In a single of the main unique books of past due antiquity, Philoponus argues for the Christian view that subject will be created through God out of not anything. It wishes no previous topic for its production. even as, Philoponus transforms Aristotle's belief of top topic as an incorporeal 'something - i do know no longer what' that serves because the final topic for receiving extension and characteristics. to the contrary, says Philoponus, the last word topic is extension. it really is third-dimensional extension with its specified dimensions and any characteristics unspecified. additionally, such extension is the defining attribute of physique. accordingly, to date from being incorporeal, it's physique, and in addition to being leading subject, it really is shape - the shape that constitutes physique. This makes use of, yet solely disrupts, Aristotle's conceptual gear. eventually, in Aristotle's scheme of different types, this extension isn't to be categorized less than the second one classification of volume, yet less than the 1st class of substance as a considerable volume. This quantity includes an English translation of Philoponus' statement, designated notes and creation, and a bibliography.
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Extra info for Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 9-11 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle)
And if there was something, it [too] was obviously either ungenerated or generated. If it was ungenerated,101 why, if it is possible for any component at all of the cosmos (ti tôn tou kosmou) (I mean that from which it came to be) to be ungenerated, do we not postulate ungenerability immediately of the cosmos? If, on the other hand, it too is generated, it in turn will have come to be out of something else, and so on ad infinitum. From this they conclude that if [such a regress] is impossible, it is impossible for the cosmos to be generated; and so it will be ungenerated.
And] again: since each particular thing that comes to be comes to be out of something [already] in existence, they on that account hold that the universe too, if it comes to be, comes to be out of something already in existence (proüpokeimenos). Therefore,110 since nature is the creator of particular things and God of the whole, or universe, and since nature, which creates them, pre-exists each particular thing and the things which are brought [into being] are later (deuteros) in time than nature, which brings them [into being], its creator will 25 341,1 5 10 15 20 25 342,1 5 10 15 32 20 25 343,1 5 10 15 20 25 344,1 5 Chapter 9, Section 10 therefore also pre-exist the cosmos, even if he has created it out of something that is ungenerated (ex ontos agenêtou).
124 Therefore the compound [of matter and form] does not come to be and perish as a whole. Let us consider the situation in regard to matter – whether, [that is to say,] so-called prime matter is in reality incorporeal or not, and whether it is entirely ungenerated and everlasting or not – in another context125 in which the philosopher [sc. Proclus] will make mention of 10 15 20 25 345,1 5 10 15 20 25 34 346,1 5 10 15 20 25 347,1 5 10 15 Chapter 9, Section 11 it, and if it [earlier] seemed126 true [to us] that among things currently coming to be and perishing through the agency of nature the common substrate of things neither comes to be nor perishes127 (after all, the destruction of, say, flesh has destroyed the particular form of the flesh, but not the body which underlies it as well; for the threedimensional [substrate] remains without having suffered any damage as far as the account (logos)128 of its own nature is concerned; for three-dimensional substance is precisely what the nature of body is; [and] in the same way, should water perish and air come to be out of it, there has been perishing of water and generation of air, but the substrate of both, that is to say, body devoid of qualities, has, qua body, undergone no change; and the same argument applies in every case) – if, then, [as I was saying,] the first substrate, or matter, neither comes to be in things that come to be nor perishes in things that perish, then it is neither the case that compound [things] perish as wholes (for matter remains unchanged (ametablêtos) in things that perish) nor that perishing occurs as far as matter is concerned.
Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 9-11 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle) by Philoponus