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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


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M etaphysics [Greek metabole , alloiosis , gignesthai or kinesis , which are also be translated by other terms, such as alteration, generation, becoming, motion and movement] Any transition to something. Aristotle analyzed three elements in a change: a pair of opposites: the lack of a character prior to the change (privation) and the character after the change (form); and the subject or substratum that underlies the opposites. He held that all change is from the potential to the actual. He also distinguished two types of change on the basis of his theory of categories . First, a non-substantial change occurs if a definite thing changes its attributes and comes to be such-and-such a thing, with the substratum of change being an individual. For example, there is a non-substantial change if a man changes from being unmusical to being musical. Non-substantial change includes change of place, qualitative change and quantitative change. Secondly, substantial change occurs if the subject itself, rather than its attributes, changes, with the substratum of change being matter. Substantial change is coming-into-being, the generation of a new composite of form and matter. Sometimes Aristotle distinguished among kinesis (non-substantial change); gignesthai (substantial change) in contrast with phthora (ceasing to be); and metabole (the whole change), but did not always observe ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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