This paper illustrates how Aristotle’s topological theses about change in Physics 5-6 can help address metaphysical issues. Two distinctions from Physics 5. 1 are discussed: changing per se versus changing per aliud; motion versus change. Change from white to black is motion and alteration, whereas change from white to not white is neither. But is not every change from white to black identical with a change from white to not white? Theses from Physics 6 refute the identity. Is change from white to black at least accompanied by change from white to not white? Perhaps, but given further theses from Physics 6, this supposition yields unwelcome consequences. Most likely, when something changes from white to black it changes merely per aliud, not per se, from white to not white. Genuine change between white and not white is found elsewhere; its admission has bearing on Aristotle’s theory of perception.
Alan Code‘Aristotle’s Response to Quine’s Objections to Modal Logic’Journal of Philosophical Logic5 (1976) 159-186; Frank Lewis ‘Accidental Sameness in Aristotle’ Phil Studies 42 (1982) 1-36; Garreth Matthews ‘Accidental Unities’ in Schofield and Nussbaum (eds.) Language and Logos Cambridge (1982) 223-240.