abode and ontological footing in movedness. However, their being-moved is such [318 {GA 9 248}] that the ἀρχή, the origin and ordering of their movedness, rules from within those beings themselves.

Here where Aristotle defines φύσις as ἀρχή κινήσεως, he does not fail to point out various kinds of movement: growth and diminution, alteration and change of place (locomotion). These kinds are merely enumerated, i.e., they are not differentiated according to any explicit respect, nor grounded in any such differentiation (cf. Physics E I, 224b 35—225b 9). In fact, this mere enumeration is not even complete. In fact, the kind of movement that is not mentioned is precisely the one that will be crucial for determining the essence of φύσις. Nevertheless, mentioning various kinds of movement at this point has its own significance. It indicates that Aristotle understands κίνησις, movedness, in a very broad sense — but not "broad" in the sense of "extended," "approximate," and superficial, but rather in the sense of the essential and of a grounding fullness.

Today, with the predominance of the mechanistic thinking of the modem natural sciences, we are inclined both to hold that the basic form of movement is movedness in the sense of motion from one position in space to another; and then to "explain" everything that is moved in terms of it. That kind of movedness — κίνησις κατὰ τόπον, movedness in terms of place or location — is for Aristotle only one kind of movedness among others, but it in no way counts as movement pure and simple.

What is more, we should note that in a certain sense what Aristotle means by "change of place" is something different from the modem conception of the change of location of some mass in space. Τόπος is the ποῦ, the place where a specific body belongs. What is fiery belongs above, what is earthy belongs below. The places themselves - above, below (heaven, earth) — are special: by way of them are determined distances and relations, i.e., what we call "space," something for which the Greeks had neither a word nor a concept. For us today space is not determined by way of [319] place; rather, all places, as constellations of points, are determined by infinite space that is everywhere homogeneous and nowhere distinctive. When movedness is taken as change of place, there is a corresponding kind of rest, namely, remaining in the same place. But something that continues to occupy the same place and thus is not moved in the sense of change of place, can nonetheless be in a process of movedness. For example, a plant that is rooted "in place" grows (increases) or withers (decreases) [αὔξησις — φθίσις]. And conversely, something that moves insofar as it changes its place can still "rest" by remaining as it was constituted. The running fox is at rest in that it keeps the same color; this is the rest of nonalteration, rest


Martin Heidegger (GA 9) On the Essence and Concept of Φύσις - Pathmarks