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Aristotle

465 a 30καὶ ἄλλη φθορὰ παρὰ τὴν φθορὰν ἣν φθείρεται φθειρομένου τοῦ σώματος. ὥστ᾿ ἐπεὶ οὐ φαίνεται τοιαύτη οὖσα, ἄλλως ἂν ἔχοι πρὸς τὴν τοῦ σώματος κοινωνίαν.

465 bIII. Ἴσως δ᾿ ἄν τις ἀπορήσειεν εὐλόγως, ἆρ᾿ ἔστιν οὗ ἄφθαρτον ἔσται τὸ φθαρτόν, οἷον τὸ πῦρ ἄνω, οὗ μή ἐστι τὸ ἐναντίον. φθείρεται γὰρ τὰ μὲν ὑπάρχοντα τοῖς ἐναντίοις κατὰ συμβεβηκός, 5τῷ ἐκεῖνα φθείρεσθαι· ἀναιρεῖται γὰρ τἀναντία ὑπ᾿ ἀλλήλων· κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς δ᾿ οὐθὲν τῶν ἐν ταῖς οὐσίαις ἐναντίων φθείρεται, διὰ τὸ μηθενὸς ὑποκειμένου κατηγορεῖσθαι τὴν οὐσίαν. ὥσθ᾿ ᾧ μή ἐστιν ἐναντίον καὶ ὅπου μή ἐστιν, ἀδύνατον ἂν εἴη φθαρῆναι· τί γὰρ ἔσται τὸ φθεροῦν, εἴπερ ὑπ᾿ ἐναντίων 10μὲν φθείρεσθαι συμβαίνει μόνων, τοῦτο δὲ μὴ ὑπάρχει, ἢ ὅλως ἢ ἐνταῦθα; ἢ τοῦτο τῇ μὲν ἀληθές ἐστι τῇ δ᾿ οὔ· ἀδύνατον γὰρ τῷ ὕλην ἔχοντι μὴ ὑπάρχειν πως τὸ ἐναντίον. πάντῃ μὲν γὰρ ἐνεῖναι τὸ θερμὸν ἢ τὸ εὐθὺ ἐνδέχεται, πᾶν δ᾿ εἶναι ἀδύνατον ἢ θερμὸν ἢ εὐθὺ ἢ λευκόν· ἔσται γὰρ τὰ 15πάθη κεχωρισμένα. εἰ οὖν, ὅταν ἅμα ᾖ τὸ ποιητικὸν καὶ τὸ παθητικόν, ἀεὶ τὸ μὲν ποιεῖ τὸ δὲ πάσχει, ἀδύνατον μὴ μεταβάλλειν. ἔτι καὶ εἰ ἀνάγκη περίττωμα ποιεῖν, τὸ δὲ περίττωμα ἐναντίον· ἐξ ἐναντίου γὰρ ἀεὶ ἡ μεταβολή, τὸ δὲ περίττωμα ὑπόλειμμα τοῦ προτέρου. εἰ δὲ πᾶν 20ἐξελαύνει τὸ ἐνεργείᾳ ἐνατίον, κἂν ἐνταῦθ᾿ ἄφθαρτον

398

On Length and Shortness of Life

liable to some other form of destruction beyond that which overtakes it when the body is damaged. Since this is evidently not the case, the association of the soul with the body must be on a different principle.

III. It might reasonably be asked whether thereIs indestructibility impossible? is any place in which the destructible will be indestructible, as fire is in the upper regions, where it has no contrary. For attributes belonging to contraries are destroyed accidentally by the destruction of the contraries; for contraries eliminate one another; but none of the contraries which exist in substances is destroyed accidentally, because substance cannot be predicated of any subject. It would therefore be impossible for anything to be destroyed which has no contrary, or where its contrary is not present. For what would there be to destroy it, if things can only be destroyed by their contraries, and if such a contrary does not exist, either at all, or at that particular place? Perhaps this statement is partly true and partly untrue; for everything which possesses matter must have a contrary in some sense. Qualities such as heat or straightness may be present anywhere, but nothing can consist solely of heat, straightness, or whiteness; for in that case affections could exist in isolation. If then, whenever the active and passive are found together, the one always acts and the other is acted upon, it is impossible that there should be no change. This is so again if a waste product must be formed, and a waste product is a contrary; for all change proceeds from a contrary, and the waste product is what remains of the former state. But if an object expels all that is actually contrary to it, in that

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-parva_naturalia_length_shortness_life.1957