Metaphysics θ 1.

guiding meaning of force—as an inner variation of this. and even in differing respects that are already pre-given with the power to do something, each according to its particular content.


What appears at 1046a 19-29 to be merely a redundancy is the first step to the unitary, essential determination of the phenomenon of δύναμις. The formulation δύναμις τοῦ ποιεῖν καὶ πάσχειν expresses an ambiguity. According to this, δύναμις means (1) ὡς μία—as something unitary: a being [ein Sein]; (2) ὡς ἄλλη—as always one and another: definite beings. With regard to (1), the force of doing and suffering as one: the one ἀρχή implicating the other-only with this implicating, reciprocal ἀρχή-character is the essence of δύναμις fulfilled. Regarding (2), if such a force comes to be, then it does so necessarily as two forces, or else as one being in two different ontic respects. Thus this passage does not argue for the ontic coexistence of two present forces as though they were one. Further, unforce is distinguished from force. The question here is once again whether only a modification is set forth, or whether this is a reflexive questioning for the comprehension of the entire essence. Στέρεσις, the withdrawal of force, means (1) μὴ ἔχον-a simple not-having, (2) τὸ πεφυκὸς ἐἂν μὴ ἔχῃ—when something does not have what it should have, and this in differing ways and respects.

The decisive thesis reads (a30-31): "Every force is unforce with reference to and in accordance with the same thing." This states that unforce is nevertheless bound to the realm of force that remains withdrawn from it. That from which something has withdrawn is related in and through this withdrawal precisely to that which has withdrawn. And despite the negative character of the withdrawal, this withdrawing relation always produces its own positive characterization for that which is in the state of withdrawal commensurate with the way of the withdrawal (which itself is still different in relation to one and the same thing). Aristotle brings up at Δ 12 a significant example (1019b 18f.): οὐ γὰρ ὁμοίως ἂν φαῖεν ἀδύνατον εἶναι γεννᾶν παῖδα καὶ ἄνδρα καὶ εὐνοῦχον. "For we are not inclined to

Martin Heidegger (GA 33) Aristotle's Metaphysics θ 1-3