Aristotle attests to this when he says in Met. Ib6, "in a manner of speaking, privation steresis too is a property hexis. If this is so, then everything will be something by virtue of the fact that something positive belongs to it. But 'being' is used equivocally. Hence, everything is what it is by virtue of having something, by virtue of a positive attribute. This is precisely the mode of our on hos alethes. It will always have equivocally the same name as real being even where being in the sense of truth, the being of the copula, is applied to things which have real existence outside the mind; even then it must be distinguished as something accidental from their essential being since, as was said above, it is accidental to each thing whether a true assertion is made about it.
Hence, together with accidental being [on kata symbebekos] , it is to be excluded from metaphysical inquiry. In any case, none of these has any sort of being outside the mind ;43 thus they can only have being in the sense of being true; hence logic as a purely formal science is distinguished from the other, real, parts of philosophy.
Potential and Actual Being The two senses of being with which we still have to deal, namely, being which is divided into the categories and potential and actual being, belong together and are intimately connected with each other. Since being, as the most general, is asserted of everything, 3 it follows for the subject of metaphysics that it comprises everything insofar as it has extramental being which is one with it and belongs to it essentially. Hence it follows that, just as the being which divides into the categories, being in the sense now under discussion is being that is independent and outside the mind [on kath' hauto exo tes dianoias].
The kind of being which is divided into actual [on energeia] and potential [on dynamei] is being in the sense in which this name is applied not only to that which is realized, that which exists, the really-being, but also to the mere real possibility of being. Potential being [on dynamei] plays a large role in the philosophy of Aristotle, as does the concept of matter [hyle]. Indeed, these two concepts are coextensive,4 while actual being [on energeia] is either pure form or is actualized by form.
There is a great difference between what we here mean by the potential [the dynaton or dynamei on] and what in more recent times is meant by calling something possible in contrast with real, where the necessary is added as a third thing. This is. It does not exist in things but in the objective concepts and combinations of concepts of the thinking mind; it is a merely rational thing.
Aristotle was quite familiar with the concept of possibility so understood, as we can see from De interpretatione, but it bears no relation to what he calls potential being, since otherwise it would have to be excluded from the subject of metaphysics along with being as being true. So that no doubt may remain, he mentions in Met. The possible object [dynaton] which is associated with this impossibility is distinguished from the potential object [dynaton] which bears this name because it stands in relation to a power [dynamis].
It is the same only in names and must be distinguished from this potentiality along with the powers of mathematics, a 2, b 3, etc. This is based upon his peculiar view that a non-real, something which has, properly speaking, nonbeing me on 7, in a manner or speaking exists insofar as it is potentially, and it is this which leads him to a special wide sense of real being, which comprises as well that which potentially is.
Now, what is this potential thing which, being real, belongs to the object of metaphysics, and which has potential being as opposed to actual being? Aristotle defines it in the third chapter of the ninth book as follows: "a thing is possible if there is nothing impossible in its having the actuality of that of which it is said to have the potentiality.
The first difficulty can be resolved as follows: the impossible [adynaton] in question is the contradictory. It is opposed to the possible in the logical sense which we have just discussed. The second difficulty forces us to direct our attention initially to actuality [energeia]. Potential being cannot be defined except with the aid of the concept of actuality, for the latter is prior in both concept and substance, as we are told in Met.
Aristotle does not give us a definition and declares explicitly that we should not demand one, since the concept of actuality is so basic and simple that it does not permit definition but can be clarified only inductively through examples. Furthermore, a statue of Hermes is actual if it is completely sculpted, finished, and not raw wood or a marble block to which the artist has not yet put his hand. If someone knows something but is not presently engaged in the act of cognition, or if a block is rough and unsculpted, then the former is not actually cognizing, even if he could perform the act of cognition, and the latter is not actually a statue, even if it is one potentially.
They are related "as that which is actually building to that which is capable of building, as that which is awake to that which is asleep, as that which is seeing to that which has eyes shut, but has the power of sight, and as that which is formed from matter is to matter, and as the finished article to the raw material. In this contrast let one member be assigned to actuality, the other to potentiality. Thus Aristotle often uses the designation "actuality" [energeia] and "entelechy" [entelecheia] interchangeably15 where the latter means the same as consummation teleiotes ,16 as was correctly noted by Alexander and Simplicus.
A mere potentiality in things, a merely potential thing which exists, is that not a thing which exists and yet does not have existence? Is this not a contradiction and impossibility? The Megarians did indeed see a contradiction here, as often happens if one withdraws the basis of being from contradictions which ought to be resolved. Thus they denied the merely potential, and that a thing is capable of something which is not already actual in the thing. But it is not difficult, says Aristotle,18 to reduce such an assertion to absurdity.
For then there would not be a builder who is not presently engaged in building, and no one would have an enduring ability. But it is certain that a person who has exercised an art does not at once lose his knowledge and his capability, and that he does not have to learn and acquire them for every new use, and it is equally certain that the artist remains an artist, even if he rests from his activity.
Furthermore, nothing would be cold or hot, and Protagoras would be correct in his claim that all truth depends upon subjective sensation and opinion. The additional examples which he adduces in this context serve to remove all doubt about the meaning of "potential being. I have in mind the enumeration of the different kinds of potential being, or rather. This can be done since "potential being" is not used univocally, but applies to the concepts which fall under it merely with a certain unity of analogy. They all agree in that they are origins of something,22 and all of them are reduced to a single principle from which they receive the name, and therein consists their analogy.
The Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly Review
Even then it is not moving and moved, active and passive, in one and the same respect; one and the same thing acts and receives action, but not insofar as it is the same, but insofar as it is another. The third mode of potentiality is impassivity [hexis apatheias] , as he calls it in Me t.
This is the disposition of a thing which makes it altogether incapable of suffering or change, or at least which makes it difficult for it to change for the worse. It is the so-called capacity of resisting. Thus, for example, if somebody limps or stutters we do not describe him as one who can walk or talk; rather, we use these words for those who can do these things without stumbling and error. Similarly, green wood is called non-flammable, while dry wood is called flammable, etc.
All of these are called capable relative to a capacity [kata dynamin] , which does not hold for the concept which logicians connect with the word "possible" [dynaton]. Is it perhaps the case that our potential being [dynamei on] is one and the same as the thing capable [dynaton] which was just mentioned? We must deny this if we wish to retain the concept of potential being [dynamei on], which was introduced with sufficient clarity above.
Both physics and metaphysics agree that the first principle of motion is to be sought in God, but God, though certainly a thing capable [dynaton] , is in no way a potential being, since he is an actual being [on energeia] in the fullest sense of the word. But how? Is there only one mode of potential being [dynamei on] and is this the concept of a genus in which all things designated by that name participate in the same manner?
What will be the method by which we gain knowledge of the various modes of potential being? The third chapter of the ninth book speaks of a thing capable [dynaton] ; the entire context and the examples themselves show clearly that in this case it is identical with potential being [dynamei on] , and it is said that it is found in every category.
This is necessarily the case with everything that reaches beyond the extension of anyone category, as Aristotle clearly indicates in Eth. We, too, shall give a detailed demonstration of this point, and shall recognize the principles upon which it rests. There are as many modes of potential being and actual being as there are categories; through the latter we shall understand the number of, and differences between, the former. But something remains to be done for the complete determination of potential being [dynamei on].
The question is at what time is something potentially; the analogous question with respect to actual being does not occasion any doubts. It would certainly be incorrect to say of a newborn child that he is capable of speaking, of walking, or even of investigating the deepest principles of science. It is necessary that he should first grow in strength, that the germ of his talent should unfold so that he may acquire the ability, which he still lacks, to do all these things.
Thus it is not correct to say that earth is a potential statue, for one cannot make such a statue of it until its nature has been changed, and it has become, for example, ore. Anything which is potentially something else does not in reality become this thing except through the influence of an efficient cause. Thus to every potential being there corresponds a certain efficient cause and its activity, whether it be artificial, where the principle of realization is external to the potential being, or natural, where it resides within the latter.
Anything has potential being if either nature or art can make it actual through a single action. It is potential through art if the artist can actualize it whenever he wants to, provided only that there is no external hindrance; thus, for example, something is called. Something is potential through nature if it can be lead to actuality by its peculiar active principle or its inherent natural power, provided only that no external hindrance stands in the way.
In this manner, something is potentially healthy if there is nothing in the sick body which must be removed before nature can exercise her healing force. But wherever other changes are presupposed before the proper process of actualization can begin, there is no potential being. Trees which must first be felled and dressed, or the stuff which must first transform itself into a tree, these are not potentially a house; but when the beams from which it can be erected are finished, then one can say that the house has potential being. Thus the earth is not potentially a man, and even the semen is not, but if the foetus can become an actual man through its peculiar active principle, then it is already potentially a man.
Movement [kinesis] as actuality which constitutes a thing as being in a state of potentiality. In the previous section we have considered what Aristotle meant by actual being [on energeia] and potential being [on dynamis]. The latter appeared as being which was as such incomplete, and this is the reason why the perfect separate substance, God, does not in any way partake of potential being, but is pure actuality. On the other hand, if a thing is composed of substance and accident, matter and form, then this imperfection results in its not being free of potentiality; for such a.
But aside from the what of potential and actual being we have also noted a when for both. For potential being we did so following Aristotle, while it is of itself clear that for actual being the state of its actualization through form mustcorrespond to its completion. But while there is no doubt that this union of potential and actual being actually occurs, a union of the states which correspond to one or the other does not seem possible since the state corresponding to unactualized potential being is a state prior to actualization which, however, can be brought about through a single process of becoming cf.
Yet even their union is in a sense not inconsistent; of course, we do not here speak of a simultaneous union, for if a body is now potentially and later actually white, then this union in the subject is not properly called a union of states, and there are no problems with respect to this matter. A simultaneous union, however, is possible in this way: something which is actually ore is in a state of potentiality with respect to a certain figure, etc. This is a union no different from those occuring between something that has actual being with a second and a third thing which has actual being, as when one and the same subject is actually a body, actually large, actually green, etc.
In this case, the actuality of that which actually is does not belong to the potential object as such; for example, the actuality of the ore belongs to the ore as ore but not as a potential statue. But there is a second manner in which both states can be united, and this occurs in the state of becoming, on kinesei, as Aristotle calls it. He says this: "The actuality energeia of the potential tou dynamei ontos as such I call movement.
This definition makes it clear, first of all, that by potential being or the potential dynamei on, dynaton , we are to understand that which is in a state of potentiality; for if we were to take it in the sense in which all matter as such, even after its union with form, is to be called something merely potential, then aside from the separate substances, every form would have to be called an actuality of a potential being, and nothing peculiar to movement would have been indicated.
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But there is something else which causes problems: the words "the actuality of potential being" can be interpreted in two ways, as can be seen in the following: every form or actuality which is not a separate substance can be called an actuality of something in two ways: 1 as the actuality of the substratum, for example when we say of the soul that it is the actuality of the physical body which is potentially alive;45 and 2 as the actuality of the composite which was formed from matter through its union with form, for example when we say of the soul that it is the actuality of the living being.
Since in our definition movement was described as the actuality of something, viz. Each interpretation, despite the difference, gives a true sense which agrees with what has been said so far, and which therefore ultimately coincides with the other. Let us show this by looking at both of them more closely.
According to the first interpretation, which is adopted by most commentators,46 our definition would determine movement to be a form which has the following characteristics: as it brings its subject from the corresponding state of potentiality to [the] actuality [of movement], it leaves it in a state of potentiality to another thing. This other thing is such that the subject was in a state of potentiality to it by virtue of being in a state of potentiality to the actuality of the movement itself. To understand this, we must remember what was said in the preceding section in answer to the question at what time something is a potential being.
Something has potentiality if nature or art can make it an actuality through a single action, hence if it can be actualized through a single becoming. But this be-. If a black body becomes white through a single change, it does not follow that it changes suddenly. Thus becoming and consummation do not coincide here; first the subject partakes in becoming, and then achieves its completion. Hence, here the subject has a double potentiality, viz. Yet this double state of potentiality is in itself and in its concept only a single one. For if a black body is capable of becoming white through a single becoming hence as a potentiality to the becoming-of-the-form , it is obviously in a state of potentiality to whiteness.
Now, if a subject is transferred from this state of potentiality to actuality with respect to becoming, then it is also transferred to a new and heightened state of potentiality with respect to the form which is the consummation of becoming. Hence commentators have described this state as a third, intervening, state between mere potentiality and actuality;48 this state of an actual tendency after the act is being qua movement [on kinesei], while movement [kinesis] is that becoming which actualizes but does not completely exhaust potentiality. Thus there are no further difficulties in understanding the definition.
The kind of thing something is [he toiouton esti] distinguishes this kind of union between states of potentiality and actuality from the one mentioned above in which, for example, the actuality of the ore as ore coexisted with the potentiality of being a statue. The first interpretation made good sense with respect to movement [kinesis] , yet it does not seem free of inaccuracies. For if the double potentiality of the subject were really only one, both in itself and according to the concept haplos kai kata ton logon, Physics III. For if it is terminated with respect to whatever, then it is completely terminated, hence for both.
And if only the becoming of the form has become actual, while the form itself is still potentiality, it has not remained in the previous, but in a new and more advanced state of potentiality, viz. Thus in a sense a subject has remained in a state of potentiality, just as I can say of something which is now white and then red that it has remained in a state of actuality with respect to color, although it is now colored by virtue of a different state of actuality than before; but in the strict sense the subject has not remained in a state of potentiality; rather, it has been transferred from one state of potentiality to a second state which aims at the same form, i.
Thus, if the great authority of the men who maintained the first interpretation did not make me hesitate, I would unquestionably prefer the second, according to which the definition determines as follows: Movement is the actuality of the potential as such, just as the form of the ore is the actuality of the ore as such, i. In other words, it constitutes and forms a potential it constitutes and forms something which is in a state of potentiality as being in this state.
After what has been said, the definition when put this way has no further difficulties.
This interpretation has the advantage that it makes the definition not only more precise, but also simpler. Let the following contribute to its comprehensibility, where we make constant reference to the appropriate passages in Aristotle to show that our argumentation agrees with his meaning.
We shall show 1 that there are potentialities which are constituted as such through some actuality, 2 that this is not the case with all potential states, and 3 that where it is the case, the constituting actuality is a movement. The first point is likely to provoke the most doubt and opposition, hence we want to treat it with special care. Thus we shall conduct our proof as follows: we shall show 1 that. We begin by referring back to the previous section, in which we saw that aside from that which is in a state of actuality [the energeia on] , there is also being in the state of potentiality [on dynamei].
Obviously, through a form or actuality. But what about a potential being? Is it, too, constituted formed as such by something? It is indeed difficult to believe that a state of potentiality as such can be constituted through a form, which is, after all, an actuality;51 yet this is the case, provided only that there is a double state of potentiality with respect to the same form, as we have just said see above p.
Let us again consider and confirm this fact. We have said that there is often a double state of potentiality with respect to the same actuality, and this was derived from another truth which was proved earlier p. For example, something which is potentially white has potentiality for whiteness and also for becomingwhite by virtue of one and the same state, since a single operation, namely white-making, actualizes both see above.
From this we have concluded that if both actualities could occur only one after the other, the first of them would have to terminate the state of potentiality with respect to the second, for the two states of potentiality are one and the same. But since the subject maintained the potentiality to the second form, it could do so only by virtue of a second, new state of potentiality to this form cf. It follows from this that there are two states of potentiality corresponding to this actuality. Hence there is a double state of potentiality with respect to the same actuality.
We can support this argument by a second one. If there is a state of potentiality with respect to a form from which and. But the antecedent of this conditional proposition is true, hence also the consequent. For it is true that a stone which is thrown is capable has potentiality of reaching a certain location toward which it has been thrown, and that from the state in which it is now, viz. And it is true that a stone which rests in a certain location is capable of attaining another location since it can get there through a single throw, and yet it cannot immediately get there from the state in which it is before the throw; it must first attain the state of being-thrown.
Here we have an example of two states of potentiality with respect to the same actuality. We take this argument from Aristotle himself when he says, in the second book of the Metaphysics, that there is a double way in which something comes from something, as a man from a boy who matured to manhood, or the air from water; in the first case, that which is becoming changes into that which has become, out of that which is in the process of completion actualization there arises the completed the actual.
Something can pass from a state of becoming into a state of actuality, but not vice versa; for what is already white cannot become white. But from the state of potentiality prior to becoming, a thing attains the state of actuality, and conversely; for the black is potentially white, and after it has actually become white, it is potentially black and can therefore return to this state. This is perfectly clear and certain. For privation as such does not constitute anything. It is itself only accidental being [on kata symbebekosl and, taken by itself, has no existence at all;54 while matter, as such, is undifferentiated, and since it receives all its determinations from the form through which it is what it is, there can be only one matter with respect to one and the same form.
Rather, only one thing is possible, viz. And this is what we had wanted to prove in the first place, and what at first sight is liable to occasion considerable doubt, Le. One can also show this in another way once the above established proposition has been secured, Le. For if the two actualities considered by themselves are two, then they must be one in their relation [in der Ordnung 1 to this state of potentiality, and so one of them must be a function of the other [zur andern hingeordnet seinl, hence must give the subject an actual tendency toward itself, Le.
If the preceding investigation has made it clear that many things which are in a state of potentiality are constituted as such through a form, this is not to say that this must be the case with everything that is in a state of potentiality. On the contrary, this, too, would be an error; consequently, we find Aristotle opposing it in the third book of the Physics and the corresponding part of the eleventh book of the Metaphysics. Let us now give a somewhat more complete version of his argumentation.
If something is in a state of potentiality, and is constituted as such by an actuality, then I it must be in a state of actuality, and 2 it must,. From this it follows, for instance, that a motionless waxen ball, which is potentially a cube, is not constituted by an actuality as being in that particular state [of potentiality]. For, of all the forms which are in a wax ball, it can only be the actuality of the wax as wax, or the softness of the wax, which lend it a certain disposition that facilitates reshaping it.
But when the wax ball has become a cube, the form of the wax as wax, hence also its softness, hence everything through which the wax was formerly constituted remains; now, if this were a state of potentiality, hence a state prior to actuality, then the cube which has come about would not yet be a cube, which is contradictory. Hence, one would have to believe that it is the form of the wax ball as a sphere which constitutes the potentiality of becoming a cube; for it is indeed true that whatever has the shape of a sphere cannot at the same time be a cube.
But against this a second argument can be advanced which is also decisive with respect to the previously mentioned form of the wax. The wax ball is a potentiality not only to the form of the cube but to a thousand other shapes as well. Hence, all these states of potentiality would have to be constituted through the form of the ball or the wax if the wax ball as sphere or as wax were indeed presently in a state of potentiality, and hence they would have to be identical with the sphere with the wax as such i.
But this is impossible; for if two are identical with the same third thing, then they are identical with each other, and hence the innumerable different states of potentiality to become a cube, a tetrahedron, a dodecahedron, a icosahedron and other regular and irregular forms would have to be both in themselves and in concept [haplos kai kata ton logon] identical, although they are as different as these forms themselves which diverge from each other in a number of directions.
Hence, it has been established that the wax ball by being constituted as wax through the actuality of the wax, and as a sphere through the spherical figure, is not constituted through any of its actualities as having a state of potentiality to become a cube. Hence it has a potentiality to be in this state without being consti-. Having seen that there are two kinds of states of potentiality, one of which is constituted as such by an actuality while the other is not, the question now is which states of potentiality are constituted by an actuality or, what comes to the same, which actualities constitute potential states as such.
All potential being as such stands in a relation to an active principle; for the subject is potentially something if it can become an actuality through a single act of an active principle. Thus we must also examine those states of potentiality which are constituted as such through an actuality in their relation to an active principle and its operation. Thus a state of potentiality to become something exists in a subject either before the operation, or during the operation, or after the operation of the force through whose activity it is transformed into a state of actuality.
But it can obviously not exist after the activity, for if the activity has passed nothing remains that can be realized through this activity; what this activity was capable of actualizing either exists now or has existed in actuality. With respect to this activity at least it does certainly not exist in potentiality, whether or not the latter be constituted through a form. Hence, it remains to consider the states of the subject prior to and during the activity. But the state of potentiality which exists in the subject prior to the activity cannot be constituted through an actuality.
For at that point there are only three forms in the subject which must be considered. One is to be envisaged as the terminus a quo for the change, as for example the spherical figure of the wax which is to be transformed into a cube. A second, which is the most deceptive and is therefore the only one considered by Aristotle, is the form which constitutes the subject as that which it actually is.
In the case of the wax ball, this is the actuality which constitutes the wax as wax. Finally, there is a third form, in the case of the wax it is softness, which lends a certain disposition to the subject. Hence the latter, as such, does not possess any actuality. On the other hand, the state of potentiality in which the subject is during the.
Aristotle on the many senses of priority
For the principle acts only to the extent in which the subject receives an influence, i. Now, if the subject is still in a state of potentiality with respect to this force and its activity, then this is due to a further state of potentiality: we have shown this above when we discussed the first point, and everything else said there applies here as well. The only remaining question is what we should call those states of potentiality which exist during the activity of the acting principle and what to call those actualities which potentialize the subject, as it were.
We commonly call them states of becoming or movement,59 and as movement they must be considered actualities which constitute a potential thing as potential. Induction shows this. While the builder builds, that with which he builds is in a state of potentiality which is constituted by actuality, but the building material as such was only a potentiality with respect to house construction and to the edifice. Either the actuality of constructing or the actuality of the edifice must therefore be that which constitutes that higher state of potentiality.
But not that of the edifice, for the edifice as such is no longer a potentiality with respect to the builder and this building activity of his; hence, the actuality in question must be the building activity oikodomesis , and this is indeed a movement kinesis. One can give a similar demonstration with respect to all other movements. The same occurs when something heals, when there is a revolution, a jump, etc. For example, the movement toward a quality alloiosis constitutes that which is becoming a quale poion in this state of potentiality toward a quality; similarly, the movement toward quantity auxesis kai phthisis constitutes that which is about to become a quantum poson in this state of potentiality toward a quantity; furthermore, locomotion phora constitutes that which moves toward a goal in this state of.
Now, if there is such an intermediate state of potentiality also in the domain of the substantial, then the state of substantial becoming and passing away through generation and corruption genesis kai phthora must be formally constituted in the same way, and these, too, will be movements. Here as elsewhere his polemic is never unfruitful, since it always manages to find and isolate what is correct in a mistaken position. He notes that earlier attempts had defined movement as otherness, as inequality, and as non-being. None of these definitions describe the essence of movement, for none of these need to be moved, neither that which is other, nor that which is unequal, nor that which has non-being.
It is peculiar to the state of becoming that that which is in the state of becoming has a potentiality to acquire the state of that which has become, while that which has become does not have a state of potentiality to acquire that particular state of becoming from which it arose, as we have seen above,64 while, on the other hand, the equal passes into the unequal, as well as the unequal into the equal, and being into non-being, as well as non-being into being, etc.
There is indeed something in the nature of movement which could lead one to put it into the order 66 of privation. Since becoming does not form a special species of things, but must be reduced to the species of accomplished being,67 as that which is growing large to largeness, and that which is in the process of acquiring a certain characteristic to that characteristic, one is inclined to take it for something indeterminate, something lacking form.
What else is one to make of movement? The potentiality dynamis by virtue of which something is potentially is not movement, and what is actually [energeia] something is also not in motion; thus the only thing left seems to declare motion to be an unfinished actuality [energeia] , an accomplished reality [entelecheia] for which there is no com-.
But the puzzle is resolved in this way: as actualization [energeia] , movement constitutes something as being in a state of potentiality as such, and the potential is of course incomplete;68 hence, that which completes [vollendet] is indeed a state of incompleteness;69 it actualizes a state which is prior to actuality. Hence the indicated way is the only one that remains, namely that it is an actuality, but the kind we have described, which is difficult to grasp, but nonetheless possible. For what we have just touched upon, viz.
Movement as actuality constitutes a state of potentiality. Since the states of potentiality belong to the same genus as the corresponding states of actuality, just as the possible body belongs, with the actual body, to the genus of substance, and the potentially white belongs, with the actually white, to the genus of color and of quality, etc.
This is not to say that there is a motion [kinesis] in every species of being, as there is a potentiality [dynamis] and an actuality [energeia]. A state of becoming, i. The transformation from non-being to being can only be sudden and momentary. After having declared in Physics We note that according to both of them the thing in motion [on kinesei] exemplifies a peculiar mode of union of a potential and an actual state. The second interpretation allows this union to be very clearly indicated in the definition of motion, by saying that motion is an actuality which, by producing its actual state, constitutes a state of potentiality, i.
We see that here, too, the subject which is in the state of becoming occupies an intermediate state between a more distant potentiality and actuality; but by being in this one state, it has simultaneously a state of actuality with respect to becoming, movement; it has potentiality with respect to the form which is approached through movement. This middle state is also attained by potentialities which have the peculiar characteristic that there cannot be a complete reality corresponding to the potentiality.
Just as the concept of movement has something in it which is difficult to grasp, and which at first occasions astonishment and doubts concerning the correctness of the definition cf. Yet such is the case, as the example of any line and of any solid clearly shows. The line, which in actuality is one, can be halved, and thus is potentially two, and since the half is capable of further division, it is potentially four; hence, it is potentially two, four, eight, sixteen, etc. But what is the limit of this potentiality? It does not have a limit; while it is in actuality one, it is potentially.
But this potentiality is never exhausted by an actuality. The infinitely many lines which are now contained as parts in one line will never actually exist as infinitely many actual lines. Here, and wherever else we are concerned with bodies,74 the infinite exists always only in a state of potentiality, either as a state of potentiality prior to movement one line has infinitely many parts , or as thing in motion on kin esei , when a division into infinity is attempted.
Similar considerations hold for surfaces, bodies, and other things. Being According to the Figures qf the Categories 1. Introductory Remarks. Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller 7. Brand New!. Seller Inventory VIB More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. Published by University of California Press.
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The spine remains undamaged. More information about this seller Contact this seller Seller Inventory NEW Published by Herder'sche Verlagshandlung, Freiburg im Breisgau Franz Brentano, the German philosopher and psychologist, was the founder of phenomenology. As Copleston notes, when tracing "the rise of phenomenology there is no need to go back beyond Franz Brentano.
Perhaps this is rightly so. At any rate, the present work under review can be construed not only as an interpretation of Aristotle's metaphysics but also as Brentano's first step towards his later development of reism, and in that sense we can discuss it as a clue to his ontology. Brentano pursues the ideal of philosophia perennis under the influence of the exact method of the natural sciences and with the religious conviction of rational theism.
His dissertation is an attempt at a rigorous investigation of being as being, the prototype of which he finds in Aristotle. Its aim is to show a possible deductive inference in the coherent system of reasoning in Aristotle's metaphysics. Brentano's argument is roughly as follows.
Pdf pdf on the several senses of being in aristotle
Aristotle says: "Being is said in various ways. Accidental being is out of the question for ontology, since science cannot deal with it. Being in the sense of true being is not an ontological topic either, because it and its opposite, i. Brentano believes that the subject of metaphysics should comprise only extramental being in the external world, and, accordingly only the last two senses of being are truly ontological.
Brentano's exegesis of the sense of potential and actual being in Aristotle is neither interesting nor particularly original. However, the central thesis of the work, that being in the sense of the categories, in particular, substantial being, is the most basic, and the other categories can coherently be inferred from substantial being, is important.