Physics Book 1


Simple English Aristotle
{Comment marked TP.}

Chapter 1
We study regularities, to have knowledge of our objects of thought. A regularity of natural and specific occurrence is a principle. A constitutive regularity is a first principle.[1]

Our method is to work towards a truth we can find in nature. We begin with general occurrence and progress to what happens each time, in given circumstance.

Resultant states, whatever their modus, are as names with regard to words: the entirety is indesignate, the same as a cycle, unless we define its parts; we need to reject any inessential premise, for our object of thought to be specific.[2]

Chapter 2
We first decide if we want to find (a) the one and only constitutive regularity, or we allow for (b) more than one to be 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.

{Aristotle is quite comprehensible, if we relate philosophy and language. Here, we may note we associate verbs, e.g. to run, to swim etc. with people or other objects that can run or swim. We need someone or something that is, to use the verb to be. The matter here is as a question if being, a gerund, could independently exist physically and really, without reference to the nominal a being or the verbal to be, 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]

{For speech parts, we can associate the noun, the numeral, and the adjective, as designations; TP.}

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.

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

The word “one” may mean something
(a) continuous,
(b) indivisible,
or (c) an object of the same essence, as ‘liquid’ and ‘drink’.[6]

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 limits are held for indivisible, to delineate on something divisible.

{A principle is a regularity to occur naturally and specifically. The ancients could be specific on where a material object began and ended, infinity to have been argued on grounds of affirmation or negation, above. But they held continua for divisible without end, ad infinitum, and their prediction on a split was not really specific. The argument thus evolves on being to belong with the physical reality; substance (or matter, for this context) would have had to be excluded from material existence, should being be indivisible. Aristotle considers the idea absurd.
being = [π [o

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

{Adjectival designation would fail; TP}.

Some authors change their wording and avoid the verb to be, as not to have more than one designation to being. The verb is not a designation. In our consideration of object of thought end state or result, we focus on the perceived physical plurality as actual or potential.

{ἐνταῦθα πολλὰ εἶναι, καὶ δυνάμει καὶ ἐντελεχείᾳ; the verb is not a nominal, numeral, or adjectival; TP}

Chapter 3
It is refutable, as of visible matter, for all modes of physical occurrence to gather into a non-dynamic One. It would be an aporia, to persevere as if all things earthbound happened by One without a mode, and All from nothing. Biological life would have to be made of absolute principles, or there would not be biological life. All would be without mode, or those principles of living matter would be All — as if there were no time, Nature could not simply change anymore, biological structures were not metabolic and able to move about. It would be as if physics was someone’s words, and those coming from a void.

{καὶ τῶν φυσικῶν τινες λέγουσιν, ἐκείνως δ’ οὔ: dative plural noun, λέγουσιν; for the Greek οὐ as connoting “no manner”, “no time”, “never yet at any time”, compare the search here. For changes in Greek, compare οὐθέν, changed to οὐδέν from 325 to 100 B.C. For a similar change, compare ὁπέρ, ὅπερ.

My approach is as towards an extant text, not an averred original. Translations bring discord as “man will be the same as horse” (Taylor) or “man is contraries with horse” (Hardie & Gaye) — possibly an orphaned fragment — and that to have “physical words” or “physicist words” that equate principle (ἀρχήντοῦ πράγματος) and form: as if a form empty of cake could be the principle for a working kitchen.
Joke emoticon
τρόπον τοῦτον ἐπι●οῦσιν ἀδύνατον φαίνεται, καὶ ἐξ ὧν ἐπι●δεικνύ●ουσι; Didot uses words as apparere & demonstrare; TP}

To recognize a unit of white (μόνα τὰ λευκὰ), we can take a chromatic value, but we cannot perceive the hue without a carrier; we need a white object of thought, and this is going to make more than one designation.

{μ = ε:o
επίθετο, epitheto, adjective, a white hue;
ουσιαστικό, ousiastiko, noun, the white object of thought, as a particle, wavelength, or string;
σχέση, schese, is a ratio, as expressed with the colon; we can be back with discussing Parmenides and Melissos as above
being = σ

For a specific white object of thought to be, we cannot separate the coefficients: “white” is gradable and it might become “whiter”; “whiteness” is divisible as a scope or extent. Melissos fails with the regard. He says there is a principle to everything that is, and there is no principle to anything that is not (τὸ γενόμενον ἔχει ἀρχὴν ἅπαν, ὅτι καὶ τὸ μὴ γενόμενον οὐκ ἔχει).

To say All is One, we would need to be able to predicate on all contexts in physical reality, and specific objects of thought also might become. This brings the question if one designation even could be sufficient.

{We may “reverse engineer” the idea and ask if ε:o = σ is sufficient to represent the physical reality; TP.}

Predication based on categories is dynamic. In context, it always has potential for more than one designation. We can use inclusion rather than designation, and remain with the verb to be.

{Man Є animate, life form, thinking;
Man as a species is a thinking, animate life form,
that is, belongs with semantic categories for animate, life form, and thinking objects of thought.
Man Є man, woman.

Let us compare Emancipation by Emily Dickinson:
Captivity is consciousness,
So’s liberty;

Chapter 4
Physicists mainly choose between two ideas. The first party assume there is one underlying substance, as water, fire, air, or another, and derive everything from that. They claim multiplicity comes from condensation and rarefaction.

{Third person plural indicative, φυσικοὶ λέγουσι, physikoi legousi; TP}

The second party claim the underlying substance consists of contraries, and variety emerges by separation. They aver that “What is, is One and Many”.[7]

“Empedocles supposes the course of Nature to return upon itself, coming round again periodically to its starting point”, Wicksteed and Cornford, page 43.

Both parties believe that things appear different and receive different names owing to the nature and amount of their constituent particles. Nothing is purely and entirely white or black or sweet; everything is a mixture of particles where some prevail. The popular idea is that nothing comes into being from not-being: contraries proceed one from another (as vapor coming from boiling water), and substances preexist in one another, some imperceptibly, as small particles.

(1) We cannot get to know a thing, if the regularities that make it are infinite to us in number, multitude, or size (quantity), as well as nature or kind (quality). It is when we know the component quality and quantity that we may suppose we know the complex.

(2) If the components, that is parts that are actually present in the entirety, may be of indefinite size, the entirety may be of indefinite size. Since neither animate nor inanimate forms can be indefinitely big or small, nor can be their parts. There needs to be a proportion between the part and the entirety, and the proportion is a factor.

(3) If we sifted a “physical order”[8] out of a body of water, extracts would be smaller and smaller, until the water would have only the minimum proportion. Then, extraction would be arrested, and the water might not contain the particular structure or entity anymore.

(4) From a minimum physical order or body, none might be extracted.[9]

(5) There is a “physical order” in animate forms, as for the muscles, blood, and brain, and features can be inherited, but not all: there is no extraction to single out ‘white and hygienic’, λευκὸν καὶ ὑγιεινὸν.[10]

Animate structuring is not as with bricks that come ‘from’ a house or a house ‘from’ bricks; yet there must be a finite number of principles to make an individual.

Work in progress.

End notes

[1] In American today, we often use the word factor, from Latin facere. We can reject the definite article here, as even a constitutive factor would imply there are more than one: the name factor refers to factoring in.
[2] Object of thought, object in short: a person, thing, animal, phenomenon, regard, idea, etc. we think about; used to avoid enumerating on possible objects of thought.
[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. If we 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 relate quality to adjectives.
[6] Reference to alcohol can be disputed as non-essential.
[7] The translation uses the word many in the sense of more than one.
[8] The Greek text has the noun σάρξ (sarx), which has happened to be translated as flesh, it yet has meant since ancient times a physical entity, state, or structure (‘order of things’), see the Perseus word study tool.
[9] We may refer to history of salt production, the partial vacuum method and crystallization from brine, in Wikipedia. Filtering would be ἐκ σαρκὸς ὕδωρ, and evaporation σὰρξ ἐξ ὕδατος. Compare Problems and Meteorology. Salt is white, observably structured in crystalline form, and continues to be associated with hygiene. The association occurs in passage (5), and the footnote right next.
[10] For people, we do not consider inheritable hygiene. We may refer to the history of donkey keeping in ancient Greece, and genetics in Wikipedia. White donkeys would be extremely rare (I have not seen one even over the Internet), and they are more difficult than horses to bathe; the animals are absolutely not like white kittens.