Single Idea 16594

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / f. Ancient elements]

Full Idea

These bodies (Fire, Water and the like) change into one another (and are not immutable as Empedocles and other thinkers assert, since 'alteration' would then have been impossible).

Gist of Idea

The Four Elements must change into one another, or else alteration is impossible


Aristotle (Coming-to-be and Passing-away (Gen/Corr) [c.335 BCE], 329b1)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'The Basic Works of Aristotle', ed/tr. McKeon,Richard [Modern Library Classics 2001], p.509

A Reaction

This is why Aristotle proposes that matter [hule] underlies the four elements. Gill argues that by matter Aristotle means the elements.