῆλον τοίνυν ὅτι ἀδύνατον σάρκα ἢ ὀστοῦν ἢ ἄλλο τι ὁπηλι κονοῦν εἶναι τὸ μέγεθος ἢ ἐπὶ τὸ μεῖζον ἢ ἐπὶ τὸ ἔλαττον. Further (2) if the parts of a whole may be of any size in the direction either of greatness or of smallness (by 'parts' I mean components into which a whole can be divided and which are actually present in it), it is necessary that the whole thing itself may be of any size. Clearly, therefore, since it is impossible for an animal or plant to be indefinitely big or small, neither can its parts be such, or the whole will be the same. But flesh, bone, and the like are the parts of animals, and the fruits are the parts of plants. Hence it is obvious that neither flesh, bone, nor any such thing can be of indefinite size in the direction either of the greater or of the less.
ἔτι εἰ πάντα μὲν ἐνυπάρχει τὰ τοιαῦτα ἐν ἀλλήλοις, καὶ μὴ γίγνεται ἀλλ' ἐκκρίνεται ἐνόντα, λέγεται δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ πλείονος, γίγνεται δὲ ἐξ ὁτουοῦν ὁτιοῦν (οἷον ἐκ σαρκὸς ὕδωρ ἐκκρινόμενον καὶ σὰρξ ἐξ ὕδατος), ἅπαν δὲ σῶμα πεπερασμένον ἀναιρεῖται ὑπὸ σώματος πεπερασμένου, φανερὸν ὅτι οὐκ ἐνδέχεται ἐν ἑκάστῳ ἕκαστον ὑπάρχειν. Again (3) according to the theory all such things are already present in one another and do not come into being but are constituents which are separated out, and a thing receives its designation from its chief constituent. Further, anything may come out of anything—water by segregation from flesh and flesh from water. Hence, since every finite body is exhausted by the repeated abstraction of a finite body, it seems obviously to follow that everything cannot subsist in everything else.
ἀφαιρεθείσης γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος σαρκός, καὶ πάλιν ἄλλης γενομένης ἐκ τοῦ λοιποῦ ἀποκρίσει, εἰ καὶ ἀεὶ ἐλάττων ἔσται ἡ ἐκκρινομένη, ἀλλ' ὅμως οὐχ ὑπερβαλεῖ μέγεθός τι τῇ μικρότητι. ὥστ' εἰ μὲν στήσεται ἡ ἔκκρισις, οὐχ ἅπαν ἐν παντὶ ἐνέσται (ἐν γὰρ τῷ λοιπῷ ὕδατι οὐκ ἐνυπάρξει σάρξ), εἰ δὲ μὴ στήσεται ἀλλ' ἀεὶ ἕξει ἀφαίρεσιν, ἐν πεπερασμένῳ μεγέθει ἴσα πεπερασμένα ἐνέσται ἄπειρα τὸ πλῆθος· τοῦτο δ' ἀδύνατον. For let flesh be extracted from water and again more flesh be produced from the remainder by repeating the process of separation: then, even though the quantity separated out will continually decrease, still it will not fall below a certain magnitude. If, therefore, the process comes to an end, everything will not be in everything else (for there will be no flesh in the remaining water); if on the other hand it does not, and further extraction is always possible, there will be an infinite multitude of finite equal particles in a finite quantity—which is impossible.
πρὸς δὲ τούτοις, εἰ ἅπαν μὲν σῶμα ἀφαιρεθέντος τινὸς ἔλαττον ἀνάγκη γίγνεσθαι, τῆς δὲ σαρκὸς ὥρισται τὸ ποσὸν καὶ μεγέθει καὶ μικρότητι, φανερὸν ὅτι ἐκ τῆς ἐλαχίστης (188a.) σαρκὸς οὐθὲν ἐκκριθήσεται σῶμα· ἔσται γὰρ ἐλάττων τῆς ἐλαχίστης. Another proof may be added: Since every body must diminish in size when something is taken from it, and flesh is quantitatively definite in respect both of greatness and smallness, it is clear that from the minimum quantity of flesh no body can be separated out; for the flesh left would be less than the minimum of flesh.
ἔτι δ' ἐν τοῖς ἀπείροις σώμασιν ἐνυπάρχοι ἂν ἤδη σὰρξ ἄπειρος καὶ αἷμα καὶ ἐγκέφαλος, κεχωρισμένα μέντοι ἀπ' ἀλλήλων <οὔ>, οὐθὲν δ' ἧττον ὄντα, καὶ ἄπειρον ἕκαστον· τοῦτο δ' ἄλογον. Lastly (4) in each of his infinite bodies there would be already present infinite flesh and blood and brain— having a distinct existence, however, from one another, and no less real than the infinite bodies, and each infinite: which is contrary to reason.
τὸ δὲ μηδέποτε διακριθήσεσθαι οὐκ εἰδότως μὲν λέγεται, ὀρθῶς δὲ λέγεται· τὰ γὰρ πάθη ἀχώριστα· εἰ οὖν μέμικται τὰ χρώματα καὶ αἱ ἕξεις, ἐὰν διακριθῶσιν, ἔσται τι λευκὸν καὶ ὑγιεινὸν οὐχ ἕτερόν τι ὂν οὐδὲ καθ' ὑποκειμένου. ὥστε ἄτοπος τὰ ἀδύνατα ζητῶν ὁ νοῦς, εἴπερ βούλεται μὲν διακρῖναι, τοῦτο δὲ ποιῆσαι ἀδύνατον καὶ κατὰ τὸ ποσὸν καὶ κατὰ τὸ ποιόν, κατὰ μὲν τὸ ποσὸν ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἐλάχιστον μέγεθος, κατὰ δὲ τὸ ποιὸν ὅτι ἀχώριστα τὰ πάθη. The statement that complete separation never will take place is correct enough, though Anaxagoras is not fully aware of what it means. For affections are indeed inseparable. If then colours and states had entered into the mixture, and if separation took place, there would be a 'white' or a 'healthy' which was nothing but white or healthy, i.e. was not the predicate of a subject. So his 'Mind' is an absurd person aiming at the impossible, if he is supposed to wish to separate them, and it is impossible to do so, both in respect of quantity and of quality— of quantity, because there is no minimum magnitude, and of quality, because affections are inseparable.
οὐκ ὀρθῶς δὲ οὐδὲ τὴν γένεσιν λαμβάνει τῶν ὁμοειδῶν. ἔστι μὲν γὰρ ὡς ὁ πηλὸς εἰς πηλοὺς διαιρεῖται, ἔστι δ' ὡς οὔ. καὶ οὐχ ὁ αὐτὸς τρόπος, ὡς πλίνθοι ἐξ οἰκίας καὶ οἰκία ἐκ πλίνθων, οὕτω [δὲ] καὶ ὕδωρ καὶ ἀὴρ ἐξ ἀλλήλων καὶ εἰσὶ καὶ γίγνονται. Nor is Anaxagoras right about the coming to be of homogeneous bodies. It is true there is a sense in which clay is divided into pieces of clay, but there is another in which it is not. Water and air are, and are generated 'from' each other, but not in the way in which bricks come 'from' a house and again a house 'from' bricks; and it is better to assume a smaller and finite number of principles, as Empedocles does
βέλτιόν τε ἐλάττω καὶ πεπερασμένα λαβεῖν, ὅπερ ποιεῖ Ἐμπεδοκλῆς. and it is better to assume a smaller and finite number of principles, as Empedocles does.
Positis diversis opinionibus naturalium philosophorum de principiis, hic prosequitur unam earum, scilicet opinionem Anaxagorae, quia haec opinio videbatur assignare causam communem omnium specierum motus. 58. Having set forth the opinions of the natural philosophers concerning the principles, he here pursues one of these opinions, namely, that of Anaxagoras. For this opinion seemed to assign a common cause for all the species of motion.
Et dividitur in duas partes: in prima ponit rationem ipsius; in secunda obiicit contra eam, ibi: si igitur infinitum et cetera. The discussion is divided into two parts. In the first part he sets forth Anaxagoras’ argument; in the second part he raises objections against it, where he says, ‘Now the infinite ...’ (187 b 7 #64).
Circa primum tria facit: primo praemittit ea quae Anaxagoras supponebat, et ex quibus argumentabatur; secundo ponit suae rationis processum, ibi: si enim omne quod fit etc.; tertio ponit eius responsionem ad quandam tacitam obiectionem, ibi: apparere autem et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes three points. First he sets forth those things which Anaxagoras supposed and from which he argues. Secondly, where he says, ‘The one, they reasoned ...’ (187 a 33 #62)2 he sets forth the order of his argument. Thirdly, where he says, ‘But things, as they say ...’ (187 b 2 #63), he sets forth Anaxagoras’ response to a certain tacit objection.
Duo autem supponebat Anaxagoras, ex quibus procedebat. Quorum primum est quod etiam ab omnibus naturalibus philosophis supponebatur, quod scilicet ex nihilo nihil fiat. Et hoc est quod dicit, quod Anaxagoras ex hoc videbatur opinari esse principia infinita, quia accipiebat communem opinionem omnium philosophorum naturalium esse veram; hanc scilicet, quod id quod simpliciter non est, nullo modo fiat. Quia enim hoc supponebant tanquam principium, ad diversas opiniones processerunt. 59. Anaxagoras assumed two things from which he argued. The first of these is a point which is assumed by all of the natural philosophers, namely, that nothing comes to be from nothing. And Aristotle says that, because of this, Anaxagoras seemed to have held the opinion that the principles are infinite. For he accepted as true the common opinion of all philosophers of nature, namely, that what simply is not in no way comes to be. For they assumed this as a principle and then developed their different opinions.
Ut enim non cogerentur ponere aliquid de novo fieri quod prius omnino non esset, posuerunt aliqui omnia prius simul extitisse, vel in aliquo uno confuso, sicut Anaxagoras et Empedocles; vel in aliquo principio materiali, scilicet aqua, igne et aere; vel in aliquo medio illorum. 60. Lest they would be forced to hold that something new comes to be which previously was in no way at all, some held that all things from the beginning existed together, either in some one confused state, as Anaxagoras and Empedocles held, or in some natural principle, such as water, fire, and air, or some intermediate between these.
Et secundum hoc duos modos factionis ponebant. And in accordance with this they posited two modes of production.
Qui enim posuerunt omnia simul praeexistere sicut in uno principio materiali, dixerunt quod fieri nihil aliud est quam alterari: ex illo enim uno principio materiali omnia fieri dicebant per condensationem et rarefactionem eiusdem. Those who held that all things pre-existed together as in one material principle said that to come to be is nothing other than to be altered. For they said that all things come to be from that one material principle through its condensation and rarefaction.
Alii vero, qui ponebant omnia praeexistere simul sicut in aliquo uno confuso et commixto ex multis, dixerunt quod fieri rerum non est aliud quam congregatio et segregatio. Others, however, who held that all things pre-existed together in some one confused state and mixture of many, said that the coming to be of things is only a joining together and a separation.
Et omnes hi decepti fuerunt quia nesciverunt distinguere inter potentiam et actum. Ens enim in potentia est quasi medium inter purum non ens et ens in actu. Quae igitur naturaliter fiunt, non fiunt ex simpliciter non ente, sed ex ente in potentia; non autem ex ente in actu, ut ipsi opinabantur. Unde quae fiunt non oportet praeexistere actu, ut ipsi dicebant, sed potentia tantum. All of these philosophers were deceived because they did not know how to distinguish between potency and act. For being in potency is, as it were, a mean between pure non-being and being in act. Therefore, those things which come to be naturally do not come to be from nonbeing simply, but from being in potency, and not, indeed, from being in act, as they thought. Hence things which come to be did not necessarily pre-exist in act, as they said, but only in potency.
Deinde cum dicit: amplius ex eo etc., ponit secundum quod supponebat. 61. Next where he says, ‘Moreover the fact that ...’ (187 a 32), he mentions the second thing which Anaxagoras assumed.
Dicebat enim quod contraria fiunt ex alterutris: videmus enim ex calido fieri frigidum et e converso. Et ex hoc concludebat quod, cum ex nihilo nihil fiat, quod unum contrariorum praeexistit in altero. Anaxagoras said that contraries come to be from each other. For we see the cold come to be from the hot, and vice versa. And from this he concluded that, since nothing comes to be from nothing, one of the contraries pre-exists in the other.
Quod quidem est verum secundum potentiam, nam frigidum est potentia in calido: non autem actu, ut Anaxagoras aestimabat, propter hoc quod nesciebat accipere esse in potentia, quod est esse medium inter purum non esse et esse actu. And this is true, of course, in respect to potency. For the cold is in the hot in potency, but not in act, as Anaxagoras thought. For he was not aware of being in potency, which is a mean between pure non-being and being in act.
Deinde cum dicit: si enim omne quod fit etc., ponit deductionem rationis ipsius. 62. Next where he says, ‘The one, they reasoned ...’ (187 a 33), he sets forth the deductive order of the argument.
Et procedebat sic. Si aliquid fit, necesse est quod fiat aut ex ente aut ex non ente. Sed horum alterum excludebat, scilicet quod aliquid fieret ex non ente, propter communem opinionem philosophorum supra positam. Unde concludebat reliquum membrum, scilicet quod aliquid fiat ex ente: puta si aer fit ex aqua, quod aer prius existit. Non autem diceretur quod aer fiat ex aqua, nisi in aqua praeexisteret aer: unde volebat accipere quod omne quod fit ex aliquo, praeexisteret in eo ex quo fiebat. Anaxagoras proceeded as follows. If something comes to be, it is necessary that it should come to be either from being or from nonbeing. But he excluded one of these alternatives-namely, that something should come to be from non-being. He does this because of the common opinion of the philosophers mentioned above [#59]. Whence he concluded that the remaining member was correct, namely, that a thing comes to be from being. For example, if air comes to be from water, then air pre-existed. For it cannot be said that air comes to be from water unless air pre-existed in water. Hence he wished to say that everything which comes to be from something pre-existed in that from which it comes to be.
Sed quia hoc videbatur contra id quod apparet sensui (non enim apparet ad sensum quod illud quod generatur ex aliquo, praeexistat in eo), ideo hanc obiectionem excludebat per hoc quod ponebat, quod id quod fit ex aliquo, praeexisteret in eo secundum quasdam partes minimas, quae sunt nobis insensibiles propter suam parvitatem. Puta si aer fit ex aqua, partes aliquae minimae aeris sunt in aqua, non autem in illa quantitate in qua generatur: et ideo per congregationem illarum partium aeris ad invicem et segregationem ex partibus aquae, dicebat fieri aerem. But because this seemed to be contrary to what appears to the senses (for it is not apparent to the senses that that which is generated from something pre-exists in it), he forestalled this objection by holding that that which comes to be from something pre-exists in it as certain most minute parts which are not sensible to us because of their smallness. For example, if air comes to be from water, certain minute parts of air are in the water, but not in that quantity in which it is generated. And so he said that by the gathering together of these parts of air by themselves, and by their separation from the parts of water, air comes to be.
Habito igitur hoc, quod omne quod fit ex aliquo, praeexistat in eo, assumebat ulterius omne ex omni fieri: unde concludebat quod quodlibet esset in quolibet permixtum secundum partes minimas et insensibiles. Having accepted, therefore, that everything which comes to be from something pre-exists in it, he further assumed that everything comes to be from everything. Whence he concluded that everything would be mixed in everything else as minute, non-sensible parts.
Et quia infinities unum ex alio fieri potest, infinitas partes minimas in unoquoque esse dicebat. And because an infinite variety of things can come to be from another, he said that infinite minute parts were in each thing.
Deinde cum dicit: apparere autem etc., excludit quandam tacitam obiectionem. 63. Next where he says, ‘But things, as they say ...’ (187 b 2), he excludes a certain tacit objection.
Posset enim aliquis obiicere: si infinitae partes cuiuslibet rei sunt in quolibet, sequetur quod res nec ab invicem differant, nec ab invicem differre videantur. It is possible for someone to object as follows. If infinite parts of everything are in everything, it would follow that things neither differ from each other nor appear to differ from each other.
Ad hoc ergo quasi respondens dicit, quod res videntur differre ab invicem, et nominantur etiam diversa, ex eo quod maxime superabundat in eis; cum tamen infinita sit multitudo partium minimarum quae continentur in aliquo mixto. Et sic nihil est pure et totaliter album aut nigrum aut os, sed id quod plus est in unoquoque, hoc videtur esse natura rei. Therefore, as if he were answering this objection, Anaxagoras says that things appear to differ from each other and ‘are diversely named because of that which is dominant in them, even though there s an infinite number of minute parts contained in any mixture. And so nothing is purely and totally white or black or bone. Rather, that which abounds in each thing seems to be the nature of that thing.
Deinde cum dicit: si igitur infinitum etc., improbat positionem praedictam. 64. Next where he says, ‘Now the infinite ...’ (187 b 7), Aristotle refutes the above mentioned position.
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo improbat eam absolute; secundo comparat eam ad opinionem Empedoclis, ibi: melius autem et cetera. Concerning this he makes two points. First he disproves the position absolutely. Secondly, where he says, ‘... and it is better...’ (188 a 17), he compares it to the opinion of Empedocles.
Circa primum duo facit: primo ponit rationes ad improbandum opinionem Anaxagorae; secundo improbat modum positionis, ibi: nequaquam et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he sets forth arguments to disprove the opinion of Anaxagoras. Secondly, where he says, ‘The statement that...’ (188 a 5 #72), he disagrees with Anaxagoras’ way of understanding his own position.
Circa primum ponit quinque rationes. Concerning the first part he gives five arguments.
Quarum prima talis est. Omne infinitum est ignotum, secundum quod est infinitum. Et exponit quare dicit secundum quod infinitum; quia si est infinitum secundum multitudinem vel magnitudinem, erit ignotum secundum quantitatem; si autem est infinitum secundum speciem, puta quod constituatur ex infinitis secundum speciem diversis, tunc erit ignotum secundum qualitatem. Et huius ratio est, quia id quod est notum apud intellectum, comprehenditur ab ipso quantum ad omnia quae ipsius sunt; quod non potest contingere in aliquo infinito. Si igitur alicuius rei principia sunt infinita, oportet ea esse ignota, vel secundum quantitatem vel secundum speciem. The first of these is as follows. Every infinite thing, in that respect in which it is infinite, is unknown. He explains why he says ‘in that respect in which it is infinite’. If it is infinite in respect to multitude or magnitude, it will be unknown in respect to quantity. If, however, it is infinite in respect to species (for example, if it is composed of an infinite variety of species), then it will be unknown according to quality. And the reason for this is that what is known by the intellect is grasped by the intellect with respect to all that belongs to that thing. But this cannot happen with regard to something infinite. If, therefore, the principles of a thing are infinite, they must be unknown either in respect to quantity or in respect to species.
Sed si principia sunt ignota, oportet esse ignota ea quae sunt ex principiis. Quod probat ex hoc, quia tunc arbitramur nos cognoscere unumquodque compositum, cum scimus ex quibus et quantis sit, idest quando cognoscimus et species et quantitates principiorum. Sequitur igitur de primo ad ultimum, quod si principia rerum naturalium sunt infinita, quod naturales res erunt ignotae, vel secundum quantitatem vel secundum speciem. But if the principles are unknown, those things which are from the principles must be unknown. He proves this as follows. We think that we know any composite when we know from what and from how many [principles] it is composed, i.e., when we know both the species and the quantity of the principles. It follows, therefore, from first to last that, if the principles of natural things are infinite, then natural things are unknown either in respect to quantity or in respect to species.
Secundam rationem ponit ibi: amplius autem si necesse est etc.: quae talis est. 65. At the point where he says, ‘Further if the parts ...’ (187 b 14), he gives the second argument, which is as follows.
Si alicuius totius partes non habent aliquam determinatam quantitatem, sive magnitudinem vel parvitatem, sed contingit eas quantascumque esse vel secundum magnitudinem vel secundum parvitatem; necesse est quod totum non habeat determinatam magnitudinem vel parvitatem, sed contingat totum esse cuiuscumque magnitudinis vel parvitatis: et hoc ideo, quia quantitas totius consurgit ex partibus. (Sed hoc intelligendum est de partibus existentibus actu in toto, sicut caro, nervus et os existunt in animali: et hoc est quod dicit, dico autem talium aliquam partium, in quam cum insit, scilicet actu, dividitur aliquod totum: et per hoc excluduntur partes totius continui, quae sunt potentia in ipso). If the parts of a whole do not have a determinate quantity, either great or small, but can be any size, either great or small, it is not necessary that the whole have a determinate greatness or smallness. Rather the whole could have any size. This is so because the quantity of the whole comes from the parts. (But this must be understood of the parts existing in act in the whole, as flesh and nerve and bone exist in an animal. Hence he says, ‘... by parts I mean components into which a whole can be divided and which are actually present in it’ (187 b 15). And by this he excludes the parts of a continuous whole which are in the whole in potency.)
Sed impossibile est quod animal vel planta vel aliquod huiusmodi habeat se indeterminate ad quantamcumque magnitudinem vel parvitatem: est enim aliqua quantitas ita magna, ultra quam nullum animal extenditur, et aliqua ita parva, infra quam nullum animal invenitur; et similiter dicendum est de planta. Ergo sequitur ad destructionem consequentis, quod neque aliqua partium sit indeterminatae quantitatis, quia simile est de toto et de partibus. Sed caro et os et huiusmodi sunt partes animalis, et fructus sunt partes plantarum: impossibile est igitur quod caro et os et huiusmodi habeant indeterminatam quantitatem vel secundum maius vel secundum minus. Non ergo est possibile quod sint aliquae partes carnis aut ossis quae sint insensibiles propter parvitatem. But it is impossible that an animal or a plant or some such thing be related indeterminately to any size, whether great or small. For there is some quantity so large that no animal exceeds it in size. So also there is some quantity so small that no animal is found to be smaller. And the same must be said of plants. Therefore by denying the consequent it follows that the parts are not of indeterminate quantity. For what is true of the whole is true of the parts. But flesh and bone and things of this sort are parts of an animal, and fruits are parts of plants. Therefore it is impossible that flesh and bone and such things should have an indeterminate quantity, either greater or smaller. Therefore it is not possible that there should be certain parts of flesh or bone which are non-sensible because of smallness.
Videtur autem quod hic dicitur, contrarium esse divisioni continui in infinitum. Si enim continuum in infinitum divisibile est, caro autem continuum quoddam est; videtur quod sit in infinitum divisibilis. Omnem igitur parvitatem determinatam transcendet pars carnis secundum divisionem infinitam. 66. It seems, however, that what is said here is contrary to the statement that a continuum is divisible to infinity. For if the continuous is divisible to infinity, and flesh is, indeed, a kind of continuum, it seems that flesh is divisible to infinity. Therefore, some part of flesh, according to a division to infinity, goes beyond every determinate smallness.
Sed dicendum quod licet corpus, mathematice acceptum, sit divisibile in infinitum, corpus tamen naturale non est divisibile in infinitum. In corpore enim mathematico non consideratur nisi quantitas, in qua nihil invenitur divisioni in infinitum repugnans; sed in corpore naturali consideratur forma naturalis, quae requirit determinatam quantitatem sicut et alia accidentia. Unde non potest inveniri quantitas in specie carnis nisi infra aliquos terminos determinata. But it must be pointed out that although a body, considered mathematically, is divisible to infinity, the natural body is not divisible to infinity. For in a mathematical body nothing but quantity is considered. And in this there is nothing repugnant to division to infinity. But in a natural body the form also is considered, which form requires a determinate quantity and also other accidents. Whence it is not possible for quantity to be found in the species of flesh except as determined within some termini.
Tertiam rationem ponit ibi: amplius si omnia et cetera. 67. He gives the third argument where he says, ‘Again according to the theory ...’ (187 b 23).
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo praemittit quaedam ex quibus argumentatur; secundo ponit deductionem rationis, ibi: remota enim et cetera. Concerning this he makes two points. First he sets forth certain things which are the basis of the argument. Secondly, where he says, ‘For let flesh ...’ (187 b 28 #68), he sets forth the deductive order of the argument.
Circa primum tria proponit. Concerning the first part he proposes three things.
Primum est quod omnia simul sunt secundum positionem Anaxagorae, ut dictum est; ex quo vult deducere ad inconveniens. Dicebat enim Anaxagoras, ut dictum est, quod omnia huiusmodi, scilicet quae sunt similium partium, ut caro et os et similia, insunt invicem, et non fiunt de novo, sed segregantur ex aliquo in quo praeextiterunt; sed unumquodque denominatur a plurimo, idest a pluribus partibus in re existentibus. The first is that according to the position of Anaxagoras, as was said above [#62], all things are together. And from this Aristotle wishes to reduce Anaxigoras’ argument to absurdity. For Anaxagoras said, as was pointed out [#62ff], that all things which are of a certain kind, i.e., all things which are of like parts, such as flesh and bone and the like, are in each other, and do not come to be from nothing, but are separated from that in which they pre-exist. And each thing is named from that which abounds in it, i.e., from the largest number of parts existing in the thing.
Secundum est quod quodlibet fit ex quolibet, sicut ex carne fit aqua per segregationem, et similiter caro ex aqua. The second point is that everything comes to be from everything, as water comes to be by separation from flesh, and in the same way flesh comes to be from water.
Tertium est quod omne corpus finitum resecatur a corpore finito: hoc est, si ab aliquo corpore finito quantumcumque magno auferatur multoties corpus finitum quantumcumque parvum, toties poterit auferri minus a maiori, quod totum maius consumetur a minori per divisionem. And the third point is that every finite body is reduced by a finite body. That is, if from some finite body, however large, a finite body, however small, is taken away, the smaller can be taken away from the larger until eventually the greater whole is consumed by the smaller through division.
Ex his autem tribus concludit quod principaliter intendit, scilicet quod non sit unumquodque in unoquoque, quod est contrarium primo istorum trium positorum. Sic enim contingit in rationibus ducentibus ad impossibile, quod concludatur finaliter destructio alicuius praemissorum. And from these three points Aristotle concludes what he primarily intended, namely, that each thing is not in each thing. And this is contrary to the first of these three points. For in arguments which lead to absurdity the denial of one of the premises is the final conclusion.
Deinde cum dicit: remota enim ex aqua etc., deducit argumentationem: et assumit quod in praecedenti argumentatione conclusum est. 68. Next where he says, ‘For let flesh...’(187 b 28), he develops his argument and assumes what was concluded in the preceding argument.
Dicit enim quod si ex aqua removeatur caro (dum scilicet ex aqua generatur caro), et si iterum ex residua aqua fiat alia segregatio carnis; quamvis semper remaneat minor quantitas carnis in aqua, tamen magnitudo carnis non excedit aliquam parvitatem, idest contingit dare aliquam parvam mensuram carnis, qua non erit minor aliqua caro, ut ex superiori ratione apparet. He says that if flesh is removed from water (since flesh is generated from water), and if again another separation of flesh is made from the remaining water, then although there will always remain a smaller quantity of flesh in the water, still the size of that flesh is not less than a certain smallness, i.e., there happens to be a certain small measure of flesh than which there will not be any smaller flesh, as is clear from the argument given above.
Hoc ergo habito, quod aliqua sit parva caro qua nulla sit minor, sic procedit. Therefore, having established that there is some small particle of flesh than which there is no smaller, he proceeds as follows.
Si ex aqua segregatur caro et iterum alia caro, aut stabit ista segregatio aut non. Si stabit, ergo in residua aqua non erit caro; et sic non erit quodlibet in quolibet: si autem non stabit, ergo in aqua semper remanebit aliqua pars carnis; ita tamen quod in secunda segregatione sit minor quam in prima, et in tertia minor quam in secunda. Et cum non sit descendere in parvitatem partium in infinitum, ut dictum est, illae minimae partes carnis erunt aequales et infinitae numero in aliqua aqua finita: alioquin non procederet in infinitum segregatio. Sequitur igitur, si segregatio non stat, sed semper in infinitum removetur caro ex aqua, quod in aliqua magnitudine finita, scilicet aqua, sint quaedam finita secundum quantitatem et aequalia ad invicem et infinita secundum numerum, scilicet infinitae minimae partes carnis: et hoc est impossibile et contrarium ei quod supra positum est, scilicet quod omne corpus finitum resecatur ab aliquo corpore finito. Ergo et primum fuit impossibile, scilicet quod quodlibet esset in quolibet, ut Anaxagoras posuit. If from water flesh is separated, and again other flesh, the process of separation will either stop or it will not. If it stops, then there is no flesh in the remaining water, and everything will not be in everything. If it does not stop, then some part of flesh will always remain in the water. Thus in the second separation the remaining flesh is smaller than in the first, and in the third it is smaller than in the second. And since we cannot proceed to infinity in smallness of parts, as was said, then the smallest parts of flesh are equal and infinite in number in some finite body of water. Otherwise separation could not proceed to infinity. It follows, therefore, that if the separation does not stop, but flesh is always removed from water to infinity, then in some finite magnitude, e.g., water, there are certain things which are finite in respect to quantity, and equal to each other, and infinite in respect to number, namely, the infinite smallest parts of flesh. But this is impossible and contrary to what was said above, namely, that every finite body is reduced by some finite body. Therefore the first point, namely, that everything is in everything, as Anaxagoras held, is also impossible.
Considerandum est autem quod non sine causa philosophus apposuit aequalia in hoc ultimo inconvenienti ad quod ducit. Non enim est inconveniens quod in aliquo finito sint infinita inaequalia, si attendatur ratio quantitatis: quia si dividatur continuum secundum eandem proportionem, erit procedere in infinitum, ut puta si accipiatur tertium totius et tertium tertii et sic deinceps; sed tamen partes acceptae non erunt aequales secundum quantitatem. Sed si fiat divisio per partes aequales, non erit procedere in infinitum, etiam si sola ratio quantitatis in corpore mathematico consideretur. 69. We must note that it is not without reason that the Philosopher used the term ‘equal’ in stating the last absurdity to which this position leads. For if the nature of quantity is considered, it is not absurd that an infinity of unequal parts be in a finite body. For if a continuum is divided according to the same proportion, it will be possible to proceed to infinity, for example, if we take a third of a whole, and then a third of the third, and so on. In this case, however, the parts were not taken as equal in quantity. But if the division is made according to equal parts, we will not be able to proceed to infinity even if we consider only the nature [ratio] of quantity which is found in a mathematical body.
Quartam rationem ponit ibi: ad haec autem si omne etc.: quae talis est. 70. He gives his fourth argument where he says, ‘Another proof may be added ...’ (187 b 35). The argument is as follows.
Omne corpus remoto aliquo fit minus, cum omne totum sit maius sua parte; cum autem quantitas carnis sit determinata secundum magnitudinem et parvitatem, ut ex dictis patet, necesse est esse aliquam minimam carnem; ergo ab ea non potest aliquid segregari, quia sic esset aliquid minus minimo. Non igitur ex quolibet potest fieri quodlibet per segregationem. Every body becomes a smaller one when something is taken from it, because every whole is greater than its parts. Since then the quantity of flesh is determinately great or small, as is clear from what was said above, there must be some smallest bit of flesh. Therefore from this nothing can be separated, because the remaining flesh would be smaller than this smallest piece of flesh. Therefore it is impossible that everything comes to be from everything by separation.
Quintam rationem ponit ibi: amplius autem in infinitis corporibus etc.: quae talis est. Si infinitae partes uniuscuiusque sunt in unoquoque, et quodlibet est in quolibet, sequetur quod in infinitis corporibus sint infinitae partes carnis et infinitae partes sanguinis vel cerebri: et quantumcumque inde separentur, adhuc remanent ibi. Sequeretur ergo quod infinita sunt in infinitis infinities; quod est irrationabile. 71. At the point where he says, ‘Lastly in each ...’ (188 a 3), he gives his fifth argument, which is as follows. If infinite parts of each thing are in each thing, and everything is in everything, it follows that infinite parts of flesh and infinite parts of blood and brain are in an infinite number of bodies. And regardless of how much is separated, the same amount would always remain. Therefore it would follow that the infinite is in the infinite infinitely. But this is unthinkable.
Deinde cum dicit: nunquam autem segregandum esse etc., improbat praedictam positionem Anaxagorae quantum ad modum ponendi. 72. Next where he says, ‘The statement that ...’ (188 a 5), he disproves the position of Anaxagoras according to Anaxagoras’ own understanding of it.
Et hoc dupliciter: primo quia non intelligebat propriam positionem; secundo quia non habebat sufficiens motivum ad ponendum eam, ibi: non recte autem et cetera. He does this in two ways. First he shows that Anaxagoras did not understand his own position. Secondly, where he says, ‘Nor is Anaxagoras...’(188 a 13),1 he shows that Anaxagoras did not have sufficient evidence for holding this position.
Dicit ergo primo quod in hoc quod dixit, quod segregatio nunquam finietur, nescivit quid diceret, quamvis aliquo modo verum dixerit; quia accidentia nunquam possunt separari a substantiis, et tamen ponebat permixtionem non solum corporum sed etiam accidentium. Cum enim aliquid fit album, dicebat quod hoc fiebat per abstractionem albedinis prius commixtae. Si igitur colores et alia huiusmodi accidentia ponantur esse commixta, ut ipse dicebat; si aliquis, hoc supposito, dicat quod omnia commixta possunt segregari, sequeretur quod sit album et sanativum, et non sit aliquod subiectum de quo dicantur et in quo sint; quod est impossibile. Relinquitur igitur hoc verum esse, quod non omnia commixta possunt segregari, si accidentia etiam commisceantur. He says, therefore, first that although Anaxagoras has in a certain respect spoken the truth, he himself did not understand what he said when he held that the process of separation would never end. For accidents can never be separated from substance; yet he held that there was a mixture not only of bodies but also of accidents. When something becomes white, he said that this happened by an abstraction of white from the previously existing mixture. If then colours and other accidents of this sort are mixed together, as he said, and if someone on this supposition says all things that are mixed can be separated, it would follow that there would be white and healthy, and yet there would be no subject of which these are predicated and in which they are. But this is impossible. Therefore the truth is that if accidents are in the mixture it is impossible that all mixed things can be separated.
Sed ex hoc sequitur inconveniens. Ponebat enim Anaxagoras quod omnia a principio erant commixta, sed intellectus incoepit segregare: quicumque autem intellectus quaerit facere quod impossibile est fieri, est indecens intellectus. Quare inconveniens erit intellectus ille impossibilia intendens, si vere velit, idest totaliter velit segregare: quod est impossibile et secundum quantitatem, quia non est minima magnitudo, ut Anaxagoras ponebat, sed ex quolibet minimo potest aliquid auferri; et secundum qualitatem, quia accidentia non sunt separabilia a subiectis. Another absurdity results from the following. Anaxagoras held that all things were mixed from the very beginning, but intellect began to separate them. Now any intellect which attempts to do what cannot be done is not worthy of the name intellect. Hence that intellect will be inconsistent, intending the impossible, if it truly wishes this, i.e., wishes to separate things completely. For this is impossible both from the point of view of quantity, because there is no smallest magnitude, as Anaxagoras said, for from any small quantity something can be subtracted, and from the point of view of quality, because accidents are not separable from their subjects.
Deinde cum dicit: non recte autem etc., improbat praedictam positionem quantum ad hoc, quod non habebat sufficiens motivum. 73. Next where he says, ‘Nor is Anaxagoras ...’ (188 a 13), he disproves this position by reason of the fact that Anaxagoras did not have sufficient evidence.
Quia enim videbat Anaxagoras quod aliquid fit magnum ex congregatione multarum partium similium parvarum, sicut torrens ex multis guttis, credidit ita esse in omnibus. Et ideo dicit Aristoteles quod non recte accepit generationem similium specierum, idest quod semper oporteret aliquid generari ex similibus secundum speciem. Quaedam enim ex similibus generantur et in similia resolvuntur, sicut lutum dividitur in luta; in quibusdam autem non est sic, sed quaedam generantur ex dissimilibus. Et in his etiam non est unus modus, quia quaedam fiunt ex dissimilibus per alterationem, sicut lateres non ex lateribus sed ex luto; quaedam vero per compositionem, sicut domus non ex domibus sed ex lateribus. Et per hunc modum aer et aqua fiunt ex alterutris, idest sicut ex dissimilibus. Since Anaxagoras saw that a thing is made large by the coming together of many small parts which are similar, as a stream is made from many brooks, he believed this to be the case for all things. And thus Aristotle says that Anaxagoras did not correctly understand the generation of things of the same species, i.e., he did not understand that a thing is not always generated by things which are similar in respect to species. For some things are both generated from and are resolved into things like unto themselves, as clay is divided into bricks; in other instances, however, this is not so. For some things are generated from that which is dissimilar. And in these instances there is not merely one mode of production. For some things are made by alteration from that which is unlike, as the sides of a house are made from clay and not from sides; whereas other things are made by composition, as the house is not made of houses, but of sides. It is in this way that air and water come to be from each other, i.e., as from the unlike.
Alia littera habet sicut lateres ex domo: et sic ponit duplicem modum quo aliquid fit ex dissimilibus, scilicet per compositionem, sicut domus fit ex lateribus, et per resolutionem, sicut lateres fiunt ex domo. Another reading here is ‘as the sides are from the house’. And thus he sets forth a twofold way in which things come to be from the unlike, i.e., through composition, as the house is made of sides, and by resolution, as the sides come to be from the house.
Deinde cum dicit: melius autem etc., improbat positionem Anaxagorae per comparationem ad opinionem Empedoclis: et dicit quod melius est quod fiant principia pauciora et finita, quod fecit Empedocles, quam plura et infinita, quod fecit Anaxagoras. 74. Next where he says, ‘... and it is better ...’ (188 a 17), he disproves the position of Anaxagoras by comparing it with the opinion of Empedocles. He says that it is better to make the principles smaller in number and finite, as Empedocles does, than to make them many and infinite, as does Anaxagoras.

Lectio 10 (188 a 19-189 a 10)
Chapter 5
Πάντες δὴ τἀναντία ἀρχὰς ποιοῦσιν οἵ τε λέγοντες ὅτι ἓν τὸ πᾶν καὶ μὴ κινούμενον (καὶ γὰρ Παρμενίδης θερμὸν καὶ ψυχρὸν ἀρχὰς ποιεῖ, ταῦτα δὲ προσαγορεύει πῦρ καὶ γῆν) καὶ οἱ μανὸν καὶ πυκνόν, καὶ Δημόκριτος τὸ πλῆρες καὶ κενόν, ὧν τὸ μὲν ὡς ὂν τὸ δὲ ὡς οὐκ ὂν εἶναί φησιν· ἔτι θέσει, σχήματι, τάξει. ταῦτα δὲ γένη ἐναντίων· θέσεως ἄνω κάτω, πρόσθεν ὄπισθεν, σχήματος γεγωνιωμένον ἀγώνιον, εὐθὺ περιφερές. ὅτι μὲν οὖν τἀναντία πως πάντες ποιοῦσι τὰς ἀρχάς, δῆλον. All thinkers then agree in making the contraries principles, both those who describe the All as one and unmoved (for even Parmenides treats hot and cold as principles under the names of fire and earth) and those too who use the rare and the dense. The same is true of Democritus also, with his plenum and void, both of which exist, be says, the one as being, the other as not-being. Again he speaks of differences in position, shape, and order, and these are genera of which the species are contraries, namely, of position, above and below, before and behind; of shape, angular and angle-less, straight and round. It is plain then that they all in one way or another identify the contraries with the principles.
καὶ τοῦτο εὐλόγως· δεῖ γὰρ τὰς ἀρχὰς μήτε ἐξ ἀλλήλων εἶναι μήτε ἐξ ἄλλων, καὶ ἐκ τούτων πάντα· τοῖς δὲ ἐναντίοις τοῖς πρώτοις ὑπάρχει ταῦτα, διὰ μὲν τὸ πρῶτα εἶναι μὴ ἐξ ἄλλων, διὰ δὲ τὸ ἐναντία μὴ ἐξ ἀλλήλων. ἀλλὰ δεῖ τοῦτο καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ λόγου σκέψασθαι πῶς συμβαίνει. ληπτέον δὴ πρῶτον ὅτι πάντων τῶν ὄντων οὐθὲν οὔτε ποιεῖν πέφυκεν οὔτε πάσχειν τὸ τυχὸν ὑπὸ τοῦ τυχόντος, οὐδὲ γίγνεται ὁτιοῦν ἐξ ὁτουοῦν, ἂν μή τις λαμβάνῃ κατὰ συμβεβηκός· πῶς γὰρ ἂν γένοιτο λευκὸν ἐκ μουσικοῦ, πλὴν εἰ μὴ συμβεβηκὸς εἴη τῷ μὴ λευκῷ ἢ τῷ μέλανι τὸ μουσικόν; ἀλλὰ λευκὸν μὲν γίγνεται ἐξ οὐ λευκοῦ, καὶ τούτου οὐκ ἐκ παντὸς (188b.) ἀλλ' ἐκ μέλανος ἢ τῶν μεταξύ, καὶ μουσικὸν οὐκ ἐκ μουσικοῦ, πλὴν οὐκ ἐκ παντὸς ἀλλ' ἐξ ἀμούσου ἢ εἴ τι αὐτῶν ἐστι μεταξύ. οὐδὲ δὴ φθείρεται εἰς τὸ τυχὸν πρῶτον, οἷον τὸ λευκὸν οὐκ εἰς τὸ μουσικόν, πλὴν εἰ μή ποτε κατὰ συμβεβηκός, ἀλλ' εἰς τὸ μὴ λευκόν, καὶ οὐκ εἰς τὸ τυχὸν ἀλλ' εἰς τὸ μέλαν ἢ τὸ μεταξύ· ὡς δ' αὔτως καὶ τὸ μουσικὸν εἰς τὸ μὴ μουσικόν, καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ εἰς τὸ τυχὸν ἀλλ' εἰς τὸ ἄμουσον ἢ εἴ τι αὐτῶν ἐστι μεταξύ. ὁμοίως δὲ τοῦτο καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων, ἐπεὶ καὶ τὰ μὴ ἁπλᾶ τῶν ὄντων ἀλλὰ σύνθετα κατὰ τὸν αὐτὸν ἔχει λόγον· ἀλλὰ διὰ τὸ μὴ τὰς ἀντικειμένας διαθέσεις ὠνομάσθαι λανθάνει τοῦτο συμβαῖνον. ἀνάγκη γὰρ πᾶν τὸ ἡρμοσμένον ἐξ ἀναρμόστου γίγνεσθαι καὶ τὸ ἀνάρμοστον ἐξ ἡρμοσμένου, καὶ φθείρεσθαι τὸ ἡρμοσμένον εἰς ἀναρμοστίαν, καὶ ταύτην οὐ τὴν τυχοῦσαν ἀλλὰ τὴν ἀντικειμένην. διαφέρει δ' οὐθὲν ἐπὶ ἁρμονίας εἰπεῖν ἢ τάξεως ἢ συνθέσεως· φανερὸν γὰρ ὅτι ὁ αὐτὸς λόγος. ἀλλὰ μὴν καὶ οἰκία καὶ ἀνδριὰς καὶ ὁτιοῦν ἄλλο γίγνεται ὁμοίως· ἥ τε γὰρ οἰκία γίγνεται ἐκ τοῦ μὴ συγκεῖσθαι ἀλλὰ διῃρῆσθαι ταδὶ ὡδί, καὶ ὁ ἀνδριὰς καὶ τῶν ἐσχηματισμένων τι ἐξ ἀσχημοσύνης· καὶ ἕκαστον τούτων τὰ μὲν τάξις, τὰ δὲ σύνθεσίς τίς ἐστιν. εἰ τοίνυν τοῦτ' ἔστιν ἀληθές, ἅπαν ἂν γίγνοιτο τὸ γιγνόμενον καὶ φθείροιτο τὸ φθειρόμενον ἢ ἐξ ἐναντίων ἢ εἰς ἐναντία καὶ τὰ τούτων μεταξύ. τὰ δὲ μεταξὺ ἐκ τῶν ἐναντίων ἐστίν, οἷον χρώματα ἐκ λευκοῦ καὶ μέλανος· ὥστε πάντ' ἂν εἴη τὰ φύσει γιγνόμενα ἢ ἐναντία ἢ ἐξ ἐναντίων. And with good reason. For first principles must not be derived from one another nor from anything else, while everything has to be derived from them. But these conditions are fulfilled by the primary contraries, which are not derived from anything else because they are primary, nor from each other because they are contraries. But we must see how this can be arrived at as a reasoned result, as well as in the way just indicated. Our first presupposition must be that in nature nothing acts on, or is acted on by, any other thing at random, nor may anything come from anything else, unless we mean that it does so in virtue of a concomitant attribute. For how could 'white' come from 'musical', unless 'musical' happened to be an attribute of the not-white or of the black? No, 'white' comes from 'not-white'—and not from any 'not-white', but from black or some intermediate colour. Similarly, 'musical' comes to be from 'not-musical', but not from any thing other than musical, but from 'unmusical' or any intermediate state there may be. Nor again do things pass into the first chance thing; 'white' does not pass into 'musical' (except, it may be, in virtue of a concomitant attribute), but into 'not-white'—and not into any chance thing which is not white, but into black or an intermediate colour; 'musical' passes into 'not-musical'—and not into any chance thing other than musical, but into 'unmusical' or any intermediate state there may be. The same holds of other things also: even things which are not simple but complex follow the same principle, but the opposite state has not received a name, so we fail to notice the fact. What is in tune must come from what is not in tune, and vice versa; the tuned passes into untunedness—and not into any untunedness, but into the corresponding opposite. It does not matter whether we take attunement, order, or composition for our illustration; the principle is obviously the same in all, and in fact applies equally to the production of a house, a statue, or any other complex. A house comes from certain things in a certain state of separation instead of conjunction, a statue (or any other thing that has been shaped) from shapelessness—each of these objects being partly order and partly composition. If then this is true, everything that comes to be or passes away from, or passes into, its contrary or an intermediate state. But the intermediates are derived from the contraries—colours, for instance, from black and white. Everything, therefore, that comes to be by a natural process is either a contrary or a product of contraries.
μέχρι μὲν οὖν ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον σχεδὸν συνηκολουθήκασι καὶ τῶν ἄλλων οἱ πλεῖστοι, καθάπερ εἴπομεν πρότερον· πάντες γὰρ τὰ στοιχεῖα καὶ τὰς ὑπ' αὐτῶν καλουμένας ἀρχάς, καίπερ ἄνευ λόγου τιθέντες, ὅμως τἀναντία λέγουσιν, ὥσπερ ὑπ' αὐτῆς τῆς ἀληθείας ἀναγκασθέντες. Up to this point we have practically had most of the other writers on the subject with us, as I have said already: for all of them identify their elements, and what they call their principles, with the contraries, giving no reason indeed for the theory, but contrained as it were by the truth itself.
διαφέρουσι δ' ἀλλήλων τῷ τοὺς μὲν πρότερα τοὺς δ' ὕστερα λαμβάνειν, καὶ τοὺς μὲν γνωριμώτερα κατὰ τὸν λόγον τοὺς δὲ κατὰ τὴν αἴσθησιν (οἱ μὲν γὰρ θερμὸν καὶ ψυχρόν, οἱ δ' ὑγρὸν καὶ ξηρόν, ἕτεροι δὲ περιττὸν καὶ ἄρτιον ἢ νεῖκος καὶ φιλίαν αἰ τίας τίθενται τῆς γενέσεως· ταῦτα δ' ἀλλήλων διαφέρει κατὰ τὸν εἰρημένον τρόπον), They differ, however, from one another in that some assume contraries which are more primary, others contraries which are less so: some those more knowable in the order of explanation, others those more familiar to sense. For some make hot and cold, or again moist and dry, the conditions of becoming; while others make odd and even, or again Love and Strife; and these differ from each other in the way mentioned.
ὥστε ταὐτὰ λέγειν πως καὶ ἕτερα ἀλλήλων, ἕτερα μὲν ὥσπερ καὶ δοκεῖ τοῖς πλείστοις, ταὐτὰ (189a.) δὲ ᾗ ἀνάλογον· λαμβάνουσι γὰρ ἐκ τῆς αὐτῆς συστοιχίας· τὰ μὲν γὰρ περιέχει, τὰ δὲ περιέχεται τῶν ἐναντίων. ταύτῃ τε δὴ ὡσαύτως λέγουσι καὶ ἑτέρως, καὶ χεῖρον καὶ βέλτιον, καὶ οἱ μὲν γνωριμώτερα κατὰ τὸν λόγον, ὥσπερ εἴρηται πρότερον, οἱ δὲ κατὰ τὴν αἴσθησιν (τὸ μὲν γὰρ καθόλου κατὰ τὸν λόγον γνώριμον, τὸ δὲ καθ' ἕκαστον κατὰ τὴν αἴσθησιν· ὁ μὲν γὰρ λόγος τοῦ καθόλου, ἡ δ' αἴσθησις τοῦ κατὰ μέρος), οἷον τὸ μὲν μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρὸν κατὰ τὸν λόγον, τὸ δὲ μανὸν καὶ τὸ πυκνὸν κατὰ τὴν αἴσθησιν. ὅτι μὲν οὖν ἐναντίας δεῖ τὰς ἀρχὰς εἶναι, φανερόν. Hence their principles are in one sense the same, in another different; different certainly, as indeed most people think, but the same inasmuch as they are analogous; for all are taken from the same table of columns, some of the pairs being wider, others narrower in extent. In this way then their theories are both the same and different, some better, some worse; some, as I have said, take as their contraries what is more knowable in the order of explanation, others what is more familiar to sense. (The universal is more knowable in the order of explanation, the particular in the order of sense: for explanation has to do with the universal, sense with the particular.) 'The great and the small', for example, belong to the former class, 'the dense and the rare' to the latter. It is clear then that our principles must be contraries.
Positis opinionibus antiquorum philosophorum de principiis naturae, hic incipit inquirere veritatem. 75. Having set forth the opinions of the ancient philosophers concerning the principles of nature, Aristotle here begins to seek the truth.
Et primo inquirit eam per modum disputationis ex probabilibus procedendo; secundo determinat veritatem per modum demonstrationis, ibi: sic igitur nos dicamus et cetera. He seeks it first by way of disputation, proceeding from probable opinions. Secondly, where he says, ‘We will now give ...’ (189 b 30; L12 #98), he determines the truth demonstratively. The Oxford English translation seems to be based upon this variant reading. Lecture 12, 98.
Circa primum duo facit: primo inquirit de contrarietate principiorum; secundo de numero eorum, ibi: consequens autem utique et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he investigates the contrariety of the principles, secondly, where he says, ‘The next question is ...’ (189 a 11; L11 #82), he inquires about their number.
Circa primum tria facit: primo ponit opinionem antiquorum de contrarietate principiorum; secundo inducit ad hoc rationem, ibi: et hoc rationabiliter etc.; tertio ostendit quomodo philosophi se habebant in ponendo contraria principia, ibi: usque quidem igitur et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes three points. First he sets forth the opinion of the ancients about the contrariety of the principles. Secondly, where he says, ‘And with good reason ...’ (188 a 27 #77) he gives an argument in favour of this position. Thirdly he shows how the philosophers are related to each other in saying that the principles are contraries. He does this where he says, ‘Up to this point...’ (188 b 27 #79).
Dicit ergo primo quod omnes antiqui philosophi posuerunt contrarietatem in principiis. Et hoc manifestat per tres opiniones philosophorum. 76. He says, therefore, first that all of the ancient philosophers posited contrariety in the principles. And he makes this clear by citing three opinions of the philosophers.
Quidam enim dixerunt quod totum universum sit unum ens immobile. Quorum Parmenides dixit quod omnia sunt unum secundum rationem, sed sunt plura secundum sensum; et inquantum sunt plura, ponebat in eis contraria principia, scilicet calidum et frigidum, et attribuebat calidum igni, frigidum vero terrae. For some philosophers have said that the whole universe is one immobile being. Of these, Parmenides said that all things are one according to reason, but many according to sense. And to the extent that there are many, he posited in them contrary principles, e.g., the hot and the cold. He attributed the hot to fire and the cold to earth.
Secunda vero opinio fuit philosophorum naturalium qui posuerunt unum principium materiale mobile: et dicebant quod ex eo fiebant alia secundum raritatem et densitatem, et sic ponebant rarum et densum esse principia. Secondly there was the opinion of the natural philosophers who posited one material and mobile principle. They said that other things come to be from this principle according to rarity and density. Thus they held that the rare and the dense are principles.
Tertia vero opinio est eorum qui posuerunt plura principia. Inter quos Democritus posuit omnia fieri ex indivisibilibus corporibus, quae quidem ad invicem coniuncta, in ipso contactu quoddam vacuum relinquebant; et huiusmodi vacuitates vocabat poros, ut patet in I de generatione. Sic igitur omnia corpora ponebat composita ex firmo et inani, idest ex pleno et vacuo: unde plenum et vacuum dicebat esse principia naturae; sed plenum attribuebat enti, vacuum vero non enti. Item, licet corpora indivisibilia omnia essent unius naturae, tamen ex eis dicebat constitui diversa secundum diversitatem figurae, positionis et ordinis. Unde ponebat principia esse contraria quae sunt in genere positionis, scilicet sursum et deorsum, ante et retro; et contraria quae sunt in genere figurae, scilicet rectum, angulare et circulare; et similiter contraria quae sunt in genere ordinis, scilicet prius et posterius, de quibus non fit mentio in littera quia manifesta sunt. Et sic concludit quasi inducendo quod omnes philosophi posuerunt principia esse contraria secundum aliquem modum. De opinione autem Anaxagorae et Empedoclis mentionem non fecit, quia eas superius magis explicavit. Et tamen hi ponebant etiam quodammodo contrarietatem in principiis, dicentes omnia fieri congregatione et segregatione, quae conveniunt in genere cum raro et denso. A third opinion was advanced by those who posited many principles. Among them, Democritus held that all things come to be from indivisible bodies which are joined together. And in this contact with each other they left a sort of void. Such voids he called pores, as is clear in De Generatione, I:8. Therefore he held that all bodies are composed of the fixed and the empty, that is, composed of the plenum and the void. Hence he said that the plenum and the void are principles of nature. But he associated the plenum with being and the void with non-being. And although all of these indivisible bodies are one in nature, he said that different things are composed of them according to a diversity of figure, position, and order. Thus he held that the principles are contraries in the genus of position, i.e., above and below, before and behind, and also contraries in the genus of figure, i.e., the straight, the angular, and the circular. The principles also are contraries in the genus of order, i.e., prior and posterior. (These last contraries are not mentioned in the text because they are obvious.) And thus Aristotle concludes, by a sort of induction, that all of the philosophers held that the principles are contraries in some way. He makes no mention of the opinion of Anaxagoras and Empedocles because he has already explained their position at length above [L8 #56-57]. However, they also placed a certain contrariety in the principles when they said that all things come to be through joining and separating, which agree in genus with the rare and the dense.
Deinde cum dicit: et hoc rationabiliter etc., ponit probabilem rationem ad ostendendum quod prima principia sunt contraria: quae talis est. 77. Next where he says, ‘And with good reason’ (188 a 27), he gives a probable argument to show that the first principles are contraries. The argument is as follows.
Tria videntur de ratione principiorum esse: primum quod non sint ex aliis; secundum quod non sint ex alterutris; tertium quod omnia alia sint ex eis. Sed haec tria conveniunt primis contrariis; ergo prima contraria sunt principia. Three things seem to belong to the very nature of principles. First, they are not from other things. Secondly, they are not from each other. Thirdly, all other things are from them. But these three notes are found in the primary contraries. Therefore the primary contraries are principles.
Ad intelligendum autem quid vocet prima contraria, considerandum est quod quaedam contraria sunt quae ex aliis contrariis causantur, sicut dulce et amarum causantur ex humido et sicco et calido et frigido: sic autem non est procedere in infinitum, sed est devenire ad aliqua contraria quae non causantur ex aliis contrariis, et haec vocat prima contraria. Now in order to understand what he means when he speaks of primary contraries, we must realize that some contraries are caused by other contraries, e.g., the sweet and the bitter are caused by the wet and the dry and the hot and the cold. Since, however, it is impossible to proceed to infinity, but one must come to certain contraries, which are not caused by other contraries, he calls these last contraries the primary contraries.
His igitur primis contrariis tres praedictae conditiones conveniunt principiorum. Ex eo enim quod prima sunt, manifestum est quod non sunt ex aliis; ex eo vero quod contraria sunt, manifestum est quod non sunt ex alterutris: quamvis enim frigidum fiat ex calido inquantum id quod prius est calidum postea fit frigidum, tamen ipsa frigiditas nunquam fit ex caliditate, ut postea dicetur. Tertium vero, qualiter omnia fiant ex contrariis, oportet diligentius investigare. Now the three conditions proper to principles mentioned above are found in these primary contraries. For things which are first are manifestly not from others. Moreover things which are contraries are manifestly not from each other. For even though the cold comes to be from the hot, insofar as that which was previously hot is later cold, nevertheless coldness itself never comes to be from heat, as will be pointed out later [L11 #90]. The third point—precisely how all things come to be from the contraries -we must investigate more carefully.
Ad hoc igitur ostendendum, praemittit primo quod neque actio neque passio potest accidere inter contingentia, idest inter ea quae contingunt simul esse: vel inter contingentia, idest inter quaecumque indeterminata. Neque quodlibet fit ex quolibet, sicut Anaxagoras dixit, nisi forte secundum accidens. 78. Now in order to clarify this latter point he states first that neither action nor passion can occur between things which are contingent in the sense of merely happening to be together, or between things which are contingent in the sense of being indeterminate. Nor does everything come to be from everything, as Anaxagoras said, except perhaps accidentally.
Et hoc manifestatur primo in simplicibus. Album enim non fit ex musico nisi forte secundum accidens, inquantum musico accidit esse album vel nigrum; sed album fit per se ex non albo, et non ex quocumque non albo, sed ex non albo quod est nigrum vel medius color: et similiter musicum ex non musico; et non ex quocumque non musico sed ex opposito, quod dicitur immusicum, idest quod est natum habere musicam et non habet, vel ex quocumque medio inter ea. Et eadem ratione non corrumpitur aliquid primo et per se in quodcumque contingens: sicut album non corrumpitur in musicum nisi per accidens, sed corrumpitur per se in non album; et non in quodcumque non album, sed in nigrum aut in medium colorem. Et idem dicit de corruptione musici et de aliis similibus. Et huius ratio est, quia omne quod fit et corrumpitur, non est antequam fiat, nec est postquam corrumpitur: unde oportet quod id quod per se aliquid fit, et in quod per se aliquid corrumpitur, tale sit quod in sua ratione includat non esse eius quod fit vel corrumpitur. Et similiter manifestat hoc in compositis. This is first of all seen clearly in simple things. For white does not come to be from musical except accidentally insofar as white or black happen to be in the musical. But white comes to be per se from the non-white, and not from just any non-white, but from that non-white which is black or some mean colour. And in like manner, the musical comes to be from the non-musical, and again not from just any nonmusical, but from its opposite, which is called the unmusical, i.e., from that which is disposed to be musical but is not, or from some mean between these two. And for the same reason, a thing is not corrupted primarily and per se into just any contingent thing (e.g., the white into the musical) except accidentally. Rather white is corrupted per se into the non-white, and not into just any non-white, but into black or some mean colour. And he says the same of the corruption of the musical and of other similar things. The reason for this is as follows. Whatever comes to be or is corrupted does not exist before it comes to be and does not exist after it is corrupted. Whence it is necessary that that which a thing comes to be per se and that into which a thing is corrupted per se be such that it includes in its nature [ratio] the non-being of that which comes to be or is corrupted.
Et dicit quod similiter se habet in compositis sicut in simplicibus; sed magis latet in compositis, quia opposita compositorum non sunt nominata, sicut opposita simplicium; oppositum enim domus non est nominatum, sicut oppositum albi: unde si reducantur ad aliqua nominata, erit manifestum. Nam omne compositum consistit in aliqua consonantia; consonans autem fit ex inconsonanti, et inconsonans ex consonanti; et similiter consonans corrumpitur in inconsonantiam, non in quamcumque, sed in oppositam. Inconsonantia autem potest dici vel secundum ordinem tantum, vel secundum compositionem. Aliquod enim totum consistit in consonantia ordinis, sicut exercitus, aliquod vero in consonantia compositionis, sicut domus; et eadem ratio est de utroque. Et manifestum est quod omnia composita fiunt similiter ex incompositis, sicut domus fit ex incompositis, et figuratum ex infiguratis; et in omnibus his nihil attenditur nisi ordo et compositio. And he shows that the same is true of composite things. He says that the situation is the same with composite things as with simple things, but is more hidden in composite things because the opposites of composite things have no names, as do the opposites of simple things. For the opposite of house has no name, although we give a name to the opposite of white. Hence if the composite is reduced to something with a name, it will be clear. For every composite consists of a certain harmony. Now the harmonious comes to be from the inharmonious, and the inharmonious from the harmonious. And in like manner, the harmonious is corrupted into the inharmonious (not any inharmonious, but the opposite). However, we can speak of the harmonious according to order alone, or according to composition. For some wholes consist of a harmony of order, e.g., an army; and other wholes consist of a harmony of composition, e.g., a house. And the nature [ratio] of each of these is the same. It is also clear that all composites come to be from the non-composed, for example, a house comes to be from non-composed things, and the figured from the non-figured. And in all such things nothing is involved except order and composition.
Sic igitur quasi per inductionem manifestum est quod omnia quae fiunt vel corrumpuntur, fiunt ex contrariis vel mediis, vel corrumpuntur in ea. Media autem fiunt ex contrariis, sicut colores medii ex albo et nigro: unde concludit quod omnia quae fiunt secundum naturam, vel ipsa sunt contraria, sicut album et nigrum, vel fiunt ex contrariis, sicut media. Thus it is clear by induction, as it were, that everything which comes to be or is corrupted comes to be from contraries or from some intermediate between them, or is corrupted into them. Moreover, intermediates between contraries come to be from the contraries, as the intermediate colours come to be from black and white. Hence he concludes that whatever comes to be according to nature is either a contrary, such as white and black, or comes to be from the contraries, such as the intermediates between the contraries.
Et hoc est principale intentum quod intendit concludere, scilicet quod omnia fiunt ex contrariis, quod erat tertia conditio principiorum. This, then, is the principal conclusion which he intended to draw, namely, that all things come to be from contraries, which was the third characteristic of principles.
Deinde cum dicit: usque quidem igitur etc., ostendit hic philosophus quomodo se habuerunt philosophi in ponendo principia esse contraria: et primo quomodo se habuerunt quantum ad motivum positionis; secundo quomodo se habuerunt quantum ad ipsam positionem, ibi: differunt autem ab invicem et cetera. 79. Next where he says, ‘Up to this point ...’ (188 b 27), Aristotle shows how the philosophers are related in holding that the principles are contraries. First he shows how they are related with reference to being moved toward this position. Secondly, where he says, ‘They differ, however...’(188 b 30 #80), he shows how they are related in respect to the position itself.
Dicit ergo primo quod, sicut supra dictum est, multi philosophorum secuti sunt veritatem usque ad hoc, quod ponerent principia esse contraria. Quod quidem licet vere ponerent, non tamen quasi ab aliqua ratione moti hoc ponebant, sed sicut ab ipsa veritate coacti. Verum enim est bonum intellectus, ad quod naturaliter ordinatur: unde sicut res cognitione carentes moventur ad suos fines absque ratione, ita interdum intellectus hominis quadam naturali inclinatione tendit in veritatem, licet rationem veritatis non percipiat. He says, therefore, as was pointed out above [#76] that many of the philosophers followed the truth to the point where they held that the principles are contraries. Although they indeed held this position, they did not hold it as though moved by reason, but rather as forced to it by the truth itself. For truth is the good of the intellect, toward which the intellect is naturally ordered. Hence as things which lack knowledge are moved to their ends without reason [ratio], so, at times, the intellect of man, by a sort of natural inclination, tends toward the truth, though it does not perceive the reason [ratio] for the truth.
Deinde cum dicit: differunt autem ab invicem etc., ostendit quomodo praedicti philosophi se habebant in ipsa positione. 80. Next where he says, ‘They differ, however, ...’ (188 b 30), he shows how the aforesaid philosophers are related in respect to the position itself.
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo ostendit quomodo differebant in ponendo principia esse contraria; secundo quomodo simul differebant et conveniebant, ibi: quare est eadem dicere et cetera. Concerning this he makes two points. First he shows how they differ in holding that the principles are contraries. Secondly, where he says, ‘Hence their principles...’ (188 b 37 #81), he shows how they both differ and agree.
Dicit ergo primo quod philosophi, ponentes principia esse contraria, dupliciter differebant. Primo quidem quia aliqui eorum rationabiliter ponentes, accipiebant pro principiis priora contraria; alii vero minus provide considerantes, accipiebant posteriora contraria ut principia. He says, therefore, first that the philosophers who held that the principles are contraries differed in two ways. First, those who argued reasonably held that the principles are the primary contraries. Others, however, considering the matter less well, held that the principles are posterior [derived] contraries.
Et eorum qui accipiebant priora contraria, quidam attendebant ad ea quae erant notiora secundum rationem; quidam vero ad ea quae sunt notiora secundum sensum. And of those who appealed to the primary contraries, some considered those contraries which were better known to reason, others those contraries which were better known to sense.
Vel potest dici quod per hanc secundam differentiam assignatur ratio primae differentiae: nam ea quae sunt notiora secundum rationem, sunt priora simpliciter; quae vero sunt notiora secundum sensum, sunt posteriora simpliciter et priora quoad nos. Manifestum est autem quod oportet principia esse prima. Unde illi qui iudicabant prius secundum id quod est notius rationi, ponebant principia contraria priora simpliciter: qui vero iudicabant prius secundum id quod est notius sensui, ponebant principia posteriora simpliciter. Unde quidam ponebant prima principia calidum et frigidum, alii vero humidum et siccum: et utraque sunt notiora secundum sensum. Tamen calidum et frigidum, quae sunt qualitates activae, sunt priora humido et sicco, quae sunt qualitates passivae: quia activum est prius naturaliter passivo. Or it could be said that this second difference explains the first. For those things which are better known to reason are prior simply, whereas those things which are better known to sense are posterior simply, and are prior relative to us. However, it is clear that the principles must be prior. Thus, those who judged ‘prior’ according to what is better known to reason held that the principles are those contraries which are prior simply. On the other hand, those who judged ‘prior’ according to what is better known to sense held that the principles are those contraries which are posterior simply. Hence some held that the hot and the cold are first principles; others, the wet and the dry. And both of these are better known to sense. However the hot and the cold, which are active qualities, are prior to the wet and the dry, which are passive qualities, because the active is naturally prior to the passive.
Alii vero posuerunt principia notiora secundum rationem. Others, however, held principles which are better known to reason.
Quorum aliqui posuerunt principia parem et imparem, scilicet Pythagorici, existimantes substantiam omnium esse numeros, et quod omnia componuntur ex pari et impari sicut ex forma et materia: nam pari attribuebant infinitatem et alteritatem propter eius divisibilitatem, impari vero tribuebant finitatem et identitatem propter suam indivisionem. Among these, some held that the equal and the unequal are the principles. For example, the Pythagoreans, thinking that the substance of all things is numbers, held that all things are composed of the equal and the unequal as of form and matter. For they attributed infinity and otherness to the equal because of its divisibility. Whereas to the unequal they attributed finiteness and identity because of its indivisibility.
Quidam vero posuerunt causas generationis et corruptionis discordiam et concordiam, scilicet sequaces Empedoclis, quae sunt etiam notiora secundum rationem. Unde patet quod in istis positionibus apparet praedicta diversitas. Others, however, held that the cause of generation and corruption is strife and friendship, that is, the cycles of Empedocles, which are also better known to reason. Whence it is clear that the diversity mentioned above appears in these positions.
Deinde cum dicit: quare est eadem dicere etc., ostendit quomodo in differentia praedictarum opinionum est etiam quaedam convenientia, concludens ex praedictis quod quodammodo antiqui philosophi dixerunt eadem principia et quodammodo altera: altera quidem secundum quod diversi diversa contraria assumpserunt, sicut dictum est; eadem vero secundum analogiam, idest proportionem, quia principia accepta ab omnibus habent eandem proportionem. 81. Next where he says, ‘Hence their principles ...’ (188 b 37), he shows how there is also a certain agreement within the differences of the aforementioned positions. He concludes from what he has said above that the ancient philosophers in a way called the same things principles and in a way called different things principles. For they differed insofar as different philosophers assumed different contraries (as was said above #80); yet they are the same insofar as their principles were alike according to analogy, i.e., proportion. For the principles taken by an of them have the same proportion.
Et hoc tripliciter. Primo quidem quia quaecumque principia accipiuntur ab eis, se habent ad invicem ut contraria: et hoc est quod dicit, quod omnes accipiunt principia ex eadem coordinatione, scilicet contrariorum; omnes enim accipiunt contraria pro principiis, sed tamen diversa. Nec est mirum si ex coordinatione contrariorum diversa accipiantur principia; quia inter contraria quaedam sunt continentia, ut priora et communiora, et quaedam contenta, ut posteriora et minus communia. Iste est igitur unus modus quo similiter dicunt, inquantum omnes accipiunt principia ex ordine contrariorum. And this is true in three respects. First, all the principles which they assumed are related as contraries. And thus Aristotle says that they all took their principles from the same columns, i.e., columns of contraries. For they all took contraries as their principles, even though the contraries differed. Nor is it remarkable that they took different principles from the columns of contraries. For among the contraries, some are containers, as the prior and more common; and others axe contained, as the posterior and less common. Hence one way in which they spoke alike is that all of them took their principles from the order of contraries.
Alius modus in quo conveniunt secundum analogiam est, quod quaecumque principia accipiuntur ab eis, unum eorum se habet ut melius et aliud ut peius; sicut concordia vel plenum vel calidum ut melius, discordia vero vel vacuum vel frigidum ut peius; et sic est considerare in aliis. Et hoc ideo est, quia semper alterum contrariorum habet privationem admixtam: principium enim contrarietatis est oppositio privationis et habitus, ut dicitur in X Metaphys. Another way, in which they agree according to analogy is as follows. No matter what principles they accepted, one of these principles is better, and the other is worse. For example, friendship, or the plenum, or the hot, are better; but strife, or the void, or the cold, are worse. And the same thing is true of the other pairs of contraries. This is so because one of the contraries always has privation joined to it. For the source of contrariety is the opposition of privation and habit, as is said in Metaphysics, X:4.
Tertio modo conveniunt secundum analogiam in hoc quod omnes accipiunt principia notiora: sed quidam notiora secundum rationem, quidam vero secundum sensum. Cum enim ratio sit universalis, sensus vero particularis, universalia sunt notiora secundum rationem, ut magnum et parvum; singularia vero secundum sensum, ut rarum et densum, quae sunt minus communia. Thirdly they agree according to analogy by reason of the fact that they all took principles which are better known. But some took principles which are better known to reason, others those which are better known to sense. Since reason treats the universal and sense treats the particular, universals (such as the great and the small) are better known to reason, whereas singulars (such as the rare and the dense, which are less common) are better known to sense.
Et sic ultimo quasi epilogando concludit quod principaliter intendit, scilicet quod principia sunt contraria. Then as a final summary, he concludes with that which he had uppermost in mind, namely, the principles are contraries.

Lectio 11 (189 a 11-b 29)
Chapter 6
Ἐχόμενον δ' ἂν εἴη λέγειν πότερον δύο ἢ τρεῖς ἢ πλείους εἰσίν. The next question is whether the principles are two or three or more in number.
μίαν μὲν γὰρ οὐχ οἷόν τε, ὅτι οὐχ ἓν τὰ ἐναντία, One they cannot be, for there cannot be one contrary.
ἀπείρους δ', ὅτι οὐκ ἐπιστητὸν τὸ ὂν ἔσται, Nor can they be innumerable, because, if so, Being will not be knowable:
μία τε ἐναντίωσις ἐν παντὶ γένει ἑνί, ἡ δ' οὐσία ἕν τι γένος, and in any one genus there is only one contrariety, and substance is one genus:
καὶ ὅτι ἐνδέχεται ἐκ πεπερασμένων, βέλτιον δ' ἐκ πεπερασμένων, ὥσπερ Ἐμπεδοκλῆς, ἢ ἐξ ἀπείρων· πάντα γὰρ ἀποδιδόναι οἴεται ὅσαπερ Ἀναξαγόρας ἐκ τῶν ἀπείρων. also a finite number is sufficient, and a finite number, such as the principles of Empedocles, is better than an infinite multitude; for Empedocles professes to obtain from his principles all that Anaxagoras obtains from his innumerable principles.
ἔτι δὲ ἔστιν ἄλλα ἄλλων πρότερα ἐναντία, καὶ γίγνεται ἕτερα ἐξ ἀλλήλων, οἷον γλυκὺ καὶ πικρὸν καὶ λευκὸν καὶ μέλαν, τὰς δὲ ἀρχὰς ἀεὶ δεῖ μένειν. ὅτι μὲν οὖν οὔτε μία οὔτε ἄπειροι, δῆλον ἐκ τούτων· Lastly, some contraries are more primary than others, and some arise from others—for example sweet and bitter, white and black—whereas the principles must always remain principles. This will suffice to show that the principles are neither one nor innumerable.
ἐπεὶ δὲ πεπερασμέναι, τὸ μὴ ποιεῖν δύο μόνον ἔχει τινὰ λόγον· ἀπορήσειε γὰρ ἄν τις πῶς ἢ ἡ πυκνότης τὴν μανότητα ποιεῖν τι πέφυκεν ἢ αὕτη τὴν πυκνότητα. ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἄλλη ὁποιαοῦν ἐναντιότης· οὐ γὰρ ἡ φιλία τὸ νεῖκος συνάγει καὶ ποιεῖ τι ἐξ αὐτοῦ, οὐδὲ τὸ νεῖκος ἐξ ἐκείνης, ἀλλ' ἄμφω ἕτερόν τι τρίτον. ἔνιοι δὲ καὶ πλείω λαμβάνουσιν ἐξ ὧν κατα σκευάζουσι τὴν τῶν ὄντων φύσιν. Granted, then, that they are a limited number, it is plausible to suppose them more than two. For it is difficult to see how either density should be of such a nature as to act in any way on rarity or rarity on density. The same is true of any other pair of contraries; for Love does not gather Strife together and make things out of it, nor does Strife make anything out of Love, but both act on a third thing different from both. Some indeed assume more than one such thing from which they construct the world of nature.
πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ἔτι κἂν τόδε τις ἀπορήσειεν, εἰ μή τις ἑτέραν ὑποθήσει τοῖς ἐναντίοις φύσιν· οὐθενὸς γὰρ ὁρῶμεν τῶν ὄντων οὐσίαν τἀναντία, τὴν δ' ἀρχὴν οὐ καθ' ὑποκειμένου δεῖ λέγεσθαί τινος. ἔσται γὰρ ἀρχὴ τῆς ἀρχῆς· τὸ γὰρ ὑποκείμενον ἀρχή, καὶ πρότερον δοκεῖ τοῦ κατηγορουμένου εἶναι. Other objections to the view that it is not necessary to assume a third principle as a substratum may be added. (1) We do not find that the contraries constitute the substance of any thing. But what is a first principle ought not to be the predicate of any subject. If it were, there would be a principle of the supposed principle: for the subject is a principle, and prior presumably to what is predicated of it.
ἔτι οὐκ εἶναί φαμεν οὐσίαν ἐναντίαν οὐσίᾳ· πῶς οὖν ἐκ μὴ οὐσιῶν οὐσία ἂν εἴη; ἢ πῶς ἂν πρότερον μὴ οὐσία οὐσίας εἴη; Again (2) we hold that a substance is not contrary to another substance. How then can substance be derived from what are not substances? Or how can non-substances be prior to substance?
διόπερ εἴ τις τόν τε πρότερον ἀληθῆ νομίσειεν εἶναι λόγον καὶ τοῦτον, ἀναγκαῖον, (189b.) εἰ μέλλει διασώσειν ἀμφοτέρους αὐτούς, ὑποτιθέναι τι τρίτον, ὥσπερ φασὶν οἱ μίαν τινὰ φύσιν εἶναι λέγοντες τὸ πᾶν, οἷον ὕδωρ ἢ πῦρ ἢ τὸ μεταξὺ τούτων. δοκεῖ δὲ τὸ μεταξὺ μᾶλλον· πῦρ γὰρ ἤδη καὶ γῆ καὶ ἀὴρ καὶ ὕδωρ μετ' ἐναντιοτήτων συμπεπλεγμένα ἐστίν. διὸ καὶ οὐκ ἀλόγως ποιοῦσιν οἱ τὸ ὑποκείμενον ἕτερον τούτων ποιοῦντες, τῶν δ' ἄλλων οἱ ἀέρα· καὶ γὰρ ὁ ἀὴρ ἥκιστα ἔχει τῶν ἄλλων διαφορὰς αἰσθητάς· ἐχόμενον δὲ τὸ ὕδωρ. If then we accept both the former argument and this one, we must, to preserve both, assume a third somewhat as the substratum of the contraries, such as is spoken of by those who describe the All as one nature—water or fire or what is intermediate between them. What is intermediate seems preferable; for fire, earth, air, and water are already involved with pairs of contraries. There is, therefore, much to be said for those who make the underlying substance different from these four; of the rest, the next best choice is air, as presenting sensible differences in a less degree than the others; and after air, water.
ἀλλὰ πάντες γε τὸ ἓν τοῦτο τοῖς ἐναντίοις σχηματίζουσιν, πυκνότητι καὶ μανότητι καὶ τῷ μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον. ταῦτα δ' ἐστὶν ὅλως ὑπεροχὴ δηλονότι καὶ ἔλλειψις, ὥσπερ εἴρηται πρότερον. καὶ ἔοικε παλαιὰ εἶναι καὶ αὕτη ἡ δόξα, ὅτι τὸ ἓν καὶ ὑπεροχὴ καὶ ἔλλειψις ἀρχαὶ τῶν ὄντων εἰσί, πλὴν οὐ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον, ἀλλ' οἱ μὲν ἀρχαῖοι τὰ δύο μὲν ποιεῖν τὸ δὲ ἓν πάσχειν, τῶν δ' ὑστέρων τινὲς τοὐναντίον τὸ μὲν ἓν ποιεῖν τὰ δὲ δύο πάσχειν φασὶ μᾶλλον. τὸ μὲν οὖν τρία φάσκειν τὰ στοιχεῖα εἶναι ἔκ τε τούτων καὶ ἐκ τοιούτων ἄλλων ἐπισκοποῦσι δόξειεν ἂν ἔχειν τινὰ λόγον, ὥσπερ εἴπομεν, All, however, agree in this, that they differentiate their One by means of the contraries, such as density and rarity and more and less, which may of course be generalized, as has already been said into excess and defect. Indeed this doctrine too (that the One and excess and defect are the principles of things) would appear to be of old standing, though in different forms; for the early thinkers made the two the active and the one the passive principle, whereas some of the more recent maintain the reverse. To suppose then that the elements are three in number would seem, from these and similar considerations, a plausible view, as I said before.
τὸ δὲ πλείω τριῶν οὐκέτι· πρὸς μὲν γὰρ τὸ πάσχειν ἱκανὸν τὸ ἕν, εἰ δὲ τεττάρων ὄντων δύο ἔσονται ἐναντιώσεις, δεήσει χωρὶς ἑκατέρᾳ ὑπάρχειν ἑτέραν τινὰ μεταξὺ φύσιν· εἰ δ' ἐξ ἀλλήλων δύνανται γεννᾶν δύο οὖσαι, περίεργος ἂν ἡ ἑτέρα τῶν ἐναντιώσεων εἴη. On the other hand, the view that they are more than three in number would seem to be untenable. For the one substratum is sufficient to be acted on; but if we have four contraries, there will be two contrarieties, and we shall have to suppose an intermediate nature for each pair separately. If, on the other hand, the contrarieties, being two, can generate from each other, the second contrariety will be superfluous.
ἅμα δὲ καὶ ἀδύνατον πλείους εἶναι ἐναντιώσεις τὰς πρώτας. ἡ γὰρ οὐσία ἕν τι γένος ἐστὶ τοῦ ὄντος, ὥστε τῷ πρότερον καὶ ὕστερον διοίσουσιν ἀλλήλων αἱ ἀρχαὶ μόνον, ἀλλ' οὐ τῷ γένει· ἀεὶ γὰρ ἐν ἑνὶ γένει μία ἐναντίωσις ἔστιν, πᾶσαί τε αἱ ἐναντιώσεις ἀνάγεσθαι δοκοῦσιν εἰς μίαν. ὅτι μὲν οὖν οὔτε ἓν τὸ στοιχεῖον οὔτε πλείω δυοῖν ἢ τριῶν, φανερόν· τούτων δὲ πότερον, καθάπερ εἴπομεν, ἀπορίαν ἔχει πολλήν. Moreover, it is impossible that there should be more than one primary contrariety. For substance is a single genus of being, so that the principles can differ only as prior and posterior, not in genus; in a single genus there is always a single contrariety, all the other contrarieties in it being held to be reducible to one. It is clear then that the number of elements is neither one nor more than two or three; but whether two or three is, as I said, a question of considerable difficulty.
Postquam inquisivit philosophus de contrarietate principiorum, hic incipit inquirere de numero eorum. 82. After the philosopher has investigated the contrariety of the principles, he here begins to inquire about their number.
Et circa hoc tria facit: primo movet quaestionem; secundo excludit ea quae non cadunt sub quaestione, ibi: unum quidem etc.; tertio prosequitur quaestionem, ibi: quoniam autem finita et cetera. Concerning this he makes three points. First, he raises the question. Secondly, where he says, ‘One they cannot be ...’ (189 a 12 #83), he excludes certain things which are not pertinent to this question. Thirdly, he takes up the question, where he says, ‘Granted, then, that...’ (189 a 21 #89).
Dicit ergo primo quod post inquisitionem de contrarietate principiorum, consequens est inquirere de numero eorum, utrum scilicet sint duo aut tria aut plura. He says, therefore, first that after an investigation into the contrariety of the principles, an inquiry about their number should follow, i.e., whether they are two, or three, or more.
Deinde cum dicit: unum quidem enim etc., excludit ea quae non cadunt sub quaestione: et primo quod non sit tantum unum principium; secundo quod non sint infinita, ibi: infinita autem non et cetera. 83. Next where he says, ‘One they cannot be ...’ (189 a 12), he excludes those things which are not pertinent to this question. He shows first that there is not just one principle, and secondly, where he says, ‘Nor can they be ...’ (189 a 12 #84), he shows that the principles are not infinite.
Dicit ergo primo quod impossibile est esse unum principium tantum. Ostensum est enim quod principia sunt contraria; sed contraria non sunt unum tantum, quia nihil est sibi ipsi contrarium; ergo principia non sunt unum tantum. He says first that it is impossible for there to be only one principle. For it has been shown [L 10] that the principles are contraries. But contraries are not just one, for nothing is the contrary of itself; therefore, there is not just one principle.
Deinde cum dicit: infinita autem non etc., ostendit quod non sunt infinita principia quatuor rationibus: quarum prima talis est. 84. Next where he says, ‘Nor can they be ...’ (189 a 12), he gives four arguments to show that the principles are not infinite. The first of these is as follows.
Infinitum inquantum huiusmodi est ignotum; si igitur principia sunt infinita, oportet ea esse ignota: sed ignoratis principiis, ignorantur ea quae sunt ex eis; ergo sequitur quod nihil in mundo possit sciri. The infinite as such is unknown. If, therefore, the principles are infinite, they must be unknown. But if the principles are unknown, then those things which are from the principles are unknown. It follows, therefore, that nothing in the world could be known.
Secundam rationem ponit ibi: et est una contrarietas etc.: quae talis est. Principia oportet esse prima contraria, ut supra ostensum est; prima autem contraria sunt primi generis, quod est substantia; substantia autem, cum sit unum genus, habet unam primam contrarietatem: prima enim contrarietas cuiuslibet generis est primarum differentiarum, per quas dividitur genus; ergo non sunt infinita principia. 85. He gives the second argument where he says, ‘... and in any one genus...’ (189 a 13). The argument is as follows. The principles must be primary contraries, as was shown above [L10 #77]. But the primary contraries belong to the primary genus, which is substance. But substance, since it is one genus, has one primary contrariety. For the first contrariety of any genus is that of the primary differentiae by which the genus is divided. Therefore, the principles are not infinite.
Tertiam rationem ponit ibi: et quod contingit etc.: quae talis est. Quod potest fieri per finita, magis est ponendum per finita fieri quam per infinita; sed ratio omnium quae fiunt secundum naturam, assignatur secundum Empedoclem per principia finita, sicut per Anaxagoram per principia infinita; ergo non est ponendum principia esse infinita. 86. He gives the third argument where he says, also a finite number ...’ (189 a 15). The argument is as follows. It is better to say that what can come to be from finite principles comes from finite principles rather than from infinite principles. But all things which come to be according to nature are explained by Empedocles through finite principles, just as they are explained by Anaxagoras through infinite principles. Hence an infinite number of principles should not be posited.
Quartam rationem ponit ibi: amplius sunt alia etc.: quae talis est. Principia sunt contraria, si igitur principia sunt infinita, oportet omnia contraria esse principia. Sed non omnia contraria sunt principia. Quod patet ex duobus: primo quidem quia principia oportet esse prima contraria, non autem omnia contraria sunt prima, cum quaedam sint aliis priora; secundo quia principia non debent esse ex alterutris, ut supra dictum est, contraria autem quaedam fiunt ex alterutris, ut dulce et amarum, et album et nigrum. Non ergo principia sunt infinita. 87. He gives the fourth argument where he says, ‘Lastly, some contraries ...’ (189 a 17). The argument is as follows. Principles are contraries. If, therefore, the principles are infinite, it is necessary that all the contraries be principles. But all of the contraries are not principles. This is clear for two reasons. First, the principles must be primary contraries, but not all contraries are primary, since some are prior to others. Secondly, the principles ought not to be from each other, as was said above [L10 #77]. But some contraries are from each other, as the sweet and the bitter, and the white and the black. Therefore, the principles are not infinite.
Et sic ultimo concludit quod principia non sunt unum tantum, neque infinita. Thus he finally concludes that the principles are neither one nor infinite.
Considerandum est autem quod philosophus hic disputative procedit ex probabilibus. Unde assumit ea quae videntur pluribus, quae non possunt esse falsa secundum totum, sed sunt secundum partem vera. Verum est igitur quodammodo quod contraria fiunt ex invicem, ut supra dictum est, si sumatur subiectum cum contrariis; quia id quod est album, postea fit nigrum: sed tamen ipsa albedo non convertitur in nigredinem. Sed quidam antiquorum ponebant quod nec etiam coassumendo subiectum, prima contraria fiunt ex invicem: unde Empedocles negabat elementa fieri ex invicem. Et ideo Aristoteles hic signanter non dicit calidum fieri ex frigido, sed dulce ex amaro et album ex nigro. 88. However, we must note that the Philosopher proceeds here by way of disputation from probable arguments. Hence he assumes certain things which are seen in many instances, and which cannot be false taken as a whole, but are true in particular instances. Therefore, it is true that in a certain respect contraries do come to be from each other, as was said above [L10 #78], if the subject is taken along with the contraries. For that which is white later becomes black. However, whiteness itself is never changed into blackness. But some of the ancients, without including the subject, held that the primary contraries come to be from each other. Hence, Empedocles denied that the elements come to be from each other. And thus Aristotle significantly does not say in this place that the hot comes to be from the cold, but the sweet from the bitter and the white from the black.
Deinde cum dicit: quoniam autem finita etc., prosequitur illud quod erat in quaestione, scilicet in quo numero sint principia. Et circa hoc duo facit: primo ostendit quod non sunt duo tantum principia, sed tria; secundo ostendit quod non sunt plura, ibi: plura autem tribus et cetera. 89. Next where he says, ‘Granted then...’ (189 a 21), he takes up the question under discussion, namely, what is the number of the principles. ‘Concerning this he makes two points. First he shows that there are not just two principles, but three. Secondly, where he says, ‘On the other hand ...’ (189 b 18 #95), he shows that there are no more than three principles.
Circa primum duo facit: primo ostendit per rationes non esse tantum duo principia, sed oportere addi tertium; secundo ostendit quod in hoc etiam antiqui philosophi convenerunt, ibi: unde si aliquis priorem et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First, he shows through arguments that there are not just two principles, but that a third must be added. Secondly, where he says, ‘If, then, we accept ...’ (189 a 34 #93), he shows that even the ancient philosophers agreed on this point.
Circa primum: ponit tres rationes. Dicit ergo primo quod cum ostensum sit quod principia sunt contraria, et ita non possit esse tantum unum principium, sed duo ad minus; nec iterum sint infinita principia; restat considerandum utrum sint duo tantum, vel plura duobus. Quantum enim ad hoc quod supra ostensum est, quod contraria sunt principia, videtur quod sint duo tantum principia; quia contrarietas est inter duo extrema. Sed in hoc deficiet aliquis, idest dubitabit. 90. Concerning the first part he gives three arguments. He says first that since it was shown that the principles are contraries, and so could not be just one, but are at least two, and further since the principles are not infinite, then it remains for us to consider whether there are only two principles or more than two. Since it was shown above that the principles are contraries, it seems that there are only two principles, because contrariety exists between two extremes.
Oportet enim quod ex principiis fiant alia, ut supra dictum est: si autem sint tantum duo contraria principia, non videtur quomodo ex illis duobus possint omnia fieri. Non enim potest dici quod unum eorum facit aliquid ex reliquo: non enim densitas nata est convertere ipsam raritatem in aliquid, neque raritas densitatem. Et similiter est de qualibet alia contrarietate: non enim concordia movet discordiam et facit aliquid ex ipsa, neque e converso. Sed utrumque contrariorum transmutat aliquod tertium, quod est subiectum utriusque. Calidum enim non facit esse calidam ipsam frigiditatem, sed subiectum frigiditatis: nec e converso. Videtur ergo quod oporteat poni aliquod tertium, quod sit subiectum contrariorum, ad hoc quod ex contrariis alia possint fieri. But one might question this. For it is necessary that other things come to be from the principles, as was said above [L10 #77]. If, however, there are only two contrary principles, it is not apparent how all things can come to be from these two. For it cannot be said that one of them makes something from the other one. For density is not by nature such that it can convert rarity into something, nor can rarity convert density into something. And the same is true of any other contrariety. For friendship does not move strife and make something out of it, nor does the converse happen. Rather each of the contraries changes some third thing which is the subject of both of the contraries. For heat does not make coldness itself to be hot, but makes the subject of coldness to be hot. And conversely, coldness does not make heat itself to be cold, but makes the subject of heat to be cold. Therefore, in order that other things can come to be from the contraries, it seems that it is necessary to posit some third thing which will be the subject of the contraries.
Nec refert quantum ad praesens pertinet, utrum illud subiectum sit unum vel plura. Quidam enim posuerunt plura principia materialia, ex quibus praeparant naturam entium: non enim dicebant esse naturam rerum nisi materiam, ut infra in secundo dicetur. It does not matter for the present whether that subject is one or many. For some have posited many material principles from which they prepare the nature of beings. For they said that the nature of things is matter, as will be said later in Book II [L2].
Secundam rationem ponit ibi: adhuc autem etc.: et dicit quod nisi contrariis quae ponuntur esse principia, supponatur aliquid aliud, surget maior dubitatio quam praemissa. Primum enim principium non potest esse accidens aliquod de subiecto dictum: cum enim subiectum sit principium accidentis quod de eo praedicatur, et sit eo prius naturaliter, sequeretur si primum principium esset accidens de subiecto praedicatum, quod principii esset principium, et quod primo esset aliquid prius. Sed si ponamus sola contraria esse principia, oportet principium esse aliquod accidens de subiecto dictum: quia nullius rei substantia est contraria alteri, sed contrarietas solum est inter accidentia. Relinquitur igitur quod non possunt sola contraria esse principia. 91. He gives the second argument where he says, ‘Other objections ...’(189 a 28). He says that, unless there is something other than the contraries which are given as principles, then there arises an even greater difficulty. For a first principle cannot be an accident which is predicated of a subject. For since a subject is a principle of the accident which is predicated of it and is naturally prior to the accident, then if the first principle were an accident predicated of a subject, it would follow that what is ‘of’ a principle would be a principle, and there would be something prior to the first. But if we hold that only the contraries are principles, it is necessary that the principles be an accident predicated of a subject. For no substance is the contrary of something else. Rather contrariety is found only between accidents. It follows, therefore, that the contraries cannot be the only principles.
Considerandum autem quod in hac ratione utitur praedicato pro accidente, quia praedicatum designat formam subiecti, antiqui autem credebant omnes formas esse accidentia; hic autem procedit disputative ex propositionibus probabilibus quae erant apud antiquos famosae. Moreover, it must be noted that in this argument he uses ‘predicate’ for ‘accident’, since a predicate designates a form of the subject. The ancients, however, believed that all forms are accidents. Hence he proceeds here by way of disputation from probable propositions which were well known among the ancients.
Tertiam rationem ponit ibi: amplius non esse etc.: quae talis est. Omne quod non est principium, oportet esse ex principiis: si igitur sola contraria sint principia, sequetur, cum substantia non sit contraria substantiae, quod substantia sit ex non substantiis; et sic quod non est substantia sit prius quam substantia, quia quod est ex aliquibus est posterius eis. Hoc autem est impossibile: nam primum genus entis est substantia, quae est ens per se. Non igitur potest esse quod sola contraria sint principia; sed oportet ponere aliquid aliud tertium. 92. He gives the third argument where he says, ‘Again we hold...’ (189 a 33). The argument is as follows. Everything which is not a principle must be from principles. If, therefore, only the contraries are principles, then since substance is not the contrary of substance, it follows that substance would be from non-substance. And thus what is not substance is prior to substance, because what is from certain things is posterior to them. But this is impossible. For substance which is being per se is the first genus of being. Therefore, it cannot be that only the contraries are principles; rather it is necessary to posit some other third thing.
Deinde cum dicit: unde si aliquis etc., ostendit quomodo ad hoc etiam concordabat positio philosophorum. 93. Next where he says, ‘If, then, we accept ...’ (189 a 34), he shows how the position of the philosophers also agrees with this.
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo ostendit quomodo ponebant unum materiale principium; secundo quomodo ponebant praeter hoc duo principia contraria, ibi: sed omnes unum hoc et cetera. Concerning this he makes two points. First, he shows how they posited one material principle. Secondly, where he says, ‘All, however agree...’ (189 b 9 #94), he shows how they posited two contrary principles besides this one material principle.
Considerandum est autem circa primum, quod philosophus in praecedentibus more disputantium visus est opponere ad utramque partem oppositam. Nam primo probavit quod principia sunt contraria; et nunc induxit rationes ad probandum quod contraria non sufficiunt ad hoc quod ex eis generentur res. Et quia rationes disputativae verum concludunt secundum aliquid, licet non secundum totum, ex utrisque rationibus unam veritatem concludit. However, we must first note that the Philosopher in the preceding arguments seemed to be opposed, in the manner of those who dispute, to both sides of the question. For first he proved that the principles are contraries, and now he brings forth arguments to prove that the contraries are not sufficient for the generation of things. And since disputatious arguments do come to some kind of true conclusion, though it is not the whole [truth], he concludes one truth from each argument.
Et dicit quod si aliquis putet veram esse priorem rationem, quae probabat principia esse contraria, et hanc immediate positam, quae probat contraria principia non posse sufficere; ad salvandum utramque necesse est dicere quod quoddam tertium subsit contrariis, sicut dixerunt ponentes totum universum esse naturam quandam unam, intelligentes per naturam materiam, sicut aquam aut ignem aut aerem aut medium horum, ut vaporem aut aliud huiusmodi. He says that if someone thinks that the first argument (which proves that the principles are contraries) is true, and that the argument just given (which proves that contrary principles are not sufficient) is also true, then to maintain both conclusions he must say that some third thing lies beneath the contraries, as was said by those who held that the whole universe is some one nature, understanding nature to mean matter, such as water, or fire or air, or some intermediate state between these, such as vapour, or some other thing of this sort.
Et magis videtur de medio. Hoc enim tertium accipitur ut subiectum contrariis, et quodammodo ut distinctum ab eis: unde illud quod minus habet de contrarietate, convenientius ponitur tertium principium praeter contraria. Ignis enim et terra et aer et aqua habent contrarietatem annexam, scilicet calidi et frigidi, humidi et sicci: unde non irrationabiliter faciunt subiectum aliquid alterum ab his, in quo minus est de excellentia contrariorum. Post hos autem melius dixerunt qui posuerunt aerem principium: quia in aere inveniuntur qualitates contrariae minus sensibiles. Post hos qui posuerunt aquam. Qui vero posuerunt ignem, pessime dixerunt quantum ad hoc, quod ignis habet qualitatem contrariam maxime sensibilem et magis activam, quia in ipso est excellentia calidi: quamvis si comparentur elementa secundum subtilitatem, melius videantur dixisse qui posuerunt ignem principium, ut alibi dicitur; quia quidquid est subtilius, videtur esse simplicius et prius. Unde terram nullus posuit principium propter sui grossitiem. This seems especially true in regard to an intermediate. For this third thing is taken as the subject of the contraries, and as distinct from them in some way. Hence, that which has less of the nature of a contrary about it is more conveniently posited as the third principle beyond the contraries. For fire and earth and air and water have contrariety attached to them, e.g., the hot and the cold, the wet and the dry. Hence, it is not unreasonable that they make the subject something other than these and something in which the contraries are less prominent. After these philosophers, however, those who held that air was the principle spoke more wisely, for the contrary qualities found in air are less sensible. After these philosophers are those who held that water was the principle. But those who held that fire was the principle spoke most poorly, because fire has a contrary quality which is most sensible and which is very active. For in fire there is an excellence of heat. If, however, the elements are compared with reference to their subtlety, those who made fire the principle seem to have spoken better, as is said elsewhere,’ for what is more subtle seems to be more simple and prior. Hence no one held that earth was the principle because of its density.
Deinde cum dicit: sed omnes unum hoc etc., ostendit quomodo cum uno materiali principio posuerunt principia contraria. 94. Next where he says, ‘All, however, agree ...’ (189 b 9), he shows how they posited contrary principles with the one material principle.
Et dicit quod omnes ponentes unum materiale principium, dicebant illud figurari vel formari contrariis quibusdam, ut raritate et densitate, quae reducuntur ad magnum et parvum, et ad excellentiam et defectum. Et sic hoc quod Plato posuit, quod unum et magnum et parvum sint principia rerum, fuit etiam opinio antiquorum naturalium, sed differenter. Nam antiqui considerantes quod una materia variatur per diversas formas, posuerunt duo ex parte formae, quae est principium agendi, et unum ex parte materiae, quae est principium patiendi: sed Platonici, considerantes quomodo in una specie distinguuntur multa individua secundum divisionem materiae, posuerunt unum ex parte formae, quae est principium activum, et duo ex parte materiae, quae est principium passivum. He says that all who posited one material principle said that it is figured or formed by certain contraries, such as rarity and density, which are reducible to the great and the small and to excess and defect. And thus the position of Plato that the one and the great and the small are the principles of things was also the opinion of the ancient natural philosophers, but in a different way. For the ancient philosophers, thinking that one matter was differentiated by diverse forms, held two principles on the part of form, which is the principle of action, and one on the part of matter, which is the principle of passion. But the Platonists, thinking that many individuals in one species are distinguished by a division of matter, posited one principle on the part of the form, which is the active principle, and two on the part of the matter, which is the passive principle.
Et sic concludit principale intentum, scilicet quod praemissa et similia considerantibus rationabile videbitur quod sint tria naturae principia. Et hoc dicit designans ex probabilibus processisse. And thus he draws the conclusion which he had uppermost in mind, namely, that by considering the above and similar positions, it seems reasonable that there are three principles of nature. And he points out that he has proceeded from probable arguments.
Deinde cum dicit: plura autem tribus etc., ostendit quod non sunt plura principia tribus, duabus rationibus: quarum prima talis est. 95. Next where he says, ‘On the other hand ...’ (189 b 18), he shows that there are no more than three principles. He uses two arguments, the first of which is as follows.
Quod potest fieri per pauciora, superfluum est si fiat per plura; sed tota generatio rerum naturalium potest compleri ponendo unum principium materiale et duo formalia, quia ad patiendum sufficit unum materiale principium. It is superfluous for that which can come to be through fewer principles to come to be through many. But the whole generation of natural things can be achieved by positing one material principle and two formal principles. For one material principle is sufficient to account for passion.
Sed si essent quatuor principia contraria, et duae primae contrarietates, oporteret quod utraque contrarietas haberet aliud et aliud subiectum: quia unum subiectum videtur esse primo unius contrarietatis. Et sic, si duobus contrariis positis et uno subiecto, possunt res fieri ad invicem, superfluum videtur quod ponatur alia contrarietas. Non igitur ponenda sunt plura quam tria principia. But if there were four contrary principles, and two primary contrarieties, it would be necessary that each contrariety have a different subject. For it seems that there is one primary subject for any one contrariety. And so, if, by positing two contraries and one subject, things can come to be from each other, it seems superfluous to posit another contrariety. Therefore, we must not posit more than three principles.
Secundam rationem ponit ibi: simul autem etc.: quae talis est. Si plura sunt principia quam tria, oportet esse plures primas contrarietates. Sed hoc est impossibile, quia prima contrarietas videtur esse primi generis, quod est unum, scilicet substantia. Unde omnia contraria quae sunt in genere substantiae non differunt genere, sed se habent secundum prius et posterius; quia in uno genere est tantum una contrarietas, scilicet prima, eo quod omnes aliae contrarietates videntur reduci ad unam primam; sunt enim aliquae primae differentiae contrariae quibus dividitur genus. Ergo videtur quod non sint plura principia quam tria. 96. He gives the second argument where he says, ‘Moreover it is impossible ...’ (189 b 23). If there are more than three principles, it is necessary that there be many primary contrarieties. But this is impossible because the first contrariety seems to belong to the first genus, which is one, namely, substance. Hence all contraries which are in the genus of substance do not differ in genus, but are related as prior and posterior. For in one genus there is only one contrariety, namely, the first, because all other contrarieties seem to be reduced to the first one. For there are certain first contrary differentiae by which a genus is divided. Therefore it seems that there are no more than three principles.
Considerandum est autem quod utrumque probabiliter dictum est, scilicet et quod in substantiis non sit contrarietas, et quod in substantiis sit una contrarietas prima. Si enim accipiatur ipsum quod est substantia, nihil est ei contrarium: si vero accipiantur formales differentiae in genere substantiae, contrarietas in eis invenitur. It must be noted, however, that each of the following statements is probable: namely, that there is no contrariety in substances, and that in substances there is only one primary contrariety. For if we take substance to mean ‘that which is’, it has no contrary. If, however, we take substance to mean formal differentiae in the genus of substance, then contrariety is found in them.
Ultimo autem quasi epilogando concludit, quod neque sit unum tantum principium neque plura duobus vel tribus. Sed utrum horum sit verum, habet multam dubitationem, sicut ex praemissis patet, scilicet utrum sint duo tantum vel tria. 97. Finally by way of summary he concludes that there is not just one principle, nor are there more than two or three. But deciding which of these is true, that is, whether there are only two principles or three, involves much difficulty, as is clear from the foregoing.

Lectio 12 (189 b 30-190 b 15)
Chapter 7
Ὧδ' οὖν ἡμεῖς λέγωμεν πρῶτον περὶ πάσης γενέσεως ἐπελθόντες· ἔστι γὰρ κατὰ φύσιν τὰ κοινὰ πρῶτον εἰπόντας οὕτω τὰ περὶ ἕκαστον ἴδια θεωρεῖν. We will now give our own account, approaching the question first with reference to becoming in its widest sense: for we shall be following the natural order of inquiry if we speak first of common characteristics, and then investigate the characteristics of special cases.
φαμὲν γὰρ γίγνεσθαι ἐξ ἄλλου ἄλλο καὶ ἐξ ἑτέρου ἕτερον ἢ τὰ ἁπλᾶ λέγοντες ἢ τὰ συγκείμενα. λέγω δὲ τοῦτο ὡδί. ἔστι γὰρ γίγνεσθαι ἄνθρωπον μουσικόν, ἔστι δὲ τὸ μὴ μουσικὸν γίγνεσθαι μουσικὸν ἢ τὸν (190a.) μὴ μουσικὸν ἄνθρωπον ἄνθρωπον μουσικόν. ἁπλοῦν μὲν οὖν λέγω τὸ γιγνόμενον τὸν ἄνθρωπον καὶ τὸ μὴ μουσικόν, καὶ ὃ γίγνεται ἁπλοῦν, τὸ μουσικόν· συγκείμενον δὲ καὶ ὃ γίγνεται καὶ τὸ γιγνόμενον, ὅταν τὸν μὴ μουσικὸν ἄνθρωπον φῶμεν γίγνεσθαι μουσικὸν ἄνθρωπον. We say that one thing comes to be from another thing, and one sort of thing from another sort of thing, both in the case of simple and of complex things. I mean the following. We can say (1) 'man becomes musical', (2) what is 'not-musical becomes musical', or (3), the 'not-musical man becomes a musical man'. Now what becomes in (1) and (2)—'man' and 'not musical'—I call simple, and what each becomes—'musical'—simple also. But when (3) we say the 'not-musical man becomes a musical man', both what becomes and what it becomes are complex.
τούτων δὲ τὸ μὲν οὐ μόνον λέγεται τόδε γίγνεσθαι ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐκ τοῦδε, οἷον ἐκ μὴ μουσικοῦ μουσικός, τὸ δ' οὐ λέγεται ἐπὶ πάντων· οὐ γὰρ ἐξ ἀνθρώπου ἐγένετο μουσικός, ἀλλ' ἅνθρωπος ἐγένετο μουσικός. As regards one of these simple 'things that become' we say not only 'this becomes so-and-so', but also 'from being this, comes to be so-and-so', as 'from being not-musical comes to be musical'; as regards the other we do not say this in all cases, as we do not say (1) 'from being a man he came to be musical' but only 'the man became musical'.
τῶν δὲ γιγνομένων ὡς τὰ ἁπλᾶ λέγομεν γίγνεσθαι, τὸ μὲν ὑπομένον γίγνεται τὸ δ' οὐχ ὑπομένον· ὁ μὲν γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ὑπομένει μουσικὸς γιγνόμενος ἄνθρωπος καὶ ἔστι, τὸ δὲ μὴ μουσικὸν καὶ τὸ ἄμουσον οὔτε ἁπλῶς οὔτε συντεθειμένον ὑπομένει. When a 'simple' thing is said to become something, in one case (1) it survives through the process, in the other (2) it does not. For man remains a man and is such even when he becomes musical, whereas what is not musical or is unmusical does not continue to exist, either simply or combined with the subject.
διωρισμένων δὲ τούτων, ἐξ ἁπάντων τῶν γιγνομένων τοῦτο ἔστι λαβεῖν, ἐάν τις ἐπιβλέψῃ ὥσπερ λέγομεν, ὅτι δεῖ τι ἀεὶ ὑποκεῖσθαι τὸ γιγνόμενον, καὶ τοῦτο εἰ καὶ ἀριθμῷ ἐστιν ἕν, ἀλλ' εἴδει γε οὐχ ἕν· τὸ γὰρ εἴδει λέγω καὶ λόγῳ ταὐτόν· οὐ γὰρ ταὐτὸν τὸ ἀνθρώπῳ καὶ τὸ ἀμούσῳ εἶναι. These distinctions drawn, one can gather from surveying the various cases of becoming in the way we are describing that, as we say, there must always be an underlying something, namely that which becomes, and that this, though always one numerically, in form at least is not one. (By that I mean that it can be described in different ways.) For 'to be man' is not the same as 'to be unmusical'.
καὶ τὸ μὲν ὑπομένει, τὸ δ' οὐχ ὑπομένει· τὸ μὲν μὴ ἀντικείμενον ὑπομένει (ὁ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ὑπομένει), τὸ μὴ μουσικὸν δὲ καὶ τὸ ἄμουσον οὐχ ὑπομένει, οὐδὲ τὸ ἐξ ἀμφοῖν συγκείμενον, οἷον ὁ ἄμουσος ἄνθρωπος. One part survives, the other does not: what is not an opposite survives (for 'man' survives), but 'not-musical' or 'unmusical' does not survive, nor does the compound of the two, namely 'unmusical man'.
τὸ δ' ἔκ τινος γίγνεσθαί τι, καὶ μὴ τόδε γίγνεσθαί τι, μᾶλλον μὲν λέγεται ἐπὶ τῶν μὴ ὑπομενόντων, οἷον ἐξ ἀμούσου μουσικὸν γίγνεσθαι, ἐξ ἀνθρώπου δὲ οὔ· οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ὑπομενόντων ἐνίοτε λέγεται ὡσαύτως· ἐκ γὰρ χαλκοῦ ἀνδριάντα γίγνεσθαί φαμεν, οὐ τὸν χαλκὸν ἀνδριάντα. τὸ μέντοι ἐκ τοῦ ἀντικειμένου καὶ μὴ ὑπομένοντος ἀμφοτέρως λέγεται, καὶ ἐκ τοῦδε τόδε καὶ τόδε τόδε· καὶ γὰρ ἐξ ἀμούσου καὶ ὁ ἄμουσος γίγνεται μουσικός. διὸ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ συγκειμένου ὡσαύτως· καὶ γὰρ ἐξ ἀμούσου ἀνθρώπου καὶ ὁ ἄμουσος ἄνθρωπος γίγνεσθαι λέγεται μουσικός. We speak of 'becoming that from this' instead of 'this becoming that' more in the case of what does not survive the change—'becoming musical from unmusical', not 'from man'—but there are exceptions, as we sometimes use the latter form of expression even of what survives; we speak of 'a statue coming to be from bronze', not of the 'bronze becoming a statue'. The change, however, from an opposite which does not survive is described indifferently in both ways, 'becoming that from this' or 'this becoming that'. We say both that 'the unmusical becomes musical', and that 'from unmusical he becomes musical'. And so both forms are used of the complex, 'becoming a musical man from an unmusical man', and unmusical man becoming a musical man'.
πολλαχῶς δὲ λεγομένου τοῦ γίγνεσθαι, καὶ τῶν μὲν οὐ γίγνεσθαι ἀλλὰ τόδε τι γίγνεσθαι, ἁπλῶς δὲ γίγνεσθαι τῶν οὐσιῶν μόνον, κατὰ μὲν τἆλλα φανερὸν ὅτι ἀνάγκη ὑποκεῖσθαί τι τὸ γιγνόμενον (καὶ γὰρ ποσὸν καὶ ποιὸν καὶ πρὸς ἕτερον [καὶ ποτὲ] καὶ ποὺ γίγνεται ὑποκειμένου τινὸς διὰ τὸ μόνην τὴν οὐσίαν μηθενὸς κατ' ἄλλου λέγεσθαι ὑποκειμένου, (190b.) τὰ δ' ἄλλα πάντα κατὰ τῆς οὐσίας)· ὅτι δὲ καὶ αἱ οὐσίαι καὶ ὅσα [ἄλλα] ἁπλῶς ὄντα ἐξ ὑποκειμένου τινὸς γίγνεται, ἐπισκοποῦντι γένοιτο ἂν φανερόν. ἀεὶ γὰρ ἔστι ὃ ὑπόκειται, ἐξ οὗ τὸ γιγνόμενον, οἷον τὰ φυτὰ καὶ τὰ ζῷα ἐκ σπέρματος. But there are different senses of 'coming to be'. In some cases we do not use the expression 'come to be', but 'come to be so-and-so'. Only substances are said to 'come to be' in the unqualified sense. Now in all cases other than substance it is plain that there must be some subject, namely, that which becomes. For we know that when a thing comes to be of such a quantity or quality or in such a relation, time, or place, a subject is always presupposed, since substance alone is not predicated of another subject, but everything else of substance. But that substances too, and anything else that can be said 'to be' without qualification, come to be from some substratum, will appear on examination. For we find in every case something that underlies from which proceeds that which comes to be; for instance, animals and plants from seed.
γίγνεται δὲ τὰ γιγνόμενα ἁπλῶς τὰ μὲν μετασχηματίσει, οἷον ἀνδριάς, τὰ δὲ προσθέσει, οἷον τὰ αὐξανόμενα, τὰ δ' ἀφαιρέσει, οἷον ἐκ τοῦ λίθου ὁ Ἑρμῆς, τὰ δὲ συνθέσει, οἷον οἰκία, τὰ δ' ἀλλοιώσει, οἷον τὰ τρεπόμενα κατὰ τὴν ὕλην. πάντα δὲ τὰ οὕτω γιγνόμενα φανερὸν ὅτι ἐξ ὑποκειμένων γίγνεται. Generally things which come to be, come to be in different ways: (1) by change of shape, as a statue; (2) by addition, as things which grow; (3) by taking away, as the Hermes from the stone; (4) by putting together, as a house; (5) by alteration, as things which 'turn' in respect of their material substance. It is plain that these are all cases of coming to be from a substratum.
ὥστε δῆλον ἐκ τῶν εἰ ρημένων ὅτι τὸ γιγνόμενον ἅπαν ἀεὶ συνθετόν ἐστι, καὶ ἔστι μέν τι γιγνόμενον, ἔστι δέ τι ὃ τοῦτο γίγνεται, καὶ τοῦτο διττόν· ἢ γὰρ τὸ ὑποκείμενον ἢ τὸ ἀντικείμενον. λέγω δὲ ἀντικεῖσθαι μὲν τὸ ἄμουσον, ὑποκεῖσθαι δὲ τὸν ἄνθρωπον, καὶ τὴν μὲν ἀσχημοσύνην καὶ τὴν ἀμορφίαν καὶ τὴν ἀταξίαν τὸ ἀντικείμενον, τὸν δὲ χαλκὸν ἢ τὸν λίθον ἢ τὸν χρυσὸν τὸ ὑποκείμενον. Thus, clearly, from what has been said, whatever comes to be is always complex. There is, on the one hand, (a) something which comes into existence, and again (b) something which becomes that—the latter (b) in two senses, either the subject or the opposite. By the 'opposite' I mean the 'unmusical', by the 'subject' 'man', and similarly I call the absence of shape or form or order the 'opposite', and the bronze or stone or gold the 'subject'.
Postquam philosophus processit ad investigandum numerum principiorum disputative, hic incipit determinare veritatem. Et dividitur in partes duas: in prima determinat veritatem; in secunda ex veritate determinata excludit dubitationes et errores antiquorum, ibi: quod autem singulariter et cetera. 98. After the Philosopher has investigated the number of principles by means of disputation, he here begins to determine the truth. This section is divided into two parts. First he determines the truth. Secondly, where he says, ‘We will not proceed...’ (191 a 23; L14 #120ff), he excludes from the truth already determined certain difficulties and errors of the ancients.
Prima dividitur in duas: in prima ostendit quod in quolibet fieri naturali tria inveniuntur; in secunda ex hoc ostendit tria esse principia, ibi: manifestum igitur quod et cetera. The first part is divided into two parts. First he shows that in any natural coming-to-be three things are found. Secondly, where he says, ‘Plainly, then ...’ (190 b 16; L13 #110), he shows from this that these three things are principles.
Circa primum duo facit: primo dicit de quo est intentio; secundo prosequitur intentum, ibi: dicimus enim fieri et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he states his intention, and secondly he pursues his intention, where he says, ‘We say that ...’ (189 b 33 #100).
Quia ergo supra dixerat quod multam habet dubitationem utrum sint tantum duo naturae principia vel tria, concludit quod de hoc dicendum est, primo considerantes de generatione vel factione in communi ad omnes species mutationis. In qualibet enim mutatione invenitur quoddam fieri, sicut quod alteratur de albo in nigrum, de albo fit non album, et de non nigro fit nigrum; et similiter est in aliis mutationibus. Et rationem ordinis assignat, quia necesse est primo dicere communia, et postea speculari ea quae propria sunt circa unumquodque, sicut in principio libri dictum est. 99. Because he had said above [L11 #97] that the question of whether there are only two principles of nature or three involves much difficulty, he concludes that he must first speak of generation and production as common to all the species of mutation. For in any mutation there is found a certain coming-to-be. For example, when something is altered from white to black, the non-white comes to be from the white, and the black comes to be from the non-black. And the same is true of other mutations. He also points out the reason for this order of procedure. It is necessary to speak first of those things which are common, and afterwards to think of those things which are proper to each thing, as was said in the beginning of the Book [L1 #6].
Deinde cum dicit: dicimus enim fieri etc., prosequitur propositum. Et circa hoc duo facit: primo enim praemittit quaedam quae necessaria sunt ad propositum ostendendum; secundo ostendit propositum, ibi: determinatis autem his et cetera. 100. Next where he says, ‘We say that one thing ...’ (189 b 33), he develops his position. Concerning this he makes two points. First he sets forth certain things which are necessary to prove his position. Secondly, where he says, ‘These distinctions drawn ...’ (190 a 13 #103),he proves his point.
Circa primum duo facit: primo praemittit quandam divisionem; secundo ostendit differentias inter partes divisionis, ibi: horum autem et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he sets up a certain division, secondly, where he says, ‘As regards one ...’ (190 a 5 #102), he points out the differences among the parts of the division.
Dicit ergo primo quod, cum in quolibet fieri aliud dicatur fieri ex alio, quantum ad fieri secundum esse substantiale, vel alterum ex altero, quantum ad fieri secundum esse accidentale, propter hoc quod omnis mutatio habet duos terminos; dupliciter contingit hoc dicere, eo quod termini alicuius factionis vel mutationis possunt accipi ut simplices vel compositi. 101. He says, therefore, first that in any coming-to-be one thing is said to come to be from another thing with reference to coming to be in regard to substantial being [esse], or one comes to be from another with reference to coming to be in regard to accidental being [esse]. Hence every change has two termini. The word ‘termini’, however, is used in two ways, for the termini of a production or mutation can be taken as either simple or composite.
Et hoc sic exponitur. Aliquando enim dicimus homo fit musicus, et tunc duo termini factionis sunt simplices; et similiter quando dicimus quod non musicum fit musicum: sed quando dicimus non musicus homo fit musicus homo, tunc uterque terminorum est compositus. Quia cum fieri attribuitur homini vel non musico, uterque est simplex; et sic id quod fit, idest cui attribuitur fieri, significatur fieri ut simplex; id vero in quod terminatur ipsum fieri, quod significatur fieri ut simplex, est musicum; ut cum dico homo fit musicus, vel non musicus fit musicus. Sed tunc utrumque significatur fieri ut compositum (scilicet et quod fit, idest id cui attribuitur fieri, et quod factum est, idest id ad quod terminatur fieri), cum dicimus non musicus homo fit musicus, tunc enim est compositio ex parte subiecti tantum, et simplicitas ex parte praedicati: sed cum dico non musicus homo fit musicus homo, tunc est compositio ex parte utriusque. He explains this as follows. Sometimes we say man becomes musical, and then the two termini of the production are simple. It is the same when we say that the non-musical becomes musical. But when we say that the non-musical man becomes a musical man, each of the termini is a composite. Yet when coming to be is attributed to man or to the nonmusical, each is simple. And thus, that which becomes, i.e., that to which coming to be is attributed, is said to come to be simply. Moreover, that in which the very coming to be is terminated, which is also said to come to be simply, is musical. Thus we say man becomes musical, or the non-musical becomes musical. But when each is signified as coming to be as composed (i.e., both what becomes, i.e., that to which the coming to be is attributed, and what is made, i.e., that in which the coming to be is terminated), then we say that the non-musical man becomes musical. For then there is composition on the part of the subject only and simplicity on the part of the predicate. But when I say that the nonmusical man becomes a musical man, then there is composition on the part of each.
Deinde cum dicit: horum autem etc., ostendit duas differentias inter praedicta. 102. Next where he says, ‘As regards one ...’ (190 a 5), he points out two differences in what was said above.
Quarum prima est quod in quibusdam praemissorum utimur duplici modo loquendi, scilicet quod hoc fit hoc, et ex hoc fit hoc: dicimus enim quod non musicum fit musicum, et ex non musico fit musicum. Sed non in omnibus sic dicitur: non enim dicitur ex homine fit musicus, sed homo fit musicus. The first is that in some of the cases mentioned above we use a twofold mode of speech, i.e., we say ‘this becomes this’ and ‘from this, this comes to be’. For we say ‘the non-musical becomes musical’, and ‘from the non-musical, the musical comes to be’. But we do not speak this way in all cases. For we do not say ’the musical comes to be from man’, but ‘man becomes musical’.
Secundam differentiam ponit ibi: eorum autem quae fiunt et cetera. Et dicit quod cum duobus simplicibus attribuitur fieri, scilicet subiecto et opposito, alterum istorum est permanens et alterum non permanens. Quia cum aliquis iam factus est musicus, permanet homo, sed tamen non permanet oppositum; sive sit negative oppositum, ut non musicum, sive privative aut contrarie, ut immusicum. Neque etiam compositum ex subiecto et opposito permanet: non enim permanet homo non musicus postquam homo factus est musicus. Et tamen istis tribus attribuebatur fieri: dicebatur enim quod homo fit musicus, et non musicus fit musicus, et homo non musicus fit musicus: quorum trium solum primum manet completa factione, alia vero duo non manent. He points out the second difference where he says, ‘When a “simple”...’ (190 a 8). He says that when coming to be is attributed to two simple things, i.e., the subject and the opposite, one of these is permanent, but the other is not. For when someone has already been made musical, ‘man’ remains. But the opposite does not remain, whether it be the negative opposite, as the non-musical, or the privation or contrary, as the unmusical. Nor is the composite of subject and the opposite permanent, for the non-musical man does not remain after man has been made musical. And so coming to be is attributed to these three things: for it was said that man becomes musical, and the non-musical becomes musical, and the non-musical man becomes musical. Of these three, only the first remains complete in a production, the other two do not remain.
Deinde cum dicit: determinatis autem his etc., ex suppositione praemissorum ostendit propositum, scilicet quod in qualibet factione naturali inveniantur tria. 103. Next where he says, ‘These distinctions drawn ...’ (190 a 13), having assumed the foregoing, he proves his position, namely that three things are found in any natural production.
Et circa hoc tria facit: primo enumerat duo quae inveniuntur in qualibet factione naturali; secundo probat quod supposuerat, ibi: et hoc quidem permanet etc.; tertio concludit propositum, ibi: quare ostensum ex dictis et cetera. Concerning this he makes three points. First he enumerates two things which are found in any natural production. Secondly, where he says, ‘One part survives ...’ (190 a 17 #105), he proves what he had supposed. Thirdly, where he says, ‘Thus, clearly, ...’ (190 b 10 #109), he draws his conclusion.
Dicit ergo primo quod, suppositis praemissis, si quis voluerit considerare in omnibus quae fiunt secundum naturam, hoc accipiet, quod semper oportet subiici aliquid cui attribuitur fieri: et illud, licet sit unum numero vel subiecto, tamen specie vel ratione non est idem. Cum enim attribuitur homini quod fiat musicus, homo quidem est unum subiecto, sed duo ratione: non enim est idem homo secundum rationem et non musicus. Tertium autem non ponit, scilicet quod in generatione necesse est aliquid generari, quoniam illud manifestum est. 104. He says, therefore, first that, if anyone, taking for granted what was said above, wishes to consider [coming-to-be] in all the things which come to be naturally, he will agree that there must always be some subject to which the coming to be is attributed, and that that subject, although one in number and subject, is not the same in species or nature [ratio]. For when it is said of a man that he becomes musical, the man is indeed one in subject, but two in nature [ratio]. For man and the non-musical are not the same according to nature [ratio]. Aristotle does not, however, mention here the third point, namely, that in every generation there must be something generated, for this is obvious.
Deinde cum dicit: et hoc quidem permanet etc., probat duo quae supposuerat: primo quod subiectum cui attribuitur fieri, sit duo ratione; secundo quod oporteat in quolibet fieri supponi subiectum, ibi: multipliciter autem et cetera. 105. Next where he says, ‘One part survives...’ (190 a 17), he proves the two things which he had assumed. He shows first that the subject to which the coming to be is attributed is two in nature [ratio]. Secondly, where he says, ‘But there are different ...’ (190 a 32 #107), he shows that it is necessary to assume a subject in every coming to be.
Primum ostendit dupliciter. Primo quidem per hoc quod in subiecto cui attribuitur fieri, est aliquid quod permanet et aliquid quod non permanet: quia id quod non est oppositum termino factionis, permanet, homo enim permanet quando fit musicus; sed non musicum non permanet, neque compositum, ut homo non musicus. Et ex hoc apparet quod homo et non musicus non sunt idem ratione, cum unum permaneat et aliud non. He shows the first point in two ways. First he points out that in the subject to which the coming to be is attributed there is something which is permanent and something which is not permanent. For that which is not an opposite of the terminus of the production is permanent, for man remains when he becomes musical, but the non-musical does not remain. And from this it is clear that man and the non-musical are not the same in nature [ratio], since the one remains, whereas the other does not.
Secundo ibi: sed ex aliquo etc., ostendit idem alio modo; quia in non permanentibus magis dicitur ex hoc fit hoc quam hoc fit hoc (licet tamen et hoc possit dici, sed non ita proprie): dicimus enim quod ex non musico fit musicus. Dicimus etiam quod non musicus fit musicus, sed hoc est per accidens, inquantum scilicet id cui accidit esse non musicum, fit musicum. Sed in permanentibus non sic dicitur: non enim dicimus quod ex homine fit musicus, sed quod homo fit musicus. Quandoque tamen in permanentibus dicimus ex hoc fit hoc, sicut dicimus quod ex aere fit statua: sed hoc contingit quia nomine aeris intelligimus infiguratum, et ita dicitur hoc ratione privationis intellectae. 106. Secondly, where he says, ‘We speak of ...’(190 a 2 1), he shows the same thing in another way. With reference to the non-permanent things, it is much better to say ‘this comes to be from this’ than to say ‘this becomes this’ (although this latter also may be said, but not as properly). For we say that the musical comes to be from the nonmusical. We also say that the non-musical becomes musical, but this is accidental, insofar as that which happens to be non-musical becomes musical. But in permanent things this is not said. For we do not say that the musical comes to be from man, rather we say that the man becomes musical.
Et licet ex hoc fieri hoc dicamus in permanentibus, magis tamen utrumque contingit in non permanentibus dici, et hoc fit hoc et ex hoc fit hoc; sive non permanens accipiatur oppositum, sive compositum ex opposito et subiecto. Even in reference to permanent things we sometimes say ‘this comes to be from this’, as we say that a statue comes to be from bronze. But this happens because by the name ‘bronze’ we understand the ‘unshaped’, and so this is said by reason of the privation which is understood.
Ex hoc ergo ipso quod diverso modo loquendi utimur circa subiectum et oppositum, manifestum fit quod subiectum et oppositum, ut homo et non musicus, etsi sint idem subiecto, sunt duo tamen ratione. From this very fact, then, that we use different modes of speech with reference to the subject and the opposite, it is clear that the subject and the opposite, such as man and the non-musical, are two in nature [ratio].
Deinde cum dicit: multipliciter autem cum dicatur etc., ostendit alterum quod supposuerat, scilicet quod in omni factione naturali oporteat esse subiectum. 107. Next where he says, ‘But there are different ...’ (190 a 32), he proves the other point which he had assumed, namely, that in every natural production there must be a subject.
Et hoc quidem per rationem probare pertinet ad metaphysicum, unde probatur in VII Metaphys.; sed hic probat tantum per inductionem: et primo ex parte eorum quae fiunt; secundo ex parte modorum fiendi, ibi: fiunt autem quae fiunt et cetera. The proof of this point by argumentation belongs to metaphysics. Hence this is proved in Metaphysics, VII:7. He proves it here only by induction. He does this first in regard to the things which come to be; secondly in regard to the modes of coming to be, where he says, ‘Generally things ...’ (190 b 5 #108).
Dicit ergo primo quod, cum fieri dicatur multipliciter, fieri simpliciter est solum fieri substantiarum; sed alia dicuntur fieri secundum quid. Et hoc ideo, quia fieri importat initium essendi; ad hoc ergo quod aliquid fiat simpliciter, requiritur quod prius non fuerit simpliciter, quod accidit in iis quae substantialiter fiunt. Quod enim fit homo, non solum prius non fuit homo, sed simpliciter verum est dicere ipsum non fuisse: cum autem homo fit albus, non est verum dicere quod prius non fuerit, sed quod prius non fuerit talis. He says, therefore, first that since ‘to come to be’ is used in many ways, ‘to come to be simply’ is said only of the coming to be of substances, whereas other things are said to come to be accidentally. This is so because ‘to come to be’ implies the beginning of existing. Therefore, in order for something to come to be simply, it is required that it previously will not have been simply, which happens in those things which comer to be substantially. For when a man comes to be, he not only previously was not a man, but it is true to say that he simply was not. When, however, a man becomes white, it is not true to say that he previously was not, but that he previously was not such.
In his igitur quae fiunt secundum quid, manifestum est quod indigent subiecto: nam quantitas et qualitas et alia accidentia, quorum est fieri secundum quid, non possunt esse sine subiecto; solius enim substantiae est non esse in subiecto. Those things, however, which come to be accidentally clearly depend upon a subject. For quantity and quality and the other accidents, whose coming to be is accidental, cannot be without a subject. For only substance does not exist in a subject.
Sed etiam in substantiis, si quis consideret, manifestum fit quod fiunt ex subiecto: videmus enim quod plantae et animalia fiunt ex semine. Further, it is clear, if one considers the point, that even substances come to be from a subject. For we see that plants and animals come to be from seed.
Deinde cum dicit: fiunt autem quae fiunt etc., ostendit idem inducendo per modos fiendi. 108. Next where he says, ‘Generally things ...’ (190 b 5), he shows the same thing by induction from the modes of coming to be.
Et dicit quod eorum quae fiunt, quaedam fiunt transfiguratione, sicut statua fit ex aere; quaedam vero fiunt appositione, ut patet in omnibus augmentatis, sicut fluvius fit ex multis rivis; alia vero fiunt abstractione, sicut ex lapide fit per sculpturam imago Mercurii; quaedam vero fiunt compositione, sicut domus; quaedam vero fiunt alteratione, sicut ea quorum materia alteratur, sive fiant secundum naturam sive secundum artem: et in omnibus his apparet quod fiunt ex aliquo subiecto. Unde manifestum est quod omne quod fit, fit ex subiecto. He says that of things which come to be, some come to be by change of figure, as the statue comes to be from the bronze, others come to be by addition, as is clear in all instances of increase, as the river comes to be from many streams, others come to be by subtraction, as the image of Mercury comes to be from stone by sculpture. Still other things come to be by composition, e.g., a house; and other things come to be by alteration, as those things whose matter is changed, either by nature or by art. And in all of these cases it is apparent that they come to be from some subject. Whence it is clear that everything which comes to be comes to be from a subject.
Sed advertendum est quod artificialia connumeravit inter ea quae fiunt simpliciter (quamvis formae artificiales sint accidentia), quia artificialia quodammodo sunt in genere substantiae per suam materiam: vel propter opinionem antiquorum, qui similiter aestimabant naturalia ut artificialia, ut in secundo dicetur. But it must be noted that artificial things are here enumerated along with those things which come to be simply (even though artificial forms are accidents) because artificial things are in some way in the genus of substance by reason of their matter. Or else perhaps he lists them because of the opinion of the ancients, who thought of natural things and artificial things in the same way, as will be said in Book II [L2 #149].
Deinde cum dicit: quare ostensum ex dictis etc., concludit propositum: et dicit ostensum esse ex dictis quod id cui attribuitur fieri, semper est compositum. Et cum in qualibet factione sit id ad quod terminatur fieri, et id cui attribuitur fieri, quod est duplex, scilicet subiectum et oppositum; manifestum est quod in quolibet fieri sunt tria, scilicet subiectum et terminus factionis et oppositum eius; sicut cum homo fit musicus, oppositum est non musicum, et subiectum est homo, et musicus est terminus factionis. Et similiter infiguratio et informitas et inordinatio sunt opposita, sed aes et aurum et lapides sunt subiecta in artificialibus. 109. Next where he says, ‘Thus clearly ...’ (190 b 10), he draws his conclusion. He says that it has been shown from what was said above that that to which coming to be is attributed is always composed. And since in any production there is that at which the coming to be is terminated and that to which the coming to be is attributed, the latter of which is twofold, i.e., the subject and the opposite, it is then clear that there are three things in any coming to be, namely, the subject, the terminus of the production, and the opposite of this terminus. Thus when a man becomes musical, the opposite is the non-musical, the subject is the man, and musical is the terminus of the production. And in like manner, shapelessness and lack of figure and lack of order are opposites, while bronze and gold and stone are subjects in artificial productions.

Lectio 13 (190 b 16-191 a 22)
Chapter 7 cont.
φανερὸν οὖν ὡς, εἴπερ εἰσὶν αἰτίαι καὶ ἀρχαὶ τῶν φύσει ὄντων, ἐξ ὧν πρώτων εἰσὶ καὶ γεγόνασι μὴ κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς ἀλλ' ἕκαστον ὃ λέγεται κατὰ τὴν οὐσίαν, ὅτι γίγνεται πᾶν ἔκ τε τοῦ ὑποκειμένου καὶ τῆς μορφῆς· σύγ κειται γὰρ ὁ μουσικὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐξ ἀνθρώπου καὶ μουσικοῦ τρόπον τινά· διαλύσεις γὰρ [τοὺς λόγους] εἰς τοὺς λόγους τοὺς ἐκείνων. δῆλον οὖν ὡς γίγνοιτ' ἂν τὰ γιγνόμενα ἐκ τούτων. Plainly then, if there are conditions and principles which constitute natural objects and from which they primarily are or have come to be—have come to be, I mean, what each is said to be in its essential nature, not what each is in respect of a concomitant attribute—plainly, I say, everything comes to be from both subject and form. For 'musical man' is composed (in a way) of 'man' and 'musical': you can analyse it into the definitions of its elements. It is clear then that what comes to be will come to be from these elements.
ἔστι δὲ τὸ μὲν ὑποκείμενον ἀριθμῷ μὲν ἕν, εἴδει δὲ δύο (ὁ μὲν γὰρ ἄνθρωπος καὶ ὁ χρυσὸς καὶ ὅλως ἡ ὕλη ἀριθμητή· τόδε γάρ τι μᾶλλον, καὶ οὐ κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς ἐξ αὐτοῦ γίγνεται τὸ γιγνόμενον· ἡ δὲ στέρησις καὶ ἡ ἐναντίωσις συμβεβηκός)· ἓν δὲ τὸ εἶδος, οἷον ἡ τάξις ἢ ἡ μουσικὴ ἢ τῶν ἄλλων τι τῶν οὕτω κατηγορουμένων. Now the subject is one numerically, though it is two in form. (For it is the man, the gold—the 'matter' generally—that is counted, for it is more of the nature of a 'this', and what comes to be does not come from it in virtue of a concomitant attribute; the privation, on the other hand, and the contrary are incidental in the process.) And the positive form is one—the order, the acquired art of music, or any similar predicate.
διὸ ἔστι μὲν ὡς δύο λεκτέον εἶναι τὰς ἀρχάς, ἔστι δ' ὡς τρεῖς· καὶ ἔστι μὲν ὡς τἀναντία, οἷον εἴ τις λέγοι τὸ μουσικὸν καὶ τὸ ἄμουσον ἢ τὸ θερμὸν καὶ τὸ ψυχρὸν ἢ τὸ ἡρμοσμένον καὶ τὸ ἀνάρμοστον, ἔστι δ' ὡς οὔ· ὑπ' ἀλλήλων γὰρ πάσχειν τἀναντία ἀδύνατον. λύεται δὲ καὶ τοῦτο διὰ τὸ ἄλλο εἶναι τὸ ὑποκείμενον· τοῦτο γὰρ οὐκ ἐναντίον. ὥστε οὔτε πλείους τῶν ἐναντίων αἱ ἀρχαὶ τρόπον τινά, ἀλλὰ δύο ὡς εἰπεῖν τῷ ἀριθμῷ, οὔτ' αὖ παντελῶς δύο διὰ (191a.) τὸ ἕτερον ὑπάρχειν τὸ εἶναι αὐτοῖς, ἀλλὰ τρεῖς· ἕτερον γὰρ τὸ ἀνθρώπῳ καὶ τὸ ἀμούσῳ εἶναι, καὶ τὸ ἀσχηματίστῳ καὶ χαλκῷ. There is a sense, therefore, in which we must declare the principles to be two, and a sense in which they are three; a sense in which the contraries are the principles—say for example the musical and the unmusical, the hot and the cold, the tuned and the untuned—and a sense in which they are not, since it is impossible for the contraries to be acted on by each other. But this difficulty also is solved by the fact that the substratum is different from the contraries, for it is itself not a contrary. The principles therefore are, in a way, not more in number than the contraries, but as it were two, nor yet precisely two, since there is a difference of essential nature, but three. For 'to be man' is different from 'to be unmusical', and 'to be unformed' from 'to be bronze'.
πόσαι μὲν οὖν αἱ ἀρχαὶ τῶν περὶ γένεσιν φυσικῶν, καὶ πῶς ποσαί, εἴρηται· καὶ δῆλόν ἐστιν ὅτι δεῖ ὑποκεῖσθαί τι τοῖς ἐναντίοις καὶ τἀναντία δύο εἶναι. τρόπον δέ τινα ἄλλον οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον· ἱκανὸν γὰρ ἔσται τὸ ἕτερον τῶν ἐναντίων ποιεῖν τῇ ἀπουσίᾳ καὶ παρουσίᾳ τὴν μεταβολήν. We have now stated the number of the principles of natural objects which are subject to generation, and how the number is reached: and it is clear that there must be a substratum for the contraries, and that the contraries must be two. (Yet in another way of putting it this is not necessary, as one of the contraries will serve to effect the change by its successive absence and presence.)
ἡ δὲ ὑποκειμένη φύσις ἐπιστητὴ κατ' ἀναλογίαν. ὡς γὰρ πρὸς ἀνδριάντα χαλκὸς ἢ πρὸς κλίνην ξύλον ἢ πρὸς τῶν ἄλλων τι τῶν ἐχόντων μορφὴν [ἡ ὕλη καὶ] τὸ ἄμορφον ἔχει πρὶν λαβεῖν τὴν μορφήν, οὕτως αὕτη πρὸς οὐσίαν ἔχει καὶ τὸ τόδε τι καὶ τὸ ὄν. The underlying nature is an object of scientific knowledge, by an analogy. For as the bronze is to the statue, the wood to the bed, or the matter and the formless before receiving form to any thing which has form, so is the underlying nature to substance, i.e. the 'this' or existent.
μία μὲν οὖν ἀρχὴ αὕτη, οὐχ οὕτω μία οὖσα οὐδὲ οὕτως ὂν ὡς τὸ τόδε τι, μία δὲ ἧς ὁ λόγος, ἔτι δὲ τὸ ἐναντίον τούτῳ, ἡ στέρησις. ταῦτα δὲ πῶς δύο καὶ πῶς πλείω, εἴρηται ἐν τοῖς ἄνω. πρῶτον μὲν οὖν ἐλέχθη ὅτι ἀρ χαὶ τἀναντία μόνον, ὕστερον δ' ὅτι ἀνάγκη καὶ ἄλλο τι ὑποκεῖσθαι καὶ εἶναι τρία· ἐκ δὲ τῶν νῦν φανερὸν τίς ἡ διαφορὰ τῶν ἐναντίων, καὶ πῶς ἔχουσιν αἱ ἀρχαὶ πρὸς ἀλλήλας, καὶ τί τὸ ὑποκείμενον. πότερον δὲ οὐσία τὸ εἶδος ἢ τὸ ὑποκείμενον, οὔπω δῆλον. ἀλλ' ὅτι αἱ ἀρχαὶ τρεῖς καὶ πῶς τρεῖς, καὶ τίς ὁ τρόπος αὐτῶν, δῆλον. πόσαι μὲν οὖν καὶ τίνες εἰσὶν αἱ ἀρχαί, ἐκ τούτων θεωρείσθωσαν. This then is one principle (though not one or existent in the same sense as the 'this'), and the definition was one as we agreed; then further there is its contrary, the privation. In what sense these are two, and in what sense more, has been stated above. Briefly, we explained first that only the contraries were principles, and later that a substratum was indispensable, and that the principles were three; our last statement has elucidated the difference between the contraries, the mutual relation of the principles, and the nature of the substratum. Whether the form or the substratum is the essential nature of a physical object is not yet clear. But that the principles are three, and in what sense, and the way in which each is a principle, is clear. So much then for the question of the number and the nature of the principles.
Postquam philosophus ostendit quod in quolibet fieri naturali tria inveniuntur, hic ex praemissis intendit ostendere quot sunt principia naturae. 110. After the Philosopher has shown that three things are found in every natural coming to be, he intends here to show from the foregoing how many principles of nature there are.
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo ostendit propositum; secundo recapitulando ostendit quae dicta sunt, et quae restant dicenda, ibi: primum quidem igitur dictum et cetera. Concerning this he makes two points. First he explains his position. Secondly, where he says, ‘Briefly, we explained ...’ (191 a 15 #119), in recapitulation he explains what has already been said and what remains to be said.
Circa primum duo facit: primo ostendit tria naturae principia; secundo notificat ea, ibi: subiecta autem natura et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he shows that there are three principles of nature. Secondly he names them, where he says, ‘The underlying nature ...’ (191 a 8 #118).
Circa primum tria facit: primo ostendit veritatem de principiis naturae; secundo ex veritate ostensa solvit praemissas de principiis dubitationes, ibi: unde est quod sicut duo etc.; tertio, quia ab antiquis dictum est quod principia sunt contraria, ostendit utrum semper requirantur contraria vel non, ibi: quot quidem igitur et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes three points. First he explains the truth about the first principles of nature. Secondly, where he says, ‘There is a sense ...’ (190 b 28 #114) from this disclosure of the truth he answers the problems about the principles which were raised above. Thirdly, since the ancients had said that the principles are contraries, he shows whether or not contraries are always required, where he says, ‘We have now stated ...’ (191 a 3 #115).
Circa primum duo facit: primo ostendit duo esse principia naturae per se; secundo ostendit tertium esse principium naturae per accidens, ibi: est autem subiectum et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he shows that there are two per se principles of nature. Secondly, where he says, ‘Now the subject ...’ (190 b 23 #112), he shows that the third principle is a per accidens principle of nature.
Circa primum utitur tali ratione. Illa dicuntur esse principia et causae rerum naturalium, ex quibus sunt et fiunt per se, et non secundum accidens; sed omne quod fit, est et fit ex subiecto et forma; ergo subiectum et forma sunt per se causae et principia omnis eius quod fit secundum naturam. 111. With reference to the first point he uses the following argument. Those things from which natural things are and come to be per se, and not per accidens, are said to be the principles and causes of natural things. Whatever comes to be exists and comes to be both from subject and from form. Therefore the subject and the form are per se causes and principles of everything which comes to be according to nature.
Quod autem id quod fit secundum naturam, fit ex subiecto et forma, probat hoc modo. Ea in quae resolvitur definitio alicuius rei, sunt componentia rem illam; quia unumquodque resolvitur in ea ex quibus componitur. Sed ratio eius quod fit secundum naturam, resolvitur in subiectum et formam: nam ratio hominis musici resolvitur in rationem hominis et in rationem musici; si quis enim velit definire hominem musicum, oportet quod assignet definitionem hominis et musici. Ergo id quod fit secundum naturam, est et fit ex subiecto et forma. That that which comes to be according to nature comes to be from subject and form he proves as follows. Those things into which the definition of a thing is resolved are the components of that thing, because each thing is resolved into the things of which it is composed. But the definition [ratio] of that which comes to be according to nature is resolved into subject and form. For the definition [ratio] of musical man is resolved into the definition [ratio] of man and the definition [ratio] of musical. For if anyone wishes to define musical man, he will have to give the definitions of man and musical. Therefore, that which comes to be according to nature both is and comes to be from subject and form.
Et notandum est quod hic intendit inquirere principia non solum fiendi, sed etiam essendi: unde signanter dicit ex quibus primis sunt et fiunt. Et dicit ex quibus primis, idest per se et non secundum accidens. Per se ergo principia omnis quod fit secundum naturam, sunt subiectum et forma. And it must be noted that he intends here to inquire not only into the principles of the coming to be but also into the principles of the being. Hence he says significantly that things both are and come to be from these first principles. And by ‘first principles’ he means per se and not per accidens principles. Therefore, the per se principles of everything which comes to be according to nature are subject and form.
Deinde cum dicit: est autem subiectum etc., addit tertium principium per accidens. Et dicit quod licet subiectum sit unum numero, tamen specie et ratione est duo, ut supra dictum est; quia homo et aurum et omnis materia numerum quendam habet. Est enim ibi considerare ipsum subiectum, quod est aliquid positive, ex quo fit aliquid per se et non per accidens, ut hoc quod est homo et aurum; et est ibi considerare id quod accidit ei, scilicet contrarietatem et privationem, ut immusicum et infiguratum. Tertium autem est species vel forma, sicut ordinatio est forma domus, vel musica hominis musici, vel aliquod aliorum quae hoc modo praedicantur. 112. Next where he says, ‘Now the subject ...’ (190 b 23), he adds the third per accidens principle. He says that although the subject is one in number, it is nevertheless two in species and nature [ratio], as was said above [L12 #104]. For man and gold and any matter has some sort of number. This is a consideration of the subject itself, such as man or gold, which is something positive, and from which something comes to be per se and not per accidens. It is another thing, however, to consider that which happens to the subject, i.e., contrariety and privation, such as to be unmusical and unshaped. The third principle, then, is a species or form, as order is the form of a house, or musical is the form of a musical man, or as any of the other things which are predicated in this way.
Sic igitur forma et subiectum sunt principia per se eius quod fit secundum naturam; sed privatio vel contrarium est principium per accidens, inquantum accidit subiecto; sicut dicimus quod aedificator est causa activa domus per se, sed musicum est causa activa domus per accidens, inquantum accidit aedificatori esse musicum. Et sic homo est causa per se, ut subiectum, hominis musici; sed non musicum est causa et principium eius per accidens. Therefore the subject and the form are per se principles of that which comes to be according to nature, but privation or the contrary is a per accidens principle, insofar as it happens to the subject. Thus we say that the builder is the per se active cause of the house, but the musician is a per accidens active cause of the house insofar as the builder also happens to be musical. Hence the man is the per se cause as subject of musical man, but the non-musical is a per accidens cause and principle.
Posset autem aliquis obiicere quod privatio non accidit subiecto quando est sub forma; et sic privatio non est principium essendi per accidens. 113. However someone may object that privation does not belong to a subject while it is under some form, and thus privation is not a per accidens principle of being.
Et ideo dicendum quod materia nunquam est sine privatione: quia quando habet unam formam, est cum privatione alterius formae. Et ideo dum est in fieri aliquid quod fit (ut homo musicus), in subiecto quando nondum habet formam, est privatio ipsius musicae; et ideo principium per accidens hominis musici in fieri est non musicum; hoc enim accidit homini dum fit musicus. Sed quando iam advenit ei haec forma, adiungitur ei privatio alterius formae; et sic privatio formae oppositae est principium per accidens in essendo. Hence it must be said that matter is never without privation. For when matter has one form, it is in privation of some other form. And so while it is coming to be that which it becomes (e.g., musical man), there is in the subject, which does not yet have the form, the privation of the musical itself. And so the per accidens principle of a musical man, while he is coming to be musical, is the non-musical. For he is a non-musical man while he is coming to be musical. But when this latter form has already come to him, then there is joined to him the privation of the other form. And thus the privation of the opposite form is a per accidens principle of being.
Patet ergo secundum intentionem Aristotelis quod privatio, quae ponitur principium naturae per accidens, non est aliqua aptitudo ad formam, vel inchoatio formae, vel aliquod principium imperfectum activum, ut quidam dicunt, sed ipsa carentia formae vel contrarium formae, quod subiecto accidit. It is clear, therefore, according to the opinion of Aristotle that privation, which is posited as a per accidens principle of nature, is not a capacity for a form, nor an inchoate form, nor some imperfect active principle, as some say. Rather it is the very absence of form, or the contrary of form, which occurs in the subject.
Deinde cum dicit: unde est etc., solvit secundum determinatam veritatem dubitationes omnes praecedentes. 114. Next where he says, ‘There is a sense...’ (190 b 28), he resolves, in the light of the truth already determined, all the preceding difficulties.
Et concludit ex praedictis quod quodammodo dicendum est esse duo principia, scilicet per se; et quodammodo tria, si coassumatur principium per accidens cum principiis per se. Et quodammodo sunt principia contraria, ut si aliquis accipiat musicum et non musicum, calidum et frigidum, consonans et inconsonans; et quodammodo principia non sunt contraria, scilicet si accipiantur sine subiecto; quia contraria non possunt pati ad invicem, nisi hoc solvatur per hoc, quod contrariis supponitur aliquod subiectum, ratione cuius ad invicem patiuntur. He concludes from the foregoing that in a certain respect it must be said that there are two principles, namely, the per se principles, and in another respect that there are three, if we accept along with the per se principles the per accidens principle. And in a certain respect the principles are contraries, if one takes the musical and the non-musical, the hot and the cold, the harmonious and the inharmonious. Yet in another respect the principles, if they are taken without the subject, are not contraries, for contraries cannot be acted upon by each other, unless it be held that some subject is supposed for the contraries by reason of which they are acted upon by one another.
Et sic concludit quod principia non sunt plura contrariorum, idest contrariis, hoc est quam contraria; sed sunt duo tantum per se. Sed nec totaliter duo, quia unum eorum secundum esse est alterum: subiectum enim secundum rationem est duo, sicut dictum est, et sic sunt tria principia: quia homo et non musicus, et aes et infiguratum differunt secundum rationem. And thus he concludes that the principles are not more than the contraries, for there are only two per se principles. But there are not just two principles, for one of them according to its being [esse] is other, for the subject according to nature [ratio] is two, as was said [L12 #104ff]. And thus there are three principles, because man and the non-musical, and bronze and the unshaped, differ according to nature [ratio].
Sic igitur patet quod priores sermones disputati ad utramque partem, fuerunt secundum aliquid veri, sed non totaliter. Therefore it is clear that the early opinions which argued for a part of the truth were in a certain respect true, but not altogether true.
Deinde cum dicit: quot quidem igitur etc., ostendit quomodo sunt duo contraria necessaria et quomodo non. 115. Next where he says, ‘We have now stated ...’ (191 a 3), he shows in what way two contraries are necessary, and in what way they are not necessary.
Et dicit manifestum esse ex dictis quot sunt principia circa generationem naturalium, et quomodo sint tot. Ostensum est enim quod oportet duo esse contraria, quorum unum est principium per se et alterum per accidens; et quod aliquid subiiciatur contrariis, quod est etiam principium per se. Sed aliquo modo alterum contrariorum non est necessarium ad generationem: sufficit enim alterum contrariorum quandoque facere mutationem absentia sua et praesentia. He says that from what has been said it is clear how many principles of the generation of natural things there are, and how it happens that there are this number. For it was shown that it is necessary that two of the principles be contraries, of which one is a per se principle and the other a per accidens principle, and that something be the subject of the contraries, which is also a per se principle. But in a certain respect one of the contraries is not necessary for generation, for at times it is sufficient if one of the contraries bring about the change by its absence and its presence.
Ad cuius evidentiam sciendum est quod, sicut in quinto huius dicetur, tres sunt species mutationis, scilicet generatio et corruptio et motus. Quorum haec est differentia, quia motus est de uno affirmato in aliud affirmatum, sicut de albo in nigrum; generatio autem est de negato in affirmatum, sicut de non albo in album, vel de non homine in hominem; corruptio autem est de affirmato in negatum, sicut de albo in non album, vel de homine in non hominem. Sic igitur patet quod in motu requiruntur duo contraria et unum subiectum. 116. As evidence of this we must note that, as will be said in Book V [L2 #649ff], there are three species of mutation, namely, generation and corruption and motion. The difference among these is as follows. Motion is from one positive state to another positive state, as from white to black. Generation, however, is from the negative to the positive, as from the non-white to the white, or from non-man to man. Corruption, on the other hand, is from the positive to the negative, as from the white to the non-white, or from man to non-man. Therefore, it is clear that in motion two contraries and one subject are required. But in generation and corruption there is required the presence of one contrary and its absence, which is privation.
Sed in generatione et corruptione requiritur praesentia unius contrarii et absentia eius, quae est privatio. Generatio autem et corruptio salvantur in motu: nam quod movetur de albo in nigrum, corrumpitur album et fit nigrum. Sic igitur in omni mutatione naturali requiritur subiectum et forma et privatio. Non autem ratio motus salvatur in omni generatione et corruptione, sicut patet in generatione et corruptione substantiarum. Unde subiectum et forma et privatio salvantur in omni mutatione; non autem subiectum et duo contraria. Generation and corruption, however, are found in motion. For when something is moved from white to black, white is corrupted and black comes to be. Therefore in every natural mutation subject and form and privation are required. However, the nature [ratio] of motion is not found in every generation and corruption, as is clear in the generation and corruption of substances. Hence subject and form and privation are found in every mutation, but not a subject and two contraries.
Haec etiam oppositio invenitur in substantiis, quae est primum genus, non autem oppositio contrarietatis: nam formae substantiales non sunt contrariae, licet differentiae in genere substantiae contrariae sint, secundum quod una accipitur cum privatione alterius, sicut patet de animato et inanimato. 117. This opposition is also found in substances, which are the first genus. This, however, is not the opposition of contrariety. For substantial forms are not contraries, even though differentiae in the genus of substance are contrary insofar as one is received along with the privation of the other, as is clear in the animate and the inanimate.
118. Next where he says, ‘The underlying nature ...’ (191 a 8), he clarifies the above-mentioned principles.
Deinde cum dicit: subiecta autem natura etc., manifestat praemissa principia. Et dicit quod natura quae primo subiicitur mutationi, idest materia prima, non potest sciri per seipsam, cum omne quod cognoscitur, cognoscatur per suam formam; materia autem prima consideratur subiecta omni formae. Sed scitur secundum analogiam, idest secundum proportionem. Sic enim cognoscimus quod lignum est aliquid praeter formam scamni et lecti, quia quandoque est sub una forma, quandoque sub alia. Cum igitur videamus hoc quod est aer quandoque fieri aquam, oportet dicere quod aliquid existens sub forma aeris, quandoque sit sub forma aquae: et sic illud est aliquid praeter formam aquae et praeter formam aeris, sicut lignum est aliquid praeter formam scamni et praeter formam lecti. Quod igitur sic se habet ad ipsas substantias naturales, sicut se habet aes ad statuam et lignum ad lectum, et quodlibet materiale et informe ad formam, hoc dicimus esse materiam primam. He says that the nature which is first subject to mutation, i.e., primary matter, cannot be known of itself, since everything which is known is known through its form. Primary matter is, moreover, considered to be the subject of every form. But it is known by analogy, that is, according to proportion. For we know that wood is other than the form of a bench and a bed, for sometimes it underlies the one form, at other times the other. When, therefore, we see that air at times becomes water, it is necessary to say that there is something which sometimes exists under the form of air, and at other times under the form of water. And thus this something is other than the form of water and other than the form of air, as wood is something other than the form of a bench and other than the form of bed. This ‘something’, then, is related to these natural substances as bronze is related to the statue, and wood to the bed, and anything material and unformed to form. And this is called primary matter.
Hoc igitur est unum principium naturae: quod non sic unum est sicut hoc aliquid, hoc est sicut aliquod individuum demonstratum, ita quod habeat formam et unitatem in actu; sed dicitur ens et unum inquantum est in potentia ad formam. Aliud autem principium est ratio vel forma: tertium autem est privatio, quae contrariatur formae. Et quomodo ista principia sint duo et quomodo tria, dictum est prius. This, then, is one principle of nature. It is not one as a ‘this something’, that is, as some determinate individual, as though it had form and unity in act, but is rather called being and one insofar as it is in potency to form. The other principle, then, is the nature [ratio) or form, and the third is privation, which is contrary to the form. And how these principles are two and how they are three was explained above.’
Deinde cum dicit: primum quidem igitur etc., resumit quae dicta sunt, et ostendit quae restant dicenda. 119. Next where he says, ‘Briefly, we explained ...’ (191 a 15), he gives a résumé of what has been said, and points out what remains to be said.
Dicit ergo quod prius dictum est quod contraria sunt principia, et postea quod eis aliquid subiicitur; et sic sunt tria principia. Et ex his quae nunc dicta sunt, manifestum est quae differentia sit inter contraria: quia unum est principium per se, et aliud per accidens. Et iterum dictum est quomodo principia se habeant ad invicem: quia subiectum et contrarium sunt unum numero et duo ratione. Et iterum dictum est quid est subiectum, secundum quod manifestari potuit. Sed nondum dictum est quid sit magis substantia, utrum forma vel materia: hoc enim dicetur in principio secundi. Sed dictum est quod principia sunt tria, et quomodo, et quis est modus ipsorum. Et ultimo concludit principale intentum, scilicet quod manifestum est quot sunt principia et quae sint. He says, therefore, that it was said first that the contraries are principles, and afterwards that something is subjected to them, and thus there are three principles. And from what was said just now it is clear what the difference is between the contraries: one of them is a per se principle, and the other a per accidens principle. And then it was pointed out how the principles are related to each other, since the subject and the contrary are one in number yet two in nature [ratio]. Then it was pointed out what the subject is insofar as this could be made clear. But it has not yet been decided which is the greater substance, form or matter, for this will be explained at the beginning of Book II [L2 #153]. But it has been explained that the principles are three in number, how they are principles, and in what way. And he finally draws the conclusion he had uppermost in mind, namely, that it is clear how many principles there are and what they are.

Lectio 14 (191 a 23-b 34)
Chapter 8
Ὅτι δὲ μοναχῶς οὕτω λύεται καὶ ἡ τῶν ἀρχαίων ἀπορία, λέγωμεν μετὰ ταῦτα. ζητοῦντες γὰρ οἱ κατὰ φιλοσοφίαν πρῶτοι τὴν ἀλήθειαν καὶ τὴν φύσιν τῶν ὄντων ἐξετράπησαν οἷον ὁδόν τινα ἄλλην ἀπωσθέντες ὑπὸ ἀπειρίας, καί φασιν οὔτε γίγνεσθαι τῶν ὄντων οὐδὲν οὔτε φθείρεσθαι διὰ τὸ ἀναγκαῖον μὲν εἶναι γίγνεσθαι τὸ γιγνόμενον ἢ ἐξ ὄντος ἢ ἐκ μὴ ὄντος, ἐκ δὲ τούτων ἀμφοτέρων ἀδύνατον εἶναι· οὔτε γὰρ τὸ ὂν γίγνεσθαι (εἶναι γὰρ ἤδη) ἔκ τε μὴ ὄντος οὐδὲν ἂν γενέσθαι· ὑποκεῖσθαι γάρ τι δεῖν. καὶ οὕτω δὴ τὸ ἐφεξῆς συμβαῖνον αὔξοντες οὐδ' εἶναι πολλά φασιν ἀλλὰ μόνον αὐτὸ τὸ ὄν. ἐκεῖνοι μὲν οὖν ταύτην ἔλαβον τὴν δόξαν διὰ τὰ εἰρημένα· We will now proceed to show that the difficulty of the early thinkers, as well as our own, is solved in this way alone. The first of those who studied science were misled in their search for truth and the nature of things by their inexperience, which as it were thrust them into another path. So they say that none of the things that are either comes to be or passes out of existence, because what comes to be must do so either from what is or from what is not, both of which are impossible. For what is cannot come to be (because it is already), and from what is not nothing could have come to be (because something must be present as a substratum). So too they exaggerated the consequence of this, and went so far as to deny even the existence of a plurality of things, maintaining that only Being itself is. Such then was their opinion, and such the reason for its adoption.
ἡμεῖς δὲ λέγομεν ὅτι τὸ ἐξ ὄντος ἢ μὴ ὄντος γίγνεσθαι, ἢ τὸ μὴ ὂν ἢ τὸ ὂν ποιεῖν τι ἢ πάσχειν ἢ ὁτιοῦν τόδε γίγνεσθαι, ἕνα μὲν τρόπον οὐθὲν (191b.)διαφέρει ἢ τὸ τὸν ἰατρὸν ποιεῖν τι ἢ πάσχειν ἢ ἐξ ἰατροῦ εἶναί τι ἢ γίγνεσθαι, ὥστ' ἐπειδὴ τοῦτο διχῶς λέγεται, δῆλον ὅτι καὶ τὸ ἐξ ὄντος καὶ τὸ ὂν ἢ ποιεῖν ἢ πάσχειν. οἰκοδομεῖ μὲν οὖν ὁ ἰατρὸς οὐχ ᾗ ἰατρὸς ἀλλ' ᾗ οἰκοδόμος, καὶ λευκὸς γίγνεται οὐχ ᾗ ἰατρὸς ἀλλ' ᾗ μέλας· ἰατρεύει δὲ καὶ ἀνίατρος γίγνεται ᾗ ἰατρός. ἐπεὶ δὲ μάλιστα λέγομεν κυρίως τὸν ἰατρὸν ποιεῖν τι ἢ πάσχειν ἢ γίγνεσθαι ἐξ ἰατροῦ, ἐὰν ᾗ ἰατρὸς ταῦτα πάσχῃ ἢ ποιῇ ἢ γίγνηται, δῆλον ὅτι καὶ τὸ ἐκ μὴ ὄντος γίγνεσθαι τοῦτο σημαίνει, τὸ ᾗ μὴ ὄν. ὅπερ ἐκεῖνοι μὲν οὐ διελόντες ἀπέστησαν, καὶ διὰ ταύτην τὴν ἄγνοιαν τοσοῦτον προσηγνόησαν, ὥστε μηθὲν οἴεσθαι γίγνεσθαι μηδ' εἶναι τῶν ἄλλων, ἀλλ' ἀνελεῖν πᾶσαν τὴν γένεσιν· ἡμεῖς δὲ καὶ αὐτοί φαμεν γίγνεσθαι μὲν μηθὲν ἁπλῶς ἐκ μὴ ὄντος, πὼς μέντοι γίγνεσθαι ἐκ μὴ ὄντος, οἷον κατὰ συμβεβηκός (ἐκ γὰρ τῆς στερήσεως, ὅ ἐστι καθ' αὑτὸ μὴ ὄν, οὐκ ἐνυπάρχοντος γίγνεταί τι· θαυμάζεται δὲ τοῦτο καὶ ἀδύνατον οὕτω δοκεῖ γίγνεσθαί τι, ἐκ μὴ ὄντος)· ὡσαύτως δὲ οὐδ' ἐξ ὄντος οὐδὲ τὸ ὂν γίγνεσθαι, πλὴν κατὰ συμβεβηκός· οὕτω δὲ καὶ τοῦτο γίγνεσθαι, τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον οἷον εἰ ἐκ ζῴου ζῷον γίγνοιτο καὶ ἐκ τινὸς ζῴου τι ζῷον· οἷον εἰ κύων <ἐκ κυνὸς ἢ ἵππος> ἐξ ἵππου γίγνοιτο. γίγνοιτο μὲν γὰρ ἂν οὐ μόνον ἐκ τινὸς ζῴου ὁ κύων, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐκ ζῴου, ἀλλ' οὐχ ᾗ ζῷον· ὑπάρχει γὰρ ἤδη τοῦτο· εἰ δέ τι μέλλει γίγνεσθαι ζῷον μὴ κατὰ συμβεβηκός, οὐκ ἐκ ζῴου ἔσται, καὶ εἴ τι ὄν, οὐκ ἐξ ὄντος· οὐδ' ἐκ μὴ ὄντος· τὸ γὰρ ἐκ μὴ ὄντος εἴρηται ἡμῖν τί σημαίνει, ὅτι ᾗ μὴ ὄν. ἔτι δὲ καὶ τὸ εἶναι ἅπαν ἢ μὴ εἶναι οὐκ ἀναιροῦμεν. εἷς μὲν δὴ τρόπος οὗτος, Our explanation on the other hand is that the phrases 'something comes to be from what is or from what is not', 'what is not or what is does something or has something done to it or becomes some particular thing', are to be taken (in the first way of putting our explanation) in the same sense as 'a doctor does something or has something done to him', 'is or becomes something from being a doctor.' These expressions may be taken in two senses, and so too, clearly, may 'from being', and 'being acts or is acted on'. A doctor builds a house, not qua doctor, but qua housebuilder, and turns gray, not qua doctor, but qua dark-haired. On the other hand he doctors or fails to doctor qua doctor. But we are using words most appropriately when we say that a doctor does something or undergoes something, or becomes something from being a doctor, if he does, undergoes, or becomes qua doctor. Clearly then also 'to come to be so-and-so from not-being' means 'qua not-being'. It was through failure to make this distinction that those thinkers gave the matter up, and through this error that they went so much farther astray as to suppose that nothing else comes to be or exists apart from Being itself, thus doing away with all becoming. We ourselves are in agreement with them in holding that nothing can be said without qualification to come from what is not. But nevertheless we maintain that a thing may 'come to be from what is not'—that is, in a qualified sense. For a thing comes to be from the privation, which in its own nature is not-being,—this not surviving as a constituent of the result. Yet this causes surprise, and it is thought impossible that something should come to be in the way described from what is not. In the same way we maintain that nothing comes to be from being, and that being does not come to be except in a qualified sense. In that way, however, it does, just as animal might come to be from animal, and an animal of a certain kind from an animal of a certain kind. Thus, suppose a dog to come to be from a horse. The dog would then, it is true, come to be from animal (as well as from an animal of a certain kind) but not as animal, for that is already there. But if anything is to become an animal, not in a qualified sense, it will not be from animal: and if being, not from being—nor from not-being either, for it has been explained that by 'from not being' we mean from not-being qua not-being. Note further that we do not subvert the principle that everything either is or is not. This then is one way of solving the difficulty.
ἄλλος δ' ὅτι ἐνδέχεται ταὐτὰ λέγειν κατὰ τὴν δύναμιν καὶ τὴν ἐνέργειαν· τοῦτο δ' ἐν ἄλλοις διώρισται δι' ἀκριβείας μᾶλλον. Another consists in pointing out that the same things can be explained in terms of potentiality and actuality. But this has been done with greater precision elsewhere.
ὥσθ' (ὅπερ ἐλέγομεν) αἱ ἀπορίαι λύονται δι' ἃς ἀναγκα ζόμενοι ἀναιροῦσι τῶν εἰρημένων ἔνια· διὰ γὰρ τοῦτο τοσοῦτον καὶ οἱ πρότερον ἐξετράπησαν τῆς ὁδοῦ τῆς ἐπὶ τὴν γένεσιν καὶ φθορὰν καὶ ὅλως μεταβολήν· αὕτη γὰρ ἂν ὀφθεῖσα ἡ φύσις ἅπασαν ἔλυσεν αὐτῶν τὴν ἄγνοιαν. So, as we said, the difficulties which constrain people to deny the existence of some of the things we mentioned are now solved. For it was this reason which also caused some of the earlier thinkers to turn so far aside from the road which leads to coming to be and passing away and change generally. If they had come in sight of this nature, all their ignorance would have been dispelled.
Postquam philosophus determinavit veritatem de principiis naturae, hic excludit antiquorum dubitationes per ea quae determinata sunt de principiis. 120. Having determined the truth about the principles of nature, the Philosopher here excludes certain difficulties of the ancients by means of what has been determined about the principles.
Et primo dubitationes seu errores qui provenerunt ex ignorantia materiae; secundo dubitationes seu errores qui provenerunt ex ignorantia privationis, ibi: tangentes quidem igitur etc.; tertio reservat alteri scientiae dubitationes quae accidunt circa formam, ibi: de principio autem secundum speciem et cetera. He considers first the problems or errors which stem from an ignorance of matter, and secondly, where he says, ‘Others indeed ...’ (191 b 35; L15 #129), the problems or errors which stem from an ignorance of privation. Thirdly, where he says, ‘The accurate determination ...’ (192 a 34; L15 #140), he reserves for another science the problems which arise with reference to form.
Circa primum duo facit: primo ponit dubitationem et errorem in quem antiqui inciderunt ex ignorantia materiae; secundo solvit eorum dubitationem per ea quae sunt determinata, ibi: nos autem dicimus et cetera. Concerning the first part he makes two points. First he states the problem and the error into which the ancients fell through their ignorance of matter. Secondly, where he says, ‘Our explanation ...’ (191 a 33 #122) he answers their difficulty by means of those things which have already been determined.
Dicit ergo primo quod post determinatam veritatem de principiis, dicendum est quod solum ista via omnis defectus, idest dubitatio, antiquorum solvitur. Et hoc est signum esse verum quod de principiis dictum est: nam veritas excludit omnem falsitatem et dubitationem; sed posito quocumque falso, oportet aliquam difficultatem remanere. 121. He says, therefore, first that, after determining the truth about the principles, it must be pointed out that only in this way is every difficulty of the ancients solved. And this is an indication that what has been said about the principles is true. For truth excludes every falsehood and difficulty. But given a position which is in some way false, some difficulty must remain.
Dubitatio autem et error antiquorum philosophorum hic fuit. Primi qui secundum philosophiam inquisierunt veritatem et naturam rerum, diverterunt in quandam aliam viam a via veritatis et a via naturali: quod accidit eis propter infirmitatem intellectus eorum. Dixerunt enim quod nihil neque generatur neque corrumpitur: quod est et contra veritatem et contra naturam. Now the problem and error of the ancient philosophers was this. The first ones who philosophically sought the truth and the nature of things were diverted into a path other than the way of truth and the way of nature. This happened to them because of the weakness of their understanding. For they said that nothing is either generated or corrupted. This is contrary to truth and contrary to nature.
Et ad hoc ponendum eos infirmitas intellectus coegit; quia nescierunt hanc rationem solvere, per quam videbatur probari quod ens non generatur. Quia si ens fit, aut fit ex ente aut ex non ente: et utrumque horum videtur esse impossibile, scilicet quod ens fiat ex ente et quod fiat ex non ente. Quod enim ex ente aliquid fieri sit impossibile, ex hoc manifestum est, quia id quod est non fit; nihil enim est antequam fiat: et ens iam est; ergo non fit. Quod etiam ex non ente aliquid fieri sit impossibile, ex hoc manifestum est, quia semper oportet aliquid subiici ei quod fit, ut supra ostensum est, et ex nihilo nihil fit. Et ex hoc concludebatur quod entis non erat generatio neque corruptio. The weakness of their understanding forced them to hold this position because they did not know how to resolve the following argument, according to which it seemed to be proven that being is not generated. If being comes to be, it comes to be either from being or from non-being. And each of these seems to be impossible, i.e., that being comes to be from being or that it comes to be from non-being. It is clearly impossible for something to come to be from being, because that which is does not come to be, for nothing is before it comes to be. And being already is, hence it does not come to be. It is also clearly impossible for something to come to be from non-being. For it is always necessary that there be a subject for that which comes to be, as was shown above [L12 #107]. From nothing, nothing comes to be. And from this it was concluded that there is neither generation nor corruption of being.
Et ulterius in hoc argumentantes augebant suam positionem, ut dicerent quod non essent multa entia, sed unum ens tantum. Et hoc dicebant propter rationem praedictam. Cum enim ponerent unum esse materiale principium, et ex illo nihil dicerent causari secundum generationem et corruptionem, sed solum secundum alterationem, sequebatur quod id remaneret semper unum secundum substantiam. And those who argued in this fashion exaggerated their position to the point where they said that there are not many beings, but only one being. And they said this for the reason already given. Since they held that there is only one material principle, and since they said that nothing is caused from that one principle by way of generation and corruption, but only by way of alteration, then it follows that it would always be one according to substance.
Deinde cum dicit: nos autem dicimus etc., solvit praedictam obiectionem. Et circa hoc duo facit: primo solvit dupliciter praedictam obiectionem; secundo concludit principale propositum, ibi: quare secundum quod vere et cetera. 122. Next where he says, ‘Our explanation...’ (191 a 33), he answers the objection just mentioned. Concerning this he makes two points. First, he answers the aforesaid objection in two ways. Secondly, where he says, ‘So as we said ...’ (191 b 30 #128), he draws the conclusion which he has uppermost in mind.
Prima dividitur in duas secundum duas solutiones quas ponit; secunda ibi: alius autem quoniam et cetera. The first point is divided into two parts according to the two solutions given, the second of which is found where he says, ‘Another consists in ...’ (191 b 28 #127).
Dicit ergo primo quod, quantum ad modum loquendi, non differt dicere quod aliquid fit ex ente vel ex non ente, vel quod ens aut non ens faciat aliquid aut patiatur, sive de quocumque alio; et dicere huiusmodi propositiones de medico, scilicet quod medicus faciat aliquid aut patiatur, vel quod ex medico sit aliquid aut fiat. 123. He says, therefore, first that as far as the mode of speaking is concerned, it makes no difference whether we say that something comes to be from being or from non-being, or that being or non-being does something or is acted upon, or anything else, or whether we say this same sort of thing about a doctor; namely, that the doctor does something or is acted upon, or that something is or comes to be from the doctor.
Sed dicere quod medicus faciat aliquid aut patiatur, vel quod ex medico fiat aliquid, duplicem habet intellectum: ergo dicere quod ex ente aut ex non ente fiat aliquid, aut quod ens aut non ens faciat aliquid aut patiatur, duplicem habet intellectum. Et similiter est in quibuscumque aliis terminis ponatur; puta si dicatur quod ex albo fiat aliquid, aut quod album faciat aliquid aut patiatur. But to say that the doctor does something or is acted upon, or that something comes to be from the doctor, has two meanings. Therefore, to say that something comes to be from being or from non-being, or that being or non-being makes something, or is acted upon, has two meanings. And the same is true regardless of the terms which are used; e.g., it might be said that something comes to be from white, or that the white does something or is acted upon.
Quod autem duplicem habeat intellectum, cum dicitur quod medicus aliquid facit aut patiatur, aut quod ex medico fit aliquid, sic manifestat. That there is a twofold meaning when we use expressions such as the doctor does something or is acted upon, or that something comes to be from the doctor, he shows as follows.
Dicimus enim quod medicus aedificat: sed hoc non facit inquantum est medicus, sed inquantum est aedificator: et similiter dicimus quod medicus fit albus, sed non inquantum est medicus, sed inquantum est niger. Alio modo dicimus quod medicus medicatur inquantum est medicus; et similiter quod medicus fit non medicus inquantum est medicus. Sed tunc dicimus proprie et per se medicum aliquid facere vel pati, vel ex medico aliquid fieri, quando hoc attribuitur medico inquantum est medicus: per accidens autem quando attribuitur ei, non inquantum est medicus, sed inquantum est aliquid aliud. Sic igitur patet quod cum dicitur medicum facere aliquid aut pati, vel ex medico fieri aliquid, dupliciter intelligitur, scilicet per se et per accidens. We say that a doctor builds. But he does not do this insofar as he is a doctor, but insofar as he is a builder. And in like manner we say that the doctor becomes white, but not insofar as he is a doctor, but insofar as he is black. However in another sense we say that the doctor heals insofar as he is doctor, and in like manner that the doctor becomes a non-doctor insofar as he is a doctor. Thus we say properly and per se that the doctor does something or is acted upon, or that something comes to be from the doctor, when we attribute this to the doctor insofar as he is a doctor. But when something is attributed to him per accidens, it is not insofar as he is a doctor, but insofar as he is something else. Therefore, it is clear that when it is said that the doctor does something or is acted upon, or that something comes to be from doctor, this has two meanings, i.e., per se and per accidens.
Unde manifestum est quod cum dicitur aliquid fieri ex non ente, proprie et per se hoc intelligitur si fiat aliquid ex non ente inquantum est non ens: et similis ratio est de ente. Whence it is clear that when it is said that a thing comes to be from non-being, this is to be understood properly and per se if that thing should come to be from non-being insofar as it is non-being. And same argument applies to being.
Et hanc distinctionem antiqui non percipientes, in tantum peccaverunt, quod nihil opinati sunt fieri; nec opinati sunt quod aliquod aliorum praeter id quod ponebant primum principium materiale, haberet esse substantiale. Puta, dicentes aerem esse primum materiale principium, dicebant omnia alia significare quoddam esse accidentale; et sic excludebant omnem generationem substantialem, solam alterationem relinquentes: ex eo scilicet quod, quia non fit aliquid per se vel ex non ente vel ex ente, opinabantur quod nihil possit fieri ex ente vel non ente. But the ancients, failing to perceive this distinction, erred insofar as they thought that nothing comes to be. And they did not think that anything other than their first material principle had substantial existence. For example, those who said that air is the first material principle held that all other things signify a certain accidental existence. Thus they excluded every substantial generation, retaining only alteration. Because of the fact that nothing comes to be per se either from non-being or from being, they thought that it would not be possible for anything to come to be from being or non-being.
Sed nos etiam ipsi dicimus quod ex non ente nihil fit simpliciter et per se, sed solum secundum accidens: quia quod est, idest ens, per se quidem non est ex privatione. Et hoc ideo, quia privatio non intrat essentiam rei factae; ex hoc autem aliquid fit per se, quod inest rei postquam iam facta est; sicut figuratum fit ex infigurato non per se, sed per accidens, quia postquam iam est figuratum, infiguratum non inest ei. Sed iste est mirabilis modus fiendi aliquid ex non ente, et qui videbatur impossibilis antiquis philosophis. Sic igitur patet quod ex non ente fit aliquid non per se, sed per accidens. 124. And we also say that nothing comes to be from non-being simply and per se, but only per accidens. For that which is, i.e., being, is not from privation per se. And this is so because privation does not enter into the essence of the thing made. Rather a thing comes to be per se from that which is in the thing after it has already been made. Thus the shaped comes to be from. the unshaped, not per se, but per accidens, because once it already has been shaped, the unshaped is not in it. But this is a remarkable way for a thing to come to be from non-being, and seemed impossible to the ancient philosophers. Therefore, it is clear that a thing comes to be from non-being not per se but per accidens.
Similiter si quaeratur utrum ex ente fiat aliquid, dicendum est quod ex ente fit aliquid per accidens, sed non per se. Et hoc manifestat per tale exemplum. 125. In like manner, if it is asked whether a thing comes to be from being, we must say that a thing comes to be from being per accidens, but not per se. He shows this by the following example.
Ponamus enim quod ex equo generetur aliquis canis: quo posito, manifestum est quod ex quodam animali fiat quoddam animal; et sic ex animali fiet animal. Non tamen fiet animal ex animali per se, sed per accidens: non enim fit inquantum est animal, sed inquantum est hoc animal; quia animal iam est antequam fiat canis, quia est equus, sed non est hoc animal quod est canis. Unde per se hoc animal quod est canis, fit ex non hoc animali, idest ex non cane. Sed si fieret animal per se et non per accidens, oporteret quod fieret ex non animali. Let us suppose that a dog is generated from a horse. Granting this, it is clear that a certain animal comes to be from a certain animal, and thus animal would come to be from animal. However, animal would not come to be from animal per se, but per accidens. For it does not come to be insofar as it is animal, but insofar as it is this animal. For animal already is before the dog comes to be. For the horse already is, but is not a dog. Hence the dog comes to be per se from that which is not a dog. And if animal were to come to be per se, and not per accidens, it would be necessary for it to come to be from non-animal.
Sic etiam est de ente: fit enim ens aliquod ex non ente hoc, sed accidit ei quod non est hoc quod fit ens. Unde non fit aliquid per se ex ente, neque per se ex non ente: hoc enim per se significat aliquid fieri ex non ente, si fiat ex non ente inquantum est non ens, ut dictum est. Et sicut cum hoc animal fit ex hoc animali, vel hoc corpus ex hoc corpore, non removetur omne corpus nec omne non corpus, nec omne animal vel non animal, ab eo ex quo aliquid fit; sic non removetur ab eo ex quo fit hoc ens, neque omne esse neque omne non esse: quia id ex quo fit hoc ens quod est ignis, habet aliquod esse, quia est aer, et aliquod non esse, quia non est ignis. And the same is true of being. For a being comes to be from that non-being which is not that which the being comes to be. Hence a thing does not come to be per se from being or per se from non-being. For this expression per se signifies that a thing comes to be from non-being in the sense that it comes to be from non-being insofar as it is non-being, as was said [#123]. And thus when this animal comes to be from this animal, or when this body comes to be from this body, not all animal or non-animal, nor all body or non-body, is removed from that from which the thing comes to be. And likewise not all being [esse] nor all non-being [non-esse] is removed from that from which this being comes to be. For ,that from which fire comes to be has some being, because it is air, and, also has some non-being, because it is not fire.
Iste est igitur unus modus solvendi praedictam dubitationem. Sed iste modus solvendi insufficiens est: si enim ens fit per accidens et ex ente et ex non ente, oportet ponere aliquid ex quo fiat ens per se; quia omne quod est per accidens, reducitur ad id quod est per se. 126. This, then, is one way of resolving the problem raised above. But this approach is not sufficient. For if being comes to be per accidens both from being and from non-being, it is necessary to posit something from which being comes to be per se. For every thing which is per accidens is reduced to that which is per se.
Ad ostendendum igitur ex quo fit aliquid per se, subiungit secundum modum, ibi: alius autem quoniam et cetera. 127. In order to designate that from which a thing comes to be per se, he adds a second approach where he says, ‘Another consists...’ (191 b 28).
Et dicit quod contingit aliqua eadem dicere et secundum potentiam et secundum actum, ut certius determinatum est in aliis, scilicet in IX Metaphys. Ex ente igitur in potentia fit aliquid per se; ex ente autem in actu, vel ex non ente, fit aliquid per accidens. He says that the same thing can be explained in terms of potency and act, as is clearly indicated in another place, i.e., in Metaphysics, IX:1. Thus a thing comes to be per se from being in potency; but a thing comes to be per accidens from being in act or from non-being.
Hoc autem dicit quia materia, quae est ens in potentia, est id ex quo fit aliquid per se: haec est enim quae intrat substantiam rei factae. Sed ex privatione vel forma praecedente fit aliquid per accidens, inquantum materiae ex qua fit aliquid per se, conveniebat esse sub tali forma vel sub tali privatione; sicut statua ex aere fit per se, sed ex non habente talem figuram et ex habente aliam figuram, fit statua per accidens. He says this because matter, which is being in potency, is that from which a thing comes to be per se. For matter enters into the substance of the thing which is made. But from privation or from the preceding form, a thing comes to be per accidens insofar as the matter, from which the thing comes to be per se, happened to be under such a form or under such a privation. Thus a statue comes to be per se from bronze; but the statue comes to be per accidens both from that which does not have such a shape and from that which has another shape.
Ultimo concludit principale propositum, ibi: quare secundum quod vere dicimus etc.: dicens quod sicut vere dicimus, omnes defectus, idest dubitationes, solvuntur propter praedicta. Ex quibus dubitationibus coacti, aliqui antiqui removerunt quaedam praedictorum, scilicet generationem et corruptionem, et pluralitatem rerum substantialiter differentium. Sed haec natura manifestata, scilicet materia, solvit omnem illorum ignorantiam. 128. Finally, where he says, ‘So as we said ...’ (191 b 30), he draws the conclusion which he had uppermost in mind. He says that we can truly say that all the difficulties are answered by what has been said above. Driven on by certain difficulties, some of the ancients denied some of the things mentioned above, i.e., generation and corruption, and a plurality of substantially different things. But once matter is understood, all of their ignorance is removed.

Lectio 15 (191 b 35-192 b 5)
Chapter 4
Ἡμμένοι μὲν οὖν καὶ ἕτεροί τινές εἰσιν αὐτῆς, ἀλλ' οὐχ ἱκανῶς. πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ ὁμολογοῦσιν ἁπλῶς γίγνεσθαί τι ἐκ μὴ (192a.) ὄντος, ᾗ Παρμενίδην ὀρθῶς λέγειν· εἶτα φαίνεται αὐτοῖς, εἴπερ ἐστὶν ἀριθμῷ μία, καὶ δυνάμει μία μόνον εἶναι. Others, indeed, have apprehended the nature in question, but not adequately. In the first place they allow that a thing may come to be without qualification from not being, accepting on this point the statement of Parmenides. Secondly, they think that if the substratum is one numerically, it must have also only a single potentiality
τοῦτο δὲ διαφέρει πλεῖστον. ἡμεῖς μὲν γὰρ ὕλην καὶ στέρησιν ἕτερόν φαμεν εἶναι, καὶ τούτων τὸ μὲν οὐκ ὂν εἶναι κατὰ συμβεβηκός, τὴν ὕλην, τὴν δὲ στέρησιν καθ' αὑτήν, καὶ τὴν μὲν ἐγγὺς καὶ οὐσίαν πως, τὴν ὕλην, τὴν δὲ οὐδαμῶς· —which is a very different thing. Now we distinguish matter and privation, and hold that one of these, namely the matter, is not-being only in virtue of an attribute which it has, while the privation in its own nature is not-being; and that the matter is nearly, in a sense is, substance, while the privation in no sense is.
οἱ δὲ τὸ μὴ ὂν τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρὸν ὁμοίως, ἢ τὸ συναμφότερον ἢ τὸ χωρὶς ἑκάτερον. ὥστε παντελῶς ἕτερος ὁ τρόπος οὗτος τῆς τριάδος κἀκεῖνος. μέχρι μὲν γὰρ δεῦρο προῆλθον, ὅτι δεῖ τινὰ ὑποκεῖσθαι φύσιν, ταύτην μέντοι μίαν ποιοῦσιν· καὶ γὰρ εἴ τις δυάδα ποιεῖ, λέγων μέγα καὶ μικρὸν αὐτήν, οὐθὲν ἧττον ταὐτὸ ποιεῖ· τὴν γὰρ ἑτέραν παρεῖδεν. They, on the other hand, identify their Great and Small alike with not being, and that whether they are taken together as one or separately. Their triad is therefore of quite a different kind from ours. For they got so far as to see that there must be some underlying nature, but they make it one—for even if one philosopher makes a dyad of it, which he calls Great and Small, the effect is the same, for he overlooked the other nature.
ἡ μὲν γὰρ ὑπομένουσα συναιτία τῇ μορφῇ τῶν γιγνομένων ἐστίν, ὥσπερ μήτηρ· ἡ δ' ἑτέρα μοῖρα τῆς ἐναντιώσεως πολλάκις ἂν φαντασθείη τῷ πρὸς τὸ κακοποιὸν αὐτῆς ἀτενίζοντι τὴν διάνοιαν οὐδ' εἶναι τὸ παράπαν. ὄντος γάρ τινος θείου καὶ ἀγαθοῦ καὶ ἐφετοῦ, τὸ μὲν ἐναντίον αὐτῷ φαμεν εἶναι, For the one which persists is a joint cause, with the form, of what comes to be—a mother, as it were. But the negative part of the contrariety may often seem, if you concentrate your attention on it as an evil agent, not to exist at all. For admitting with them that there is something divine, good, and desirable, we hold that there are two other principles, the one contrary to it,
τὸ δὲ ὃ πέφυκεν ἐφίεσθαι καὶ ὀρέγεσθαι αὐτοῦ κατὰ τὴν αὑτοῦ φύσιν. τοῖς δὲ συμβαίνει τὸ ἐναντίον ὀρέγεσθαι τῆς αὑτοῦ φθορᾶς. καίτοι οὔτε αὐτὸ αὑτοῦ οἷόν τε ἐφίεσθαι τὸ εἶδος διὰ τὸ μὴ εἶναι ἐνδεές, οὔτε τὸ ἐναντίον (φθαρτικὰ γὰρ ἀλλήλων τὰ ἐναντία), ἀλλὰ τοῦτ' ἔστιν ἡ ὕλη, ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ θῆλυ ἄρρενος καὶ αἰσχρὸν καλοῦ· πλὴν οὐ καθ' αὑτὸ αἰσχρόν, ἀλλὰ κατὰ συμβεβηκός, οὐδὲ θῆλυ, ἀλλὰ κατὰ συμβεβηκός. the other such as of its own nature to desire and yearn for it. But the consequence of their view is that the contrary desires its extinction. Yet the form cannot desire itself, for it is not defective; nor can the contrary desire it, for contraries are mutually destructive. The truth is that what desires the form is matter, as the female desires the male and the ugly the beautiful—only the ugly or the female not per se but per accidens.
φθείρεται δὲ καὶ γίγνεται ἔστι μὲν ὥς, ἔστι δ' ὡς οὔ. ὡς μὲν γὰρ τὸ ἐν ᾧ, καθ' αὑτὸ φθείρεται (τὸ γὰρ φθειρόμενον ἐν τούτῳ ἐστίν, ἡ στέρησις)· ὡς δὲ κατὰ δύναμιν, οὐ καθ' αὑτό, ἀλλ' ἄφθαρτον καὶ ἀγένητον ἀνάγκη αὐτὴν εἶναι. εἴτε γὰρ ἐγίγνετο, ὑποκεῖσθαί τι δεῖ πρῶτον ἐξ οὗ ἐνυπάρχοντος· τοῦτο δ' ἐστὶν αὐτὴ ἡ φύσις, ὥστ' ἔσται πρὶν γενέσθαι (λέγω γὰρ ὕλην τὸ πρῶτον ὑποκείμενον ἑκάστῳ, ἐξ οὗ γίγνεταί τι ἐνυπάρχοντος μὴ κατὰ συμβεβηκός)· εἴτε φθείρεται, εἰς τοῦτο ἀφίξεται ἔσχατον, ὥστε ἐφθαρμένη ἔσται πρὶν φθαρῆναι. The matter comes to be and ceases to be in one sense, while in another it does not. As that which contains the privation, it ceases to be in its own nature, for what ceases to be—the privation—is contained within it. But as potentiality it does not cease to be in its own nature, but is necessarily outside the sphere of becoming and ceasing to be. For if it came to be, something must have existed as a primary substratum from which it should come and which should persist in it; but this is its own special nature, so that it will be before coming to be. (For my definition of matter is just this—the primary substratum of each thing, from which it comes to be without qualification, and which persists in the result.) And if it ceases to be it will pass into that at the last, so it will have ceased to be before ceasing to be.
περὶ δὲ τῆς κατὰ τὸ εἶδος ἀρχῆς, πότερον μία ἢ πολλαὶ καὶ τίς ἢ τίνες εἰσίν, δι' ἀκριβείας τῆς πρώτης φιλοσοφίας ἔργον ἐστὶν διορίσαι, ὥστ' εἰς ἐκεῖνον τὸν και(192b.) ρὸν ἀποκείσθω. περὶ δὲ τῶν φυσικῶν καὶ φθαρτῶν εἰδῶν ἐν τοῖς ὕστερον δεικνυμένοις ἐροῦμεν. ὅτι μὲν οὖν εἰσὶν ἀρχαί, καὶ τίνες, καὶ πόσαι τὸν ἀριθμόν, διωρίσθω ἡμῖν οὕτως· πάλιν δ' ἄλλην ἀρχὴν ἀρξάμενοι λέγωμεν. The accurate determination of the first principle in respect of form, whether it is one or many and what it is or what they are, is the province of the primary type of science; so these questions may stand over till then. But of the natural, i.e. perishable, forms we shall speak in the expositions which follow. The above, then, may be taken as sufficient to establish that there are principles and what they are and how many there are. Now let us make a fresh start and proceed.
Postquam philosophus exclusit dubitationes et errores antiquorum philosophorum provenientes ex ignorantia materiae, hic excludit errores provenientes ex ignorantia privationis. 129. Having excluded the problems and errors of the ancient philosophers which stem from their ignorance of matter, the Philosopher here excludes the errors which stem from their ignorance of privation.
Et circa hoc tria facit: primo proponit errantium errores; secundo ostendit differentiam huius positionis ad veritatem supra ab ipso determinatam, ibi: sed hoc differt etc.; tertio probat suam opinionem veram esse, ibi: subiecta quidem natura et cetera. Concerning this he makes three points. First, he sets forth the errors of those who wandered from the truth. Secondly, where he says, ‘Now we distinguish ...’ (192 a 2 #132), he shows how this position differs from the truth determined by him above. Thirdly, where he says, ‘For the one which persists ...’ (192 a 13 #134), he proves that his own opinion is true.
Dicit ergo primo quod quidam philosophi tetigerunt materiam, sed non sufficienter; quia non distinguebant inter privationem et materiam: unde quod est privationis, attribuebant materiae. Et quia privatio secundum se est non ens, dicebant quod materia secundum se est non ens. Et sic, sicut aliquid simpliciter et per se fit ex materia, sic confitebantur quod simpliciter et per se aliquid fit ex non ente. 130. He says, therefore, first that some philosophers touched upon matter, but did not understand it sufficiently. For they did not distinguish between matter and privation. Hence, they attributed to matter what belongs to privation. And because privation, considered in itself, is non-being, they said that matter, considered in itself, is non-being. And so just as a thing comes to be simply and per se from matter, so they believed that a thing comes to be simply and per se from non-being.
Et ad hoc ponendum duabus rationibus inducebantur. Primo quidem ratione Parmenidis dicentis quod quidquid est praeter ens est non ens: unde cum materia sit praeter ens, quia non est ens actu, dicebant eam simpliciter esse non ens. Secundo vero quia videbatur eis quod id quod est numero unum vel subiecto, sit etiam ratione unum: quod hic appellat esse potentia unum, quia ea quae sunt ratione unum, sic se habent quod eadem est virtus utriusque; ea vero quae sunt subiecto unum sed non ratione, non habent eandem potentiam seu virtutem, ut patet in albo et musico. Subiectum autem et privatio sunt unum numero, ut aes et infiguratum: unde videbatur eis quod essent idem ratione vel virtute. Sic igitur hic accipit unitatem potentiae. And they were led to hold this position for two reasons. First they were influenced by the argument of Parmenides, who said that whatever is other than being is non-being. Since, then, matter is other than being, because it is not being in act, they said that it is non-being simply. Secondly, it seemed to them that that which is one in number or subject is also one in nature [ratio]. And Aristotle calls this a state of being one in potency, because things which are one in nature [ratio] are such that each has the same power. But things which are one in subject but not one in nature [ratio] do not have the same potency or power, as is clear in the white and the musical. But subject and privation are one in number, as for example, the bronze and the unshaped. Hence it seemed to them that they would be the same in nature [ratio] or in power. Hence this position accepts the unity of potency.
Sed ne quis hic dubitet occasione horum verborum quid sit potentia materiae, et utrum sit una vel plures; dicendum est quod actus et potentia dividunt quodlibet genus entium, ut patet in IX Metaphys. et in tertio huius. Unde sicut potentia ad qualitatem non est aliquid extra genus qualitatis, ita potentia ad esse substantiale non est aliquid extra genus substantiae. Non igitur potentia materiae est aliqua proprietas addita super essentiam eius; sed materia secundum suam substantiam est potentia ad esse substantiale. Et tamen potentia materiae subiecto est una respectu multarum formarum; sed ratione sunt multae potentiae secundum habitudinem ad diversas formas. Unde in tertio huius dicetur quod posse sanari et posse infirmari differunt secundum rationem. 131. But lest anyone, because of these words, be in doubt about what the potency of matter is and whether it is one or many, it must be pointed out that act and potency divide every genus of beings, as is clear in Metaphysics, IX:1, and in Book III [L3] of this work. Hence, just as the potency for quality is not something outside the genus of quality, so the potency for substantial being is not outside the genus of substance. Therefore, the potency of matter is not some property added to its essence. Rather, matter in its very substance is potency for substantial being. Moreover, the potency of matter is one in subject with respect to many forms. But in its nature [ratio] there are many potencies according to its relation to different forms. Hence in Book Ills it will be said that to be able to be healed and to be able to be ill differ according to nature [ratio].
Deinde cum dicit: sed hoc differt, etc., ostendit differentiam suae opinionis ad opinionem praemissam. 132. Next where he says, ‘Now we distinguish...’ (192 a 2), he explains the difference between his own opinion and the opinion just given.
Et circa hoc duo facit: primo aperit intellectum suae opinionis; secundo ostendit quid alia opinio ponat, ibi: quidam autem quod non est et cetera. Concerning this he makes two points. First he widens our understanding of his own opinion. Secondly, where he says, ‘They, on the other hand ...’ (192 a 6 #133), he shows what the other opinion holds.
Dicit ergo primo, quod multum differt aliquid esse unum numero vel subiecto, et esse unum potentia vel ratione. Quia nos ipsi dicimus, ut ex superioribus patet, quod materia et privatio, licet sint unum subiecto, tamen sunt alterum ratione. Quod patet ex duobus. Primo quidem quia materia est non ens secundum accidens, sed privatio est non ens per se: hoc enim ipsum quod est infiguratum, significat non esse, sed aes non significat non esse, nisi inquantum ei accidit infiguratum. Secundo vero quia materia est prope rem, et est aliqualiter, quia est in potentia ad rem, et est aliqualiter substantia rei, quia intrat in constitutionem substantiae: sed hoc de privatione dici non potest. He says, therefore, first that there is a great difference between a thing’s being one in number or subject and its being one in potency or nature [ratio]. For we say, as is clear from the above [L12 #104], that matter and privation although one in subject, are other in nature [ratio]. And this is clear for two reasons. First, matter is non-being accidentally, whereas privation is non-being per se. For ‘unshaped’ signifies non-being, but ‘bronze’ does not signify non-being except insofar as ‘unshaped’ happens to be in it. Secondly, matter is ‘near to the thing’ and exists in some respect, because it is in potency to the thing and is in some respect the substance of the thing, since it enters into the constitution of the substance. But this cannot be said of privation.
Deinde cum dicit: quidam autem quod non est etc., manifestat intellectum opinionis Platonicae. 133. Next where he says, ‘They, on the other hand ...’(192 a 6), he clarifies his understanding of the opinion of the Platonists.
Et dicit quod Platonici ponebant quidem duo ex parte materiae, scilicet magnum et parvum; sed tamen aliter quam Aristoteles. Quia Aristoteles ponit ista duo esse materiam et privationem, quae sunt unum subiecto et differunt ratione: sed isti non ponebant quod alterum istorum esset privatio et alterum materia, sed privationem coassumebant utrique, scilicet parvo et magno; sive acciperent ista duo simul, utpote cum loquebantur non distinguentes eam per magnum et parvum; sive acciperent utrumque seorsum. Unde patet quod omnino aliter ponebant tria principia Platonici, ponentes formam et magnum et parvum; et Aristoteles, qui posuit materiam et privationem et formam. He says that the Platonists also held a certain duality on the part of matter, namely, the great and the small. But this duality is different from that of Aristotle. For Aristotle held that the duality was matter and privation, which are one in subject but different in nature [ratio]. But the Platonists did not hold that one of these is privation and the other matter, but they joined privation to both, i.e., to the great and the small. They either took both of them together, not distinguishing in their speech between the great and the small, or else they took each separately. Whence it is clear that the Platonists, who posited form and the great and the small, held three completely different principles than Aristotle, who posited matter and privation and form.
Platonici vero usque ad hoc pervenerunt prae aliis philosophis antiquioribus, quod oportet unam quandam naturam supponi omnibus formis naturalibus, quae est materia prima. Sed hanc faciunt unam tantum sicut subiecto ita et ratione, non distinguentes inter ipsam et privationem. Quia etsi ponant dualitatem ex parte materiae, scilicet magnum et parvum, nihilominus non faciunt differentiam inter materiam et privationem: sed faciunt mentionem tantum de materia, sub qua comprehenditur magnum et parvum; et privationem despexerunt, de ea mentionem non facientes. The Platonists realized more than the other ancient philosophers that it is necessary to suppose some one nature for an natural forms, which nature is primary matter. But they made it one both in subject and in nature [ratio], not distinguishing between it and privation. For although they held a duality on the part of matter, namely, the great and the small, they made no distinction at all between matter and privation. Rather they spoke only of matter under which they included the great and the small. And they ignored privation, making no mention of it.
Deinde cum dicit: subiecta quidem natura etc., probat quod sua opinio habet veritatem. Et circa hoc duo facit: primo ostendit propositum, scilicet quod oporteat privationem distingui a materia; secundo ostendit quomodo materia corrumpatur vel generetur, ibi: corrumpitur autem et cetera. 134. Next where he says, ‘For the one which persists ...’ (192 a 13), he proves that his opinion is true. Concerning this he makes two points. First he states his position, i.e., that it is necessary to distinguish privation from matter. Secondly, where he says, ‘The matter comes to be ...’ (192 a 25),1 he shows how matter is corrupted or generated.
Primum autem ostendit dupliciter: primo quidem ostensive; secundo ducendo ad impossibile, ibi: aliud autem aptum natum et cetera. He treats the first point in two ways, first by explanation, and secondly by reducing [the opposite opinion] to the impossible, where he says, ‘...the other such ...’ (192 a 18).
Dicit ergo primo quod ista natura quae subiicitur, scilicet materia, simul cum forma est causa eorum quae fiunt secundum naturam, ad modum matris: sicut enim mater est causa generationis in recipiendo, ita et materia. 135. He says, therefore, first that this nature which is the subject, i.e., matter, together with form is a cause of the things which come to be according to nature after the manner of a mother. For just as a mother is a cause of generation by receiving, so also is matter.
Sed si quis accipiat alteram partem contrarietatis, scilicet privationem, protendens intellectum circa ipsam, imaginabitur ipsam non ad constitutionem rei pertinere, sed magis ad quoddam malum rei: quia est penitus non ens, cum privatio nihil aliud sit quam negatio formae in subiecto, et est extra totum ens: ut sic in privatione locum habeat ratio Parmenidis, quidquid est praeter ens est non ens; non autem in materia, ut dicebant Platonici. But if one takes the other part of the contrariety, namely, the privation, we can imagine, by stretching our understanding, that it does not pertain to the constitution of the thing, but rather to some sort of evil for the thing. For privation is altogether non-being, since it is nothing other than the negation of a form in a subject, and is outside the whole being. Thus the argument of Parmenides that whatever is other than being is non-being, has a place in regard to privation, but not in regard to matter, as the Platonists said.
Et quod privatio pertineat ad malum, ostendit per hoc, quod forma est quoddam divinum et optimum et appetibile. Divinum quidem est, quia omnis forma est quaedam participatio similitudinis divini esse, quod est actus purus: unumquodque enim in tantum est actu in quantum habet formam. Optimum autem est, quia actus est perfectio potentiae et bonum eius: et per consequens sequitur quod sit appetibile, quia unumquodque appetit suam perfectionem. He shows that privation would pertain to evil as follows. Form is something divine and very good and desirable. It is divine because every form is a certain participation in the likeness of the divine being, which is pure act. For each thing, insofar as it is in act, has form. Form is very good because act is the perfection of potency and is its good; and it follows as a consequence of this that form is desirable, because every thing desires its own perfection.
Privatio autem opponitur formae, cum non sit aliud quam remotio eius: unde cum id quod opponitur bono et removet ipsum, sit malum, manifestum est quod privatio pertinet ad malum. Unde sequitur quod non sit idem quod materia, quae est causa rei sicut mater. Privation, on the other hand, is opposed to form, since it is nothing other than the removal of form. Hence, since that which is opposed to the good and removes it is evil, it is clear that privation pertains to evil. Whence it follows that privation is not the same as matter, which is the cause of a thing as a mother.
Deinde cum dicit: aliud autem aptum natum etc., ostendit idem per rationem ducentem ad impossibile hoc modo. 136. Next where he says, the other such...’ (192 a 18), he proves the same thing by an argument which reduces [the opposite position] to the impossible.
Cum forma sit quoddam bonum et appetibile, materia, quae est aliud a privatione et a forma, est apta nata appetere et desiderare ipsam secundum suam naturam. Sed quibusdam, qui scilicet non distinguunt materiam a privatione, accidit hoc inconveniens, quod contrarium appetit corruptionem sui ipsius, quod est inconveniens. Et quod hoc accidat, sic ostendit. Since form is a sort of good and is desirable, matter, which is other than privation and other than form, naturally seeks and desires form according to its nature. But for those who do not distinguish matter from privation, this involves the absurdity that a contrary seeks its own corruption, which is absurd. That this is so he shows as follows.
Quia si materia appetit formam, non appetit eam secundum quod est sub ipsa forma, quia iam non indiget esse per eam (appetitus autem omnis est propter indigentiam, quia est non habiti): similiter et non appetit eam secundum quod est sub contrario vel privatione, quia unum contrariorum est alterius corruptivum, et sic aliquid appeteret sui corruptionem. Manifestum est igitur quod materia quae appetit formam, est aliud ratione sicut a forma ita et a privatione. Si enim materia appetit formam secundum propriam naturam, ut dictum est, si ponitur quod materia et privatio sint idem ratione, sequitur quod privatio appetit formam, et ita appetit sui ipsius corruptionem; quod est impossibile. Unde et hoc impossibile est, quod materia et privatio sint idem ratione. If matter seeks form, it does not seek a form insofar as it is under this form. For in this latter case the matter does not stand in need of being through this form. (Every appetite exists because of a need, for an appetite is a desire for what is not possessed.) In like manner matter does not seek form insofar as it is under the contrary or privation, for one of the contraries is corruptive of the other, and thus something would seek its own corruption. It is clear, therefore, that matter, which seeks form, is other in nature [ratio] from both form and privation. For if matter seeks form according to its proper nature, as was said, and if it is held that matter and privation are the same in nature [ratio], it follows that privation seeks form, and thus seeks its own corruption, which is impossible. Hence it is also impossible that matter and privation be the same in nature [ratio].
Sed tamen et materia est hoc, idest privationem habens, sicut si femina appetat masculum et turpe appetat bonum non quod ipsa turpitudo appetat bonum sibi contrarium, sed secundum accidens, quia id cui accidit esse turpe, appetit esse bonum: et similiter femineitas non appetit masculinum, sed id cui accidit esse feminam. Et similiter privatio non appetit esse formam, sed id cui accidit privatio, scilicet materia. Nevertheless, matter is ‘a this’, i.e., something having privation. Hence, if the feminine seeks the masculine, and if the base seeks the good, this is not because baseness itself seeks the good, which is its contrary; rather it seeks it accidentally, because that in which baseness happens to be seeks to be good. And likewise femininity does not seek masculinity; rather that in which the feminine happens to be seeks the masculine. And in like manner, privation does not seek to be form; rather that in which privation happens to be, namely, matter, seeks to be form.
Sed contra haec verba philosophi Avicenna tripliciter opponit. 137. But Avicenna opposes this position of the Philosopher in three ways.
Primo quidem quia materiae non competit neque appetitus animalis, ut per se manifestum est, neque appetitus naturalis ut appetat formam, cum non habeat aliquam formam vel virtutem inclinantem ipsam ad aliquid: sic enim grave naturaliter appetit locum infimum, inquantum sua gravitate inclinatur ad locum talem. First, matter has neither animal appetite (as is obvious in itself) nor natural appetite, whereby it would seek form. For matter does not have any form or power inclining it to anything, as for example, the heavy naturally seeks the lowest place insofar as it is inclined by its heaviness to such a place.
Secundo obiicit ex hoc quod, si materia appetit formam, hoc est quia caret omni forma, aut quia appetit multas formas habere simul, quod est impossibile; aut quia fastidit formam quam habet et quaerit habere aliam, et hoc etiam est vanum: nullo igitur modo dicendum videtur quod materia appetat formam. Secondly, he objects that, if matter seeks form, this is so because it lacks every form, or because it seeks to possess many forms at once, both which are impossible, or because it dislikes the form which it has and seeks to have another form, and this also is meaningless. Hence it seems that we must say that matter in no way seeks form.
Tertio obiicit per hoc, quia dicere quod materia appetat formam sicut femina masculum, est figurate loquentium, scilicet poetarum, et non philosophorum. His third objection is as follows. To say that matter seeks form as the feminine seeks the masculine is to speak figuratively, i.e., as a poet, not as a philosopher.
Sed huiusmodi obiectiones facile est solvere. Sciendum est enim quod omne quod appetit aliquid, vel cognoscit ipsum et se ordinat in illud; vel tendit in ipsum ex ordinatione et directione alicuius cognoscentis, sicut sagitta tendit in determinatum signum ex directione et ordinatione sagittantis. Nihil est igitur aliud appetitus naturalis quam ordinatio aliquorum secundum propriam naturam in suum finem. Non solum autem aliquid ens in actu per virtutem activam ordinatur in suum finem, sed etiam materia secundum quod est in potentia; nam forma est finis materiae. Nihil igitur est aliud materiam appetere formam, quam eam ordinari ad formam ut potentia ad actum. 138. But it is easy to resolve objections of this sort. For we must note that everything which seeks something either knows that which it seeks and orders itself to it, or else it tends toward it by the ordination and direction of someone who knows, as the arrow tends toward a determinate mark by the direction and ordination of the archer. Therefore, natural appetite is nothing but the ordination of things to their end in accordance with their proper natures. However a being in act is not only ordered to its end by an active power, but also by its matter insofar as it is potency. For form is the end of matter. Therefore for matter to seek form is nothing other than matter being ordered to form as potency to act.
Et quia sub quacumque forma sit, adhuc remanet in potentia ad aliam formam, inest ei semper appetitus formae: non propter fastidium formae quam habet, nec propter hoc quod quaerat contraria esse simul; sed quia est in potentia ad alias formas, dum unam habet in actu. And because matter still remains in potency to another form while it is under some form, there is always in it an appetite for form. This is not because of a dislike for the form which it has, nor because it seeks to be the contrary at the same time, but because it is in potency to other forms while it has some form in act.
Nec etiam utitur hic figurata locutione, sed exemplari. Dictum est enim supra quod materia prima scibilis est secundum proportionem, inquantum sic se habet ad formas substantiales, sicut materiae sensibiles ad formas accidentales; et ideo ad manifestandum materiam primam, oportet uti exemplo sensibilium substantiarum. Sicut igitur usus est exemplo aeris infigurati et hominis non musici ad manifestandam materiam, ita nunc ad eius manifestationem utitur exemplo feminae virum appetentis, et turpis appetentis bonum: hoc enim accidit eis inquantum habent aliquid de ratione materiae. Sciendum tamen est quod Aristoteles hic loquitur contra Platonem, qui talibus metaphoricis locutionibus utebatur, assimilans materiam matri et feminae, et formam masculo; et ideo Aristoteles utitur contra eum metaphoris ab eo assumptis. Nor does he use a figure of speech here; rather, he uses an example. For it was said above [L13 #118] that primary matter is knowable by way of proportion, insofar as it is related to substantial forms as sensible matters are related to accidental forms. And thus in order to explain primary matter, it is necessary to use an example taken from sensible substances. Therefore, just as he used the example of unshaped bronze and the example of the non-musical man to explain matter, so now to explain matter he uses the example of the appetite of the woman for the man and the example of appetite of the base for the good. For this happens to these things insofar as they have something which is of the nature [ratio] of matter. However, it must be noted that Aristotle is here arguing against Plato, who used such metaphorical expressions, likening matter to a mother and the feminine, and form to the masculine. And so Aristotle uses Plato’s own metaphors against him.
Deinde cum dicit: corrumpitur autem etc., ostendit quomodo materia corrumpatur. Et dicit quod quodammodo corrumpitur, et quodammodo non. Quia secundum quod est in ea privatio, sic corrumpitur cum cessat in ea esse privatio, ut si diceremus aes infiguratum corrumpi, quando desinit esse infiguratum: sed secundum se, inquantum est quoddam ens in potentia, est ingenita et incorruptibilis. Quod sic patet. Si enim materia fiat, oportet ei aliquid subiici ex quo fiat, ut ex superioribus patet. Sed primum quod subiicitur in generatione est materia: hoc enim dicimus materiam, primum subiectum ex quo aliquid fit per se et non secundum accidens, et inest rei iam factae (et utrumque eorum ponitur ad differentiam privationis, ex qua fit aliquid per accidens, et non inest rei factae). Sequitur ergo quod materia sit antequam fiat, quod est impossibile. Et similiter omne quod corrumpitur, resolvitur in materiam primam. Quando igitur iam est materia prima, tunc est corruptum: et sic, si materia prima corrumpatur, erit corrupta antequam corrumpatur, quod est impossibile. Sic igitur impossibile est materiam primam generari vel corrumpi. Sed ex hoc non excluditur quin per creationem in esse procedat 139. Next where he says, ‘The matter comes to be ... (192 a 25), he shows how matter is corrupted. He says that in a certain respect matter is corrupted and in a certain respect it is not. For insofar as privation is in it, it is corrupted when the privation ceases to be in it, as if we should say that unshaped bronze is corrupted when it ceases to be unshaped. But in itself, insofar as it is a certain being in potency, it is neither generated nor corruptible. This is clear from the following. If matter should come to be, there would have to be something which is the subject from which it comes to be, as is clear from what was said above [L12 #7,10ff]. But that which is the first subject in generation is matter. For we say that matter is the first subject from which a thing comes to be per se, and not per accidens, and is in the thing after it has come to be. (And privation differs from matter on both of these points. For privation is that from which a thing comes to be per accidens, and is that which is not in the thing after it has come to be.) It follows, therefore, that matter would be before it would come to be, which is impossible. And in like manner, everything which is corrupted is resolved into primary matter.. Therefore, at the very time when primary matter already is, it would be corrupted; and thus if primary matter is corrupted, it will have been corrupted before it is corrupted, which is impossible. Therefore, it is impossible for primary matter to be generated and corrupted. But by this we do not deny that it comes into existence through creation.
Deinde cum dicit: de principio autem etc., quia iam excluserat errores circa materiam et privationem, restare videbatur ut excluderet errores et dubitationes circa formam. Posuerunt enim quidam formas separatas, scilicet ideas, quas reducebant ad unam primam ideam. 140. Next where he says, ‘The accurate determination...’ (192 a 34), he indicates that since the errors about matter and privation have been eliminated, then the errors and problems about form should also be eliminated. For some have posited separated forms, i.e., ideas, which they reduced to one first idea.
Et ideo dicit quod de principio formali, utrum sit unum vel plura, et quot et quae sint, pertinet determinare ad philosophiam primam, et usque ad illud tempus reservetur: quia forma est principium essendi, et ens inquantum huiusmodi est subiectum primae philosophiae; sed materia et privatio sunt principia entis transmutabilis, quod a philosopho naturali consideratur. Sed tamen de formis naturalibus et corruptibilibus in sequentibus huius doctrinae determinabitur. And so he says that first philosophy treats such questions as whether the formal principle is one or many, and how many there are, and what kind there are. Hence these questions will be reserved for first philosophy. For form is a principle of existing, and being as such is the subject of first philosophy. But matter and privation are. principles of mutable being, which is considered by the natural philosopher. Nevertheless we shall treat of natural and corruptible forms in the following books on this discipline.
Ultimo autem epilogat quae dicta sunt: et dicit quod sic determinatum est quod principia sunt, et quae, et quot. Sed oportet iterum aliter principium facere scientiae naturalis, inquirendo scilicet principia scientiae. Finally he summarizes what has been said. It has been determined that there are principles, what the principles are, and how many there are. But it is necessary to make a new start in our study of natural science, inquiring, that is, into the principles of the science.