DISCUSSING NATURAL MOTION
DEFINITION OF TIME AND VERBAL USAGE IN ARISTOTLE
Keywords:Aristotle, Physics, Time, Motion, Number
Aristotle posits that time, as defined by the “number of motion in respect of before and after” (Physics IV 11.219b1-2), is an inherent property of motion itself rather than a prerequisite. This implies the possibility of identifying time-independent properties of natural motions. One such critical feature, crucial to understanding the basic meaning of time, is the presence of an inherent order of before and after within motion, regardless of time. The concept of a non-temporal before and after within motion is now accepted or seriously considered in scholarly discussions. However, it remains one of the most confusing and difficult issues in the interpretation of Aristotle’s conception of time. How can we conceive of motion apart from time? Moreover, how does Aristotle seemingly take this aspect for granted? In order to address these issues, I propose to combine philosophical inquiry with grammatical and mathematical reflections. I will examine the analysis of motion alongside the verbs used to describe it, with a keen focus on aspect. Hence I will draw connections between the relationship of motion and time and that of physical and mathematical objects.