Aristotle METAPHYSICA Book 5 Part 23

Having and being

1. To 'have' or 'hold' means many things: -

2. (1) to treat a thing according to one's own nature or according to one's own impulse; so that fever is said to have a man, and tyrants to have their cities, and people to have the clothes they wear.

3. (2) That in which a thing is present as in something receptive of it is said to have the thing; e.g. the bronze has the form of the statue, and the body has the disease.

4. (3) As that which contains holds the things contained; for a thing is said to be held by that in which it is as in a container; e.g. we say that the vessel holds the liquid and the city holds men and the ship sailors; and so too that the whole holds the parts.

5. (4) That which hinders a thing from moving or acting according to its own impulse is said to hold it, as pillars hold the incumbent weights, and as the poets make Atlas hold the heavens, implying that otherwise they would collapse on the earth, as some of the natural philosophers also say. In this way also that which holds things together is said to hold the things it holds together, since they would otherwise separate, each according to its own impulse.

6. 'Being in something' has similar and corresponding meanings to 'holding' or 'having'.

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