And therefore all
things have the same causes, because without substance there can be no
affections and motions. Next we shall see1
that these causes are
probably soul and body, or mind, appetite and body.2
Again, there is another sense in which by analogy
the principles are the same viz. actuality and potentiality; but these
are different for different things, and apply to them in different
ways.For in some
cases the same thing exists now actually and now potentially; e.g.
wine or flesh or man (actuality and potentiality also fall under the
causes as already described; for the form exists actually if it is
separable, and so does the compound of form and matter, and the
privation, e.g. darkness or disease; and the matter exists
potentially, for it is this which has the potentiality of becoming
;but the distinction in virtue of actuality and potentiality applies
in a different sense to cases where the matter of cause and effect is
not the same, in some of which the form is not the same but different.
E.g., the cause of a man is (i) his elements: fire and earth as
matter, and the particular form; (2) some external formal cause, viz.
his father; and besides these (3) the sun and the ecliptic,4
which are neither matter nor form nor privation nor
identical in form with him, but cause motion.
Further, we must observe that some causes can be
stated universally, but others cannot.The proximate principles of all things are the
proximate actual individual and another individual which exists
Therefore the proximate
principles are not universal. For it is the particular that is the
principle of particulars; "man" in general is the principle of "man"
in general, but there is no such person as "man," whereas Peleus is
the principle of Achilles and your father of you, and this particular
B of this particular BA; but B in general is the principle of BA
even if the causes of substances are universal, still, as has been
different things, i.e.
things which are not in the same genus, as colors, sounds, substances
and quantity, have different causes and elements, except in an
analogical sense; and the causes of things which are in the same
species are different, not in species, but because the causes of
individuals are different: your matter and form and moving cause being
different from mine, although in their universal formula they are the
As for the question what are the principles
or elements of substances and relations and qualities, whether they
are the same or different, it is evident that when the terms
"principle" and "element" are used with several meanings they are the
same for everything; but when the meanings are distinguished, they are
not the same but different; except that in a certain sense they are
the same for all. In a certain sense they are the same or analogous,
because (a) everything has matter, form, privation and a moving cause;
(b) the causes of substances may be regarded as the causes of all
things, since if substances are destroyed everything is destroyed; and
further (c) that which is first in complete reality7
is the cause of all things.In another sense, however, proximate causes are different; there are
as many proximate causes as there are contraries which are predicated
neither as genera nor with a variety of meanings8
; and further the
particular material causes are different.