Paragraph Summaries of Aristotle

This will make you wish you too were reading Aristotle.

Physics, Book I, Chapter 7

¶ We must first give an account of becoming, beginning with general things and getting more specific.

¶ There are examples of simple becoming and complex.

¶ In simple becoming the something does not survive in the process of becoming (e.g. non-music becomes musical).

¶ In the case of complex becoming the something survives the process (a man goes from being a non-musical man to a musical man).

¶ There is an underlying something in all change which survives, but the other element of the compound (e.g. non-musical) does not survive.

¶ We use the two forms “becoming that from this” and “this becoming that” in slightly difference senses.

¶ Only with regard to substances can we technically say “come to be.”

¶ In all cases other than substances there is an other underlying something which becomes.

¶ But we will see even in the case of substances, something underlies coming to be.

¶ Things come to be in different ways: change of shape, addition, subtraction, putting together, etc. In all cases there is something underlying.

¶ Thus, whatever comes to be is complex.

¶ Everything that comes to be comes from subject and form (opposite).

¶ Subject is one numerically (though it is two in form).

¶ Yet, there is also a sense in which the principles are three since being man is different than both being musical and being unmusical.

¶ It is clear then, that there must be something underlying the contraries and the that contraries must be two.

¶ The underlying nature can be known by analogy, wood to bed, bronze to statue, etc.

¶ While it’s not clear whether the form or what underlies is substance, we’ve at least seen the three principles of becoming.

So that’s what that’s about.

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