40 Aristotle's definition of motion L. A. KOSMAN " otion," says Aristotle, "is the actualization of what potentially is, as such - 41 ro5 8uv<x?.Et. OVTOS If we are to believe Aristotle, this definition speaks to a problem which was perplexing and refractory to his predecessors, and it is itself complex and subtle, employing concepts which are, as he says, "difficult to grasp."2 _ Given the intricacy of many of Aristotle's tech- nical concepts, this claim might seem outrageous; for on the usual understanding, his definition of motion is straightforward and pellucid. I shall try to show that that understanding is wrong, and that Aristotle's definition is more subtle than it is usually taken to be. I "Actualization" is an inelegant and in many ways misleading rendering of I have used it because it incorporates an interesting ambiguity about which we must become clear. Like other terms used to translate "actualization" may refer either to a process or to the result of a process. In one sense, the actualization of a man's hopes may be said to be taking place in the unfolding of some event; in another, it may be said to exist as a result of
Phronesis – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1969
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