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[1001b] [1] In either case there is a difficulty; for whether Unity is not a substance or whether there is absolute Unity, number cannot be a substance.It has already been stated why this is so if Unity is not a substance; and if it is, there is the same difficulty as about Being. For whence, if not from the absolute One or Unity, can there be another one? It must be not-one; but all things are either one, or many of which each is one. Further, if absolute Unity is indivisible, by Zeno's axiom it will be nothing.For that which neither when added makes a thing greater nor when subtracted makes it smaller is not an existent thing, he says1; clearly assuming that what exists is spatial magnitude. And if it is a spatial magnitude it is corporeal, since the corporeal exists in all dimensions, whereas the other magnitudes, the plane or line, when added to a thing in one way will increase it, but when added in another will not; and the point or unit will not increase a thing in any way whatever.But since Zeno's view is unsound, and it is possible for a thing to be indivisible in such a way that it can be defended even against his argument (for such a thing2 when added will increase a thing in number though not in size)—still how can a magnitude be composed of one or more such indivisible things? It is like saying that the line is composed of points.Moreover, even if one supposes the case to be [20] such that number is generated, as some say, from the One itself and from something else which is not one, we must none the less inquire why and how it is that the thing generated will be at one time number and at another magnitude, if the not-one was inequality and the same principle in both cases.3 For it is not clear how magnitude can be generated either from One and this principle, or from a number and this principle.4

(13.) Out of this arises the question whether numbers, bodies, planes and points are substances or not. If not, the question of what Being is, what the substances of things are, baffles us; for modifications and motions and relations and dispositions and ratios do not seem to indicate the substance of anything; they are all predicated of a substrate, and none of them is a definite thing.As for those things which might be especially supposed to indicate substance—water, earth, fire and air, of which composite bodies are composed—

1 Cf. Zeno, Fr. 2, and see Burnet, E.G.P. sects. 157 ff.

2 e.g., a point is indivisible and has no magnitude, yet added to other points it increases their number.

3 The reference is to the Platonists. Cf. Aristot. Met. 14.1.5, 6; Aristot. Met. 14.2.13, 14.

4 For the answer to this problem see Aristot. Met. 7.16.3, 4; Aristot. Met. 10.2; and cf. Aristot. Met. 13.8.

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