Philoponus: On Aristotle Physics 4.1-5 by John Philoponus

By John Philoponus

Aristotle's account of position, during which he outlined a thing's position because the internal floor of its nearest motionless box, used to be supported by means of the Latin heart a while, even 1600 years after his demise, even though it had now not confident many old Greek philosophers. The 6th century commentator Philoponus took a extra common sense view. For him, position was once an motionless 3-dimensional extension, whose essence didn't prevent its being empty, whether for different purposes it had regularly to be packed with physique. although, Philoponus reserved his personal definition for an excursus, already translated during this sequence, The Corollary on Place. within the textual content translated right here he sought after as a substitute to give an explanation for Aristotle's view to effortless scholars. the new conjecture that he needed to draw younger fellow-Christians clear of the legit pagan professor of philosophy in Alexandria has the benefit of explaining why he expounds Aristotle right here, instead of attacking him. yet he nonetheless places the scholars via their paces, for instance whilst discussing Aristotle's declare that position can't be a physique, or our bodies might coincide.

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Place is external to the thing of which it is the place. Matter and form are not external to the thing to which they belong. Therefore place is neither matter nor form. The fourth argument proceeds through a hypothetical syllogism, as follows. If matter and form were place, nothing would move to its proper place (for nothing moves towards that in which it already is;63 and each thing is in its own matter and form). Yet all things do move to their proper places. Therefore matter and form are not place.

210a9 Again, whenever water comes to be out of air, the place has perished; for the body that has come to be is not in the same place. The eighth argument. If form is place, he says, then whenever water has perished and become air, evidently its place will have vanished because its form has perished. Yet they are at a loss to say what this perishing of place actually is. e. the air. For that is not in the same place: after all, the form of air is a different one. So if the form of air is different from the form of water, and form is place, then the air is not in the same place as the water.

68 Hence it receives ever different sizes and shapes. 69 20 25 209b11 This is why Plato also says in the Timaeus that matter and space are the same. e. because place is like matter, Plato too says in the Timaeus that matter is the same as space; and place is space; so he says that matter is the same as place. He calls matter the participant, as I have already said, because it participates in the Forms, and participates only, while in no way being participated in. We have already said in what sense he also calls it ‘space’, namely in an analogical way, just as Aristotle himself calls the soul the place of the psychic forms and the intellect the place of the intelligible forms.

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