A commentary on Plato's Timaeus, by A.E. Taylor

By A.E. Taylor

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But it does help, at least, to see how something might be active, without the activity constituting a change in it. For Aristotle, in paradigmatic cases, being active is precisely not being changed, but simply remaining what one already is: living, for instance, is simply going on being what one already is. The distinction brings a new nuance to the dispute. A question has arisen for which, in the Sophist, there was no room: whether living, given that it is an energeia, is a change. Aristotle also introduces the notion of being -in-energeia (rather than in capacity).

In Book Epsilon, Aristotle dismissed two ways in which being is said as irrelevant. 7, 1049a5–6. 1–3. This claim will have to be qualified for eternal things. 22 The Introduction to Metaphysics Theta (Theta 1) simply being a ‘way’ in which being is said does not, in itself, make a way of being relevant to the science of being as such. The overall course of the Metaphysics makes it obvious that Aristotle does not dismiss being-in-capacity and being-in-energeia. Unlike incidental being and being true, they do make a positive contribution to the science of being as such—indeed, their contribution appears to be central.

The reasons for p 3 these things correspond to the fact that . 2/2 is an integer, whereas . ) 14 ὅσαι δὲ τὸν ἑτερομήκη, δυνάμεις, ὡς μήκει μὲν οὐ συμμέτρους ἐκείναις, τοῖς δ’ ἐπιπέδοις ἃ δύνανται. The meticulous reader will have noticed that Theaetetus says that the lines are powers, while I, following Aristotle, say that they have powers. But the roots of this difference are already present in Theaetetus’ remark. He seems to assume that the lines have powers, for he says that the lines are able (δύνανται).

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