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[1060b] [1] how can they be separate and independent? but the eternal and primary principles for which we are looking are of this nature.(b) If, however, each of them denotes a particular thing and a substance, then all existing things are substances; for Being is predicated of everything, and Unity also of some things.But that all things are substances is false. (c) As for those who maintain that Unity is the first principle and a substance, and who generate number from Unity and matter as their first product, and assert that it is a substance, how can their theory be true? How are we to conceive of 2 and each of the other numbers thus composed, as one? On this point they give no explanation; nor is it easy to give one.

But if we posit lines or the things derived from them (I mean surfaces in the primary sense1) as principles,2 these at least are not separately existing substances, but sections and divisions, the former of surfaces and the latter of bodies (and points are sections and divisions of lines); and further they are limits of these same things. All these things are integral parts of something else, and not one of them exists separately.Further, how are we to suppose that there is a substance of unity or a point? for in the case of every substance3 there is a process of

generation, but in the case of the point there is not; for the point is a division.

[20] It is a perplexing fact also that whereas every science treats of universals and types, substance is not a universal thing, but rather a particular and separable thing; so that if there is a science that deals with first principles, how can we suppose that substance is a first principle?4

Again, is there anything besides the concrete whole (I mean the matter and the form in combination) or not?5 If not, all things in the nature of matter are perishable; but if there is something, it must be the form or shape. It is hard to determine in what cases this is possible and in what it is not; for in some cases, e.g. that of a house, the form clearly does not exist in separation.

Again, are the first principles formally or numerically the same?6 If they are numerically one, all things will be the same.

Since the science of the philosopher is concerned with Being qua Being universally,7 and not with some part of it, and since the term Being has several meanings and is not used only in one sense, if it is merely equivocal and has no common significance it cannot fall under one science (for there is no one class in things of this kind); but if it has a common significance it must fall under one science.

Now it would seem that it is used in the sense which we have described, like "medical" and "healthy," for we use each of these terms in several senses;

1 i.e., intelligible surfaces, etc.

2 Cf. Aristot. Met. 3.1.15, Aristot. Met. 3.5.

3 sc. which is liable to generation or destruction.

4 Cf. Aristot. Met. 3.1.14, Aristot. Met. 3.6.7-9.

5 This section belongs to the problem discussed in 1-5 above.

6 Cf. Aristot. Met. 3.1.12, Aristot. Met. 3.4.8-10.

7 This chapter corresponds to Aristot. Met. 4.1, 2, with which it should be compared.

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