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    《论生成与消亡》第二卷 第四章 中英文对照阅读【亚里士多德】

    第四章

    前面已经确定,“简单”物的生成是相互的。同时,可感知的证据也表明,它们确实生成了。因为既然“更替”是触知对象性质方面的改变,不相互生成就不会有“更替”发生了。那么,我们必须说明它们相互转化的方式是怎样的,以及是其中每一个都能生成于另外的每一个—还是有些能,有些不能。

    显然,它们各种之间都会自然地相互转化,因为生成就是向相反物转化或者转化自相反物。而且所有“元素”因其具有明显相反的性质,从而在其相互关系中都包含了一个相反物。因为它们中有些两个性质是相反的,如火和水,第一个性质是干和热,第二个性质是湿和冷。而有些只有一个性质(尽管只有一个)是相反的,如气和水,第一个性质是湿和热,第二个性质是湿和冷。所以,显然如果我们从总体上来考虑它们,每一种都自然地生成于另一种,而且当我们个别考虑它们时,就不难发现它们转化的方式。因为,尽管一切都来自于一切,但是它们转化的速度和难易在程度上都有所不同。

    因此,如果二者之间具有可以相互转变的“互补性”,转化进程就快,没有的则慢。原因是改变一个要比改变多个来得更容易些。例如,改变一个简单性质,火就生成了气,因为如我们所见,火是热与干,而气是热与湿,因此如果湿克服了干,就生成了气。而且,如果冷克服了热,水就在气中产生了,因为如我们所见,气是热与湿,而水是冷与湿,因此如果热改变了,就生成了水。同样,土生成于水,火生成于土,因为这两种“元素”中都有可以相互转变的“互补性”。因为水是湿与冷,而土是冷与干—因此如果湿被克服,就生成土;而火是干与热而土是冷与干,如果冷被克服,火就自土中生成。因此,显然,“简单”物的生成是循环式的,而且这种转变的循环方式是最容易的,因为在相继的“元素”中包含了可以相互转变的“互补性”。另一方面,火向水的转化,气向土的转化,还有水和土向火和气各自的转化,尽管也有可能发生,但是就要困难得多,因为其中包含了更多性质的改变。因为如果火生成于水,就必须将冷和湿都排除,同样,如果气生成于土,就必须将冷和干都排除。还有水和土各自生成于火和气,两种性质都必须改变。生成的第二种方式就要花更长时间。但是如果在转变中,两个“元素”中每一个克服掉其中一种性质,尽管容易一些,却又不是相互的了。而且,火和水中将生成土和气,气和土中将生成火和水。因为,当水中的冷和火中的干被克服(由于前者中的热和后者中的湿留下了),就会生成气。而当火中的热和水中的湿被克服,因为火中的干和水中的冷还存在,就会生成土。同样,火和水会生成于气与土。因为,当气的热和土的干被排除(由于前者的湿和后者的湿留下了),就会生成水。而当气的湿和土的冷被排除,因为气的热和土的干还存在—这些性质是火的构成要素,因此就生成了火。此外,火的生成方式是被感觉所确认的。因为火焰是最显而易见的火,而火焰会冒出烟,烟又是由气和土组成的。

    然而,当两个“元素”处于相继顺序时,排除掉其中一种基本性质后,“简单”物之间不会发生任何转化。因为其中留下的是相同或相反的性质,而没有一个“简单”物可以由完全相同的或者相反的性质形成。因此,如果火的干和气的湿被排除,就不会生成任何一种“简单”物,因为两者都留下了热。另一方面,如果两者中的热都被排除,就留下了相反物干和湿。其他的也会有同样结果,因为各种相继“元素”都包含一个相同的和一个相反的性质。因此,可以清楚地发现,当相继“元素”中的一种转化为另一种时,排除掉单一性质就会有生成,而当两种“元素”转化为第三种时,就必须排除不止一种性质。

    我们已经指出,各种“元素”都生成于其中的某一种,而且也说明了它们发生相互转化的方式。让我们通过以下相关讨论继续完善该理论。

    Chapter 4

    It has been established before that the coming-to-be of the 'simple' bodies is reciprocal. At the same time,it is manifest,even on the evidence of perception,that they do come-to-be: for otherwise there would not have been 'alteration',since 'alteration' is change in respect to the qualities of the objects of touch. Consequently,we must explain (i) what is the manner of their reciprocal transformation,and (ii) whether every one of them can come to-be out of every one—or whether some can do so,but not others.

    Now it is evident that all of them are by nature such as to change into one another: for coming-to-be is a change into contraries and out of contraries,and the 'elements' all involve a contrariety in their mutual relations because their distinctive qualities are contrary. For in some of them both qualities are contrary—e.g. in Fire and Water,the first of these being dry and hot,and the second moist and cold: while in others one of the qualities (though only one) is contrary—e.g. in Air and Water,the first being moist and hot,and the second moist and cold. It is evident,therefore,if we consider them in general,that every one is by nature such as to come-to-be out of every one: and when we come to consider them severally,it is not difficult to see the manner in which their transformation is effected. For,though all will result from all,both the speed and the facility of their conversion will differ in degree.

    Thus (i) the process of conversion will be quick between those which have interchangeable 'complementary factors',but slow between those which have none. The reason is that it is easier for a single thing to change than for many. Air,e.g. will result from Fire if a single quality changes: for Fire,as we saw,is hot and dry while Air is hot and moist,so that there will be Air if the dry be overcome by the moist. Again,Water will result from Air if the hot be overcome by the cold: for Air,as we saw,is hot and moist while Water is cold and moist,so that,if the hot changes,there will be Water. So too,in the same manner,Earth will result from Water and Fire from Earth,since the two 'elements' in both these couples have interchangeable 'complementary factors'. For Water is moist and cold while Earth is cold and dry—so that,if the moist be overcome,there will be Earth: and again,since Fire is dry and hot while Earth is cold and dry,Fire will result from Earth if the cold pass-away. It is evident,therefore,that the coming-to-be of the 'simple' bodies will be cyclical; and that this cyclical method of transformation is the easiest,because the consecutive 'elements' contain interchangeable 'complementary factors'. On the other hand (ii) the transformation of Fire into Water and of Air into Earth,and again of Water and Earth into Fire and Air respectively,though possible,is more difficult because it involves the change of more qualities. For if Fire is to result from Water,both the cold and the moist must pass-away: and again,both the cold and the dry must pass-away if Air is to result from Earth. So,too,if Water and Earth are to result from Fire and Air respectively—both qualities must change. This second method of coming-to-be,then,takes a longer time. But (iii) if one quality in each of two 'elements' pass-away,the transformation,though easier,is not reciprocal. Still,from Fire plus Water there will result Earth and Air,and from Air plus Earth Fire and Water. For there will be Air,when the cold of the Water and the dry of the Fire have passed-away (since the hot of the latter and the moist of the former are left): whereas,when the hot of the Fire and the moist of the Water have passed-away,there will be Earth,owing to the survival of the dry of the Fire and the cold of the Water. So,too,in the same Way,Fire and Water will result from Air plus Earth. For there will be Water,when the hot of the Air and the dry of the Earth have passed-away (since the moist of the former and the cold of the latter are left): whereas,when the moist of the Air and the cold of the Earth have passed-away,there will be Fire,owing to the survival of the hot of the Air and the dry of the Earth—qualities essentially constitutive of Fire. Moreover,this mode of Fire's coming-to-be is confirmed by perception. For flame is par excellence Fire: but flame is burning smoke,and smoke consists of Air and Earth.

    No transformation,however,into any of the 'simple' bodies can result from the passing-away of one elementary quality in each of two 'elements' when they are taken in their consecutive order,because either identical or contrary qualities are left in the pair: but no 'simple' body can be formed either out of identical,or out of contrary,qualities. Thus no 'simple' body would result,if the dry of Fire and the moist of Air were to pass-away: for the hot is left in both. On the other hand,if the hot pass-away out both,the contraries—dry and moist—are left. A similar result will occur in all the others too: for all the consecutive 'elements' contain one identical,and one contrary,quality. Hence,too,it clearly follows that,when one of the consecutive 'elements' is transformed into one,the coming-to-be is effected by the passing-away of a single quality: whereas,when two of them are transformed into a third,more than one quality must have passed-away.

    We have stated that all the 'elements' come-to-be out of any one of them; and we have explained the manner in which their mutual conversion takes place. Let us nevertheless supplement our theory by the following speculations concerning them. (责任编辑:admin)
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