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[1020a] [1] i.e. "a source of change which exists in something other than that in which the change takes place, or in the same thing qua other."Other things are said to be "potent"1 because something else has such a

potency over them; others because it does not possess it; others because it possesses it in a particular way. The term "impotent" is similarly used. Thus the authoritative definition of "potency" in the primary sense will be "a principle producing change, which is in something other than that in which the change takes place, or in the same thing qua other."

"Quantity" means that which is divisible into constituent parts, each2 or every one of which is by nature some one individual thing. Thus plurality, if it is numerically calculable, is a kind of quantity; and so is magnitude, if it is measurable. "Plurality" means that which is potentially divisible into non-continuous parts; and "magnitude" that which is potentially divisible into continuous parts. Of kinds of magnitude, that which is continuous in one direction is length; in two directions, breadth; in three, depth.And of these, plurality, when limited, is a number; length, a line; breadth, a plane; depth, a body. Again, some things are essentially quantitative, but others only accidentally; e.g. the line is essentially, but "cultured" accidentally quantitative.And of the former class some are quantitative in virtue of their substance, e.g. the fine (because the definition which describes it is quantitative in some form); [20] and others are attributes and conditions of a substance of this kind— e.g., "much" and "little," "long" and "short," "broad" and "narrow," "deep" and "shallow," "heavy" and "light," etc.Moreover, "great" and "small," and "greater" and "smaller," whether used absolutely or relatively to one another, are essential attributes of quantity; by an extension of meaning, however, these terms are also applied to other things.Of things called quantitative in an accidental sense, one kind is so called in the sense in which we said above that "cultured" or "white" is quantitative—because the subject to which they belong is quantitative; and others in the sense that motion and time are so called—for these too are said in a sense to be quantitative and continuous, since the subjects of which they are attributes are divisible. I mean, not the thing moved, but that through or along which the motion has taken place; for it is because the latter is quantitative that the motion is quantitative, and because the motion is quantitative that the time is also.

"Quality" means (a) in one sense, the differentia of essence; e.g., a man is an animal of a certain quality because he is two-footed; and so is a horse, because it is four-footed. Also a circle is a geometrical figure of a certain quality, because it has no angles;

1 sc. in a passive sense, which the English word "potent" cannot bear.

2 i.e., if there are only two.

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