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Themistius: On Aristotle Physics 4
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I,4, for the places cf. Besides, cf. For all those reasons the interpretation seeing in Ph. Ross, following G. According to the other proposal, the passage should be shifted after the argument in Ph. XI,10 see esp. According to its advocates Hayduck and Wagner,9 the discussion of 2. According to Wagner, the postulated lacuna con- tained roughly the same argument as the text in Ph.
Themistius: On Aristotle Physics 5-8
TODD Denn ob untereinander verbunden oder nicht, jedes Elementargebilde verlangt seinen spezifischen Ort vgl. Aristotle refers here to the theories of those philosophers of nature who postulated one infinite element as the principle of things and states in agreement with Ph. Obviously, Aristotle ascribes to the pre-Socratics an interesting line of reasoning which can be analysed as follows: i General assumption: The principle is one and infinite. Were any part not homogeneous it would at once have to be considered as an agglom- eration of specifically different parts. If this observation is true, the argument to which Ph.
So let us look closer at this broader context again. Next, in Ph. As we saw above, by referring to this theory he refutes the assumption of an infinite homogeneous body 1. Consequently, the briefly mentioned point about the destruction of the finite elements by the infinite body a23—25 , which was already used in the refutation of the infinite composed body in the earlier set of argu- ments b13—19 , is not likely to be the only argument put forward against option 2. Having all this in mind, we can easily see that the passage Ph.
About Themistius: On Aristotle Physics 5-8
Instead of drawing the conclusion iii explicitly, Aristotle refers to the natural philosophers and states that they never chose as their infinite element earth or fire because it was clear to them that the place of those elements is definite, i. His expectation that the reader will easily reconstruct step iii on the basis of iv , which itself is not given explicitly but has to be extracted from the text of a25—28, has proved unwarranted, but it can be partially justified by the fact that iv , being no more than a negation of iii , in a sense comprises its content and theoretically makes this reconstruction quite possible indeed.
Before concluding, I would like to draw attention to the above-mentioned fact that the proposed interpretation of Ph. In his commentary on Ph. For a distinguished place would not be the whole, but the place of the unlimited would be the whole of it.
One would not be showing the impossibility of the supposition from the destructive character of the unlimited but from the premised distinction of places trans. Accordingly, for the pre-Socratic monists, if fire or earth is infinite, the definiteness of its place implies an opposition between it and the fi- nite element located in the opposite place, which results in a destruction of the finite element by the infinite one In Ph.
A similar interpretation is advocated unambiguously by Philoponos 6th AD.
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Thus it could not be the case that one of the elements is unlimited. And that the place of the unlimited is indef- inite the physicists also prove; at least it was on this account that no one said that the one and unlimited element was fire — and so on trans.
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In closing, let me paraphrase the argument of Ph. But in this case, first, the body will be one only by contact; secondly, the number of the kinds of those parts must be either finite or infinite. But it cannot be finite, since if the whole body is infinitely large, some of its parts would have to be infinitely large. Although one could claim that our text is corrupt and originally the supplied ar- gument was stated explicitly, such a hypothesis does not seem necessary.
Consequently, the difficulties connected with ascertaining the function of Ph. ROSS, Oxford. Frankfurt am Main ROSS, W. TODD, R. VIGO, A. ZEKL, H. Since attempts to connect this passage with the preceding argument a23—25 have so far proved unsuccessful, scholars have resorted to transposing this text after Ph.
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