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[1045a] [1] and the actual matter of the living body becomes by degeneration the potentiality and matter of the dead body, and water the matter of vinegar; for the one becomes the other just as day becomes night.All things which change reciprocally in this way must return into the matter; e.g., if a living thing is generated from a dead one, it must first become the matter, and then a living thing; and vinegar must first become water, and then wine.

With regard to the difficulty which we have described1 in connection with definitions and numbers, what is the cause of the unification? In all things which have a plurality of parts, and which are not a total aggregate but a whole of some sort distinct from the parts, there is some cause ; inasmuch as even in bodies sometimes contact is the cause of their unity, and sometimes viscosity or some other such quality.But a definition is one account, not by connection, like the Iliad , but because it is a definition of one thing.

What is it, then, that makes "man" one thing, and why does it make him one thing and not many, e.g. "animal" and "two-footed," especially if, as some say, there is an Idea of "animal" and an Idea of "two-footed"?Why are not these Ideas "man," and why should not man exist by participation, not in any "man," but in two Ideas, those of "animal" and "two-footed"? [20] And in general "man" will be not one, but two things—"animal" and "two-footed." Evidently if we proceed in this way, as it is usual to define and explain, it will be impossible to answer and solve the difficulty.But if, as we maintain, man is part matter and part form—the matter being potentially, and the form actually man—, the point which we are investigating will no longer seem to be a difficulty. For this difficulty is just the same as we should have if the definition of X2 were "round bronze"; for this name would give a clue to the formula, so that the question becomes "what is the cause of the unification of 'round' and 'bronze'?"The difficulty is no longer apparent, because the one is matter and the other form. What then is it (apart from the active cause) which causes that which exists potentially to exist actually in things which admit of generation? There is no other cause of the potential sphere's being an actual sphere; this was the essence of each.3

Some matter is intelligible and some sensible, and part of the formula is always matter and part actuality; e.g., the circle is a plane figure.4 But such thing5 as have no matter, neither intelligible nor sensible, are ipso facto each one of them essentially something one;

1 Aristot. Met. 7.12, Aristot. Met. 8.3.10, 11.

2 Literally "cloak"; cf. Aristot. Met. 7.4.7 n.

3 i.e., it was the essence of the potential sphere to become the actual sphere, and of the actual sphere to be generated from the potential sphere.

4 Even formulae contain matter in a sense ("intelligible matter"); i.e. the generic element in the species. "Plane figure" is the generic element of "circle."

5 The highest genera, or categories.

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