LESSON 1: Sensible Substances Have Different Kinds of Matter
LESSON 2 Form Inferred from Accidental Differences in Sensible Substances. Threefold Definition of All Things
LESSON 3 The Nature of Form as Part of a Thing's Essence. The Resemblance between Numbers and Forms
LESSON 4 What We Must Know about Matter. How Matter Is Found in All Things
LESSON 5 Why Definitions and Matters Are Unities. The Union of Matter and Form

Sensible Substances Have Different Kinds of Matter
ARISTOTLE’S TEXT Chapter 1: 1042a 3-1042b 8
[1042α] [3] ἐκ δὴ τῶν εἰρημένων συλλογίσασθαι δεῖ καὶ συναγαγόντας τὸ κεφάλαιον τέλος ἐπιθεῖναι. 691. It is necessary, then, to argue from the points which have been made, and after making a summary, to bring our investigations to a close.  
εἴρηται δὴ ὅτι [5] τῶν οὐσιῶν ζητεῖται τὰ αἴτια καὶ αἱ ἀρχαὶ καὶ τὰ στοιχεῖα. 692. It has been stated that it is the causes, principles and elements of substances which are being sought (564).
οὐσίαι δὲ αἱ μὲν ὁμολογούμεναί εἰσιν ὑπὸ πάντων, [7] περὶ δὲ ἐνίων ἰδίᾳ τινὲς ἀπεφήναντο: ὁμολογούμεναι μὲν αἱ φυσικαί, οἷον πῦρ γῆ ὕδωρ ἀὴρ καὶ τἆλλα τὰ ἁπλᾶ σώματα, ἔπειτα τὰ φυτὰ καὶ τὰ μόρια αὐτῶν, καὶ τὰ [10] ζῷα καὶ τὰ μόρια τῶν ζῴων, καὶ τέλος ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ τὰ μόρια τοῦ οὐρανοῦ: ἰδίᾳ δέ τινες οὐσίας λέγουσιν εἶναι τά τ᾽ εἴδη καὶ τὰ μαθηματικά. 693. Now some substances are admitted by all; but there are others about which some thinkers have expressed views peculiar to themselves. Those which are admitted by all are physical substances, such as fire, earth, water and the other simple bodies; plants and their parts; animals and the parts of animals; and finally the heaven and its parts. But certain other thinkers make the peculiar claim that the Forms and the objects of mathematics are substances (566).
ἄλλας δὲ δὴ συμβαίνει ἐκ τῶν λόγων οὐσίας εἶναι, τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι καὶ τὸ ὑποκείμενον: ἔτι ἄλλως τὸ γένος μᾶλλον τῶν εἰδῶν καὶ τὸ καθόλου τῶν [15] καθ᾽ ἕκαστα: τῷ δὲ καθόλου καὶ τῷ γένει καὶ αἱ ἰδέαι συνάπτουσιν (κατὰ τὸν αὐτὸν γὰρ λόγον οὐσίαι δοκοῦσιν εἶναι). 694. From other arguments it also follows that there are other substances, i.e., the essence and the underlying subject. Again, from another point of view a genus is substance to a greater degree than species, and a universal to a greater degree than singular things (568). And the Ideas have a connection with the universal and the genus, for they seem to be substances on the same grounds.
ἐπεὶ δὲ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι οὐσία, τούτου δὲ λόγος ὁ ὁρισμός, διὰ τοῦτο περὶ ὁρισμοῦ καὶ περὶ τοῦ καθ᾽ αὑτὸ διώρισται: ἐπεὶ δὲ ὁ ὁρισμὸς λόγος, ὁ δὲ λόγος μέρη ἔχει, ἀναγκαῖον καὶ [20] περὶ μέρους ἦν ἰδεῖν, ποῖα τῆς οὐσίας μέρη καὶ ποῖα οὔ, καὶ εἰ ταῦτα καὶ τοῦ ὁρισμοῦ. ἔτι τοίνυν οὔτε τὸ καθόλου οὐσία οὔτε τὸ γένος: περὶ δὲ τῶν ἰδεῶν καὶ τῶν μαθηματικῶν ὕστερον σκεπτέον: παρὰ γὰρ τὰς αἰσθητὰς οὐσίας ταύτας λέγουσί τινες εἶναι. νῦν δὲ περὶ τῶν ὁμολογουμένων οὐσιῶν [25] ἐπέλθωμεν. αὗται δ᾽ εἰσὶν αἱ αἰσθηταί: 695. Further, since the essence is substance, and the definition is the intelligible expression of the essence, for this reason we have examined both the definition and everything that is predicated essentially (576-597). And since the definition of a thing is its intelligible expression, and the intelligible expression has parts, then concerning the notion of part it was also necessary to consider what things are parts of substance and what are not, and whether these are necessary to the definition (625-649). Further, neither the universal nor the genus is substance (650-681). Related questions concerning the Ideas and the objects of mathematics must be examined later on; for some say that these are substances in addition to sensible ones. But now we must treat those things which all admit to be substances, and these are sensible substances.
αἱ δ᾽ αἰσθηταὶ οὐσίαι πᾶσαι ὕλην ἔχουσιν. ἔστι δ᾽ οὐσία τὸ ὑποκείμενον, ἄλλως μὲν ἡ ὕλη (ὕλην δὲ λέγω ἣ μὴ τόδε τι οὖσα ἐνεργείᾳ δυνάμει ἐστὶ τόδε τι), ἄλλως δ᾽ ὁ λόγος καὶ ἡ μορφή, ὃ τόδε τι ὂν τῷ λόγῳ χωριστόν ἐστιν: τρίτον δὲ τὸ [30] ἐκ τούτων, οὗ γένεσις μόνου καὶ φθορά ἐστι, καὶ χωριστὸν ἁπλῶς: τῶν γὰρ κατὰ τὸν λόγον οὐσιῶν αἱ μὲν αἱ δ᾽ οὔ. 696. All sensible substances have matter. And the underlying subject is substance; in one sense the matter (by matter I mean that which is not a particular thing actually but potentially); and in another sense the intelligible structure or form, which is a particular thing and is separable in thought; and in a third sense the thing composed of these, which alone is subject to generation and corruption, and is separable in an absolute sense. For according to the intelligible structure of substances, some are separable and others are not.
ὅτι δ᾽ ἐστὶν οὐσία καὶ ἡ ὕλη, δῆλον: ἐν πάσαις γὰρ ταῖς ἀντικειμέναις μεταβολαῖς ἐστί τι τὸ ὑποκείμενον ταῖς μεταβολαῖς, οἷον κατὰ τόπον τὸ νῦν μὲν ἐνταῦθα πάλιν δ᾽ [35] ἄλλοθι, καὶ κατ᾽ αὔξησιν ὃ νῦν μὲν τηλικόνδε πάλιν δ᾽ ἔλαττον ἢ μεῖζον, καὶ κατ᾽ ἀλλοίωσιν ὃ νῦν μὲν ὑγιὲς πάλιν δὲ κάμνον: [1042β] [1] ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ κατ᾽ οὐσίαν ὃ νῦν μὲν ἐν γενέσει πάλιν δ᾽ ἐν φθορᾷ, καὶ νῦν μὲν ὑποκείμενον ὡς τόδε τι πάλιν δ᾽ ὑποκείμενον ὡς κατὰ στέρησιν. 697. Now it is evident that matter is substance; for in every process of change between contraries there is something which underlies these changes. For example, in change of place, there is something which is now here and afterwards somewhere else; and in change of size, that which is now of such a size and afterwards smaller or greater; and in change of quality, that which is now healthy and afterwards diseased. And similarly in change of substance there is something which is now in the process of generation and afterwards in the process of corruption, and which is now a subject and this particular thing and afterwards a subject of privation.
καὶ ἀκολουθοῦσι δὴ ταύτῃ αἱ ἄλλαι μεταβολαί, τῶν δ᾽ ἄλλων ἢ [5] μιᾷ ἢ δυοῖν αὕτη οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ: οὐ γὰρ ἀνάγκη, εἴ τι ὕλην ἔχει τοπικήν, τοῦτο καὶ γεννητὴν καὶ φθαρτὴν ἔχειν. τίς μὲν οὖν διαφορὰ τοῦ ἁπλῶς γίγνεσθαι καὶ μὴ ἁπλῶς, ἐν τοῖς φυσικοῖς εἴρηται. 698. And the other changes follow upon this change, but this change does not follow upon one or two of the others. For if a thing has matter which is subject to change of place, it is not necessary that it also have matter which is generable and corruptible. The difference between coming-to-be in an absolute sense and coming-to-be in a qualified sense has been explained in the Physics.
Postquam determinavit philosophus in septimo de substantia modo logico, considerando scilicet definitionem et partes definitionis, et alia huiusmodi quae secundum rationem considerantur; in hoc libro octavo intendit de sensibilibus substantiis determinare per propria principia, applicando ea quae superius inquisita sunt logice, ad substantias illas. 1681. Having dealt with substance by means of the dialectical method in Book VII, i.e., by examining the definition and its parts and other things of this kind which are considered from the viewpoint of dialectics, the Philosopher now intends in Book VIII to deal with sensible substances through their proper principles, by applying to those substances the things that were investigated above by means of the dialectical method.
Et dividitur in duas partes. In prima continuat se ad praecedentia. In secunda prosequitur suam intentionem, ibi, sensibiles autem substantiae omnes materiam habent. This is divided into two parts. In the first (691:C 1681), he links up this discussion with the preceding one; and in the second (696:C 1686), he carries out his intention (“All sensible substances”).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo proponit in generali suam intentionem. Secundo repetit quaedam quae dicta sunt, ibi, dictum est autem. Tertio ponit continuationem dictorum ad dicenda, ibi, quoniam autem quod quid erat esse substantia. In regard to the first he does three things. First, he states in a general way what he intends to do. Second (692:C 1682), he repeats some of the statements which have been made (“It has been stated”). Third (695:C 1685), he links up the foregoing discussion with the one that is to come (“Further, since the essence”).
Dicit ergo primo quod, cum multa dicta sint in septimo logica consideratione circa substantiam, oportet syllogizare ex his quae dicta sunt, ut applicentur quae secundum considerationem logicam dicta sunt, ad res naturales existentes. Et oportet colligentes ea, idest summarie et recapitulatim recolligentes quae dicta sunt, imponere finem complendo tractatum de substantia; quod fiet tractando ea quae superius tractatis desunt. He says first (691), then, that since many of the statements made about substance in Book VII belong to the consideration of dialectics, we must reason from the statements which have been made in order that the things stated from the viewpoint of dialectics may be applied to things existing in reality. And “after making a summary,” i.e., after bringing these together again in a brief and summary way, we must bring our investigation to a close by completing the treatise on substance. He does this by discussing those things which were omitted from the foregoing treatise.
1682. It has been stated (692).
Deinde cum dicit dictum est resumit quaedam eorum quae dicta sunt; quia dictum est in septimo quod in hac scientia principaliter quaeruntur causae et principia et elementa substantiarum. Cum enim haec scientia consideret ens commune sicut proprium subiectum, quod quidem dividitur per substantiam et novem genera accidentium, accidentium vero cognitio ex substantia dependeat, ut in septimo probatum est, relinquitur quod principalis intentio huiusmodi scientiae sit circa substantias. Et quia scire unumquodque non contingit nisi cognitis principiis et causis eius, sequitur quod ad hanc scientiam pertineat inquirere principia et causas et elementa substantiarum. Quae tria qualiter differant, superius in quinto ostensum est. Here he repeats some of the statements which have been made, because it was stated in Book VII (564:C 1260) that the principal objects of our search in this science are the causes, principles and elements of substances. For since this science investigates as its proper subject being in general, and this is divided into substance and the nine classes of accidents, and a knowledge of accidents depends upon substance, as was shown in Book VII (585-6:C 1342-50), it follows that this science is principally concerned with substances. And since we know each thing only when we know its principles and causes, it also follows that this science must be principally concerned with the principles, causes and elements of substances. The way in which these three differ has been shown above in Book V (403-12:C 751-807).
1683. Now some substances (693).
Deinde cum dicit substantiae vero resumit aliquid superius dictorum; scilicet modos quibus accipitur substantia. Et primo ponit quae dicuntur substantiae in rerum natura existentes, quarum quasdam omnes confitentur esse, scilicet substantias sensibiles, ut terra et aqua et alia elementa; et ulterius secundum ordinem nobilitatis et perfectionis, plantae et animalia et partes eorum, et ultimo caelum, et partes caeli, sicut sunt orbes, et sidera quae transcendunt alias substantias sensibiles in nobilitate. Quasdam vero substantias non omnes confitentur in rerum natura subsistere. Sed quidam posuerunt singulariter eas esse, qui ponunt species et mathematica separata secundum esse, volentes quod cuilibet abstractioni intellectus, respondeat abstractio in esse rerum. Et quia intellectus abstrahit universale a particularibus ut hominem a Socrate et Platone, posuerunt species separatim per se subsistere. Quia vero intellectus abstrahit aliquas formas a materiis sensibilibus, utputa curvum, de cuius intellectu non est nasus sicut de ratione simi, et linea et alia huiusmodi, quae mathematica dicuntur, posuerunt mathematica separata. Then he repeats one of the points discussed above, i.e., the various senses in which substance is used. First, he gives the things which are said to be real substances. Among these there are some whose existence is admitted by all thinkers, namely, sensible substances, such as earth, water and the other elements; and above these, in the order of their nobility and perfection, plants and animals and their parts; and lastly the heaven and its parts, as the orbs and the stars, which surpass in nobility the other sensible substances. However, there are some substances whose existence is not admitted by all but only by certain particular thinkers, who claim that the Forms and the objects of mathematics have separate existence. They adopted this position because they thought that for every abstraction of the intellect there is a corresponding abstraction in reality. Thus, because the intellect considers the universal apart from particular things, as “man” apart from Socrates and Plato, they held that the Forms have separate existence of themselves. And since the intellect considers some forms apart from sensible material things, as curvature (whose concept does not contain nose as does the concept of pugnose) and a line and other things of this kind, which we call the objects of mathematics, they also held that the objects of mathematics have separate existence.
1684. From other arguments (694).
Deinde cum dicit alias vero ponit modos accipiendi substantias secundum rationis acceptionem. Et ponit duos modos: quorum unus est quod substantia dicitur quidditas alicuius substantiae naturalis; quae quidem nihil aliud est quam ipsum quid est rei naturalis. Alio modo dicitur substantia secundum aliam acceptionem, secundum quam genus dicitur magis substantia quam species, et universale magis quam singularia, ut quidam posuerunt, prout in tertio libro in quaestionibus tractatum est. Et huic acceptioni substantiae secundum quam universale et genus substantia dicuntur, coniuncta est ratio de ideis quas supra dixit species. Eadem enim ratione ponuntur ideae esse substantiae et universalia. Here he gives the different ways in which substance is considered from the viewpoint of its intelligible structure; and there are two of these. The first is that substance means the quiddity of any natural substance, and this is merely the whatness of a natural being. In the second way substance is considered in a different sense, that is, in the sense that a genus is said to be substance to a greater degree than species, and a universal to a greater degree than singular things, as some men held according to what was treated in the questions in Book III (220-234:C 423-442). And with this way of considering substance, according to which both a genus and a universal are called substances, is connected the theory of Ideas, or Forms as Aristotle called them above (693:C 1683); for this theory maintains that both Ideas and universals are substances on the same grounds.
1685. Further, since the essence (695).
Deinde cum dicit quoniam autem continuat se ad praecedentia; dicens quid determinatum sit, et quid determinandum restat. Dicit ergo: quia quod quid erat esse est substantia, et ratio significativa eius est definitio; propter hoc in praecedenti libro determinatum est de definitione. Et quia definitio constat ex his quae praedicantur per se, propter hoc etiam ibi determinatum est de eo quod est secundum se. Et quia definitio ratio est partes habens, necessarium fuit determinare de partibus definitionis, quae scilicet sint partes rei definitae, et quae non; et utrum eaedem sint definitionis partes et definiti. Et secundum aliam literam utrum partes definitionis oporteat definiri. Et primum melius est. Item in septimo ostensum est quod neque universale nec genus est substantia. Et sic tota consideratio quae accipitur de rationibus et de substantia, in septimo libro pertractata est. Inter has substantias vero quae in rerum natura existunt, de ideis et mathematicis posterius est perscrutandum, quas quidam dicunt per se singulariter subsistere praeter substantias sensibiles. De hoc enim agetur in ultimis libris huius doctrinae. Nunc autem immediate oportet tractare de illis substantiis quas omnes confitentur esse, scilicet de sensibilibus, ut ex manifestis ad immanifesta procedatur. He links up this discussion with the preceding one by stating what has been solved and what remains to be solved. He says that, since the essence is substance, and the intelligible expression which signifies it is the definition, for this reason it was necessary in the preceding book to deal with definition. And since a definition is composed of those attributes which are predicated of a thing essentially, for this reason it was also necessary in that book to settle the issue about essential predication (576-597:C 1299-1380). Further, since the definition of a thing is its intelligible expression, and this is made up of parts, then concerning the parts of a definition it was also necessary to determine what parts are parts of the thing defined and what are not; and whether the parts of the definition and those of the thing defined are the same (625-649:C 1482-1565). Another text has “Whether the parts of the definition must be defined,” but the first version is better. In Book VII (650-681:C 1566-1647) it was shown also that neither the universal nor the genus is substance. Thus the entire study which may be made of definitions and substance was carried out in Book VII. But of those substances which exist in reality, it will be necessary to examine later the Ideas and the objects of mathematics, which one school of thinkers claim to subsist by themselves apart from sensible substances. This is done in the last books of this work. But now it is necessary to treat at once of those substances which all men admit to exist, namely, sensible substances, so that we may proceed from what has been made evident to what as yet remains unknown.
Sensible substance is matter, form, composite.
1686. All sensible substances (696).
Deinde cum dicit sensibiles autem posita continuitate dictorum ad dicenda, hic incipit philosophus tractare de substantiis sensibilibus inquirendo principia eorum. Et dividitur in partes duas. In prima determinat de materia et forma, quae sunt principia substantiarum sensibilium. In secunda de unione earum adinvicem, ibi, de dubitatione. Having linked up the foregoing discussion with the one that is to come, the Philosopher begins here to treat of sensible substances by investigating their principles. This is divided into two parts. In the first (1686) he establishes what is true concerning matter and form, which are the principles of sensible substances. In the second (1755) he considers the way in which they are united to each other (“It seems that we must”).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo ostendit, quod materia et forma sunt principia substantiarum sensibilium. Secundo determinat ea, quae sunt consideranda circa utrumque, ibi, oportet autem non ignorare. In regard to the first he does two things. First, he shows that matter and form are principles of sensible substances. Second (1705), he deals with those points which must be investigated about each of these principles (“And we must not”).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo manifestat, quod materia sit principium substantiarum sensibilium. Secundo manifestat hoc idem de forma, ibi, quoniam autem et quae quidem. In regard to the first he does two things. First, he shows that matter is a principle of sensible substances; and second (1691), that the same is true of form (“But since that which has the character of a subject”).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo ostendit quid sit materia, dividens eam contra alias acceptiones substantiae. Unde dicit, quod omnes substantiae sensibiles habent materiam; quod ideo est quia omnes sunt in motu, et motus non est sine materia. In regard to the first he does three things. First he shows what matter is by distinguishing it from the other ways in which substance is considered. Hence he says that all sensible substances have matter; and the reason is that all are in motion, and motion does not exist without matter.
Sed sciendum est, quod materia aliter dicitur substantia, et aliter forma, et aliter compositum. 1687. But it must be noted that in one sense substance means (1) matter, and in another (2) form, and in still another (3) the thing composed of these.
Materia enim dicitur substantia non quasi ens aliquid actu existens in se considerata, sed quasi in potentia, ut sit aliquid actu, haec dicitur esse hoc aliquid. For matter is called substance, not as though it were a being considered to have actual existence in itself, but as something capable of being actual (and this is said to be a particular thing).
Forma vero, quae et ratio nominatur, quia ex ipsa sumitur ratio speciei, dicitur substantia quasi ens aliquid actu, et quasi ens separabile secundum rationem a materia, licet non secundum rem. And form, which is also termed the intelligible structure because the intelligible structure of the species is derived from it, is called substance (1) inasmuch as it is something actual, and (2) inasmuch as it is separable from matter in thought but not in reality.
Compositum vero ex his dicitur esse substantia quasi separabile simpliciter, idest separatim per se existere potens in rerum natura; et eius solius est generatio et corruptio. Neque enim forma neque materia generatur aut corrumpitur nisi per accidens. And the thing composed of these is called substance inasmuch as it is something “separable in an absolute sense,” i.e., capable of existing separately by itself in reality; and it alone is subject to generation and corruption. For form and matter are generated and corrupted only by reason of something else.
Et licet compositum sit separabile simpliciter, tamen secundum rationem, aliorum quae dicuntur substantiae, quaedam sunt separabilia, et quaedam non. Forma enim est separabilis ratione, quia potest intelligi sine materia sensibili individuante; materia vero non potest intelligi sine intellectu formae, cum non apprehendatur nisi ut ens in potentia ad formam. And although the composite is separable in an absolute sense, yet some of the other things which are called substances are separable in thought and some are not. For a form is separable in thought because it can be understood without understanding individuating sensible matter; but matter cannot be understood without understanding form, since it is apprehended only inasmuch as it is in potentiality to form.
Vel potest esse sensus quod substantiarum secundum rationem, idest formarum, quaedam sunt ratione separabiles, ut mathematicae, quaedam non, ut formae naturales. Or the, statements can mean that “according to the intelligible structure of substances,” i.e., of forms, some are separable in their intelligible structure, as the objects of mathematics, and some are not, as natural forms.
Vel iterum quod quaedam sunt formae separatae absque materia existentes, de quibus inferius determinabit. Or again it may mean that there are certain separate forms existing without matter, about which he will establish the truth later on (2447-2454).
1688. Now it is evident (697).
Secundo ibi, quia vero dicit, quod necesse est in substantiis sensibilibus ponere materiam quasi substantiam et subiectum. In omni enim mutatione oportet esse subiectum commune terminis mutationis in contrariis mutationibus; sicut in mutatione secundum locum est aliquod commune subiectum, quod nunc est hic, et iterum alibi. Et in augmento est aliquod subiectum commune, quod nunc habet tantam quantitatem, et iterum minorem, quantum ad decrementum, et maiorem quantum ad augmentum. Et in alteratione est aliquod subiectum, quod nunc est sanum, et nunc infirmum. Cum igitur sit quaedam mutatio secundum substantiam, scilicet generatio et corruptio: oportet esse aliquod commune subiectum, quod subiiciatur contrariis mutationibus secundum generationem et corruptionem; et hoc positis terminis, qui sunt forma et privatio; ita scilicet quod quandoque sit actu per formam, et quandoque sit subiectum privationis illius formae. Second, he says that in sensible substances we must posit matter as substance and subject. For in every change between contraries, there must be a subject common to the termini of the change. For example, in change of place there is a common subject which is now here and afterwards somewhere else; and in growth there is a common subject which now has so much quantity and afterwards is smaller (if the change is decrease) or greater (if it is increase). And in alteration there is a common subject which is now healthy and afterwards diseased. Hence, since there is substantial change, that is, generation and corruption, there must be a common subject which underlies the opposite changes of generation and corruption. And this is the subject for the termini that have been given, i.e., form and privation, so that sometimes this subject is actual by reason of a form, and sometimes it is the subject of the privation of that form.
Ex hac autem Aristotelis ratione apparet, quod generatio et corruptio substantialis sunt principium veniendi in cognitionem materiae primae. Si enim materia prima de se haberet aliquam formam propriam, per eam esset aliquid actu. Et sic, cum superinduceretur alia forma, non simpliciter materia per eam esset, sed fieret hoc vel illud ens. Et sic esset generatio secundum quid et non simpliciter. Unde omnes ponentes primum subiectum esse aliquod corpus, ut aerem et aquam, posuerunt generationem idem esse quod alterationem. Patet autem ex hac ratione qualiter accipiendus sit intellectus materiae primae; quia ita se habet ad omnes formas et privationes, sicut se habet subiectum alterabile ad qualitates contrarias. 1689. Now from this argument of Aristotle it is clear that substantial generation and corruption are the source from which we derive our knowledge of prime matter. For if prime matter by nature had a form of its own, it would be an actual thing by reason of that form. Hence, when an additional form would be given [to prime matter], such matter would not exist in an absolute sense by reason of that form but would become this or that being; and then there would be generation in a qualified sense but not in an absolute sense. Hence all those who held that this first subject is a body, such as air or water, claimed that generation is the same as alteration. But it is clear from this argument what we must hold prime matter to be; for it is related to all forms and privations as the subject of qualitative change is to contrary qualities.
1690. And the other changes (698).
Deinde cum dicit et hanc sequuntur ostendit, quod materia non eodem modo est in omnibus substantiis sensibilibus; dicens, quod materiam existentem subiectum generationis et corruptionis sequuntur aliae mutationes. Sequitur enim, si sit generabile et corruptibile, quod sit alterabile et secundum locum mutabile. Sed ipsa, scilicet materia subiecta generationi et corruptioni, non sequitur ad quascumque alias mutationes, et praecipue ad illam, quae est loci mutatio. Non enim sequitur, si aliquid habeat materiam localem, idest per quam sit in potentia ad ubi, quod habeat materiam generabilem et corruptibilem, idest subiectam generationi et corruptioni. Deficit enim hoc in corporibus caelestibus, in quibus etiam est alteratio aliqualis secundum illuminationem et obscurationem, non tamen generatio et corruptio. Et ideo dixit unam propter loci mutationem, vel duas propter talem alterationem, quae tamen non vere est motus alterationis, quia illuminatio non est motus, sed terminus motus. Sic autem secundum quamlibet mutationem oportet accipere materiam, sicut in qualibet mutatione est aliquis modus fiendi simpliciter vel secundum quid. Quae autem est differentia eius quod est fieri simpliciter, et secundum quid, dictum est in primo physicorum: quia simpliciter fieri est secundum substantiam: fieri secundum quid, est secundum accidens. Here he shows that matter is not present in the same way in all sensible substances. He says that the other changes follow upon matter which is subject to generation and corruption; for if matter is subject to generation and corruption, it follows that it is subject to alteration and change of place. But this matter, i.e., one which is subject to generation and corruption, does not follow upon all the other changes, especially change of place. For if something has “matter which is subject to change of place,” i.e., by which it is potentially in a place, it does not follow that it also has “matter which is generable and corruptible,” namely, one which is subject to generation and corruption. For this kind of matter is lacking in the celestial bodies, in which there is a kind of alteration inasmuch as they are illuminated and deprived of light, but neither generation nor corruption. Hence he said one” because of change of place, or two” because of the kind of alteration just mentioned, although this is really not alteration, because illumination is not motion but the terminus of motion. Thus we must posit matter for every change according as there is in everything that changes a coming-to-be either in an absolute sense or in a qualified one. The difference between coming-to-be in an absolute sense and in a qualified one has been explained in the Physics, Book 1; 4 for coming-to-be in an absolute sense belongs to substance, and coming-to-be in a qualified sense belongs to accidents.

Form Inferred from Accidental Differences in Sensible Substances. Threefold Definition of All Things
ARISTOTLE’S TEXT Chapter 2: 1042b 9-1043a 28
ἐπεὶ δ᾽ ἡ μὲν ὡς ὑποκειμένη καὶ ὡς ὕλη οὐσία ὁμολογεῖται, [10] αὕτη δ᾽ ἐστὶν ἡ δυνάμει, λοιπὸν τὴν ὡς ἐνέργειαν οὐσίαν τῶν αἰσθητῶν εἰπεῖν τίς ἐστιν. 699. But since that which has the character of a subject or matter has been admitted by all to be substance, and this is what is in potentiality, it remains to explain what it is that constitutes the substance of sensible things in the sense of actuality.
Δημόκριτος μὲν οὖν τρεῖς διαφορὰς ἔοικεν οἰομένῳ εἶναι (τὸ μὲν γὰρ ὑποκείμενον σῶμα, τὴν ὕλην, ἓν καὶ ταὐτόν, διαφέρειν δὲ ἢ ῥυσμῷ, ὅ ἐστι σχῆμα, ἢ τροπῇ, ὅ ἐστι θέσις, ἢ διαθιγῇ, ὅ [15] ἐστι τάξις): 700. Now Democritus is like one who thinks that there are three differences in things. For he holds that the underlying body, as matter, is the same for all things, but that it differs in contour, which is shape; or in disposition, which is position; or in distribution, which is arrangement.
φαίνονται δὲ πολλαὶ διαφοραὶ οὖσαι, οἷον τὰ μὲν συνθέσει λέγεται τῆς ὕλης, ὥσπερ ὅσα κράσει καθάπερ μελίκρατον, τὰ δὲ δεσμῷ οἷον φάκελος, τὰ δὲ κόλλῃ οἷον βιβλίον, τὰ δὲ γόμφῳ οἷον κιβώτιον, τὰ δὲ πλείοσι τούτων, τὰ δὲ θέσει οἷον οὐδὸς καὶ ὑπέρθυρον (ταῦτα γὰρ [20] τῷ κεῖσθαί πως διαφέρει), τὰ δὲ χρόνῳ οἷον δεῖπνον καὶ ἄριστον, τὰ δὲ τόπῳ οἷον τὰ πνεύματα: τὰ δὲ τοῖς τῶν αἰσθητῶν πάθεσιν οἷον σκληρότητι καὶ μαλακότητι, καὶ πυκνότητι καὶ ἀραιότητι, καὶ ξηρότητι καὶ ὑγρότητι, καὶ τὰ μὲν ἐνίοις τούτων τὰ δὲ πᾶσι τούτοις, καὶ ὅλως τὰ [25] μὲν ὑπεροχῇ τὰ δὲ ἐλλείψει. 701. However, there seem to be many differences inasmuch as some things are said to be by reason of the way in which their material parts are combined; for example, some things are combined by mixture, as honey-water; others by a binding, as the binding around a head; others by birdlime, as a book; others by a nail, as a chest; and others in several of these ways. Others differ by position, as a threshold and a lintel, for these differ in a sense according to their position; others differ in point of time, as dinner and breakfast; others with respect to place, as the air currents; others by reason of sensible properties, as hardness and softness, density and rarity, dryness and moistness. And some things differ by some of these differences and others by all taken together; some by excess and others by defect.
ὥστε δῆλον ὅτι καὶ τὸ ἔστι τοσαυταχῶς λέγεται: οὐδὸς γὰρ ἔστιν ὅτι οὕτως κεῖται, καὶ τὸ εἶναι τὸ οὕτως αὐτὸ κεῖσθαι σημαίνει, καὶ τὸ κρύσταλλον εἶναι τὸ οὕτω πεπυκνῶσθαι. ἐνίων δὲ τὸ εἶναι καὶ πᾶσι τούτοις ὁρισθήσεται, τῷ τὰ μὲν μεμῖχθαι, τὰ δὲ κεκρᾶσθαι, [30] τὰ δὲ δεδέσθαι, τὰ δὲ πεπυκνῶσθαι, τὰ δὲ ταῖς ἄλλαις διαφοραῖς κεχρῆσθαι, ὥσπερ χεὶρ ἢ πούς. 702. For this reason it is evident that being is also used in the same number of ways; for a threshold is such because it is placed in this particular position, and to be a threshold means to be placed in such and such a position; and to be ice means to be congealed in such and such a way. However, the being of some things will be defined in all of these ways: one by being mixed; others by being combined; others by being tied together; others by being condensed; and others by other differences, as a hand and a foot.
ληπτέα οὖν τὰ γένη τῶν διαφορῶν (αὗται γὰρ ἀρχαὶ ἔσονται τοῦ εἶναι), οἷον τὰ τῷ μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον ἢ πυκνῷ καὶ μανῷ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις τοῖς τοιούτοις: πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα [35] ὑπεροχὴ καὶ ἔλλειψίς ἐστιν. εἰ δέ τι σχήματι ἢ λειότητι καὶ τραχύτητι, πάντα εὐθεῖ καὶ καμπύλῳ. τοῖς δὲ τὸ εἶναι τὸ μεμῖχθαι ἔσται, ἀντικειμένως δὲ τὸ μὴ εἶναι. 703. Further, we must consider the classes of differences, for these will be the principles of being of things, as differences in degree, or in density and rarity, and others such as these; for all are instances of excess and defect. Indeed, if [anything differs] either in figure or in smoothness and roughness [these are reducible to differences] in straightness and curvature. Further, the being of some things will consist in being mixed, and their non-being will consist in the opposite state.
[1043α] [1] φανερὸν δὴ ἐκ τούτων ὅτι εἴπερ ἡ οὐσία αἰτία τοῦ εἶναι ἕκαστον, ὅτι ἐν τούτοις ζητητέον τί τὸ αἴτιον τοῦ εἶναι τούτων ἕκαστον. οὐσία μὲν οὖν οὐδὲν τούτων οὐδὲ συνδυαζόμενον, ὅμως [5] δὲ τὸ ἀνάλογον ἐν ἑκάστῳ: καὶ ὡς ἐν ταῖς οὐσίαις τὸ τῆς ὕλης κατηγορούμενον αὐτὴ ἡ ἐνέργεια, καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις ὁρισμοῖς μάλιστα. οἷον εἰ οὐδὸν δέοι ὁρίσασθαι, ξύλον ἢ λίθον ὡδὶ κείμενον ἐροῦμεν, καὶ οἰκίαν πλίνθους καὶ ξύλα ὡδὶ κείμενα (ἢ ἔτι καὶ τὸ οὗ ἕνεκα ἐπ᾽ ἐνίων ἔστιν), εἰ δὲ κρύσταλλον, [10] ὕδωρ πεπηγὸς ἢ πεπυκνωμένον ὡδί: συμφωνία δὲ ὀξέος καὶ βαρέος μῖξις τοιαδί: τὸν αὐτὸν δὲ τρόπον καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων. 704. It is evident, then, from these instances that, if substance is the cause of the being of each thing which is composed of these differences, we must look for the cause of the being of each one of these among these differences. Now substances is none of these differences nor any combination of them; yet it is found analogously in each. And just as in the case of substance that which is predicated of matter is the actuality itself, in a similar way this is most true in the case of other definitions. Thus if a threshold has to be defined, we shall say that it is a piece of wood or stone placed in such and such a position; and we shall say that a house is bricks and timbers placed in such and such a position. (Or again in some cases there is also the final cause). And if ice is to be defined, we shall say that it is water frozen or condensed in such and such a way; and we shall say that a harmony is such and such a combination of high and low notes. [And we must proceed] in the same way too in other things.
φανερὸν δὴ ἐκ τούτων ὅτι ἡ ἐνέργεια ἄλλη ἄλλης ὕλης καὶ ὁ λόγος: τῶν μὲν γὰρ ἡ σύνθεσις τῶν δ᾽ ἡ μῖξις τῶν δὲ ἄλλο τι τῶν εἰρημένων. 705. From these instances, then, it is evident that different matters have a different actuality and intelligible structure; for of some things it is combination, of others mixing, and of others some of those differences mentioned above.
διὸ τῶν ὁριζομένων οἱ μὲν [15] λέγοντες τί ἐστιν οἰκία, ὅτι λίθοι πλίνθοι ξύλα, τὴν δυνάμει οἰκίαν λέγουσιν, ὕλη γὰρ ταῦτα: οἱ δὲ ἀγγεῖον σκεπαστικὸν χρημάτων καὶ σωμάτων ἤ τι ἄλλο τοιοῦτον προτιθέντες, τὴν ἐνέργειαν λέγουσιν: οἱ δ᾽ ἄμφω ταῦτα συντιθέντες τὴν τρίτην καὶ τὴν ἐκ τούτων οὐσίαν (ἔοικε γὰρ ὁ μὲν διὰ τῶν διαφορῶν [20] λόγος τοῦ εἴδους καὶ τῆς ἐνεργείας εἶναι, ὁ δ᾽ ἐκ τῶν ἐνυπαρχόντων τῆς ὕλης μᾶλλον): ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ οἵους Ἀρχύτας ἀπεδέχετο ὅρους: τοῦ συνάμφω γάρ εἰσιν. οἷον τί ἐστι νηνεμία; ἠρεμία ἐν πλήθει ἀέρος: ὕλη μὲν γὰρ ὁ ἀήρ, ἐνέργεια δὲ καὶ οὐσία ἡ ἠρεμία. τί ἐστι γαλήνη; ὁμαλότης θαλάττης: [25] τὸ μὲν ὑποκείμενον ὡς ὕλη ἡ θάλαττα, ἡ δὲ ἐνέργεια καὶ ἡ μορφὴ ἡ ὁμαλότης. 706. Therefore, among those who give definitions, those who state what a house is by saying that it is stones, bricks and timbers, are speaking of a potential house; for these are its matter. But those who say that it is a shelter for protecting goods and bodies, or by adding some other such property, speak of its actuality. And those who speak of both of these together speak of the third kind of substance, which is the thing composed of these. For the intelligible structure which is expressed by means of differences seems to be that of the form or actuality of a thing, but that which is expressed by a thing’s intrinsic parts is rather that of its matter. The same thing is true of the definitions of which Archytas approved, for they are both of these together. For example, What is stillness? Rest in a large expanse of air, where air is as matter and rest as actuality or substance. What is a calm? Smoothness of the sea, where the sea is as subject or matter, and smoothness as actuality or form.
φανερὸν δὴ ἐκ τῶν εἰρημένων τίς ἡ αἰσθητὴ οὐσία ἐστὶ καὶ πῶς: ἡ μὲν γὰρ ὡς ὕλη, ἡ δ᾽ ὡς μορφὴ καὶ ἐνέργεια, ἡ δὲ τρίτη ἡ ἐκ τούτων. 707. From what has been said, then, it is evident what sensible substance is and how it exists; for in one sense it has the character of matter, and in another the character of form (because it is actuality), and in a third sense it is the thing composed of these.
Postquam philosophus inquisivit in substantiis sensibilibus materiale principium, inquirit de principio formali. 1691. Having investigated the material principle in sensible substances, the Philosopher examines their formal principle.
Et primo continuat se ad praecedentia; dicens, quod, quia substantiam quae est ut materia et subiectum, confitentur omnes, cum etiam antiquissimi materialium substantiam rerum ponerent esse materiam, huiusmodi vero substantia est in potentia; restat igitur de forma, quae est sensibilium per modum actus, dicere quid sit. First (699:C 1691), he links up this discussion with the foregoing one, saying that, since all recognize substance in the sense of matter and subject (for even the oldest philosophers held that matter is the substance of material things), and this kind of substance is something potential, it now remains to explain what form is, which is the actuality of sensible things.
1692. Now Democritus is like one (700).
Secundo ibi, Democritus quidem prosequitur suam intentionem: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo investigat differentias in rebus sensibilibus, quae formale principium demonstrant. Secundo quaedam corollaria concludit, ibi, palam itaque ex his quia actus. Then he carries out his intention; and in regard to this he does two things. First (700:C 1692), he examines the differences in sensible things which indicate a formal principle. Second (705:C 1699), he draws some conclusions (“From these instances”).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo investigat quasdam differentias accidentales rerum sensibilium. Secundo ostendit comparationem earum ad substantiales differentias, ibi, palam igitur ex his quia si substantia. In regard to the first he does two things. First, he examines certain accidental differences of sensible things. Second (704:C 1696), he shows how these differences are related to substantial differences (“It is evident”).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo investigat differentias accidentales rerum sensibilium. Secundo ostendit qualiter praedictae differentiae se habent ad ea quorum sunt, ibi, quare palam quia. In regard to the first he does two things. First, he investigates the accidental differences of sensible things. Second (702:C 1694), he shows how these differences are related to those things whose differences they are (“For this reason”).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo ponit opinionem Democriti de differentiis rerum, dicens quod Democritus similis est existimanti tres esse differentias rerum; idest secundum ea quae ponit, videtur existimare quod omnes differentiae rerum ad tria genera rerum reducantur. Ponebat enim principia rerum materialia esse corpora indivisibilia, quae, cum sint eiusdem naturae, convenientia sunt adinvicem. Diversitatem autem rerum constituunt propter differentiam positionis, figurae et ordinis. Et sic videtur ponere, quod corpus, quod est subiectum, quasi materiale principium unum et idem existens secundum naturam, quamvis sit in infinita divisum secundum numerum, differt, idest diversificatur in diversas res propter differentiam figurae, positionis, aut ordinis. Differentia enim figurae est secundum rectum et circulare; positionis autem secundum sursum et deorsum, dextrorsum et sinistrorsum; ordinis autem secundum prius et posterius. In regard to the first he does two things. First (700), he gives Democritus’ opinion about the differences of things. He says that Democritus is like one who thinks “that there are three differences in things,” i.e., according to the principles which he gives he seems to think that all differences of things are reduced to three classes. For he held that the material principles of things are indivisible bodies, which, being of the same nature, are similar to each other; but that they constitute a diversity of things because they differ in position, shape and arrangement. Thus he seems to hold that the underlying body, as a material principle, is one and the same in nature even though it is divided into an infinite number of parts, and that it differs, i.e., is divided into different things, because of differences in shape, position and arrangement. For things differ in figure by being straight or curved; in position by being above or below, right or left; and in arrangement by being before or after.
1693. However, there seem to be (701).
Secundo ibi, videntur autem ostendit positionem Democriti esse insufficientem; quia multae aliae videntur esse rerum differentiae quae in praedictas non reducuntur. Quaedam enim differunt secundum diversum modum compositionis partium materialium. In quibusdam enim partes materiae componuntur per modum mixtionis, sicut mellicratum: in quibusdam vero, quia ligantur aliquo vinculo, sicut est ligatura capitis mulieris: in quibusdam etiam coniunguntur aliqua colla vel visco, sicut fit in libris: in quibusdam vero adunantur partes clavo, sicut fit in arca: in quibusdam vero fit adunatio partium pluribus praedictorum modorum. Alia vero differunt abinvicem sicut positione, sicut liminare superius et liminare inferius; quae quidem differunt abinvicem, ex eo quod sic ponuntur, scilicet supra vel infra. Quaedam vero differunt tempore, ut coena, quae est comestio serotina, et prandium quod est comestio matutina. Alia differunt loco, ut spiritus, idest venti, quorum Aquilo a Septentrione flat, Favonius ab occidente, Auster a meridie, subsolanus ab oriente. Alia vero differunt sensibilium passionibus, idest duritie et mollitie et aliis huiusmodi; et quaedam in aliquibus horum, et quaedam his omnibus. Alia per superabundantiam et defectum. Hoc autem addit, quia secundum antiquos philosophos omnes huiusmodi sensibilium passiones ad superabundantiam et defectum reducuntur. Second, he shows that the position of Democritus is unsatisfactory, because there seem to be many other differences of things which are not reducible to the foregoing ones. For some things differ by reason of the different way in which their material parts are combined: in some things the material parts are combined by being mixed, as honey-water; in others, by being tied together by some bond, as the binding around a woman’s’ head; in others by glue or birdlime, as occurs in books; in others by a nail, as occurs in a chest; and in others the parts are united in several of the aforesaid ways. On the other hand, some things differ from each other by their position, as a lintel and a threshold, which differ because they are placed in such and such a way-one being above and the other below. Again, some differ in point of time, as dinner, which is the late meal, from breakfast, which is the early morning meal. Others differ with respect to place, as “the air currents,” i.e., the winds, of which the Aquilonian comes from the north, the Favonian from the west, the Austerian from the south, and the Subsolian from the east. Others differ “by reason of the qualities of sensible bodies,” i.e., by hardness or softness and other characteristics of this kind; and some things differ in several of these ways, and others in all of them. And some differ by excess and some by defect. He adds this because the ancient philosophers held that all qualities of sensible bodies are reduced to excess or defect.
1694. For this reason (702).
Deinde cum dicit quare palam ostendit qualiter praedictae differentiae se habent ad ea quorum sunt. Et circa hoc duo facit. Primo ostendit, quod in his differentiis consistit esse eorum quorum sunt differentiae constitutivae. Secundo concludit, quod ad cognoscendum principia essendi, oportet reducere differentias in aliqua prima genera, ibi, sumenda igitur sunt. He shows the way in which these differences are related to those things whose differences they are. In regard to this he does two things. First (702), he shows that these differences constitute the being of the things whose differences they are. Second (703:C 1695), he concludes that in order to grasp the principles of being we must reduce these differences to certain primary classes of differences (“Further, we must consider”).
Dicit ergo primo, quod quia praedictae differentiae sunt constitutivae rerum de quibus supra dictum est, manifestum quod ipsum esse praedictarum rerum toties dicitur quot sunt differentiae. Differentia enim complet definitionem significantem esse rei. Limen enim est huiusmodi, quia ita ponitur. Et ipsum sic poni est esse ipsius, idest propria eius ratio. Et similiter esse crystalli, est ipsum taliter inspissari. Et ex omnibus praedictis differt esse quarumdam rerum: hoc quidem in eo quod commiscentur, alia quidem in eo quod complectuntur, et alia aliis differentiis utuntur, sicut manus et pes, et aliae huiusmodi partes, quae habent proprias differentias secundum quod ordinantur ad determinatas operationes. First, then, he says that, because these differences are constitutive of the things we have mentioned above, it is evident that the being of the aforesaid realities is diversified according to these differences; for a difference completes the definition, which signifies the being of a thing. Thus a threshold is this particular thing “because it is placed in such and such a position,” and its being, i.e., its proper intelligible structure, consists in being placed in such and such a position. Similarly, being ice is being condensed in such and such a way. And by each of the differences mentioned the being of things of a certain type is differentiated: some by being mixed; others by being combined; and others by other differences, as a hand and a foot and other parts of this kind which have peculiar differences of their own inasmuch as they are directed to certain definite operations.
1695. Further, we must consider (703).
Deinde cum dicit sumenda autem concludit, quod ex quo in differentiis consistit esse rerum, et sic intendenda est earum cognitio, utile est sumere genera differentiarum, reducendo scilicet posteriores differentias generis in primas, quia differentiae huiusmodi communes et propriae erunt principia esse totius generis, ut patet in differentiis quae sunt secundum magis et minus, et secundum rarum et spissum, et alia huiusmodi: nam rarum et densum et similia reducuntur ad magnum et parvum: omnia enim haec significant superabundantiam et defectum. Et similiter si quid pertinet ad figuram, aut asperitatem et lenitatem, omnia reducuntur ad rectum et curvum quae sunt primae differentiae ad figuram pertinentes. Et similiter oportet, quod aliqua reducantur ad esse mixtum vel non esse mixtum; quia quaedam sunt quorum esse est in eo quod miscetur, non esse vero eorum, in eo quod opposito modo se habent. He concludes that, since the being of things consists in their differences and has to be known in this way, it will be worth our while to grasp the classes of differences by reducing the secondary differences of a class to the primary differences; because common and proper differences of this kind will be the principles of being of a whole class. This is evident in differences of degree, of rarity and density, and in other things of this kind; for density and rarity and the like are reduced to the class of the great and small, because all these signify excess and defect. Similarly, if things differ in figure or in roughness or smoothness, these are reduced to differences of straightness and curvature, which are the primary differences of figure. Again, it is necessary that some be reduced to being mixed or not being mixed; for the being of some things consists in the fact that they are mixed, and their non-being in just the opposite state.
1696. It is evident, then (704).
Deinde cum dicit palam itaque ostendit quomodo praedictae differentiae se habeant ad substantias: et dicit: ex praedictis iam manifestum est, quod in praedictis differentiis est quaerendum, quae sit causa formalis essendi cuiuslibet praedictorum, quorum sunt differentiae, si ita est quod substantia formalis vel quod quid est, est causa cuiuslibet essendi, ut in septimo manifestum fuit. Praedictae enim differentiae significant formam, et quod quid est praedictarum rerum. Nulla autem differentiarum praedictarum est substantia, neque aliquid substantiae affine, quasi pertinens ad genus substantiae. Sed eadem proportio invenitur in eis, quae est in substantia. He shows how these differences are related to the substances of things. He says that it is now evident from the foregoing that we must try to discover in these differences the formal cause of the being of each thing, if it is in this way that substance in a formal sense, or the whatness of a thing, is the cause of the being of each thing, as was clear in Book VII (682-90:C 1648-80). For these differences signify the form or whatness of the above-mentioned things. However, none of these differences are substance or anything akin to substance, as though belonging to the genus of substance; but the same proportion is found in them as in [the genus of] substance.
Sicut enim in genere substantiae, differentia, quae praedicatur de genere, et advenit ei ad constitutionem speciei, comparatur ad ipsum ut actus et forma, ita etiam in aliis definitionibus. 1697. For just as in the genus of substance the difference, which is predicated of the genus and qualifies it in order to constitute a species, is related to the genus as actuality or form, so also is this true in other definitions.
Non enim est intelligendum, quod differentia sit forma, aut genus sit materia, cum genus et differentiae praedicentur de specie, materia autem et forma non praedicentur de composito: sed hoc dicitur, quia genus sumitur ab eo quod est materiale in re, differentia vero ab eo quod est formale. (~) For we must not understand that difference is form or that genus is matter, since genus and difference are predicated of the species but matter and form are not predicated of the composite. (+) But we speak in this manner because a thing’s genus is derived from its material principle, and its difference from its formal principle.
Sicut genus hominis est animal, quia significat aliquid habens naturam sensitivam; quae quidem materialiter se habet ad naturam intellectivam, a qua sumitur rationale, quae est differentia hominis. Rationale vero significat aliquid habens naturam intellectivam. The genus of man, for example, is animal, because it signifies something having a sensory nature, which is related as matter to intellectual nature from which rational, the difference of man, is taken. But rational signifies something having an intellectual nature.
Et inde est quod genus habet differentias potestate, et quod genus et differentia proportionantur materiae et formae, ut Porphyrius dicit. Et propter hoc etiam hic dicitur quod actus, idest differentia, praedicatur de materia, idest de genere; et similiter est in aliis generibus. It is for this reason that a genus contains its differences potentially, and that genus and difference are proportionate to matter and form, as Porphyry says . And for this reason too it is said here that “actuality,” i.e., difference, is predicated “of matter,” i.e., of the genus; and the same thing occurs in other genera.
Si quis enim velit limen definire, dicet, quod est lapis vel lignum taliter positum: in qua definitione lapis vel lignum est ut materia, positio vero ut forma. Et similiter in definitione domus, lapides et ligna sunt materia, et talis modus compositionis est ut forma. Et etiam ulterius in quibusdam additur finis, a quo necessitas formae dependet. Et similiter in definitione crystalli, aqua est sicut materia, congelatio vero ut forma. Et in definitione symphoniae acutum et grave ut materia, et modus commixtionis ut forma; et ita est in omnibus aliis. 1698. For if one wishes to define a threshold, he shall say that it is a piece of stone or wood placed in such and such a position; and in this definition stone or wood is as matter and position as form. Similarly, in the definition of a house stones and timbers are as matter, and being combined in such and such a way as form. And again in the definitions of some things there is also added its end, on which the necessity of the form depends. And similarly in the definition of ice, water is as matter and being frozen is as form. So too in the definition of a harmony the high and low notes are as matter and the way in which they are combined is as form. The same thing applies in all other definitions.
1699. From these instances (705).
Deinde cum dicit palam itaque concludit ergo ex praedictis duo corollaria: quorum primum est quod diversarum materiarum diversi sunt actus et formae. In quibusdam enim est actus compositio, in quibusdam commixtio, aut aliquid dictorum. He draws two additional conclusions from the above. First, there are different actualities or forms for different matters. For in some things the actuality consists in being combined; in others in being mixed, or in some of the aforesaid differences.
1700. Therefore, among those who (706).
Deinde cum dicit propter quod secundum ponit. Et est, quod, cum in definitione unum comparetur ad aliud ut actus ad materiam, quidam definientes res per materiam tantum insufficienter definiunt. Sicut definientes domum per caementum et lapides et ligna, quae sunt materia domus; quia talis definitio non notificat domum in actu, sed in potentia. Qui vero dicunt, quod domus est coopertura pecuniarum et corporum, dicunt formam domus sed non materiam. Qui vero dicunt utrumque, definiuntur compositam substantiam. Et ideo eorum definitio est perfecta ratio. Ratio vero, quae sumitur ex differentiis, pertinet ad formam. Quae vero ex partibus intrinsecis, pertinet ad materiam. He states the second conclusion; since in a definition one part is related to the other as actuality to matter, some people in defining things give an inadequate definition by stating only their matter, as those who define a house by means of cement, stones and timbers, which are the material of a house; because such a definition does not signify an actual house but a potential one. Those who say that a house is a shelter for goods and living bodies state the form of a house but not its matter. However, those who state both define the composite substance, and therefore their definition is a complete definition. But the conceptual element which is derived from the differences pertains to the form, whereas that which is derived from the intrinsic parts pertains to the matter.
Et similes his definitionibus sunt illae, quas Archytas approbat. Sicut nenemia, quod significat dispositiones aeris, quando est sine vento, est quies in multo aere: non enim si modicum de aere in aliquo vase incluso quiescat, dicitur serenitas. In hac autem definitione, aer est ut materia, et quies ut forma. Similiter cum dicitur, tranquillitas est planities maris, mare est materia, et planities ut forma. Materia autem in his definitionibus est substantia, forma vero est accidens. In definitione autem domus materia sunt partes, actus autem forma totius. 1701. The definitions which Archytas accepts are similar to these. E.g., stillness, which signifies the state of the atmosphere when it is windless, is rest in a large expanse of air; for if only the smallest amount of air in a vessel is at rest we do not speak of stillness. In this definition air is as matter and rest as form. Similarly, when a calm is defined as the smoothness of the sea, the sea is as matter and smoothness as form. Now in these definitions the matter is substance and the form is an accident; but in the definition of a house the matter is its parts and the actuality is the form of the whole.
1702. From what (707).
Deinde cum dicit palam itaque epilogat quae de forma dicta sunt. Et est planum in litera. He summarizes the things said about form. The text is clear here.

The Nature of Form as Part of a Thing’s Essence. The Resemblance between Numbers and Forms
ARISTOTLE’S TEXT Chapter 3: 1043a 29-1044a 14
δεῖ δὲ μὴ ἀγνοεῖν ὅτι ἐνίοτε λανθάνει πότερον σημαίνει [30] τὸ ὄνομα τὴν σύνθετον οὐσίαν ἢ τὴν ἐνέργειαν καὶ τὴν μορφήν, οἷον ἡ οἰκία πότερον σημεῖον τοῦ κοινοῦ ὅτι σκέπασμα ἐκ πλίνθων καὶ λίθων ὡδὶ κειμένων, ἢ τῆς ἐνεργείας καὶ τοῦ εἴδους ὅτι σκέπασμα, καὶ γραμμὴ πότερον δυὰς ἐν μήκει ἢ [ὅτι] δυάς, καὶ ζῷον πότερον ψυχὴ ἐν [35] σώματι ἢ ψυχή: αὕτη γὰρ οὐσία καὶ ἐνέργεια σώματός τινος. 708. And we must not disregard the fact that sometimes it is not apparent whether a name signifies the composite substance or the actuality or form; for example, whether house signifies both the form and the matter together, i.e., a shelter composed of bricks, timbers and stones arranged in such and such a way, or whether it signifies the actuality or form—a shelter; and whether line signifies twoness in length or twoness; and whether animal signifies a soul in a body or a soul, for the latter is the substance or actuality of some body.
εἴη δ᾽ ἂν καὶ ἐπ᾽ ἀμφοτέροις τὸ ζῷον, οὐχ ὡς ἑνὶ λόγῳ λεγόμενον ἀλλ᾽ ὡς πρὸς ἕν. 709. Now animal will also apply to both, not in the sense that both are expressed by one meaning, but insofar as they are related to some one thing.
ἀλλὰ ταῦτα πρὸς μέν τι ἄλλο διαφέρει, πρὸς δὲ τὴν ζήτησιν τῆς οὐσίας τῆς αἰσθητῆς οὐδέν: [1043β] [1] τὸ γὰρ τί ἦν εἶναι τῷ εἴδει καὶ τῇ ἐνεργείᾳ ὑπάρχει. ψυχὴ μὲν γὰρ καὶ ψυχῇ εἶναι ταὐτόν, ἀνθρώπῳ δὲ καὶ ἄνθρωπος οὐ ταὐτόν, εἰ μὴ καὶ ἡ ψυχὴ ἄνθρωπος λεχθήσεται: οὕτω δὲ τινὶ μὲν τινὶ δ᾽ οὔ. 710. These distinctions make a difference with regard to something else, but not to the investigation of sensible substances, because the essence of this other thing consists of form or actuality. For a soul and the essence of a soul are the same, but a man and the essence of a man are not the same, unless a man is also called a soul. And in some things essence and thing are identical and in others not.
οὐ φαίνεται [5] δὴ ζητοῦσιν ἡ συλλαβὴ ἐκ τῶν στοιχείων οὖσα καὶ συνθέσεως, οὐδ᾽ ἡ οἰκία πλίνθοι τε καὶ σύνθεσις. καὶ τοῦτο ὀρθῶς: οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἡ σύνθεσις οὐδ᾽ ἡ μῖξις ἐκ τούτων ὧν ἐστὶ σύνθεσις ἢ μῖξις. ὁμοίως δὲ οὐδὲ τῶν ἄλλων οὐθέν, οἷον εἰ ὁ οὐδὸς θέσει, οὐκ ἐκ τοῦ οὐδοῦ ἡ θέσις ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον [10] οὗτος ἐξ ἐκείνης. οὐδὲ δὴ ὁ ἄνθρωπός ἐστι τὸ ζῷον καὶ δίπουν, ἀλλά τι δεῖ εἶναι ὃ παρὰ ταῦτά ἐστιν, εἰ ταῦθ᾽ ὕλη, οὔτε δὲ στοιχεῖον οὔτ᾽ ἐκ στοιχείου, ἀλλ᾽ ἡ οὐσία: ὃ ἐξαιροῦντες [13] τὴν ὕλην λέγουσιν. εἰ οὖν τοῦτ᾽ αἴτιον τοῦ εἶναι, καὶ οὐσία τοῦτο, αὐτὴν ἂν τὴν οὐσίαν οὐ λέγοιεν. 711. Accordingly, to those who make investigations it does not seem that a syllable consists of letters and their combination, nor does a house consist of bricks and their combination. And this is true, because a combination or mixture does not consist of the things of which it is the combination or mixture. Nor likewise do any of the other differences. If a threshold, for example, is constituted by its position, the position is not constituted by the threshold, but rather the latter by the former. Nor is man animal and two-footed, but there must be something else in addition to these, if these are matter. Now this is neither an element nor a combination of the elements, but the substance; but omitting this they speak only of matter. Therefore, if this is the cause of a thing’s being, and this is its substance, they will not be stating its substance.
(ἀνάγκη δὴ ταύτην ἢ [15] ἀΐδιον εἶναι ἢ φθαρτὴν ἄνευ τοῦ φθείρεσθαι καὶ γεγονέναι ἄνευ τοῦ γίγνεσθαι. δέδεικται δὲ καὶ δεδήλωται ἐν ἄλλοις ὅτι τὸ εἶδος οὐθεὶς ποιεῖ οὐδὲ γεννᾷ, ἀλλὰ ποιεῖται τόδε, γίγνεται δὲ τὸ ἐκ τούτων. 712. Now this must be either eternal or corruptible without being in the process of corruption, and generated without being in the process of generation. But it has been demonstrated and made clear elsewhere (611) that no one produces a form, nor is it generated; but it is this particular thing which is produced and comes to be from these principles.
εἰ δ᾽ εἰσὶ τῶν φθαρτῶν αἱ οὐσίαι χωρισταί, οὐδέν πω δῆλον: 713. But whether the substances of corruptible things are separable or not is not yet clear.
πλὴν ὅτι γ᾽ ἐνίων οὐκ ἐνδέχεται [20] δῆλον, ὅσα μὴ οἷόν τε παρὰ τὰ τινὰ εἶναι, οἷον οἰκίαν ἢ σκεῦος. 714. It is evident, however, that this may not occur in the case of some things, i.e., in the case of all those that are incapable of existing apart from particular things, for example, a house or a vessel.
ἴσως μὲν οὖν οὐδ᾽ οὐσίαι εἰσὶν οὔτ᾽ αὐτὰ ταῦτα οὔτε τι τῶν ἄλλων ὅσα μὴ φύσει συνέστηκεν: τὴν γὰρ φύσιν μόνην ἄν τις θείη τὴν ἐν τοῖς φθαρτοῖς οὐσίαν.) 715. Indeed, perhaps neither these particular things nor any of the others which are not produced by nature are substances. For at least one might hold that only the nature of corruptible things is substance.
ὥστε ἡ ἀπορία ἣν οἱ Ἀντισθένειοι καὶ οἱ οὕτως ἀπαίδευτοι ἠπόρουν [25] ἔχει τινὰ καιρόν, ὅτι οὐκ ἔστι τὸ τί ἔστιν ὁρίσασθαι (τὸν γὰρ ὅρον λόγον εἶναι μακρόν), ἀλλὰ ποῖον μέν τί ἐστιν ἐνδέχεται καὶ διδάξαι, ὥσπερ ἄργυρον, τί μέν ἐστιν οὔ, ὅτι δ᾽ οἷον καττίτερος: ὥστ᾽ οὐσίας ἔστι μὲν ἧς ἐνδέχεται εἶναι ὅρον καὶ λόγον, οἷον τῆς συνθέτου, ἐάν τε αἰσθητὴ [30] ἐάν τε νοητὴ ᾖ: ἐξ ὧν δ᾽ αὕτη πρώτων, οὐκέτι, εἴπερ τὶ κατὰ τινὸς σημαίνει ὁ λόγος ὁ ὁριστικὸς καὶ δεῖ τὸ μὲν ὥσπερ ὕλην εἶναι τὸ δὲ ὡς μορφήν. 716. For this reason the problem which confronted Antisthenes and other uninstructed people is applicable here, i.e., that one cannot define what a thing is (for according to them the definition is a lengthy statement), but one can say what it is like; for example, one cannot say what silver is, but one can say that it is like tin. Hence, of one kind of substance there can be a limit or definition, i.e., of the composite, whether it be sensible or intelligible. But this cannot be true of the primary parts of which it is composed, since the definitive concept designates something as determining something else, and one of these must have the character of matter and the other that of form.
φανερὸν δὲ καὶ διότι, εἴπερ εἰσί πως ἀριθμοὶ αἱ οὐσίαι, οὕτως εἰσὶ καὶ οὐχ ὥς τινες λέγουσι μονάδων: ὅ τε γὰρ ὁρισμὸς ἀριθμός τις: [35] διαιρετός τε γὰρ καὶ εἰς ἀδιαίρετα (οὐ γὰρ ἄπειροι οἱ λόγοι), καὶ ὁ ἀριθμὸς δὲ τοιοῦτον. 717. Further, it is also clear that if numbers are in any sense substances, they are such in this way and not (as groups) of units, as some claim. For a definition is like a number and is divisible into indivisible parts, because definitions are not made up of an unlimited number of parts; and this is also true of numbers.
καὶ ὥσπερ οὐδ᾽ ἀπ᾽ ἀριθμοῦ ἀφαιρεθέντος τινὸς ἢ προστεθέντος ἐξ ὧν ὁ ἀριθμός ἐστιν, οὐκέτι ὁ αὐτὸς ἀριθμός ἐστιν ἀλλ᾽ ἕτερος, κἂν τοὐλάχιστον ἀφαιρεθῇ ἢ προστεθῇ, [1044α] [1] οὕτως οὐδὲ ὁ ὁρισμὸς οὐδὲ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι οὐκέτι ἔσται ἀφαιρεθέντος τινὸς ἢ προστεθέντος. 718. And just as when any part constituting a number is subtracted or added it is no longer the same number that remains but a different one, even though the minimum is subtracted or added, so too neither the definition nor the essence will any longer be the same when anything is subtracted or added.
καὶ τὸν ἀριθμὸν δεῖ εἶναί τι ᾧ εἷς, ὃ νῦν οὐκ ἔχουσι λέγειν τίνι εἷς, εἴπερ ἐστὶν εἷς (ἢ γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀλλ᾽ οἷον σωρός, ἢ [5] εἴπερ ἐστί, λεκτέον τί τὸ ποιοῦν ἓν ἐκ πολλῶν): καὶ ὁ ὁρισμὸς εἷς ἐστίν, ὁμοίως δὲ οὐδὲ τοῦτον ἔχουσι λέγειν. καὶ τοῦτο εἰκότως συμβαίνει: τοῦ αὐτοῦ γὰρ λόγου, καὶ ἡ οὐσία ἓν οὕτως, ἀλλ᾽ οὐχ ὡς λέγουσί τινες οἷον μονάς τις οὖσα ἢ στιγμή, ἀλλ᾽ ἐντελέχεια καὶ φύσις τις ἑκάστη. 719. And there must be something by reason of which a number is one thing, although they cannot say what makes it to be one thing; i.e., if it is one thing. For either it is not one thing but like a heap, or if it is one thing it is necessary to state what makes it to be one thing out of many. And a definition is one thing; but they are also unable to say what makes it to be one thing; and this follows as a natural consequence. For by the same argument substance is also one thing in the way we have explained, but not, as some claim, as being a kind of unit or point, but as an actuality and a kind of nature.
καὶ ὥσπερ οὐδὲ ὁ [10] ἀριθμὸς ἔχει τὸ μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον, οὐδ᾽ ἡ κατὰ τὸ εἶδος οὐσία, ἀλλ᾽ εἴπερ, ἡ μετὰ τῆς ὕλης. 720. And just as number does not admit of more or less, neither does substance in the sense of form; but if this were the case [it would be that substance which is joined] to matter.
περὶ μὲν οὖν γενέσεως καὶ φθορᾶς τῶν λεγομένων οὐσιῶν, πῶς τ᾽ ἐνδέχεται καὶ πῶς ἀδύνατον, καὶ περὶ τῆς εἰς τὸν ἀριθμὸν ἀναγωγῆς, ἔστω μέχρι τούτων διωρισμένον. [15] 721. In regard to the generation and corruption of the foregoing substances, in what way this is possible and in what way it is impossible, and in regard to the likeness which they have to numbers, we have established these things this far.
Postquam inquisivit philosophus principia substantiae sensibilis, ostendens quod substantia sensibilis componitur ex materia et forma; nunc de principio materiali et formali determinare intendit, inquirendo ea quae sunt consideranda circa utrumque. 1703. Having investigated the principles of sensible substances~ and having shown that sensible substances are composed of matter and form, the Philosopher’s aim here is to establish the truth about the formal and material principles of things by investigating the points which must be considered about each.
Et dividitur in duas partes. In prima inquirit ea quae sunt consideranda circa principium formale. In secunda, ea quae sunt consideranda circa principium materiale, ibi, de materiali autem substantia. This is divided into two parts. In the first (708:C 1705), he investigates the things which must be considered about the formal principle. In the second (722:C 1729), he investigates the things which must be considered about the material principle (“Concerning material substances”).
Et, quia Plato praecipue principium formale tetigit, ideo determinat de principio formali secundum ea quae Plato posuit. Ponit autem Plato, formas rerum esse species et numeros. Unde prima pars dividitur in duas partes. In prima determinat de principio formali per comparationem ad species. In secunda per comparationem ad numeros, ibi, palam autem. 1704. And since Plato was the one who devoted special treatment to the formal principle, therefore Aristotle deals with the formal principle in reference to those things which Plato posited. Now Plato claimed that species [i.e., separate Forms or Ideas] and numbers are the forms of things. Hence the first part is divided into two sections. In the first (708:C 1705), he deals with the formal principle in relation to the species [or Ideas]; and in the second (717:C 1722), in relation to numbers (“Further, it is also clear”).
Ponebat autem Plato quatuor de formis per comparationem ad species. Quorum primum est, quod nomina specierum significent tantum formam, non autem formam cum materia. Secundum, quod forma est aliquid praeter partes materiae. Tertium est, quod est ingenerabilis et incorruptibilis. Quartum est, quod formae sunt separatae a sensibilibus. Now Plato held four things about forms in relation to the species [or Ideas]. The first of these is that specific names signify form alone and not form with matter. The second is that form is something besides the material parts. The third is that form can neither be generated nor corrupted. The fourth is that forms are separate from sensible things.
Unde prima pars dividitur in quatuor, secundum quod Aristoteles de quatuor praedictis inquirit. Secunda pars incipit, ibi, non videtur. Tertia, ibi, necessarium itaque et cetera. Quarta, ibi, si autem sunt corruptibilium. The first part is divided into four sections inasmuch as Aristotle investigates the four points just mentioned. The second (711:C 1712) begins where he says “Accordingly, to those.” The third (712:C 1715) begins where he says “Now this must.” The fourth (713:C 1717) begins where he says “But whether.”
Circa primum tria facit. Primo movet quaestionem; dicens quod necessarium est scire quod apud aliquos dubium est: utrum nomen speciei significet substantiam compositam, aut formam tantum, sive aliquid, quod est loco actus. Ut hoc nomen domus, utrum significet communiter materiam et formam, puta quod domus significet tegumentum constitutum ex caemento et lapidibus ordinatum ut decet (nam tegumentum est sicut forma, caementum et lapides ut materia); aut praedictum nomen significet tantum actum et speciem, scilicet tegumentum. 1705. In regard to the first he does three things. First (708) he raises a question. We must understand, he says, that for some men there is the problem whether a specific name signifies the composite substance or only the form or something having the status of actuality; for example, whether the word house signifies both matter and form together so that a house means a shelter made of bricks and stones properly arranged (for shelter is as form, and bricks and stones as matter), or whether this word signifies only the actuality or form, a shelter.
Similiter, utrum hoc nomen linea significet dualitatem et longitudinem, aut dualitatem tantum. Hoc autem ideo dicit, quia Platonici posuerunt numeros esse formas magnitudinum. Dicebant enim quod punctus nihil aliud est quam unitas positionem habens; ita quod positio sit quasi materiale unitas ut formale. Et similiter ponebant, quod dualitas erat forma lineae, ita quod linea nihil aliud est quam dualitas in longitudine. Quaerit ergo philosophus, utrum hoc nomen linea significet dualitatem tantum, quasi formam; aut dualitatem in longitudine, sicut formam in materia. Et similiter, utrum hoc nomen animal significet animam in corpore, quasi formam in materia; aut animam tantum, quae est forma corporis organici. 1706. Similarly, there is the problem whether the word line signifies twoness and length or twoness alone. He mentions this because the Platonists claimed that numbers are the forms of continuous quantities; for they said that a point is merely the number one having position, so that position is a sort of material principle, and the number one a formal principle. They likewise claimed that the number two is the form of a line, so that a line is merely twoness in length. Therefore the Philosopher asks whether the word line signifies twoness alone as form, or twoness grounded in length as form in matter. And again, there is the problem whether the word animal signifies a soul in a body as a form in matter, or only a soul, which is the form of an organic body.
1707. Now animal will also apply (709).
Deinde cum dicit erit autem ostendit quid sequatur, si quis dicit, quod nomina specierum utroque modo se habent in significando: ut scilicet quandoque significent formam tantum, quandoque autem formam in materia: et est quod de utroque in utraque significatione animal accipietur non univoce, quasi una ratione dictum; sed analogice, sicut est in illis, quae habent nomen unum, propter hoc quod referuntur ad unum. Nomen enim speciei non dicetur de composito, nisi secundum ordinem ad hoc, quod dicitur secundum formam tantum, sicut Platonici posuerunt. Ponebant enim quod homo, qui est compositus ex materia et forma, dicitur per participationem hominis idealis, qui est forma tantum. He shows what follows if one says that specific names are used in both senses, so that they sometimes signify form alone and sometimes form in matter. And the result is that animal will be taken of either in either meaning, not univocally, as though it were predicated with one meaning, but analogically, as happens in the case of those things which have one name because they are related to one thing. For the specific name will be predicated of the composite only by reason of relationship to that which is predicated according to form alone, as the Platonists held. For they maintained that man, who is a composite of matter and form, is so named because he participates in the Idea man, which is only a form.
1708. These distinctions (710).
Deinde cum dicit verum et haec ostendit philosophus ad quid tendit praedicta quaestio; dicens quod si nomen speciei significet substantiam compositam, aut significet formam tantum, hoc facit differentiam quantum ad aliquid; sed ad quaestionem substantiae sensibilis nullam differentiam facit. Manifestum enim est quod substantia sensibilis composita est ex materia et forma. Then the Philosopher shows the result to which the aforesaid search leads. He says that, while the question whether a specific name signifies the composite substance or only the form, (+) makes a difference in regard to something else, (~) it makes no difference to the investigation of sensible substance. For it is evident that a sensible substance is composed of matter and form.
Ad quid autem differat, utrum sic vel sic se habent, consequenter manifestat. Manifestum est enim quod si aliqua res est, quae sit forma tantum et actus, quod quid erat esse existit ei, idest quod quid erat esse eius, idem erit cum ea: sicut idem est anima et animae esse, idest anima est quidditas animae. 1709. (+) Now to what kind of thing it makes a difference, whether to those in this state or in another, he makes clear next. For it is obvious that if there is something which is only form or actuality, its essence “consists of this,” i.e., the thing and its essence will be identical, as a soul is identical with its essence, or is its own quiddity.
Si vero aliquid est compositum ex materia et forma, non erit idem in ipso quod quid erat esse et res ipsa; sicut non idem est homini esse, et homo. Nisi forte dicatur anima tantum, secundum illos, qui dicunt, quod nomina specierum significant formam tantum. Et sic patet, quod aliqua res est, cui idem est quod quid erat esse suum; scilicet quae non est composita ex materia et forma, sed forma tantum. But if a thing is composed of matter and form, then in this case the thing itself and its essence will not be the same; for example, a man and the essence of a man are not the same, unless perhaps a man is said to be only a soul, as was held by those who say that specific names signify only the form. Thus it is evident that something does exist whose essence is the same as itself, namely, whatever is not composed of matter and form but is only a form.
Et huius ratio est, quia quod quid erat esse est id quod significat definitio. Definitio autem significat naturam speciei. Si autem aliqua res est, quae sit composita ex materia et forma, oportet quod in illa re sit aliquid praeter naturam speciei. Cum enim materia sit individuationis principium, oportet quod in quolibet composito ex materia et forma sint principia individuantia, quae sunt praeter naturam speciei. Unde huiusmodi res non tantum est quidditas sua, sed aliquid praeter hoc. Si qua vero res est, quae sit forma tantum, non habet aliqua principia individuantia praeter naturam speciei, cum ipsa forma per se existens per seipsam individuetur. Et ideo ipsa res nihil aliud est quam quod quid est esse suum. 1710. The reason for this position is that essence is what the definition signifies, and the definition signifies the nature of the species. But if there is something which is composed of matter and form, then in that thing there must be some other principle besides the nature of the species. For since matter is the principle of individuation, then in anything composed of matter and form there must be certain individuating principles distinct from the nature of the species. Hence such a thing is not just its own essence but is something in addition to this. But if such a thing exists which is only a form, it will have no individuating principles in addition to the nature of its species. For a form that exists of itself is individuated of itself. Therefore this thing is nothing else than its own essence.
Sic igitur patet, quod si nomen speciei significet formam tantum, cuiuslibet rei idem est quod quid erat esse et esse suum; sicut homo erit quod quid est esse suum, et equus, et omnia huiusmodi. 1711. It is clear, then, that if the specific name signifies only the form, the essence of anything will be (+) the same as its being, as a man will be his essence, and a horse its essence, and so also will all other things of this kind.
Si autem nomina speciei significant compositum ex materia et forma, tunc non idem erit rebus quod quid erat esse earum. But if specific names signify things composed of matter and form, then such things will (~) not be the same as their essence.
1712. Accordingly, to those who (711).
Deinde cum dicit non videtur prosequitur secundum praedictorum, scilicet quod forma sit aliquid praeter partes materiae; dicens, quod Platonicis moventibus istam quaestionem, non videtur, quod syllaba sit ex elementis et ex compositione; quasi compositio, quae est forma syllabae, sit pars materialis syllabae, sicut elementa vel literae. Neque videtur eis quod domus sit caementum et compositio, quasi domus constituatur ex his quasi ex partibus materiae. Here he deals with the second point mentioned above, namely, that the form is something in addition to the material parts. He says that for the Platonists, in raising this question, it does not seem that a syllable consists of its elements and their combination, as if combination, which is the form of a syllable, were a material part of a syllable like its elements or letters. Nor does it seem to them that a house consists of stones and their combination, as if a house were constituted of these as material parts.
Et in hoc recte dicunt; quia si forma esset una de partibus materiae, dependeret ex materia. Et hoc videmus esse falsum; quia compositio et mixtio, quae sunt formalia principia, non constituuntur ex his quae componuntur aut miscentur, sicut nec aliquod aliud formale constituitur ex sua materia, sed e converso. Subliminare enim constituitur ex compositione, quae est forma eius, et non e converso. 1713. And on this point their remarks are true, because, if the form were one of the material parts, it would depend on matter. But we see that this is false; for combination or mixture, which are formal principles, are not constituted of those things which are combined or mixed; nor is any other formal principle constituted of its matter, but the reverse. For a threshold is constituted by position, which is its form, and not the reverse.
Ergo, si ponatur quod animal et bipes sint materia hominis, homo non erit animal et bipes, sed erit aliquid aliud praeter hoc. Nec erit elementum neque ex elementis, sed erit tantum forma, ut dicunt Platonici, qui auferunt materiam a definitionibus. Sed contra hanc positionem videtur esse dicendum, quod si id quod est forma tantum praeter materiam est substantia et principium essendi, non poterunt dicere quod hoc particulare sit illa substantia separata, scilicet quod homo sensibilis sit compositus ex materia et forma, homo autem sit forma tantum. 1714. Therefore, if one holds that animal and two-footed are the matter of man, man will not be animal and two-footed but will be something else in addition to these. And this will not be an element or anything composed of the elements but will be only a form as the Platonists claim, who omit matter from definitions. But it seems that we must hold, in opposition to this position, that, if form alone apart from matter is the substance or principle of being of a thing, they will not be able to say that this particular thing is that separate substance; i.e., they will not be able to say that this man as a sensible entity is composed of matter and form, but that man is only a form
1715. Now this must (712).
Deinde cum dicit necessarium itaque prosequitur tertium praedictorum; scilicet quod formae secundum Platonicos sunt sempiternae et incorruptibiles. Unde concludit ex dictis quod necessarium est formam aut esse sempiternam, ut Platonici posuerunt ponentes ideas, quas dicebant formas rerum esse sempiternas: aut necesse est formam esse corruptibilem per accidens, sine hoc quod corrumpatur per se. Et similiter, facta per accidens, sine hoc quod fiat per se. Quod conceditur secundum sententiam Aristotelis, qui non posuit formas separatas, sed in materia existentes. He considers the third point mentioned above, namely, the Platonists’ position that forms are eternal and Incorruptible. Hence he concludes, from what has been said, that either a form must be eternal, as the Platonists held when they claimed that the Ideas, which they called the forms of things, are eternal; or a form must be corruptible by reason of something else without being corrupted in itself, and similarly it must come to be by reason of something else without coming to be in itself. This is in agreement with the position of Aristotle, who does not hold that forms are separate but that they exist in matter.
Quod autem formae non possint corrumpi per se, nec generari, ex quo utrumque praedictorum dependet, monstrat consequenter per hoc quod superius probatum est, quod nullus facit formam, neque forma generatur, neque efficitur per se; sed per se efficitur et generatur hoc particulare. Et ratio est, quia omne quod fit, fit ex materia. Unde hoc particulare, cum sit compositum ex materia et forma, fit et generatur ex his, scilicet principiis materialibus et individuantibus. Supra autem dictum est quod forma non est elementum, neque ex elementis. Unde sequitur quod forma nec fit nec generatur per se. 1716. Further, the statement that forms can neither be corrupted nor generated in themselves (710-12:C 1708-15), on which each of the aforesaid points depends, Aristotle proceeds to demonstrate by reason of what was shown above, namely, that no one makes or produces a form, nor is a form generated or produced in itself; but it is this particular thing which comes to be or is generated in itself. And the reason is that everything which comes to be comes to be from matter. Hence, since this particular thing is composed of matter and form, it comes to be or is generated “from these principles,” i.e., from its material and individuating principles. But it was stated above (71I:C 1714) that a form is not an element or anything composed of the elements. Therefore it follows that a form neither comes to he nor is generated in itself.
1717. But whether the substances (713).
Deinde cum dicit si autem prosequitur quartum praedictorum; scilicet quod Plato ponebat formas separatas a materia. Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo ostendit quid sit dubium circa hanc positionem; dicens quod non est manifestum si substantiae, idest formae rerum corruptibilium, sint separabiles, ut Platonici posuerunt. He examines the fourth point given above, namely, Plato’s position that forms are separate from matter. In regard to this he does three things. First, he exposes what the problem is in this position, saying that it is not clear whether “the substances,” i.e., the forms, of corruptible things are separable as the Platonists claimed.
1718. It is evident, however (714).
Secundo attamen quia ostendit quid manifestum esse videtur circa hoc; et dicit manifestum esse, quod quorumdam corruptibilium formas non contingit separari, quaecumque scilicet non possibile est esse praeter materias suas, sicut domus aut vas, quia forma domus aut vasis non potest esse sine propria materia. Second, he indicates what seems to be evident on this point. He says that it is evident that the forms of some corruptible things are not separate, namely, “all those” which are incapable of existing apart from their matters, as house or vessel, because neither the form of a house nor that of a vessel can exist apart from its proper matter.
1719. Indeed, perhaps (715).
Tertio forsan quidem excludit obviationem; dicens, quod formae artificialium forsan non sunt substantiae, nec ipsae sunt aliquid per se, unde separari non possunt. Et similiter nullum aliorum artificialium, quae non sunt secundum naturam; quia solum materia in rebus artificialibus ponitur esse substantia, formae autem artificiales accidentia sunt. Formae vero naturales sunt de genere substantiae. Et propter hoc Plato non posuit formas artificiales esse separatas a materia, sed solum formas substantiales. Third, he precludes an objection, saying that perhaps the forms of artifacts are not substances or anything in their own right, and so cannot have separate existence. Nor similarly can other artificial forms, which have no natural existence, because in artifacts the matter alone is held to be substance, whereas the forms of artifacts are accidents. Natural forms, however, belong to the class of substance; and this is why Plato did not hold that the forms of artifacts exist apart from matter but only substantial forms.
1720. For this reason (716).
Deinde cum dicit quare dubitatio ostendit quid manifeste sit contra positionem Platonis; dicens, quod si quis ponat esse formas separatas, ut Platonici posuerant, dubitatio, quam Antisthenici dubitaverunt, licet viderentur indocti, habebit locum contra Platonicos. Dicebant enim quod non est aliquid definire definitione significante quidditatem rei. Quia, cum quidditas rei sit simplex, non convenienter significatur per orationem compositam ex multis. Videmus enim quod terminus, id est definitio, quae assignatur rei, est oratio longa ex multis composita; unde non significat quid est, sed quale quid, id est cui simile est aliquid. Sicut si aliquis dicat, quod definitio argenti non significat argentum, sed significat tale quale est plumbum vel stannum. He advances arguments that are clearly opposed to Plato’s position. He says that if one holds that there are separate forms, as the Platonists maintained, the problem which the followers of Antisthenes raised, even though they seem to be uninstructed, may be used against the Platonists. For they argued that it is impossible to define a thing by means of a definition which signifies its quiddity, since a thing’s quiddity is simple and is not fittingly expressed by a statement composed of many parts. For we see that “the limit,” or definition, which is given to a thing, is a lengthy statement made up of many words. Therefore it does not signify what a thing is but “what it is like,” i.e., something to which it is similar; as if one were to say that the definition of silver does not signify silver but signifies something like lead or tin.
Unde ad solvendum istam dubitationem oportet dicere, quod substantia, quae definitur, sive sit intellectualis, sive sit sensibilis, oportet quod sit composita. Ea vero, ex quibus primo componitur, cum sint simplicia, non contingit definiri. Dictum est enim supra, quod ratio definitiva adiungit aliquid alteri, quorum unum est ut forma, aliud ut materia. Nam genus sumitur a materia, et differentia a forma, ut dictum est supra; unde, si species rerum essent tantum formae, ut Platonici posuerunt, non contingeret eas definiri. 1721. Hence in order to solve this problem we must say that the substance which is defined, whether it be intellectual or sensible, must be one that is composite. But since the primary parts of which a definition is composed are simple, they are incapable of definition. For it was stated above (706:C 1700) that the definitive statement joins one part to another, one of which is as form and the other as matter, because genus is derived from matter and difference from form, as was pointed out above (704:C 1696-8). Hence, if the species of things were forms only, as the Platonists held, they would be indefinable.
1722. Further, it is also clear (717).
Deinde cum dicit palam autem postquam determinavit de formis secundum quod comparantur ad ideas introductas a Platone, nunc determinat de formis per comparationem ad numeros. Plato enim ponebat formas et substantias rerum, reducendo per modum cuiusdam assimilationis formas ad numeros. Et dividitur in quatuor, secundum quod quatuor modis assimilat formas numeris. Having determined what is true of forms in relation to the Ideas introduced by Plato, Aristotle now ‘determines what is true of forms in relation to numbers. For Plato held that numbers are the forms and substances of things by establishing a kind of likeness between forms and numbers. This is divided into four parts inasmuch as there are four ways in which he likens forms to numbers.
Dicit ergo primo, quod manifestum est, quod si numeri aliquo modo sint substantiae rerum et formae, sic sunt, sicut ex praemissis accipi potest; non autem sunt numeri unitatum sicut Platonici dicunt. Dicitur autem numerus unitatum, numerus simplex et absolutus. Numerus autem applicatus ad res, dicitur numerus rerum, sicut quatuor canes vel quatuor homines, quo quidem modo substantiae rerum, quas significant definitiones, possunt dici numeri. Est enim definitio divisibilis in duo: quorum unum se habet ut forma, aliud ut materia, ut superius dictum est. Et iterum est in indivisibilia divisibilis. Divisio enim definitionis oportet quod per aliqua indivisibilia terminetur: non enim definitiones procedunt in infinitum. Puta, si definitio hominis dividatur in animal et rationale, definitio animalis in animatum et sensibile; non procedet hoc in infinitum, cum non sit procedere in infinitum in causis materialibus et formalibus, ut in secundo probatum est. Et sic definitionis divisio non assimilatur divisioni quantitatis continuae, quae est in infinitum; sed divisioni numeri, qui est divisibilis in indivisibilia. First, he says that, if numbers are in any sense the substances or forms of things, it is evident that they are such in this way, as can be understood from the foregoing, but not as numbers of units as the Platonists said. Now a number of units is called a simple and absolute number [i.e., an abstract number], but the number applied to things is called a concrete number, as four dogs or four men; and in this way the substances of things, which are Signified by a definition, can be called numbers. For a definition is divisible into two parts, one of which is as form and the other as matter, as was pointed out above (706:C 1700). And it is divisible into indivisible parts; for since definitions cannot proceed to infinity, the division of a definition must terminate in certain indivisible parts. For example, if the definition of man is divided into animal and rational, and the definition of animal into animated and sensible, this will not go on to infinity. For it is impossible to have an infinite regress in material and formal causes, as was shown in Book II (152:C 299). Hence he explains that the division of a definition is not like the division of a continuous quantity, which is divisible to infinity, but is like the division of a number, which is divisible into indivisible parts.
1723. And just as when (718).
Et quemadmodum ponit secundam assimilationem substantiae, quam significat definitio, ad numeros. Et dicit, quod si aliquid addatur vel subtrahatur alicui numero, etiam si sit minimum, non erit id idem numerus secundum speciem. Minimum enim in numeris est unitas; quae si addatur in ternario, surgit quaternarius, quae est alia species numeri: si vero abstrahatur ab eodem, remanet binarius, qui est etiam alia species numeri. Et hoc ideo, quia illa ultima differentia dat speciem numero. He gives the second way in which the substance that the definition signifies is like number. He says that, if anything is added to or subtracted from any number, even if it is a bare minimum, the resulting number will not be specifically the same. For in the case of numbers the minimum is the number one, which, when added to the number three, gives rise to the number four, which is a specifically different number; but if it is subtracted from the same number, the number two remains, which is also a specifically different number. And this is true because the ultimate difference gives to a number its species.
Et similiter est in definitionibus, et in quod quid erat esse, quod significat definitio; quia quocumque minimo addito vel ablato, est alia definitio, et alia natura speciei. Sicut enim substantia animata sensibilis tantum, est definitio animalis: cui si addas et rationale, constituis speciem hominis: si autem subtrahas sensibile, constituis speciem plantae, quia etiam ultima differentia dat speciem. 1724. And it is similar in the case of definitions and of the essence, which the definition signifies; because, howsoever small a part has been added or subtracted, there results another definition and another specific nature. For animated sensible substance alone is the definition of animal, but if you also add rational to this, you establish the species man. And in a similar way if you subtract sensible, you establish the species plant, because the ultimate difference also determines the species.
1725. And there must be (719).
Et numerum ponit tertiam assimilationem; et dicit, quod numerus est id quod est unum. Est enim per se unum numerus, inquantum ultima unitas dat numero speciem et unitatem; sicut etiam in rebus compositis ex materia et forma, per formam est aliquid unum, et unitatem et speciem sortitur. Et propter hoc loquentes de unitate numeri, ac si numerus non esset unus per seipsum, non possunt dicere quo est unus, si est unus. Cum enim componatur ex multis unitatibus, aut non est unus simpliciter, sed unitates aggregantur in eo per modum coacervationis, quae non facit simpliciter unum, et per consequens nec ens in aliqua specie constituunt: et sic numerus non est aliqua species entis; aut si numerus est unus simpliciter, et non per seipsum, dicendum est quid facit eum unum ex multis unitatibus: quod non est assignare. He gives the third way in which forms are like numbers. He says that a number is one thing. For a number is an essential unity inasmuch as the ultimate unity gives to a number its species and unity, just as in things composed of matter and form a thing is one and derives its unity and species from its form. And for this reason those who speak about the unity of a number as though a number were not essentially one cannot say what makes it to be one thing, i.e., if it is one. For since a number is composed of many units, either it is not one thing in an absolute sense but its units are joined together in the manner of a heap, which does not constitute a unity in an absolute sense, and therefore not a being in any class of things (and thus number would not be a class of being); or if it is one thing in an absolute sense and a being in itself, it is still necessary to explain what makes it one thing out of a plurality of units. But they are unable to assign a reason for this.
Et similiter definitio est una per seipsam: et sic non habent aliquid assignare per quod fiat unum. Et hoc rationabiliter accidit: quia per eamdem rationem substantia, quam significat definitio, est ita unum sicut et numerus, scilicet per se, ex hoc quod una pars eius est ut forma alterius. Et non est una ut indivisibile, sicut unitas ac punctum, sicut quidam dixerunt; sed quia unaquaeque earum est una forma et natura quaedam. 1726. Similarly, a definition is one thing essentially, and thus they do not have to assign anything which makes it one. This is understandable, because the substance which the definition signifies is one thing for the very same reason that a number is, i.e., essentially, because one part of it is related to the other as form [to matter]. And it is one, not as being something indivisible such as a unit and a point, as some men claimed, but because each of them is one form and a kind of nature.
1727. And just as number (720).
Et quemadmodum ponit quartam assimilationem; et dicit quod sicut numerus non suscipit magis aut minus, ita nec substantia quae dicitur secundum speciem, licet forte illa quae dicitur secundum materiam. Sicut enim ratio numeri in aliquo determinato consistit, cui non est addere nec subtrahere, ut dictum est, ita et ratio formae. He gives the fourth way in which forms are like numbers. He says that just as a number does not admit of (~) more or less, neither does substance in the sense of form, although perhaps substance in the sense of matter does admit of such difference. For just as the concept of number consists in some limit to which neither addition nor subtraction may be made, as has been pointed out (1723), so also does the concept of form.
Sed magis et minus contingit ex hoc quod materia perfectius vel minus perfecte formam participat. Unde etiam albedo non suscipit magis et minus, sed album. But things admit of (+) more or less because of the fact that matter participates in a form in a more or less perfect way. Hence too whiteness does not differ in terms of more or less, but a white thing does.
1728. In regard to the generation (721).
Deinde cum dicit de generatione epilogat quae dicta sunt; dicens, quod dictum est de generatione et corruptione talium substantiarum, scilicet formalium, quomodo contingit, quia per accidens; et quomodo est impossibile, quia per se; et de analogia, idest reductione earum ad numerum per viam assimilationis. He summarizes the points discussed. He says that he has dealt with “the generation and corruption of such substances,” or forms, both as to the way in which this is possible, namely, by reason of something else; and as to the way in which this is impossible, i.e., essentially; and also with the likeness which forms have to numbers, i.e., by reducing them to numbers by way of a likeness.

What We Must Know about Matter. How Matter Is Found in All Things
ARISTOTLE’S TEXT Chapters 4 & 5: 1044a 15-1045a
περὶ δὲ τῆς ὑλικῆς οὐσίας δεῖ μὴ λανθάνειν ὅτι εἰ καὶ ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ πάντα πρώτου ἢ τῶν αὐτῶν ὡς πρώτων καὶ ἡ αὐτὴ ὕλη ὡς ἀρχὴ τοῖς γιγνομένοις, ὅμως ἔστι τις οἰκεία ἑκάστου, οἷον φλέγματος [ἐστι πρώτη ὕλη] τὰ γλυκέα ἢ λιπαρά, χολῆς δὲ τὰ πικρὰ ἢ ἄλλ᾽ ἄττα: ἴσως δὲ [20] ταῦτα ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ. 722. Concerning material substance we must not remain ignorant of the fact that, even though all things come from the same first [principle] or from the same [principles] or first [causes], and even though the same matter is the first principle of things which come to be, still there is some proper matter of each thing; for example, the first matter of phlegm is the sweet or the fat, but of bile the bitter or something else. But perhaps these come from the same matter.
γίγνονται δὲ πλείους ὗλαι τοῦ αὐτοῦ ὅταν θατέρου ἡ ἑτέρα ᾖ, οἷον φλέγμα ἐκ λιπαροῦ καὶ γλυκέος εἰ τὸ λιπαρὸν ἐκ τοῦ γλυκέος, ἐκ δὲ χολῆς τῷ ἀναλύεσθαι εἰς τὴν πρώτην ὕλην τὴν χολήν. διχῶς γὰρ τόδ᾽ ἐκ τοῦδε, ἢ ὅτι πρὸ ὁδοῦ ἔσται ἢ ὅτι ἀναλυθέντος εἰς τὴν [25] ἀρχήν. 723. Further, there are several matters of the same thing when one comes from another, as phlegm comes from the fat and the sweet, if the fat comes from the sweet. And something comes from bile by dissolving bile into its first matter. For one thing comes from another in two ways: either because it is prior to the other [in the process of development] or because it comes from the dissolving of a thing into its first principle.
ἐνδέχεται δὲ μιᾶς τῆς ὕλης οὔσης ἕτερα γίγνεσθαι διὰ τὴν κινοῦσαν αἰτίαν, οἷον ἐκ ξύλου καὶ κιβωτὸς καὶ κλίνη. ἐνίων δ᾽ ἑτέρα ἡ ὕλη ἐξ ἀνάγκης ἑτέρων ὄντων, οἷον πρίων οὐκ ἂν γένοιτο ἐκ ξύλου, οὐδ᾽ ἐπὶ τῇ κινούσῃ αἰτίᾳ τοῦτο: οὐ γὰρ ποιήσει πρίονα ἐξ ἐρίου ἢ ξύλου. εἰ δ᾽ ἄρα [30] τὸ αὐτὸ ἐνδέχεται ἐξ ἄλλης ὕλης ποιῆσαι, δῆλον ὅτι ἡ τέχνη καὶ ἡ ἀρχὴ ἡ ὡς κινοῦσα ἡ αὐτή: εἰ γὰρ καὶ ἡ ὕλη ἑτέρα καὶ τὸ κινοῦν, καὶ τὸ γεγονός. 724. Now when there is one matter it is possible for different things to come into being by virtue of the cause of motion, as a chest and a bed come from wood. But of certain things the matter is necessarily different when the things are different; e.g., a saw cannot be made from wood, and it is not within the power of the cause of motion to do this; for he is incapable of making a saw from wool or from wood. But if the same thing can be made from different matters, it is clear that the art and the principle which acts as a mover are the same. For if both the matter and the cause of motion are different, so also will be the thing that is made.
ὅταν δή τις ζητῇ τὸ αἴτιον, ἐπεὶ πλεοναχῶς τὰ αἴτια λέγεται, πάσας δεῖ λέγειν τὰς ἐνδεχομένας αἰτίας. οἷον ἀνθρώπου τίς αἰτία ὡς [35] ὕλη; ἆρα τὰ καταμήνια; τί δ᾽ ὡς κινοῦν; ἆρα τὸ σπέρμα; τί δ᾽ ὡς τὸ εἶδος; τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι. τί δ᾽ ὡς οὗ ἕνεκα; τὸ τέλος. 725. Hence, when one asks what the cause of anything is, it is necessary to mention all the causes concerned, since causes are spoken of in several senses. For example, What is a man’s material cause? The menstrual fluid. What is his moving cause? The seed. What is his formal cause? His essence. What is his final cause? His end. But perhaps both of these are the same.
[1044β] [1] ἴσως δὲ ταῦτα ἄμφω τὸ αὐτό. δεῖ δὲ τὰ ἐγγύτατα αἴτια λέγειν. τίς ἡ ὕλη; μὴ πῦρ ἢ γῆν ἀλλὰ τὴν ἴδιον. 726. It is necessary also to give the proximate causes. What is the matter of man? Not earth or fire, but his proper matter.
περὶ μὲν οὖν τὰς φυσικὰς οὐσίας καὶ γενητὰς ἀνάγκη οὕτω μετιέναι εἴ τις μέτεισιν ὀρθῶς, εἴπερ ἄρα [5] αἴτιά τε ταῦτα καὶ τοσαῦτα καὶ δεῖ τὰ αἴτια γνωρίζειν: 727. Indeed, concerning natural substances which are generable it is necessary to proceed in this way, if one is to proceed correctly, granted that these are the causes, that they are of this number, and that it is necessary to know the causes.
ἐπὶ δὲ τῶν φυσικῶν μὲν ἀϊδίων δὲ οὐσιῶν ἄλλος λόγος. ἴσως γὰρ ἔνια οὐκ ἔχει ὕλην, ἢ οὐ τοιαύτην ἀλλὰ μόνον κατὰ τόπον κινητήν. 728. In the case of natural substances which are eternal there is another procedure. Perhaps some of them do not have matter or do not have this kind of matter but only that which is subjected to change of place.
οὐδ᾽ ὅσα δὴ φύσει μέν, μὴ οὐσίαι δέ, οὐκ ἔστι τούτοις ὕλη, ἀλλὰ τὸ ὑποκείμενον ἡ οὐσία. οἷον τί [10] αἴτιον ἐκλείψεως, τίς ὕλη; οὐ γὰρ ἔστιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἡ σελήνη τὸ πάσχον. τί δ᾽ αἴτιον ὡς κινῆσαν καὶ φθεῖραν τὸ φῶς; ἡ γῆ. τὸ δ᾽ οὗ ἕνεκα ἴσως οὐκ ἔστιν. τὸ δ᾽ ὡς εἶδος ὁ λόγος, ἀλλὰ ἄδηλος ἐὰν μὴ μετὰ τῆς αἰτίας ᾖ ὁ λόγος. οἷον τί ἔκλειψις; στέρησις φωτός. ἐὰν δὲ προστεθῇ τὸ ὑπὸ γῆς ἐν [15] μέσῳ γιγνομένης, ὁ σὺν τῷ αἰτίῳ λόγος οὗτος. ὕπνου δ᾽ ἄδηλον τί τὸ πρῶτον πάσχον. ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι τὸ ζῷον; ναί, ἀλλὰ τοῦτο κατὰ τί, καὶ τί πρῶτον; καρδία ἢ ἄλλο τι. εἶτα ὑπὸ τίνος; εἶτα τί τὸ πάθος, τὸ ἐκείνου καὶ μὴ τοῦ ὅλου; ὅτι ἀκινησία τοιαδί; ναί, ἀλλ᾽ αὕτη τῷ τί πάσχειν [20] τὸ πρῶτον; 729. Thus all those things which are by nature but are not substances do not have matter, but the underlying subject is their substance. For example, What is the matter of an eclipse? There is none, but it is the moon that is the patient. What is the efficient cause destroying the light? The earth. What is the final cause? Perhaps there is none. What is the formal cause? The definition. But this will not be clear if it does not include the [efficient] cause. For example, What is an eclipse? A privation of light. And if one adds, as a result of the earth intervening, this definition is one which includes the [efficient] cause. However, in the case of sleep it is not clear what the primary subject is, although it is clear that the animal is also a primary subject. But it is such in a qualified sense. And what is the primary subject, the heart or some other part? Then, by what [is this modification produced]? And what is this modification which pertains to that [part] and not to the whole? Is this a special kind of immobility? It is, but it belongs [to the animal] by reason of some primary subject.
Chapter 5
ἐπεὶ δ᾽ ἔνια ἄνευ γενέσεως καὶ φθορᾶς ἔστι καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν, οἷον αἱ στιγμαί, εἴπερ εἰσί, καὶ ὅλως τὰ εἴδη (οὐ γὰρ τὸ λευκὸν γίγνεται ἀλλὰ τὸ ξύλον λευκόν, εἰ ἔκ τινος καὶ τὶ πᾶν τὸ γιγνόμενον γίγνεται), οὐ πάντα [25] ἂν τἀναντία γίγνοιτο ἐξ ἀλλήλων, ἀλλ᾽ ἑτέρως λευκὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκ μέλανος ἀνθρώπου καὶ λευκὸν ἐκ μέλανος: οὐδὲ παντὸς ὕλη ἔστιν ἀλλ᾽ ὅσων γένεσις ἔστι καὶ μεταβολὴ εἰς ἄλληλα: ὅσα δ᾽ ἄνευ τοῦ μεταβάλλειν ἔστιν ἢ μή, οὐκ ἔστι τούτων ὕλη. 730. But since some things are and are not, without generation and corruption, such as points, if they do in fact exist, and in general the forms and specifying principles of things, then all contraries do not come from each other. For whiteness does not come to be but white wood does; and everything which comes to be comes from something and becomes something. And white man comes from black man and white from black in different ways. Nor do all things have matter but only those which may be generated and changed into each other. There is no matter in those things which are and are not without undergoing change.
ἔχει δ᾽ ἀπορίαν πῶς πρὸς τἀναντία ἡ [30] ὕλη ἡ ἑκάστου ἔχει. οἷον εἰ τὸ σῶμα δυνάμει ὑγιεινόν, ἐναντίον δὲ νόσος ὑγιείᾳ, ἆρα ἄμφω δυνάμει; καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ δυνάμει οἶνος καὶ ὄξος; ἢ τοῦ μὲν καθ᾽ ἕξιν καὶ κατὰ τὸ εἶδος ὕλη, τοῦ δὲ κατὰ στέρησιν καὶ φθορὰν τὴν παρὰ φύσιν; 731. Again, there is the problem how the matter of each thing is related to contraries. For example, if the body is potentially healthy and the opposite of health is disease, is the body potentially both? And is water potentially wine and vinegar? Or is it related to one as matter to its form or actuality, and to the other as the privation and natural corruption [of its form or actuality]?
ἀπορία δέ τις ἔστι καὶ διὰ τί ὁ οἶνος οὐχ [35] ὕλη τοῦ ὄξους οὐδὲ δυνάμει ὄξος (καίτοι γίγνεται ἐξ αὐτοῦ ὄξος) καὶ ὁ ζῶν δυνάμει νεκρός. ἢ οὔ, ἀλλὰ κατὰ συμβεβηκὸς αἱ φθοραί, [1045α] [1] ἡ δὲ τοῦ ζῴου ὕλη αὐτὴ κατὰ φθορὰν νεκροῦ δύναμις καὶ ὕλη, καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ ὄξους: γίγνεται γὰρ ἐκ τούτων ὥσπερ ἐξ ἡμέρας νύξ. καὶ ὅσα δὴ οὕτω μεταβάλλει εἰς ἄλληλα, εἰς τὴν ὕλην δεῖ ἐπανελθεῖν, οἷον εἰ [5] ἐκ νεκροῦ ζῷον, εἰς τὴν ὕλην πρῶτον, εἶθ᾽ οὕτω ζῷον: καὶ τὸ ὄξος εἰς ὕδωρ, εἶθ᾽ οὕτως οἶνος. 732. Now this raises the problem why wine is not the matter of vinegar, even though vinegar comes from it, and why the living is not the potentially dead; or whether this is not the case, but the corruptions of these occur in virtue of something else. As a matter of fact the matter of a living body is by corruption the potency and matter of a dead body, and water is the matter of vinegar; for they come from each other as night comes from day. Hence whatever things are changed into each other in this way must return to their matter. For example, if a living body is to come from a dead one [the latter must return] to its first matter, and then a living body comes into being. And vinegar [must return] to water, and then wine comes into being.
Postquam Aristoteles prosecutus est ea, quae consideranda erant circa formale principium substantiae, nunc determinat de principio materiali: et dividitur in partes tres. Primo enim determinat de principio materiali per comparationem ad ea quae sunt ex materia. Secundo per comparationem ad alias causas, ibi, contingit autem una materia existente. Tertio per comparationem ad transmutationem generationis et corruptionis, cuius subiectum est materia, ibi, quoniam vero quaedam sine generatione. 1729. Having treated those points which had to be considered about the formal principle of substance, Aristotle now establishes what is true regarding the material principle. This is divided into three parts. First (7:22:C 1729), he deals with the material principle in relation to the things which come from matter; second (724:C 1733), in relation to the other causes (“Now when there is one matter”); and third (730:C 1746), in relation to the change of generation and corruption, whose subject is matter (“But since some things”).
Circa primum duo facit. Primo manifestat, utrum omnium sit una vel plures species materiae. Et dicit, quod oportet non latere circa materiale principium, quia licet omnia sint ex eodem primo materiali principio, quod est materia prima de se nullam habens formam, aut ex eisdem materialibus principiis aut primis (quod dicitur propter quatuor elementa, quae sunt principia materialia communiter omnibus generabilibus et corruptibilibus); et licet sit eadem materia, ut principium his quae fiunt, (quod dicit propter hoc, quod materia non est tantum principium in esse, sed etiam in fieri); licet etiam prima materia et elementa communiter se habeant ad elementata: tamen cuiuslibet rei est aliqua materia propria. Ut materia propria phlegmatis non simpliciter, sed in genere, sunt dulcia et pinguia: haec enim habent quamdam affinitatem cum phlegmate ratione suae humiditatis. Cholerae vero prima materia, sunt amara, aut alia quaedam huiusmodi: in amaris enim videtur calor omnino habere dominium super humiditatem usque ad eius consumptionem. Et sic ratione siccitatis et caliditatis, affinitatem habet cum cholera. Sed hae duae materiae, scilicet amara et dulcia, forsan sunt ex aliquo principio materiali priore. Addidit autem forsan, quia quorumdam est sic diversa materia, quod eorum materiae non reducuntur in aliquam priorem, sicut corpora corruptibilia et incorruptibilia. In regard to the first he does two things. First (722), he shows whether there is one or several kinds of matter that there are several matters of the for all things. And in regard to the material principle he says that one must not remain ignorant of the fact that, even though all things come from the same first material principle, namely, first matter, which has no form of its own, or from the same material principles “or first [causes],” (which is added because of the four elements, the material principles common to all generable and corruptible things), and even though the same matter is “the first principle of things which come to be,” (which he adds because of the fact that matter is not only a principle of being but also of coming-to-be), i.e., even though first matter and the elements are universally related to things composed of the elements, there is still some proper matter of each thing. For example, the proper matter of phlegm (not in an absolute sense but generically) is the fat and the sweet, since these have a certain relationship to phlegm by reason of their moistness. But the first matter of bile is bitter things or certain others of this kind; for in bitter things heat seems to have absolute dominion over moistness even to the extent of destroying it. Thus by reason of dryness and warmth the bitter has a relationship to bile. But perhaps these two matters, namely, the bitter and the sweet, come from some prior material principle. He adds “perhaps” because certain things have different matters, since their matters are not reducible to any prior matter, for example corruptible and incorruptible bodies.
Ex his igitur, quae hic dicuntur, accipitur quod prima materia est una omnium generabilium et corruptibilium; sed propriae materiae sunt diversae diversarum. 1730. From the things which are said here then it is evident that there is one first matter for all generable and corruptible things, but different proper matters for different things.
1731. Further, there are several matters (723).
Fiunt autem secundo dicit quomodo e contrario unius sunt plures materiae; dicens, quod eiusdem rei sunt plures materiae, quando una earum est alterius materia. Sicut materia phlegmatis sunt pingue et dulce, si pingue est ex dulci. Pinguis enim sapor inter medios sapores computatur; medii autem sapores fiunt ex extremis, qui sunt dulce et amarum. Sed pingue est proximum dulci. Considerandum vero est, quod in istis exemplis materiam alicuius posuit ex quo aliquid fit, licet non sit permanens, sed transiens. Second, he points out how in an opposite sense there are several matters for one and the same thing. He says that there are several matters of the same thing when one of these is the matter of another, as the matter of phlegm is the fat and the sweet, if the fat comes from the sweet. For the savor of fat is reckoned among the intermediate savors, and these are produced from extremes, which are the sweet and the bitter. But the fat is nearest to the sweet. Now in these examples we must bear in mind that he takes as the matter of each thing that from which the thing comes to be, even though it is not permanent but transitory.
Ne igitur aliquis existimaret, quod semper aliquid fieri diceretur ex materiali principio et non e converso, subiungit, quod etiam ex cholera dicitur aliquid fieri per resolutionem cholerae in primam materiam; et e contra cholera fit ex prima materia. Quia dupliciter dicitur aliquid fieri ex altero: aut quia illud ex quo fit, est ei principium naturaliter in via generationis: huiusmodi enim est materiale principium; aut quia factio est resolutio in principium materiale, ita scilicet quod ex composito per resolutionem, materiale principium fieri dicatur. Fit enim corpus mixtum ex elementis per compositionem; elementa vero ex corpore mixto per resolutionem. 1732. Therefore, lest someone should think that a thing is always said to come from a material principle, and not the reverse, he adds that something is also said to come from bile by the dissolution of bile into its first matter, and in reverse order bile is said to come from first matter. For one thing is said to come from another in two ways: either because the thing from which it comes is naturally its starting point in the process of generation (for this kind of thing is a material principle); or because the process of coming-to-be is the dissolving of a thing into its material principle, namely, in the sense that a material principle is said to come from a composite by dissolution. For a mixed body comes from the elements by the process of composition, whereas the elements come from a mixed body by the process of dissolution.
1733. Now when there is one matter (724).
Deinde cum dicit contingit autem determinat de materia per comparationem ad alias causas. Et primo per comparationem ad agentem tantum, qui ex materia aliquid facit: quae quidem comparatio pertinet ad materiam secundum quod est principium fiendi. Secundo per comparationem ad omnes causas, prout materia est principium cognoscendi, ibi, quando itaque aliquis quaesierit. He establishes what is true of matter in relation to the other causes. First, in relation to the agent cause alone, which produces something from matter; and this relationship pertains to matter according as it is a principle of coming-to-be. Second (725:C 1737), in relation to all the causes, according as matter constitutes a principle of knowing (“Hence, when one asks”).
Quia vero superius dixerat, quod una erat prima materia omnium, posset aliquis dubitare quomodo ex materia una omnium, diversitas rerum procederet. Antiqui enim naturales attribuebant hoc casui, tollentes causam agentem, et ponentes per raritatem et densitatem ex una materia rerum diversitatem produci. But since he had said above (722:C 1729) that there was one first matter of all things, one can inquire how a diversity of things could come from one common matter. For the ancient Philosophers of nature attributed this to chance when they disregarded the agent cause and claimed that the diversity of things comes from one matter by a process of rarefaction and condensation.
Hoc ergo removens philosophus dicit primo, quod contingit, una materia existente, fieri diversa propter moventem causam: aut quia est alia et alia causa movens; aut quia eadem causa movens habet se ad operandum diversa diversimode. Quod maxime in artificialibus patet. Videmus enim ex ligno fieri arcam et lectum ab uno artifice, secundum diversas formas artis, quas apud se habet. 1734. Therefore in rejecting this the Philosopher says, first (724), that when there is one matter it is possible for different things to come into being by reason of the cause of motion, either because there are different causes of motion, or because one and the same cause of motion is disposed in a different way for producing different effects. This is most evident in the case of things made by art. For we see that a chest and a bed are made from wood by one craftsman in virtue of the different art-forms which he himself possesses.
Quia vero, licet materia prima sit communis omnibus, tamen materiae propriae sunt diversae diversorum: ideo ne aliquis totam diversitatem rerum attribueret moventi, et nullo modo materiali principio, subiungit quod in quibusdam diversorum ex necessitate est diversa materia, propria scilicet. Non enim quodlibet natum est fieri ex qualibet materia; sicut serra non fit ex ligno. Neque est in potestate artificis ut hoc faciat, nunquam enim unam materiam attribuit cuilibet operi: non enim potest facere serram ex ligno vel lana, quae propter mollitiem suam non sunt apta ad opus serrae, quod est secare. 1735. But even though there is a first matter common to all things, nevertheless the proper matters of different things are different. Therefore, lest someone should attribute the diversity of things in their entirety to the cause of motion and in no way to the material principle, he adds that in some of the things that are different the matter is necessarily different, namely, the proper matter. For not anything at all is naturally disposed to come into being from any matter, as a saw does not come from wood. Nor is it within the power of the craftsman to bring this about; for he never assigns one matter to each work, because he is unable to make a saw either from wood or from wool, which, on account of their softness, are not suitable for the work of a saw, which is to cut.
Patet igitur, quod diversitas rerum est ex movente et materia. Si ergo conveniat aliquid idem secundum speciem fieri ex alia materia, sicut phialam ex auro et argento, manifestum est, quod principium movens oportet esse idem, scilicet artem. Si enim materia esset diversa et movens diversum, necesse esset, quod et factum esset diversum. 1736. It is evident, then, that the diversity of things is a result of the efficient cause and of matter. Hence, if it is fitting that something specifically the same should be produced from a different matter, as a bowl from gold and from silver, it is obvious that the efficient principle, i.e., the art, must be the same. For if both the matter and the cause of motion were different, the thing produced would have to be different.
Deinde cum dicit quando itaque determinat de materia per comparationem ad alias causas, secundum quod materia est cognitionis principium. Et circa hoc duo facit. Primo ostendit quod oportet reddere materiam cum aliis causis in generalibus et corruptibilibus. Secundo ostendit quomodo se habet materia in substantiis naturalibus perpetuis, ibi, in naturalibus quidem. Tertio quomodo se habet in accidentibus, ibi, neque quaecumque ita quidem natura. 1737. Hence, when one asks (725). He deals with matter in relation to the other causes according as matter is a principle of knowing. In regard to this he does two things. First (725), he shows that in the case of generable and corruptible things we must assign matter along with the other causes. Second (728:C 1740), he shows how matter is found in natural substances which are eternal (“In the case of natural substances”). Third (729:C 1743), he explains how matter is ascribed to accidents (“Thus all those things”).
Circa primum tria facit. Primo enim, quia antiqui naturales assignabant tantummodo causam materialem, dicit quod quando aliquis de aliquo quaerit quid est causa eius? Cum pluribus modis dicantur causae, oportet omnes causas assignare contingentes, idest quae contingant esse illius rei. Non enim habent omnes causas omnia. Naturalia tamen, et maxime generabilia et corruptibilia, omnes causas habent. Ut hominis causa quasi materia in generatione ipsius sunt menstrua. Causa movens sperma, in quo est virtus activa. Causa formalis quod quid erat esse, idest illud quod significatur per definitionem eius. Sed finis est cuius causa. Hae autem duae causae, scilicet finis et forma, forte sunt idem numero. Quod quidem dicit, quia in quibusdam sunt idem, in quibusdam non. Finis enim generationis hominis est anima. Finis vero operationis eius est felicitas. In regard to the first he does three things. For, first (725), since the ancient philosophers of nature assigned only the material cause, he says that when one asks what the cause of anything is, it is necessary to state all the causes “concerned,” i.e., all which contribute to the being of the thing in question, since causes are spoken of in several senses. For not all things have all the causes, although natural beings, and especially generable and corruptible ones, have all the causes. For example, in the generation of man his material cause is the menstrual fluid; his active cause is the seed, in which the active power is contained; his formal cause is his essence, which is signified by the definition; and his final cause is his end [or goal]. But perhaps these two causes, namely, the end and the form, are numerically the same. He says this because in some things they are the same and in some not. For the goal of a man’s generation is his soul, whereas the goal of his operations is happiness.
1738. It is necessary also (726).
Secundo ibi, oportet autem ostendit quod non solum oportet assignare omnes causas, sed oportet etiam dicere causas proximas, ut incipiendo a causis primis perveniamus ad causas proximas. Per causas enim primas habetur cognitio de re aliqua solum in universali et imperfecte. Per causas autem proximas habetur cognitio rei et perfecta. Sicut si quis quaerat causam materialem hominis, non debet assignari pro causa, ignis aut terra quae sunt materia communis omnium generabilium et corruptibilium; sed debet assignari propria materia, ut et caro, et os, et huiusmodi. Second, he shows that it is not only necessary to assign all the causes but also to state the proximate causes, so that by beginning with the first causes we may reach the proximate ones. For the knowledge had of a thing through first causes is only a general and incomplete knowledge, whereas that had of a thing through proximate causes is a complete knowledge. For example, if one asks about the material cause of man, one should not assign as his cause fire or earth, which are the common matter of all generable and corruptible things, but should state his proper matter, such as flesh and bones and the like.
1739. Indeed, concerning natural substances (727).
Tertio ibi, circa naturales epilogat quod dictum est; et dicit quod circa naturales substantias et generabiles necesse est sic versari, si quis recte consideret causas, ut scilicet omnes assignentur et proximae. Et hoc est necesse, ex eo quod hae causae sunt tot, ut dictum est. Et oportet causas cognoscere ad hoc quod aliquid sciatur, quia scire est causam cognoscere. Third, he summarizes the foregoing. He says that it is necessary to proceed thus in regard to natural and generable substances if one is to consider the causes correctly, giving all the causes including the proximate ones. This is necessary in view of the fact that the causes are of this number, as has been explained (725:C 1737). And it is necessary to grasp the causes of a thing in order that it may be known scientifically, because science is a knowledge of the cause.
1740. In the case of natural substances (728).
Deinde cum dicit in naturalibus ostendit quomodo sit materia in substantiis naturalibus et perpetuis, scilicet in corporibus caelestibus; dicens, quod in naturalibus et perpetuis substantiis, scilicet corporibus caelestibus, non est similiter materia sicut in corporibus generabilibus et corruptibilibus. Forsan quidem enim tales substantiae non habent materiam; aut si habent, non habent talem qualem habent generabilia et corruptibilia, sed solum secundum potentiam quae est in motu locali. He shows how there is matter in natural substances which are eternal, namely, in the celestial bodies. He says that the matter in natural substances which are eternal, namely, in the celestial bodies, is not the same as that in bodies subject to generation and corruption. For perhaps such substances do not have matter, or if they do have matter, they do not have the sort that generable and corruptible bodies have, but only that which is subjected to local motion.
Ut enim supra dictum est, in rebus generabilibus et corruptibilibus generatio et corruptio inducit in cognitionem materiae, quia in generatione et corruptione oportet esse unum subiectum commune ad privationem et formam; unde, cum in corpore caelesti non sit potentia ad privationem formae, sed solum ad diversa loca, non habet materiam quae sit in potentia ad formam et privationem, sed quae est in potentia ad diversa loca. 1741. For, as was said above (725:C 1737), in the case of generable and corruptible things generation and corruption bring us to a knowledge of matter; because in the process of generation and corruption there must be one subject common to both privation and form. Hence, since in a celestial body there is no potentiality for privation of form but only for different places, it does not have a matter which is in potentiality to form and privation but one which is in potentiality to different places.
Corpus autem comparatur ad locum non sicut materia ad formam, sed magis sicut subiectum ad accidens. Et licet comparatio subiecti ad accidens sit quodammodo ut materiae ad formam, non tamen subiectum est omnino materia, sicut infra dicetur. Et sic corpus caeleste universaliter nullo modo habet materiam, si subiectum materiam non dicit; vel habet materiam ad ubi, si subiectum dicatur materia. 1742. However, a body is related to place not as matter to form but rather as subject to accident. And although in one respect a subject is related to an accident as matter is to form, still a subject is not to be identified with matter, as is stated below (729:C 1743). Thus a celestial body as such does not have matter in any way, if subject does not imply matter; or it has matter as regards place, if subject implies matter.
1743. Thus all those (729).
Deinde cum dicit neque quaecumque ostendit quomodo materia attribuitur accidentibus; et dicit, quod illa, quae sunt secundum naturam, non tamen sunt substantiae, sed accidentia, non habent materiam ex qua sint, sed substantia est eis subiectum. Subiectum autem habet aliquid simile materiae, inquantum est receptibile accidentis. Differt autem a materia, inquantum materia non habet actu esse nisi per formam; subiectum autem non constituitur in esse per accidens. He shows how matter is ascribed to accidents. He says that those things which exist by nature yet are not substances but accidents, (~) do not have a matter from which they come to be, but (+) they have a subject, which is the substance. Now a subject bears some likeness to matter inasmuch as it is receptive of an accident. But it differs from matter in this respect, that while matter has actual being only through form, a subject is not constituted in being by an accident.
Si ergo quaeratur quae sit causa eclipsis, non est assignare quae sit materia; sed luna est subiectum patiens talem passionem. 1744. Therefore, if one asks what is the cause of an eclipse, one cannot give its (~) matter, but the moon is the (+) subject undergoing this modification.
Causa autem movens, quae corrumpit lumen, est terra interposita diametraliter inter solem et lunam. And the efficient cause which extinguishes the light is the earth placed directly between the sun and the moon.
Causam vero finalem forsitan non est assignare. Ea enim, quae ad defectum pertinent, non sunt propter finem, sed magis proveniunt ex necessitate naturae, vel causae agentis. Dicit autem forsan, quia consideratio causarum circa singula quae contingunt in motibus caelestibus est valde difficilis. But perhaps it is impossible to give the final cause; for those things which pertain to defect do not exist because of some end but are rather a result of natural necessity or of the necessity of the efficient cause. However, he says “perhaps” because an investigation of the causes of particular events which take place in celestial movements is especially difficult.
Causa vero formalis eclipsis est definitio eius. Sed haec definitio non est manifesta, nisi in ea ponatur causa; ut ratio eclipsis lunae est privatio luminis in luna. Sed, si addatur, quod ista privatio est a terra in medio obiecta inter solem et lunam diametraliter, haec definitio erit cum causa. And the formal cause of an eclipse is its definition. But this definition is not clear unless the [efficient] cause is given therein. Thus the definition of a lunar eclipse is the privation of light in the moon. But if one adds that this privation is caused by the earth being placed directly between the sun and the moon, this definition will contain the [efficient] cause.
Similiter hoc patet in hoc accidente quod est somnus. Sed in somno non est manifestum quid est primum subiectum patiens hanc passionem; sed hoc est manifestum quod animal est subiectum somni. Sed secundum quid primo somnus insit animali, utrum sit cor, vel aliquid aliud tale, non est manifestum; cum quidam ponant primum instrumentum sensus esse cerebrum, quidam vero cor. Somnus autem est quies operationis sensibilis. Deinde oportet considerare, habito subiecto somni, a quo sicut a causa agente sit somnus; utrum ab evaporatione alimenti, aut labore, aut aliquo huiusmodi. Deinde oportet considerare quae passio sit somnus, illius scilicet secundum quod primo inest somnus animali, et non totius animalis; quia somnus est quaedam immobilitas; sed ea competit animali per aliquod primum, quod est subiectum talis passionis. Et illud primum oportet poni in definitione somni, sicut et quodlibet accidens definitur per proprium suum primum subiectum. Color enim definitur per superficiem et non per corpus. 1745. This is evident also in regard to the accident sleep. But in the case of sleep it is not clear what the primary subject is that undergoes this modification, although it is clear that the animal is the subject of sleep. However, it is not clear to what part of the animal sleep primarily belongs-whether to the heart or some other part; for some men hold that the primary organ of sensation is the brain and some the heart. However, sleep is the cessation of sensory operation. Then, having come to an agreement on the subject of sleep, it is necessary to consider from what, as its efficient cause, sleep comes—whether from the evaporation of food or physical labor or something of this kind. Next we must consider what modification sleep is, [defining] its primary subject, which will be some part of the animal and not the whole animal. For sleep is a kind of immobility. But it belongs primarily to an animal by reason of some part which is the subject of such a modification. Now in the definition of sleep we must state this primary subject, just as in the definition of every accident we must state its primary and proper subject. For color is defined by surface but not by body.
1746. But since some things (730).
Deinde cum dicit quoniam vero determinat de materia per comparationem ad transmutationem unius ad alterum. Et ideo primo ostendit quomodo diversimode fit transmutatio in diversis. Secundo movet quasdam dubitationes, ibi, habet autem dubitationem. He deals with matter in relation to the process whereby one thing is changed into something else. Therefore, first (730), he shows how change comes about in different ways in different things. Second (731:C 1748), he proposes certain problems (“Again, there is the problem”).
Dicit ergo primo, quod quaedam quandoque sunt et quandoque non sunt sine generatione et corruptione, idest sine hoc quod ipsa per se generentur et corrumpantur; sicut puncta, et universaliter omnes species et formae, sive sint substantiales sive accidentales. Non enim album per se loquendo fit, sed lignum album: omne enim quod fit, fit ex aliquo, scilicet materia, et fit aliquid, ad quod terminatur generatio, quod est forma: et sic omne quod fit, est compositum ex materia et forma. Unde ea quae sunt formae tantum, per se fieri non possunt. Cum ergo dicitur quod contraria fiunt ex invicem, diversimode intelligendum est in compositis et simplicibus. Aliter enim fit albus homo ex nigro homine, et aliter nigrum ex albo: quia albus homo significat aliquid compositum, et ideo per se potest fieri: sed album significat formam tantum, unde non fit nisi per accidens ex nigro. He says, first (730), that certain things sometimes are and sometimes arc not but “without generation and corruption,” i.e., without being generated and corrupted in themselves, for example, points and all specifying principles and forms generally, whether substantial or accidental. For properly speaking, white does not come to be, but white wood does; for everything which comes to be comes “from something,” i.e., from matter, and comes to be that in which the process of coming to be is terminated, which is form. Thus everything which comes to be is composed of matter and form. Hence those things which are forms only cannot come to be in themselves. Therefore, when it is said that contraries come to be from each other, this has one meaning in the case of composite things and another in the case of simple things. For white man comes from black man in a different way than white from black, because white man signifies a composite and can therefore come to be in itself. But white signifies a form only, and therefore it comes to be from black only by reason of something else.
Patet ergo ex praedictis, quod non cuiuslibet rei est materia, sed illorum quae per se generantur et transmutantur in invicem. Illa vero, quae quandoque sunt et quandoque non sunt sine hoc quod transmutentur per se, ita se habent quod eorum materia non est ex qua sint; sed habent subiectum, in quo sunt, pro materia. 1747. From the above, then, it is clear that matter does not exist in everything but only in those things which are generated or transformed essentially into each other. However, those things which sometimes are and sometimes are not, without being changed essentially, are such that their matter is not that from which they come, but they have as their matter the subject in which they exist.
1748. Again, there is the problem (731).
Deinde cum dicit habet autem movet duas quaestiones circa praedicta. Quarum prima est, quomodo materia se habeat ad contraria: utrum scilicet, ita sit, quod in omnibus quae videntur contrarietatem aut oppositionem habere, materia aequaliter vel eodem ordine sit in potentia ad utrumque oppositorum. Sicuti sanitati opponitur infirmitas, et subiectum unum in potentia ad utrumque aequaliter est, et eodem ordine. Est enim sanitas aequalitas quaedam humorum. Infirmitas vero inaequalitas. Inaequalitas vero et aequalitas eodem ordine se habent ad suum subiectum. Videtur ergo quod ad vinum et acetum sicut ad contraria, aqua, quae est materia humorum, sit in potentia, et aequaliter se habeat ad utrumque. He raises two questions in regard to the above. The first of these pertains to the way in which matter is related to contraries, namely, whether in all things which seem to have contrariety or opposition matter is in potentiality to each contrary equally and in the same order. For health is a certain equality of humors, whereas disease is their inequality. But both inequality and equality are related to their subject in the same order. Therefore it seems that water, which is the matter of humors, is in potentiality to wine and vinegar as contraries, and is disposed equally to both.
Sed philosophus dicit solvendo, quod hoc non est ita. Forma enim vini se habet ut habitus quidam et species, forma autem aceti est ut privatio quaedam et corruptio vini. Sic igitur materia se habet per prius quidem ad vinum sicut ad habitum et ad speciem, ad acetum autem sicut ad privationem et corruptionem vini. Et ita non comparatur ad acetum nisi mediante vino. 1749. But in solving this problem the Philosopher says that this is not true. For the form of wine is a certain positive state and nature, whereas the form of vinegar is the privation and corruption of wine. Hence matter is disposed first to wine as a positive state and form, but to vinegar as the privation and corruption of wine. And thus it is related to vinegar only through the medium of wine.
1750. Now this raises the problem (732).
Deinde cum dicit dubitatio autem secundam dubitationem movet, quae talis est. Illud, ex quo fit aliquid, videtur esse materia illius; sicut ex elementis fiunt corpora mixta, et sunt eorum materia. Cum igitur ex vino fiat acetum, et ex vivo fiat mortuum, dubitatur, quare vinum non sit materia aceti, et vivum materia mortui, cum ordinentur ad ea, sicut potentia ad actum. He proposes a second problem, which is as follows. That from which a thing comes to be seems to be the matter of that thing; for example, mixed bodies come to be from the elements, which constitute their matter. Therefore, since vinegar comes from wine and a dead body from a living one, the problem arises why wine is not the matter of vinegar and a living body the matter of a dead one, since one is related to the other as potentiality is to actuality.
Sed ad hoc respondetur, quod acetum est corruptio ipsius vini, mortuum vero corruptio vivi: non ergo acetum fit ex vino sicut ex materia, neque mortuum ex vivo: sed secundum accidens dicitur ex eo fieri, inquantum fit ex materia eius. Unde scyphus non est materia phialae, sed argentum. Similiter vivum non est materia mortui, sed sunt elementa. 1751. But the answer to this is that vinegar is the corruption of wine itself, and a dead body the corruption of a living one. Hence vinegar does not come from wine as matter, or a dead body from a living one; but one is said to come from the other in virtue of something else inasmuch as it comes from its matter. Hence the matter of a bowl is not a goblet but silver. Similarly, a living body is not the matter of a dead body, but the elements are.
Quod autem ex vivo dicitur fieri mortuum, vel ex vino acetum, si referantur ad ipsam formam vini vel animalis, haec praepositio ex, significabit ordinem; quia scilicet in eadem materia, post formam vini, est acetum, et post formam animalis est mortuum. Per quem modum dicimus quod ex die fit nox. Et ideo quaecumque sic transmutantur adinvicem, sicut ex vino fit acetum, et ex animali mortuum, non fit conversio transmutationis nisi redeatur ad materiam. Sicut si ex mortuo debet fieri animal vivum, oportet quod redeatur ad materiam primam, inquantum corpus mortuum resolvitur in elementa, et ex elementis iterum ordine debito venitur ad constitutionem animalis. Et similiter de aceto et vino. 1752. But because a dead body is said to come from a living one or vinegar from wine, this preposition from will signify order if reference is made to the form itself of wine or living body; for in the same matter after the form of wine there is vinegar, and after the form of a living body there is a dead one. An(] it is in this way that we say that night comes from day. Therefore, in all things that come from each other in this way, as vinegar from wine and a dead body from a living one, the process of change is reversed only when these things are dissolved into their matter. For example, if a living body must come from a dead one, the latter must first be dissolved into its primary matter inasmuch as a dead body is dissolved into the elements; and from the elements again in due order a living body is constituted. It is the same in regard to vinegar and wine.
Et huius ratio est, quia quandocumque materia se habet ad diversa secundum ordinem, non potest ex posteriori rediri in id quod praecedit secundum ordinem. Sicut in generatione animalis ex cibo fit sanguis, et ex sanguine semen et menstruum, ex quibus generatur animal. Non potest autem mutari ordo, scilicet ut ex semine fiat sanguis, aut ex sanguine cibus, nisi per resolutionem ad primam materiam, ex eo quod cuiuslibet rei est determinatus modus generationis. Et similiter, quia materia vini non comparatur ad acetum nisi per vinum, inquantum scilicet est corruptio vini. Similiter est de mortuo et vivo, et de caeco et vidente, et caeteris: et ideo a talibus privationibus non fit reditus ad habitus, nisi per resolutionem in primam materiam. 1753. The reason for this is that, whenever matter is disposed to different forms in a certain order, it cannot be brought back from a subsequent state to one that is prior in that order. For example, in the generation of an animal, blood comes from food; and the semen and menstrual fluid, from which the animal is generated, come from blood. But this order cannot be reversed so that blood comes from semen and food from blood, unless these are resolved into their first matter; because for each thing there is a definite mode of generation. And it is the same [in the other case], because the matter of wine is related to vinegar only through the medium of wine, namely, inasmuch as it is the corruption of wine. The same is also true of a dead body and a living one, of a blind man and one who has sight, and so on. Therefore from such privations there can be a return to a prior form only when such things are dissolved into first matter.
Si autem sit aliqua privatio ad quam materia immediate ordinatur, quae scilicet nihil aliud significat nisi negationem formae in materia sine ordine ad formam; a tali privatione poterit fieri reditus ad formam, sicut a tenebris ad lucem, quia nihil aliud sunt nisi absentia lucis in diaphano. 1754. However, if there is some privation to which matter is immediately disposed, and this signifies nothing else than the non-existence of form in matter which lacks a disposition for form, then the process of reverting from such a privation to a [prior] form, as from darkness to illumination, will be possible because this [i.e., darkness] is nothing else than the absence of light in the transparent medium.

Why Definitions and Matters Are Unities. The Union of Matter and Form
ARISTOTLE’S TEXT Chapter 6: 1045a 7-1045b 23
περὶ δὲ τῆς ἀπορίας τῆς εἰρημένης περί τε τοὺς ὁρισμοὺς καὶ περὶ τοὺς ἀριθμούς, τί αἴτιον τοῦ ἓν εἶναι; πάντων γὰρ ὅσα πλείω μέρη ἔχει καὶ μὴ ἔστιν οἷον σωρὸς τὸ πᾶν [10] ἀλλ᾽ ἔστι τι τὸ ὅλον παρὰ τὰ μόρια, ἔστι τι αἴτιον, ἐπεὶ καὶ ἐν τοῖς σώμασι τοῖς μὲν ἁφὴ αἰτία τοῦ ἓν εἶναι τοῖς δὲ γλισχρότης ἤ τι πάθος ἕτερον τοιοῦτον. ὁ δ᾽ ὁρισμὸς λόγος ἐστὶν εἷς οὐ συνδέσμῳ καθάπερ ἡ Ἰλιὰς ἀλλὰ τῷ ἑνὸς εἶναι. τί οὖν ἐστὶν ὃ ποιεῖ ἓν τὸν ἄνθρωπον, καὶ διὰ τί [15] ἓν ἀλλ᾽ οὐ πολλά, οἷον τό τε ζῷον καὶ τὸ δίπουν, 733. It seems that we must discuss next the problem which was mentioned with regard to definitions and numbers: what it is that causes them to be one. For all things which have several parts, and of which the whole is not a kind of heap but is something over and above the parts, have some cause that makes them one. For in some bodies contact is the cause of their unity, and in others stickiness or some other such quality. But a definition is one intelligible structure not by the connection of its parts, like the Iliad, but by being one thing. What is it, then, that makes man to be one; and why is he one thing and not many, for example, animal and two-footed?
ἄλλως τε δὴ καὶ εἰ ἔστιν, ὥσπερ φασί τινες, αὐτό τι ζῷον καὶ αὐτὸ δίπουν; διὰ τί γὰρ οὐκ ἐκεῖνα αὐτὰ ὁ ἄνθρωπός ἐστι, καὶ ἔσονται κατὰ μέθεξιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι οὐκ ἀνθρώπου οὐδ᾽ [19] ἑνὸς ἀλλὰ δυοῖν, ζῴου καὶ δίποδος, καὶ ὅλως δὴ οὐκ ἂν [20] εἴη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἓν ἀλλὰ πλείω, ζῷον καὶ δίπουν; 734. And if, in a different way, as some claim, there is an animal-itself and a two-footed-itself, why is man not these two things? And if this were the case, men would not be such by participating in man, i.e., by participating in one thing, but in two, namely, in animal and two-footed. Hence in general man will not be one thing but many, i.e., animal and two-footed.
φανερὸν δὴ ὅτι οὕτω μὲν μετιοῦσιν ὡς εἰώθασιν ὁρίζεσθαι καὶ λέγειν, οὐκ ἐνδέχεται ἀποδοῦναι καὶ λῦσαι τὴν ἀπορίαν: εἰ δ᾽ ἐστίν, ὥσπερ λέγομεν, τὸ μὲν ὕλη τὸ δὲ μορφή, καὶ τὸ μὲν δυνάμει τὸ δὲ ἐνεργείᾳ, οὐκέτι ἀπορία δόξειεν ἂν [25] εἶναι τὸ ζητούμενον. 735. It is evident, then, that those who accept this position and discuss and define things in the way they have been accustomed to do, cannot find an answer or solution to this problem. But if (as we say) one part is as matter and the other as form, or one is in potency and the other in act, the problem with which we are dealing will no longer appear to be a difficulty.
ἔστι γὰρ αὕτη ἡ ἀπορία ἡ αὐτὴ κἂν εἰ ὁ ὅρος εἴη ἱματίου στρογγύλος χαλκός: εἴη γὰρ ἂν σημεῖον τοὔνομα τοῦτο τοῦ λόγου, ὥστε τὸ ζητούμενόν ἐστι τί αἴτιον τοῦ ἓν εἶναι τὸ στρογγύλον καὶ τὸν χαλκόν. οὐκέτι δὴ ἀπορία φαίνεται, ὅτι τὸ μὲν ὕλη τὸ δὲ μορφή. [30] τί οὖν τούτου αἴτιον, τοῦ τὸ δυνάμει ὂν ἐνεργείᾳ εἶναι, παρὰ τὸ ποιῆσαν, ἐν ὅσοις ἔστι γένεσις; οὐθὲν γάρ ἐστιν αἴτιον ἕτερον τοῦ τὴν δυνάμει σφαῖραν ἐνεργείᾳ εἶναι σφαῖραν, ἀλλὰ τοῦτ᾽ ἦν τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι ἑκατέρῳ. 736. For this problem is just the same as we should have if the definition of cloak were round bronze. Now let us suppose that this term is the sign of this definition. Then when one asks what causes round and bronze to be one thing, there will no longer be a problem, because one is as matter and the other as form. What is it, then, apart from the efficient cause, that causes the potential to become actual in the case of things which are generated? For there is no other cause of the potential sphere being an actual sphere; but this was the essence of each.
ἔστι δὲ τῆς ὕλης ἡ μὲν νοητὴ ἡ δ᾽ αἰσθητή, καὶ ἀεὶ τοῦ λόγου τὸ μὲν [35] ὕλη τὸ δὲ ἐνέργειά ἐστιν, οἷον ὁ κύκλος σχῆμα ἐπίπεδον. 737. Further, some matter is intelligible and some sensible. And one part of a definition is always as matter and the other as actuality; for example, a circle is a plane figure.
ὅσα δὲ μὴ ἔχει ὕλην μήτε νοητὴν μήτε αἰσθητήν, εὐθὺς ὅπερ ἕν τί [εἶναί] ἐστιν ἕκαστον, [1045β] [1] ὥσπερ καὶ ὅπερ ὄν τι, τὸ τόδε, τὸ ποιόν, τὸ ποσόν—διὸ καὶ οὐκ ἔνεστιν ἐν τοῖς ὁρισμοῖς οὔτε τὸ ὂν οὔτε τὸ ἕν—, καὶ τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι εὐθὺς ἕν τί ἐστιν ὥσπερ καὶ ὄν τι—διὸ καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἕτερόν τι αἴτιον τοῦ [5] ἓν εἶναι οὐθενὶ τούτων οὐδὲ τοῦ ὄν τι εἶναι: εὐθὺς γὰρ ἕκαστόν ἐστιν ὄν τι καὶ ἕν τι, οὐχ ὡς ἐν γένει τῷ ὄντι καὶ τῷ ἑνί, οὐδ᾽ ὡς χωριστῶν ὄντων παρὰ τὰ καθ᾽ ἕκαστα. 738. But each of those things which do not have matter, either intelligible or sensible, is at once one thing, just as it is a being: a particular thing, a quality, or a quantity; and for this reason neither being nor unity is expressed in their definitions. And their essence is at once one thing just as it is also a being. For this reason there is not some other cause of each of these being one or of being something; for each is at once a being and a unity, not as belonging to the class of being or unity, nor because these distinctions exist separately from singular things.
διὰ ταύτην δὲ τὴν ἀπορίαν οἱ μὲν μέθεξιν λέγουσι, καὶ αἴτιον τί τῆς μεθέξεως καὶ τί τὸ μετέχειν ἀποροῦσιν: οἱ δὲ συνουσίαν [10] [ψυχῆς], ὥσπερ Λυκόφρων φησὶν εἶναι τὴν ἐπιστήμην τοῦ ἐπίστασθαι καὶ ψυχῆς: οἱ δὲ σύνθεσιν ἢ σύνδεσμον ψυχῆς σώματι τὸ ζῆν. 739. And it is because of this difficulty that some men speak of participation, and raise the question as to what causes participation and what it is to participate. For some speak of the coexistence of the soul, as Lycophron, who says that knowledge is the coexistence of the act of knowing and the soul; and others say that life is the composition or connection of soul with body.
καίτοι ὁ αὐτὸς λόγος ἐπὶ πάντων: καὶ γὰρ τὸ ὑγιαίνειν ἔσται ἢ συνουσία ἢ σύνδεσμος ἢ σύνθεσις ψυχῆς καὶ ὑγιείας, καὶ τὸ τὸν χαλκὸν εἶναι τρίγωνον [15] σύνθεσις χαλκοῦ καὶ τριγώνου, καὶ τὸ λευκὸν εἶναι σύνθεσις ἐπιφανείας καὶ λευκότητος. 740. The same argument applies in all cases. For being healthy will be either the coexistence or conjunction or composition of soul and health; and being a bronze triangle will be the composition of bronze and triangle; and being white will be the composition of surface and whiteness.
αἴτιον δ᾽ ὅτι δυνάμεως καὶ ἐντελεχείας ζητοῦσι λόγον ἑνοποιὸν καὶ διαφοράν. ἔστι δ᾽, ὥσπερ εἴρηται, ἡ ἐσχάτη ὕλη καὶ ἡ μορφὴ ταὐτὸ καὶ ἕν, δυνάμει, τὸ δὲ ἐνεργείᾳ, ὥστε ὅμοιον τὸ ζητεῖν τοῦ [20] ἑνὸς τί αἴτιον καὶ τοῦ ἓν εἶναι: ἓν γάρ τι ἕκαστον, καὶ τὸ δυνάμει καὶ τὸ ἐνεργείᾳ ἕν πώς ἐστιν, ὥστε αἴτιον οὐθὲν ἄλλο πλὴν εἴ τι ὡς κινῆσαν ἐκ δυνάμεως εἰς ἐνέργειαν. ὅσα δὲ μὴ ἔχει ὕλην, πάντα ἁπλῶς ὅπερ ἕν τι. 741. Now the reason for this position is that these thinkers are looking for some unifying principle and difference of potentiality and actuality. But, as we have pointed out (736), both the ultimate matter and form are the same, one potentially and the other actually. Hence to ask what the cause of their unity is, is the same as to ask what makes them one; for each particular thing is a unity, and what is potential and what is actual are in a sense one thing. Hence there is no other cause except that which causes motion from potentiality to actuality. And all those things which do not have matter are simply one.
Postquam philosophus determinavit de principio materiali et formali, nunc intendit determinare de unione eorum adinvicem; et circa hoc tria facit. Primo enim movet dubitationem. Secundo solvit, ibi, palam itaque, quia sic quidem acceptantibus. Tertio excludit falsas opiniones circa praedictam quaestionem, ibi, propter hanc vero dubitationem. 1755. Having dealt with the material and formal principles, Aristotle now intends to settle the question about the way in which they are united to each other; and in regard to this he does three things. First (733:C 1755), he raises the question. Second (735:C 1758), he answers it (“It is evident”). Third (739:C 1765), he rejects the false opinions about this question (“And it is because”).
Circa primum duas ponit rationes, ex quibus ostenditur quaestio esse dubitabilis; dicens, quod circa hanc quaestionem, quae superius tacta est circa definitiones et numeros, quid faciat utrumque esse unum, hoc considerandum est, quod omnia, quae habent plures partes, et totum in eis non est solum coacervatio partium, sed aliquid ex partibus constitutum, quod est praeter ipsas partes, habent aliquid, quod facit in eis unitatem. In quibusdam enim corporibus sic unitatem habentibus, causa unitatis est contactus, in quibusdam viscositas, aut aliquid aliud huiusmodi. In regard to the first, he gives two reasons for saying that this question involves a difficulty. He says (733) that, in regard to the question which was touched on above about definitions and numbers as to what makes each of them one, it must be noted that all things which have several parts (and of which the whole is not merely a heap of parts but is something constituted of parts and is over and above the parts themselves) have something that makes them one. For in some bodies which have unity in this way, contact is the cause of their unity, and in others stickiness or something else of this kind.
Manifestum autem est quod definitiva ratio est una ex pluribus constans. Nec est una per solam coacervationem partium sicut Ilias, idest poema factum de historia Troiana, quod per solam aggregationem est unum. Definitio autem est unum simpliciter. Est enim significativa unius. Unde merito dubitatur quid est quod faciat definitionem hominis esse unam, et hominem cuius ratio est definitio. Cum enim homo sit animal et bipes, quae videntur esse duo, merito dubitatur quare homo est unum et non plura. 1756. Now it is evident that, while a defining concept is one thing composed of many parts, it is not one thing merely by the addition of its parts, “like the Iliad,” i.e., the poem written about the history of the Trojans, which is one thing only by way of aggregation. But a definition is one thing in an absolute sense, for it signifies one thing. It is reasonable, then, to ask what makes both the definition of man to be one thing, and man himself, whose intelligible structure is the definition. For since man is animal and two-footed, and these seem to be two things, it is reasonable to ask why man is one thing and not many.
1757. And if, in a different way (734).
Secundo ibi, aliterque et ponit secundam rationem, quae quaestionem reddit dubitabilem; dicens, quod alia ratio dubitationis accidit praedictae quaestioni. Si enim est verum, quod quidam dicunt, si hoc ipsum quod est animal sit aliquod per se existens et separatum, et similiter hoc ipsum quod est bipes, quod Platonici posuerunt: si enim sic est, merito quaeritur quare homo non est illa duo aggregata, ita quod homines particulares non sunt homines nisi per participationem hominis, nec per participationem alicuius unius, sed per participationem duorum, quae sunt animal et bipes. Et secundum hoc homo non erit unum, sed duo, scilicet animal et bipes. Then he gives the reason why this question is a problem. For if what some men claim is true, i.e., if animal itself is a particular thing which exists of itself and is separate, and the same is true of two-footed, as the Platonists held, then it is reasonable to ask why man is not these two things connected together, so that particular men are such only by participating in man, and not by participating in one thing but in two, animal and two-footed. And according to this man will not be one thing but two, namely, animal and two-footed.
1758. It is evident (735).
Deinde cum dicit palam itaque solvit praedictam dubitationem: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo proponit unde appareat via ad solutionem dubitationis; dicens, manifestum esse quod si aliqui acceptent quod dictum est de positione Platonis, et transmutent sic naturas rerum, quod ponant universalia separata, sicut Platonici determinare et dicere consueverunt, non contingit reddere causam unitatis hominis, et solvere dubitationem praedictam. Sed, si ponatur, sicut dictum est supra, quod in definitionibus sit unum sicut materia, aliud sicut forma; unum sicut potentia, aliud sicut actus: quaestio tam facilis est ad solvendum, quod dubitationem non videtur habere. He solves the above problem; and in regard to this he does two things. First, he offers an explanation that seems to provide a solution to the problem. He says that, if some men accept the things which have been said about Plato’s position, and change the natures of things in this way because they hold that universals are separate as the Platonists were accustomed to define and speak of them, it will evidently be impossible to give the cause of a man’s unity or solve the foregoing problem. But if, as is stated above (706:C 1700), one holds that in definitions one part is as matter and the other as form, i.e., one as potentiality and the other as actuality, then it will be easy to solve the question, because there does not seem to be a problem.
1759. For this problem (736).
Est enim secundo secundum viam praemissam solvit propositam dubitationem. Et primo solvit eam in naturalibus, quae generantur et corrumpuntur; dicens quod praedicta dubitatio est eadem ac si quaeratur quare aes est rotundum? Ponamus enim, quod definitio huius nominis, vestis, sit aes rotundum, et quod hoc nomen significet istam definitionem: cum quaeritur quae est causa quare ista definitio, aes rotundum, sit unum, non videtur esse dubitabilis, eo quod aes est sicut materia, et rotundum sicut forma. Nulla enim alia causa est quare ista sunt unum, nisi illa, quae facit id quod est in potentia esse actu. Et hoc est agens in omnibus in quibus est generatio. Unde, cum hoc sit quod quid erat esse significatum per definitionem, scilicet id quod est in potentia fieri actu, manifestum est quod agens est causa in rebus generabilibus et corruptibilibus, quare quod quid erat esse, una est definitio. Second, he solves this problem in the aforesaid way. First, he solves it in the case of natural substances which are generated and corrupted. He says that this problem would be the same as if we were to ask why bronze is round. For let us assume that the definition of the term cloak is round bronze, and that this term signifies this definition. Then when one asks why the definition round bronze is one, there does not seem to be any problem, because bronze is as matter and round as form. For there is no other cause of these being one except that which makes what is in potency to become actual. And in everything in which there is generation this is the agent. Hence, since this (what is in potentiality to become actual) is the essence signified by the definition, then in the case of things subject to generation and corruption it is evidently the agent which causes the definition of the essence to be one.
1760. Further, some matter (737).
Deinde cum dicit est autem solvit praedictam dubitationem in mathematicis: et dicit quod duplex est materia: scilicet sensibilis et intelligibilis. Then he solves the above problem in regard to the objects of mathematics. He says that matter is of two kinds, sensible and intelligible.
Sensibilis quidem est, quae concernit qualitates sensibiles, calidum et frigidum, rarum et densum, et alia huiusmodi, cum qua quidem materia concreta sunt naturalia, sed ab ea abstrahunt mathematica. Sensible matter is what pertains to the sensible qualities, hot and cold, rare and dense and the like; and with this matter natural bodies are concreted. Now the objects of mathematics abstract from this kind of matter.
Intelligibilis autem materia dicitur, quae accipitur sine sensibilibus qualitatibus vel differentiis, sicut ipsum continuum. Et ab hac materia non abstrahunt mathematica. But intelligible matter means what is understood without sensible qualities or differences, for example, what is continuous. And the objects of mathematics do not abstract from this kind of matter.
Unde, sive in sensibilibus, sive in mathematicis, semper oportet quod sit in definitionibus aliquid quasi materia et aliquid quasi forma. Sicut in hac definitione circuli mathematici, circulus est figura superficialis, superficies est quasi materia, et figura quasi forma. Eadem enim est ratio quare definitio mathematica est una, et quare definitio naturalis (licet in mathematicis non sit agens, sicut in naturalibus), quia utrobique alterum est sicut materia, et alterum sicut forma. 1761. Hence, whether in the case of sensible things or in that of the objects of mathematics, their definitions must always contain something as matter and something as form; for example, in the definition of a mathematical circle, a circle is a plane figure, plane is as matter and figure as form. For a mathematical definition and a natural definition are each one thing on the same grounds (even though there is no agent in the realm of mathematical entities as there is in the realm of natural entities), because in both cases one part of the definition is as matter and the other as form.
Deinde cum dicit quaecumque vero solvit praedictam dubitationem quantum ad ea quae sunt omnino a materia separata; dicens, quod quaecumque non habent materiam intelligibilem, ut mathematica, nec sensibilem, ut naturalia, sicut sunt substantiae separatae, statim unumquodque eorum est unum aliquid. 1762. He solves the above problem in regard to the things that are wholly separate from matter. He says that in the case of all those things which do not have intelligible matter, as the objects of mathematics have, or sensible matter, as natural bodies have, that is to say, in the case of the separate substances, each one of these is at once one thing [individuated by form].
In his enim quae habent materiam, non statim unumquodque est unum, sed unitas eorum est ex hoc quod unitas advenit materiae. Sed si aliquid sit quod sit forma tantum, statim est unum; quia non est in eo ponere aliquid quocumque ordine, prius quam expectet unitatem a forma. For each of those things which have matter is not at once one thing, but they are one because unity comes to their matter. But if there is anything that is only a form, it is at once one thing, because it is impossible to posit in it anything prior in any order whatever that must await unity from a form.
Et ponit exemplum: quia cum decem praedicamenta non hoc modo se habeant ex additione ad ens, sicut species se habent ex additione differentiarum ad genera, sed hoc ipsum quod est ens, manifestum est quod ens non expectat aliquid additum ad hoc quod fiat hoc, idest substantia, vel quantum, vel quale; sed statim a principio est vel substantia, vel quantitas, vel qualitas. 1763. He gives this example: the ten categories do not derive being by adding something to being in the way that species are established by adding differences to genera, but each is itself a being. And since this is true, it is evident that being does not await something to be added to it so that it may become one of these, i.e., either a substance or quantity or quality; but each of these from the very beginning is at once either a substance or quantity or quality.
Et haec est causa quare in definitionibus non ponuntur nec unum nec ens, ut genus; quia oporteret quod unum et ens se haberent ut materia ad differentias, per quarum additiones ens fieret vel substantia vel qualitas. This is the reason why neither unity nor being is given as a genus in definitions, because unity and being would have to be related as matter to differences, through the addition of which being would become either substance or quality.
Et similiter id quod est separatum omnino a materia, quod est suum quod quid erat esse, ut supra dictum est, statim est unum, sicut et statim est ens: non enim est in eo materia expectans formam, a qua habeat unitatem et esse; et ideo in talibus non est aliqua causa movens ad hoc quod sint unum. 1764. Similarly, that which is wholly separate from matter and is its own essence, as was stated above (1708), is at once one thing, just as it is a being; for it contains no matter that awaits a form from which it will derive being and unity. In the case of such things, then, there is no cause that makes them one by means of motion.
Habent tamen quaedam eorum causam substituentem substantias sine motu substantiarum earum, et non sicut in generabilibus quae per motum fiunt. Statim enim unumquodque eorum est aliquod ens et aliquod unum, non ita quod ens et unum sint genera quaedam, aut singillatim existentia praeter singularia, quae Platonici ponebant. However, some of them have a cause which supports their substances without their substances being moved [separate simple substances depend on God for existence], and not as in the case of things subject to generation, which come to be through motion. For each of them is at once a particular being and a one, but not so that being and unity are certain genera or that they exist as individuals apart from singular things, as the Platonists held.
1765. And it is because (739).
Deinde cum dicit propter hanc vero excludit quorumdam falsam opinionem circa praedictam quaestionem: et circa hoc tria facit. Then he rejects the false opinion which some men held about this question; and in regard to this he. does three things.
Primo ponit eorum positiones: et dicit: propter praedictam dubitationem quidam, scilicet Platonici, posuerunt participationem, qua scilicet inferiora participant superiora, ut hic homo, hominem; et homo, animal et bipes. Et inquirebant quid est causa participationis, et quid participare; ut eis innotesceret quare est unum, hoc quod dico animal bipes. Alii vero ponunt causam unitatis hominis quamdam consubstantialitatem sive coexistentiam animae cum corpore; sicut si significaretur in abstracto anima cum corpore; quasi diceremus animationem, sicut Lycophron dixit, quod scientia est medium inter animam et scire. Alii autem dixerunt quod ipsum vivere est medium, per quod coniungitur anima corpori. First, he states their position. He says that it is because of this problem that some, namely, the Platonists, posited participation, by which inferior beings participate in superior ones; for example, this particular man participates in man, and man in animal and two-footed. And they asked what the cause of participation is and what it is to participate, in order that it might become clear to them why this thing which I call two-footed animal is one thing. And others held that the cause of a man’s unity is a certain consubstantiality or coexistence of the soul with the body, as if soul’s being with body were signified in the abstract; as if we were to speak of animation as Lycophron said that knowledge is a mean between the soul and the act of knowing; and others said that life itself is the mean whereby soul is joined to body.
1766. The same argument (740).
Deinde cum dicit equidem eadem excludit dictas positiones; dicens, quod si hoc bene dicitur de anima et corpore, quod sit aliquod medium uniens, eadem ratio erit in omnibus, quae se habent ut forma et materia; quia secundum hoc, convalescere erit medium quasi quaedam consubstantialitas, aut quaedam coniunctio sive vinculum inter animam, per quam subsistit animal, et sanitatem. Et esse trigonum erit quoddam medium componens figuram trigoni. Et esse album erit quoddam medium, quo componitur albedo superficiei. Quod est manifeste falsum. Unde falsum est, quod vivere sit medium, quo componitur anima corpori; cum vivere nihil aliud sit quam esse animatum. He rejects these positions. He says that if the statement made about the soul and the body is correct, i.e., that there is some mean uniting them, the same argument will apply in all things which are related as form and matter. For, according to this, being healthy will be a mean as a kind of consubstantiality or a kind of connection or bond between the soul, by which the animal subsists, and health. And being a triangle will be a mean combining figure and triangle. And being white will be a mean by which whiteness is connected with surface. This is obviously false. Hence it will be false that animation is a mean by which the soul is joined to the body, since animation means merely being ensouled.
1767. Now the reason (740).
Deinde cum dicit causa vero assignat causas erroris praedictorum; dicens, quod causa quare talia posuerunt, est, quia inquirebant quid faciens unum potentiam et actum, et inquirebant differentias eorum, quasi oporteret eas colligari per aliquod unum medium, sicut ea quae sunt diversa secundum actum. Sed sicut dictum est, ultima materia, quae scilicet est appropriata ad formam, et ipsa forma, sunt idem. Aliud enim eorum est sicut potentia, aliud sicut actus. Unde simile est quaerere quae est causa alicuius rei, et quae est causa quod illa res sit una; quia unumquodque inquantum est, unum est, et potentia et actus quodammodo unum sunt. Quod enim est in potentia, fit in actu. Et sic non oportet ea uniri per aliquod vinculum, sicut ea quae sunt penitus diversa. Unde nulla causa est faciens unum ea quae sunt composita ex materia et forma, nisi quod movet potentiam in actum. Sed illa quae non habent materiam simpliciter, per seipsa sunt aliquid unum, sicut aliquid existens. Et haec de octavo libro dicta sufficiant. He gives the reasons for the error in the above positions. He says that the reason why these thinkers held such views is that they sought for some principle which makes potentiality and actuality one thing, and looked for the differences of these as though it were necessary for them to be brought together by some one mean like things which are actual and diverse. But, as has been stated, both the ultimate matter, which is appropriated to a form, and the form itself are the same; for one of them is as potentiality and the other as actuality. Hence to ask what causes a thing is the same as to ask what causes it to be one, because each thing is one to the extent that it is a being. And potentiality and actuality are also one in a certain respect, for it is the potential that becomes actual; and thus it is not necessary for them to be united by some bond like those things which are completely different. Hence there is no other cause that produces the unity of things which are composed of matter and form except that cause which moves things from potentiality to actuality. But those things which simply do not have matter are some one thing of themselves just as they are something existing. These explanations will suffice for Book VIII.