On Generation and Corruption

On Generation and Corruption❮Reading❯ ➶ On Generation and Corruption Author Aristotle – Bluevapours.co.uk Further we are to study growth and alteration We must inuire what each of them is and whether alteration is to be identified with coming to be or whether to these different names there correspond two Further we are to study growth and alteration We must inuire what each of them is and whether alteration is to be identified with coming to be or whether to these different names there correspond two separate processes with distinct natures.

Greece Arabic Bulgarian Russian Ukrainian Alternate European spelling Aristoteles Italian Aristotele Aristotle BC numbers among the greatest philosophers of all time Judged solely in terms of his philosophical influence only Plato is his peer Aristotle s works shaped centuries of philosophy from Late Antiuity through the Renaissance and even today continue to be studied with keen non antiuarian interest A prodigious researcher On Generation PDF/EPUB ² and writer Aristotle left a great body of work perhaps numbering as many as two hundred treatises from which approximately thirty one survive His extant writings span a wide range of disciplines from logic metaphysics and philosophy of mind through ethics political theory aesthetics and rhetoric and into such primarily non philosophical fields as empirical biology where he excelled at detailed plant and animal observation and taxonomy In all these areas Aristotle s theories have provided illumination met with resistance sparked debate and generally stimulated the sustained interest of an abiding readershipBecause of its wide range and its remoteness in time Aristotle s philosophy defies easy encapsulation The long history of interpretation and appropriation of Aristotelian texts and themes spanning over two millennia and comprising philosophers working within a variety of religious and secular traditions has rendered even basic points of interpretation controversial The set of entries on Aristotle in this site addresses this situation by proceeding in three tiers First the present general entry offers a brief account of Aristotle s life and characterizes his central philosophical commitments highlighting his most distinctive methods and most influential achievements Second are General Topics which offer detailed introductions to the main areas of Aristotle s philosophical activity Finally there follow Special Topics which investigate in greater detailnarrowly focused issues especially those of central concern in recent Aristotelian scholarship.

On Generation and Corruption eBook ä On Generation
  • Paperback
  • 160 pages
  • On Generation and Corruption
  • Aristotle
  • English
  • 19 January 2016
  • 1425000878

10 thoughts on “On Generation and Corruption

  1. Roy Lotz says:

    With this relatively minor work of proto science, my voyage through Aristotle s corpus continues Of Generation and Corruption is a very poor name for this work a better one would be Of Coming to Be and Passing Away Those two terms capture what Aristotle is investigating How does matter come about in the first place How is one type of matter transformed into another type How do things grow and diminish How do the elements act on one another These questions lead Aristotle into what might With this relatively minor work of proto science, my voyage through Aristotle s corpus continues Of Generation and Corruption is a very poor name for this work a better one would be Of Coming to Be and Passing Away Those two terms capture what Aristotle is investigating How does matter come about in the first place How is one type of matter transformed into another type How do things grow and diminish How do the elements act on one another These questions lead Aristotle into what might justly be called proto chemistry One thing Aristotle spends a lot of time wondering about is, from our modern point of view, unmistakably conservation laws Can matter spring into existence from nothing Or must it always come from something else Aristotle though not for the correct reasons decides upon the latter every coming to be is a passing away of something else and every passing away some other thing s coming to be In other words, out of nothing, comes nothing While Aristotle is correct in this surmise, he is less successful in investigating what I cannot but call Newton s Third Law Can or cannot one thing affect another thing without it itself being affected Here we see Aristotle s puzzling confusion of metaphorical uses of terms with theirstrict definitions it is commonly supposed that touching must be reciprocal The reason of this belief is that movers which belong to the same kind as the moved impart motion by being moved Hence if anything imparts motion without itself being moved, it may touch the moved and yet itself be touched by nothing for we say sometimes that the man who grieves us touches us, but not that we touch him.In other words, since we are touched by an emotional event, while our being touched does not necessarily affect the event itself, Newton s Third Law isn t necessarily true there was an action without a reaction Aristotle makes a similar point when he says if agent and patient have not the same matter, agent acts without being affected thus the art of healing produces health without itself being acted upon in any way by that which is being healed When a doctor heals a patient, the art of healing acts without itself necessarily being acted upon Incidentely, I m not sure if I d agree with that This confusion of words when applied to social and physical situations runs through much of his proto scientific work, leading to much confusion.In any case, Aristotle soon moves on from these preliminaries into a deeper investigation into the four elements which are, of course, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth What are the specific qualities that differentiate these elements from one another Well, for one, Fire and Air rise, while Water and Earth fall But what differentiates Fire from Air and Water from Earth, then Says Aristotle Fire is hot and dry, whereas Air is hot and moist Air being a sort of aqueous vapour and Water is cold and moist, while Earth is cold and dry Now, by moist Aristotle doesn t mean damp, but rather what us moderns would call fluid moist is that which, being readily adaptable in shape, is not determinable by any limit of its own while dry is that which is readily determinable by its own limit, but not readily adaptable in shape The way these elements interact is qua their contrary qualities it is a law of nature that body is affected by body, flavour by flavour, colour by colour, and so in general what belongs to any kind by a member of the same kind the reason being that contraries are in every case within a single identical kind, and it is contraries which reciprocally act and suffer action.Yes, they do share some qualities, which would seem to complicate this interaction via contraries idea but though each element is described by two qualities, one quality gives each its fundamental identity Earth by dry rather than by cold, Water by cold rather than by moist, Air by moist rather than by hot, and Fire by hot rather than by dry Aristotle quickly moves on from there, thinking he has basically solved all of the pertinent problems, and then makes somegeneral statements about the universe as a whole This leads him to a paragraph that I will quote in full, because it so marvelously encapsulates his way of thinking Coming to be and passing away will, as we have said, always be continuous, and will never fail owing to the cause we stated And this continuity has a sufficient reason in our theory For in all things, as we affirm, Nature always strives after the better Now being is better than not being but not all things can possess being , since they are too far removed from the originative source God therefore adopted the remaining alternative, and fulfilled the perfection of the universe by making coming to be uninterrupted for the greatest possible coherence would thus be secured to existence, because that coming to be should itself come to be perpetually is the closest approximation to eternal being.Again, in this work we see the centrality of the idea of potential to Aristotle s worldview The above statement is similar to one he makes in the Physics regarding infinities Aristotle believes that there is no such thing as an actual infinity, but there are such things as potential infinities The above paragraph seems to be just another way of saying that the cosmos is a potential infinity.This leads me to wonder what is the ontological status of a potential object Aristotle treats them as if they are real just as real as actual objects, though in a different way For example, for Aristotle, the statement there is an egg on the table and that egg is potentially a chicken are equally true statements, applied to two equally real objects namely, the egg, and the potential chicken But a year or so ago I remember reading an essay by Quine, in which he points out that absurdities result from regarding potentialities as real For example, is my refrigerator full of an infinite amount of potential food Are an infinite number of potential men standing in my doorway These rhetorical questions merely point out that, unlike actualities, mutually exclusive potentialities are real or, at least, apparently real Let s take a concrete example Say that, the day after Aristotle calls a certain egg potentially a chicken, I m carrying it back to its nest, and accidentally drop and break it Clearly, the broken egg is no longer potentially a chicken both the actual and potential object has been destroyed But the real question is was the egg ever a potential chicken Was not that specific egg doomed to being dropped and couldn t a hyper knowledgeable, hyper intelligent physicist have predicted that I would drop it What I mean by this is that physically determinative theories are not compatible with potentialities either something will happen, or it won t This, of course, isn t quite true on the quantum level, but I m not sure that s relevant on this macro scale thought experiment Under this interpretation, it would seem that potentialities are not real, but are merely the products of human ignorance we cannot determine what will happen, and so have to entertain multiple possibilities to compensate.This, to me, is slightly disturbing For, to alter the chicken example a bit, we regard murder as the worst of crimes because it destroys another person s potential the future of potentialities is closed to that person The murderer like myself, the egg dropper is then held responsible, because the murder itself is regarded as a potentiality that might not have been actualized in other words, the murderer might not have chosen to murder, thereby activating another, parallel, potentiality, in which the victim lived Yet if potentialities are not real, then the event couldn t have happened any other way It was, in a word, inevitable Disturbing, no Aristotle wonders aloud about this same problem viz., whether things necessarily turn out the way they do in this arresting passage Then are all the things that come to be of this contingent character Or, on the contrary, is it absolutely necessary for some of them to come to be Is there, in fact, a distinction in the field of coming to be corresponding to the distinction, within the field of being , between things that cannot possibly not be and things that can not be For instance, is it necessary that solstices shall come to be, i.e impossible that they should fail to be able to occur I think acareful thinker than I could do this philosophical problem justice even Aristotle seems a little stumped

  2. Mahmoud Sami says:

    8888

  3. Marts (Thinker) says:

    Aristotle analyses how things come into being and go out of existence

  4. Brian Schiebout says:

    On Generation and Corruption written by Aristotle and translated into English by H H Joachim is the elemental chemistry book for the ancient world In many ways I expected a different book based on the title maybeon whether things come to be or merely alter from one sense to another but what it dealt with instead was how the four elements which the ancients believed all things were composed of worked and how they interacted with each other While I realize that the system which Aristotle On Generation and Corruption written by Aristotle and translated into English by H H Joachim is the elemental chemistry book for the ancient world In many ways I expected a different book based on the title maybeon whether things come to be or merely alter from one sense to another but what it dealt with instead was how the four elements which the ancients believed all things were composed of worked and how they interacted with each other While I realize that the system which Aristotle based this book on is completely inaccurate the book is interesting because many fantasy novels which I enjoy reading base their science and magic on these very same elements The first of the elements is earth which is composed of the contraries of dry and cold Maybe I should start with the idea of contraries on which this whole theory rests According to Aristotle all things could be determined by opposite properties which contradicted each other The primary contraries were hot and cold, and wet and dry and each of the four elements was composed of a pair of these contraries Although completely inaccurate it worked to describe things in a method that worked to describe most things until microscopes finally were able to discover the true elements which compose matter I found this book an enlightening although flawed study of this topic which explains how the false theory came to dominate in the minds of many wise men throughout history I would recommend this book if you really want a logical way to put a four element system into a fantasy setting

  5. د.ريمة says:

    463 2018 114 463 2018 114 121 122

  6. Mariam Okasha says:

    .

  7. JP says:

    Here we see the full consideration of whether things come to be and pass away or are altered from some other state He refutes the previous assertion by Empodocles that the 4 elements are equal yet not combined He claims and subsequent support that substance is made of real elements which at some point cannot be further divided, that these elements are combined, and that they are necessary for existence and cyclical in process.

  8. Tyson Adams says:

    I m not going to review this book It s a few thousand years old, I don t really have anything to add.What I found interesting about this book was what it got wrong Obviously Aristotle is one of the most influential thinkers of all time, he was one of the earlier people to grapple with determinism Democritis and Leucippus got there first But in Aristotle s arguments on the Four Causes and the Four Elements, it was interesting that he rejected Leucippus and Democritus Atomism, a theory that I m not going to review this book It s a few thousand years old, I don t really have anything to add.What I found interesting about this book was what it got wrong Obviously Aristotle is one of the most influential thinkers of all time, he was one of the earlier people to grapple with determinism Democritis and Leucippus got there first But in Aristotle s arguments on the Four Causes and the Four Elements, it was interesting that he rejected Leucippus and Democritus Atomism, a theory that was ultimately proven correct Which got me to thinking.How would anyone describe fire one of the four elements without our modern knowledge How would we explain or seek to understand rationalise the workings of fire without chemistry, physics, and all of that other knowledge we take for granted Reading the arguments melding the four causes and elements into an understanding of change and decay in the modern age, it is easy to point and laugh Stupid philosophers can t science But as I was reading I realised I could counter the arguments only based upon the accumulated knowledge of the natural world If I was to remove that knowledge and just go by observation, could I do better The answer is clearly no At best I could come up with different, but probably not better.This realisation then had me thinking about how we don t value our modern age and modern knowledge as much as we should As Douglas Adams noted, we are surrounded by wonders of technology and science, but could we explain it and rebuild it, or would we have to settle for being a sandwich maker from the stars

  9. Josiah Richardson says:

    Aristotle was right about a lot of things, given the day in which he lived It s hard to keep in mind that in order to get to where we are today, we had to come up from where Aristotle was in his own time It s easy to criticize a man who was a recognized genius for all the blunders that we have corrected him over in our world We are our generations Aristotle, and is out beliefs and understandings evolve, one day someone will look at me and this review and wonder how such a blunderous generatio Aristotle was right about a lot of things, given the day in which he lived It s hard to keep in mind that in order to get to where we are today, we had to come up from where Aristotle was in his own time It s easy to criticize a man who was a recognized genius for all the blunders that we have corrected him over in our world We are our generations Aristotle, and is out beliefs and understandings evolve, one day someone will look at me and this review and wonder how such a blunderous generation could have gotten anything accomplished sometimes I wonder that my self.Aristotle focused on where things came from and how they devolve The generation part was mostly correct We don t get something out of nothing There had to be a first cause for all additional causes And honestly, he wasn t too far off in where things end up over time, writing that all things are made up of previously existing things This reincarnation, if you will, of material things even crosses over to physical beings such as our self If you can overlook the eerily similar transcendentalist overtones, this is mostly true and it is a philosophical way of expounding on Newton s second law of physics if you look carefully enough Aristotle was a great mind trapped in his limited generation As are we

  10. Paul Haspel says:

    On the whole, Aristotle did quite well at the task of discussing how matter comes to be, changes its state of being, and ceases to be While the scientific resources available to a chemist or physicist today are much better than what was available in classical Athens during the 4th century B.C., Aristotle s treatise On Generation and Corruption still constitutes an impressive investigation of the basic building blocks of existence.I found out, after beginning On Generation and Corruption, that t On the whole, Aristotle did quite well at the task of discussing how matter comes to be, changes its state of being, and ceases to be While the scientific resources available to a chemist or physicist today are much better than what was available in classical Athens during the 4th century B.C., Aristotle s treatise On Generation and Corruption still constitutes an impressive investigation of the basic building blocks of existence.I found out, after beginning On Generation and Corruption, that this work is a follow up to Aristotle s earlier treatise The Physics Yeah, okay, so I should have read The Physics first my bad But I felt that the best thing I could do, having begun, was simply to soldier on with the work and as I did so, I found Aristotle s insights characteristically thorough and helpful.The task that Aristotle sets for himself here is to pick out the causes and definitions of generation and corruption common to all those things which come to be and perish in the course of nature p 1 In other words, when something comes to be, is it a truly new coming into existence, of something that had no existence before or is it an alteration or transformation from something else One of the examples that Aristotle brings up in that regard is that of eating and nutrition We take in bread, meat or cheese, fruits or vegetables, water or wine, and those things undergo some sort of change, ceasing to be what they were and becoming part of who we are A young person who eats plenty of healthy food may increase muscle mass as a result, thereby becoming a stronger person Yet what exactly is going on there Is it a process of generation coming to be , or of corruption ceasing to be , or of alteration And when something grows, Aristotle asks, how does growth differ from generation and alteration, and how does each of the things that grow, grow, and everything that gets smaller, get smaller p 15 Taking issue, as he often does, with earlier thinkers like the pre Socratic philosopher Empedocles, Aristotle points out that there are circumstances under which we see the same body, remaining continuous, at one time liquid and at another solid, and this happens to it without division or composition taking place for it has become solid from being liquid without any change of order or position in its nature, nor does it have within it the hard and solid bodies, indivisible in their bulk, but it is at one time liquid in the same way throughout, and at another time hard or solid p 32 In other words, there is alteration, but not any discernible generation or corruption If you have bad memories of a high school or college chemistry class where you had to memorize the entire Periodic Table of the Elements all 118 of them, by the latest count then you might find it comforting to know that in Aristotle s time, the elements are four in number , and their properties can be summed up as follows F ire is hot and dry, air hot and wet for air is something like steam , water cold and wet, and earth cold and dry p 40 So much for having to memorize all those atomic weights and whatnot, right Aristotle s ultimate conclusion, with regard to the question of whether things change in number or in form, is that it all depends upon whether the nature of what is to be changed is perishable or not Accordingly, water and air, for instance, come to be in a circle, and if there is a cloud it is bound to rain and if it rains there is bound also to be a cloud Men and animals, on the other hand, do not return on themselves in such a way that the same one comes to be again and it seems that this generation is in a straight line p 59.Thus spake Aristotle, back around 350 B.C But what about now, in 2019 A.D What do people say about matter coming to be, and changing, and ceasing to be Well, physicists nowadays believe that at the Big Bang, the very beginning of the universe, there was no matter only light, in the form of photons And God said, Let there be light and there was light The decay of those photons into particles and anti particles eventually resulted in the generation of matter Most particles and anti particles cancelled one another out, destroyed each other, but enough particles survived to form all the matter in the universe Gettingspecific than that would involve talking about concepts like electroweak baryogenesis that, for now, are above my pay grade.As for the continuance of matter, the Law of Conservation of Matter or Conservation of Mass holds that, in a closed system, the amount of mass or matter must remain constant matter may be rearranged in space, or changed in form, but it will still be there And in terms of matter ceasing to be, the only circumstance under which that seems possible, under the constraints of the Law of Conservation of Matter, is when matter enters a collapsar or black hole and ceases to be part of the known universe By this logic, matter approaches the singularity, the infinitely small and infinitely dense point of matter at the center of a black hole, and the known laws of physics cease to apply But then other physicists, like Stephen Hawking, hold that perhaps that matter is still there, somewhere, and our instruments just can t measure it yet.Heady concepts, aren t they My mind is still reeling from reading this complex and challenging treatise from Aristotle But it is great fun to think about how much Aristotle would have enjoyed accessing the modern equipment that physicists utilize to explore the universe Imagine Aristotle looking at deep space through the Hubble Space Telescope, or reviewing results from the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, or just chatting with Stephen Hawking How inspiring it is to see the conversation that Aristotle began continuing in this manner

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