Aristotle – Metaphysics

It was this belief that blossomed into the most extreme ofthe views above mentioned, that of the professed Heracliteans, such as was held by Cratylus, who finally did not think it right to say anything but only moved his finger, and criticized Heraclitus for saying that it is impossible to step twice into the same river; for he thought one could not do it even once.

* B. Kustodiev – On the Volga

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9 comments on “Aristotle – Metaphysics

  1. Thomas Ross says:

    Our only constant is change. I’d say “change moment to moment” but that might suggest that within each moment resides a reality that can be pinned down, even if only for that moment. Like imagining that the flowing stream could be stopped, even for the flash of a moment. So I guess I stand with Cratylus on this.

    Interesting.

    Tom

    • what my teacher says is that however hard you try, you can’t escape thinking about a river not as an infinite collection of diffrent rivers but as something that is one through time. Blame the brain I guess 🙂

    • But if you say that the only constant is change ( without refering to the moment since we cannot ascertain the reality of the moment) , and the ‘kind’ of change is changing, then you are in a loop Mathematically maybe, but philosophically a loop cant be a good thing to get stuck in. Though I agree with the rest of what you said 🙂

  2. What is a river? What are its components? If x, y, z are its components, and if a specific positional relation among these components causes a formal state we called “river”, how wide is the range of the state’s formal variability without changing its ontological category (=river)? How many distinct positional relations (compositions) x,y,z can come into with each other within this formal variability range?

    I have a Deleuzean regard for common sense, and believe that it has no purchase on philosophical questions. Rather, common sense at most times wrongly problematize what should be clear concepts. What common sense categorize as X may in fact be something that should belong to Y. Thus our common sense of river problematizes the idea of change in that same river, change quite like that occurs in/on/with the clay at a sculptor’s working hand–a sculptor whose plan keeps changing as to what he should make out of the clay, and thus his clay keep changing forms, from cow to ox, to elephant to horse, goat, man, something-god-knows-what, and so on.

    Maybe, if it is impossible to step into one river within an arbitrary, arbitrarily short unit of time, then perhaps we have taken A bath in several rivers at the same geographical coordinates, when we have stepped ONCE into that /stream/ (“//” to be read as modulus) that common sense calls “(A) RIVER”.

  3. maybe so, but going outside conventions is a difficult move and even more questionable practically, as you need to explain why should we start talking about several rivers even if (and only if) there is some kind of reality out there (being that there aremany different rivers in this case)

    • While there is nothing radical in my way of understanding in this, there seems to be the necessity of getting down to the bottom of our assumptions on which most of our conceptualization of things are based on. That’s why we need to know what a river is–the definition. And to roughly demarcate, for practical purposes though not philosophically very exact, the range of an entity’s change without it becoming another entity of its same category or of another different category. And to do this we even need to get down to “what-is-change”, to investigate if anything persists as itself (categorically itself) after undergoing a change? What kind of change moves the entity across the variability range without making it another entity of another category, and what kind of change transforms the entity into an entity of another category.

      Yes, some philosophers have started to address these issues, and to do this they had to step outside conventions, because convention does not give them the right framework or their framework keep them in the rut.

  4. firstly, thanks for stopping by, it’s great to have some discussion going. hard to disagree on this one change and identity is another vast topic, but still there is never ‘just change’ pure and simple, as you said we need a definition, we also need some agreement about which one to use so the story goes on

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