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[1053b] [1] and these because they possess, the one knowledge, and the other perception, which we hold to be the measures of objects. Thus, while appearing to say something exceptional, he is really saying nothing.1

Obviously, then, unity in the strictest sense, if we make our definition in accordance with the meaning of the term, is a measure; particularly of quantity, and secondarily of quality. Some things will be of this kind if they are indivisible in quantity, and others if in quality. Therefore that which is one is indivisible, either absolutely or qua one.

We must inquire, with regard to the substance and nature of unity, in which sense it exists. This is the same question which we approached in our discussion of difficulties2: what unity is, and what view we are to take of it; whether that unity itself is a kind of substance—as first the Pythagoreans, and later Plato, both maintain—or whether rather some nature underlies it, and we should give a more intelligible account of it, and more after the manner of the physicists; for of them one3 holds that the One is Love, another4 Air, and another5 the Indeterminate.

Now if no universal can be a substance (as we have stated in our discussion6 of substance and being), and being itself cannot be a substance in the sense of one thing existing alongside the many (since it is common to them), but only as a predicate, [20] then clearly neither can unity be a substance; because being and unity are the most universal of all predicates.Therefore (a) genera are not certain entities and substances separate from other things; and (b) unity cannot be a genus, for the same reasons that being and substance cannot.7

Further, the nature of unity must be the same for all categories.Now being and unity have the same number of meanings; so that since in the category of qualities unity is something definite, i.e. some definite entity, and similarly in the category of quantity, clearly we must also inquire in general what unity is, just as in the case of being; since it is not enough to say that its nature is simply unity or being.But in the sphere of colors unity is a color, e.g. white; that is if all the other colors are apparently derived from white and black, and black is a privation of white, as darkness is of light. Thus if all existing things were colors, all existing things would be a number; but of what?Clearly of colors. And unity would be some one color, e.g. white. Similarly if all existing things were tunes, there would be a number—of quarter-tones; but their substance would not be a number; and unity would be something whose substance is not unity but a quarter-tone.

1 What Protagoras really meant was (apparently) that appearances are true relatively to the percipient. Cf. Aristot. Met. 4.4.27, and see Burnet, Greek Philosophy (Part I. Thales to Plato), 92.

2 Aristot. Met. 3.4.24-27.

3 Empedocles.

4 Anaximenes.

5 Anaximander.

6 Aristot. Met. 7.13.

7 Cf. Aristot. Met. 3.3.7.

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