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[1038b] [1]

Since the subject of our inquiry is substance, let us return to it. Just as the substrate and the essence and the combination of these are called substance, so too is the universal. With two of these we have already dealt, i.e. with the essence1 and the substrate2; of the latter we have said that it underlies in two senses—either being an individual thing (as the animal underlies its attributes), or as matter underlies the actuality.The universal also is thought by some3 to be in the truest sense a cause and a principle. Let us therefore proceed to discuss this question too; for it seems impossible that any universal term can be substance.

First, the substance of an individual is the substance which is peculiar to it and belongs to nothing else; whereas the universal is common; for by universal we mean that which by nature appertains to several things.Of what particular, then, will the universal be the substance? Either of all or of none. But it cannot be the substance of all; while, if it is to be the substance of one, the rest also will be that one; because things whose substance is one have also one essence and are themselves one.

Again, substance means that which is not predicated of a subject, whereas the universal is always predicated of some subject.

But perhaps although the universal cannot be substance in the sense that essence is, it can be present in the essence, as "animal" can be present in "man" and "horse."Then clearly there is in some sense a formula of the universal. It makes no difference [20] even if there is not a formula of everything that is in the substance; for the universal will be none the less the substance of something; e.g., "man" will be the substance of the man in whom it is present. Thus the same thing will happen again4; e.g. "animal" will be the substance of that in which it is present as peculiar to it.

Again, it is impossible and absurd that the individual or substance, if it is composed of anything, should be composed not of substances nor of the individual, but of a quality; for then non-substance or quality will be prior to substance or the individual. Which is impossible; for neither in formula nor in time nor in generation can the affections of substance be prior to the substance, since then they would be separable.

Again, a substance will be present in "Socrates," who is a substance; so that it will be the substance of two things. And in general it follows that if "man" and all terms used in this way are substance, none of the elements in the formula is the substance of anything, nor can it exist apart from the species or in anything else; I mean, e.g., that neither "animal" nor any other element of the formula can exist apart from the particular species.

If we look at the question from this standpoint it is obvious that no universal attribute is substance; and it is also clear from the fact that none of the common predicates means "so-and-so,"

1 Chs. 4-5.,10-12.

2 Ch. 3.

3 The Platonists.

4 i.e., the argument in ch. 3 will apply to this case also.

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