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[1023a] [1] that is, having it in some rudimentary manner. Again, it may mean having it "not easily" or "not well"; e.g., "uncutable" means not only that which cannot be cut, but that which cannot be cut easily or well. And again, it may mean not having a thing at all; for it is not the one-eyed man, but the man who lacks sight in both eyes, who is called blind. Hence not every man is good or bad, moral or immoral; there is also the intermediate state.

"To have" <or "possess"> is used in various senses. (a) To direct in accordance with one's own nature or impulse; whence we say that fever "possesses" a man, and despots "possess" cities, and people who wear clothes "possess" them. (b) We speak of anything as "having" in which, as receptive material, something is present. E.g., the bronze "has" the shape of the statue, and the body "has" the disease.(c) In the sense that the container holds the contained; for when A is contained in B, we say that A is held by B. E.g., we say that the vessel holds the liquid, and the city holds men, and the ship holds sailors, and so too that the whole "holds" the parts.(d) The same term is applied to that which prevents anything from moving or acting in accordance with its own impulse; as pillars hold <up> the weights which are imposed upon them, [20] and as the poets make Atlas1 hold up the heaven, because otherwise it would fall upon the earth (as some of the physicists2 maintain also). It is in this sense that we say that "that which holds together" holds what it holds together; because otherwise the latter would disperse, each part in accordance with its own impulse.

"To be in a thing" is used similarly in senses corresponding to those of "to have."

"To come from something" means: (a) In one sense, to come from something as matter, and this in two ways: in respect either of the primary genus or of the ultimate species. E.g., in the one sense everything liquefiable comes from water, and in the other the statue comes from bronze.(b) To come from something as the first moving principle; e.g., "from what comes fighting?" From abuse; because this is the beginning of a fight. (c) To come from the combination of matter and form (as the parts come from the whole, and the verse from the Iliad , and the stones from the house); for the shape is an end, and that is a complete thing which has attained its end.(d) In the sense that the form is made out of the part of its definition; as, e.g., "man" is made out of "two-footed " and the syllable out of its element3(this is a different way from that in which the statue is made out of the bronze;

1 Cf. Hes. Th. 517.

2 e.g., Empedocles held that the heavens were kept in place by the velocity of their rotation;Aristot. De Caelo 284a 24, 295a 16 (Ritter and Preller, 170 b).

3 In the sense that στοιχεῖον("letter") forms part of the definition of "syllable."

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    • Hesiod, Theogony, 517
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