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[1045b] [1] just as they are essentially something existent: an individual substance, a quality, or a quantity. Hence neither "existent" nor "one" is present in their definitions. And their essence is ipso facto something one, just as it is something existent.Hence also there is no other cause of the unity of any of these things, or of their existence; for each one of them is one and "existent" not because it is contained in the genus "being" or "unity," nor because these genera exist separately apart from their particulars, but ipso facto.

It is because of this difficulty that some thinkers1 speak of "participation," and raise the question of what is the cause of participation, and what participation means; and others speak of "communion"; e.g., Lycophron2 says that knowledge is a communion of the soul with "knowing"; and others call life a combination or connection of soul with body.The same argument, however, applies in every case; for "being healthy" will be the "communion" or "connection" or "combination" of soul and health; and "being a bronze triangle" a "combination" of bronze and triangle; and "being white" a "combination" of surface and whiteness. The reason for this is that people look for a unifying formula, and a difference, between potentiality and actuality.But, as we have said,3 the proximate matter and the shape are one and the same; the one existing potentially, and the other actually. [20] Therefore to ask the cause of their unity is like asking the cause of unity in general; for each individual thing is one, and the potential and the actual are in a sense one. Thus there is no cause other than whatever initiates the development from potentiality to actuality. And such things as have no matter are all, without qualification, essential unities.

1 The Platonists.

2 A sophist, disciple of Gorgias.

3 Cf. sects. 4, 5.

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