20. But though not opposed, it is still different from Action and cannot belong to the same genus as activity; though if they are both Motion, it will so belong, on the principle that alteration must be regarded as qualitative motion.
Does it follow that whenever alteration proceeds from Quality, it will be activity and Action, the quale remaining impassive? It may be that if the quale remains impassive, the alteration will be in the category of Action; whereas if, while its energy is directed outwards, it also suffers- as in beating- it will cease to belong to that category: or perhaps there is nothing to prevent its being in both categories at one and the same moment.
If then an alteration be conditioned by Passivity alone, as is the case with rubbing, on what ground is it assigned to Action rather than to Passivity? Perhaps the Passivity arises from the fact that a counter-rubbing is involved. But are we, in view of this counter-motion, to recognize the presence of two distinct motions? No: one only.
How then can this one motion be both Action and Passion? We must suppose it to be Action in proceeding from an object, and Passion in being directly upon another- though it remains the same motion throughout.
Suppose however Passion to be a different motion from Action: how then does its modification of the patient object change that patient's character without the agent being affected by the patient? For obviously an agent cannot be passive to the operation it performs upon another. Can it be that the fact of motion existing elsewhere creates the Passion, which was not Passion in the agent?
If the whiteness of the swan, produced by its Reason-Principle, is given at its birth, are we to affirm Passion of the swan on its passing into being? If, on the contrary, the swan grows white after birth, and if there is a cause of that growth and the corresponding result, are we to say that the growth is a Passion? Or must we confine Passion to purely qualitative change?
One thing confers beauty and another takes it: is that which takes beauty to be regarded as patient? If then the source of beauty- tin, suppose- should deteriorate or actually disappear, while the recipient- copper- improves, are we to think of the copper as passive and the tin active?
Take the learner: how can he be regarded as passive, seeing that the Act of the agent passes into him [and becomes his Act]? How can the Act, necessarily a simple entity, be both Act and Passion? No doubt the Act is not in itself a Passion; nonetheless, the learner coming to possess it will be a patient by the fact of his appropriation of an experience from outside: he will not, of course, be a patient in the sense of having himself performed no Act; learning- like seeing- is not analogous to being struck, since it involves the acts of apprehension and recognition.