Download e-book for kindle: Ancient Survivals in Ossetic by Ilya Gershevitch

By Ilya Gershevitch

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Sample text

Whether ouranos refers to the outer sphere, or to the heavens as a whole, or to the cosmos as a whole, the cosmos is said not to be in a place. Is there a problem here at all? One might say that these three entities all do indeed lack a container, so that from an Aristotelian point of view it is hardly a problem that they are not in a place. If only those things are in a place which have surroundings, then these three objects do not need to be emplaced. However, this would be to ignore two further problems.

11): Eudemus says that a further cause of the difficulty of the problem of place is that [the no tion of] place is not easy to grasp, because it altogether escapes us when the body in it is removed, and it is not possible to apprehend it in itself, but, if at all, in combination with something else, like the sounds of the so called consonants. For with ‘a’ added, the sound of ‘b’ and ‘c’ becomes clear (Simp. Ph. 523, 22 28; Eudemus fr. 73 Wehrli). Here, I believe, Eudemus wittingly or unwittingly puts his finger on what is primarily an additional weakness of Aristotle’s theory, rather than of any theory of place.

Eudemus focuses on the first question. He answers it by saying that we determine immobile places in relation to the heavens: Having said that place must be the limit, in so far as it surrounds, of the surrounding body which was immobile, he [scil. Eudemus] added: “For that which moves is like a vessel, and that is why we determine places in relation to the heavens. For they do not change place, except in their parts” (Simp. Ph. 595, 5 8; part of Eudemus fr. 80 Wehrli). In doing so he may well have taken his exegetical cue from the passage in Aristotle which immediately follows on the final definition of place as the “first immobile limit of what contains”.

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Ancient Survivals in Ossetic by Ilya Gershevitch

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