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Problem of Ontological Difference [358-359]

not necessarily as local motion. The actions are not intrinsically spatial but they pass over into one another, one changes into the other. In such a mental action we can stop and dwell on something. We may recall the passage in De interpretatione: ἵστησι ἡ διάνοια,45 thinking stands still with something. The mind, too, has the character of a moving thing. Even when we are not experiencing something moving in the sense of some entity presently at hand, nevertheless motion taken in the broadest sense, hence time, is unveiled for us in experiencing our own self.

However, this gives rise to a difficult problem. Πότερον δὲ μὴ οὔσης ψυχῆς εἴη ἂν ὁ χρόνος ἢ οὔ,46 whether, if there is no soul, time does or does not exist. Aristotle gives a more specific interpretation to this: Ἀδυνάτου γὰρ ὄντος εἶναι τοῦ ἀριθμήσοντος ἀδύνατον καὶ ἀριθμητόν τι εἶναι, ὥστε δῆλον ὅτι οὐδ᾿ ἀριθμός. ἀριθμὸς γὰρ ἢ τὸ ἠριθμημένον ἢ τὸ ἀριθμητόν. εἰ δὲ μηδὲν ἄλλο πέφυκεν ἀριθμεῖν ἢ ψυχὴ καὶ ψυχῆς νοῦς, ἀδύνατον εἶναι χρόνον ψυχῆς μὴ οὔσης, ἀλλ᾿ ἢ τοῦτο ὅ ποτε ὂν ἔστιν ὁ χρόνος, οἷον εἰ ἐνδέχεται κίνησιν εἶναι ἄνευ ψυχῆς. τὸ δὲ πρότερον καὶ ὕστερον ἐν κινήσει ἐστίν· χρόνος δὲ ταῦτ᾿ ἐστὶν ᾗ ἀριθμητά ἐστιν.47 Time is what is counted. If there is no soul then there is no counting, nothing that counts, and if there is nothing that counts then there is nothing countable and nothing counted. If there is no soul then there is no time. Aristotle poses this as a question and at the same time stresses the other possibility, whether time perhaps is in itself in what it is, just as a motion can also exist without a soul. But likewise he emphasizes that the before and after, which is a constitutive determination of time, is in motion, and time itself is ταῦτα, the before and after as counted. To be counted obviously belongs to the nature of time, so that if there is no counting there is no time, or the converse. Aristotle doesn't pursue this question any further; he merely touches on it, which leads to the question how time itself exists.

We see by the interpretation of "being in time" that time, as the embracing, as that in which natural events occur, is, as it were, more objective than all objects. On the other hand, we see also that it exists only if the soul exists, It is more objective than all objects and simultaneously it is subjective, existing only if subjects exist. What then is time and how does it



45. Aristotle, De interpretatione, 16b 20.

46. Physica, book 4, 14.223a 21f. [The entire passage to which notes 46-47 refer is the following; "Whether if soul did not exist time would exist or not, is a question that may fairly be asked; for if there cannot be some one to count there cannot be anything that can be counted, so that evidently there cannot be number; for number is either what has been, or what can be, counted. But if nothing but soul, or in soul reason, is qualified to count, there would not be time unless there were soul, but only that of which time is an attribute, i.e., if movement can exist without soul, and the before and after are attributes of movement, and time is these qua numerable." Trans. Hardie and Gaye.]

47. Ibid., 223a 22-29.