Euthyphro by Plato

By Plato

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That the potentiality is the 'power of life' 87. The term 'life' ('to 1:1jv) 88 embraces all the powers of the soul from the 'vegetative' to that highest power, in the case of man, which is really not apower or a potentiality any more 89, but an actuality 90. The power of life uses an 'organ', called body. But this power (and its organ) is disclosed as only one side of a unity, the other side of which is the soul. , 4I2a, 11. , 4I2b, 12 . , 4I2b, 13 . , 42Ia, 17 . , 4Iza, 20 . , 4I5b, 23 . , 4IZb, I; also 42Ib, 5.

The term hypokeimenon was translated as subieetum, indicating 'that which is thrown (iaeere) under (sub) the other categories, but it was also translated as substratum. The latter translation led to many misinterpretations, particularly the one that 'matter' is the bearer of the tode ti. But Aristotle very explicitly rejected the view that, in this context, matter could be the hypokeimenon. He says that such a view 'is impossible' 5. From the foregoing 6 it is, indeed, evident that Aristotle could not have meant that the determining power of the tode ti could be matter.

As Book 1', 2, states, all these categorial ways-to-be make visible (through legein) a structure that 'relates them to one certain physis' 12. We know that physis as a determinant means a natureness 13 and that the determining power is a natureness which is characterized as an arche or an aition. Here in Book 1', 2, this one certain physis is expressly called an arche 14. At the end of Book 1', as we shall explain in detail later, this theme is taken up again. After naming ousia an arche and a cause 15, Aristotle states that all [particular] substances are constituted in accordance with and by a physis 16 •••• and he concludes from this observation: Ousia would seem to be this physis which is not an element but an arche 17.

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