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Aristotle Bilingual Anthology : SUBSTANCE OF THE ELEMENTS

from Aristotle's Metaphysics, * 1001b-1002b, translated by W. D. Ross, Greek Fonts


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Page 2

But, on the other hand, the body is surely less of a substance than the surface, and the surface than the line, and the line than the unit and the point. For the body is bounded by these; and they are thought to be capable of existing without body, but body incapable of existing without these. This is why, while most of the philosophers and the earlier among them thought that substance and being were identical with body, and that all other things were modifications of this, so that the first principles of the bodies were the first principles of being, the more recent and those who were held to be wiser thought numbers were the first principles. As we said, then, if these are not substance, there is no substance and no being at all; for the accidents of these it cannot be right to call beings.

ἀλλὰ μὴν τό γε σῶμα ἧττον οὐσία τῆς ἐπιφανείας καὶ αὕτη τῆς γραμμῆς καὶ αὕτη τῆς μονάδος καὶ τῆς στιγμῆς· τούτοις γὰρ ὥρισται τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὰ μὲν ἄνευ σώματος ἐνδέχεσθαι δοκεῖ εἶναι τὸ δὲ σῶμα ἄνευ τούτων ἀδύνατον. διόπερ οἱ μὲν πολλοὶ καὶ οἱ πρότερον τὴν οὐσίαν καὶ τὸ ὂν ᾤοντο τὸ σῶμα εἶναι τὰ δὲ ἄλλα τούτου πάθη͵ ὥστε καὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς τὰς τῶν σωμάτων τῶν ὄντων εἶναι ἀρχάς· οἱ δ΄ ὕστεροι καὶ σοφώτεροι τούτων εἶναι δόξαντες ἀριθμούς. καθάπερ οὖν εἴπομεν͵ εἰ μὴ ἔστιν οὐσία ταῦτα͵ ὅλως οὐδὲν ἐστὶν οὐσία οὐδὲ ὂν οὐθέν· οὐ γὰρ δὴ τά γε συμβεβηκότα τούτοις ἄξιον ὄντα καλεῖν.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-Greece/aristotle_substance-elements.asp?pg=2