Aristotle's Explanation Of Motion

Decent Essays
Is Aristotle saying motion is the realization of potency, and that actors have to exist to act on potency to realize and create motion? I’m struggling with some of the language Aristotle uses when describing motion. At the end of Book III he uses the example of color and vision, saying “‘colour’ and ‘visible’ are different — and clearly it is the fulfilment of what is potential as potential that is motion. So this, precisely, is motion.” So, in this case, color has the potential to be ‘visible,’ and a person seeing and visualizing color is fulfilling that potential and creating motion. However, if motion has no end or beginning, is it really the actualization of potentiality that causes motion, like a person seeing the color, or is that color always still in motion? Essentially, if the color is always in motion, then a human acting upon/seeing that color is not in any way putting the color into motion; instead, the color was always in motion regardless, and someone visualizing it is only realizing a small part of the color’s potency and motion, and is not necessarily an initial actor upon it. If so, then who/what realizes the potency of the…show more content…
Like in the bronze example he uses, he says that a bronze statue’s potency is not in the bronze itself, but in the bronze's ability to be turned into a bronze statue; a simple cube of bronze is not a bronze statue, but has the potency to become one. Once that potency is actualized and the bronze is formed into a statue, that potency must no longer exist because it was set into motion to become the form of a statue – being a statue is the telos for the potency of the bronze. Or, would Aristotle argue that the potency for it to be a statue still exists because the bronze can be melted down and recreated into another statue? Some aspects of potency and motion, like when potency ends, are confusing to
Get Access