Reading Aristotle: Physics 1.3: Being is Not One

In the previous post in the series, we read through Aristotle’s Physics 1.2, which discussed the nature of “one” and the problem of “the one and the many”. That chapter ended by hinting at the famous act/potency distinction as a possible solution to the problem of how things can be both one and many. We now turn to 1.3, which begins:

“If, then, we approach the thesis in this way it seems impossible for all things to be one” (Physics 1.3, 186a4-5) [1].

This is basically the conclusion of the last chapter. In 1.2, Aristotle showed that it is impossible in principle to hold that being is one. From there, he moves to an examination of the specific arguments other philosophers had used to support the belief that being is 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. 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’. 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” (Physics 1.3, 186a5-15) [2].

The arguments these other philosophers proposed, says Aristotle, are both logically fallacious and factually false in their premises. To show this, he looks first at an argument from Melissus, whom we introduced in the last post. Aristotle references several of Melissus’s premises, but in his commentary St. Thomas Aquinas gives an overview of the whole argument:

“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” [3].

As we shall see, Aristotle responds to each part of the argument. He first points out a logical fallacy: the proposition that “what has come into being always has a beginning, therefore what has not come into being has no beginning” is an invalid inference. If it were constructed into a syllogism, it would commit the fallacy of denying the antecedent:

  1. If something has come into being, then it has a beginning
  2. Something has not come into being
  3. Therefore it has no beginning

In hypothetical syllogisms like this, only affirming the antecedent and denying the consequent are valid. Further, if we put the original premise into the standard form all S are P, to make it “all things that come into being are things that have a beginning”, then the only valid immediate inferences would be 1) Some things that come into being are things that have a beginning (its subcontrary), 2) No things that come into being are things that do not have a beginning (its obverse) and 3) All things that do not have a beginning are things that do not come into being (its contrapositive).

Which is all just a really technical way of saying that even if everything that comes into existence has a beginning, that doesn’t mean everything that doesn’t come into existence doesn’t have a beginning (irregardless of whether or not the premises are true or false, the inference itself is invalid).

But Melissus misses this. Instead, he holds that what is not made has no beginning, and asserts that being is not made, so being has no beginning, making it infinite, and if it is infinite it is immobile (unchanging).  But Aristotle finds problems with this.

Now, there is some difficulty amongst scholars in interpretation of this passage. The question is that “infinity” could be taken either as infinite time, or infinite physical space. The best interpretation, which happens to be the one Aquinas used, seems to be the latter. Oxford philosopher David Bostock writes:

“For both [Aristotle and Melissus] agree that the universe is temporally infinite (in both directions), but Aristotle thinks that it is spatially finite while Melissus thinks that it is spatially infinite. So one would certainly expect Aristotle to attack Melissus on his deduction of spatial infinity, and not to fuss overmuch about any faults there might be in his deduction of temporal infinity” [4].

And Aquinas says:

“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.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” [5].

Now this understanding might shed light on what was said earlier. “Coming into being” and “having a beginning” might seem equivalent in concept, such that if anything does not come into being, it would obviously not have a beginning. Even if Melissus were wrong to logically infer this fact from his starting premise, both premises would seem to still be true. However, while “coming into being” obviously implies a temporal beginning, just “having a beginning” in general could refer to a physical/spatial starting point. If that is the case, we can read Aristotle as saying that just because something does not have a temporal beginning does not mean it doesn’t have a spatial beginning; i.e. even if the universe is infinite temporally, it can still be finite spatially.

What Aristotle is saying is that Melissus has confused different types of beginning, just like in the last chapter he accused several philosophers of confusing different types of “one.” Melissus seems to have thought that change (including the coming into existence of being) can only take place by succession of parts: one part changes another part changes another part etc., so that if something “began to exist”, it must have done so one part at a time, with the first part being its “starting point.” This means, says Melissus, that since (he held) the universe did not begin to exist, then it does not have a physical “starting point,” and if it does not have a physical starting point, it must be physically infinite. But Aristotle says: “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.” In other words, if something comes into existence, then of course it has a temporal beginning, but this does not imply a physical starting point. Not everything that comes into existence has to have a spatial starting point.

Bostock uses the change of water as a demonstration of this point [6]. When water changes to ice, it does not happen one successive part at a time; rather the entire surface can simultaneously freeze over all at once. It is not necessary that qualitative change happen one part at a time, and thus Melissus’s argument that a temporally finite universe would have to be a physically finite universe, with the corollary that therefore a temporally infinite universe would be a physically infinite universe, is false, both logically, as we showed earlier, and factually in the truth of its premises. The universe, says Aristotle, can be temporally infinite and physically finite.

He continues:

“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? 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” (Physics 1.3, 186a19-22) [7].

If you recall, the first part of Melissus’s argument was that being is physically infinite. The next part asserted that if it is infinite (with the understanding that it is also one), it is also immobile. It is to this that Aristotle now turns. Bostock explains what Melissus’s full point was:

“Melissus had argued that there could be no motion, because motion requires empty space, for the moving thing to move into” [8].

But Aristotle responds that something can move within itself, such as currents or waves of water. Even if the universe as a whole does not move, why think that its individual parts cannot move within it? For those familiar with the Prime Mover argument, this might seem like a contradiction for Aristotle, however. In that argument, it is stated that whatever is moved requires something outside of itself to move it. If the being is in fact one and infinite, what could there be outside of it to move it? For if there were something outside of it, then it would not be one. Since it is one and there cannot be anything outside of it to move it, must it not be motionless? The answer is again no. In my very first Prime Mover article I used an example of a dog walking. The dog as a whole moves, but nothing outside of it moves it, rather its parts move each other (the paws are moved by the leg which are moved by muscle contraction which are moved by firing neurons, etc.). Thus there is no reason to think that being as a whole could not be the same way.

His last point reiterates what he argued in 1.2, that being cannot be one in form. So Melissus is wrong that the universe is one, infinite, and motionless.

Next Aristotle examines the arguments of Parmenides:

“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’. His assumption that one is used in a single sense only is false, because it is used in several. 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” (Physics 1.3, 186a23-32) [9].

Much of what is said here is repeated from 1.2. When Aristotle says that the answer to Parmenides is that “this is not true” and “that does not follow”, he means, just like before, that Parmenides’s arguments are both logically fallacious and factually false. It is factually false because Parmenides assumes that “one” is just used in a single, univocal sense, which Aristotle has already argued is not true. But it is also logically weak, because the conclusion does not follow. To show this, Aristotle uses the example of “white things.” Even if “white” has just a single meaning, it still doesn’t follow that all white things will be one, because the abstract concept of “whiteness” is distinct from the actual, particular objects which are white, and these objects are not one. As we’ve said before, we can understand what “whiteness” is, but actual whiteness cannot exist apart from specific objects which have it; “white” does not exist on its own, even if we can abstract it and understand it on its own.  So even if we grant that “white” has one meaning, it is still many: both in that there are many objects which are white, and that conceptually, the essence of whiteness and the essence of things that are white are different. So one meaning is not equivalent to one being, as Parmenides had assumed.

Aristotle continues:

“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” (Physics 1.3, 186a33-186b3) [10].

So, says Aristotle, the same thing we said of “white” applies to “being” as well. Parmenides assumed that being has only one meaning, but this requires him to hold that being would mean both the things that are exist, and what being itself is. In other words, Parmenides must assume that the essence of everything that exists is the same as the essence of the concept “being” itself. Similar to how Aristotle argued against the concept of “whiteness” being equivalent to the actual objects which are white, Parmenides is required (given his starting point) to think that the concept of “being” is equivalent to the actual things that exist (have being).

Why must Parmenides think this? First we must understand Aristotle’s distinction between accident and substance. Substance is, to put it simplistically, what something is, its essence. Accident is a non essential attribute of that substance. So having blue eyes as opposed to have green eyes is an accident of being human, since a human could have either while still being a human. For Parmenides to maintain that being is one, says Aristotle, this would require that “being” is cannot be an accident. If all of existence is just one thing, that one thing must be existence itself. If not, an absurdity results: if “being” is an accident rather than a substance, then existence becomes an attribute of something. But that something, to which existence is an attribute, must be something different than existence itself. Remember that the essence of something white is different from “whiteness” itself. A human being can be six feet tall, but the essence of the human is something different than the essence of “six feet” itself. But what is there that is different from existence itself, if everything is one? The only answer is non-existence. So non-existence must be the substance to which existence is an attribute! Which means that non-existence exists, and, furthermore, that what exists is both existence and non-existence! Both of these are impossibly absurd. So if being is one, as Parmenides wants to say, than that one thing must be existence itself, where existence is substance. For if Parmenides wants to hold that existence is a predicate rather than a substance, then he must admit that being is many, not just one. But his very point is that being is one, so he must maintain that existence is substance which is not predicated of anything else [11].

Aquinas summarizes:

“it follows that [being] 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” [12].

Next Aristotle says:

“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. In particular, then, Being will not have magnitude, if it is substance. For each of the two parts must be in a different sense” (Physics 1.3, 186b4-12) [13].

In the last section, Aristotle argued that if Parmenides wants to say being is one, he must hold that being is substance, not accident. In this section, Aristotle argues that actually, being cannot be substance either. Now Bostock, the philosopher quoted above, thinks that Aristotle’s argument in this passage doesn’t work, because it depends upon an assumption which isn’t necessarily true. We will look first at what Aristotle says, and then try to determine whether he is right or not. In essence, Aristotle seems to argue this: If existence is the substance of all that is, and existence is one, then existence is actually non-existence. Why? Imagine we say that there is some attribute, such as “white”, that is predicated of the substance existence. Thus, in the same way that we say “the man is tall” (where man is the substance and tall the attribute), we would say “existence is white”. But, again, here white must be something other than existence, because it is distinct from the substance to which it is being predicated, which is existence itself. But what is other than existence? Only non-existence. So to predicate any attribute to existence is to say, in effect, that existence is non-existence, which is again contradictory and absurd.

So what’s the problem? Bostock says “I see no way of understanding the argument that he now offers as a correct argument” and explains:

“Aristotle’s refutation depends upon the initial assumption that something (say pallor) will be an accidental attribute of existence, and I see no reason why Parmenides should be expected to grant that. I see no self-contradiction in the hypothesis that only existence exists” [14].

Now, there might be a little more to Bostock’s point than this, and if I am shortchanging his argument I offer my apologies. But from what I can garner, the conclusion quoted above seems to be the essence of his objection. Basically, he seems to be saying: “Ok, Aristotle, you’re right that if we predicate some attribute to existence, then that would be problematic. But why assume that we have to predicate anything to existence in the first place?”

But I think Aristotle might be suggesting something a little different, and a little more subtle, the crux of which, I believe, might lie in his question “how does ‘substance’ mean what is rather than what is not?” On one reading, we might think Aristotle is asking here: “how is the essence of substance existence rather than non-existence?” but it really doesn’t make much sense for Aristotle to be asking that. Instead, I think Aristotle might be asking, “If existence is substance, how can we say at all what it is?” The difficulty he’s pointing at, in my understand, is that if existence is substance, then what can we possibly say of it, such that we don’t end up with the absurdity that existence is non-existence? And the answer is nothing. We can’t say that existence is anything, because anything we try to predicate of existence will just be non-existence, or nothing. So if we ask what is existence, we cannot given an answer. Existence becomes almost meaningless. This then makes sense of his statement, “If to avoid this we say that even ‘white’ means substance, it follows that ‘being’ has more than one meaning.” In other words, someone might respond to him: “Well, alright, suppose we can’t predicate anything of existence as an attribute. But why not just say that, rather than being an attribute, the thing we want to predicate is actually a part of the substance itself?” The answering being that if we say that some other quality is part of the substance, then the substance has parts, making it more than one. Or perhaps they might respond, “well what if white is its own substance”, in which case there are multiple substances, and again being would not be one.

The other possibility is that Aristotle is just taking it as a given that existence must have attributes. He does claim “for it is true to say that it is white”, which could indicate that he thinks it’s just obvious that existence has attributes, because we experience them. But I’m inclined to favor the former explanation. Indeed, that also seems to be what he concludes in the next passage:

“In particular, then, Being will not have magnitude, if it is substance. For each of the two parts must be in a different sense” (Physics 1.3 186b14) [15].

So he seems to be saying “If being is substance, then it cannot have any attributes” particularly, in this case, magnitude. If you remember from earlier, Aristotle had said: “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.” He has given his first reason for this, now he turns to his second:

“(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” (Physics 1.3, 186b15-19) [16].

The definition of a substance automatically includes other substances. A human is a human, obviously, but that definition necessarily includes the definitions of other substances, such as animal and biped. If these other things are not themselves substances, they must be accidents, either of the original substance of man himself, or of something else. But, he says, neither of these things are 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” (Physics 1.3, 186b19-24) [17].

An attribute, says Aristotle, is one of two things. It is either something that belongs to a subject, but not always, or something whose very definition includes within it the subject itself.  Aristotle uses two different examples. For the former, he uses sitting. Something may have “sitting” as an attribute, but it doesn’t always have to do so. Dogs sit, but they also stand and run around and lie down, etc. But some attributes seem always be applicable to the specific subjects, such that we could say the definition of the attribute includes the definition of the subject. Aristotle uses the example of “snubness” to “noses.”

Next, when he says “the definition of the whole is not contained in the definitions of the contents or elements of the definitory formula”, he is saying that, for those latter types of attributes, the whole definition is not contained in the particular objects to which that definition is applied. So, for instance, if we say that “man is two-legged”, “two legged” is a legitimate attribute of man, but it does not cover the whole essence/definition of what man is. Likewise, the definition of “snubness” may contain within it the definition of “nose”, but it does not contain the entire definition of nose within it.

So this is his point. If “biped” is an attribute of man, it is one of the two types of attributes just discussed. If biped is a separable attribute, that means that man is not always a biped, in the same way that man is not always sitting. But man is (under most normal circumstances) always a biped. The other option is that the very definition of biped includes within it the definition of man. But Aristotle says this is impossible, because biped itself is part of the definition of man. If they both were parts of each others’ definitions, then the definitions would be circular. Consider the example of snubness. Aristotle understands “snubness” to be a particular feature of certain noses. But not all noses are snub noses. In order to define nose, we don’t need to include “snubness.” But in order to define snubness, we do need to include noses, because snubness just is a certain feature of noses. But for “man” and “biped” it is different. All men are bipeds, such that the definition of man includes “being a biped.” But this means that, since the definition of man includes biped, the definition of biped cannot also include man.

“(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, and that the subject of which both ‘biped’ and ‘animal’ and each separately is predicated is the subject also of the complex ‘biped animal'” (Physics 1.3, 186b30-34) [18].

Here I think Aristotle means us to take “biped” and “animal” together. This might seem strange, because animal could be attributed to something to which biped is not, so why assume that both are attributed to the same “something else”? But in reality, “biped” assumes animal in the same way that human assumes biped. A biped is just a type of animal, such that if something is a biped, it is automatically an animal. So if biped is an attribute rather than a substance, it is either an attribute of man, or of some non-man being. But that’s impossible. A man, as understood here, just is a two footed animal. So if any being is a two footed animal, that being is what man is. If we had some being two which we predicated the attribute “biped animal”, and if the definition of man is “biped animal” then we must also predicate man to that being. But man, as was already established, is a substance, not an attribute; and substances cannot be attributes of anything.

He concludes:

“Are we then to say that the All is composed of indivisible substances? Some thinker 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. 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. 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 on in this sense” (Physics 1.3, 186b35-187a10) [19].

Here Aristotle turns to other thinkers who “gave in to each argument, conceding the impossibilities to which they led” [20]. They admitted that “not-being” exists. As for the second, “that from bisection”, it is thought that here Aristotle is referring to one of Zeno’s arguments which he perhaps planned to also deal with in this chapter, but it is absent [21].    The point is that if being has magnitude, then it is divisible, and thus is many. But, as Aquinas points out, some thinkers such as Plato just posited “indivisible” entities such as atoms in the atomic theories [22].

Here he responds to the first one, those who admit that “not-being” exists. Aquinas extrapolates:

“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. 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” [23].

So Aristotle is responding to the position that “not-being” is something rather than nothing. Part of this final passage in the chapter is actually Plato’s own argument, summarized by Aristotle. Plato argued that “being” refers to one thing, and thus one substance. So anything that is not substance, is not being. Since contradictories cannot be true, accidents, which are not substances, are not being. But accidents do exist, and thus, Plato apparently argues, “not-being” exists. But, Aristotle responds, “not-being” as Plato is using it is not the same thing as absolute nothing/absence of existence. Because he’s just defined “being” as referring to substance, not referring to what exists, “not-being” to Plato just means “not-substance”, not necessarily “non existence”, which is how Aristotle was using it.

So for Plato, all things are not one, because you have “being” (substance) and “not-being” (accident). But, Plato thinks, if you were to say that accidents actually don’t exist, then all we’d have left would be “being”, and thus all things really would be one. But Aristotle says this doesn’t follow. Because even if being is substance, it can still be divided into multiple substances, as “man” was divided into “biped” and “animal” [24].

And thus “it is clearly impossible for Being to be one in this sense”.

 

 

Notes

[1]. McKeon, Richard, editor. The Basic Works of Aristotle. New York: Random House, Inc, 1941. Print, 221.

[2]. Ibid., 221-222.

[3]. Thomas Aquinas. Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics. Books I-II translated by
Richard J. Blackwell, Richard J. Spath & W. Edmund Thirlkel
Yale U.P., 1963. <http://dhspriory.org/thomas/english/Physics.htm&gt;.

[4]. Bostock, David. “Aristotle on the Eleatics in Physics I. 2–3.” Space, Time, Matter, and Form: Essays on Aristotle’s Physics. : Oxford University Press, 2006-02-16. Oxford Scholarship Online. 2006-05-01. Date Accessed 6 Oct. 2016 &lt;http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0199286868.001.0001/acprof-9780199286867-chapter-6&gt;.

[5]. Thomas Aquinas. Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics. Books I-II translated by
Richard J. Blackwell, Richard J. Spath & W. Edmund Thirlkel
Yale U.P., 1963. <http://dhspriory.org/thomas/english/Physics.htm&gt;.

[6]. See Bostock, David. “Aristotle on the Eleatics in Physics I. 2–3.” Space, Time, Matter, and Form: Essays on Aristotle’s Physics. : Oxford University Press, 2006-02-16. Oxford Scholarship Online. 2006-05-01. Date Accessed 6 Oct. 2016 &lt;http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0199286868.001.0001/acprof-9780199286867-chapter-6&gt;.

[7]. McKeon, Richard, editor. The Basic Works of Aristotle. New York: Random House, Inc, 1941. Print, 222.

[8]. See Bostock, David. “Aristotle on the Eleatics in Physics I. 2–3.” Space, Time, Matter, and Form: Essays on Aristotle’s Physics. : Oxford University Press, 2006-02-16. Oxford Scholarship Online. 2006-05-01. Date Accessed 6 Oct. 2016 &lt;http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0199286868.001.0001/acprof-9780199286867-chapter-6&gt;.

[9]. McKeon, Richard, editor. The Basic Works of Aristotle. New York: Random House, Inc, 1941. Print, 222.

[10]. Ibid.

[11]. For more detail, see Bostock, David. “Aristotle on the Eleatics in Physics I. 2–3.” Space, Time, Matter, and Form: Essays on Aristotle’s Physics. : Oxford University Press, 2006-02-16. Oxford Scholarship Online. 2006-05-01. Date Accessed 6 Oct. 2016 &lt;http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0199286868.001.0001/acprof-9780199286867-chapter-6&gt;.

[12]. Thomas Aquinas. Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics. Books I-II translated by
Richard J. Blackwell, Richard J. Spath & W. Edmund Thirlkel
Yale U.P., 1963. <http://dhspriory.org/thomas/english/Physics.htm&gt;.

[13]. McKeon, Richard, editor. The Basic Works of Aristotle. New York: Random House, Inc, 1941. Print, 223.

[14]. Bostock, David. “Aristotle on the Eleatics in Physics I. 2–3.” Space, Time, Matter, and Form: Essays on Aristotle’s Physics. : Oxford University Press, 2006-02-16. Oxford Scholarship Online. 2006-05-01. Date Accessed 6 Oct. 2016 &lt;http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0199286868.001.0001/acprof-9780199286867-chapter-6&gt;.

[15]. McKeon, Richard, editor. The Basic Works of Aristotle. New York: Random House, Inc, 1941. Print, 223.

[16]. Ibid.

[17]. Ibid.

[18]. Ibid.

[19]. Ibid., 223-224.

[20]. Thomas Aquinas. Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics. Books I-II translated by
Richard J. Blackwell, Richard J. Spath & W. Edmund Thirlkel
Yale U.P., 1963. <http://dhspriory.org/thomas/english/Physics.htm&gt;.

[21]. See Bostock, David. “Aristotle on the Eleatics in Physics I. 2–3.” Space, Time, Matter, and Form: Essays on Aristotle’s Physics. : Oxford University Press, 2006-02-16. Oxford Scholarship Online. 2006-05-01. Date Accessed 6 Oct. 2016 &lt;http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/0199286868.001.0001/acprof-9780199286867-chapter-6&gt;.

[22]. Thomas Aquinas. Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics. Books I-II translated by
Richard J. Blackwell, Richard J. Spath & W. Edmund Thirlkel
Yale U.P., 1963. <http://dhspriory.org/thomas/english/Physics.htm&gt;.

[23]. Ibid.

[24]. I am taking this interpretation from Aquinas. It is not explicit in Aristotle’s text, but does make sense.

Image credits: FreeImages.com/Max Mitenkov (http://www.freeimages.com/photo/greek-ruin-19-1214584).

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3 thoughts on “Reading Aristotle: Physics 1.3: Being is Not One

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