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[1073a] [1] E.g., one might say that prior to the seed is the man—not he who is produced from the seed, but another man from whom the seed comes.1

Thus it is evident from the foregoing account that there is some substance which is eternal and immovable and separate from sensible things; and it has also been shown that this substance can have no magnitude, but is impartible and indivisible (for it causes motion for infinite time, and nothing finite has an infinite potentiality2; and therefore since every magnitude is either finite or infinite, it cannot have finite magnitude,and it cannot have infinite magnitude because there is no such thing at all); and moreover that it is impassive and unalterable; for all the other kinds of motion are posterior to spatial motion. Thus it is clear why this substance has these attributes.

We must not disregard the question whether we should hold that there is one substance of this kind or more than one, and if more than one, how many; we must review the pronouncements of other thinkers and show that with regard to the number of the substances they have said nothing that can be clearly stated.The theory of the Ideas contains no peculiar treatment of the question; for the exponents of the theory call the Ideas numbers, and speak of the numbers [20] now as though they were unlimited and now as though they were limited by the number 103; but as for why there should be just so many numbers, there is no explanation given with demonstrative accuracy.We, however, must discuss the question on the basis of the assumptions and distinctions which we have already made.

The first principle and primary reality is immovable, both essentially and accidentally, but it excites the primary form of motion, which is one and eternal.Now since that which is moved must be moved by something, and the prime mover must be essentially immovable, and eternal motion must be excited by something eternal, and one motion by some one thing; and since we can see that besides the simple spatial motion of the universe4(which we hold to be excited by the primary immovable substance) there are other spatial motions—those of the planets—which are eternal (because a body which moves in a circle is eternal and is never at rest—this has been proved in our physical treatises5); then each of these spatial motions must also be excited by a substance which is essentially immovable and eternal.For the nature of the heavenly bodies is eternal, being a kind of substance; and that which moves is eternal and prior to the moved; and that which is prior to a substance must be a substance. It is therefore clear that there must be an equal number of substances, in nature eternal, essentially immovable, and without magnitude; for the reason already stated.6

1 Cf. Aristot. Met. 9.8.4, 5.

2 Cf.Aristot. Physics 266a24-b6.

3 Cf. Aristot. Met. 13.8.17, 20. This was a Pythagorean survival, cf. Vol. I. Introduction. xvi.

4 i.e., the (apparent) diurnal revolution of the heavens.

5 Aristot. Physics 8.8, 9, Aristot. De Caelo 1.2, 2.3-8.

6 Aristot. Met. 12.7.12, 13.

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