Aristotle’s history of gesture can be found in the Physics. By gesture. Aristotle ( 384-322 BCE ) understands any sort of alteration. He defines gesture as the actuality of a potency. Initially. Aristotle’s definition seems to affect a contradiction. However. observers on the plants of Aristotle. such as St. Thomas Aquinas. maintain that this is the lone manner to specify gesture. In order to adequately understand Aristotle’s definition of gesture it is necessary to understand what he means by actuality and potency.
Aristotle uses the words energeia and entelechiainterchangeably to depict a sort of action. A lingual analysis shows that. by actuality. Aristotle means both energeia. which means being-at-work. and entelechia. which means being-at-an-end. These two words. although they have different significances. map as equivalent word in Aristotle’s strategy. For Aristotle. to be a thing in the universe is to be at work. to belong to a peculiar species. to move for an terminal and to organize stuff into digesting organized wholes.
Actuality. for Aristotle. is hence close in intending to what it is to be alive. except it does non transport the deduction of mortality. From the Middle Ages to modern times. observers disagreed on the reading of Aristotle’s history of gesture. An accurate rendition of Aristotle’s definition must include seemingly inconsistent propositions: ( a ) that gesture is rest. and ( B ) that a potency. which must be. if anything. a want of actuality. is at the same clip that actuality of which it is the deficiency. St.
Thomas Aquinas was prepared to take these propositions earnestly. St. Thomas observes that to state that something is in gesture is merely to state that it is both what it is already and something else that it is non yet. Consequently. gesture is the manner in which the hereafter belongs to the present. it is the present absence of merely those peculiar absent things which are about to be. St. Thomas therefore resolves the evident contradiction between potency and actuality in Aristotle’s definition of gesture by reasoning that in every gesture actuality and potency are assorted or blended. St. Thomas’ reading of Aristotle’s definition of gesture. nevertheless. is non free of troubles.
His reading seems to trivialise the significance of entelechia. One deduction of this reading is that whatever happens to be the instance right now is an entelechia. as though something which is per se unstable as the instantaneous place of an pointer in flight deserved to be described by the word which Aristotle everyplace else militias for complex organized provinces which persist. which hold out in being against internal and external causes be givening to destruct them.
In the Metaphysics. nevertheless. Aristotle draws a differentiation between two sorts of potency. On the one manus. there are latent or inactive potencies. On the other manus. there are active or at-work potencies. Consequently. every gesture is a complex whole. an digesting integrity which organizes distinguishable parts. Thingss have being to the extent that they are or are portion of determinate wholes. so that to be agencies to be something. and alteration has being because it ever is or is portion of some determinate potency. at work and manifest in the universe as alteration.