|Comments and Questions to: John
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|LSU Honors 1003
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1) Pythagorean table of opposites (Metaphysics 1.5.986a22-25)
"Others among them [the Pythagoreans] say the principles are ten, which
they arrange in columns: limited and unlimited, odd and even, one and plurality,
right and left, male and female, rest and movement, straight and curved,
light and darkness, good and evil, square and oblong."
limited unlimited rest movement
odd even straight curved
one plurality light darkness
right left good evil
NB: These are the principles by which certain Pythagoreans explained things. They aren't explicitly endorsed or condemned by Aristotle in this passage. Elsewhere, he does seem to be in broad agreement as soon as one adds activity and potentiality to the list, as at Metaphysics 12.7.1072b1 ("what is fine and choiceworthy for itself are in the same column").
2) Distinction of Potency and Act (Metaphysics 9)
Potency (= dynamis) has two forms: a) power ( = capacity to do
something or disposition to act in a certain way); b) potential ( = capability
of being changed or of being developed by learning).
Act (= energeia [lit., "being at work"]) has two forms: a) motion
(= being changed from one state to another or changing something else from
one state to another); b) activity ( = staying within oneself by awakening
a capability to develop by learning or by intensifying a state by acting
on a disposition).