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

By Philoponus

In a single of the main unique books of past due antiquity, Philoponus argues for the Christian view that topic could be created by means of God out of not anything. It wishes no past subject for its production. while, Philoponus transforms Aristotle's perception of top subject as an incorporeal 'something - i do know no longer what' that serves because the final topic for receiving extension and characteristics. to the contrary, says Philoponus, the last word topic is extension. it truly is third-dimensional extension with its particular dimensions and any features unspecified. additionally, such extension is the defining attribute of physique. accordingly, to date from being incorporeal, it's physique, and in addition to being best subject, it's shape - the shape that constitutes physique. This makes use of, yet totally disrupts, Aristotle's conceptual gear. eventually, in Aristotle's scheme of different types, this extension isn't to be categorized lower than the second one classification of volume, yet below the 1st class of substance as a considerable volume. This quantity includes an English translation of Philoponus' statement, special 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)

Sample text

Since, then, this is agreed and it is impossible for whiteness previously in a particular body to be numerically the same as whiteness which has subsequently appeared in the same [body], it is impossible for the whiteness which has previously perished to have come back into being still numerically the same, even though it is specifically the same. And if it is impossible for the whiteness which has perished to have come [back] into being still numerically the same, then the individual whiteness which perished is not still present numerically the same in the underlying body even potentially – not at any rate if that which is potentially something can also come to be in actuality.

Things which break up into simpler [elements] must be composite. So of what simpler [elements] does the sensory power consist? Or the nutritive [power], or whiteness, or sweetness, or other such things? And besides, the same difficulty remains again in regard to them; either they too will in their turn be resolved into simpler [elements], and the process (proodos) of resolution will have no end, or, if, being elements of enmattered forms, they are necessarily inferior to them and on that account also perishable themselves but are not resolved into simpler [elements] when they perish, why do we not admit to simplicity in the forms themselves?

Well, it is certainly the case that the cosmos too, as long as it remains a cosmos, is in the same way unchanging as a whole; for if it changes as a whole, it must also perish. So the fact that the universe as a whole is not presently changing does not show that it is unchanging, but only if none of its parts changed [would this be so]. And this is not the case. On the contrary, there is no part of the cosmos which is altogether unchanging; the heavenly [element] constantly undergoes change of place and there is no part of the heaven 25 334,1 5 10 15 20 25 335,1 5 10 15 28 20 25 336,1 5 10 15 20 25 337,1 5 10 Chapter 9, Sections 5-6 that is not subject to change of place, and everything else exhibits the full spectrum of changes.

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