Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 9-11 (Ancient by Philoponus

By Philoponus

In a single of the main unique books of overdue antiquity, Philoponus argues for the Christian view that topic might be created through God out of not anything. It wishes no past subject for its production. even as, Philoponus transforms Aristotle's perception of best topic as an incorporeal 'something - i do know no longer what' that serves because the final topic for receiving extension and traits. to the contrary, says Philoponus, the final word topic is extension. it's three-d extension with its special dimensions and any traits unspecified. furthermore, such extension is the defining attribute of physique. as a result, up to now from being incorporeal, it truly is physique, and in addition to being top subject, it truly is shape - the shape that constitutes physique. This makes use of, yet totally disrupts, Aristotle's conceptual equipment. eventually, in Aristotle's scheme of different types, this extension isn't to be categorised less than the second one type of volume, yet below the 1st class of substance as a considerable volume. This quantity comprises an English translation of Philoponus' remark, targeted notes and advent, and a bibliography.

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Additional resources for Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 9-11 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle)

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But, if the universe comes to be, there is no necessity that it should come to be from something [already] in existence. 121 It is in its entirety that the universe, if it is indeed to come to be, must come to exist122 out of non-existence. So, either let them show by means of further, necessary and irrefutable, arguments that the cosmos has not come to be but has everlasting existence, or, if it does come to be, there is no necessity that it should come to be from something [already] in existence just because each particular thing comes to be from something [already] in existence; on the contrary, for the universe to really come to be as a universe [it must] come to exist in its entirety out of non-existence.

It remains to inquire whether the physical forms change into one another – triangle into circle, for instance; or sweetness into its opposite, bitterness, or into just any other form, such as, say, heaviness. This too is agreed to be impossible. The nutritive capacity could 20 25 355,1 5 10 15 20 25 356,1 5 40 10 15 20 25 357,1 5 10 15 20 25 358,1 Chapter 9, Section 11 not, upon perishing, become, say, high-spirited, nor by any manner of means could the soul of a dog which has died (phtheiresthai) ever become the soul of a horse.

Similarly, what is actually white163 is the whitened body itself, as for instance [a piece of] whitened linen, whereas the actuality of whiteness, or, as Aristotle puts it, the entelechy, is the form of whiteness itself, which has supervened in the body; for that which has shared in such an actuality is said to be ‘actually’ white, the word [‘actually’] being employed in the dative case. And this is so in all other cases. 164 For when the white body perished, the actuality or form of whiteness itself either remained or did not remain in the substrate.

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