Simple English Aristotle, Physics Book 1, Chapter 2

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Simple English Aristotle

First, we decide if we want to find (a) the one and only constitutive regularity, or we allow (b) more than one regularity as first principles.

For the one and only regularity, we agree if it (i) never should allow change, as Parmenides and Melissus want it; or if it (ii) might permit variance, as physicists prefer.

For more than one regularity, our set can be (i) finite or (ii) infinite. A (i) finite set would have two, three, or some other, specified number of regularities. An (ii) infinite set does not tell how many regularities there are, but we may describe on regularity kind, shape, and form.

Melissus and Parmenides posit that being might be described with one regularity and without allowance for change.


TP Aristotle becomes quite comprehensible, if we relate philosophy and language. Here, the proposition would be for being as a gerund to exist independently of the nominal a being, or the verbal to be, and thus to be described with one regularity, as in an equation to tell “All is One”:
being = σ


The proposition by Parmenides and Melissus does not properly belong with a study of nature. Physicists agree that all is in a state that can change, and we can consider being with regard to substance, {3} quantity, {4} and quality.{5}


TP Speech parts | Substance: noun; Quantity: numeral; Quality: adjective.


To say that being is infinite, we use quantity: we invoke finitude as expressed in numbers or units of measurement, and negate it. We would be using two ■→designations for being then: substance for physical existence, and quantity.


TP being = o/π
οὐσία (ousia) and ποσός (posos)


The word “one” may mean something
(a) continuous,
(b) indivisible,
or (c) an object of the same essence, as ‘liquid’ and ‘drink’.

We could endlessly divide something (a) continuous, and being would have two designations again, substance and quantity.

To have being for (b) indivisible, we would need to have it for a limit or border, but not the physical reality we live in, as these are limits that we hold for indivisible, to delineate on something divisible.


TP The ancients could be specific on where an object began and ended, and argued infinity on grounds of affirmation or negation, as above. But they held continua for divisible without end, ad infinitum, and they knew their prediction on a split was not really specific. Here, for being to be indivisible and belong with the physical reality, Aristotle argues we would have to exclude it from human material existence, and relate to some brim of the universe.
being = [π [o


If to have All for One based on (c) part the same definition, the designation might be nominal; but then Heraclitus would hold the ground, the same object of thought potentially to be ‘good’, ‘bad’, as well as ‘not good’ or ‘not bad’ at the same time.


TP If we agree to think about a noun only, we skip all we could care about adjectives.

This text is also available in Polish.

Notes

{3} Substance: the physical matter or defining characteristic of an object of thought; one of the three constitutive factors in Greek philosophy. With regard to parts of speech, we express substance with nouns.

{4} Quantity: number, amount, an idea to invoke units of measurement. Aristotle argues that to say something is uncountable or infinite, we refer to thought about measurement (saying that something is without measurement). Quantity is one of the three constitutive factors in Greek philosophy. With regard to parts of speech, we relate quantity to numerals.

{5} Quality: sort, character; one of the three constitutive factors in Greek philosophy. With regard to parts of speech, we express quality with adjectives.


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