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Single Idea 17995

[catalogued under 7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 6. Fundamentals / a. Fundamental reality]

Full Idea

We must recognise three 'originative sources': first that which is potentially perceptible body, secondly the contrarities (e.g hot and cold), and thirdly Fire, Water, and the like. Only thirdly, however, for these bodies change into one another.

Gist of Idea

Basic is the potentially perceptible, then comes the contrary qualities, and finally the 'elements'


Anaxagoras (fragments/reports [c.460 BCE]), quoted by Aristotle - The History of Animals 529a34

Book Reference

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

A Reaction

The 'potentially perceptible' seems to be matter. The surprise here is that the contraries are more basic than the elements, rather than being properties of them. Reality is modes of matter, it seems.

Related Idea

Idea 17994 The primary matter is the substratum for the contraries like hot and cold [Aristotle]