Plato's Sophist [113-114]

Ἄμα is then that which is in one place.

2.) χωρίς, "the separate," is that which is in another place. Here the determination of place must be held fast.

3.) ἅπτεσθαι, "the touching," ὧν τὰ ἄκρα ἅμα (226a23) "occurs in that whose ends, extremities, are (now the first moment recurs) in one place," whose ends occupy the same place.

4.) μεταξύ, "the intermediate," is that which εἰς ὃ πέφυκε πρότερον ἀφικνεῖσθαι τὸ μεταβάλλον (226b23f.), "that at which a changing being, one whose change is in accord with its Being, first arrives, i.e., arrives at earlier." It is that which something, in changing, passes through, that to which something changes prior to arriving at the ἔσχατον of its continuous change?7 We can obtain a rough idea of what Aristotle means if we take a quite primitive example: for a boat moving in a stream, the stream (the μεταξύ, the medium, within which the motion occurs) is distinguished by the fact that it least of all leaves something out; it retains its integrity.

5.) ἐφεξῆς, "the successive." Here the μεταξύ is taken up again. The successive as such is connected with what it follows in this way, that there is nothing intermediate between them which τῶν ἐν ταὐτῷ γένει (227a1), "which is of the same ontological lineage," i.e., the same as the beings themselves which are in order one after another. Ἐφεξῆς, "in succession," are, e.g., the houses on a street. That which is between them is not something of the same ontological character as that which makes up the series. But something else can very well be between them.

6.) ἐχόμενον, "the self-possessed," "the self-coherent." The ἐφεξῆς here recurs. Ἐχόμενον, "the self-consistent," is an ἐφεξῆς, a "one after the other," but of such a kind that it is determined by the ἅπτεσθαι. ἐχόμενον δὲ ὃ ἂν ἐφεξῆς ὂν ἅπτηται (227a6) "What is coherent is that whose successive parts are in touch with one another. " The ἐχόμενον is determined by such a succession, one in which the ends are in the same place; i.e., the objects of the series abut one another, touch each other in their extremities.

7. μεταξὺ δὲ εἰς ὃ πέφυκε πρότερον ἀφικνεῖσθαι τὸ μεταβάλλον ἢ εἰς ὃ ἔσχατον μεταβάλλει κατὰ φύσιν συνεχῶς μεταβάλλον (226b23ff). "The intermediate is that at which something in motion by nature can arrive prior to arriving at its final state, provided the motion is natural and continuous." The word πρότερον at 226b24 is controversial. Πρότερον can be found in the parallel passage in Met. XI, 1068b28, as well as in Themistii in physica paraphrasis, 172. In the codices such as Simplicii in physicorum libris commentaria 871, 20, the word πρῶτον occurs. Heidegger seems to have incorporated both words. H. Weiß remarks in a footnote (as formulated by the editor): "In the text of Bekker (Aristotelis opera edidit Academia Regio Borussica (ex recensione I. Bekkeri) Berlin 1831-1870) the word is πρῶτον. Πρότερον might very well be a conjecture. Yet if one accepts πρῶτον, then b24 (ἢ εἰς ὃ ἔσχατον μεταβάλλει) becomes unintelligible. The ἢ ('than') must be related to the word πρότερον ('earlier'), πρότερον-ἢ ('earlier-than')." A similar annotation can be found in the transcript of H. Jonas. Thus: "The intermediate is that at which a changing being arrives prior to arriving at the state it will ultimately change into." The Latin translation of the Bekker edition also reads prius-quam.