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[1022b] [1]

"Disposition" means arrangement of that which has parts, either in space or in potentiality or in form. It must be a kind of position, as indeed is clear from the word, "disposition."

"Having"1 means (a) In one sense an activity, as it were, of the haver and the thing had, or as in the case of an action or motion; for when one thing makes and another is made, there is between them an act of making. In this way between the man who has a garment and the garment which is had, there is a "having." Clearly, then, it is impossible to have a "having" in this sense; for there will be an infinite series if we can have the having of what we have.But (b) there is another sense of "having" which means a disposition, in virtue of which the thing which is disposed is disposed well or badly, and either independently or in relation to something else. E.g., health is a state, since it is a disposition of the kind described. Further, any part of such a disposition is called a state; and hence the excellence of the parts is a kind of state.

"Affection" means (a) In one sense, a quality in virtue of which alteration is possible; e.g., whiteness and blackness, sweetness and bitterness, heaviness and lightness, etc. (b) The actualizations of these qualities; i.e. the alterations already realized. (c) More particularly, hurtful alterations and motions, [20] and especially hurts which cause suffering. (d) Extreme cases of misfortune and suffering are called "affections."2

We speak of "privation": (a) In one sense, if a thing does not possess an attribute which is a natural possession, even if the thing itself would not naturally possess it3; e.g., we say that a vegetable is "deprived" of eyes. (b) If a thing does not possess an attribute which it or its genus would naturally possess. E.g., a blind man is not "deprived" of sight in the same sense that a mole is; the latter is "deprived" in virtue of its genus, but the former in virtue of himself.4(c) If a thing has not an attribute which it would naturally possess, and when it would naturally possess it (for blindness is a form of privation; but a man is not blind at any age, but only if he lacks sight at the age when he would naturally possess it5), and similarly if it6 lacks an attribute in the medium and organ and relation and manner in which it would naturally possess it.(d) The forcible removal of anything is called privation. (e) Privation has as many senses as there are senses of negation derived from the negative affix (-). For we call a thing "unequal" because it does not possess equality (though it would naturally do so); and "invisible" either because it has no color at all or because it has only a faint one; and "footless" either because it has no feet at all or because it has rudimentary feet.Again, a negative affix may mean "having something in a small degree"—e.g. "stoneless"—

1 ῞εξις means not only "having" but "habit" or "state." Cf. Latin, habitus.

2 The English equivalent for πάθος in this sense would be "calamity" or "disaster."

3 This is not a proper sense of privation, as Aristotle implies by choosing an example from everyday speech.

4 i.e., a mole is blind as being a member of a blind genus, whereas a man is blind only as an individual. Of course moles are not really blind, but we still speak as though they were.

5 The qualification refers, I suppose, to the fact that an embryo does not naturally possess sight.

6 The subject seems to be indefinite, but no doubt Aristotle is thinking primarily of the particular example which he has just given. A man "is not called blind if he does not see in the dark, or if he does not see with his ears, or if he does not see sound, or if he does not see what is behind him or too far away" ( Ross).

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