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[1030b] [1] but not of one and the same thing, nor yet equivocally. The term "medical" is applied to a body and a function and an instrument, neither equivocally nor in one sense, hut in relation to one thing.1

However, in whichever way one chooses to speak of these things, it matters nothing; but this point is clear: that the primary and unqualified definition, and the essence, belong to substances. It is true that they belong equally to other things too, but not primarily . For if we assume this, it does not necessarily follow that there is a definition of anything which means the same as any formula; it must mean the same as a particular kind of formula, i.e. the formula of one thing—one not by continuity like the Iliad, or things which are arbitrarily combined, but in one of the proper senses of "one." And "one" has the same variety of senses as "being." "Being" means sometimes the individual thing, sometimes the quantity, sometimes the quality. Hence even "white man" will have a formula and definition; but in a different sense from the definition of "whiteness" and "substance."

The question arises: If one denies that a formula involving an added determinant is a definition, how can there be a definition of terms which are not simple but coupled? Because they can only be explained by adding a determinant.I mean, e.g., there is "nose" and "concavity" and "snubness," the term compounded of the two, because the one is present in the other. Neither "concavity" nor "snubness" is an accidental, but a per se affection of the nose.2 [20] Nor are they attributes in the sense that "white" is of Callias or a man, because Callias is white and is by accident a man; but in the sense that "male" is an attribute of animal, and equality of quantity, and all other attributes which we say belong per se.That is, all things which involve the formula or name of the subject of the affection, and cannot be explained apart from it. Thus "white" can be explained apart from "man," but not "female" apart from "animal." Thus either these terms have no essence or definition, or else they have it in a different sense, as we have said.

But there is also another difficulty about them. If "snub nose" is the same as "concave nose," "snub" will be the same as "concave." But if not, since it is impossible to speak of "snub" apart from the thing of which it is a per se affection (because "snub" means a concavity in the nose), either it is impossible to call the nose snub, or it will be a tautology, "concave-nose nose" because "snub nose" will equal "concave-nose nose."Hence it is absurd that such terms as these should have an essence. Otherwise there will be an infinite regression; for in "snub-nose nose" there will be yet another nose.

1 Cf. Aristot. Met. 4.2.2.

2 Snubness is a per se affection of the nose, because it applies only to the nose and cannot be explained apart from it, but the same can hardly be said of concavity. Aristotle himself uses the word (κοιλότης) elsewhere in other connections.

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