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Question 3: Further, men come from men, but not beds from beds (Aristotle, Physics 193b, FYP

Handbook, 27). Discuss.

Jenille Cheney Tutorial 11 Section 1, Paper 3 October 19, 2009 Tutor: Dr. Ian Stewart Aristotle argues that in the natural world organic things such as man are eternal with the ability to change internally because of a direct

relationship to the elements. Unlike the artificial which is finite and does not have the ability to change such as a bed (Aristotle 192b, 18 19) yet also has nature as a cause. This is the basis for Aristotles explanation of the natural world in his physics. There are a couple types of nature which can be split into two categories, the natural (Aristotle 192b, 15) and the artificial. The natural includes plants, animals and the elements (Aristotle 192b, 10-11). These parts of the natural realm are in an eternal circle of reproduction, or in the case of the elements infinite and have the capability of creating change within them by moving up and down, side to side or by coming in contact with another object. The artificial however is unlike the natural due to the fact that it is the finite form of what was once natural. It is incapable of creating change within itself and requires that which is due to nature (Aristotle 1992b, 9) to create that motion i.e that it requires an outer force to spark the change. Due to the fact that the artificial is not eternal though their Nature is natural, they remain unable to receive the qualities of that which they are composed of. For example a bed is made of natural components like a tree. This tree is cut down and then formed by a carpenter who acts as the effective cause into a bed. This bed though made of a natural component is not natural but artificial because the bed will not produce more beds and has been caused through the alteration of the natural tree. It will, if a sprout survives in the wood, produce a tree like that which it was cut from.

The natural are made up of the four elements fire, water, air and earth. These elements are the matter that makes up all living things like plants, animals or any other biological organisms, for example a human is made up of earth and water and these elements form the bones, flesh and blood of the body. Where as a bed is artificial and created from something which is natural. Aristotle uses the example of how silver and bronze make up the nature of a statue as wood is the nature of a bed (Aristotle 193a, 11- 12) to show how the natural still remains even after going through the change into an artificial object that can no longer undergo change within itself. In order for something to come into being it needs to undergo a change and have a defined form for it to become. Within those constituted by nature, they have within themselves the ability to be self changing without the help of an outside source. For example a plant has the ability to in itself cause growth and decay (Aristotle 192b, 15) and can move up towards the sun and down towards the ground. It does not have an outside force telling it to do these things it instead has a soul telling it to grow up towards the sun and its roots to plant themselves firmly in the ground. It is by nature that it is changing. The artificial or objects of art come to be through a different way, as it only comes to change through the impact or definition of an outside power and requires that power or impact to have change. Firstly it will require an ideal definition or blueprint thought of based on necessity of the creator. Aristotle calls this the formal cause. In the case of a bed the carpenter will be imagining or creating a design or blueprint for

something they could comfortably sleep on. In the last cause being the material, wood would have been the nature of the bed and therefore will require an outside force to turn it into a bed. The outside force is the carpenter who acts as the efficient force because he is capable of moving things outside of just growth and decay. The carpenter would then build the bed, based off the image in his head changing the wood from the potential of being a bed into the idea itself. Another example that Aristotle uses is the building of a house. The idea of the house would be created by the contractor or architect whom would consider what it is they are trying to accomplish that is the final cause. They are also able to choose the material with which to build the house in that case bricks which make up the material cause. Now that the material, an idea, and the motive of change have been established, it is time to establish the reason or purpose of the prior actions; why is it that a plant looks the way it does, or how it moves the way it does. In natural causes, there is a common motion to live and produce offspring which have to potential to become the next generation. (Aristotle 193b, 15 19) so they can continue the cycle of living. For example a tree produces seeds, flowers produce pollen, and humans produce eggs and sperm. All artificial objects have a specific purpose above what people might assume about the natural things, such as how a tree though its primary cause is to reproduce it is also a source of shade and oxygen for other living things, though this is all potentially coincidental such as how teeth are pointed to

help us chew food (Aristotle 198b, 24-27). The artificial that is created by human, or natural hands, is there for a purpose of fulfilling the need that the natural may require. Like a man builds a bed and a car, he makes them from materials of the natural world and they allow him to sleep, and get from point A to point B faster. Through evaluating the human (something by nature) and the bed (the artificial), the ideas of something being eternal and self-changing or finite and require outer forces to change is revealed. Those of which is by nature is in direct relation with the elements making them eternal and infinite. They can recreate themselves through reproduction and do not require an outside force to undergo changes such as growth, locomotion, or decay. It is with the force of these natural things that artificial things come into existence. Nature is that which is natural however though it is made up of the same substance as something natural it does not inherit those properties. An example of this is a doctor heals a sick patient; however the patient does not inherit the doctors knowledge of medicine and healing (Aristotle 192b, 23-26). With this information one can determine that a human, who is natural, is capable of changing within itself unlike the bed which would be created by a human from another natural source mainly wood. Since it is created from something that is directly infinite like the elements, it is incapable of internal change and will always require and outside force to influence change. As it is unable to change within it, it also means that a bed cannot produce i.e. cannot grow

into something else proving that it is not possible for a bed to come from a bed but rather that a bed comes from a change externally in the natural.

Bibliography Aristotle. Physics Books I and II. Foundation Year Programme Handbook. Translated by William Charlton. Halifax: University of Kings College, 2009- 2010