Single Idea 5108

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 3. Natural Function]

Full Idea

If what happens by force is unnatural, then forced ceasing-to-be is unnatural, and is opposed to natural ceasing to be.

Gist of Idea

Is ceasing-to-be unnatural if it happens by force, and natural otherwise?


Aristotle (Physics [c.337 BCE], 230a29)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Physics', ed/tr. Waterfield,Robin [OUP 1996], p.135

A Reaction

This is an important matter for Aristotle, who needs a concept of 'unnatural' behaviour for his ethics. Our law enshrines the idea of 'death by natural causes'. But 'force' needs discussion. Why is a hitman unnatural, and lightning natural?