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Aristotle - index for METAPHYSICA Book 4 Part 4

Impossibility of anything both being and not being

  
Paragraph 1 There are some who, as we said, both themselves assert that it is possible for the same thing to be and not to be, and say that people can judge this to be the case.
Paragraph 2 We can, however, demonstrate negatively even that this view is impossible, if our opponent will only say something;
Paragraph 3 First then this at least is obviously true, that the word 'be' or 'not be' has a definite meaning, so that not everything will be 'so and not so'.
Paragraph 4 Let it be assumed then, as was said at the beginning, that the name has a meaning and has one meaning;
Paragraph 5 And it will not be possible to be and not to be the same thing, except in virtue of an ambiguity, just as if one whom we call 'man', others were to call 'not-man';
Paragraph 6 The same account holds good with regard to 'not being a man', for 'being a man' and 'being a not-man' mean different things, since even 'being white' and 'being a man' are different;
Paragraph 7 And if, when one asks the question simply, he adds the contradictories, he is not answering the question.
Paragraph 8 And in general those who say this do away with substance and essence.
Paragraph 9 Again, if all contradictory statements are true of the same subject at the same time, evidently all things will be one.
Paragraph 10 Those, then, who maintain this view are driven to this conclusion, and to the further conclusion that it is not necessary either to assert or to deny.
Paragraph 11 Again, either the theory is true in all cases, and a thing is both white and not-white, and existent and non-existent, and all other assertions and negations are similarly compatible or the theory is true of some statements and not of others.
Paragraph 12 Again if when the assertion is true, the negation is false, and when this is true, the affirmation is false, it will not be possible to assert and deny the same thing truly at the same time.
Paragraph 13 Again, is he in error who judges either that the thing is so or that it is not so, and is he right who judges both?
Paragraph 14 Again, however much all things may be 'so and not so', still there is a more and a less in the nature of things;


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