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Text 8d: Aristotle, On the Soul, 3, 7, 431a6-7, transl. Hicks

For motion is, as we saw, an activity of that which is imperfect ; but activity in the absolute sense, that is, the activity of that which has reached perfection, is quite distinct.

γρ κίνησις το τελος νέργεια, ἡ δ’ ἁπλῶς ἐνέργεια ἑτέρα, ἡ τοῦ τετελεσμένου.


Text 8e: John Philoponus, In De anima, 3, 7, p. 558, 16 ff. Hayduck

And whenever the sense-object is present and the sense acts, the sense is brought to actuality by the presence of the sense-object. It is not through motion that it comes to be actual. Sense is not affected or altered when it is brought from potentiality of the second kind to (20) being actual. For Aristotle does not want what is brought from the second sort of potentiality to the second sort of actuality to be altered nor to be affected, so it is either not motion or another kind of motion. For if anyone wants to call this ‘motion’ let him call it another species of motion over and above those mentioned in the Physics, and introduce a new classification of nature. Then he [Aristotle] also establishes that the advance (25) from the second kind of potentiality to the second kind of actuality is not motion. For he says that ‘motion is the actuality of what is incomplete’ (for motion is transported from the incomplete to the complete, and it [the incomplete thing] is affected and altered) but what is potential in the second way is complete. The activity of things that are complete is not motion but something else besides motion. So the passage from the second sort of potentiality (30) to the second sort of actuality is not a motion but a change.

ὁπηνίκα δὲ τὸ αἰσθητὸν παρῇ καὶ ἐνεργήσῃ ἡ αἴσθησις, τότε ὑπὸ τῆς τοῦ αἰσθητοῦ παρουσίας ἄγεται εἰς ἐνέργειαν. ρχεται δ ες τ νεργεί ο δι κινήσεως· οδν γρ πάσχει οτε λλοιοται ασθησις γομένη π το δευτέρου δυνάμει ες (20) τ νεργεί. βούλεται γρ ριστοτέλης τ π το δευτέρου δυνάμει ες τ δεύτερον νεργεί γόμενον μ λλοιοσθαι μηδ πάσχειν, θεν οκ στι κίνησις λλο εδός στι κινήσεως. εἰ γάρ τις κίνησιν ἐθέλοι ταύτην λέγειν, λεγέτω ἄλλο κινήσεως εἶδος παρὰ τὰ ἐν τῇ Φυσικῇ λεχθέντα καὶ καινοτομείτω τὴν φύσιν.

εἶτα καὶ κατασκευάζει τι οκ στι κίνησις (25) π το δευτέρου δυνάμει ες τ δεύτερον νεργεί πρόοδος. φησὶ γὰρ ὅτι ἡ κίνησις τοῦ ἀτελοῦς ἐστιν ἐνέργεια (ἡ γὰρ κίνησις ἀπὸ ἀτελοῦς εἰς τέλειον φέρεται, καὶ πάσχει καὶ ἀλλοιοῦται), τ δ δεύτερον δυνάμει τέλειόν στι· τν δ τελείων νέργεια οκ στι κίνησις, λλ’ τερόν τι παρ τν κίνησιν. οκ ρα ον κίνησίς στιν π το δευτέρου δυνάμει γωγ (30) ες τ δεύτερον νεργεί, λλ μεταβολή.




Text 8f: Aristotle, On the soul 2, 5, 417a22- , translation Hicks

We must also draw a distinction in regard to the terms potentiality and actuality: at present we are using them without qualification. For instance, we may use the term knowledgeable, firstly, in the sense in which we might speak of man as knowledgeable, because man is one of the genus of beings which are knowledgeable and have knowledge ; secondly, in the sense in which we at once call the man knowledgeable who has learnt, say, grammar.

(25) Now of these two men each possesses the capacity, but in a different sense : the one because the genus to which he belongs, that is to say, his matter, is potentially knowledgeable ; the other because he is capable, if he chose, of contemplating, provided there is nothing external to hinder. Whereas he who is at the moment contemplating is in actuality and knows the object A in front of him in the proper sense of the term. Thus the first two are both potentially knowledgeable: (30) the first becomes knowledgeable actually after he has undergone qualitative change through instruction and often after transition from the reverse condition ; while in the latter case it is by (417b1) another kind of transition that the man passes from the mere possession, without the use, of sensation or grammar to the use of it (...) it is by exercise of knowledge that the possessor (5) of knowledge becomes such in actuality: and this either is no alteration (for the thing develops into its own nature and actuality), or else is alteration of a different sort. Hence it is not right to say that that which thinks is altered when it thinks any more than the builder is altered when he builds. That, then, which works the change from potential existence to actuality in a thinking and (10) intelligent being should properly receive a different name and not be called instruction : while that which learns and is brought from potential to actual knowledge by that which is in actuality and capable of instructing should either not be said to be acted upon at all, or else two modes of alteration should be assumed, one change to the dispositions of privation (15) and the other to the habits and nature.



διαιρετέον δὲ καὶ περὶ δυνάμεως καὶ ἐντελεχείας· νῦν γὰρ ἁπλῶς ἐλέγομεν περὶ αὐτῶν. ἔστι μὲν γὰρ οὕτως ἐπιστῆμόν τι ὡς ἂν εἴποιμεν ἄνθρωπον ἐπιστήμονα ὅτι ὁ ἄνθρωπος τῶν ἐπιστημόνων καὶ ἐχόντων ἐπιστήμην· ἔστι δ’ ὡς ἤδη λέγομεν ἐπιστήμονα τὸν ἔχοντα τὴν γραμματικήν·

(25) ἑκάτερος δὲ τούτων οὐ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον δυνατός ἐστιν, ἀλλ’ὁ μὲν ὅτι τὸ γένος τοιοῦτον καὶ ἡ ὕλη, ὁ δ’ ὅτι βουληθεὶς δυνατὸς θεωρεῖν, ἂν μή τι κωλύσῃ τῶν ἔξωθεν· ὁ δ’ ἤδη θεωρῶν, ἐντελεχείᾳ ὢν καὶ κυρίως ἐπιστάμενος τόδε τὸ Α. ἀμφότεροι μὲν οὖν οἱ πρῶτοι, κατὰ δύναμιν ἐπιστή­μονες (30) <ὄντες, ἐνεργείᾳ γίνονται ἐπιστή­μονες,> ἀλλ’ μν δι μαθήσεως λλοι­ωθες καὶ πολλάκις ἐξ ἐναντίας μεταβαλὼν ἕξεως, ὁ δ’ ἐκ τοῦ ἔχειν τὴν ἀριθμητικὴν (417b.) ἢ τὴν γραμματικήν, μὴ ἐνεργεῖν δέ, εἰς τὸ ἐνεργεῖν, ἄλλοντρόπον (...) θεωροῦν γὰρ γίνεται τὸ ἔχον (5) τὴν ἐπιστήμην,



περ οκ στιν λλοιοσθαι (ες ατ γρ πίδοσις κα ες ντελέχειαν) τερον γένος λλοιώσεως. δι ο καλς χει λέγειν τ φρονον, ταν φρον, λλοιοσθαι, σπερ οδ τν οκοδόμον ταν οκοδομ. τὸ μὲν οὖν εἰς ἐντελέχειαν ἄγειν ἐκ δυνάμει ὄντος [κατὰ] τὸ νοοῦν καὶ (10) φρονοῦν οὐ διδασκαλίαν ἀλλ’ ἑτέραν ἐπωνυμίαν ἔχειν δίκαιον· τὸ δ’ ἐκ δυνάμει ὄντος μανθάνον καὶ λαμβάνον ἐπιστήμην ὑπὸ τοῦ ἐντελεχείᾳ ὄντος καὶ διδασκαλικοῦ ἤτοι οὐδὲ πάσχειν φατέον, [ὥσπερ εἴρηται,] ἢ δύο τρόπους εἶναι ἀλλοιώσεως, τήν τε ἐπὶ τὰς στερητικὰς διαθέσεις μεταβολὴν (15) καὶ τὴν ἐπὶ τὰς ἕξεις καὶ τὴν φύσιν.



Text 9: Themistius, In Phys., 3, 1, p. 68, 30 ff. Schenkl, translation M. Chase

Let it be stated with regard to what has been said that motion is one of those things that has many meanings. In addition, that each of these things in which we said motion (30) is present, exists and is spoken of in two ways, either as better or worse. In the case of substance, this double aspect appears as form and privation, in the case of quantity, one aspect is perfect and the other imperfect, and in the case of quality, one thing is black (69, 1) and the other white, or any other of the contraries ; in the case of place one thing is above and the other below. Now since motion is nothing else apart from these things, it too would rightly be double in every genus. We shall state how this is true in what follows. For the moment, let us say what motion is, making use of what has been determined. First of all, we postulated that it is present in every genus (5) of being in which ‘in actuality’ and ‘in potentiality’ is to be found. I say, then, that motion is the entelechy of what is movable, insofar as it is such. Why has ‘insofar as it is such’ been added ? So that it may come to be in entelechy while the potentiality, of which it is the entelechy, remains and is preserved. The entelechy of each thing is twofold, as in the case of bronze, which is potentially a statue. There is entelechy (10) of it both when it is becoming a statue, and when it has already become one. Yet this latter actualization without the potentiality according to which it was capable of becoming a statue being preserved : for it already is one, and it no longer has the potentiality. Therefore, this is the perfection, not of the potentiality — how could it be, since it destroys it ? — but of the thing in which the potentiality was present. The first-mentioned entelechy, in accordance (15) with which it became a statue, if it preserves the potentiality, I call such an entelechy motion and the perfection of the potentiality, for every perfection preserves what it perfects. For as long as the potentiality is preserved, the motion is also preserved, but once the former has ceased the latter ceases as well. But the potentiality ceases when the form and the shape supervene (...)
Motion, then, is twofold in each genus (...) That motion is such is also clear from another example. When what is buildable comes to be being built in actuality, still maintaining its (p. 70, 1) potentiality, then it is in motion, but once it has been completely built, it henceforth neither preserves its potentiality nor is it in motion. If, then, the entelechy of the buildable, while it remains buildable, is the process of building, and the process of building is a motion, the entelechy of the buildable qua buildable is a motion, and hence of the increasable qua increasable and of the transportable qua transportable. By substitution, one can also (5) say that motion is the first actuality of what exists potentially: for the last one is the change into form in which it is henceforth at rest, but the first one is the journey toward , a journey which is still motion. But since we also call the form an entelechy, and in the proper and absolute sense, it is clear that the journey toward form is toward the entelechy that is in the proper sense and absolute. Therefore, it is not entelechy (10) in the absolute sense ; how could it be, since it is an entelechy that journeys toward such , but is imperfect ? Thus, motion is an entelechy neither in the proper nor in the absolute sense, but qua imperfect.

But it is not also an imperfect activity, but qua activity it is perfect.

Κείσθω δὴ καὶ τοῦτο πρὸς τοῖς εἰρημένοις τὴν κίνησιν εἶναι τῶν πολλαχῶς λεγομένων. ἔτι πρὸς τούτοις, ὅτι τούτων ἕκαστον ἐν οἷς εἴπομεν (30) εἶναι τὴν κίνησιν, διχς στί τι κα λέγεται ἢ ὡς ἄμεινον ἢ ὡς φαυλότερον. ἐπὶ μὲν οὖν τῆς οὐσίας τὸ διττὸν τὸ εἶδος καὶ ἡ στέρησις, ἐπὶ δὲ τοῦ ποσοῦ τὸ μὲν τέλειον τὸ δὲ ἀτελές, ἐπὶ δὲ τοῦ ποιοῦ τὸ μὲν μέλαν (69.) τὸ δὲ λευκὸν ἢ ἕτερα ἄττα τῶν ἐναντίων, ἐπὶ δὲ τοῦ τόπου τὸ μὲν ἄνω τὸ δὲ κάτω. ἐπεὶ τοίνυν καὶ ἡ κίνησις οὐδὲν ἄλλο παρὰ ταῦτά ἐστιν, εἰκότως καὶ αὐτὴ διττή τις ἂν εἴη καθ’ ἕκαστον γένος. πῶς δὲ ἕξει τοῦτο, ἐν τοῖς ἐφεξῆς ἐροῦμεν·
νῦν δὲ ἀποδῶμεν, τί ἐστιν κίνησις, προσχρώμενοι τοῖς ὡρισμένοις. ἔκειτο δὴ πρῶτον ἡμῖν καθ’ ἕκαστον γένος (5) τῶν ὄντων εἶναι, οἷς ἐνυπάρχει καὶ τὸ ἐντελεχείᾳ καὶ τὸ δυνάμει. λέγω τοίνυν κίνησιν εναι τν το δυνάμει κινητο ντελέχειαν τοιοτον. τί οὖν πρόσκειται ‘ᾗ τοιοῦτον’; να ντελέχεια γένηται μενούσης τι κα σζομένης τς δυνάμεως, σπερ ν ντελέχεια· διττὴ γὰρ ἐφ’ ἑκάστου ἡ ἐντελέχεια, οἷον ἐπὶ τοῦ χαλκοῦ τοῦ δυνάμει ἀνδριάντος· ἐντελέχεια γὰρ (10) αὐτοῦ ἐστιν καὶ ὅταν γίνηται ἀνδριάς, ἐντελέχεια καὶ ὅταν γένηται ἤδη. ἀλλ’ αὕτη μὲν ἡ ἐντελέχεια οὐκέτι σῳζομένης ἔτι92 τῆς δυνάμεως καθ’ἣν ἠδύνατο γενέσθαι ἀνδριάς. ἤδη γάρ ἐστιν καὶ οὐκέτι ἔχει τὸ δυνάμει, διὸ καὶ τελειότης οὐ τῆς δυνάμεως αὕτη (πῶς γὰρ ἣν φθείρει;), ἀλλὰ τοῦ πράγματος ἐν ᾧ ἡ δύναμις ἦν.

ἡ δὴ πρότερον ῥηθεῖσα ἐντελέχεια καθ’ (15) ἣν ἐγίνετο ἀνδριάς, ε τ δυνάμει διαφυλάττει, τν τοιαύτην ντελέ­χειαν κίνησιν λέγω καὶ τελειότητα τῆς δυνάμεως. πᾶσα γὰρ τελειότης σῴζει ὃ τελειοῖ· ως μν γρ δύναμις σζεται, σζεται κα κίνησις, παυσαμένης δ παύεται. παύεται δ δύναμις, νίκα ν τ εδος πιγένηται κα μορφή (...).



διχς ον κίνησις καθ’ καστον γένος· (...) ὅτι δὲ τοιοῦτόν ἐστιν ἡ κίνησις, δῆλον καὶ ἐξ ἄλλου παραδείγματος. τὸ γὰρ οἰκοδομητὸν ὅταν ἐνεργείᾳ γένηται οἰκοδομούμενον, σῷζον ἔτι καὶ τὸ (70.) δυνάμει, τότε κινεῖται, ὡς ὅταν γε οἰκοδομηθῇ παντελῶς, οὔτε τὸ δυνάμει σῴζει λοιπὸν οὔτε κινεῖται. εἰ οὖν ἡ τοῦ οἰκοδομητοῦ ἐντελέχεια μένοντος οἰκοδομητοῦ οἰκοδόμησίς ἐστιν, ἡ δὲ οἰκοδόμησις κίνησις, το οκοδομητο ρα ς οκοδομητο ντελέχεια κίνησίς στι καὶ ἡ τοῦ αὐξητοῦ ἄρα ὡς αὐξητοῦ καὶ ἡ τοῦ φορητοῦ ὡς φορητοῦ. στι δ κα μεταλαμβάνοντα (5)επεν κίνησιν εναι τν το δυνάμει ντος πρώτην ντελέχειαν· ὑστάτη μὲν γὰρ ἡ εἰς τὸ εἶδος μεταβολὴ ἐν ᾧ ἠρεμεῖ λοιπόν, πρώτη δ π’ κενο πορεία τις τι κίνησίς στιν.

ἀλλ’ ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸ εἶδος ἐντελέχειαν λέγομεν τὴν κυρίως τε καὶ ἁπλῶς, δῆλον ς π τ εδος πορεία στν π’ ντελέχειαν τν κυρίως τε κα πλς. οὐκοῦν οὐδὲ ἁπλῶς (10) ἐντελέχεια. πῶς γὰρ ἡ ἐπὶ τὴν τοσαύτην πορευομένη ἀλλ’ ἀτελὴς ἐντελέχεια; οτως ον κίνησις ντελέχεια οχ ς κυρίως οδ πλς, λλ’ ς τελής.



ο μν κα νέργεια τελής, ἀλλ’ ὡς ἐνέργεια τέλειος.


Text 9b: Aristotle, Al-Ṭabī‘a, p. 171, 8-13 Badawi, quoted by A. Hasnawi 1994, p. 65 n. 27

By perfection (i.e., actualization), he (Aristotle) means here the coming forth of what is potential to actuality, not the completion, such that what is in potentiality would be annulled and what is in actuality would be realized — but rather [the perfection] such that potentiality, remaining stable, persistent, and essential, might act. Indeed, that is when motion takes place (...)

Perfection is twofold : first and last. The last is the arrival at actualization of what is in potentiality, the first is the journey toward the last perfection, with potentiality being preserved along with it, and this is motion.



Innamā ya‘nī bi-l-kamāli fī hāḏa al-ma‘nā al-ḫurūja mimmā bi-l-quwwati ilā al-fi‘li, lā al-tamāma fa-yabṭulu mā bi-l-quwwati wa yaḥṣulu mā bi-l-fi‘li, bal ‘alā anna al-quwwata ba‘du ṯābitatun bāqiyatun ḏātiyyatun taf‘alu. fa-inna ‘inda ḏālika takūnu al-ḥarakatu (...)
Al-kamālu kamālāni : awwalun wa aḫīrun. Fa-l-aḫīru huwa intihā’ū mā bi-l-quwwati ilā-l-fi‘li, wa-l-awwalu huwa al-taṭarruqu ilā al-kamāli al-aḫīri wa al-quwwatu takūnu ma‘ahu maḥfūẓatan wa huwa al-ḥarakatu.


Text 10a: Aristotle, Physics, 1, 3, 186a4 ff., trans. Hardie-Gaye

For both of them reason contentiously –  I mean both Melissus and Parmenides. [Their premisses are false and their conclusions do not follow. Or rather the argument of Melissus is gross and palpable and offers no difficulty at all : admit one ridiculous proposition and the rest follow, a simple enough proceeding] The fallacy of (10) Melissus is obvious. For he supposes that the assumption “what has come into being always has a beginning” justifies the assumption “what has not come into being has no beginning”. Then this also is absurd, that in every case there should be a beginning of the thing – not of the time and not only in the case of coming to be in the full sense but also in the case of alteration – as if change never took (15) place all at once.

ἀμφότεροι γὰρ ἐριστικῶς συλλογίζονται, καὶ Μέλισσος καὶ Παρμενίδης [καὶ γὰρ ψευδῆ λαμβάνουσι καὶ ἀσυλλόγιστοί εἰσιν αὐτῶν οἱ λόγοι· μᾶλλον δ’ ὁ Μελίσσου φορτικὸς καὶ οὐκ ἔχων ἀπορίαν, ἀλλ’ ἑνὸς ἀτόπου δοθέντος τἆλλα συμβαίνει· τοῦτο δ’ οὐθὲν χαλεπόν]. ὅτι μὲν οὖν πα- (10) ραλογίζεται Μέλισσος, δῆλον· οἴεται γὰρ εἰληφέναι, εἰ τὸ γενόμενον ἔχει ἀρχὴν ἅπαν, ὅτι καὶ τὸ μὴ γενόμενον οὐκ ἔχει. εἶτα καὶ τοῦτο ἄτοπον, τὸ παντὸς εἶναι ἀρχήν—τοῦ πράγματος καὶ μὴ τοῦ χρόνου, καὶ γενέσεως μὴ τῆς ἁπλῆς ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀλλοιώσεως, σπερ οκ θρόας γιγνο- (15) μένης μεταβολς.



Text 10b: Aristotle, Physics, 8, 3, 253b6-26

...there cannot be a continuous process either of increase or of decrease: that which comes between the two has to be included.

(...) It is evident, then, that from the fact that the decrease is divisible into an infinite number of parts it does not follow that some part must always be passing away : it all passes away at a particular moment. Similarly, too, in the case of any alteration whatever, if that which suffers alteration is infinitely divisible it does not follow from this that the same is true of the alteration itself, which often occurs all at once, as in (25) freezing.



...οὔτε γὰρ αὐξάνεσθαι οὔτε φθίνειν οἷόν τε συνεχῶς, ἀλλ’ ἔστι καὶ τὸ μέσον.
(...) φανερὸν οὖν ὡς οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον ἀεί τι ἀπιέναι, ὅτι διαιρεῖται ἡ φθίσις εἰς ἄπειρα, ἀλλ’ ὅλον ποτὲ ἀπιέναι. ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἐπ’ ἀλλοιώσεως ὁποιασοῦν· οὐ γὰρ εἰ μεριστὸν εἰς ἄπειρα τὸ ἀλλοιούμενον, διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡ ἀλλοίωσις, λλ’ θρόα γίγνεται πολλάκις, σπερ π- (25) ξις.


Text 10c: Aristotle, De sensu, 6, 446b28-447a13

Local movements, of course, arrive first at a point midway before reaching their goal (...), but we cannot go on to assert this [arrival at a point midway] in like manner of things which undergo qualitative change. For this kind of alteration may conceivably take place in a thing all at once, without one half of it being changed before the other ; e.g. it is conceivable that water should be frozen simultaneously in every part.

αἱ μὲν γὰρ φοραὶ εὐλόγως εἰς τὸ μεταξὺ πρῶτον ἀφικνοῦνται (...), ὅσα δ’ ἀλλοιοῦται, οὐκέτι ὁμοίως· νδέχεται γρ θρόον λλοιοσθαι, καὶ μὴ τὸ ἥμισυ πρότερον, οον τ δωρ μα πν πήγνυσθαι.



Text 11: Alexander of Aphrodisias, On form and the fact that it is the perfection and accomplishment of motion according to Aristotle, p. 289-290 Badawi = p. 66 Hasnawi 1994

We now return and say that that of motion, some is incomplete and some is perfect, and imperfect motion is an effect (Greek pathos), that is, an accidental quality of the thing. But perfect motion is form, that is, the perfection and completion of the thing, and this is what the Philosopher in his Book of physical audition calls entelechy (anṭālāšyā). The meaning of this term is the flight (al-harabu) of what is potential and possible to perfection and completion,93 which are the form of the thing.

fa-narji‘u al-āna fa-naqūlu inna mina al-ḥarakati mā hiyya nāqiṣatun wa minḥā mā hiyya tāmmatun. fa-ammā al-ḥarakatu al-nāqiṣatu fa-hiyya al-aṯaru a‘nī kayfiyyata al-šay’i al-‘āriḍata. wa ammā al-ḥarakatu al-tāmmatu [...] fa hiya al-ṣūratu a‘nī tamāma wa kamālahu wa hiyya allatī sammāhā al-faylasūfu fī kitābihi allaḏī yud‘ā Kitābu al-samā‘ī al-ṭabi‘iyyi anṭālāšyā, wa ma‘nā hāḏā al-ismi harabu al-quwwati wa-l-imkāni ilā al-tamāmi wa-l-kamāli allaḏī huwwa ṣūratu al-šay‘i.


Text 12: Proclus, On the Eternity of the World, apud Philoponus, aet. mundi., p. 55, 22 ff. Rabe, trans. Lang & Macro 2001, p. 51

The Fouth Argument of Proclus the Successor.

Fourth. Each thing generated from a cause that is unmoved (25) according to its substantial reality is unmoved. For if the maker (p. 56, 1 Rabe) is unmoved, he is unchanged, and if unchanged, then he produces by virtue of his very being, given that he shifts neither from making to not making nor from not making to making. For if he shifts, he will experience change in the very transition from the one to the other, and were he to experience change, he would (5) not be unmoved. If therefore something is unmoved, it will either never make or always make ; otherwise, whenever it does make, it would be moved. Consequently, if something unmoved is a cause of something, causing neither never nor sometimes, then it is always a cause, and if so, it is the cause of something perpetual.

If the cause of the all (10) is unmoved – for if it were moved, it would be earlier incomplete and later complete (since every motion is incomplete actuality) and furthermore would need time to bring time into being — then the all must be perpetual, because it come to be from an unmoved cause. Consequently, if someone, intending to pay respect to (15) the cause of the all, should say that the cause alone is perpetual and the cosmos is not perpetual, he asserts that its cause is moved rather than unmoved. By calling the cause moved rather than unmoved, he says that it is not always complete but is at one time incomplete, because every motion (20) is incomplete actuality and so needs something inferior (I mean time) because of its being moved ; yet because he says it is sometimes incomplete and not always complete, i.e., needing something inferior, he in fact shows great disrepect.


Πρόκλου διαδόχου λόγος τέταρτος.

“Τέταρτος· πᾶν τὸ ἐξ ἀκινήτου γινόμενον αἰτίου (25) κατὰ τὴν ὕπαρξιν ἀκίνητόν ἐστιν· εἰ γὰρ τὸ ποιοῦν (56.) ἀκίνητον, ἀμετά­βλητόν ἐστιν, εἰ δὲ ἀμετάβλητον, αὐτῷ τῷ εἶναι94 ποιεῖ μὴ μεταβαῖνον ἐκ τοῦ ποιεῖν εἰς τὸ μὴ ποιεῖν μηδὲ ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ποιεῖν εἰς τὸ ποιεῖν· μεταβαῖνον γὰρ ἕξει μεταβολὴν αὐτὴν τὴν ἐκ θατέρου μετάβασιν εἰς θάτερον, εἰ δὲ ἕξει μεταβολήν, οὐκ ἂν (5) εἴη ἀκίνητον. εἴ τι ἄρα ἀκίνητόν ἐστιν, ἢ οὐδέποτε ποιήσει ἢ ἀεί, ἵνα μὴ διὰ τὸ ποτὲ ποιεῖν κινῆται. στ’, ε τι κίνητον ατιόν στίν τινος, οτε οδέποτε ατιον ν οτε ποτέ, εη ν ε ατιον, ε δ τοτο, ιδίου στν ατιον.


εἰ τοίνυν τὸ αἴτιον τοῦ παντὸς (10) ἀκίνητόν ἐστιν, ἵνα μὴ κινούμενον ἀτελὲς ᾖ πρότερον ὕστερον δὲ τέλειον (πσα γρ κίνησις νέργειά στιν τελής) καὶ ἵνα μὴ κινούμενον χρόνου δέηται χρόνον παράγον, ἀνάγκη τὸ πᾶν ἀίδιον εἶναι ἀπὸ αἰτίου ἀκινήτου γιγνόμενον. ὥστε, εἴ τις εὐσεβεῖν οἰόμενος εἰς (15) τὸν αἴτιον τοῦ παντὸς ἐκεῖνον λέγοι μόνον ἀίδιον τὸν δὲ κόσμον οὐκ ἀίδιον, τοῦτον λέγων οὐκ ἀίδιον ἐκεῖνον ἀποφαίνει κινούμενον ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἀκίνητον· κινούμενον δὲ λέγων καὶ οὐκ ἀκίνητον οὐκ ἀεὶ λέγει τέλειον ἀλλὰ ποτὲ καὶ ἀτελῆ δι τ πσαν εναι κίνησιν (20) νέργειαν τελ καὶ ἐνδεᾶ τοῦ χείρονος (λέγω δὴ τοῦ χρόνου) δι’ αὐτὸ τὸ κινεῖσθαι, ποτὲ δὲ ἀτελῆ λέγων καὶ οὐκ ἀεὶ τέλειον καὶ ἐνδεᾶ τοῦ χείρονος ἀσεβεῖ διαφερόντως·”





Text 13: Philoponus, aet. mundi, 4, 4, p. 64, 22-65, 26 Rabe, translation Share (mod.)

It is, I believe, clear to everyone that it is not right to suppose that God's producing, or activity in general, is motion when it brings everything into substantification95 just by willing it and has no need of time or any extension (25) for the substantification of realities. For it is not the case that every activity is immediately (p. 65, 1) also a motion, for activity, according to Aristotle, has a broader extension than motion. For he says that activity is of two kinds, complete and incomplete. Incomplete activity is, he says, motion. For, according to him, motion is change from first potentiality (5) to state (hexis). This is how he defines it in book three of the Physics : ‘motion is the actualization of what potentially is, qua such’. By ‘actualization’ (entelekheia) he means the actual (autên) actuality and perfection of the potential. So motion (10) is incomplete actuality. By complete activity, on the other hand, he means instantaneous projection from a state (hexis) without the state being altered in any way. Instantaneous projection is production that does not proceed with the motion of time but happens in the now, like the emanation of light from a source (15) of illumination ; for as soon as a source of illumination such as a fire or the sun is visible, everything with an aptitude for it is instantaneously illuminated. Of this kind too is the activity of seeing : we intemporally perceive sensible objects the moment we look at them. It is for this reason that Aristotle (20) denies that the senses are in motion during the perception of sensible objects. Nor is the activity of the mind motion ; it touches the objects of thought (ta noêta) instantaneously and without any extension. If, then, the activity of these is timeless, and on that account complete and not motion, how could
dare to say (25) that the activity of God is motion?

δʹ. Ὅτι δὲ οὐ θέμις τὴν ποίησιν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ὅλως τὴν ἐνέργειαν κίνησιν ὑποτίθεσθαι αὐτῷ μόν τ θέλειν πάντα παράγουσαν κα χρόνου διαστάσεώς τινος ες οσίωσιν τν πραγμάτων μ δεομένην, (25) παντὶ δῆλον οἶμαι. οδ γρ πσα νέργεια εθς (65.) κα κίνησίς στιν· ἐπιπλέον γὰρ ἡ ἐνέργεια τῆς κινήσεως, ὡς Ἀριστοτέλει δοκεῖ. διττὴν γὰρ εἶναί φησιν τὴν ἐνέργειαν, τὴν μὲν τελείαν, τὴν δὲ ἀτελῆ. τν μν ον τελ νέργειαν κίνησιν εναί φησιν· στιν γρ κατ’ ατν κίνησις π το πρώτου δυνάμει (5) π τν ξιν μεταβολή· οὕτως γὰρ αὐτὴν ἐν τῷ τρίτῳ λόγῳ τῆς φυσικῆς ἀκροάσεως ὡρίσατο, ὅτι ἔστιν ἡ κίνησις ἐντελέχεια τοῦ δυνάμει ὄντος, ᾗ τοιοῦτόν ἐστιν. ἐντελέχειαν δέ φησιν αὐτὴν τὴν τῆς δυνάμεως ἐνέργειάν τε καὶ τελείωσιν. οτω μν ον τελής στιν (10) νέργεια κίνησις. τελείαν δὲ ἐνέργειάν φησιν εἶναι τὴν ἀθρόαν ἀπὸ τῆς ἕξεως προβολὴν μηδὲν ἀλλοιοτέρας γινομένης τῆς ἕξεως.
θρόα δέ στιν προβολ μ συμπροϊοσα τ κινήσει το χρόνου λλ’ ν τ νν γιγνομένη, οἵα ἐστὶν ἡ τοῦ φωτὸς ἐκ τοῦ φωτί (15) ζοντος πρόοδος· ἅμα γὰρ τῷ φανῆναι τὸ φωτιστικὸν οἷον τὸ πῦρ ἢ τὸν ἥλιον ἀθρόον πᾶν τὸ ἐπιτήδειον καταλάμπεται. τοιαύτη ἐστὶν καὶ ἡ τῆς ὄψεως ἐνέργεια· ἅμα γὰρ τῷ ἀναβλέψαι ἀχρόνως τῶν αἰσθητῶν ἀντιλαμβανόμεθα. ὅθεν οὐδὲ τὰς αἰσθήσεις ὁ Ἀρι- (20) στοτέλης κινεῖσθαί φησιν ἐν τῇ τῶν αἰσθητῶν ἀντιλήψει. ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ ἡ τοῦ νοῦ ἐνέργεια κίνησίς ἐστιν· ἀθρόως γὰρ καὶ ἄνευ τινὸς διαστάσεως τοῦ νοητοῦ θιγγάνει. ε ον τούτων νέργεια χρονος κα δι τοτο τελεία κα ο κίνησις, πῶς ἂν τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ (25) ἐνέργειαν κίνησιν εἰπεῖν τολμήσειεν;


Text 14: Philoponus, In De Anima 2, 5, p. 296, 22-298, 23 Hayduck, translation Charlton, modified

For even if motion is a kind of activity, activity is more universal than motion, and motion than being affected. For everything that is affected is also moved, and everything that is in motion acts, but it is not also the case that what acts is also in motion. For activity, as he himself defines it in the Physics [3.2], is the instantaneous (25) projection from the state (hexis)96, whereas motion is an incomplete activity ; for motion is the path from the first sense of potentiality to the state97. Inasmuch, then, as motion is a kind of incomplete activity, to that extent activity and motion seem to be the same. But in so far as activity is not the advance from the incomplete to the perfect, in that respect motion is not the same as activity. And just as ‘disposition’ (diathesis) is said in a more common (30) way that applies also to a state (hexis), and also in a more particular way in contradistinction from a state, so too ‘activity’ is said both in a more common way of every motion, and also it is said in contradistinction from motion ; because motion is the advance from the first kind of potentiality to the second of the things that are in conjunction (297, 1) with the substance, the substance being preserved, while activity is the perfect projection of the state, without the state being altered in any way. And activity which is in reality perfect is the instantaneous projection of the state, which does not progress along with the motion of time, but is identical in every part of it, as is the projection of light ; for simultaneously with the appearance of the source of light, all that is suitable (5) is illuminated instantaneously ; the activity of light does not progress along with the motion of time, but is identical in every part of it. Such is the activity of sense also. At the same time as we look, we apprehend the sense-objects in a non-temporal way. Hence he does not say that the senses are in motion, but that they act.

This, then, is activity in the proper sense. Hence he also says concerning the divine things (10) that they are activities without potentiality. But a motion like learning is the change of the state part by part to the perfect from the imperfect. In between these are the discursive motions98 or activities, and anything similar there may be ; these are neither motions in the proper sense (for there is no change of the state) nor altogether activities ; for neither are they identical in every part (15) of time, nor is their projection from the state instantaneous, but one premise comes before another, and the conclusion is last. So this sort of thing is neither motion without qualification nor activity without qualification, unless one were to divide activity in the proper sense into what is instantaneous and partless and what has parts.



κἂν γάρ ἐστιν ἡ κίνησις ἐνέργειά τις, μν νέργεια καθολικωτέρα στ τς κινήσεως, ἡ δὲ κίνησις τοῦ πάσχειν. πᾶν μὲν γὰρ τὸ πάσχον καὶ κινεῖται, τὸ δὲ κινούμενον πᾶν ἐνεργεῖ, οὐκέτι μέντοι τὸ ἐνεργοῦν καὶ κινεῖται. ἐνέργεια μὲν γάρ ἐστιν, ὡς αὐτὸς διωρίσατο ἐν τῇ Φυσικῇ ἡ ἀθρόα προ- (25) βολὴ ἀπὸ τῆς ἕξεως, κίνησις δὲ ἀτελής ἐστιν ἐνέργεια· ἡ γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ πρώτου δυνάμει ἐπὶ τὴν ἕξιν ὁδὸς κίνησίς ἐστι. ᾗ μὲν οὖν ἡ κίνησις ἐνέργειά τις ἀτελής, ταύτῃ ταὐτὸν δόξει εἶναι ἡ ἐνέργεια καὶ ἡ κίνησις· ᾗ δὲ ἡ ἐνέργεια οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ ἀτελοῦς ἐπὶ τὸ τέλειον πρόοδος, ταύτῃ οὐ ταὐτὸν ἡ κίνησις τῇ ἐνεργείᾳ. καὶ γὰρ ὥσπερ ἡ διάθεσις λέγεται μὲν καὶ κοινό- (30) τερον καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς ἕξεως, λέγεται δὲ καὶ πρὸς ἀντιδιαστολὴν τῆς ἕξεως ἰδικώτερον, οὕτω δὴ καὶ ἡ ἐνέργεια λέγεται καὶ κοινότερον καὶ κατὰ πάσης κινήσεως, λέγεται δὲ καὶ πρὸς ἀντιδιαστολὴν τῆς κινήσεως, διότι κίνησις μέν ἐστιν ἡ ἐκ τοῦ πρώτου δυνάμει ἐπὶ τὸ δεύτερον πρό­οδός τινος τῶν περὶ (297.) τὴν οὐσίαν σωζο­μένης αὐτῆς τῆς οὐσίας, ἐνέργεια δέ ἐστιν ἡ τελεία προβολὴ τῆς ἕξεως μηδὲν τῆς ἕξεως ἀλλοιοτέρας γινομένης. καὶ ἔστι τῷ ὄντι τελεία ἐνέργεια ἡ ἀθρόα προβολὴ τῆς ἕξεως ἡ μὴ συμπροϊοῦσα τῇ κινήσει τοῦ χρόνου, ἀλλὰ κατὰ πᾶν μέρος αὐτοῦ ὁμοίως ἔχουσα, οἵα ἐστὶν ἡ τοῦ φωτὸς προβολή· ἅμα γὰρ τῷ φανῆναι τὸ φωτιστικὸν ἀθρόον πᾶν (5) τὸ ἐπιτήδειον καταλάμπεται, οὐ συμπ­ροϊούσης τῆς τοῦ φωτὸς ἐνεργείας τῇ τοῦ χρόνου κινήσει, ἀλλ’ ἐν παντὶ μέρει αὐτοῦ ὁμοίως ἐχούσης. τοιαύτη ἐστὶ καὶ ἡ τῆς αἰσθήσεως ἐνέργεια· ἅμα γὰρ τῷ ἀναβλέψαι ἀχρόνως τῶν αἰσθητῶν ἀντιλαμβανόμεθα· ὅθεν οὐδέ φησι κινεῖσθαι τὰς αἰσθήσεις, ἀλλ’ἐνεργεῖν.

τοῦτο μὲν οὖν ἐνέργεια κυρίως· διὸ καὶ περὶ τῶν θείων εἶπεν (10) ὅτι ἄνευ δυνάμεως ἐνέργειαί εἰσι. κίνησις δ’ οἷον ἡ μάθησις ἡ τῆς ἕξεώς ἐστι μεταβολὴ κατὰ μέρος ἐπὶ τὸ τέλειον ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀτελοῦς. μεταξὺ δὲ τούτων εἰσὶν αἱ διανοητικαὶ κινήσεις ἤτοι ἐνέργειαι, καὶ εἴ τι ταύταις ὅμοιον, αἵτινες οὔτε κυρίως κινήσεις εἰσίν (οὐ γάρ ἐστι μεταβολὴ τῆς ἕξεως) οὔτε καθάπαξ ἐνέργειαι· οὐδὲ γὰρ ὁμοίως ἔχουσιν ἐν παντὶ μέρει (15) χρόνου, οὐδὲ ἀθρόα αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τῆς ἕξεως ἡ προβολὴ γίνεται, ἀλλὰ ἄλλη πρὸ ἄλλης πρότασις, ἔσχατον δὲ τὸ συμπέρασμα. οὔτε οὖν ἁπλῶς κίνησις τὸ τοιοῦτον οὔτε ἁπλῶς ἐνέργεια, εἰ μὴ τὴν κυρίως ἐνέργειαν διέλοι τις εἴς τε τὴν ἀθρόαν καὶ ἀμερῆ καὶ εἰς τὴν μεριστήν.





Text 15: Philoponus, Against Aristotle on the Eternity of the World, fr. 115 Wildberg = Simplicius, In Phys., p. 1141, 12-30

“…even if nature produces what it fashions out of existent things, by virtue of the fact that it has both its substance and its activity in a substrate, without which it is not capable either of being or of acting, it is not necessary for God, whose substance and activity are transcendent of all beings, to create (15) out of existent things. For in that case, He would be no better than nature, although God creates not only the forms of the things that are fashioned directly by Him, but it is believed that He produces and fashions matter itself; for only what is first is ungenerated and uncaused. If, then, God gives existence (20) to matter as well, but matter does not require another matter in order to exist, for it is the first substrate of all natural things, then it is not the case that everything that comes into being does so out of something that exists. For whether matter comes into being from God always or at a given moment, it will certainly have no need of another matter, since it itself is the first substrate of bodies. If what is generated by nature does so out of what exists, therefore, it is not (25) necessary that the things that are generated by God do so out of what exists, since nature needs both some time and generation in order to fashion each natural thing, while God gives existence to what comes into being directly by him timelessly and without generation, that is, without forming and shaping the particulars. For it is enough for him to will, in order to bring about the substantification (ousiôsis)99 (30) of realities”.

“πρῶτον μέν, λέγων, εἰ καὶ ἡ φύσις ἐξ ὄντων ποιεῖ τὰ ὑπ’ αὐτῆς δημιουργούμενα διὰ τὸ καὶ τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτῆς καὶ τὴν ἐνέργειαν ἐν ὑποκειμένῳ ἔχειν καὶ χωρὶς ἐκείνου μήτε εἶναι μήτε ἐνεργεῖν δύνασθαι, οὐκ ἀνάγκη καὶ τὸν θεὸν τὸν ἐξῃρημένην ἔχοντα τῶν ὄντων ἁπάντων καὶ τὴν οὐσίαν καὶ τὴν ἐνέργειαν (15) ἐξ ὄντων δημιουργεῖν. οὕτω γὰρ οὐδὲν ἕξει πλέον τῆς φύσεως, καίτοι γε οὐ μόνον τὰ εἴδη τῶν ἀμέσως ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ δημιουργουμένων ποιεῖ ὁ θεός, λλ κα ατν τν λην παράγειν κα δημιουργεν πεπίστευται· μόνον γὰρ τὸ πρῶτον ἀγένητόν ἐστι καὶ ἀναίτιον. εἰ οὖν καὶ τὴν ὕλην (20) ὁ θεὸς ὑφίστησιν (οὐ δεῖται δὲ ἡ ὕλη ἑτέρας ὕλης εἰς ὕπαρξιν· αὐτὴ γάρ ἐστι τὸ πρῶτον ἁπάντων τῶν φυσικῶν ὑποκείμενον)· οὐκ ἄρα πᾶν τὸ γινόμενον ἐξ ὄντος γίνεται. εἴτε γὰρ ἀεὶ ὑπὸ θεοῦ γίνεται ἡ ὕλη εἴτε ποτέ, οὐ δεήσεται δήπουθεν ἑτέρας ὕλης, αὐτὴ τὸ πρῶτον οὖσα τῶν σωμάτων ὑποκείμενον· οὐκ ἄρα, εἰ τὰ γινόμενα ὑπὸ φύσεως ἐξ ὄντων γίνεται, ἀνάγκη καὶ τὰ ἀμέσως ὑπὸ θεοῦ γινόμενα ἐξ ὄντων γίνεσθαι, εἴπερ (25) μν φύσις κα χρόνου δεταί τινος κα γενέσεως, να καστον δημιουργήσ τν φυσικν, δ θες χρόνως κα νευ γενέσεως, τουτέστι διαπλάσεως τῶν κατὰ μέρος καὶ διαμορφώσεως, τὰ ἀμέσως ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ γινόμενα ὑφίστησιν· ἀρκεῖ γὰρ αὐτῷ μόνον τὸ θέλειν εἰς τὴν τῶν πραγμάτων (30) οὐσίωσιν.”


Text 16: Philoponus, Against Aristotle on the Eternity of the World, fr. 129 Wildberg = Simplicius, In Phys., 1173, 1-13

“Yet even if it is true”, he says, “that after motion has ceased something remains that has the capacity for being moved, not even in this case does the Philosopher correctly conclude what follows. For if not everything that comes into being does so through motion, but there is, according to Aristotle, a coming-into-being all at once (athroa), without motion and temporal extension, then there is also a destruction that is like that, such as the presence (5) of perfect forms in their substrates, and their withdrawal from them, and like points come to be united, and like contacts, and lightning, and the apprehension of visual sensation. Therefore, not everything that perishes does so through motion”. Thus, he would be saying — for he seems to me to have left his argument without (10) a conclusion — that even if what causes destruction perishes, it does not necessarily perish through motion. “And if God the demiurge”, he says, “produces without temporal extension the heavens and the world, produced directly by him, then when he should wish to destroy the world, its destruction”, he says, “will also be non-temporal”.

“ἀλλ’ οὐδὲ εἰ ἀληθές, φησί, τὸ μετὰ τὸ παύσασθαι τῆς κινήσεως ὑπομένειν τι τὴν τοῦ κινεῖσθαι δύναμιν ἔχον, οὐδὲ οὕτω καλῶς τὸ ἑξῆς ὁ φιλόσοφος συλλογίζεται. εἰ γὰρ μ πάντα δι κινήσεως γίνεται τ γινόμενα, λλ’ στιν θρόα γένεσις κατ ριστοτέλη χωρς κινήσεως κα χρονικς παρατάσεως, ἔστι καὶ φθορὰ τοιαύτη, ὡς ἡ τῶν τελείων εἰδῶν (5) ἐν τοῖς ὑποκειμένοις παρουσία τε καὶ ἀναχώρησις καὶ ὡς τὰ σημεῖα γίνεται ἐν τῇ ἑνώσει καὶ ὡς αἱ ἁφαὶ καὶ ἀστραπαὶ καὶ ἡ τῆς ὀπτικῆς αἰσθήσεως ἀντίληψις. οὐ πᾶν ἄρα τὸ φθειρόμενον διὰ κινήσεως φθείρεται”. ὥστε φαίη ἄν (αὐτὸς γὰρ ἀσυμπέραντον, ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ, κατα­λέλοιπε (10) τὸν λόγον), ὅτι κἂν φθείρηται τὸ φθεῖρον, οὐ πάντως διὰ κινήσεως φθείρεται. “καὶ εἰ θεός, φησίν, δημιουργς νευ χρονικς παρατάσεως παράγει τν ορανν κα τν κόσμον ἀμέσως ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ παραγόμενα, καὶ ὅτε φθεῖραι τὸν κόσμον θελήσοι, ἄχρονος, φησίν, ἔσται αὐτοῦ καὶ ἡ φθορά”.


Text 17 : Al-Kindi, On the quantity of Aristotle's books, p. 375, 9 ff. Abū Rīda, translation M. Rashed 2008

Then Aristotle said (...) that God, may He be praised, does not need a period of time for His creation, in reason of what he made clear, since he established ‘it’ out of ‘not it’ ; so that the one whose ability reached such a point as to produce bodies out of no bodies and to extract being out of not-being, he does not need, since he has the power of producing out of no matter, (15) to produce in time. For since the human act is impossible without matter, the act of the one who does not need matter in order to produce what he produces does not need time.

ṯumma qāla (...) innahu, jalla ṯanā’uhu, lā yaḥtāju ilā madda l-ibdā‘ihi mimmā abāna, li-annahū ja‘ala « huwa » min « lā huwa » fa-inna man balaġat qudratihi anna ya‘milu ajrāmā min lā ajrām, fa-aḫraja aysa min laysa, fa-laysa yaḥtāju — iḏ huwa qādir ‘alā-l-‘amal min lā ṭīna — anna (15) ya‘milu fī zamān, li-annahu, iḏ kāna fi‘l al-bašar lā yumkinu min ġayr ṭīna, kāna fi‘l man lā yuḥtāju fī fi‘l mā yaf‘alu ilā ṭīna lā yaḥtāju ilā zamān.


Text 18: Theology of Aristotle, p. 27 Badawi = p. 237 d'Ancona et al. = p. 14 Dieterici ; trans. Lewis I, §§ 44-58, p. 231

How well and how rightly does this philosopher describe the Creator when he says : “He created mind, soul, nature, and all things else”, but whoever hears the philosopher's words must not take them literally and imagine that he said that the Creator fashioned the creation in time. If anyone (10) imagines that of him from his mode of expression, he did but so express himself through wishing to follow the custom of the ancients. The ancients were compelled to mention time in connection with the beginning of creation because they wanted to describe the genesis of things100, and they were compelled to introduce time into their description of becoming and into their description of the creation — which was not in time at all — in order to distinguish between the exalted first causes and the lowly secondary causes (...) But it is not so : not every agent performs his action in time, nor is every cause prior to its effect in time.

wa mā aḥsan wa aṣwab mā waṣafa al-faylasūfu al-bāri’ ta‘ālī iḏ qāla: innahu ḫāliq al-‘aql wa-l-nafs wa-l-ṭabī‘ati wa-sā’ir al-ašyā’ kullihā, ġayr annahu lā yanbaġī al-sāmi‘ qawli al-faylasūf anna yanżuru ilā lafẓihi fa-yatawahhimu ‘alayhi annahu qāla inna al-bāri’u innamā ḫalaqa-l-ḫalq fī zamānin. fa-innahu wa-in (10) tuwuhhimu min lafẓihi wa kalāmihi fa-innahu innamā lafẓ bi-ḏālika irādata anna yatbi‘u ‘āda al-awwalīna. fa-innahu innamā uḍṭurru al-awwalūna ilā ḏikr zamānin fi badi’ al-ḫalq li-annahum arādū waṣfa kawn al-ašyā’ fa-uḍṭurrū ilā anna yadḫalū al-zamān fī waṣfihum al-kawn wa-fī waṣfihum al-ḫalīqa allatī lam takūn fī zamānin al-battata. wa-innamā uḍṭurrū al-awwalūna ilā ḏikr al-zamān ‘inda waṣfihum al-ḫalīqa li-yumayyazū bayna al-‘ilal al-uwalī al-‘āliya wa bayna al-‘ilal al-ṯawānī al-sfliya (...) wa laysa ḏālika ka-ḏālika, a‘nī annahu laysa kull fā‘ilin yaf‘alu fi‘lihi fī zamānin, wa lā kull ‘illa qabla ma‘lūlihā bi-zamānin.


Text 19: Pseudo-Fārābī, Harmony of Plato and Aristotle, p. 64 Martini Bonadeo

The meaning of Aristotle's discourse according to which the world has no temporal beginning is that it did not come into being bit by bit, according to a succession of parts, as happens for instance for plants and animals101. This is because what comes into being bit by bit, according to a succession of parts, has some parts that precede others in time (...) the celestial spehere derives from the creation of the Creator – may he be praised ! – at one single time, without duration in time...

wa ma‘nā qawlihi inna al-‘ālam laysa lahu bad’ zamāniyya annahu lam yatakawwanu awwalān fa-awwalān bi-ajzā’ihi kamā yatakawwanu al-nabat miṯlān aw al-ḥayawān. iḏ allaḏī yatakawwanu awwalān fa-awwalān bi-ajzā’ihi fa-in ajzā’uhu yataqaddamu ba‘ḍihā ‘alā ba‘ḍ bi-l-zamān (...) wa yṣḥḥḥ bi-ḏālika annahu innamā yakūna ‘an ibdā‘ al-bārī jalla jalālihi iyyāhu duf‘ata bi-lā zamān...


Text 20: Porphyry, Commentary on the Timaeus, fr. LI, p. 38, 5ff. Sodano = Procl., In Tim., vol. 1, 395, 10ff. Diels, translation Runia-Share (modified)

Fourth and next is the section of [Porphyry's] (I, p. 395, 10 Diehl) arguments in which he shows that the divine Intellect practises a mode of creation [which is performed] just by being and establishes [this] by a number of arguments. Even artisans [he says] need tools for their activity [only] because they do not have mastery over all [their] material (hulê). They show this themselves by using these tools to get [their] material] (15) ready for use (euergos) by drilling, planing, or turning it, all of which [operations] do not add form, but [merely] eliminate the unreadiness of the [materal which is] to receive the form. The actual rational formula (logos) [of the work], on the other hand, supervenes upon (paraginesthai) the material (hupokei­menon) timelessly from the art once all inhibiting factors have been removed. And if there were no inhibiting (20) factor in the case of [artisans] either, they [too] would add the form to the matter instantaneously and have absolutely no need of tools (...) If, then, human arts and the imaginations of individual [human] souls and the operations of demons achieve such results, is it surprising that the Demiurge should bring perceptible [reality] into existence just (p. 396, 5) by thinking the universe, generating the material immaterially and the tanglible intangibly, and partlessly extending the extended?

And one should not be surprised if something which is is incorporeal and unextended should be able to cause the existence of the universe. If it is the case that the human semen, which is so small in bulk yet (10) contains within itself all of the [seminal] reasons, gives rise to so many differences (...) it will certainly be much more the case that the demiurgic reason is able to bring all things into existence, since it has no need at all of matter for its existence, as has [the reason] associated with the semen. For this latter is not outside of matter, whereas the creator (hypostatês) of all things is eternally fixed in himself, and has brought all (25) things into existence out of his abiding (menein) self.



Τέταρτον πρὸς τοῖς εἰρημένοις ἐστὶ τῶν λόγων (10) κεφάλαιον, ἐν ᾧ τὸν τρόπον ἐπιδεικνύει τῆς δημιουργίας ατ τ εναι τὸν θεῖον νοῦν ἐπιτελούμενον, καὶ κατασκευάζει διὰ πλειόνων· καὶ γὰρ οἱ τεχνῖται δέονται πρὸς τὴν ἐνέργειαν ὀργάνων διὰ τὸ μὴ πάσης κρατεῖν τῆς ὕλης, δηλοῦσι δὲ καὶ αὐτοῖς102 τοῖς ὀργάνοις χρώμενοι πρὸς τὸ εὐ- (15) εργὸν ποιῆσαι τὴν ὕλην, τρυπῶντες ἢ ξέοντες ἢ τορνεύοντες, ἃ δὴ πάντα οὐ τὸ εἶδος ἐντίθησιν, ἀλλ’ ἐξαιρεῖ τὴν ἀνεπιτηδειότητα τοῦ δεξομένου τὸ εἶδος· ατς δ λόγος χρόνως π τς τέχνης παραγίνεται τ ποκειμέν, πάντων ἐξαιρεθέντων τῶν ἐμποδών.
καὶ εἰ μηδὲν ἦν καὶ τούτοις ἐμ- (20) πόδιον, τό τε εδος θρόως ν τ λ προσγον καὶ ὀργάνων οὐδὲν ἂν ὅλως ἐδεήθησαν (...) εἰ τοίνυν καὶ τέχναι ἀνθρώπιναι καὶ ψυχῶν μερικῶν φαντασίαι καὶ δαιμόνων ἐνέργειαι τοιαῦτα δρῶσι, τί θαυμαστὸν τν δημιουργν ατ τ νοεν τ πν (5) πόσ­τασιν παρέχεσθαι τ ασθητ, ἀύλως μὲν <παράγοντα> τὸ ἔνυλον, ἀναφῶς δὲ ἀπογεν­νῶντα τὸ ἁπτόν, ἀμερῶς δὲ ἐκτεί­νοντα τὸ διαστατόν;
καὶ οὐ δεῖ τοῦτο θαυμάζειν, εἴ τι ἀσώματον ὂν καὶ ἀδιάστατον ὑποστατικὸν εἴη τοῦδε τοῦ παντός· εἴπερ γὰρ τὸ σπέρμα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, τοσοῦτον ὄγκον ἔχον καὶ (10) πάντας ἐν ἑαυτῷ τοὺς λόγους, ὑφίστησι τοσαύτας διαφορὰς (...) πολλῷ δὴ οὖν μᾶλλον ὁ δημιουργικὸς λόγος τὰ πάντα παράγειν δύναται μηδν ες τ εναι τς λης δεηθείς, ὥσπερ ὁ τοῦ σπέρματος· ἐκεῖνος μὲν γὰρ οὐκ ἔξω ὕλης, ὁ δὲ τῶν πάντων ὑποστάτης ἐν ἑαυτῷ διαιωνίως ἕστηκε κα φαυτο μέ- (25) νοντος τ πάντα παρήγαγε.



Text 21: Procl., In Tim., vol. 2, p 102, 6 ff. Diehl, translation Baltzly modified

God brings forth all things at once (athroôs) and throughout eternity. For it is through his very being and through his eternal thinking of wholes that he engenders all the things that result from him – the totality of things both hypercosmic and encosmic: intellects, souls, natures, bodies, (10) and matter itself. If you ask me, demiurgic creation exhibits this ‘all at once’ aspect more than the Sun's illumination does. In the latter case, the entire light proceeds simultaneously from the Sun. But even though the Sun imitates the Father through visible creation, this is clearly inferior to the Father's eternal (15) and invisible production. Therefore, as we said, though all things have come about from the act of creation eternally and simultaneously, nonetheless the order of effects is still preserved ; for each thing proceeds all at once and each with its own order since there was present in that which produced it an eternal though and an order prior to the things that have been ordered.

Ὁ μὲν θεὸς ἀθρόως πάντα καὶ διαιωνίως παράγει· κατ’ αὐτὸ γὰρ τὸ εἶναι καὶ κατὰ τὴν αἰώνιον τῶν ὅλων νόησιν ⟦καὶ⟧ τὰ ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ πάντα ἀπογεννᾷ, τά τε ὑπερκόσμια καὶ τὰ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ σύμπαντα, νόας, ψυχάς, φύσεις, σώματα, (10) τὴν ὕλην αὐτήν. κα ε δε λέγειν, μλλον π τς δημιουργικς πογεννήσεως τ θρόον στν τς λιακς κλάμψεως, καίτοι καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτης ἅμα τῷ ἡλίῳ τὸ ὅλον πρόεισι φῶς· ἀλλὰ καὶ οὗτος ὁ τὸν πατέρα μιμούμενος διὰ τῆς ἐμφανοῦς δημιουργίας δῆλον ὡς ὑφεῖται τῆς διαιωνίου (15) καὶ ἀφανοῦς ποιήσεως. πάντων δ’ ον, σπερ επομεν, π τς δημιουργίας μο κα αωνίως παραγο­μένων ὅμως καὶ ἡ τάξις σῴζεται τῶν ἀποτελεσμάτων· πρόεισι γρ θρόως καστα μετὰ τῆς ἑαυτῶν τάξεως· ἦν γὰρ καὶ ἐν τῷ παράγοντι καὶ νόησις αἰώνιος καὶ τάξις ἡ πρὸ τῶν τεταγμένων.



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Каталог: classics -> schole
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