Aristotle, On Coming-to-Be and Passing-Away

LCL 400: 162-163

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314 a 11. Περὶ δὲ γενέσεως καὶ φθορᾶς τῶν φύσει γινομένων καὶ φθειρομένων, ὁμοίως κατὰ πάντων, τάς τε αἰτίας διαιρετέον καὶ τοὺς λόγους αὐτῶν, ἔτι δὲ περὶ αὐξήσεως καὶ ἀλλοιώσεως, τί ἑκάτερον, 5καὶ πότερον τὴν αὐτὴν ὑποληπτέον φύσιν εἶναι ἀλλοιώσεως καὶ γενέσεως, ἢ χωρίς, ὥσπερ διώρισται καὶ τοῖς ὀνόμασιν.

Τῶν μὲν οὖν ἀρχαίων οἱ μὲν τὴν καλουμένην ἁπλῆν γένεσιν ἀλλοίωσιν εἶναί φασιν, οἱ δ᾿ ἕτερον ἀλλοίωσιν καὶ γένεσιν. ὅσοι μὲν γὰρ ἕν τι τὸ πᾶν λέγουσιν εἶναι καὶ πάντα ἐξ ἑνὸς γεννῶσιν, τούτοις 10μὲν ἀνάγκη τὴν γένεσιν ἀλλοίωσιν φάναι καὶ τὸ κυρίως γινόμενον ἀλλοιοῦσθαι· ὅσοι δὲ πλείω τὴν ὕλην ἑνὸς τιθέασιν, οἷον Ἐμπεδοκλῆς καὶ Ἀναξαγόρας καὶ Λεύκιππος, τούτοις δὲ ἕτερον. καίτοι Ἀναξαγόρας γε τὴν οἰκείαν φωνὴν ἠγνόησεν· λέγει


Coming-To-Be and Passing-Away, I

Aristotle on Coming-To-Be and Passing-Away

Book I

1. In discussing coming-to-be and passing-away ofChs. 1–5. Coming-to-be and Passing-away are not “alteration” nor are they growth and diminution. things which by nature come-to-be and pass-away, as exhibited uniformly wherever they occur, we must distinguish their causes and definitions; further, we must deal with “growth” and “alteration,” and inquire what each of these terms means, and whether we are to suppose that the nature of “alteration” and coming-to-be is the same, or whether each is of a separate nature corresponding to the names by which they are distinguished.

Of the ancient philosophers some assert that whatViews of the Monists and Pluralists examined. is called “simple” coming-to-be is “alteration,” while others hold that “alteration” and coming-to-be are different processes. Those who hold that the universe is a simple entity and who generate all things from a single thing, must necessarily maintain that coming-to-be is “alteration,” and that what comes-to-be in the proper sense of the term undergoes “alteration.” Those, on the other hand, who hold that the matter of things is more than one, must regard the two processes as different—Empedocles, for example, and Anaxagoras and Leucippus. Anaxagoras, however, misunderstood his own statement;

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-coming_be_passing_away.1955