• Metaphysician Undercover
    12.3k

    My translation is Stocks, but it is within a compilation, "The Basic Works of Aristotle", edited by Richard McKeon, Random House, 1941. Most the titles are reproduced in completion, but that particular one has Bk 2 Ch 1-13 (which is 283b-293a) omitted. No reason is given for the omission. It is just stated in the preface that a portion of one of the four books of On The Heavens has been omitted. Though it also states in the preface that where omissions are made reasons are given, which I cannot find.

    It also states in the preface that the Oxford translation into English was completed in 1931, and this followed from the Berlin Academy 1831-1870. It says "The eleven volumes of the Oxford translation can be reduced to a single volume, once the clearly inauthentic works have been excluded from consideration, without too serious loss of portions that bear on problems of philosophic interest."

    It then says in the Introduction by C.D. C. Reeve, "The most credible view of these writings is that they are lecture notes written or dictated by Aristotle himself and not intended for publication. Their organization into treatises and the internal organizations into books and chapters may, however, not be his. No doubt this accounts for some, though not all, of their legendary and manifest difficulty."

    You can see, that if we allow for a progression and evolution in Aristotle's thought over time, (as is very evident in Plato's material), the notes on the same subject, "the heavens", or "the heaven", may have gotten placed together, even though they come from completely different times, therefore expressing different ideas in the evolution of his thought. Because of this, considerable inconsistency may exist within the same treatise. And if you add to this the fact that some of the material within the same treatise may not even be derived from Aristotle himself, but from other lecturers in his school, the probability of inconsistency is increased even higher. This is what makes the understanding of what is presented to us as "Aristotle", so difficult to understand. Instead of latching on to specific assertions found here and there, we need to look for threads, patterns which run through the bulk of the material, and simply reject the parts which are inconsistent with the threads, as out of place.
  • Fooloso4
    5.3k


    So, on the basis of an unexplained omission in one compilation you attempt to dismiss parts of the text that appear in fuller translations of the same text by the same translator as well as other translations and in the commentaries.

    Does the compilation include Book 1.2 269a 30?

    But there is nothing out of which this body can have been generated. And if it is exempt from increase and diminution, the same reasoning leads us to suppose that it is also unalterable.

    And, as quoted before:

    On all these grounds, therefore, we may infer with confidence that there is something beyond the bodies that are about us on this earth, different and separate from them ; and that the superior glory of its nature is proportionate to its distance from this world of ours. (269b 14)

    There is general agreement that at least some of works of Aristotle are based on lecture notes, but that is no reason to disregard those parts of the text that run counter to your preferred beliefs. If these are student notes then they are students who knew and understood Aristotle far better than we do. In addition, the works often quickly get blamed for our lack of understanding. With a thinker as important as Aristotle it seems more likely that whoever compiled these notes, whether Aristotle or students did so with care. The burden is on us to tie things together and resolve seeming contradictions. In addition, it may be that Aristotle thought that certain problems are irresolvable. Rather than discard parts of the text, the point may be to bring out and allow the problem to stand.

    Aristotle does not want simply to inform us or give us our opinion, he wants us to grapple with problems, to think.
  • Paine
    1.9k


    The primary science, by contrast, is concerned with things that are both separable and immovable. Now all causes are necessarily eternal, and these most of all. For they are the causes of the divine beings that are perceptible. — Metaphysics, 1026a10

    There are some who say that chance is a cause both of this heaven and of everything that is in the ordered universe; for they say the vortex came to be by chance, and so did the motion which separated the parts and caused the present order of the universe. And this is very surprising; for they say, on the one hand, that animals and plants neither exist nor are generated by luck but that the cause is nature or intellect or some other such thing (for it is not any chance thing that is generated from a given seed, but an olive tree from this kind and a man from that kind, and on the other hand, that the heavens and the most divine of the visible objects were generated by chance, which cause is not such as any of those in the case of animals or plants. — Aristotle, Physics, 196a25, translated by HG Apostle

    There is no single science that deals with what is good for all living things any more that there is single art of medicine dealing with everything that is, but a different science deals with each particular good. The argument that man is the best of all living things makes no difference. There are other things whose nature is much more divine than man's: to take the most visible example only, the constituent parts of the universe. — Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 114a25, translated by Martin Ostwald
  • Dfpolis
    1.3k
    I don't think that this follows. This is because error, and mistake may be relative to some pragmatic principle of success.Metaphysician Undercover
    Your response does not support your original point, which was that we could not know intrinsic properties because of the possibility of error. Only errors resulting in the false apprehension of intrinsic properties need concern us, and to know that they are actual errors, we must have a true apprehension.

    You said that intrinsic properties are what is compared to the definition. This is incorrect, the description is what is compared.Metaphysician Undercover
    We cannot describe anything without first judging what categories its propertied belong to. For example, I cannot say "the organism is six-legged," without judging that it has appendages, that the relevant appendages are legs, and that the count of those legs is 6. So, the apprehension and classification of properties is necessarily prior to any description.

    What exists in the mind of the knower is "form" in the sense of the abstraction, and what exists in the material individual is "form" in the sense of of the actuality of the individual. Yet you insist that the form in the knower is somehow the form of the known. They are two distinct senses of "form", how do you reconcile this?Metaphysician Undercover
    The two senses of "form" are not equivocal, but analogous by an analogy of attribution -- in the same way that food is said to be "healthy," not because it, itself, is alive and well, but because it is a cause of health in those who consume it. Thus, the form of the known object, is a cause of knowledge in the knower.

    Your, Locke's, and Kant's views miss the identity of sense and sensible, and of intellect and intelligibility, Aristotle discusses at length in De Anima: (1) the sense organ sensing the sensible is identically the sensible being sensed by the sense organ and (2) the intellect knowing the intelligible object is identically the intelligible object being known by the intellect. Your responses continue to ignore these essential points.

    In each case, a single act actualizes two potencies. In sensing, the sensible object is actually sensed in the same act in which the sense organ's ability to sense is actualized. In knowing, the intelligible object is actually known in the same act as the intellect's ability to be informed is actualized. Since there is one act or event in each case, the lack of causal necessity argued by Hume does not apply. Why? Because he is analyzing a different kind of causality: one involving two events following one another by rule. It is possible for some disruptive influence to intervene between two events, but one event has no "between" in which an intervention might occur.

    So, what is going on? The object's form or actuality specifies its possible acts. When we sense it, it is in virtue of the object acting on our senses in a specific way, and that way reveals part of what it can do (its eidos or form). Thus, its action on our senses informs us of some aspect(s) of its form. When the agent intellect attends to the resultant intelligibility (now neurally encoded), that intelligibility is actually understood, resulting in knowledge. Thus, the object's form or actuality is the source of the knowledge we derive from sensing it -- which is the eidos or form in our mind.

    Answering question like this is just a form of description.Metaphysician Undercover
    The question is not whether we end up describing the object, but what steps are required to do so. I have already shown that we cannot describe before we apprehend.

    This is not Aristotelian.Metaphysician Undercover
    Read De Anima on sensing and knowing.

    your assertions that the form in the knower is the same as the form in the object is not consistent with this.Metaphysician Undercover
    My assertion is that our knowledge is specified by the form of the object. The form of the object also specifies much that we do not, and may never, know. I am not claiming that our knowledge is exhaustive, only that it grasps aspects of (a projection of) the object's form.

    you need to acknowledge that there are two types of causation involved.Metaphysician Undercover
    I have no problem with that. In sensing, the object is the efficient cause of the neural effect. The effect it causes (a modification of our neural system), is specified by the form of the object, which can act on us in some ways, but not others. So, the effect carries information (the reduction of possibility -- for of all the ways we could be affected, we are affected in this specific way). This information is intelligible, and its intelligibility derives from the form of the object.

    In the act of awareness, we are the agent. The object does not force its intelligibility on the intellect. Rather, we must choose to attend, and in attending, the agent intellect acts to make what was merely intelligible (the neurally encoded information) actually understood. Here the object, via its neural effect, is the material cause. It limits the possible result (for information is the reduction of possibility), but it does not actualize it. The result, of course, is our awareness of the intelligibility specified by the form of the object.

    Oh, now you've revised it to a "partial identity". What could that even mean?Metaphysician Undercover
    It means that the object's action on our sense is only one aspect of (part of) the object's actuality. That action is identical with our sense being acted upon by the object. Further, our sense being acted upon by the object is not the whole of our actuality. So, while the relevant action and passion are identical, they are not the whole of either the subject or the object.

    You are assigning all causation to the object, as that which informs.Metaphysician Undercover
    No, I am not. I have explained the kinds of causation above.

    the organism must have the capacity to sense. And, under Aristotelian conceptual space, the soul, as the source of internal actuality, or activity, must actualize that capacity.Metaphysician Undercover
    You are confusing first and second actuality. The soul is the first actuality or "being operational" of a potentially living body. It is not the second actuality or operation of the body. So, in sensation, the capacity to sense is an aspect of the psyche, but actually sensing is due to the sensible object acting on the sense -- e.g. light being scattered into the eye, or a hot object heating the skin.

    You have ignored my critique of Kant's epistemology. As St. Thomas Moore noted, "Silence is consent." (Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit – He who is silent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to, is seen to consent.)
  • Paine
    1.9k


    On all these grounds, therefore, we may infer with confidence that there is something beyond the bodies that are about us on this earth, different and separate from them ; and that the superior glory of its nature is proportionate to its distance from this world of ours. (269b 14)

    While noting that distance, it is interesting to see how some elements in the 'sublunary' sphere are active in the divine sphere:

    For it is not insofar as something is water or insofar as it is air that it is visible, but because there is a certain nature in it that is the same in both of them and in the [eternal] body above. — Aristotle, De Anima, DA II 7 418b7–9, translated by C.D.C. Reeve
  • Fooloso4
    5.3k


    What is that "certain nature"?

    What is:

    ...a certain kind of object which can be described in words but which has no single name (418a26–28)
  • Paine
    1.9k


    I read it to say that what gives a surface a color is intrinsic to what the thing is:

    For what is visible is color, and it is what is on [the surface of] what is intrinsically visible—intrinsically visible not in account, but because it has within |418a30| itself the cause of its being visible. — ibid. 418a30

    The transparent is a change caused from an outside activity:

    And light is the activity of this, of the transparent insofar as it is transparent. But whatever this is present in, so potentially is darkness. For light is a sort of color of the transparent, when it is made actually transparent by fire or something of that sort, such as the body above. For one and the same [affection] also belongs to it. — ibid. 418b10

    An account (logos) can be given for this activity, but it does not have a name (for Aristotle, at least).
  • Fooloso4
    5.3k


    Looking into it, the "certain nature", might be the transparent, Gendlin
    but it might be what makes something transparent. Reeve

    As to the kind of object, some commentators identify it as "phosphorescents".Gendlin A compound word from Greek and Latin.

    Not everything is visible in light, but only the color proper to each thing; for some things are not seen in the light but bring about perception in the dark, e.g., those things . . . such as . . . scales, and eyes of fish ... (419a 1-6)
  • Paine
    1.9k

    I am familiar with Gendlin and his suggestions. He does a great job of showing how easy it is to misunderstand what Aristotle is saying.

    But I think Reeve is more correct in this case.

    In the text, the matter is immediately cast into the language of actuality and potentiality. Something causes change. Something else is changed.

    In regard to perception, it is interesting that Aristotle started with the sense of touch as the most basic form of it. It is difficult to place that observation side by side with the others.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.3k
    On all these grounds, therefore, we may infer with confidence that there is something beyond the bodies that are about us on this earth, different and separate from them ; and that the superior glory of its nature is proportionate to its distance from this world of ours. (269b 14)

    This is completely consistent with what I've been arguing. There is something, (immaterial substance), which is beyond the bodies that are about us on the earth. That is what I've been arguing is Aristotle's true position.

    Aristotle does not want simply to inform us or give us our opinion, he wants us to grapple with problems, to think.Fooloso4

    Right, this is why he states the beliefs of others, then relevant logical principles, and allows you to come to your own conclusion.

    I'll tell you what I think about this issue, you can take it or leave it, as you will, it's my opinion about the situation which Aristotle was in, when he taught.

    Greek theology at the time held that the planets and stars were divine, and eternal. The heavenly bodies had been observed for thousands of years and the appearance of them seemed to be consistent, without change. The eternality of them was logically supported by the proposal of circular motion, motion in a perfect circle has no beginning or end. But, as Aristotle mentions, at his time, some people believed that the stars and planets were generated. The two beliefs are obviously not consistent, and we know from Plato\s writing that there could be punishment for publicly denouncing theological beliefs. Therefore anyone who taught ideas which were contrary to the conventional theology would have motivation not to reveal publicly the exact nature of what was being taught in the school.

    The complicating factor is Pythagorean cosmology, And I think Pythagorean cosmology is key to understanding the situation in Aristotle's school. It is completely distinct from Greek theology. The Pythagoreans are known for being secretive about their cosmology, and there isn't a whole lot published about it. They are the ones who proposed the underlying substance, the aether. I believe that in their cosmology the stars and planets are manifestations of vibrations in the aether (underlying substance), and there is a hierarchy of vibrations arranged in an order representative of the ratios which are the divisions of the octave, comprising the musical scale.

    The idea of an underlying substance could, in a way, be presented as consistent with the idea of eternal, divine planets and stars. However, a thorough analysis, and logical scrutiny from someone like Aristotle would reveal that these two are not consistent. The underlying substance, is necessarily prior to, and cause of the existence of the heavenly bodies, and this demonstrates that the heavenly bodies must by generated, therefore not eternal. This problem is displayed in the quote from Metaphysics Bk 12, provided by Paine. "For the nature of the stars is eternal, because it is a certain sort of substance, and the mover is eternal and prior to the moved, and what is prior to a substance must be a substance." Notice the problem. The mover is prior to the moved, as cause of the movement. But if the movement is caused, then there must be something prior to the movement in time, therefore the movement cannot be eternal.

    So this is the problem which Aristotle was presented with. It became necessary to assume an underlying substance as the cause of the circular motions which appeared to be eternal. However, if there is an underlying substance, as cause, then the stars and planets must be caused, therefore they are generated and not eternal. And this is contrary to the official theology which held these to be eternal.

    Your references help to demonstrate the problem Aristotle was faced with. Conventional Greek theology held that the divine bodies, the planets and stars were eternal, therefore not caused or generated. However, there was much evidence, in the form of logical arguments, to indicate that these divine bodies were caused, therefore not eternal. So Aristotle had to present the evidence, being the principles argued by others, and the logic behind all these submissions, seeking truth in this matter. All the while we need to respect what Plato demonstrated, that to teach principles contrary to the official theology was punishable. Therefore even if Aristotle made arguments for an underlying substance as the cause of the divine bodies (so the bodies are not eternal), that this idea of an underlying substance is contrary to the official theology, might be somewhat disguised.
  • Paine
    1.9k

    I appreciate your recognition that what you present is at odds with the text, as testimony.

    I will think about your thesis under these new parameters.
  • Fooloso4
    5.3k
    This is completely consistent with what I've been arguing.Metaphysician Undercover

    It is not. Have you forgotten what you have claimed?

    There are no unnatural, or divine bodies, nothing in the universe is moving in an eternal circular motion, because all has been generated and will be destroyed, consisting of natural bodies.Metaphysician Undercover

    The only thing you got half right is that they are natural, albeit bodies.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.3k
    Your response does not support your original point, which was that we could not know intrinsic properties because of the possibility of error. Only errors resulting in the false apprehension of intrinsic properties need concern us, and to know that they are actual errors, we must have a true apprehension.Dfpolis

    You seem to have inverted the conditional. My argument is that if it is possible that we err in our knowledge, then our knowledge is not of the properties which are intrinsic to the thing known. It is possible that we err, therefore our knowledge is not of the properties which are intrinsic to the thing.

    We cannot describe anything without first judging what categories its propertied belong to. For example, I cannot say "the organism is six-legged," without judging that it has appendages, that the relevant appendages are legs, and that the count of those legs is 6. So, the apprehension and classification of properties is necessarily prior to any description.Dfpolis

    I find that you represent "judging" in a very strange way, you've done this already. Describing something is a form of judgement, just like how you describe judging things here. So you make an artificial separation which is not representative of what is the case in the act of describing. These judgements you describe, "the apprehension and classification of properties" is the act of describing. When I judge that the organism has appendages, and that the appendages are legs, and that the count of the legs is 6, I am describing the organism. This, even if it's done in my head without writing it down, is the act of describing the organism. It is not a separate act which is prior to the description, it is the act of describing. And if I repeat these conclusions later, by writing them down, or telling someone else, I am just repeating the description I've already produced.

    Thus, the form of the known object, is a cause of knowledge in the knower.Dfpolis

    Good, the form of the known is a cause of the form in the knower is much better than that they are identical.

    Your, Locke's, and Kant's views miss the identity of sense and sensible, and of intellect and intelligibility, Aristotle discusses at length in De Anima: (1) the sense organ sensing the sensible is identically the sensible being sensed by the sense organ and (2) the intellect knowing the intelligible object is identically the intelligible object being known by the intellect. Your responses continue to ignore these essential points.Dfpolis

    I do not understand what you are saying here. "The sense organ sensing the sensible" is just another way of saying "the sensible being sensed by the sense organ". This makes no analysis of the relationship between the sensation and the sensible, which is what we are discussing. So how do you think it says anything significant?

    The law of identity clearly puts identity of the thing within the thing itself, therefore not in the caused form in the knower. The actuality of the form within the knower is actualized by the mind (Metaphysics Bk 9), and so the form within the object only holds potential (as matter) in relation to the form in the mind. I think you ought to reread De Anima, and if you still think that he uses identity in this way, bring me the direct quotes of the precise places where you find this.

    In each case, a single act actualizes two potencies. In sensing, the sensible object is actually sensed in the same act in which the sense organ's ability to sense is actualized. In knowing, the intelligible object is actually known in the same act as the intellect's ability to be informed is actualized. Since there is one act or event in each case, the lack of causal necessity argued by Hume does not apply. Why? Because he is analyzing a different kind of causality: one involving two events following one another by rule. It is possible for some disruptive influence to intervene between two events, but one event has no "between" in which an intervention might occur.Dfpolis

    It is wrong to characterize this as a single act. Clearly there is two acts involved, the actuality of the thing itself, and the actuality of the soul. if these two appear together as a single event, we need to look at both as causal. The description as a single event is just a simplification which has resulted from the need to facilitate communication. The lofty theory of the time was described in Plato's Theaetetus, as a motion coming from the eye meeting with a motion coming from the object. Your inclination to characterize what is described as a single event (sensation) as having only one cause is a failure of analysis.

    My assertion is that our knowledge is specified by the form of the object. The form of the object also specifies much that we do not, and may never, know. I am not claiming that our knowledge is exhaustive, only that it grasps aspects of (a projection of) the object's form.Dfpolis

    This is what I insist is not Aristotelian. The form of the object is within the object itself, and distinct from the mind and what is in the mind. The forms in the mind are actualized (caused) by the mind, and from this perspective, the object provides potential, matter. However, the object does have a causal relation, and this is why we need to assume a passive intellect, to receive form from the object through the senses.

    We have a sort of unknown now, a gap in understanding between the active intellect which creates the form in the mind, and the passive intellect which receives the formal information from the object. This is why the active and passive intellect, and the relation between them is so difficult. The activity in the mind must be passive in relation to the sense object, in order to know the object, but it must also be active in relation to the intelligible objects which it actualizes.

    But I think it is wrong to say that the object "specifies". That is what the mind does in actualizing the species. The activity received through the senses is particular in relation to the mind, according to it being received by the passive intellect which is a form of potential. The active intellect "specifies", as a form of judgement. This you do not want to call "judgement" on the one hand, and I'm fine with that if we maintain consistency, but when it comes to analysis you want to say that judgement is prior to description, so you are forcing "judgement" to that position anyway.

    I have no problem with that. In sensing, the object is the efficient cause of the neural effect. The effect it causes (a modification of our neural system), is specified by the form of the object, which can act on us in some ways, but not others. So, the effect carries information (the reduction of possibility -- for of all the ways we could be affected, we are affected in this specific way). This information is intelligible, and its intelligibility derives from the form of the object.Dfpolis

    The issue though, is that in relation to final cause, intention, judgement, and choice, which is the type of activity proper to the soul, efficient cause is secondary, as the means to the end. Therefore efficient causes are selected for, as those which produce success, and they are chosen as the means to the end. So if the sense object provides efficient causation in the single event which is "knowing", the efficient causation from the object is selected for by the intentional activity of the soul (final cause). And we really have very little idea of how the soul selects for efficient causes when actualizing a form in the mind (intelligible object).

    In the act of awareness, we are the agent. The object does not force its intelligibility on the intellect. Rather, we must choose to attend, and in attending, the agent intellect acts to make what was merely intelligible (the neurally encoded information) actually understood. Here the object, via its neural effect, is the material cause. It limits the possible result (for information is the reduction of possibility), but it does not actualize it. The result, of course, is our awareness of the intelligibility specified by the form of the object.Dfpolis

    This is a better description. But for some reason, you want to separate conscious awareness from all the other powers of the soul, so that you can characterize the causation within the lower powers in a way which is reverse to the causation in the higher power. But this is inconsistent, and although Aristotle may seem to lean this way sometimes in the discussion of the active intellect, it is better and more realistic that we maintain consistency then try to allow for every word spoken by him.

    It means that the object's action on our sense is only one aspect of (part of) the object's actuality. That action is identical with our sense being acted upon by the object. Further, our sense being acted upon by the object is not the whole of our actuality. So, while the relevant action and passion are identical, they are not the whole of either the subject or the object.Dfpolis

    There is no such "identity" here because of the temporal gap between the active and passive intellect. Identity of the thing is placed in the thing itself, as primary substance, and what the active intellect creates, the species is the secondary substance.

    You are confusing first and second actuality. The soul is the first actuality or "being operational" of a potentially living body. It is not the second actuality or operation of the body. So, in sensation, the capacity to sense is an aspect of the psyche, but actually sensing is due to the sensible object acting on the sense -- e.g. light being scattered into the eye, or a hot object heating the skin.Dfpolis

    See how you are reversing first and secondary actualities between the act of the soul, and the act of the soul through its powers? The act of the soul is the operating of the organism. The capacity to operate, is the potential which the soul has, through it's material body. Sensing is an instance of operating, therefore the actuality of sensation is properly attributed to the soul, in the primary sense, and the act of the sensible body, in this operation, is the actuality in the secondary sense.

    You have ignored my critique of Kant's epistemology.Dfpolis

    i didn't see it as relevant to our discussion of Aristotle. If you reject Kant, then I cannot use him as a reference, that's all.

    I appreciate your recognition that what you present is at odds with the text, as testimony.Paine

    What I think is a better description is that "the text" is at odds with itself. That there are points of inconsistency within the work of Aristotle is nothing new to me. But there is a fundamental consistency which runs through the majority of the material, especially with the basic categories, matter, form, potential, actual. When he gets to highly complicated topics like active and passive intellect there is some ambiguity. His consistency is not quite so high in his use of "cause" according to the senses of "cause" he lays out, sometimes there's ambiguity. What I think is the proper approach is to find the threads of consistency which extend through multiple texts, and adhere to this consistency. The small parts which are not consistent are best disregarded rather than trying to work them into the overall consistency because this would be an impossible task.

    It is not. Have you forgotten what you have claimed?Fooloso4

    What I claimed is that for Aristotle, the heavenly bodies are not eternal, nor are their motions eternal. There is an underlying substance, but this underlying substance cannot be bodily, it must be properly immaterial. How is this inconsistent with your quoted passage that there is "something beyond the bodies that are about us on this earth, different and separate from them"?
  • Fooloso4
    5.3k


    You use the exoteric/esoteric distinction as a blunt instrument to twist and distort the text so that it will mean whatever it is you want it to mean.

    If you are to take this interpretive approach you must start with what he actually said as your starting point. You do not do this. You ignore what he said in some cases and deny that he said it in others. Often you mistake the part for the whole or deny there is a whole, so you can treat the part as the whole.

    More precisely, you are faithful to Aquinas. If Aristotle says "X" and Aquinas "Y" then Y is the truth. But you blur the distinction: If Aristotle says "X" and Aquinas "Y" then Aristotle really meant Y.
  • Paine
    1.9k
    The small parts which are not consistent are best disregarded rather than trying to work them into the overall consistency because this would be an impossible task.Metaphysician Undercover

    We are back at the same impasse met last year. What you consider small, I find to be fundamental. It is not just about the nature of heavenly bodies. There are too many places where the eternal is interwoven with the temporal for your theory of matter to explain away.

    You have divided Aristotle against himself to the point where the author's intent cannot be cobbled back together from the broken parts.
  • Nickolasgaspar
    1k
    This thread demonstrates how useless philosophical conversations can become without a credible epistemic foundation. Made up pseudo philosophical problems like the "hard problem of consciousness" are as good as begging the question fallacious arguments.
  • Fooloso4
    5.3k
    In the text, the matter is immediately cast into the language of actuality and potentiality. Something causes change. Something else is changed.Paine

    But does this speak to his claim about a certain kind of unnamed object?

    2.7 opens:

    The object of sight is the visible, and what is visible is color and a certain kind of object which
    can be described in words but which has no single name

    He goes on to say that color is not visible without light, and there are objects that are not visible by color or light.

    Some objects of sight which in light are invisible, in darkness stimulate the sense; that is, things that appear fiery or shining. This class of objects has no simple common name, but instances of it are fungi, flesh, heads, scales, and eyes of fish. (419a 1-6)

    Although he does not include the stars in the short list of the class of objects that are invisible in light, they are objects that are visible in darkness. Is there something in common between the things he lists and the stars? Something other than color? He continues:

    In none of these is what is seen their own proper' color. Why we see these at all is another question.

    And drops it.
  • Dfpolis
    1.3k
    You seem to have inverted the conditional. My argument is that if it is possible that we err in our knowledge, then our knowledge is not of the properties which are intrinsic to the thing known.Metaphysician Undercover
    If that is your argument, you need to rethink it. Possibilities do not imply actualities.

    When I judge that the organism has appendages, and that the appendages are legs, and that the count of the legs is 6, I am describing the organism.Metaphysician Undercover
    No, you are not. Judging makes description possible, but it is not actual description. You are confusing potency and act. An actual description articulates a whole set of judgements in words or some other medium. Each individual property judgement is being aware (aka knowing) that the organism elicits the property concept. Judgement is not expression of a judgement.

    And if I repeat these conclusions later, by writing them down, or telling someone else, I am just repeating the description I've already produced.Metaphysician Undercover
    You may define your technical terms as you wish, but if you do not say "By 'description' I mean what most other people call 'judgement'," then the result can only be confusion and misunderstanding.

    Yet, even if you mean that we compare judgements, not intrinsic properties, to category concepts, you are confused. This is because making the relevant judgements requires grasping the intrinsic properties we judge. To judge <A is B> we must be aware that the entity eliciting the concept <A>, say <this something>, is identically that eliciting the concept <B> grasping some property. Were this not the case, if a <A> were elicited by one thing, and <B> by another, the judgement would be unsound. Thus, the eliciting of concepts is a prerequisite for any sound judgement about an entity. So we have the following operations in sequence (1) sensing, (2) conceptualization, (3) judgement, and then, possibly, (4) expression in a description.

    The very expression "compare judgements" is deeply confused, because a judgement is an act of comparison. So, we could not compare judgements without first making the comparison that is the judgement we are comparing.

    Good, the form of the known is a cause of the form in the knower is much better than that they are identical.Metaphysician Undercover
    In essential causality, the operation of the cause and the creation of the effect are one and the same event -- and so identical. The builder building the house is identically the house being built by the builder. Please do not confuse this with accidental, or Humean-Kantian, causality, which is the succession of separate events by rule.

    "The sense organ sensing the sensible" is just another way of saying "the sensible being sensed by the sense organ". This makes no analysis of the relationship between the sensation and the sensible, which is what we are discussing. So how do you think it says anything significant?Metaphysician Undercover
    It shows (1) the subject sensing is inseparable from the object being sensed, and (2) the subject knowing is inseparable from the object being known. This means that there is no possibility of an intervening factor such as Aquinas's intelligible species, Locke's ideas, Kant's phenomena or your descriptions.

    The law of identity clearly puts identity of the thing within the thing itself, therefore not in the caused form in the knower.Metaphysician Undercover
    II am not claiming that the whole object is identical with the subject's concept. Rather, in sensing, there is an identity between the object's action on the sense (action is an accident inhering in the acting substance) and the subject's passion of having its sense organ modified by that act (passion is also an accident -- inhering in the substance acted upon). In knowing, the identity is between the aspect of the object's intelligibility actualized (a property or accident of the object), and the agent intellect (an aspect of the knower) actualizing that intelligibility -- which is the corresponding concept.

    if you still think that he uses identity in this way, bring me the direct quotes of the precise places where you find this.Metaphysician Undercover

    "[T]he actuality of that which has the power of causing motion is not other than the actuality of the
    movable, for it must be the fulfilment of both." Physics III, 3, 202a14-16 (trans. Hardie and
    Gaye). (Two things having the same actuality means they are identical)

    "Generally, about all perception, we can say that a sense is what has the power of receiving into itself the sensible forms of things without the matter..." De Anima II, 12, 424a18f (trans. J.A. Smith)

    "The activity of the sensible object and that of the sense is one and the same activity, and yet the distinction between their being remains." De Anima III, 2, 425b26

    "For as the acting-and-being-acted-upon is to be found in the passive, not in the active factor, so also the
    actuality of the sensible [10] object and that of the sensitive subject are both realized in the latter." De Anima III, 2, 426a8-10

    "The thinking part of the soul must therefore be, while impassible, capable of receiving the form of an object; that is, must be potentially identical in character with its object without being the object." De Anima III, 4, 429a15f

    "Actual knowledge is identical with its object" De Anima III, 5, 430a20

    This selection should suffice. If not, read R. C. Koons, (2019) "Aristotle's formal identity of intellect and object: A solution to the problem of modal epistemology," Ancient Philosophy Today 1, pp. 84-107.

    It is wrong to characterize this as a single act.Metaphysician Undercover
    I am sorry that you cannot see that one and the same act makes the object's intelligibility known and the mind informed. I cannot make it any clearer than I have: the subject knowing is inseparable from the object being known.

    This is what I insist is not AristotelianMetaphysician Undercover
    Then, you do not understand the texts I cited.

    The issue though, is that in relation to final cause, intention, judgement, and choice, which is the type of activity proper to the soul, efficient cause is secondary, as the means to the end.Metaphysician Undercover
    The agent intellect is an efficient cause and essential to the other operations you enumerate. Unless we can know intelligibility, none of the other operations can succeed.

    i didn't see it as relevant to our discussion of Aristotle. If you reject Kant, then I cannot use him as a reference, that's all.Metaphysician Undercover
    It is entirely relevant, as your Kantian commitments prevent you from understanding Aristotle, and through him, the nature of knowledge.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.3k

    You didn't address the post.

    I'll consider what you say anyway. Ok, I have, and it's completely untruthful accusations. Thanks for the opinion.

    There are too many places where the eternal is interwoven with the temporal for your theory of matter to explain away.Paine

    The eternal (what cannot change) is interwoven with the temporal (what is changing) at every moment of passing time, and matter (as the aspect of the temporal which persists from one moment to the next) is the intermediary between these two. That matter is the intermediary between the eternal and the temporal is one of the oldest theological principles. Traditionally, it's what separates man from God.

    You like to make objections against my interpretation without any real support, like pointing to what exactly is wrong with my interpretation. At least you're not as bad as Fooloso4 who just makes the same false accusations over and over again.
  • Paine
    1.9k
    You like to make objections against my interpretation without any real support, like pointing to what exactly is wrong with my interpretation.Metaphysician Undercover

    That is not a fair accounting. I have quoted Aristotle extensively where I think he does not support your thesis.

    I did wrestle with your thesis itself more strenuously in the past but stopped when I realized that I did not understand it enough to disagree with. That is still the case.

    I am no expert in the matter. It is obvious that we both have read a lot of primary text. I appreciate anyone who has made that effort. I am not making accusations but saying why your view does not make sense to me.

    I am curious if you have a collection of like-minded thinkers who see the role of bodies the way you do. I have read enough secondary text to get the hang of some of the contemporary academic debate regarding these questions. Is there anybody from that world who reads Aristotle the way you do?
  • Fooloso4
    5.3k
    You didn't address the post.Metaphysician Undercover

    No, I didn't. To what end? You have shown yourself to be incapable of separating and distinguishing between what Aristotle said and whatever it is you think he should have said or want him to have said. You end up with something you call his "true position". A position that is at odds with and irreconcilable with what he actually said.

    I think I was wrong to say that you are faithful to Aquinas. On second thought it seems likely that you would reinvent him as well in your own image of his "true position".
  • Wayfarer
    20.4k
    I gave up at ‘there’s a unique form for every particular’.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.3k
    If that is your argument, you need to rethink it. Possibilities do not imply actualities.Dfpolis

    You quoted only one premise of the argument, the other stated the actuality. If X then Y. (Possibility). X (Actuality). Therefore Y (conclusion).

    No, you are not. Judging makes description possible, but it is not actual description. You are confusing potency and act. An actual description articulates a whole set of judgements in words or some other medium. Each individual property judgement is being aware (aka knowing) that the organism elicits the property concept. Judgement is not expression of a judgement.Dfpolis

    Ok, I'm fine to define "judging" in this way, as long as we stick to the definition. Each bit of knowledge is a judgement, and a description involves a bunch of judgements. But this doesn't really affect the issue. The description is still a matter of judgement, but instead of being one judgement it's a multitude of judgements, which is really what i meant anyway. I didn't mean to imply that an entire description consists of only one judgement.

    To judge <A is B> we must be aware that the entity eliciting the concept <A>, say <this something>, is identically that eliciting the concept <B> grasping some property. Were this not the case, if a <A> were elicited by one thing, and <B> by another, the judgement would be unsound. Thus, the eliciting of concepts is a prerequisite for any sound judgement about an entity. So we have the following operations in sequence (1) sensing, (2) conceptualization, (3) judgement, and then, possibly, (4) expression in a description.Dfpolis

    I don't understand this argument at all. We never judge "A is B" in any unqualified way. We say "A is A", and "B is B", but not "A is B" because these two are different. We might say A is B in predication, but then one is the subject and the other the predicate. Or we might judge A and B as the same category, or place object A into category B, but that's different from saying "A is B" in any unqualified way. Such a judgement, "A is B" in an unqualified sense, is always unsound, so your argument demonstrates nothing.

    The very expression "compare judgements" is deeply confused, because a judgement is an act of comparison. So, we could not compare judgements without first making the comparison that is the judgement we are comparing.Dfpolis

    As per your definition of judging, every bit of knowledge is a judgement, so it is you who is forcing this problem with a problematic definition of "judgement". Unless you allow that there is some form of knowledge prior to judgement you will always have this problem, it's a vicious circle. We need to allow that "judgement" requires knowledge, and can only be made after knowledge has accumulated, but this would undermine your argument of how judgement relates to description.

    In essential causality, the operation of the cause and the creation of the effect are one and the same event -- and so identical. The builder building the house is identically the house being built by the builder. Please do not confuse this with accidental, or Humean-Kantian, causality, which is the succession of separate events by rule.Dfpolis

    Sorry, I cannot grasp this at all. I've never heard of "essential causality". It is not Aristotelian and seems to be a Dfpolis idiosyncrasy, so you'll have to provide a better description. it seems like a contrived statement to serve some purpose. What does "the operation of a cause" even mean? Your statement of identity would be much better stated as 'the cause is the same as the cause', or something like that. But what's the point to this?

    It shows (1) the subject sensing is inseparable from the object being sensed, and (2) the subject knowing is inseparable from the object being known. This means that there is no possibility of an intervening factor such as Aquinas's intelligible species, Locke's ideas, Kant's phenomena or your descriptions.Dfpolis

    I don't see how it shows that at all. Now it is you who is claiming to get necessity from an argument consisting of possibilities. You have not at all shown how you produce this claimed necessity.

    This selection should suffice. If not, read R. C. Koons, (2019) "Aristotle's formal identity of intellect and object: A solution to the problem of modal epistemology," Ancient Philosophy Today 1, pp. 84-107.Dfpolis

    There's only a couple mentions of identity in all those quotes, and they say that the mind is identical, or potentially identical with "its object". Obviously he is talking about intelligible objects here, not sensible objects, so you continue to equivocate between the two senses of "form". Nothing in those quotes indicates what you claim, that the form in the knower is identical to the form in the sensible object which is known. if Koons makes the same sort of error of equivocation, I'm not interested

    The quotes support the distinction which I claim. This one for example: "and yet the distinction between their being remains." and this one: "identical in character with its object without being the object." "Identical in character" means identical in type, as is the case with intelligible objects, but this does not mean identical as in the same as the form of the particular object.

    I am sorry that you cannot see that one and the same act makes the object's intelligibility known and the mind informed. I cannot make it any clearer than I have: the subject knowing is inseparable from the object being known.Dfpolis

    See, you are equivocating between 'intelligible' object and 'sensible' object. Of course the knowing subject is inseparable from the (intelligible) object known, because without that intelligible object, the subject would be not-knowing. But this says absolutely nothing about the knowing subject's relation with the sensible object. So to proceed toward any conclusions about the knower's relation to the form of the material object (sensible object) would be through equivocation only.

    It is entirely relevant, as your Kantian commitments prevent you from understanding Aristotle, and through him, the nature of knowledge.Dfpolis

    Wow, that's the first time I've been called a Kantian. And, Fooloso4 says my Thomistic commitments prevent me from understanding Aristotle. it's a strange world we live in.

    That is not a fair accounting. I have quoted Aristotle extensively where I think he does not support your thesis.Paine

    I agree that you've produced many, what I called "random" quotes. I called them random because I could not see how they were supposed to relate to any objection to what I said. And, when I asked you to explain what you were trying to say with these quotes, you never did. I find it a very odd form of discourse, to just produce a random order of out of context quotes, with no explanation.

    I am no expert in the matter. It is obvious that we both have read a lot of primary text. I appreciate anyone who has made that effort. I am not making accusations but saying why your view does not make sense to me.Paine

    I also appreciate the fact that you have much experience with the text. In our last discussion on Aristotle, you gave me some indication as to what aspects of my perspective did not make sense to you. I think it seemed to be related to the active intellect and the immortality of the soul. Those are difficult subjects and ones not expressed clearly by Aristotle at all, so I think we can only approach these from different angles, which you and I demonstrate. In this thread, you haven't really indicated what it is I am saying which doesn't make sense to you. The quotes you produce seem mostly consistent with what I am saying (unlike fooloso4 who will scour the texts seeking anything which appears to contradict me), so I can't find your point of disagreement here. Still you claim to disagree.


    The job of a good philosopher is to rip apart in analysis, the work of the other philosophers, seeking what you call the "true position". The "true position" would be what, from that philosopher's texts, resonates within one's own true being. Otherwise we just follow what someone else says about the philosophy of the other, and we become part of the mob following not the philosopher, but the person who says something about the philosopher.

    I gave up at ‘there’s a unique form for every particular’.Wayfarer

    At least dfpolis agrees with me on that point, calling it the actuality of the material thing. Without a unique and particular form, a supposed unique and particular thing has no actual existence as a unique and particular thing, and we lose our grounding for realism and truth concerning the material world.
  • Paine
    1.9k

    I hate this piecemeal sort of reply.
    If a comment is not worth a separate effort, then it is just an idea you see amongst other ideas.
    I get enough of that at work.
  • Fooloso4
    5.3k
    I gave up at ‘there’s a unique form for every particular’.Wayfarer

    This is so twisted I did not even bother to attempt to straighten in out. Once again, typically, it is not clear whether he thinks this is what Aristotle was claiming or if he thinks he is correcting him.

    I don't think Aristotle would have let him within 100 yards of the Lyceum.

    [Correction. I did make the attempt. Repeatedly, through various iterations. For a moment I forgot while trying to straighten out the most recent tangles.]
  • Wayfarer
    20.4k
    Something the readers of this thread might enjoy (and apologies to Dfpolis for gatecrashing) - an excellent review from Edward Feser on a contemporary Platonist philosopher, Jerrold Katz.
  • Dfpolis
    1.3k
    You quoted only one premise of the argument, the other stated the actuality. If X then Y. (Possibility). X (Actuality). Therefore Y (conclusion).Metaphysician Undercover
    This is modal nonsense. Possible errors do not imply actual falsity.

    Each bit of knowledge is a judgement, and a description involves a bunch of judgements. But this doesn't really affect the issue. The description is still a matter of judgement, but instead of being one judgement it's a multitude of judgements, which is really what i meant anyway. I didn't mean to imply that an entire description consists of only one judgement.Metaphysician Undercover
    No. First, there is knowing by acquaintance. It is not judgement, but an inchoate awareness of intelligibility. Second, we may parse or divide that awareness, abstracting property concepts. Judgement is a third movement of mind in which we reunite what we have abstracted, to form propositional knowledge. Thus, the abstraction (or knowing) of intrinsic property concepts is a necessary precondition for judgements about objects, and it is these abstracted concepts we compare to definitions in category judgements.

    We never judge "A is B" in any unqualified way. We say "A is A", and "B is B", but not "A is B" because these two are different.Metaphysician Undercover
    Nonsense. We judge <This something (what I am experiencing) is a scorpion>. The concept <What I am experiencing> is not the concept <scorpion>. Similarly, we might judge <This something is six-legged> on our way to judging <This something is an insect>.

    Your Lockean prejudices make you think that we know ideas, rather than objects, in the first instance. Yet, <This something is six-legged> is not a comparison of concepts, but of the source of concepts. The judgement means that the object that elicits the concept <This something> is the identical object that elicits <six-legged> -- not that the concept <This something> is identically the concept <six-legged>.

    As per your definition of judging, every bit of knowledge is a judgementMetaphysician Undercover
    No. Knowledge as acquaintance is not propositional knowledge. It is prior to the act of judgement and the consequent propositional knowledge.

    We need to allow that "judgement" requires knowledge, and can only be made after knowledge has accumulated, but this would undermine your argument of how judgement relates to description.Metaphysician Undercover
    Yes, we need knowledge as acquaintance to make judgements. So we need to know intrinsic properties prior to judging their type. This does not undermine my account of descriptions.

    Sorry, I cannot grasp this at all. I've never heard of "essential causality".Metaphysician Undercover
    That is why I defined it for you. It is an essential concept in classical metaphysics, developed by Aristotle, not me. The terminology is Scholastic. You can look it up in my book.

    But what's the point to this?Metaphysician Undercover
    To help you understand how humans actually come to know.

    I don't see how it shows that at all.Metaphysician Undercover
    That is unfortunate. No one can make you see it. Either you can understand it, or you cannot.

    Obviously he is talking about intelligible objects here, not sensible objectsMetaphysician Undercover
    The same reasoning applies to both, as both instantiate the identity of action and passion discussed in Physics III, 3. I can show and explain Aristotle's insights. I cannot make you understand or accept them.

    if Koons makes the same sort of error of equivocation, I'm not interestedMetaphysician Undercover
    I suggest that you reflect on the state of mind called "invincible ignorance" in which the will closes the mind to evidence that would undermine a prior belief.

    The quotes support the distinction which I claim. This one for example: "and yet the distinction between their being remains." and this one: "identical in character with its object without being the object."Metaphysician Undercover
    I never claimed that the subject as a whole becomes the object as a whole. So, these statements present no problem for me. On the other hand, the statements of intellectual identity are incompatible with your Kantianism.

    you are equivocating between 'intelligible' object and 'sensible' object.Metaphysician Undercover
    Nego.

    this says absolutely nothing about the knowing subject's relation with the sensible object.Metaphysician Undercover
    Yes, it does, because the vehicle of intelligibility is the phantasm or neural state encoding sensory content -- and it is identically the action of the sensible on our nervous system. So, it is the form or first actuality of the object, as expressed in the object's action (its second actuality), that the intellect grasps.

    Wow, that's the first time I've been called a Kantian.Metaphysician Undercover
    It is the first time I've seen you appealing to Kant. Had you done so earlier, I would have pointed it out earlier. Do you prefer "closet Kantian"?

    it's a strange world we live in.Metaphysician Undercover
    Inconsistency can do that.
  • Paine
    1.9k
    In this thread, you haven't really indicated what it is I am saying which doesn't make sense to you.Metaphysician Undercover

    I did so here in response to:

    There is nothing to indicate that the world might be eternal. and everything indicates that there is potentiality and actuality. So that possibility, that the world is eternal and there no potentiality or actuality is easily excluded as unreal.Metaphysician Undercover

    This does not make sense of much of what Aristotle has said. I am getting off the merry-go-round now. You do not recognize my efforts as efforts. I will make no more of them.
  • Fooloso4
    5.3k
    You do not recognize my efforts as efforts.Paine

    But others do recognize them as a valuable contribution here and elsewhere. You have shown more patience over the years with certain people, and are far more polite than I am, but we all have our limits.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    12.3k
    Possible errors do not imply actual falsity.Dfpolis

    Your categories are very confused Df. We were not talking about falsity, we were talking about identity. Your claim is that the form in the knower is the same as the form of the known sensible object. My argument is that the possibility that the form in the knower is mistaken indicates that they are not the same. There is no need to show actual mistake in any particular instance, to refute your claim. The premise that there is a possibility of mistake in any instance of the form in the knower, in its representation as the form of the sensible object, indicates that the two "forms" are not the same.

    Please address the argument as it stands, and quit with your strawman misrepresentations. The argument does not move from what is possible to conclude what is actual. It is a refutation of your claim of what is actual. And it refutes your claim by moving from what is possible to conclude what is impossible. And the conclusion is that what you claim, is impossible.

    No. First, there is knowing by acquaintance. It is not judgement, but an inchoate awareness of intelligibility. Second, we may parse or divide that awareness, abstracting property concepts. Judgement is a third movement of mind in which we reunite what we have abstracted, to form propositional knowledge. Thus, the abstraction (or knowing) of intrinsic property concepts is a necessary precondition for judgements about objects, and it is these abstracted concepts we compare to definitions in category judgements.Dfpolis

    OK, so in relations to the sense object, you say that there is first awareness, second a sort of analysis, which is to divide the "awareness", and third a sort of synthesis, which is to reunite abstracted parts to form propositional knowledge. "Judgement" you confine to this described synthesis, and you deny that the analysis portion ought to be called judgement.

    Let me ask you now, what is this "awareness" which is divided in the second stage? What is the content? Obviously, you would not be talking about the sense object itself being divided, in this process of abstraction, it is the "awareness" of it which is being divided. Where does this awareness come from, and how does it exist? Would you agree that the "awareness" you speak of here, from which properties are abstracted is a property of the sensing subject, and not a property of the object sensed? How then is the "form" which comes from this abstraction "the same form" as the "form" which we call the actuality of the sense object?

    Your Lockean prejudicesDfpolis

    First I was Kantian in my bias, now I'm Lockean.

    our Lockean prejudices make you think that we know ideas, rather than objects, in the first instance. Yet, <This something is six-legged> is not a comparison of concepts, but of the source of concepts. The judgement means that the object that elicits the concept <This something> is the identical object that elicits <six-legged> -- not that the concept <This something> is identically the concept <six-legged>.Dfpolis

    By your own description above, it is not the sense object which elicits the concept, it is "awareness" of the object which does that. Awareness is a property of the subject not the object. So you are being inconsistent, unless "object" now refers to that property which the subject has as "awareness". Now, don't equivocate with "object" and say that this object which is a property of the subject, and is divided in analysis and abstraction is "the same" as the sense object.

    So we need to know intrinsic properties prior to judging their type.Dfpolis

    Let's place these "intrinsic properties" now, which you keep referring to. Since the content, "awareness" is what is abstracted in the described analysis process, the "intrinsic properties" are intrinsic to the awareness. Do you agree?

    I suggest that you reflect on the state of mind called "invincible ignorance" in which the will closes the mind to evidence that would undermine a prior belief.Dfpolis

    I am well exposed to this phenomena, having spent much time here at "The Philosophy Forum". You, are turning out to be a fine example. Maybe you'll address the above in a reasonable way, rather than totally misrepresenting all the evidence and arguments against your prior belief, as you are starting to do, and turn your ship around.

    Yes, it does, because the vehicle of intelligibility is the phantasm or neural state encoding sensory content -- and it is identically the action of the sensible on our nervous system. So, it is the form or first actuality of the object, as expressed in the object's action (its second actuality), that the intellect grasps.Dfpolis

    Again, you are being inconsistent. According to your explanation above, (2) is not "sensory content", it is "awareness". And, it would be completely wrong to classify "awareness" as simply "sensory content", because awareness consists of many things, including memories (past) and anticipations (future).

    You need to respect your own premises, and see how they are not consistent with your conclusions. The behaviour which you are starting to demonstrate though, is that you simply alter and reproduce your premises in a way which is intended to support your conclusions. This will leave your premises further and further away from what you truly believe, or what anyone truly believes. That's the problem which is the manifestation of "invincible ignorance", the sufferer will continue to describe the evidence in a more and more unreal way, as the willful means of supporting prejudice.

    It is the first time I've seen you appealing to Kant. Had you done so earlier, I would have pointed it out earlier. Do you prefer "closet Kantian"?Dfpolis

    I really don't care how people classify me, but there's a lot worse names to be called than "Kantian". To me, name calling is a form of humour, to be laughed at. Perhaps that puts me on the side of the bully, who makes fun of others through name calling, but if I can't join in on the fun, where would that leave me?

    I hate this piecemeal sort of reply.Paine

    Is the following ok, even though I put it in the same post as my reply to Dfpolis?

    I did so here in response to:Paine

    The quotes in those posts showed no objection against what I had said. Eternal causes are actual, a sort of independent "form", and not natural, as I've been saying. The world, as well as the planet and stars (according to On The Heavens) are natural bodies and consist of matter. Therefore they are not eternal. Show me where you think that there is inconsistency between what I have said and what Aristotle has said, so I can determine whether this is due to your misunderstanding, my misunderstanding, or as in the case of fooloso4's references, inconsistency in the texts.

    This does not make sense of much of what Aristotle has said. I am getting off the merry-go-round now. You do not recognize my efforts as efforts. I will make no more of them.Paine

    Have you read "On The Heavens"? He spends most of the first book demonstrating how the stars and planets which move in circular orbits must be material, natural bodies, generated and destructible. Here are some conclusions stated at the ends of the chapters. Ch 5: "We have now shown that the body which moves in a circle is not endless or infinite, but has its limits." Ch 6: "That there is no infinite body may be shown, as we have shown it, by a detailed consideration of the various cases." Ch 7: "From these arguments then it is clear that the body of the universe is not infinite." Ch 8: "We have now said enough to make plain the character and number of the bodily elements, the place of each, and further, in general, how many in number, the various places are." Ch 9: "Its unceasing movement, then, is also reasonable, since everything ceases to move when it comes to its proper place, but the body whose path is the circle has one and the same place for starting-point and goal. " Following this there are three chapters dedicated to discussion of whether the heaven is generated, destructible, or not. The last lines of Ch 12: "Whatever is destructible or generated is always alterable. Now alteration is due to contraries, and the things which compose the natural body are the very same that destroy it..."
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