apeiron 2015; 48(1): 45–75 Scott O’Connor The Subjects of Natural Generations in Aristotle’s Physics I.7 Abstract: In Physics I.7, Aristotle claims that plants and animals are generated from sperma. Since most understood sperma to be an ovum, this claim threa- tens to undermine the standard view that, for Aristotle, the matter natural beings are generated from persists through their generation. By focusing on Aristotle’s discussion of sperma in the first book of the Generation of Animals,I show that, for Aristotle, sperma in the female is surplus blood collected in the uterus and not an ovum. I subsequently argue that, for Aristotle, this blood does persist through the production of the fetus. Keywords: Aristotle, change, matter DOI 10.1515/apeiron-2014-0020 1 Introduction In Phys. I.7, Aristotle claims that “everything which comes into being is compo- site (συνθετόν)” (190b10–11). The terminus a quo of any change, he tells us, is the subject and privation (190b11–12), which are one in number, two in form (190a14–16). The terminus ad quem, on the other hand, is a complex of the sub- ject and form which that subject acquired. Any substance that comes into being is a product of some change, and, so, Aristotle concludes that substances
Apeiron – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 2015
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